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"Premium" versions of old D&D books

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Yes, I'm aware of that, and if "errata" was the only claim the ads I'd seen at the time made, I wouldn't expect more. But the sales sheet I'd seen (I was the manager and buyer for a toys and games shop at the time) claimed errata and updates that collected spells from the entirety of published 3.5 material. It's murky enough language for me to accept that WotC meant what they said and not what I read into it, but the term "updates" implied to me that the premium book had been, well, updated. Which is a more far-reaching term than "errata."

Ah, that makes sense then. I never saw the original retailer marketing crap, so I didn't know that they had made any mention of it being an updated form outside of including the errata.


In any case, I don't really think its overcharging much when it comes to the older editions. You can't exactly get 1E or 2E in perfect mint condition anymore, having to go through the used book market crapshoot instead, and from what I understand they've gone in and cleaned up the layouts of the old stuff as well. Then, if you buy them through Amazon like I intend to if I decide to actually get them, it's $35 for each book. That's pretty well in line with the cost for most big name game systems. Pathfinder books run around $30, Shadowrun is about the same, and GURPS and Call of Cthulhu run around $25. At least at Amazon prices. Full retail is around $5-10 more in each case. So maybe WotC are trying to up sell the stuff a little bit based on the name and nostalgia, but at least they're trying to make things available. Though the 3.5 premiums really do seem like a cash grab, since if what you say is true they're basically just reprinting the same exact books as they had for the entire run of the game. And considering that you can still find retailers with brand new copies of a lot of 3.5 materials, then it just makes the situation worse.


Actually I found one of the 1st ed. pamphlets at a charity book sale for $1.


But that was just luck.


2nd ed. has a fond place in my heart. The only reason we're playing 3.5 is that when our eldest got old enough to play & have books, that was what was available. We should have gotten the Spell Compendium then, but one of our players had one and, well, we just didn't.

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Context is important, and what separates a good critic from a grumpy hack.   That's why I maintain that Sucker Punch is grotesquely underrated. It's not a movie for everybody, but there's a lot to

They were my first D&D books. Problematic thought they were, I have a certain fondness for them the way people have fondness for the (usually) terrible children's books that first got them excite

I did a search on WOTC's D&D forums for "reprints 2nd errata", and found a thread in the May 25-27,2013 range indicated there that errata was incorporated into the 2e reprints. Two posters confir

Well, I checked out Noble Knight to see if they had the old books in stock, and it turns out that they do. For the 1st Ed. stuff they've got the books ranging from $15-180 a piece, with the $15 stuff being listed as Fair condition and things in Good or better jumping fairly significantly in price. However, from what Buglips says about their condition grading for books over in the "Preferred Online Retailers" thread, they're not quite the best at it. And the average pricing for books is $20-50.


For 2nd Ed. they have the books priced at around $10 for the DMG in Very Good condition, $20 for a VG Player's Handbook, and $25 for a VG Monstrous Manual. Or I could get a 10-book "Starter Set" that has the DMG, PHB, Arms & Equipment, the Complete Dwarves/Fighter/Thief/Psionic/Wizard/Priest Guides, and the Skills and Powers Player's Option for $85. Those books are sold as a set, but the set notes say that they're in various conditions, mostly hovering around Fair. I'd still need to shell out an extra $30-ish for a Monstrous Manual though. But for what I'd get quantity-wise it's significantly cheaper than buying the newly printed Premium editions.


However, if I do buy that set I think I'd be heading well into the "convoluted mess of rules" territory that I was worried about with 2nd Ed. Especially when it comes to the Complete Psionics book, because the same guy who warned me against 2nd Ed. as a mess of rules absolutely hated Psionics. Something about Psionics in 2nd Ed. being a race instead of a class or somesuch, so you'd have a superpowered Psionic Wizard that would just wreck everything without flinching. It's why he was extremely hesitant about letting me play a Psion in his 3E campaign until he spent about 3 weeks going over the book.


Overall, since I have no current attachment to the systems, and no existing books in my possession, I think the Premium editions might be worth it for me for the old stuff. For 2nd Ed. I'll end up spending a fair bit more, but it will give me a mint condition copy of the books with included errata, and I get to avoid any confusing rule bloat that I might be tempted by if I bought the cheaper 2nd Ed. boxed set. For 1st Ed. it gets even better, because a decent quality copy of the used book already costs nearly as much as the brand new copy of the Premium edition.

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I'd have to say eBay would be my first stop for old books. This serves two purposes:


1. You see what you're getting. Aside from grading issues (and lately they've been a lot better with it) Noble Knight has a super irritating habit of listing things with a stock photo and a vague reference to "# printing". Which is, frankly, a damned lie - because I shelled out for a Monstrous Manual 1st Printing (1993) and got one of those freakin' 1995 reprints I can't stand. While most of the time things work out, and I've bought a lot from Noble Knight, they rank very poorly on my bookseller's list for showing stock photos, bad grading sometimes, and inaccurate printing details. To replace the Monstrous Manual, and the replacement Monstrous Manual, I have to buy a third one off eBay just to make sure I get the right one this time.


2. Noble Knight also sells on eBay (with the same issues above) - so if they happen to have a bunch of stuff you want then you can save on shipping. But their prices are ridiculously high for the market, and odds are eBay is cheaper, has better selection, and you get to see the item in question.


I only have 6 books left to get, including the remaining green historical references, so I'll piecemeal them off eBay. Noble Knight is good for other stuff, but I have to give them a failing mark on their bookselling.


*Also - I bought the Dragonlance Monstrous Compendium so I could finally get the Volume Two binder, and it was mint. I purposely bought it mint to get it mint. I also bought a bunch of books at the same time. Whatever slackjawed halfwit leadbrained idiot packed that box put the binder, which was mostly empty remember, on bottom - ensuring that upon arrival it was quite thoroughly crushed by the books on top and not so mint anymore.


I'm glad I managed to luck out and bulk my collection using them early this year, but I will never buy books from them again. Just not happening, too many issues that have no excuse.

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Buglips, did you complain to NK at all? I don't know what I'd expect from a seller in such a situation, and I don't know what they could do to make it right (short of outright replacement, but that's hard in used-bookselling) but I'd be curious what they had to say about it.

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I complained about the grading, and they credited me. But I'm just not going to bother chasing after them for frequent (and easily avoidable) errors. Probably they'd refund or replace. Is that good enough? At this point, I have to say no, it isn't. This isn't an aberration, it's how they do business. It's grotesquely slack, and it means every subsequent order I have a significant chance of having to chase them down to fix stuff. That's just ridiculous. This is pretty basic, common sense stuff. You don't grade things high if they have serious flaws. You don't pack fragile items under a bunch of heavy things. You don't sell 5th printings as 1st Printings.


Any business selling books that can't manage to pull those off just shouldn't be selling at all. They're not competent enough. It's too much of a challenge.


Edit to add:


To be clear, if this was an occassional aberration then I wouldn't have a problem. Mistakes happen. But this has literally been on almost every order, and these aren't nitpicks. These are serious, fundamental problems that are a big deal in the market. There's a pattern here, and it's not a good one. While I was content to forgive the first problem, the consistency of problems from them leave me with little option except to be bluntly honest to people:


Don't buy there unless you have no choice. They're awful.


That's not me being a jerk, they earned this reputation while taking a goodly stack of 100 dollar bills from my wallet. It's disgraceful. Doubly so for the prices they charge, which are higher than anywhere else. Flee. Take your money elsewhere.


And if that's not the reputation they wanted, then I think they ought to have done a better job of things.


Anything else (or possibly new items) - no problems. But holy moly they're abominable with used books.



Edit to add 2: I've got an order placed now for some Terraclips stuff. I expect this order will turn out fine. All the old partha paint orders I made were fine. Miniature orders were fine. Everything except books seems A-OK. Just, seriously, just don't ever buy old books there unless you don't have a choice. Anything else and they're some of the best peeps to deal with. Just no books!

Edited by buglips*the*goblin
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I try to avoid ebay whenever possible. Granted, it's been at least 5 years since I bought or sold anything on ebay, but almost every purchase I did make from there had issues, and these were from supposedly highly rated sellers. Bad merchandise, wrong merchandise, even empty boxes have been sent to me before. And the ebay dispute system was a joke that always favored the seller, called me a liar, and left me footing the bill for stuff I never got. The one and only time I sold something on there, the guy claimed that I never sent the item, so my PayPal account was debited and then frozen. I eventually got it unfrozen after I sent PayPal a copy of the signed delivery receipt(I sent it certified mail), but it took them almost three months to get around to doing it and they still didn't give me back my money that they had debited as that guy's refund.


So, once burned, twice shy and all that. A company that has an actual storefront of their own is at least a little bit less likely to try completely screwing me over.

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Well, I was looking over the pickings on ebay while at work last night, and I wasn't seeing much of a selection for rulebooks. Modules were out in force though. Maybe I just wasn't searching correctly or something, but the prices I was seeing were all higher than the Noble Knight stuff.


I also checked on my paypal account, since I haven't used it since I moved 3 years ago. Apparently it's been "limited" because I changed my address, which means I basically can't do anything with the account until I send them a whole bunch of documentation that I really don't think I should have to give them. They openly flaunt the fact that they aren't a real bank in the US, but they want to demand the some of the same kinds of documents as a real bank does. Unless they're beholden to the same restrictions and regulations as banks are, I'm not going to send them a copy of my driver's license. And I have to send them the paperwork because they won't let me use my cell phone to verify my address. I guess you have to have a land line to do that, which I don't have because it would never, ever, get used.


So, without the paypal account I wouldn't be able to buy anything on ebay anyways.

Edited by Unruly
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People really still get excited over the 2nd edition books?

They were my first D&D books. Problematic thought they were, I have a certain fondness for them the way people have fondness for the (usually) terrible children's books that first got them excited about reading.

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People really still get excited over the 2nd edition books?

They were my first D&D books. Problematic thought they were, I have a certain fondness for them the way people have fondness for the (usually) terrible children's books that first got them excited about reading.


Winnie the Pooh is awesome :angry:

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