Fleamarket Special: Here There Be Dungeons & Dragons

It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve stumbled over roleplaying books at fleamarkets before. The most interesting find was probably stumbling over a handful of books in near mint condition for the anime-inspired roleplaying game Exalted a while back, which is a bit of a niche setting. Not a setting I really have any interest in myself, but of course I got the books anyway. You never know.

I’ve only been to the fleamarket at Østerås church once before, but I like it. Their selection isn’t the best, but the prices are low, the people working there are usually friendly, and they will apparently start giving things away at the very end as it’ll otherwise just be recycled or thrown. (I actually had to dodge a fleamarket person who wanted to give me free stuff; she was trying to give me a plastic bag for me to load up with whatever I wanted, but I had to run off to secure and carry the stuff I’d already purchased.) Plus, during both of my visits there I found some gems! Last time it was the rare promotional Rocky Horror Show CD, and this time it was two boxes filled with Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying books!

I got them for a total of 50 kroner (think of it as 5 USD or 5 GBP) five minutes before they were closing. The other shoppers there were mostly elderly people with little interest in dragon slaying or dungeon crawling. I guess I could have gotten them for free if I’d waited for those five extra minutes. Not that I minded much.

I’m very curious where all these came from. It’s a pretty substantial collection of books, and I’d think a normal high schooler wouldn’t be able to afford all of these on his (or her) own; I had a roleplaying group back in the day myself, and our collection of books certainly couldn’t have compared to this. The selection is also somewhat eclectic, with both AD&D and AD&D 2nd edition books, and with modules and resource books related to several different settings (Dark Sun, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, and Ravenloft). There are also a few double copies in here. Was it just a local gang of roleplayers who had all pooled their books together and they ended up being stored and forgotten about in one of their parents’ garages? Or did one of them have wealthy parents who bought roleplaying books for them willy-nilly? Or perhaps the church actually organized gaming sessions for the local youth, and had a running budget for these books? (So books were maybe also purchased willy-nilly by the church’s staff, and kids would occasionally borrow the books, or forget their own books at the church.) Or maybe they belonged to a collector of these books who had accumulated them from fleamarkets through the years, and now had lost interest, passed away, or was getting rid of the excess? I have no idea, and I can only speculate.

Some of these books I might actually use in the not-too-distant future. In particular The Complete Book of Humanoids and The Complete Book of Elves (even though I bloody hate elves), which are potentially useful for any AD&D game regardless of world. But the large majority of these I will most likely never use. Still, it’s nice to have the option, and it’s fun to browse through the books, looking at the art and picking up on tidbits of useless (but perhaps inspiring) lore. If I hadn’t bought them, the collection could have gotten recycled and destroyed, which would have been a real shame. But space is becoming an increasingly rare commodity these days, and roleplaying books do require a decent amount of it. Especially boxes of them, like these.

I’ve gone through the collection, and you’ll find a list of all the books below – followed by pictures. Many of them are in surprisingly good condition, such as the Dungeons of Mystery accessory which appears to be completely unused. Some of them are in less good condition, with a few scribbles from whatever kids or teenagers first owned them, and they may even be missing a few accessories. As I’m not super familiar with all the items it’s hard to say what they should contain, but I did find that the Dark Sun box set was unfortunately missing a couple of things. There are also a few items I’m not quite sure where belong too (mostly maps), which you’ll see some pictures of towards the end of this post. Any help to place them would be much appreciated.

Dungeons & Dragons

  • Against the Giants (9058)
  • The Complete Book of Elves (2131)
  • The Complete Book of Humanoids (2135)
  • The Complete Wizard’s Handbook (2115)
  • Creative Campaigning (2133)
  • Dungeon Masters Adventure Log (9036)
  • Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide (2019)
  • Dungeons of Mystery (9365)
  • The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror (9073)
  • Legends & Lore (2108)
  • The Lost Island of Castanamir (9110)
  • Manual of the Planes (2022)
  • Monster Manual (2009)
  • Monster Manual (2009) [These two books have the same content and the same number, but different cover artwork.]
  • Oasis of the White Palm (9053)
  • Oriental Adventures (2018)
  • Player’s Handbook (2101) x 2
  • Queen of the Demonweb Pits (9035)
  • The Temple of Elemental Evil (9147)
  • Tomb of Horror (9022)
  • Unearthed Arcana (2017)
  • Vault of the Drow (9021)

Dark Sun

  • Arcane Shadows (2410)
  • Asticlian Gambit (2412)
  • City-State of Tyr (2420)
  • Dark Sun Boxed Set (2400)
  • Dragon Kings (2408)
  • Dragon’s Crown (2416)
  • Dune Trader (2407)
  • Earth, Air, Fire, and Water (2422)
  • Freedom (2401)
  • Slave Tribes (2404)
  • Valley of Dust and Fire (2413)
  • Veiled Alliance (2411)

Dragonlance

  • The Atlas of the Dragonlance World (8448)
  • Dragonlance Adventures (2021)
  • Dragons of Despair (9130)
  • Dragons of Dreams (9142)
  • Dragons of Flame (9132)
  • Dragons of Hope (9131)
  • Dragons of Triumph (9180)
  • Tales of the Lance (1074)

Forgotten Realms

  • The Drow of the Underdark (9326) x 2

Greyhawk

  • Border Watch (9406)
  • The City of Greyhawk (1043)
  • Falconmaster (9289)
  • From the Ashes (1064)
  • Greyhawk Adventures (2023)
  • Greyhawk Ruins (9292)
  • Vale of the Mage (9270)
  • World of Greyhawk (1015)

Ravenloft

  • House of Strahd (9418)
  • Islands of Terror (9348)
  • Night of the Walking Dead (9352)
  • Ravenloft (9075) x 2
  • Ship of Horror (9321)
  • Thoughts of Darkness (9364) x 2
  • Touch of Death (9338)
  • Van Richten’s Guide to Ghosts (9355)
  • Van Richten’s Guide to Vampires (9345)
  • Van Richten’s Guide to the Lich (9412)

Miscellaneous

  • The Best of White Dwarf Scenarios Volume II
  • Demons Game Master’s Book
  • Dungeon September/October 1988
  • Middle-Earth Adventure Guidebook I (ME2200)

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Two copies of the Ravenloft (9075) book, but both contained within the same cover.

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Unknown map. Appears to be from Ravenloft.

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No batch of used roleplaying books would be complete without some pencilled in character sheets and handwritten notes.

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Research seems to indicate that this print is from the Ravenloft: Realm of Terror box set.

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A Ravenloft map and a transparent Ravenloft grid sheet. Guessing they’re both from the main box set. Too bad the actual main books from the box set weren’t here.

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The Middle-Earth Adventure Guidebook I appears to have been marked with a wax seal.

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… and it appears to be an L.

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A Dark Sun booklet and some character prints (with stats and backgrounds on the book). No idea where these belong.

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Unknown map.

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Unknown map.

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Two unknown Dragonlance maps.

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Unknown map.

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Someone wrote “cry!” on it.

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Some dice that were in one of the boxes.

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One Response to Fleamarket Special: Here There Be Dungeons & Dragons

  1. Andy Begin says:

    I’m interested in all of your Greyhawk material including the unknown map of 8 sheets which is a City of Greyhawk’s map. I would be interested in the Ravenloft adventures (Touch of death, Ship of horror, Night of the walking dead, Thoughts of darkness and House of Strahd) By the way, the Ravenloft maps come from the Ravenloft box set (which you don’t seem to have) Contact me if you still have them and are willing to sell. I’m hoping for a cheap price cause shipping will be very expensive. I’m in Canada and kroner is Danish money…

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