Expanded Greyhawk Castle Menu Core Level 02 - Invisible Maze Level Core Level 02 (Special) - Bottle City Level Core Level 03 - Gem Room & Crypts Core Level 05 - Sealed Tomb Level Core Level 06 - Black Pudding Doorkeeper Level Core Level 07 - Tsojconth Level Core Level 07.5 - Black Reservoir Core Level 11 - Entrance to Oz Core Level 12 - Boreal Level Core Level 13 - Entrance to Asgard Melnibone & Dying Earth Core Level 14 - Orb Scepter & Crown Level Core Level 18 - Dragon Level East Level 03 (Split) - Garden & Giant's Pool Hall Level East Level 08 - Machine Level West Level 05 - Gallery Level West Level 07 - Barracks Level Core Level (Special) - Living Room
Tsojconth Menu Tsojconth 1973 Tsojconth 1976 Daoud's Other Lanthorn
Castle El Raja Key Menu Castle El Raja Key - Upper Works Castle El Raja Key - Level 01 Castle El Raja Key - Level 02 Castle El Raja Key - Level 03 Castle El Raja Key - Level 04 Castle El Raja Key - Level 05 Castle El Raja Key - Level 05.5 Castle El Raja Key - Level 06 Castle El Raja Key - Level 07 Castle El Raja Key - Level 07.5 (Special) Castle El Raja Key - Level 08 Castle El Raja Key - Level 09 Castle El Raja Key - Level 10 Castle El Raja Key - Level 11
Q: Is the USB able to be added to the DVD purchase for an incremental cost, or is it a full $160 additional?
A: Yes, it can be added, simply add a Standard Edition to your order selecting the USB Flash Drive variant above the purple "Add to Cart" button. The price will be $89.99.
Your order would look something like this:
El Raja Key Archive Collector's Edition $159.99 DVD SKU: 1004
El Raja Key Archive Standard Edition $89.99 USB Flash Drive SKU: 1002usb
El Raja Key Archive Deluxe Edition $119.99 DVD SKU: 1003
El Raja Key Archive Standard Edition $89.99 USB Flash Drive SKU: 1002usb
Q: Is it possible to see the full listing of included files for each version of the Archive, or at least to get a count on the number of files for each?
A: The Standard Edition is organized into 295 subject pages with 1045 scans. The Basic Edition is organized into 108 subject pages with 420 scans. As an example: the Dark Druids subject page includes two levels: a 1st level with 1 map and 6 pages keys and Level 2 with 1 map and 5 pages of keys. Thus, one subject page has 13 scans.
A comparative list of the subject pages for the Basic and Standard Editions can be found at this link.
Q: What are the differences between the three printed K1 adventures?
A: The First Print is 40 pages and over 18,000 words - that is a little larger than G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King which comes in at 16 pages and 17,000 words. The Deluxe and Collector's Prints include an all new encounter area, Tower of Night! The additional encounter area adding about 1,000 words. Additionally, the Collector's Print is both signed and numbered by Rob Kuntz.
Q: How big are the K1 module booklets, and do they include the maps and keys?
A: Physically, the booklets have 40 pages and measure 4 3/4 by 7 1/4 inches. The adventure contains the keys, a diagram, and pre-generated characters but the high resolution scans of Rob's original hand-drawn map and legend that go with it are only in the the Archive. However, you can purchase K1 Sunken City: First Print without any edition of the Archive and then purchase the Map Pack download. As more and more modules come out it will soon be apparent that the Archive represents quite the bargain! So far we have 5 modules in the line-up!
Q: Are there any sample files available to view/read to help know what they look like (and if they are even readable)?
A: Find below an image snippet of a map. Sample snippet from a scan of a map
Q: Are there any samples available to view/read the historical commentary, to see how much value that adds to the Standard Edition of the Archive?
A: The Basic Edition contains 50+ maps and some keys for about 40 adventures and dungeon levels, plus about 20,000 words of historical commentary
The Standard Edition contains all of that... PLUS about 50 more maps (including dozens of regional and area detail maps), dozens of original PCs and NPCs, campaign notes, 100+ magic items, timelines for both Greyhawk and Kalibruhn campaigns, historical documents, memoirs of game play, Rob's resume of work, several beautiful pieces of full-color artwork, plus an additional 20,000 words of historical commentary.
There is no difference in the commentary on the overlapping subject matter between the two editions, i.e., the adventures.
Q: Are any of the files complete adventures that can be run immediately, or will they require the DM to do additional work beyond reading the files?
A: Many of the adventures can be run from what is included on the Archive using Old School DM'ing, as Rob often wrote detailed keys but you won't find stat blocks for most monsters other than hit points. An example is included below.
Q: Do the scans include transcriptions?
A: No these are Rob's original hand-drawn maps and hand-written notes. However, a substantial amount of interesting details are written up in the commentary, and it is this commentary that is indexed and cross-linked. That is over 7,000 linked entries and 1,500 index entries. (See the reply to the above question for a sample of Rob's hand-written text.)
Q: What are PC/Mac program/system requirements to use the Archive contents?
A: The Archive is view-able with any reasonably modern Web Browser on any reasonably modern system (including Tablets, Smart Phones, Etc.). Some of the maps are quite large (76 MB, 7461x9185px, 300dpi) and could strain really old systems.
Q: How is fulfillment and shipping being managed.
A: Fulfillment and shipping are being handled by The Collector's Trove in the United States. The Collector's Trove has a very high reputation among collectors and provides quality packaging and quick shipping.
Q: How much is shipping to non-US destinations?
A: It would depend upon what was being purchased, but as an example: K1 Sunken City alone or the Basic or Standard Edition would cost $15.00 USD each, and the Deluxe and Collector's Editions would cost $25.00 USD each. The difference is based strictly on weight.
Q: Can the Archive files be printed?
A: Yes. The files can be printed, although Rob used color-coding on most of his maps, so printing them off in black and white will makes them difficult to read.
Q: Can the Archive files be moved off of the DVD/USB and stored on a computer?
A: Yes and this will actually speed up the performance of the Archive for most users. Instructions on how to do this are included on a technical sheet enclosed with each copy of the Archive.
Q: At what resolution are the documents scanned?
A: The original documents have been scanned at 300 dpi.
The DVD Archive contains 284 lines in the Table of Contents, but several of those are not content-related (legal, using the archive, credits, etc.), and there are several layers in the menu for navigation (some of which have introductory text associated with them, others of which don't). So, there are ~260 distinct pieces of content (that’s an estimate, I haven’t counted the individual content titles).
The Archive content is navigated through an .html interface with a cascading menu, or through the TOC which displays all of the menu levels (as if the cascading menus were all open). When a piece of content includes multiple pages of scans, the content is navigated through using small thumbnail images broken into paging groups (page 1 of thumbnails displays 4 thumbnail images, pag2 includes next 4, etc.). All of the pieces of content have at least a minimal text description, and some are quite substantive (8+ paragraphs long). Most are shorter, with 2-3 short paragraphs of descriptive text about the content. When a thumbnail is clicked on, the content’s scanned image opens below the thumbnails and content introductory text. You can click on the image to see it full-size as well. All of the content presented is in scanned form, whether it was originally a map, a handwritten key or notes page, or a typed or printed document. The Archive does not include any transcripts or OCR’d text. The content scans are quite good quality, and the .html interface itself is quick and easy to use (unlike the old Dragon Archive CD Archive).
The content itself includes a broad selection of content drawn primarily from Kuntz’s Greyhawk and Kalibruhn works, with a few pieces of content from the pre-D&D era (including Kuntz’s original write-up of his “City of the Gods” adventure summary from Oerth Journal #7). Much of the Greyhawk and Kalibruhn content includes maps (sometimes with keys, but more often without especially for the levels of Castle Greyhawk and El Raja Key). Most map/key content items are 2-4 pages long, but some are substantially longer: the Lost City of the Elders includes 68 content thumbnails for huge maps, handwritten manuscript keys/notes, typescript pages, and original artwork; the Kalibruhn Blackstar novel draft/notes are 17 pages long; the Greyhawk Pit of Geburah adventure (referenced in the original folio and boxed sets as an evil sleeping beneath the depths of the Drachensgrab Mountains) contains 41 pages of maps, manuscript and types keys/notes, pregen PCs, sketches, etc., in addition to its 2 page historical commentary introduction.
The K1 Sunken City adventure included with the Standard+ DVD Archive purchases is a short 4.5”x7.5” booklet. I’ve flipped through it, but not read it yet. It has a detached cover, is staple-bound, and is 40 pages long (the Deluxe and Collector printings of the Sunken City include an additional 1000 words or so). You need to use the maps from the Archive to run the adventure.
A word of warning/caveat to my impressions above: I've had access to most of the files and information in the DVD Archive for several years (and in some cases, decades), and I certainly think it's a great trove of information about Greyhawk, Kalibruhn, and Rob's many works over the years, but I don't know that I can really view it through "fresh" eyes. For example, among the 24 distinct levels/keys of Castle Greyhawk and El Raja Key presented in the archive, the only one that’s new to me is Castle Greyhawk’s Level 5 Sealed Tomb Level map, along with the CG-ERK levels’ mapping relationships (that Castle Greyhawk Core Level 03 Gem Room & Crypts was originally El Raja Key level 4, for example).
The Archive is indeed a treasure trove of gaming material and lore from the Greyhawk and Kalibruhn campaigns. There’s plenty of material in the Archive that a DM can pick up and run with, and plenty to inspire a DM in his own campaign building efforts (whether using Kalibruhn, Greyhawk, or his own homebrew setting). There’s also great historical context here for someone wanting to read the Archive alongside a book like Jon Peterson’s Playing at the World, as well as deep insight into the creative mind of Rob Kuntz, and his lasting (and continuing!) impact on the development of Dungeons & Dragons.
I hope that helps provide some additional context for folks who are interested in the Archive and my thoughts on it. I’ll likely write some more about the Sunken City adventure soon!
Post by scottenkainen on Nov 4, 2016 8:34:06 GMT -6
I too am having difficulty reviewing the contents (though not because I've already seen the material, in my case). There's not a lot of nuance to comment on. It's raw, it's unedited, it's a pure window into 1970's OD&D. If that is an appealing sentence to you, this product is for you. But if that doesn't set your mouth to salivating, I'm unsure what else would sell this product...