[Update: Alex has agreed to extend the deadline for the Quest for Fazzlewood special drawing to the end of the drive on March 18, 2012. Also there are now gifts for the highest donors: a 1977 edition of "Classic" Traveller along with first printings of Books 5 through 8. (This is the edition without the Third Imperium setting baked into the basic rules and is in excellent condition) and a complete set of AD&D modules H1-H4 -- the Bloodstone Pass modules -- these are unused and are in excellent condition (even the thin box for H1 looks almost like new). The highest donor gets his/her choice and the second highest donor will receive the other items. I'd like to thank "Jimbo" for donating the Traveller items. The four Bloodstone Pass modules are from my stuff.]
Canadian Alexi Debois contacted me a couple of weeks again to see if I would be interested in designing a special Swords & Sorcery edition of Microlite74 and about donating some early D&D items for a Retroroleplaying Cancer Fund Drive. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you known that Alexi's ideas for a special Swords & Sorcery edition of Microlite74 are interesting -- interesting enough that a number of people seem enthused by the idea. I'm enthused enough that I've already started work on the project. And thanks to Alexi's willingness to send some special items get inherited from his cousin to winners, we are starting a new RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive: the Leap Month RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive.
As most readers know, my wife is recovering from oral cancer and that I worked on the original Microlite74 as way to cope during her recovery from 6 weeks of radiation treatment in 2008. We are some of the 40 to 50 million people in the US who do not have health insurance and do not qualify for government aid as we live in Texas and have no children. The cancer treatments and related expenses have cost over $110,000 so far. While over half of this has been absorbed by hospital foundations and the like, we still owe a lot of it. Over the past few years, people have donated old school items for RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund drive which have helped lower the bills even more.
Alexi's cousin passed away last year from lung cancer, caused by smoking just like my wife's tongue cancer. His cousin introduced him to D&D in the 1970s and often served as a convention DM. He inherited most of his cousin's early D&D stuff and has been giving it to friends as he no longer plays D&D (although he still plays Gamma World, Runequest, Call of Cthulthu, and Traveller). He's donating the Daystar West Media edition of Pharaoh (1980), FEZ 1 (the 1982 Valley of Trees version), the Quest for the Fazzlewood from Metro Detroit Gamers, Empire of the Petal Throne boxed set, and a set of all of the issues of The Strategic Review and the first ten issues of Dragon Magazine.
Everyone who donates anything at all (even a dollar) to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund gets access to a few special downloads (like pdfs of two 1970s D&D fanzines, a special edition of Microlite74 Extended, and more) as described on the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund web page. And while I'm working on Microlite75 and donors giving $25 dollars or more during our Leap Month RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund drive will be listed as Sponsors of these Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery. Those donating $50 or more will also be eligible to place a (gaming-related) ad in the public version of the Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery.
At Alexi's request, we will be handling this donation drive a bit differently. First, it has a goal: to raise $3000 by the end of February 2012. $3000 will cover my wife's new bills from her annual CT scan and doctor visits from last November (and pay a bit on the original treatment bill). Second, donor goodies will be given out as the drive progresses. Those who donate early will therefore be eligible for multiple prizes. The drawing for the first item will be held when the first $750 is raised (but no sooner than one week into the drive) and will be for the Daystar Media edition of Pharaoh. The drawing for the next item, Empire of the Petal Throne will be held when the second $750 is raised (but no sooner than two weeks into the drive). The drawing for the issues of The Strategic Review and The Dragon will be held when the third $750 is raised (but no sooner than three weeks into the drive). The drawing for the copy of FEZ I: Valley of Trees will be held when the fourth $750 is raised (but no sooner than the end of February). If and only if $3000 or more is raised by the end of
February 2012 this donation drive, a drawing for the Quest for the Fazzlewood module will be held. As usual, donors will have one chance to win for every $10 donated. Donors will be eligible for all drawings held after their donation is received. If the goal of $3000 has not been reached by March 15 18, the drive will end and no further drawings will be held. These items will be shipped from Canada.
Special Donor Goodies for the Leap Year RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund Drive
Daystar West Media edition of Pharaoh: This is the original edition of what later became the TSR module I3 Pharaoh. Daystar Media was a small company owned by Tracy and Laura Hickman. While compatible with AD&D, no mention is made of this in the module and various terms were changed to avoid copyright issues. According to The Acaeum, less than 200 copies were printed. This copy is in excellent but not perfect condition. It's apparently somewhat different than the I3 version.
Empire of the Petal Throne: This is the boxed set from TSR. It's complete and in very good condition. The box has small dings and dents but the book, maps, etc. are basically unused.
Strategic Reviews/Dragon Magazines: All seven issues of The Strategic Review (Spring 1975 - April 1976) and the first ten issues of The Dragon magazine (June 1976 - October 1977). Condition varies, but issues are complete and have no major damage. Some have marks and minor tears. The Snit Smashing game in present in issue #10. This issues include most of the magazine material referenced in OD&D supplements: Rangers, Bards, Illusionists, etc.
FEZ 1: Valley of Trees: This is the original 1982 version of FEZ I. It is 40 pages long and in a green folder. The more common 1987 version of FEZ I, Wizard's Vale, was only 32 pages long and had somewhat different content. The folder is not in the best of shape. the module booklet is in very good shape. It has pencil marks.
Quest for the Fazzlewood: This was used as a tournament module at Wintercon VII in 1978 and published in low numbers by Metro Detroit Gamers. It was later expanded and modified by TSR and published as O1: Gem and the Staff in the early 1980s. It is 12 loose pages of adventure and a "Player Evaluation Sheet" used to score the player for the tournament, all in a light cardstock folder/cover. The module was designed for one player. It's in good shape but has DM notes/marks in pencil, apparently from when Alexi's cousin DMed the game at Wintercon VII.
As mentioned above, everyone who donates at least $10 during this drive will be listed as a sponsor in the Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery rulebook (except those who wish to remain anonymous, of course) in classifications based the Adventurer class level titles from the game determined by the amount donated. Anyone donating $50 or more may place a tabletop roleplaying ad in the free public version of the game if they wish. This is a great way to plug your blog, product, campaign, convention, etc. Ad Sizes: business card size (donation $50-99), quarter page (donation $100-249), half page (donation $250 or more). These will be scattered through the booklet (instead of using public domain art).
Finally, draft copies of Microlite74 Swords & Sorcery will be uploaded to the Donor file area with the usual password as I make changes. Anyone who has ever donated will be able to download them. Beta copies will still be available to everyone but beta copies will not be updated as often as draft copies. The first draft copy is available now with some of my initial changes -- including a much reduced spell list. Note that draft copies are even more of a "work in progress" than beta copies.
Summary/Call for Donations
To get help us pay our cancer treatment related bills (and to get access to some special downloads and possibly the above mentioned items), send a donation in any amount -- small or large -- to me via Paypal. If you would like to help but cannot make a donation, please help spread the word around the blogsphere (and other places). In fact, if you make a post to your blog talking about this fundraising drive and post a link to your post in a comment to this post, we'll give you one entry in the raffle. Note: Your blog will have to have some way for us to email you if you get lucky or we will not be able to get your prize to you. I'm afraid I failed Mind Reading in school. Thank you very much in advance.