S&W White Box History?

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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby The Wanderer » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:24 am

Good information on some of those. Thank you! But Damn it sucks reading them too. The way S&W WB has been treated for so long is aggravating and I'm being polite.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby Shadow Demon » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:11 pm

It is interesting that WB and Core were very close though the 3rd printing of Core. The 4th printing of Core was essentially a subset of the 1st printing of Complete. In retrospect, I find these first Core printings to be mediocre while the WB printing has become the foundation for something better. Honestly. I don't really see much need for Core at this point.

I think that this thread gives the gist of the history of S&W WB. Matt never had any interest in it and without Marv it never would have happen. It really needed a new steward separate from S&W which is why it was awesome that Charlie came along.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby The Wanderer » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:51 am

This game was handled so poorly, I sincerely hope I can do it justice in the way it deserves. Its probably why I constantly ask everyone for input. Make sure I do it right or as close to it as I can.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby Mach Front » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:57 am

The Wanderer wrote:Novermber 25, 2010. A third printing is published by Brave Halfling and on the same day; a third printing is published by Mythmere Games.

-Note: I think this was around the time when there was some conflict between Brave Halfling, Mythmere and Marv Breig; that caused Brave Halfling to drop WhiteBox and create Delving Deeper and Marv Breig left the game completely. Looking at the second and third printings, it looks like maybe the dust up was caused by the Byline and the Copyright?

And that is basically the end of it. Nothing has changed since November 25, 2010.


I do not (indeed no one except Marv, Matt and John of BHP) have access to all the details, however some things were made public or otherwise said 'in the clear' and I recall the gist of all of it.

After Mythmere Games granted publishing rights for WB to BHP, the game was further beefed up and made a smidge closer to OD&D and a bit more text was added and edited.
During the time of the BHP second print myself and others were proofreading and comparing WB to the OD&D 3LBBs, making suggestions and so on in an effort to bring it even closer while still remaining S&W:WB.

The BHP third print was finally made available in Nov of '10. Something on the order of a month later is when things blew up.
All the changes to WB were made without Marv Breig being involved or contacted, etc. He took exception to the changes...not for their content and purpose but that he understood WB was authored by him and BHP only controlled publishing/distribution, etc.
He was a bit angry but cooled down soon after.
A civil discussion and agreement was made between Marv, Matt and John.

The result of this was that (John, wanting to have a game he and BHP could control) BHP let go of WB and made the announcement that after the existing boxed sets were sold and shipped the plug would be pulled on the Lulu POD options for third print as well. Therefore only approx. two or three months after it was released, the BHP Third Print was no more.
Also, Mythmere Games now controlled WB again. Of course, Matt didn't really have any stake in WB and asked the forum if efforts should be made for a home for WB to be found (and, of course the difficulties of this and what might come of it was fresh in everyone's mind) or it if should be given one final proofing/editing pass and be left alone and left to the fans as an 'evergreen' product.
A poll was put on the forum and the latter option was chosen.

Some time in spring of 2011 the new Mythmere Games version of WB was released, oddly still called Third Print and with the BHP release date (November 25 2010) still on the inside. :?:
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby The Wanderer » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:38 am

Man, John (Brave Halfling) should have just changed the name and kept doing what he was doing. In fact, he could have just taken the game and called it Delving Deeper rather than starting from scratch. Marv could have done the same thing to keep his game.

Yes, neither would have the Swords & Wizardry name but I suppose that is the power of a name. That 2 people (Marv & John) would let it go without the S&W name.

That is really interesting about the S&W 3rd print not being released until 2011 but with the dates of BH 3rd printing. Thank you for that detail. Even more just boggles my mind How sloppily the "evergreen" product was put together.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby The Wanderer » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:44 am

I would like to know what leaving it to the fans means? Was that discussed at all back then?

Also I wonder if folks would have voted differently if they knew what the final printing would be like.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby Mach Front » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:58 am

I suppose I can't say what John's reasoning at the time. I suppose he wanted full control to the extent he didn't even wish to fool with complying even with the S&W's OGL details and wanted to distance himself from it enough that his company's game would really be his company's game. I dunno. But, that fell through as well since Delving Deeper is now the baby of Simon Bull and his...umm...I can't recall the name of his company. Anyway.

Marv is a great guy (he runs both the ODD74 and the Trollbridge (the GREATEST Tunnels & Trolls forum EVER!). But, he never seemed like even he cared to have to much to do with WB actually. In fact, despite the fact that S&W in general wasn't intended to be as near a clone of OD&D as LL is to B/X (more "spirit" than exacting interpretations of rules, as such is rather more difficult with OD&D than it is with likes of, again, B/X), Marv didn't dare to make the "spirit of 3LBB OD&D" as he himself ran things. That is to say: Marv likes his 3LBB OD&D with a 'white box-y' thief and some Greyhawk spells, monsters and treasure. Indeed his "payment" for WB was that he wanted his own free hard copy of the rule book. :|
Considering the intent of S&W, I'd have preferred he ran with that. Honestly, IMO, I'd imagine what would have come of that would be what WB:FMAG is/will be.

For my own part (not that it's much), had I known Marv wasn't aware and wasn't a part of it, I'd have pushed to make it so and would have communicated with him directly in fact. He and I had a lil bit of back and forth at least on the Trollbridge as I was a massively prolific poster there.

I'll never understand why Matt made so many changes (both in keeping more with OD&D and S&W as a 'thing' as well as more art and a very different layout) and didn't bother with noting it was a wholly different printing with a completely separate print date. :?: ...and why in the world he was 'finalizing' it without finding someone who could do better layout in general. Jessie/Verhaden had done layout over the year or two BHP had it and though it was slim with art, it still looked wonderful. I wish Matt had gone to him to work on it one last time. And the nonsense with that cover. Ugh. And knowing you were going to leave it alone for years...indeed...for forever? Huh? There are a number of fans who would likely have taken the time to help and grant their skills, but Matt didn't even reach out. Confusing then. Confusing now.

As to "leaving it to the fans"...
There had been years-long discussion/subject concerning old-school D&D in general in various hot-spots (forums, blogs, etc) that it was a shame old-school D&D wasn't "evergreen". That is to say similar to a game like Monopoly. It's released and, outside of corrections, never messed with again and always available.
Now (or rather, then), with clones, it was possible to do precisely that.
Since Matt seemingly didn't want to actively support WB and knowing it had a solid fan base as these things go and knowing (at least 'spirit' of) 3LBB OD&D deserved a clone...is why he asked. My opinion...but..it seemed at the time what answer he wanted. Which is what became.
I cannot recall the poll results except the remark that WB being left alone, left to the fans, not supported, done, finished, forever available 'as is' and 'evergreen' won by a solid or wide margin. I recall voting against it and being surprised by the results. However, as I alluded to earlier that may have been a product of folks' feelings due to WB going through the wringer in the weeks preceding and people didn't wish any type of color of repeat of such. I'm not sure. Hindsight seems to hint at it, but that's merely a wild guess.
I'd bet that had it been known at the time (as I worried about) the layout and art and presentation in general would suffer (after all, Matt admitted he didn't possess pro software or knowledge in the doing) and that mistakes in the tables and still-remaining errata would also be 'evergreen' and art not being full 300dpi or whatever the reason for pixelation in the art within and the excellent Mullen art presented in an unfortunate fashion that that would not at all be what folks who wanted an 'evergreen' product would have wanted or be satisfied with. Enough to change the early 2011 S&W forum poll results? I absolutely cannot say.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby geordie racer » Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:46 pm

The Wanderer wrote:I would like to know what leaving it to the fans means? Was that discussed at all back then?

The ability to remix and republish, rather than just supporting though supplements and adventures, if I remember correctly. Matt actually posted a thread a while later asking 'well, what have you done with it ?'

The Wanderer wrote:Also I wonder if folks would have voted differently if they knew what the final printing would be like.

Yes, I wanted to have an errata-free book that could serve as a solid benchmark for riffing off. WB had been aimed at the tinkerers who could homebrew setting and houserules, in contrast to Core -the official game for conventions and published modules. I believed that if we voted to 'give' it to another publisher they'd try to chase sales by expanding it (classes, races, extensive domain rules etc in the rulebook itself rather than as supplements) rather than it being an iconic product.
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby The Wanderer » Sat Feb 25, 2017 1:18 am

I think the updated book, I'll be releasing soon will be the final version that I will do for awhile. Of course I will still do updates to fix errata.

And I confirmed some things today. So I'll go ahead and tell you folks. The name going forward will be:

The White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventures
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Re: S&W White Box History?

Postby foxroe » Sat Feb 25, 2017 4:08 am

The Wanderer wrote:I think the updated book, I'll be releasing soon will be the final version that I will do for awhile. Of course I will still do updates to fix errata.

And I confirmed some things today. So I'll go ahead and tell you folks. The name going forward will be:

The White Box: Fantastic Medieval Adventures

Just out of curiosity, why "The", and why drop "Game"?
Also, how beholden to the license would you be if you changed "White Box" to "Whitebox"?
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