Discussion:
10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collection Boxed Set
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Ubiquitous
2016-12-30 18:48:54 UTC
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While TSR was its own independent company, they were partnered with
the Random House Publishing Company for the distribution of their
products to bookstores throughout the United States. This had the dual
benefit of not only getting D&D onto bookshelves across the country,
but was financially beneficial to TSR too. Random House basically gave
them a stipend for every book they printed. The book didn't have to be
sold - or even shipped to bookstores! - just printed (Random House did
this both to ensure they - and their partners - would always have
stock, but also because tax laws made it beneficial for them to have
large inventories).

Needless to say, TSR saw this as an excuse to print as many books as
they could, regardless of whether or not sales would support such
sizeable print runs (it wasn't exactly free money since the stipend
didn't /quite/ cover the cost of printing, but TSR figured they were
probably going to sell those books eventually anyway so why not go
nuts with the print orders?). Ultimately, this practice would bite TSR
in the ass in the late '90s when Random House stopped offering that
stipends; TSR - having planned on that income to help offset the cost
of printing their newer books - basically collapsed into bankruptcy at
that point (Random House changed their policy because the tax-laws
were changed and they started getting billed on unsold books in
warehouses). But until then, TSR had huge back-logs of books because
they always over-printed everything.

But even before they went insolvent, TSR had a problem with too many
copies of older books. So let's imagine TSR in 1984, with a huge
number of extra Basic D&D modules. Even though they had already
received the Random House stipend, these books were just collecting
dust in the warehouse and - given their age - it was becoming
increasingly unlikely they would sell. How to get rid of them all?

Well, one method was to just slap a bunch of them into a faux-leather
slip-case and call it the "10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons
Collector's Edition", which is exactly what they did. Apparently only
1000 of these Collector Editions were "printed"; how many actually
were sold is unknown.

Note that this product was different from their later "Silver
Anniversary Collector's Edition" in that this product used /existing/
books pulled from their warehouse (the Silver Anniversary collector's
edition was a brand new printing). Except for the rather
cheesy-looking slip-case (with a gold-embossed D&D logo on it), these
books were identical to what had already been sold... because they
were literally the same books.

Anyway, that's the why and wherefore of the thing. What's it actually
contain?

The "TSR 1099 10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collector's Edition"
included 12 books; the Player's Manual and Dungeon Master's Rulebook
from the Basic Edition rules, the Expert Rules Rulebook, the Player's
Companion and Dungeon Master Companion books from the Companion Rules
box-set, adventure modules B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 Keep on the
Borderlands, X1 The Isle of Dread, MSOLO1/M1 Blizzard Pass, AC2 Combat
Shield, AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles, and the D&D Player Character Record
Sheets. It also came with the usual assortment of cheap TSR dice (with
a crayon to fill in the numbers) and two "invisible ink" pens for the
MSOLO adventure module. And did I mention the awful fake-leather
slip-case? I don't think I can stress enough how terrible that was.

--
"Obama is a damned narcissistic idiot who has just made the world a
much more dangerous place. Your children will curse his name."
http://www.jonmcnaughton.com/obama-foreign-policy/
Spalls Hurgenson
2016-12-31 14:15:41 UTC
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Post by Ubiquitous
While TSR was its own independent company, they were partnered with
the Random House Publishing Company for the distribution of their
products to bookstores throughout the United States. This had the dual
benefit of not only getting D&D onto bookshelves across the country,
but was financially beneficial to TSR too. Random House basically gave
them a stipend for every book they printed. The book didn't have to be
sold - or even shipped to bookstores! - just printed (Random House did
this both to ensure they - and their partners - would always have
stock, but also because tax laws made it beneficial for them to have
large inventories).
Needless to say, TSR saw this as an excuse to print as many books as
they could, regardless of whether or not sales would support such
sizeable print runs (it wasn't exactly free money since the stipend
didn't /quite/ cover the cost of printing, but TSR figured they were
probably going to sell those books eventually anyway so why not go
nuts with the print orders?). Ultimately, this practice would bite TSR
in the ass in the late '90s when Random House stopped offering that
stipends; TSR - having planned on that income to help offset the cost
of printing their newer books - basically collapsed into bankruptcy at
that point (Random House changed their policy because the tax-laws
were changed and they started getting billed on unsold books in
warehouses). But until then, TSR had huge back-logs of books because
they always over-printed everything.
But even before they went insolvent, TSR had a problem with too many
copies of older books. So let's imagine TSR in 1984, with a huge
number of extra Basic D&D modules. Even though they had already
received the Random House stipend, these books were just collecting
dust in the warehouse and - given their age - it was becoming
increasingly unlikely they would sell. How to get rid of them all?
Well, one method was to just slap a bunch of them into a faux-leather
slip-case and call it the "10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons
Collector's Edition", which is exactly what they did. Apparently only
1000 of these Collector Editions were "printed"; how many actually
were sold is unknown.
Note that this product was different from their later "Silver
Anniversary Collector's Edition" in that this product used /existing/
books pulled from their warehouse (the Silver Anniversary collector's
edition was a brand new printing). Except for the rather
cheesy-looking slip-case (with a gold-embossed D&D logo on it), these
books were identical to what had already been sold... because they
were literally the same books.
Anyway, that's the why and wherefore of the thing. What's it actually
contain?
The "TSR 1099 10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collector's Edition"
included 12 books; the Player's Manual and Dungeon Master's Rulebook
from the Basic Edition rules, the Expert Rules Rulebook, the Player's
Companion and Dungeon Master Companion books from the Companion Rules
box-set, adventure modules B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 Keep on the
Borderlands, X1 The Isle of Dread, MSOLO1/M1 Blizzard Pass, AC2 Combat
Shield, AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles, and the D&D Player Character Record
Sheets. It also came with the usual assortment of cheap TSR dice (with
a crayon to fill in the numbers) and two "invisible ink" pens for the
MSOLO adventure module. And did I mention the awful fake-leather
slip-case? I don't think I can stress enough how terrible that was.
I do not remember that one. But I do remember the AD&D spell-books
that you could buy that had leather covers. Maybe it was fake leather,
but I seem to remember it as being real.

It was a three volume set and each book went for something like $80.

Although this was back in the '90s, so today it would probably be
$140... per book. Ow. All I could do back then was look at them and
dream.

I vaguely recall that TSR lost a bundle making those books. Between
their limited appeal and high price, the company never recouped their
losses.

Another sound financial decisions by the business wizards at TSR.

Wizards of the Coast might have put the company back on its feet, but
none of its books ever seemed as much fun as the stuff you got out of
TSR during its heyday.

I bet you would never see licensed puffy stickers or a D&D-branded
belt buckle from Wizards of the Coast. And where is the update to the
D&D knitting kit?

These days I am lucky to see them actually release a D&D book or
adventure anymore.
Tetsubo
2016-12-31 18:05:45 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Ubiquitous
While TSR was its own independent company, they were partnered with
the Random House Publishing Company for the distribution of their
products to bookstores throughout the United States. This had the dual
benefit of not only getting D&D onto bookshelves across the country,
but was financially beneficial to TSR too. Random House basically gave
them a stipend for every book they printed. The book didn't have to be
sold - or even shipped to bookstores! - just printed (Random House did
this both to ensure they - and their partners - would always have
stock, but also because tax laws made it beneficial for them to have
large inventories).
Needless to say, TSR saw this as an excuse to print as many books as
they could, regardless of whether or not sales would support such
sizeable print runs (it wasn't exactly free money since the stipend
didn't /quite/ cover the cost of printing, but TSR figured they were
probably going to sell those books eventually anyway so why not go
nuts with the print orders?). Ultimately, this practice would bite TSR
in the ass in the late '90s when Random House stopped offering that
stipends; TSR - having planned on that income to help offset the cost
of printing their newer books - basically collapsed into bankruptcy at
that point (Random House changed their policy because the tax-laws
were changed and they started getting billed on unsold books in
warehouses). But until then, TSR had huge back-logs of books because
they always over-printed everything.
But even before they went insolvent, TSR had a problem with too many
copies of older books. So let's imagine TSR in 1984, with a huge
number of extra Basic D&D modules. Even though they had already
received the Random House stipend, these books were just collecting
dust in the warehouse and - given their age - it was becoming
increasingly unlikely they would sell. How to get rid of them all?
Well, one method was to just slap a bunch of them into a faux-leather
slip-case and call it the "10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons
Collector's Edition", which is exactly what they did. Apparently only
1000 of these Collector Editions were "printed"; how many actually
were sold is unknown.
Note that this product was different from their later "Silver
Anniversary Collector's Edition" in that this product used /existing/
books pulled from their warehouse (the Silver Anniversary collector's
edition was a brand new printing). Except for the rather
cheesy-looking slip-case (with a gold-embossed D&D logo on it), these
books were identical to what had already been sold... because they
were literally the same books.
Anyway, that's the why and wherefore of the thing. What's it actually
contain?
The "TSR 1099 10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collector's Edition"
included 12 books; the Player's Manual and Dungeon Master's Rulebook
from the Basic Edition rules, the Expert Rules Rulebook, the Player's
Companion and Dungeon Master Companion books from the Companion Rules
box-set, adventure modules B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 Keep on the
Borderlands, X1 The Isle of Dread, MSOLO1/M1 Blizzard Pass, AC2 Combat
Shield, AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles, and the D&D Player Character Record
Sheets. It also came with the usual assortment of cheap TSR dice (with
a crayon to fill in the numbers) and two "invisible ink" pens for the
MSOLO adventure module. And did I mention the awful fake-leather
slip-case? I don't think I can stress enough how terrible that was.
I do not remember that one. But I do remember the AD&D spell-books
that you could buy that had leather covers. Maybe it was fake leather,
but I seem to remember it as being real.
It was a three volume set and each book went for something like $80.
Although this was back in the '90s, so today it would probably be
$140... per book. Ow. All I could do back then was look at them and
dream.
I vaguely recall that TSR lost a bundle making those books. Between
their limited appeal and high price, the company never recouped their
losses.
Another sound financial decisions by the business wizards at TSR.
Wizards of the Coast might have put the company back on its feet, but
none of its books ever seemed as much fun as the stuff you got out of
TSR during its heyday.
I bet you would never see licensed puffy stickers or a D&D-branded
belt buckle from Wizards of the Coast. And where is the update to the
D&D knitting kit?
These days I am lucky to see them actually release a D&D book or
adventure anymore.
I have the four volume set of Encyclopedia Magica, magic items. They
went for $25 in 1995. I didn't know there was a spellbook series.
--
Tetsubo
Deviant Art: http://ironstaff.deviantart.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/tetsubo57
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-01-01 14:04:36 UTC
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Post by Tetsubo
I have the four volume set of Encyclopedia Magica, magic items. They
went for $25 in 1995. I didn't know there was a spellbook series.
It might be one-and-the-same; it's been two decades. I seem to
remember that the books were offered in two versions: the more
expensive leather-bound version (the one I saw), and a cheaper version
with more traditional covers and binding (presumably what you got, if
you only paid $25 for it).

Functionally, it was a pretty pointless product since it just
duplicated the spells found in other TSR products. Since I had a
pretty good collection of TSR books already, it was unnecessary
duplication and I doubt I ever would have used them... but they sure
would have looked nice on my bookshelf ;-)
Tetsubo
2017-01-01 15:30:45 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Tetsubo
I have the four volume set of Encyclopedia Magica, magic items. They
went for $25 in 1995. I didn't know there was a spellbook series.
It might be one-and-the-same; it's been two decades. I seem to
remember that the books were offered in two versions: the more
expensive leather-bound version (the one I saw), and a cheaper version
with more traditional covers and binding (presumably what you got, if
you only paid $25 for it).
Functionally, it was a pretty pointless product since it just
duplicated the spells found in other TSR products. Since I had a
pretty good collection of TSR books already, it was unnecessary
duplication and I doubt I ever would have used them... but they sure
would have looked nice on my bookshelf ;-)
They do have faux leather covers and satin bookmarks built-in. Each has
a different colored cover. I got mine for free. One of my players joined
a Christian cult and dumped all his 2E books on me. I kept them for
years but eventually sold them off. I kept the Magica volumes. Even his
family couldn't find him. They contacted me in an effort to locate him.
I wish I could have helped him. I hope he is OK. It's been twenty years
now I guess.
--
Tetsubo
Deviant Art: http://ironstaff.deviantart.com/
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/tetsubo57
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-01-02 14:27:23 UTC
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Post by Tetsubo
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Tetsubo
I have the four volume set of Encyclopedia Magica, magic items. They
went for $25 in 1995. I didn't know there was a spellbook series.
It might be one-and-the-same; it's been two decades. I seem to
remember that the books were offered in two versions: the more
expensive leather-bound version (the one I saw), and a cheaper version
with more traditional covers and binding (presumably what you got, if
you only paid $25 for it).
Functionally, it was a pretty pointless product since it just
duplicated the spells found in other TSR products. Since I had a
pretty good collection of TSR books already, it was unnecessary
duplication and I doubt I ever would have used them... but they sure
would have looked nice on my bookshelf ;-)
They do have faux leather covers and satin bookmarks built-in. Each has
a different colored cover. I got mine for free. One of my players joined
a Christian cult and dumped all his 2E books on me. I kept them for
years but eventually sold them off. I kept the Magica volumes. Even his
family couldn't find him. They contacted me in an effort to locate him.
I wish I could have helped him. I hope he is OK. It's been twenty years
now I guess.
Geez, that's depressing.

Apparently TSR had several similar lines. The "Encyclopedia Magicka"
was a four-book volume with two different printings, one with
faux-leather covers and one with more traditional bindings that
detailed all the magical items in D&D/AD&D to the time.

They also released the four-volume "Wizard's Spell Compendium" series
and the three-volume "Priest's Spell Compendium", which were
paperbacks and gave full spell-listings for each class for all
D&D/AD&D spells to the time.

And of course there was the absolutely horrid "Magic Encyclopedia",
released a few years earlier. A two-volume set, it listed all the
magical items of the game, but didn't give any details, instead
referring you to the books in which the item first appeared.

I often got the impression that the leather-bound Encylopedia Magica
volumes were created as an apology for the "Magic Encylopedia",
because the latter was so useless and such an obvious cash-grab that
even "T$R" was ashamed of themselves.
JimP.
2017-01-02 16:45:02 UTC
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Post by Tetsubo
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Ubiquitous
While TSR was its own independent company, they were partnered with
the Random House Publishing Company for the distribution of their
products to bookstores throughout the United States. This had the dual
benefit of not only getting D&D onto bookshelves across the country,
but was financially beneficial to TSR too. Random House basically gave
them a stipend for every book they printed. The book didn't have to be
sold - or even shipped to bookstores! - just printed (Random House did
this both to ensure they - and their partners - would always have
stock, but also because tax laws made it beneficial for them to have
large inventories).
Needless to say, TSR saw this as an excuse to print as many books as
they could, regardless of whether or not sales would support such
sizeable print runs (it wasn't exactly free money since the stipend
didn't /quite/ cover the cost of printing, but TSR figured they were
probably going to sell those books eventually anyway so why not go
nuts with the print orders?). Ultimately, this practice would bite TSR
in the ass in the late '90s when Random House stopped offering that
stipends; TSR - having planned on that income to help offset the cost
of printing their newer books - basically collapsed into bankruptcy at
that point (Random House changed their policy because the tax-laws
were changed and they started getting billed on unsold books in
warehouses). But until then, TSR had huge back-logs of books because
they always over-printed everything.
But even before they went insolvent, TSR had a problem with too many
copies of older books. So let's imagine TSR in 1984, with a huge
number of extra Basic D&D modules. Even though they had already
received the Random House stipend, these books were just collecting
dust in the warehouse and - given their age - it was becoming
increasingly unlikely they would sell. How to get rid of them all?
Well, one method was to just slap a bunch of them into a faux-leather
slip-case and call it the "10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons
Collector's Edition", which is exactly what they did. Apparently only
1000 of these Collector Editions were "printed"; how many actually
were sold is unknown.
Note that this product was different from their later "Silver
Anniversary Collector's Edition" in that this product used /existing/
books pulled from their warehouse (the Silver Anniversary collector's
edition was a brand new printing). Except for the rather
cheesy-looking slip-case (with a gold-embossed D&D logo on it), these
books were identical to what had already been sold... because they
were literally the same books.
Anyway, that's the why and wherefore of the thing. What's it actually
contain?
The "TSR 1099 10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collector's Edition"
included 12 books; the Player's Manual and Dungeon Master's Rulebook
from the Basic Edition rules, the Expert Rules Rulebook, the Player's
Companion and Dungeon Master Companion books from the Companion Rules
box-set, adventure modules B1 In Search of the Unknown, B2 Keep on the
Borderlands, X1 The Isle of Dread, MSOLO1/M1 Blizzard Pass, AC2 Combat
Shield, AC3 3-D Dragon Tiles, and the D&D Player Character Record
Sheets. It also came with the usual assortment of cheap TSR dice (with
a crayon to fill in the numbers) and two "invisible ink" pens for the
MSOLO adventure module. And did I mention the awful fake-leather
slip-case? I don't think I can stress enough how terrible that was.
I do not remember that one. But I do remember the AD&D spell-books
that you could buy that had leather covers. Maybe it was fake leather,
but I seem to remember it as being real.
It was a three volume set and each book went for something like $80.
Although this was back in the '90s, so today it would probably be
$140... per book. Ow. All I could do back then was look at them and
dream.
I vaguely recall that TSR lost a bundle making those books. Between
their limited appeal and high price, the company never recouped their
losses.
Another sound financial decisions by the business wizards at TSR.
Wizards of the Coast might have put the company back on its feet, but
none of its books ever seemed as much fun as the stuff you got out of
TSR during its heyday.
I bet you would never see licensed puffy stickers or a D&D-branded
belt buckle from Wizards of the Coast. And where is the update to the
D&D knitting kit?
These days I am lucky to see them actually release a D&D book or
adventure anymore.
I have the four volume set of Encyclopedia Magica, magic items. They
went for $25 in 1995. I didn't know there was a spellbook series.
I have those as well, but I had to buy three of them used as stores
stopped carrying them when I could set aside the money.
--
Jim

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