Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Maze of Peril at Noble Knight



     I noticed yesterday that Noble Knight Games now has Holmes' novel The Maze of Peril in stock (11 8 3 1 0 15 9 copies as of 11/26/12) for $9.95 plus shipping. NK presumably ordered these from the publisher, Space and Time in NY, who still sells copies of the original 1986 printing. S & T charges only $6.95 + $1.50 shipping, but requires a check or money order, so you may find it more convenient to order from NK, who take PayPal, credit cards, etc.

     If you are not familiar with the novel, it's a 150-page OD&D-ish adventure featuring the duo Boinger the Halfling and Zereth the Elf, who had earlier appeared in Holmes' three short stories for Dragon Magazine - though Maze of Peril is set earlier, as the pair meet for the  first time in the beginning.

A few reviews of the book:
Dragonsfoot review (2006) - by myself, points out the many similarities with Holmes Basic

     And here's the NK blurb:
     "To those with the courage and ability to survive, the maze pays equal tribute in its fabulous mysteries and treasures from countless civilizations. Now the Dagonites plot to keep these riches for themselves. Boinger the halfling and his companions must discover the Dagonite stronghold, challenge their warriors and wizards, rescue a friend, preserve the waterways of Amazonia, and maybe even save the world. [this portion is taken from the back cover of the book]

     Inspired by Dungeons & Dragons and written by Dr. John Eric Holmes who was the editor of the basic set blue book which is generally referred to as the "Holmes Basic" and is widely considered to be the best set of rules for introducing a new player to the original D&D rules. By his own words, Mr. Holmes stated that he was rather upset after reading the original small books from the first box set and he still had no idea how to play the game. Because of this he spoke with Gary Gygax and offered to rewrite the rules into a form that would be good for beginners and Gary readily agreed."

15 comments:

  1. I've emailed S&T a couple of times in the last few months, last time was a couple of weeks ago-no response. Are you sure they are still an ongoing business?

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    1. I'm not sure. Their website was last updated in 2007, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were to go out of business and not update the site. Perhaps you could contact Aaron at NK and see if he ordered recently from them.

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    2. Also, I believe Tavis at the Mules Abides had lunch with the publisher a few years ago when he picked up his copy - he might be able to find out if they are still in business. The publisher's name is Gordon Linzner, who also had some fantasy short stories published in Dragon in the 80's.

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    3. At the time Gordon had a warehouse worth of old stock. I think Space & Time has entered a stage of dormancy where, like Sea Monkeys, they are able to survive over long periods of drought; I'd go ahead and place an order even if they don't respond to emails.

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  2. I ordered the book about 4 months ago and sent them a check and received the book within about a week or so. As of several months ago they were still in business. The book is very entertaining and I highly recommend it if you are a fan of Holmes and want to get a peak at what some of his games were like.

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    1. Thanks for the info, Dan. I agree with your review. Boinger and Zereth were some of the very first D&D characters created by Chris Holmes, so I imagine some of the incidents from the book come straight from their games.

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    2. Yeah, it does kind of read like a session recap rather than a novel, though if that's the case, I imagine he re-wrote or added parts of it after the fact. His world and setting is very Swords and Sorcery and some would even describe it as Gonzo in some regards and its clear that he had a light hearted sense of humor as well as parts of it are very comical.

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  3. Some fun trivia about physical characteristics of The Maze of Peril:

    It's digest-size and fits comfortably in an OD&D Whitebox with the LBBs.

    It has a monochrome blue cover, almost the same color as the Basic Set rulebook (aka the Blue Book).

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  4. Done and done. I went the NK route. Thanks for posting about this.

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  5. I got a copy from Space and Time Books last year, using the email address glinzner at hotmail dot com

    The book is an enjoyable read. It's very OD&D-ish.

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  6. FYI, Maze of Peril is back in stock at NK. 15 copies @9.95 each.

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