Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Premium Boxed Set of My Very Own

I can't believe I've neglected to post about this until now.

Last autumn, as I was recuperating from my brush with death, I stumbled across (or, perhaps, was narcotically guided to) a remarkable listing on eBay. I honestly don't remember what I was searching for, but this listing almost certainly had none of what I'd originally intended to find. What it had instead was a beat-up copy of a later printing of the 1e Players Handbook and three BECMI modules from the "CMI" end of the line (I think one was an actual Immortals adventure!) - I held onto the PHB, since I didn't own one, but the modules have since been traded away. What really caught my eye, however, was that all these books came contained in a handmade wooden box, a box that could only have been constructed for that purpose. For reasons that will soon become obvious, I pounced on the listing and, a couple weeks later, it arrived.

What I found, dear readers, was the new crown jewel in my slowly-expanding collection of gamer folk art. As I said, this box was clearly custom-built to hold gaming books - the dimensions fit a TSR hardback perfectly. Nicely, I found that the depth of the box is precisely enough to contain my collection of B/X material: the original Basic and Expert rulebooks, the B/X Companion and Complete B/X Adventurer supplements from Running Beagle, modules B2, B3, and X1, and Stonehell.

But what really knocks this out of the park is the box top. Burned into the wood (perhaps with an official woodburning kit?) is a homemade "Dungeons & Dragons" logo, complete with a sword, lightning bolts, and malevolent eyes staring out:

Open the lid and it gets better, for the unnamed artist (we have only their initials, "J.H.") has inscribed a scene of epic conflict between...uh, I'm guessing a barbarian or perhaps a dwarf berserker and a wyvern? Rock!

Like I said, all my B/X materials fit into the box snugly, probably with room for one or two more books (Stonehell Volume 2?) to spare. So when WotC put out their premium reissue of the OD&D boxed set, I hardly batted an eyelash. Thanks to the efforts of J.H. and a kindly eBayer, I had a premium boxed set of my very own (and for far less money!).

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