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TrippyHippy

What price for Dune?

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On 7/25/2018 at 9:01 AM, TrippyHippy said:

They only produced three thousand copies, before it was pulled as a limited release. They sold out in minutes, from memory. I recall buying my own copy, and the seller (at gencon) actually tried to put up the price when selling it, on the grounds that he knew it would be worth a load as a collectors piece when he sold it. If you buy it from eBay now, it costs.....oh.....let's see: 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dune-Chronicles-of-the-Imperium-Core-Game-Limited-Edition-NEW/253715007118?hash=item3b1297c68e:g:6HUAAOSw-3FZAtAD

I always considered my copy of the Ringworld game expensive. I was obviously wrong. 

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On 7/25/2018 at 9:01 AM, Atgxtg said:

Careful, for $1500 someone might accept those terms!

For a copy of the book (to hold equally dear themselves), someone might accept those terms!

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36 minutes ago, g33k said:

For a copy of the book (to hold equally dear themselves), someone might accept those terms!

I wonder. Yeah, we see stuff listed on eBay for those prices, but how much of that actually sells at that price? According to eBay, I could get thousands of dollars for my old RQ2 and RQ3 stuff but is someone really going to pay $85 for my used copy of RuneQuest Companion, or $120 for my Thieves World Boxed Set? 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I wonder. Yeah, we see stuff listed on eBay for those prices, but how much of that actually sells at that price? According to eBay, I could get thousands of dollars for my old RQ2 and RQ3 stuff but is someone really going to pay $85 for my used copy of RuneQuest Companion, or $120 for my Thieves World Boxed Set? 

 

Yeah I recently found this myself while looking for the 3rd edition of Cthulhu by Gaslight. You can find copies on ebay and Amazon starting around $100 and running up to $500+ with one of Amazon listed at $3214. With a little patience I got a like new copy for $39 or basically retail.

 

I've found many of the even recently out of print RPG materials are subject to crazy high prices, but most actually seem to sell for reasonable amounts. Sure some notable games do get sold for insane amounts of money, I think an original D&D boxed set sold for something like $13,000 last year, but there aren't that many people with the deep pockets to pay those prices. $100-200 seems to be the cap for games that actually sell.  

Of course licensed settings do have the potential of drawing non-gaming collectors of the license, and there is a lot more money in the collector market, than the gaming market.

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I see the same thing. Maybe something out of print might go for 10-25% more, but I've never seen anyone willing to shell out hundred or thousands of dollars for an old RPG book. Especially now that lots of older stuff is available in PDF from online stores at considerably better rates. 

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Having spent far too much of my life looking for OOP RPG stuff on eBay or elsewhere, my experience suggests that people will spend up to about £150 ($200) for a rare item to complete a collection.  Most of the RQ2 boxed sets I see on eBay tend to be around that price, many sold by people who make a living selling this stuff. You can get stuff a lot cheaper sometimes, but be prepared to be very patient.

However, for sheer absurdity, you can’t beat the Amazon automatic pricing systems. Take a look at this little gem: https://www.amazon.co.uk/RuneQuest-Essentials-Pete-Nash/dp/0987725963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532640261&sr=8-1&keywords=RuneQuest+essentials

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27 minutes ago, Malc said:

Having spent far too much of my life looking for OOP RPG stuff on eBay or elsewhere, my experience suggests that people will spend up to about £150 ($200) for a rare item to complete a collection.  Most of the RQ2 boxed sets I see on eBay tend to be around that price, many sold by people who make a living selling this stuff. You can get stuff a lot cheaper sometimes, but be prepared to be very patient.

However, for sheer absurdity, you can’t beat the Amazon automatic pricing systems. Take a look at this little gem: https://www.amazon.co.uk/RuneQuest-Essentials-Pete-Nash/dp/0987725963/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1532640261&sr=8-1&keywords=RuneQuest+essentials

There is a persistent urban legend that this sort of thing often masks a criminal money laundering scheme.

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25 minutes ago, g33k said:

There is a persistent urban legend that this sort of thing often masks a criminal money laundering scheme.

That came up when I was discussing my search for Cthulhu by Gaslight. As conspiracy theories go it is fairly plausible.

Along the lines of a guy trying to sell his crummy high school shaggin wagon for Lamborghini prices because his wife wants it out of the driveway. Sorry honey, I'm trying to sell it, I've had an ad on Craigslist and Ebay but nobody is buying... You also hear tales about the guy who gets a Porsche for $5 because it is part of a divorce settlement (here is your half, $2.50).

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9 hours ago, g33k said:

There is a persistent urban legend that this sort of thing often masks a criminal money laundering scheme.

I hate to say I hope so, but I'd be somewhat relieved if there was a logical explanation behind it. 

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14 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

I hate to say I hope so, but I'd be somewhat relieved if there was a logical explanation behind it. 

I have also seen simple decimal-place errors, where the same seller & same item came relisted a few hours/days later at exactly 1/10 or.1/100 the price.

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On 7/26/2018 at 4:59 PM, Atgxtg said:

I see the same thing. Maybe something out of print might go for 10-25% more, but I've never seen anyone willing to shell out hundred or thousands of dollars for an old RPG book. Especially now that lots of older stuff is available in PDF from online stores at considerably better rates. 

While I can't say I know a large number of them personally, there are dozens of serious collectors who are willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for specific rare RPG items. They are only interested in the original physical item, preferably in mint condition, or as near to it as they can find. If you want to see such RPG collectors discussing their hobby, take a look at www.acaeum.com and you'll see precisely that. They even have an annual dinner at Gen Con. Some of these people have RPG collections worth tens of thousands of dollars. 

Like any other "collectable", prices are strictly based on scarcity and desire. While most people would scoff at paying $1,000 for a crudely printed RPG item, there are some who would. 

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If you are an RPG historian and/or collector the acaeum is the best website to frequent. The people are very helpful and knowledgeable. It started with a focus on D&D and over time it has expanded to include a lot more info on all RPG related things.

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On 7/24/2018 at 1:27 AM, simonh said:

(snip)

That may not be enough nowadays though. Game of Thrones is huge, and there is a licensed game but I hardly ever see anything about it.

Heh, I was pretty much forced to sit with my big sister and watch the first season, because "I really, really, really needed to watch it."  I got about half way through, got tired of "the books are really better", so I downloaded the novels and ripped through three or four of them in a couple of days, then scanned the wiki for several more.  Best thing of the entire experience was that after pointing out that not only was it "he dies, she dies, everybody dies", but that all of these characters got established personas and even character growth of some sort, but then every last one of them broke character and either died or caused people close to them to die...or both.  Weaned my sister right off of it.

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On 7/24/2018 at 1:47 AM, Atgxtg said:

For much the same reason people want a Stormbringer game-it's basically a generic  dark fantasy setting with elements that can be found in all kinds of similar stories. Elric was, originally created as an anti-Conan. The bits related to the various individuals, groups and families are what make the setting. 

Stormbringer (the original game) worked real well for that when no other game system of the period would.  Yes, today, in pop terms, it is just a generic dark fantasy with some detailed bits.  At the time it wasn't and since we had already lost the idea of a classical education fifty years ago, the concept of a doomed hero (which is closer to what Elric is, although there are other influences, that is the major one) goes back so the earliest myths. 

Yes, details make the setting, but for a Dune setting to actually work would require the same kind of twisting that the original Stormbringer had in it.  Otherwise, I could simply make up Imperial troops, Noble troops, etc. that would fit.  I do notice that one thing that almost everyone forgets, games include combat and from a RPG perspective, Dune is pretty much a super martial arts setting for individual combat.

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On 7/24/2018 at 2:48 AM, TrippyHippy said:

Dune isn't a generic space opera. It's a classic space opera that has been imitated and referenced a lot. It's like claiming Tolkien just wrote generic fantasy.

Have you bothered to read OD&D and AD&D books?  Played any MMORPGs?  Yes, today Tolkien's races and basic settings are pretty much generic fantasy.  You can pretty much define almost all dwarves, elves, halflings, goblins and orcs right out of the pages of the Hobbit and LOTR.  Amusing since Tolkien created those divisions from English folklore and it can be argued that "the little people", dwarves and elves can ALL be considered different names for the same group of beings.  Oh, shall we ever forget the Type VI demon?  These are standard fantasy tropes you can find in all literature and games for the last few decades.  Oh and the epic of a group that travels to finish a quest while meeting fantastical beings just happens to be several thousand years old.

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4 minutes ago, Algesan said:

Have you bothered to read OD&D and AD&D books?  Played any MMORPGs?  Yes, today Tolkien's races and basic settings are pretty much generic fantasy.  You can pretty much define almost all dwarves, elves, halflings, goblins and orcs right out of the pages of the Hobbit and LOTR.  Amusing since Tolkien created those divisions from English folklore and it can be argued that "the little people", dwarves and elves can ALL be considered different names for the same group of beings.  Oh, shall we ever forget the Type VI demon?  These are standard fantasy tropes you can find in all literature and games for the last few decades.  Oh and the epic of a group that travels to finish a quest while meeting fantastical beings just happens to be several thousand years old.

His point was that at the time of writing, Tolkien wasn't making a generic fantasy book.

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On 7/25/2018 at 2:01 AM, TrippyHippy said:

They only produced three thousand copies, before it was pulled as a limited release. They sold out in minutes, from memory. I recall buying my own copy, and the seller (at gencon) actually tried to put up the price when selling it, on the grounds that he knew it would be worth a load as a collectors piece when he sold it. If you buy it from eBay now, it costs.....oh.....let's see: 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dune-Chronicles-of-the-Imperium-Core-Game-Limited-Edition-NEW/253715007118?hash=item3b1297c68e:g:6HUAAOSw-3FZAtAD

It can also be found on Scribd, but that is another story....

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7 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

His point was that at the time of writing, Tolkien wasn't making a generic fantasy book.

I know that, but my point was that Tolkien was writing an epic that has become the modern generic fantasy...and that what Tolkien was righting was merely a copy of older literature, for example, the Odyssey.  I've run plenty of campaigns and played in many others that were all based on the same thing.  Whether they were good or bad depended on the details, which is what differentiates LOTR from generic fantasy as well as Dune from generic space opera....

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On 7/24/2018 at 9:40 PM, tobarstep said:

Interesting bit of trivia: the short-lived Dune RPG was worked on by Youtube celebrity Matt Colville. He has a link to some rough, unpublished material from the d20 version they were working on in an old blog post of his: http://squaremans.com/the-dune-rpg/

Thank you very much for that link.  Quick scan looks like excellent layouts for a nice long run adventure. 

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15 hours ago, Algesan said:

Have you bothered to read OD&D and AD&D books?  Played any MMORPGs?  Yes, today Tolkien's races and basic settings are pretty much generic fantasy.  You can pretty much define almost all dwarves, elves, halflings, goblins and orcs right out of the pages of the Hobbit and LOTR.  Amusing since Tolkien created those divisions from English folklore and it can be argued that "the little people", dwarves and elves can ALL be considered different names for the same group of beings.  Oh, shall we ever forget the Type VI demon?  These are standard fantasy tropes you can find in all literature and games for the last few decades.  Oh and the epic of a group that travels to finish a quest while meeting fantastical beings just happens to be several thousand years old.

I think that is a fantastic misinterpretation of the very point being made. By the very definition of the word 'generic', neither Tolkien's work or Herbert's work are generic. D&D has referenced elements of Tolkien, along with elements from dozens of other writers and is open to develop in any way a gaming group sees fit. Both Lord of the Rings and Dune, however, are based on one canonical source. They are not generic, from any sense of the word and no, Tolkien was not writing a mere 'copy' of the Oddysey. This entire argument from you is so off base, it beggars belief quite frankly. 

Edited by TrippyHippy

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On 7/22/2018 at 4:25 AM, simonh said:

I wouldn’t call that a long discussion, it’s just a few posts and doesn’t cover a lot of the concerns I have on this.

Having shield fighting skill act as a limiter on weapon skill is one way, but I don’t think it’s a complete solution. Here is a summary of the issues as I see them:

  • Attacks on shielded opponents by necessity have to be slower, so shouldn’t they be easier to parry?
  • Shouldn’t shield fighting attacks do less damage, since they are slower and the shield limits available lines of attack?
  •  Fast contacts with a shield are repelled by it, so shouldn’t it be possible to parry with a shield, by using fast movements to knock aside an opponent’s weapon?
  • It should also be possible to do a knock back or bludgeon attack using a shield, I think this was shown in the movie when a character wearing a shield charges into a group of opponents like a human bowling ball and sends them all flying.

I had a lot of problems with the movie, but I thought they did a decent job with a difficult topic in addressing shield fighting.

Here are a few ideas for resolving these issues.

  • Attacks against shielded opponents do half damage. That means a normal hit does half normal rolled weapon damage, while a critical success does normal rolled weapon damage (instead of double damage or maximum rollable).
  • if shield fighting skill is not known (base is 0%), simply make all attacks at half chance.
  • If Shield fighting skill is known as a separate skill, it is usable in combination with any other weapon skill but acts as a limit when fighting shielded opponents, so the attack roll must be less than both shield fighting and normal attack skill. If the roll is a special success against shield fighting skill, then ignore the normal halving of damage against shielded opponents. E.g. Knife skill is 80% and shield fighting is 50%. On 1-10 do double normal rolled damage. On 11-16 do normal rolled damage. On 17-50 do half normal rolled damage. On 51-80 the attack is blocked by the shield.
  • Characters parrying or dodging an attack while wearing a shield get a +20% bonus.
  • Shield fighting skill can be used with the unarmed combat attack and parry skills, and to make knockback attacks.

The example merits further discussion. A roll of 1-10 is both a critical on attack skill and on Shield Fighting, so both effects apply. The shield fighting Crit cancels the half damage rule for shields and the attack Crit causes double normal damage. On a roll of 11-16 the half damage rule for the shield applies and drops down damage from double on a Crit attack to normal rolled.

I think shields should grant a bigger bonus for parrying longer weapons such as swords and spears. Maybe +40%. This is because the tips of longer weapons are harder to control and attack slowly with for the attacker. The extra leverage and speed that is an advantage in normal combat actually works agaisn’t them. Also they are easier for a shield wearer to bash aside and close past. This is why fighters in the novel always use shorter knives, maybe up to short sword length. Chopping and slashing weapons should also be at a disadvantage.

EDIT: shield skill base of 0% doesn’t work very well with the half skill rule for characters that don’t know shield fighting. What happens when they learn it at 1%?

One problem with the above system is that if I know shield fighting at a low level and I’m at say 50% skill with my weapon, there is very little difference between my ability against a shielded opponent, compared to another character with 80% weapon skill. That extra 30% skill gives them hardly any advantage. That doesn’t seem right. So while I think I’ve identified all my concerns, I still don’t have a fully satisfactory solution yet.

I've been working on the rules and came up with alot of ways to do shields in Dune.

 

The Fading Suns Method

The first way was based on how Fading Suns does the shields, with a minimum damage to activate. In this case it was 5 damage. One of the issues I've found was alot ranged weapons were less likely to activate the shields compared to most melee weapons. One of the solution I did was reduced the ranged damage minimum to 3 and had it so that only the weapon's original damage dice was counted. Any extra damage from specials, martial arts, damage bonus, etc. was not counted towards the damage minimum and added after the shield gets bypassed. This accounts for smaller weapons being more likely to bypass the shield, but it doesn't account for the skill element of shield fighting. My solution for this was be to have a Shield Fighting Martial Art Skill, basically every 10-20 points in the martial art raises the damage minimum of melee and thrown ranged weapons by 1. This is probably one of the more accurate ways to handle shields in Dune (and Fading Suns), but its kinda finicky. When my friends playtested it, they complained that it slowed down the combat a bit.

 

The Attack Sinister Method

Another method I though about was using Dex. You can take a -5 to your Initiative to make an "Attack Sinister" that bypasses the shield. But I ran into the problem where the everyone was doing that and it negated the the initiative penalty and made it pointless. It also did not have a skill element and it made it a neccesity to have a high dex character.

 

Combining the two

I took the damage minimum fron the Fading Suns Method and made it so every -1 or -2 penalty to initiative increases the damage minimum of melee attacks by 1. This method turned initiative tracking into a nightmare since everyone was taking a different penalty to their initiatives.

 

The Activation Rating Method

In this method, the Energy Shields still provided Armor Value, but it had an adjustable activation rating as well. So a shield on low power mode had an activation rating of 50%, you can increase this in 10% increments up to 100% with increased power consumption as well as tiring out your character. The problem was the lack of skill element, constantly remembering to apply a penalty to all actions when increasing the activation rating, etc.

 

The Two AV Method

This method is probably the simpliest method to use. The energy shield provides two Armor Values, one high and one low. All attacks are resisted with the high AV. You can target the low AV by using a one-handed melee weapon in conjunction to a Shield Fighting Skill that works like Martial Arts.

There are a bunch more ways to handle energy shields that I've come up with but these are the ones that I remember. So far the Fading Suns and Two AV method seem to be the best.

Having shield fighting skill act as a limiter on weapon skill is one way, but I don’t think it’s a complete solution. Here is a summary of the issues as I see them:

  • Attacks on shielded opponents by necessity have to be slower, so shouldn’t they be easier to parry?
  • Shouldn’t shield fighting attacks do less damage, since they are slower and the shield limits available lines of attack?
  •  Fast contacts with a shield are repelled by it, so shouldn’t it be possible to parry with a shield, by using fast movements to knock aside an opponent’s weapon?
  • It should also be possible to do a knock back or bludgeon attack using a shield, I think this was shown in the movie when a character wearing a shield charges into a group of opponents like a human bowling ball and sends them all flying.

The problem is that BRP is a generic system and shouldn't try too hard to emulate every little nuance. It just adds in a lot of fiddly rules like in The Fading Suns method I described. It will lead to madness.

You could just shield fighting act as a limiter and the first three points don't need to have rules for them. The penalty on the attack roll is enough to represent them. The fourth point doesn't really need a houserule, it could be treated like a shield bash attack. Give it 1d4+db with Knockback.

On 7/22/2018 at 4:25 AM, simonh said:
  • Attacks against shielded opponents do half damage. That means a normal hit does half normal rolled weapon damage, while a critical success does normal rolled weapon damage (instead of double damage or maximum rollable).
  •  if shield fighting skill is not known (base is 0%), simply make all attacks at half chance.
  •  If Shield fighting skill is known as a separate skill, it is usable in combination with any other weapon skill but acts as a limit when fighting shielded opponents, so the attack roll must be less than both shield fighting and normal attack skill. If the roll is a special success against shield fighting skill, then ignore the normal halving of damage against shielded opponents. E.g. Knife skill is 80% and shield fighting is 50%. On 1-10 do double normal rolled damage. On 11-16 do normal rolled damage. On 17-50 do half normal rolled damage. On 51-80 the attack is blocked by the shield.
  •  Characters parrying or dodging an attack while wearing a shield get a +20% bonus.
  • Shield fighting skill can be used with the unarmed combat attack and parry skills, and to make knockback attacks.

 The example merits further discussion. A roll of 1-10 is both a critical on attack skill and on Shield Fighting, so both effects apply. The shield fighting Crit cancels the half damage rule for shields and the attack Crit causes double normal damage. On a roll of 11-16 the half damage rule for the shield applies and drops down damage from double on a Crit attack to normal rolled.

 I think shields should grant a bigger bonus for parrying longer weapons such as swords and spears. Maybe +40%. This is because the tips of longer weapons are harder to control and attack slowly with for the attacker. The extra leverage and speed that is an advantage in normal combat actually works agaisn’t them. Also they are easier for a shield wearer to bash aside and close past. This is why fighters in the novel always use shorter knives, maybe up to short sword length. Chopping and slashing weapons should also be at a disadvantage.

 EDIT: shield skill base of 0% doesn’t work very well with the half skill rule for characters that don’t know shield fighting. What happens when they learn it at 1%?

 One problem with the above system is that if I know shield fighting at a low level and I’m at say 50% skill with my weapon, there is very little difference between my ability against a shielded opponent, compared to another character with 80% weapon skill. That extra 30% skill gives them hardly any advantage. That doesn’t seem right. So while I think I’ve identified all my concerns, I still don’t have a fully satisfactory solution yet.

 

There's a problem with this method as it makes the shield too weak. A shield should be able to withstand firearms and artillery strikes, 6d6 halved is still too lethal for a shielded character.

Having a bonus to Parry is similar to one of the ideas I came up for energy shields. However, I ultimately decided not to use them since you'd have to have this constant modifier in place for all of the characters that use shields. Its an unnecessary complication to the game that doesn't add much to the game or narrative. Having energy shields provide a substantial armor value should be enough to show how powerful they are.

Edited by KPhan2121
Didn't finish the post.

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I like simpler systems. How about these principles:

  1. Shield Fighting skill is added to weapon skill when attacking a shielded opponent
  2. An activated shield blocks all fast-moving ranged weapons
  3. An activated shield makes parrying or dodging melee attacks Easy for the defender
  4. Medium and Long melee weapons are Difficult to use against a shield
Edited by Questbird
  • Like 1

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On 7/30/2018 at 3:07 PM, TrippyHippy said:

I think that is a fantastic misinterpretation of the very point being made. By the very definition of the word 'generic', neither Tolkien's work or Herbert's work are generic. D&D has referenced elements of Tolkien, along with elements from dozens of other writers and is open to develop in any way a gaming group sees fit. Both Lord of the Rings and Dune, however, are based on one canonical source. They are not generic, from any sense of the word and no, Tolkien was not writing a mere 'copy' of the Oddysey. This entire argument from you is so off base, it beggars belief quite frankly. 

Sorry, I must have been unclear.

Other than the specific bits that make them special and different for the purpose of the author's story, the major elements of both LOTR and Dune fit into the generic genres I've noted.  Of course Tolkien did not write a copy of Homer's Odyssey, but one of the genres you can place both LOTR & the Odyssey are in that of the epic and they are both quests (or journeys), which is what I was intending to state.

Both Tolkien and Frank Herbert borrowed heavily from multiple sources for their various books, this is true for all literature...heck, for everything.  There is nothing new under the sun. 

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