Wednesday, July 16, 2014
TSR's response to Warlock
Guy Fullerton recently posted this early TSR advertisement on the Acaeum. It's from the back cover of the Spartan Simulation Gaming Journal, issue #10, August 1976. The ad looks like another iteration of the earliest D&D ad (posted on the Playing at the World blog) being identical to the 5th version that Jon posted, except for the addition of a Lizard Logo at the bottom, and a change from "VISIT A WORLD OF" to "TRY THE REAL THING!". As followers of this blog may remember, most of the the prior issue of Spartan was taken up with one of the earliest non-TSR D&D supplements, WARLOCK or how to play D&D without playing D&D. So it seems that TSR's reaction to the competition was to place this prominent ad on the back cover (the prior issue didn't even have an ad in this location) touting the genuine article.
Guy also reports on the Acaeum something else that I have never seen mentioned anywhere - issue #10 also has errata for the original Warlock, specifically a page detailing the Thievish Abilities table, which was missing from the article in issue #9. Warlock gives Thieves a lists of abilities to choose from, organized by level like spells. There's a full table in the later Complete Warlock (1978), but it was missing from the original article, so it's good to learn that it was actually published.
As an aside, Spartan was published by Balboa Game Company, which also published the Complete Warlock. Balboa was associated with The War House in Long Beach, CA, which is still in existence, possibly with the same owner as back then (Steve Lucky). See the comments to this post. There is a combined advertisement for Balboa Game and The War House on the back of my copy of the Complete Warlock.