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Unruly

"Premium" versions of old D&D books

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Aside from the late-era power creep, and aesthetics, I don't have a problem with the 2E reprints. In play we use both kinds with equal frequency. I don't like having my books touched in any case, because mine are the only ones not yet mangled. I swear I play with cavemen.

 

3rd Edition I did have a problem with, although in retrospect I think it was probably a necessary evolution. At the time, however, I did not. For me the pre-3 timeline made sense. You had Original D&D which was cobbled out of the Greyhawk and Blackmoor house rules. So that had a reason to exist. And then AD&D came out and built on and expanded those rules. So that had a reason to exist. And then when that got additions over time (like proficiencies) it got seriously disorganized and unwieldy. So along comes 2nd Edition, which re-organized and cleaned it up.

 

It was all based in the same ruleset from the beginning, and just iterations and refinements of that system.

 

But 3rd Edition broke away from this and became a new thing. So for me, it didn't feel necessary. It felt like change for the sake of change, and an excuse to gouge players for new rulebooks again. That bugged me.

 

Now that I've had some time to review the Pathfinder stuff, which grew out of the 3rd Edition change, I have to agree that the evolution was probably for the better. In fact, we have adopted some of it into the 2nd Edition game. But back when it first came out? Oh no, no, no. It struck me as forced obsolescence and really ticked me off.

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For me, D&D was obsolete by '78. By that point, everything (except Tunnels and Trolls, of course) was better, and Gygax had started ranting about playing "correctly" in Dragon. So I walked away to Traveller, Rune Quest, Chivalry & Sorcery, EPT, Champions/Fantasy Hero, and others.

 

Oh, I played D&D when I couldn't find a group that was playing something better, but that didn't happen all that often.

 

2nd Ed. was just the same first-generation-style thing all over again, but Gygax had drifted on to other projects, so I bought a fair amount, mostly out of nostalgia. Never played much of that edition at all.

 

3rd Ed., though, was a solid second generation evolution of D&D, better balanced, and much cleaner. And I knew the WotC people moderately well, so I wanted to support them. And it wasn't published by TSR, which was a huge plus. (I was a subscriber to both Ares and Strategy and Tactics when TSR killed SPI, so there was quite a bit or residual resentment.) IOW, I liked 3rd Ed. for many of the reasons Buglips hated it. And Pathfinder is essentially more of the same, so I've kept up with it since then.

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See, I view 3rd edition as a necessary evolution myself. Over time a game like D&D, which has supplements and new books published for it on pretty much a monthly basis, will have rule bloat and power creep start to take over. 2nd edition came out in 1989 and lasted until 2000. 1st edition was from '78 to '89. Both had 11 years of constant updates and additions to he rules, which will leave a game convoluted and in need of revision. Basically, once the game hits a certain point with supplements, you need a revision that incorporates some of the more popular stuff in a balanced fashion.

 

But man, 3rd edition to 3.5 was just way too quick at just 3 years. Heck, 3.5 to 4th edition was pretty quick too. 3.5 had only 5 years of its own before 4th popped out, though from what I understand the power creep hit really quick with 3.5. My group didn't play pure 3.5 and had limited access to the books so I can't verify that, but it's something I've heard.

Edited by Unruly

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Well, there's never been a consensus. :lol:

 

There are people like Doug who abandoned the game. People who thought AD&D detracted from the basic game. People who thought 2nd was dumbed down. And people who looked at 2n Edition holdouts like they were against progress . . . until 4th came along and then they understood.

 

Each iteration has its defenders and detractors. I'm picky about some things, not about others. I can elaborate on my opinion, but I don't usually try to argue it. Or even defend it. I can explain why I think this is that, but I know as well as anybody that my opinion is formed from all sorts of squirrelly concepts, tastes, first impressions, and sometimes even bad info (ex: for years I thought the 1995 reprints were WotC's doing, when they weren't). But I also don't think my opinion needs to be rational. Heck, it's entirely possible the only reason I even liked D&D in the first place was because of the 1st Edition Easley painted covers.

 

Know what I mean? And by god, that's honesty right there. Because if my introduction to the game had been via the 1st Edition Sutherland covers, I'd probably never have taken to the game at all. It could literally come down to something as simple as that. Y'know, but that's life. It's all BS in the end, because nobody's opinion is fully rational anyway.

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Just had to throw my 2cp in on this one. I bought the reprints of: PHB, MM, DMG, UA, DoD, and just got my hands on the newly released AtS.

 

All 6 are kept in their original shrink.

 

Yes, I bought these specifically for "collecting purposes." /me snorts.

 

Yes, I will be buying the Reprint White Box when it hits in November (Amazon has it the cheapest I have seen so far,) and I might actually pick up 2.

 

I have no plans on buying the 2nd Ed Reprints, but, with time, and when the cost goes down on them, I may reconsider.

 

One of the guys in my game group picked up the PHB and DMG, and he broke the shrink, so I was able to compare font and coloring.

 

I did not go into page by page specifics looking for differences, or added "errata." What DID mess with me is that when compared to my original books, its almost shocking to see the WHITE pages.

 

If you are looking for a literal side by side comparison, you can find it over here: http://www.acaeum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12227&hilit=wotc+reprint&start=200 With that being said, the comparison is being made against collectors grade books that are pristine. My books are all players copies, so the pages are yellowed.

 

The bookmark is nice, but all the stuff I commonly reference is either on my DM's screen, or I have memorized the pages (p79 of the DMG lists saving throw tables for PC's, for example)

 

I was happy to support the Gygax Memorial Fund with this, but, I had previously supported it when I bought the book that Gail released about Gary's life. (http://www.gygaxmemorialfund.org/merch/productlist/product/view/1/1) and had her sign it. :)

 

What aggrivated me as a collector was, when WotC released these, they did so under the guise that the original 3 were going to support the GMF, and they would only be able to be purchased through independant brick and mortar stores. Well, seeing that I bought mine through Amazon, that blew THAT theory out of the water, and I knew from that moment that any collectibility would be thrown out the window. Funds going to the GMF is fine, and I was happy with that, but I do not consider them to really be collectible at all.

 

I currently have all of these, in players copies, including a 4th Printing White box (with all supplements, original 3 books signed by EGG.)

 

As a collector, I don't think the reprints are gonna skyrocket in value....but I don't wanna flip through my ORIGINAL white box and supplements. I don't wanna use my signed Gygax books (MM, PHB, DMG) as my players copies, only to have someone dump a coke on them.

 

/me takes a breath

 

NK has always been decent to me, and I would continue to use them, however, I do think some of their stuff is overpriced. What hit me recently about them is that I also collect Castles and Crusades stuff. When I order direct from the trolls, I see the same book on NK a week later, for a fairly significant discount. Part of it is the fact that in order to keep my collections up to date, I usually buy stuff the day it is released, but I may need to rethink this strategy moving forward.

 

Finally, I dont think the brown books screwed up the game as much as UA did: ex: Weapon Specilization - turn your 1st level char into a meatgrinder, making encounters for your level almost negligible...then have every fighter type across the party do it....

 

...

 

Wow I kinda went off, huh???

 

All Hail Gygax!

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So, I went over to the D&D Classics site to see if they had PDFs of the old rulebooks and what their rules on printing purchased PDFs were. I found that not only is the question of "can I print personal use copies" absent from their FAQ, but they also don't have any of the core rulebooks available. They have a bunch of the supplemental rulebooks, like the "Complete X" guides and things like Monster Manual II or Monstrous Compendium additions, but not the actual books required to play.

 

Kinda funny that the site's tagline is "Every edition available again!" when they don't actually offer the books you need to play. It's nice that they've got modules and other sourcebooks, but no core rules seems really dumb to me. But I guess they're hoping people buy the Premium books instead.

 

I also checked out that forum thread where they were comparing the originals to the premium reprints. I guess they added in some extra errors when they were going and redoing everything for the books. Someone over there said that the 1st Edition MM had Dwarves listed as 7HD creatures now. And the artwork has suffered the obvious "copy of a copy" issue in that most of it is darker than the originals and has lost some contrast. But that's to be expected when you've not got original copies to work with when doing a re-release.

Edited by Unruly

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I think i must be a lone voice in the wilderness

 

I've loved every edition of D&D that I have played starting from Basic D&D in 1980 through the whole BECMI thing into AD&D by 1984 then Rules Cyclopedia and 2E in 1991 (yes I like to adopt systems years after they come out - I figure by that point there is plenty of adventures and supplements out and I am an adventure/supplement junkie). When 3E hit in 2000 I had mostly stopped playing D&D and was into Magic and Warhammer (RPG and tabletop) but 3E was really exciting for me. I only reluctantly went to 3.5 (and likely wouldn't have if I hadn't found a really good deal on the core books) as i was still loving 3E. 3.5 cleaned up some things but screwed up others and the power creep and prep time started to become a real headache for me.

 

By 2008 I was more than ready for something really different and boy did 4E deliver different! I played the heck out of it and found DMing it a breeze (especially once they had a functional monster builder program - sadly that was killed when both the Character Builder and Monster Builder went online-only - what a colossal f-up THAT was!). By 2011 I was again losing interest in RPGs but it was being replaced by boardgames. I eventually started up a Pathfinder game that has been running for about a year now but i find mostly I have little interest in RPGs would rather play boardgames or paint.

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Someone over there said that the 1st Edition MM had Dwarves listed as 7HD creatures now.

 

I think that statement was put out by Frank Mentzer (one of the guys who wrote this stuff, Temple of Elemental Evil comes to mind.)

 

If you think that errata was bad, you should check out the history on Deities and Demigods. It's pretty interesting.

 

If memory serves, its something like:

 

1st print : Cthulu and Elric Mythos are in the book. Moorcock said "you didn't pay us, take it out."

 

2nd print: No Elric. Cthulu says "You didn't pay us, take it out."

 

3rd Print: Cthulu still in, a special thank you is listed to them in the book credits. They say, again, "TAKE IT OUT."

 

4th Print: Cthulu out, but the special thank you to them is left in.

 

I think it took them to the 4th or 5th printing before they got it "right."

 

Link found, I was slightly incorrect, but that still is *kinda* what happened: http://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/deities.html

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Oh I'm aware of how much a book can change throughout its numerous printings. I just thought it was funny that the new Premium version of the AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual has dwarves listed as a 7 HD creature when it should be 1.

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Oh I'm aware of how much a book can change throughout its numerous printings. I just thought it was funny that the new Premium version of the AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual has dwarves listed as a 7 HD creature when it should be 1.

Are we sure that Wildbill didn't have something to do with this printing?

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Someone over there said that the 1st Edition MM had Dwarves listed as 7HD creatures now.

I think that statement was put out by Frank Mentzer (one of the guys who wrote this stuff, Temple of Elemental Evil comes to mind.)

 

If you think that errata was bad, you should check out the history on Deities and Demigods. It's pretty interesting.

 

If memory serves, its something like:

 

1st print : Cthulu and Elric Mythos are in the book. Moorcock said "you didn't pay us, take it out."

 

I'd heard that ultimately it was TSR itself that decided to take them out. Chaosium interpreted a licensing agreement made with Moorcock's agent as being exclusive, but was willing to let TSR keep printing it as long as Chaosium was acknowledged and credited, which for a time it was (I have a copy with both the Melnibonian and Cthulhu mythos as well as the thank you to Chaosium under Credits and Acknowledgements on page 4. After a change in TSR management, TSR decided it did not want to be giving free advertising for its competitor, and at that point yanked the material. Honestly, most readers probably did not notice the thank you...it was only two lines at the bottom of page 4....

 

I remember being so disappointed when I got my first copy in the 80's and the two mythos were missing after having drooled over a friend's copy that had them. Finally scored a copy with both mythos and in excellent condition from the used book box at my FLGS last year for $19.

Edited by badocter
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I'd heard that ultimately it was TSR itself decided to take them out. Chaosium interpreted a licensing agreement made with Moorcock's agent as being exclusive, but was willing to let TSR keep printing it as long as Chaosium was acknowledged and credited, which for a time it was (I have a copy with both the Melnibonian and Cthulhu mythos as well as the thank you to Chaosium under Credits and Acknowledgements on page 4. After a change in TSR management, TSR decided it did not want to be giving free advertising for its competitor, and at that point yanked the material. Honestly, most readers probably did not notice the thank you...it was only two lines at the bottom of page 4....

 

You are correct, Sir. :)

 

Finally scored a copy with both mythos and in excellent condition from the used book box at my FLGS last year for $19.

 

THAT is a nice grab.

 

I spent 25 on mine at a Gencon auction, and the thing is utterly DESTROYED. Like: "You don't know what the book is by looking at the side binding, because it isnt THERE-type destroyed." Still 1st Print, 1st Ed, but from a collecting standpoint, almost worthless. I have been watching ebay for one in nicer shape, though.... Someday....

 

I still remember how happy I was to get FF for less than 90 bucks...

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My FLGS just posted on FB today that they had used 1st and 2nd edition books, including a Deities and Demigods with the Elric stuff.

 

Wonder what they are asking for it....

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