One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
That "attractive new cover design" is not really that attractive...surely that won't be the cover...right? Wonder why WotC is doing this? Do they need the cash? _________________ <strong><em>Winter is coming...</em></strong>
I think they want us 1st Edition minded people to get interested in what they're doing. There does seem to be a lot of interest in older editions from what I see on the Net. Of course that might be because I search for older edition stuff. This does play into their move to no longer make 1st Edition books available for $4.00 in a .pdf file. They for once seem to be exercising their right to publish older material. Shoot, if it sells enough, they'll probably cherry pick republishing other 1st Edition items too.
I think I have all I want already so if other people are like me, they missed the boat two or three years ago. That's about when I finished collecting all the 1st Edition stuff that I wanted.
This isn't the cover art, and we'll be seeing it soon enough. The image we are seeing now is in all likelihood an inner page which will be there to denote this special edition printing(and part of the reason for it).
Also, this limited edition reprinting is little about money, otherwise the price would be a heck of a lot higher, and they wouldn't be giving a portion of it to the Gygax Memorial Fund(they sure aren't obligated to do so). So, why are they doing this? The answer is simple- PR: Public Relations.
One, it is a good thing to do. It is the right thing to do. Most people will understand that.
Two, WotC hasn't recently been all that well known for being considerate of their product legacy, let alone their past customer base. That they actually care enough to make this effort at all is a very good thing, because they sure don't have to.
Three, there is a new edition of the game in development, and you can be sure that WotC will want to draw attention to itself in all ways that it can. A seeming interest in the old could perhaps draw some old customers back into the fold, or at least draw some interest from them. Either result would be a net positive.
I for one encourage all of this wholeheartedly, and the reasons above are all very good reasons for doing this. I also think that reprinting the AD&D 1E core books is a great idea because it will expose many, many newer people to the formative AD&D 1E rules system, which hasn't been in print for decades. Some of the newer folks have no idea what AD&D 1E was even like.
If one disparages WotC for paying attention to the old, then there is no reason for them to ever pay attention to it, as they get a ton of vitriol all the same. People do realize this is simple Psychology 101, right? It is like your kid bringing home an A on a test for the first time, in a long time, and saying, "Well, yes, you got an A on your test, but you could only get a 98%?" Well, WotC is bringing home an A on their test, which in some people's minds they haven't done in a long, long time, and yet some folks posting out there are so anti-WotC at this point that, even when WotC makes the effort to do something right, it still isn't right enough. Seriously? Well, you reap what you sew, gaming community. Give them enough flak, and perhaps WotC really will have no reason to do anything such folks might like, ever.
So, this is a 100% positive thing, and not a negative thing in any way whatsoever. There are a lot better ways for WotC to make money than to reprint these books(cough---D&D: The Gathering---cough! ), but they are doing it anyways, and it is not a real headscratcher as to why.
Anyways, I wish they were doing Unearthed Arcana too. Overall, there was just too much good stuff in there to leave it out. If the core books do well, they could always do that one too. I wouldn't mind having a Monster Manual 2 as well! _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
I hope that it does well just for the simple fact that this could lead in to more reprints. Ideally this would be in both PDF and Print on Demand as this would be very low cost for the company and be almost pure profit.
Imagine if we could get copies of classic material like TOEE, Lost Caverns of Tsoj...Tsog...Hell I can't spell it, or other classic material. I would love to have copies of books that I wouldn't have to worry about wear and tear on. _________________ Agape,
I would jump for joy if they reprinted the modules (even though I can get them on PDF) from 1e/2e. For the 1e modules, I would prefer the later edition covers that had more vibrant art on them. Yes, yes, I played with hte monochromes but the reprints just had a touch more polish to the covers. Bone Hill or Village of Hommlet anyone?
And if anyone from WotC reads this, please, please reprint T1-4, it's ridiculously expensive on the auction sites. Same goes for World of Greyhawk boxed set. I still have mine from 30+ years ago that *cries* has yellowed scotch tape on some of the creases because I wanted it to last. It's held up well but I'm growing more and more scared to unfold it now.
I really wonder why they don't reprint this stuff. Sure, you can be a tightwad and go the pdf route but I'm sure all the old skoolers with their disposable income now would snap up a copy just to have a playable, useable one around.
I think that they are testing the waters to see if reprints would sell. I would be the first in line to grab a new Greyhawk Boxed Set or T1-4. What I would like to see is a remake of the Greyhawk Boxed Set with a third booklet that contains the articles Gary wrote on the setting. _________________ Agape,
Yes that would be a fantastic and very appropriate addition to WoG boxed set. It's such a no-brainer for them. I would seriously purchase one of every reprint and maybe two just so my grandkids could have them some day. It's easy money for them and it would be a huge show of reaching out to the old skoolers.
Come on Wizards! We know you must lurk here, we're casting a Mass Suggestion spell on you.
Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana would be my top 1E books to reprint (only because my other books are still in pretty good condition). Followed by MM2, FF, DSG and WSG.
Oddly enough, From the Ashes would be a great reprint too. That thing costs a mint on the auction sites if you want it in one piece.
I personally want it to do well so that they will look at at reprint of 2e. That was the edition I started with and one I would love to have new books for. That does not change I think the 1e reprint is is great idea and good for fans of that edition.
I agree about FtA as I have tried to find a copy for years but never had the money to get it. As well, Oriental Adventures would be a great reprint as I had always thought it was supposed to be a part of Greyhawk. _________________ Agape,
WOTC has done such a terrible job of making money off of their archive of intellectual properties that I'm beyond shocked they're reissuing the 1st Edition books.
Has anyone bothered to notice how poorly they've handled the Avalon Hill library? They have the lion's share of the greatest wargames ever produced and they've dumped them in a vault in favor of throwing the Axis & Allies name on every half-baked concept that comes to mind.
So, the reissue of the books is, to me, a sign that there might be some drone deep in the company's innards with the brains to do something that grows their existing brands. I'll take it, and I'll buy the books because mine are disintegrating. I'll also keep my fingers crossed because, however much I love Gygax's Greyhawk and 1st Edition AD&D and D&D, I have those materials already. What I don't have is a playable copy of Wooden Ships and Iron Men, Gettysburg, Midway, or 1776, and if stuff like this 1st Ed. limited printing is successful, there's some tiny glimmer of hope.
Of course, with my luck, they'll remake Wooden Ships and Iron Men into a card-flopper.
Resurecting this thread since I am now a proud owner of the set.
See review below.
The books are easy on the eyes, both aesthetically and to read.. It is interesting they chose to utilize the art covers of Trampier and Sutherland III but for the most part emulated the context of later revisions leaving Easley out in the cold as the cover artist who gets no ascending nod in these renditions.
The covers themselves are slightly debossed with faux-gold leaf accompanying the debossing. Some faux-tooling on the simulated leather cover print completes the look. The cover and gold colored page edges are a nice touch. Though without the debossing, I think the gilding will wear badly with use. Let me take a minute here to mention the "simulated leather" part. The "leather" part is in the look only. It (for the price) would have been nice to have actual leather for what is being advertised as a “premium addition” re-print.
The interior cover lacks the cloth re-enforcement of the original binding, but seems to be of better quality than other WoC offerings. The front and back cover sheets are a nice chocolate coloration, protecting a bright white slightly heavier bond paper page than the original. There is certainly a contrast in page coloration from my original 1979 printing(DMG in this case).My original, which has endured the yellowing of time and numerous pizza stains, looks well-worn next to the pristine pages of the new print. The contrast of the slightly larger font style and the white pages is easier on these old eyes as well. The binding seems very solid.
I’m a little worried about the ink in the new version with the slicker bond paper. It seems there is less absorption making the overall pictures darker and in at least one case subject to smudge.
I like a ribbon bookmark integral to the binding, so bonus points for that.
The reproduced artwork is a little disappointing because it's not nearly as clear and sharp as the original.
While the fonts appear to be the same pitch, the spacing is definitely tighter in places and larger in others. This causes a bit of word wrap to the next page. However, the original had a habit of hyphenating that is less predominating in this version. One more (very important) word on the text: none is lost in the spine. Not a single page reviewed has text that runs deep into the spine. There are places where it's better than the originals, in fact. To accommodate the slightly smaller over all page size and the varied font spacing and sizing yet still keep the majority of information on the same pages, they narrowed the margins to the bottom and mid and edges of the page.
There are literally dozens of typos in the "premium" re-prints. These are errors that were *not* in the original publications. Some of these errors would impact game-play enormously (in the re-print MM, Dwarves have a base of *seven* hit dice!). Good for the Dwarves, bad for the Orcs.
It's also funny in all the first pages, WOC utilizes a large print and even underlines portions of it to let the reader know they own the IP (Yes, the intellectual property BELONGS to you, Wizards/Hasbro, but Gary wrote it.)
The Last page usually reserved originally for ads ( ie gen con, etc) have been replaced with a new “ad” the Gygax Memorial. Makes sense, and explains the “why” to reprint.
Below is a summary of notes I have made of each of the re-prints.
• MMp10 Blink dogs get 7 attacks now,,, hummmm
• MMp35 Dryads are spending a lot more time at home (70% versus 10%) & Dwarves are wrecking machines (7HD versus 1HD)
• MMp36 Electric eels now seem to travel in packs of 7-3 (not quite sure how that works) and are now incredibly fast at 72”!
• MMp39 Elf , like their Dryad cousins, don’t get out much (in lair 70%) guess these are the isolationist Celene Elves?
• MMp50 I guess since Groaning Spirits tend to be elves it makes sense they also are hanging around the lair 70% of the time.
• MMp53 Draft horses have also become quicker (moving 24” vs 12”) That should make those field plowing farmers real happy.
• Seems least “infected” with erroneous typos. The bulk of “changes” limited to word wraps from page to page and resizing (slightly) of some of the art.
• On DMGp6 my original only went to Appendix N with the addition of “O” and “P” in later versions. The re-print follows those additions.
• On DMGp10 the arrows in the linear curve are smaller than in the original.
• DMGp11 The mailing addresses reflect a later issuance of the DMG ( the Games Workshop address is dropped)
• On DMGp21 the Dragon graphic is notably smaller probably due to the amount of word wrapping between pages.
• On DMGp31 (and as noted generally above) the Sage artwork is so dark his shoulder is nonexistent.
• On DMGp40 the wizard summoning a gorgon by PCOleck 1979 has been replaced with a spell casting skeleton.
• On DMGp119 the art of various old bottles by DCSIII below the Potions Miscibility Table was removed in the re-print.
• On DMGp125 The ESP potion was relocated to the next page.
• On DMGp180 the Mermaid Drawing by Darlene (of WoGH map fame) has been scaled down.
• On DMGp193 Emirikol the Chaotic is the full page in the re-print
• On DMGp222 the wolf pack graphic consuming a displacer beast has been moved to p223 and enlarged. In its place, a peryton pair from old DMGp224
• On DMGp225 the additional Appendix O & P with the glossary being moved to p227
• On DMgp237 following the trend of later 1st edition reprints they included reference table on the back pages.
All in all I hope this helps those trying to decide whether to invest in a classic. If you have a good copy of the '90s reprint, you probably don't need this. Would I plop down $115 plus (US) for them, probably not, but since these were gift to me by some of my players for a grognard birthday present (thanks again Sam and Tony), they carry a special value.
Twenty six years later for me, the original DMG is still one of the references that I use every time I prepare a gaming session. Here’s hoping I get another 26 years out of this set.
GM the DM aka the Dark Lord Galen
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