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32 minutes ago, Scott Ruggels said:

Thank you for this   Maybe some day, rescan the 4e book? Looking forward to this. 

 

Yes; ever since I bought and reviewed that POD version (I think I misspelled "S" right there), I have had that in mind to do.  The problem there is finding a donor book.  Finding donors for staple bound is easy: I use my own, because I can rebind them with the original staples, holes, etc.  It's like they were never touched. 

 

Glue bound books have to be purpose bought to be destroyed, and finding one for under twenty bucks shipping and all?  That's tricky.  People have this strange belief that something is valuable because it's old; doesn't matter that it is so "unrare" that there are more of them on the market than there are people who actually play the game. 

 

As an example, when I bought the Western HERO book to slice up, I found fifty of them for sale, easily, all of them under twenty bucks total.  I took my time and found a ratty one (condition doesn't matter, considering I am capable making repairs to the scan) for eight bucks, shipping and all. 

 

Skip to the end of the project:

 

By now, all my players in all three groups had a revised interest in Western HERO, and my own copy gets passed around so much that I can't find it   "Bah!" says I.  "I'll just buy myself another copy and pick up a couple ratty ones for the tables."

 

Evidently doing several searches trips someone's market algorithm,  because now fifty bucks won't touch them. 

 

Same sort of thing is going on with BBB right now.  I don't know why, but suddenly they are all over the moon. 

 

 

:(

 

 

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Hey! yes, I was. That was a really great discussion going on in that thread. I didn't end up responding there as it was already getting a bit heated and I didn't want to poke the fire.    I

Okay, folks--   for the two or three of you who were watching, I have started a new thread, primarily as a courtesy to those folks who kept seeing the "Fantasy HERO" section show new posts,

Woo-hoo!    Okay, folks, Jason has AC issues 1 & 2 now.  I'm just scanning them; I'm not doing any of the clean up or restoration, nor do I know who is.  I am scanning in 1200 DPI and se

2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Evidently doing several searches trips someone's market algorithm,  because now fifty bucks won't touch them. 

 

Same sort of thing is going on with BBB right now.  I don't know why, but suddenly they are all over the moon. 

 

 

Yup. I raised the price on an item I was looking at with NobleKnight Games one day when I put it in my basket, took it out, and went back to put it back in. Raised about 30%, with one less copy available (theoretically). I learned my lesson on that one.

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Used books in the hundreds don't exist.

 

I mean, they _do_, but what you're seeing there are "book pirates."

 

No; I'm serious.  These guys run bots and crawlers and interesting algorithms; most of them have no actual stock-- seriously-- _none_.   Their bots key on searches for books, then perform their own searches, find the books, and return a pre-generated add / website entry to include a pic from where they found (if applicable) and a copy of text (usually a vague bit of descriptive text.  The better ones will have this text end on a complete sentence instead of after X amount of characters. ;)   ).

 

The price is (P)x1.M, where M is the percentage of markup programmed into the bot.  If you order the book, the bot orders the book from where it found it, etc, etc, etc.

 

The guy "Operating" the site (I say that in quotes because most of these are fire-and-forget) not only never touches the book, he won't even know you ever ordered anything.  He just gets his money and keeps sipping margaritas.    I've been collecting books since you had to track down specialists to find them from all over the world.  I watched the pirates grow until they became their own problem     :rofl:

 

 

Seriously; they have become their own problem!  There are so many of them now that it's possible to find two hundred listings for the same single book-- single as in "only one copy exists and only one person owns it."  The bots are getting their info from other bots, who got it from other bots, who got it from other bots, and on and on.  It's at the point were you can spend three hundred bucks on a book, that money ends up going to eighty different people, and the only extant copy of the book in the whole chain sells for ten bucks to the first bot and ships to you!   :rofl:

 

 

There are signs, but honestly, there are so many people trying to stop this practice that you can find entire websites dedicated to how you can get a better idea of what's a pirate site and what isn't.  (A good hint is an RPG book with a dying audience going for hundreds of dollars. ;)  )

 

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Okay, Adventurers Club (Man, it really _bugs_ me that there is no apostrophe in there) scanning proceeds slowly; it's a time problem.  Completed are  1-5 and 26.  Many, many more to go.  Have found a #27, meaning I will shortly have a complete set.

 

Stumbling block, though, in sending vials through the net as both Jason and I live in the "e-sticks," resulting in spotty connectivity and low data flow.  I've tried sending them through an intermediary (thanks, Chris!), but Jason is talking now about having them scanned locally.  I had offered to put them all on a drive and just send it, but have heard nothing back from that.

 

In other news, our colleague Spence has offered up an already-debound BBB for that particular project.  I've lined up an artist to help me with the cover restoration (that cover seems to mean a lot to the fans, so I don't trust myself to handle it), and work will proceed (very slowly) on that project as time allows.  I just can't make promises on that one, but if you remember Western HERO, remember that this book is a roughly three times as large, and I have less time.  On the plus side, most of the interior art was essentially "comic style" line drawings as opposed to the etchings, stampings, lithographs, and old photos that were in Western HERO, so there should be considerably less problems with that aspect of things.

 

 

And now I'm going to bed-- like I should have done instead of scanning AC #5.    

 

I keep hoping Jason will take me up on the flash drive, just so we know he has high-rez scans from the get-go.  I wish I had time to do the actual clean-up and restoration, but I don't think I'll live that long.  :lol:

 

 

 

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Got off early!  Home at seven tonight!

 

And there was a _huge_ box waiting for me on the porch rail when I got home, too!

 

Our buddy Spence has sent an extensive selection of 4e books, already de-bound, suitable for scanning.  :)

 

Spence:  I can save you a bit of trouble on one:   

 

The Western HERO that's in the store right now is my own work, and it looks and prints great (and, for the record, is _huge_, but that's a side-effect of the resolution: lots of information to keep track of.  Unfortunately, I had to work in PNG as I have nothing that will make a proper vector file, so.... )  I have the covers for that book.  I sent them with the book, but Jason put only the book on the site.  Give me a shout and I'll be glad to get them to you.

 

So hey-- that's one down already!   :lol:

 

Got an e-mail from Jason today, and he's cool with me sticking as many AC scans onto a flash drive as I can and mailing it to him.  For the foreseeable future, that's what I'll be working on.  Then off to the stuff Spence gave me, I suppose.  Somewhere in the middle of all this I'll try to get my 2e scan to Jason to replace the one that's in the store.  The one in the store isn't bad, but who doesn't want the best version of something they can get? ;)  

 

Anyway, I've only got so many minutes before bedtime, so let me get busy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oh, Spence:

 

Are you sure you want me to de-bind this BBB?  It's in exceptional shape!

Also, do you want the Western book back now or when the scanning is done?   Honestly, I haven't seen one that looked this good in a long time!  Congratulations on the find!

 

 

And for everyone else:  Looks like Spence had the same idea I did: softcover.  Using the softcover part number just seems "right," since the POD is a softcover, right?  (Don't worry: I'm going to composite the image from all the hardcovers I have lying around: the image was pretty degraded by the time the softcover went to press, and it shows.  We can't re-do the art back to brand new, but we can sample the most original source available and work from that. ;)

 

 

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Okay, that's eight down  (1-7 and #26).  Nineteen more to go.

 

The early issues go easily: the whole sheet fits the scanner; it's just a matter of finding an alignment that gets both pages "mostly straight."  The less straightening you have to do digitally, the better, at least art-wise.

#7 was brutal: my copy was badly printed, badly cut, and badly managed.  That is to say that on every leaf, the pages were not straight with each other, necessitating a lot of setting and re-setting to get both printed pages "mostly straight;" getting both straight wasn't possible.  Get one too straight, and the other was just awful.  The leaning text of Pisa.  It was badly cut in that the top margin was infinite, while the page numbers barely fit at the bottom.  And I think this thing was used a coaster for a significant portion of its life....  I should have suspected something when I didn't have to pull the staples: I just started to straighten them a bit and the fell into bits....

It's funny that this was also the first issue that ICE was involved in. ;)

 

Anyway, the small ones go reasonably quickly as they scan essentially two-pages-at-once.  There is a double-sized issue coming up that will slow it down a bit.  I expect the first size step-up will slow things down to one page at a time; I know the final size-- actual magazine size-- is going to crawl, as I've done one of those already (#26).

 

Still, it will get done as quickly as possible, and sent to Jason.  

 

 

Then we wait.....

 

I need a survey, if no one minds:

 

 

How many people are interested in maps as play aids?  I ask because _I_ love them, as does the youth group and both of my remaining adult groups.

 

I ask because AC is _filled_ with tiny maps.  I am curious to see if there is any interest in an Adventurers Club Map Pack-- I can take much higher rez scans-- high enough to enlarge these maps to 1 hex = 1 inch without loosing detail or getting pixelated.  It's more work on the pile, but if there are enough 5e-and-back players (sorry; I don't have the time to rescale individual elements of the map itself for 6e's 1"=1m scale), I might consider taking it on after the BBB project.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

Are you sure you want me to de-bind this BBB?  It's in exceptional shape!

Also, do you want the Western book back now or when the scanning is done?   Honestly, I haven't seen one that looked this good in a long time!  Congratulations on the find!

 

@BBB - absolutely.  I ordered a copy of the POD version and the pages were not spectacular.  Usable, but hared on my old eyes.  A better scan would do wonders.  Besides I have a pristine hardback copy, my personal play hardback and four table copies (2 hard/2 soft) for people to borrow. 

I selected that copy specifically for the clear pages for high resolution scanning.

 

@WH  -  I have three more exactly like that one, also in shrink wrap.  With all the scanning and de-binding you have been doing, I thought you should have the opportunity to put a collection copy back on your shelf. 

 

Every since I bought a copy of the POD 5th ed I have reconsidered my position.  The 5th Ed POD is a good crisp book.  I'd like to see people able to get the same thing for 4th.

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10 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I ask because AC is _filled_ with tiny maps.  I am curious to see if there is any interest in an Adventurers Club Map Pack-- I can take much higher rez scans-- high enough to enlarge these maps to 1 hex = 1 inch without loosing detail or getting pixelated.  It's more work on the pile, but if there are enough 5e-and-back players (sorry; I don't have the time to rescale individual elements of the map itself for 6e's 1"=1m scale), I might consider taking it on after the BBB project.

 

Me Me ME!

 

I am in the market for any of the Hero maps that are high enough resolution they can be blown up.

I normally am not a mini gamer, but a map large enough to mark position for Hero is a big plus. 

I have always wished that the maps in Champions Battlegrounds and Fantasy Hero Battlegrounds were available in a hi-res format.  I really don't know if it is possible, but the store still has physical copies.  I will buy another and send them to you to experiment with if you think you will have time.

 

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Thank you, Spence!

 

That is extremely kind of you. 

 

I will do my utmost to ensure that the BBB scan will not disappoint you.  I am going to change the product number to the softcover number, though.  Given that the POD is softcover, it seems more...  Correct. 

 

Thinking about it, if time and patience permit, I may do the cover both ways, for those folks wanting to try to do a Zulilly hardback or something... 

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On the maps:

 

Don't worry about buying / sending those.  I don't have them, but if you have access to physical copies, find someone who can scan them / convert e-files to vector.  It's the perfect format for flawless scale change. 

 

The box / software combo I had for doing vector is quite dead, and I've been using PNG files (hence the need for high-res to up size).  There will likely be _some_ degradation due to upsizing, but the higher the initial Rez, the less degradation there will be.  As there are currently only my scans available for AC, it's worth taking the chance for upsizing.  If you have physical maps or e-files of maps, find someone who can go straight to vector with them, then scale up.  You won't regret it. 

 

Thanks again for the book! 

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20 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

On the maps:

 

Don't worry about buying / sending those.  I don't have them, but if you have access to physical copies, find someone who can scan them / convert e-files to vector.  It's the perfect format for flawless scale change. 

 

The box / software combo I had for doing vector is quite dead, and I've been using PNG files (hence the need for high-res to up size).  There will likely be _some_ degradation due to upsizing, but the higher the initial Rez, the less degradation there will be.  As there are currently only my scans available for AC, it's worth taking the chance for upsizing.  If you have physical maps or e-files of maps, find someone who can go straight to vector with them, then scale up.  You won't regret it. 

 

Thanks again for the book! 

 

I wonder if Affinity Photo, Publisher or Designer can do it.  I bought them on sale a little while ago when Adobe abandoned the private user.  I have no idea how to use Publisher or Designer, but they were part of the package.  I have managed to figure out enough of A-Photo to be able to clean up images for use in my lesson plans.  

 

And no problems.  When you catch up, let me know if you are looking for any particular book.  I am a RPG'aholic and I have multiple copies of many books.  So you never know. 

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8 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

How many people are interested in maps as play aids?  I ask because _I_ love them, as does the youth group and both of my remaining adult groups.

 

I ask because AC is _filled_ with tiny maps.  I am curious to see if there is any interest in an Adventurers Club Map Pack-- I can take much higher rez scans-- high enough to enlarge these maps to 1 hex = 1 inch without loosing detail or getting pixelated.  It's more work on the pile, but if there are enough 5e-and-back players (sorry; I don't have the time to rescale individual elements of the map itself for 6e's 1"=1m scale), I might consider taking it on after the BBB project.

+1 on the Map Pack!

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That's the angle I would like to approach him with, but let's see if I can make the up sizing work, first.  ;)

 

There has been a wonderful human being serving as "middleman" between Jason and myself for sending the files back and forth. 

 

Being as how he has access to the scans as they get sent, I am hoping he might decide he wants to try an AC Character Pack (likely for 5e, as it's almost the same as the characters as-written in the magazines). 

 

I have no I te tion of pressuring anyone into that, but it seems like something that might generate a little revenue for the company. 

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8 hours ago, Duke Bushido said:

There has been a wonderful human being serving as "middleman" between Jason and myself for sending the files back and forth. 

 

If that's me :D then I'm the one who helped figure out that working across the Internet was probably not going to be workable.  I still need to grab the files; I've had other things going on.  

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Just finished #8.

 

Thought I might do two more tonight, but with number eight, the page count seems to have more-or-less doubled, and my week is really catching up to me (for those who don't know, I stand out in the sun for fourteen or so hours a day, and this whole week, after heat index, as been in the hundred-and-teens.  It takes it out of you; let me tell ya!)

 

If I wake up during the night, I might do another one; I don't know.

 

Apparently chopping the bottom of the magazine on way-too-narrow-a-margin is going to be a hallmark of Iron Crown's involvement with the magazine.    >:/

 

At any rate, it'll get done.

 

 

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Okay, fanboys! 

 

Fans of Role master, Spacemaster, and MERP who have never done so will want to make certain they check out AC #8!  

 

This issue contains an article with what, at least at first blush, seems to be some workable conversion notes between the 3e Hero System and those ICE games. 

 

Want to bring back some od those old characters and play them in your favorite HERO campaigns?  Want to take some of your favorite HERO characters and run them through a classic 80s adventure module? This issue will take the work out of the project. 

 

That being said:

 

Damage conversion doesn't really seem to be covered: you will have to extrapolate from "damage versus a normal character" and "damage versus my character" in each system and let that guide you. 

 

I can't say much about magic, as when I played RM, it was always by request, and I always played a non-mage so that I could Dodge having to go through a entire additional rulebook just to participate in something I didn't want to do anyway.  ;). My suspicion, though, is that everyone here will be familiar enough and cagey enough to suss it out handily once they convert Characteristics and combat values. 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Duke Bushido said:

I can't say much about magic, as when I played RM, it was always by request, and I always played a non-mage so that I could Dodge having to go through a entire additional rulebook just to participate in something I didn't want to do anyway.  ;). My suspicion, though, is that everyone here will be familiar enough and cagey enough to suss it out handily once they convert Characteristics and combat values.

 

I played Rolemaster and Spacemaster back in the 80's before we realized that Champions could be used to play non-supers.  In some ways it is like Hero.  Once the PC's and adventure (places, monsters, etc.) have been made it is pretty simple to play.  But building anything can be overwhelming.  For example each weapon and spell effect has its own combat chart that determines hit and damage and the skill/ability option lists were HUGE.  But once you have built your PC, 90% of all that can be ignored.  After that it was a pretty normal resolution system, roll, apply mods, check chart against armor/defense and apply result.    Spacemaster was pretty much the same except lasers and starships.  Now the Spacemaster book unsurpassed for building star systems and the local objects and they have a star-map of our local (Earth/Sol/Terra) stellar neighborhood which I have used for Traveller and Star Hero games.  It is to space faring scifi what Hero's Pulp Hero is to that genre.  Amusingly Spacemaster suffers from the same starship syndrome as Hero.  Walls of useless ship stats with not a deckplan to be seen :angel:

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