In Quest of the Hand of Vecna?
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:08 am 
 

I have removed most of the images from my pictures post since it is copyrighted...just left a few so people can see what I am talking about. I'll leave them all on the photobucket site for awhile.

Thanks for everyones help regarding this. Now I just need to figure out if I want to sell it or not. Its not something I would normally keep for my collection (TSR only).

Thanks again,

GreyM

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 14, 2008 3:37 pm 
 

Just wanted to let everyone know what we have found out so far (through PM's and off site queries) regarding this.

Someone has contacted me and said he vaguely remembers playing something like this back in a tournament/con in the area. He said he can't say for 100% though. He may just remember the name Vecna and he's actually remembering something else. I don't know for sure and neither does he.

It appears that it is highly related to "The Serpent of Me'Tal". With Mars doing the work, he has compared most of the two adventures. They seem to basically be the same adventure with some name changes and basic room redesigns, etc.

Which came first?....I don't think we will ever know for 100% certain, but thanks to the copyright page in Rakeesh's post, it appears that "In Quest of the Hand of Vecna" was first. Along with some things that Mars pointed out "doesn't look like it was completely finished" such as diagrams and maps, and with one of the last sentences in the "In Quest of the Hand of Vecna" adventure...and I quote...."...I apologize and owing to the limitations of time, I am presently unable to expound further. Use imagination and fit it to your own personal campaign..." I feel that it was probably first before it switched names to "The Serpent of Me'Tal".

And all this fits together into the Mars conspiracy theory regarding the name change  8)

Other than Carl D. Perkins popping up  and letting us know for sure, or someone that was around him a lot back in 1984 does, I don't think we will ever know 100% which one came first. I just wanted to let everyone know what we've found out so far. Anyone that might have more information, please let me know.

Thanks again for everything guys,

GreyM

  


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:11 pm 
 

Another possible update on this. Someone sent me a link to a different website forum talking about favorite modules (not sure if I am allowed to post a link to the specific page or not so I'm not).

In the post someone mentions "...My favorite is a module that our DM came up with to house the Hand of Vecna. He's since written it up for publication and we changed the hand to an interesting artifact called the Serpent of Me'Tal...".

I have sent the guy a PM as well as an email to the address listed in his account. Unfortunately the post was 4 years ago, so I don't know if I will hear anything from him but interesting nonetheless.

GreyM

  


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:38 pm 
 

A homebrew that was eventually published (or self-published)? Is that what we're looking at here?

This is an interesting saga. At the very least, it's got some actual history behind it, unlike one of our more recent laughable attempts to score a quick buck.

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:19 pm 
 

I would assume its self published, but I don't know for sure. I can't find anything on the Internet regarding "High Level Adventures" which is listed after "Presented by" and "Carl Perkins" the copyright holder. I don't own the Serpent of Me'Tal but it looks like its the same High Level Adventures if you look at the cover that Mars posted.

I did figure out the other website (if you do a google search with the quote it should show up) and it appears the poster was on yesterday (but hasn't posted in 4 years? so I don't know how accurate that is). Hopefully he was actually on yesterday and still checks his email.

I'm leaning towards this was never played at a con/tourney anywhere around here but back in the 80's you never know. There were little tables everywhere back then and you could find a weekend game at any decent gaming store. Sad to say there's not many gaming stores here anymore but thats happened everywhere.

GreyM

  

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:22 pm 
 

Deadlord39 wrote:Looks like a standard homebrew, Grey.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:35 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:A homebrew that was eventually published (or self-published)? Is that what we're looking at here?

This is an interesting saga. At the very least, it's got some actual history behind it, unlike one of our more recent laughable attempts to score a quick buck.


Ah yes, the Realm of No Frakkin Way.  Anyone heard from "Atari" lately?  :)

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 8:47 pm 
 

I'm sure that this one was a self published effort and ranks just slightly higher than a homebrew - it was at least typed up and has a cover.  Although , in the scheme of things I don't think this one ever got out of Ohio.

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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:40 pm 
 

Mars,

    I think we (me too now) both agree on it being just a step or two above home brew....but I think it might have made it out of Ohio and into Kentucky since I picked it up in Cincinnati.  :P

   If nothing else, it makes a good look into the evolution of a module (even if it was self published) between this and the two versions of The Serpent of Me'Tal that you have.

    It was a good thing you were paying attention to this thread because almost all the information we have is from you with comparing this to the Serpent. Considering all I had was the adventure with its name and author and one website that I couldn't make heads or tails of (the copyright site). Thanks again for all your help,

GreyM

  


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:17 pm 
 

I'll have to go back through my Tom Moldvay materials to see if Carl Perkins was someone who did playtesting or otherwise was also involved to some degree (since Moldvay also lived in Ohio):  the name still rings vague bells, and I don't own the Serpent of Me'tal....


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 1:28 pm 
 

I have received a reply from "ThorinIronfist" (John) the guy that posted the above quote.  I am summarizing here (I have asked his permission to paste the entire email and I'm waiting for a response).

He goes into the background on how they (Carl, John, and two others) took it from In Quest of the Hand of Vecna! and changed it to The Serpent of Me'Tal. Unfotunately it was not due to the TSR conspiracy. They made the name changes because they didn't want to get into trouble with TSR.

He said he was amazed since I was the 2nd person to contact him regarding this in the past two days (possibly someone here tracked him down first) where he hasn't heard anything regarding this in 20 odd years.

For the old timers among us, he said it was printed out using an Apple Lisa (early early Macintosh) and a dot matrix printer and after looking at the pictures he believes that this is one of the original copies of it.

Once I get his permission, I'll paste his entire email because there's alot of detail in it. I sent him a link to this forum so he could read for himself whats been said.

GreyM

  


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:32 pm 
 

I just got his OK to post the entire email so here it is:



from John Barnes <johnbarnes16.AT.hotmail.D0T.com>

to Jerry Eblin <jeblin.AT.gmail.D0T.com>,



cc Carl Perkins <carlperkins.AT.earthlink.D0T.net>,



dateWed, Apr 16, 2008 at 1:57 PM

subjectRE: In Quest of the Hand of Vecna

mailed-byhotmail.com



hide details 1:57 PM (28 minutes ago) Reply





Jerry,



Thanks for directing me to the thread you've had going on Acaeum.  It is really interesting and, you certainly have my permission to post my email to you there.  I will be curious to continue following the thread.



So, you got this module from a guy named Dean in Cincinatti.  Very interesting.  Rings no bells at all, and it still doesn't explain how it reached the general market.  My best guess, is that Bob, who is cited in the copyright informtion posted on the thread, had the originals and put them up on ebay.  Woudn't be unlike him to do it.  Not that I mind, since he was really the chief driving force behind our publishing enterprise and I think he put more money into it than any of the rest of us.  His mother, who is an artist, did the sketch of the hand of Vecna that you have on your copy.  She also did the design for the High Level Adventures logo.  However a completely different person did the artwork for Serpent.



I'm curious about this multiple versions of Serpent being in existence.  The letter I got yesterday was from a person who had only a Xeroxed copy of the original and appearantly without the cover material, though he must have had copies of the map.  I placed an order with Spellbinders last night for the module they are advertising as The Serpent of Me'Tal.  It was 10 dollars and I'm curious to see what I get.  I would be suprised if they are original, but I'll let you know what I get, and if it is authentic or not.



I appreciate your offering to send zipped scans of the module that you have.  I still have my original of the Serpent and Carl thinks he has an original of the form you have.  However, if it wouldn't be too much trouble I would enjoy seeing what you have.  In 10 meg or smaller increments please.



Jerry, I hope that your kids grow to enjoy the game as much as you did (and our group as well).  We had a lot of fun back in the day.  Actually Carl and I still play 2 or 3 times a month (using VoIP) along with another member of our original group and another friend we picked up 15 or 20 years ago.  Carl is working on copying in one of his other modules from the era of the hand module.   I'm looking forward to seeing it.  It was done in quest of an orb of the eternal grand dragon.   A good module that almost killed some of us.



Anyway, thanks for your interest.  I hope this information is helpful.



Sincerly,



John Barnes





(Some email mangling was done by me to keep automatic spam bots from grabbing them too easily - I didn't notice until I did the mangling that carlperkins was cc'd on it.)



Back on the first page, I said something like I don't think we'll ever know for sure which came first unless Carl himself came in here and added his two cents. This is good enough for me. It's amazing that any kind of information can be got on something like this that is 24 years old and printed on a dot matrix printer let alone information like this. I can't thank the members here enough for helping me out with it. Thanks again,



GreyM

  


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:55 pm 
 

edited to avoid more rolly-eyes ...


Last edited by Xaxaxe on Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 2:59 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Must ... resist ... urge ... to be ... big Apple geek ...

[rolls a 1 for saving throw]

Ahem. The Lisa and the Mac were actually contemporary, competing projects at Apple. Steve Jobs, in fact, was kicked off the Lisa team at one point and threw all of his considerable energy behind the Mac project, one of the many reasons that, despite being released second, the Mac ended up easily winning the unofficial "war" between the two platforms.

Wait; where were we? Right: D&D collecting site. Back on topic: I really, really like White Plume Mountain.


:roll:


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:10 pm 
 

Yeah, like I'm the first to go off-topic here ... here's some rolly-eyes right back at you:  :roll:  :roll:  :roll:

I'll delete it; sorry to offend.

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:18 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Yeah, like I'm the first to go off-topic here ... here's some rolly-eyes right back at you:  :roll:  :roll:  :roll:

I'll delete it; sorry to offend.


Ah...no offense at all Xax.  I thought it funny....in a really uber-nerdy sort of way.  I honestly thought the Apple Lisa was the codename for the Apple ][ GS.

And I never get offended by off-topic stuff unless it is needless arguing.  Guess I should have used a LOL emoticon.  :lol:


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:35 pm 
 

Okay, let me see if I can make an attempt here to stay on the rails and still throw out a bit of Mac geekery.  :)

The bit about the Lisa is interesting in a historical sense: I'd be willing to bet that no more than 10 gaming items were ever produced on a Lisa. The damn things were just horribly expensive (about $20K or so in current dollars) and they were poorly marketed by Apple.

So, Grey, if your friend checks in again, I'm very curious as to where he got his hands on one (college campus is my first guess). Actually, on the 1-percent chance that he still has a Lisa, tell him I'll give him $20 for it. It's not like I'd throw it back on eBay and make a huge profit or anything like that. Ahem.

Okay, anyway, sticking with the subject at hand, I also think it's pretty cool that your friend checked in via email. It reminds me a little bit of a few weeks ago when a friend of Jim Perelman's checked in to say that Jim got a laugh out of our finding his old PHB.

viewtopic.php?t=4775&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=100

Now if we could just get rid of the periodic attempts by some bucketheads to create value where none exists (see "Realm of No"), this place would be just about perfect.

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:49 pm 
 

Xaxaxe wrote:Now if we could just get rid of the periodic attempts by some bucketheads to create value where none exists (see "Realm of No"), this place would be just about perfect.


I've had that one in my eBay searches since it came up here.  Whoever it hasn't tried to offload copies at inflated prices yet.

(Ok, I'll stop getting off-topic.)


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