The Delver's Dungeon - a 1st Edition AD&D Resource
Here is a link to my ms for teeth of the barkash nour, an adventure I wrote based on some highly incomplete notes give me by Gary Gygax. Due to several external factors (lying liars, basically) it was never published for sale, so, sans gary's notes here it is. Enjoy.
The Reprints Are Here.
Alpha and Omega
All of these contain a slightly different blurb regarding each book - not simple boiler plate - and a postage-stamp sized image of the actual book-covers.
Now the reissue:
(The entire parenthetical statement is on the first line.)
(Here, the Age Categories chart from the 1st printing. Note spacing and font size.)
(Note the arms of the adventurer holding the sword - sharply defined, easy to see. The steps proceed all the way to the eyes looking up out of the darkness.)
Now, here's the reissue:
(The details mentioned above for the first printing are almost totally obliterated here. The arm of the adventurer disappears at the elbow, and the stairs terminate well before they reach where the now roundish and poorly-defined eyes are.)
Our famous succubus doesn't seem to have suffered for it, and that brings me to why this isn't a huge issue: the artwork had to "pop". It was being printed on a different kind of paper from the best scans they could muster, the originals having been disposed of or returned to the artists ages ago. It is not an enormous disappointment to me. Had a different paper stock been chosen or had the originals been on hand to use, we might have gotten a different look for the images.
Finally, there's the art (and advertisements) from the backs of all the books. There's still ads there:
(On the left, the old GEN CON advertisement, on the right, the Gygax Memorial advertisement.)
So what does it all mean, then? First of all, these are a fine, fine way to spend your gaming dollar, period. No buts about it. On a scale of one to ten, these are all 9.9. Wizards of the Coast truly brought their "A" game with these. If this is what the delay from April to July meant, then so be it! This is a monumentally great product. Thank you, Wizards of the Coast. And thank you Gygax family.
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Last Updated (Tuesday, 17 July 2012 23:01)
If it ain't broken, take it apart, then it will be.
Just Quit Fiddling With It Already, OK?
There's a new Legends & Lore article up at Wizards of the Coast discussing the design and creation of the 5e magic-user. I've playtested 5e and I have to say that I find the low-level magic-user overpowered, due to constant use of the "Javelin of Fire" spell (which should probably be as specific as I get about that), but suffice to say from where I'm sitting it falls firmly into the "why would I play anything else/cast anything else" category.
It may come as a huge surprise to anyone still clinging to the past (by which I mean 4e players), but it is increasingly obvious that magic-users were never "broken" nor did they need "fixing". This past weekend we played a session of AD&D and the module in question was White Plume Mountain. Even prior to the party's magic-user being level drained by the vampire guarding Whelm, when looking at the magic-user's spells chosen I knew getting out of the dungeon in good order would be a dicey prospect at best. A magic-user has a limited number of spells. A high-level magic user (as this one was) has a limited number of high-level spells. Once they're gone, they're gone. Meanwhile, the fighter and subclasses can keep fighting, the thief can keep thieving (and backstabbing) - that stuff never ever runs out. They don't do as much damage? Well...too bad. They're also tougher, harder to hit, and can use about a third of the magic gear that the magic-user can in the first place (some scrolls, all potions, etc.)
Magic users were never unbalanced. They were delicately balanced. Some nitwit in late 2e began to poke at them because he or she didn't like stepping back while ice storm or fireball was going off, so the tinkering began. Thus the magic-user began the slow tumble. Without understanding how it all fit together in the first place, 3rd edition, 3.5, and 4e all tried to "fix" the magic-user. Most of those "fixes" seemed to be on inventing new, stupid terminology for things and screwing with cantrips of all things. Just...just stop. Just put it back together like it was, and you won't have this bloody fucking problem.
I'll explain it simply: magic-user heap powerful, cast big boom spells. Magic-user run out of spells, use scrolls, wands, rings. Magic-user balanced by being really squishy, not do everything all time.
Got it? (No, they probably don't.)
Last Updated (Monday, 14 May 2012 08:59)
A Peek Behind The Curtain
Here's a preview of the 1e reprints:
It's interesting for a couple of reasons...
One, it features no art. None. You'd think a preview would feature actual artwork. That's...curious.
Two, it is obviously re-typed, not scans (or OCRed and re-set). Either way, it's what they should have done, and I like it. I'm excited about the reprints again, and I hope you are too.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 06 June 2012 20:34)