Old-School Awesomeness – What I Found at a Flea Market

About two years ago, I got back into tabletop RPGs after a hiatus that was far too long. My resurgent interest in gaming also coincided with my wife and I realizing that we loved garage sales, antique stores and flea markets. Because I game a lot, I always look for things I can use in a game when we’re at these types of sales. Usually, I find things I think I could use as props, and mostly for games that are genres other than fantasy. Of course, I always looked for RPG books, but I rarely, if ever, found anything.

Until recently…

When poking around a flea market recently, my wife spotted the D&D 4e Martial Power book. I bought it because, why not? I got to talking with one of the owners, and it turns out the book had been hers. She also told me that they both had a request list and that she was trying to get her husband to get rid of some old D&D books that were in their basement. So, I put down my info and, a few days later, she called me to say they were on the shelves. I drove up and took a look at them. Whooo buddy! Let me show you what I brought home, all for $60.

As an aside: As I’m writing this article, I’m looking some of these up because my old-school module/book knowledge is woefully thin. So, you can thank this Wikipedia page for any info I drop on you in this post.

B1: In Search of the Unknown

This one starts everything off. In fact, it was originally included with the D&D Basic Set as an aide to help new DMs design dungeons.

C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan

This one is apparently on of the Top 30 D&D Adventures of All Time. Neat!

C1: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan - Alt Cover

I’ve got an updated printing of it as well.

C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness

This one also features in the Top 30… all three copies!

D1: Descent Into the Depths of the Earth

The first of the Drow Series. This series was preceded by the G series (Against the Giants, etc) and concludes with Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits. You’ll see some of those in a bit.

D2: Shrine of the Kua-Toa

Case in point.

D3: Vault of the Drow

And, finishing up the D series. We’ll see more from this overall arc later.

EX2: The Land Beyond the Magic Mirror

Part of the Extension set. You can actually download this one from WotC.

G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

The first of the Against the Giants series. Sadly, I only have this first one, not G2 and G3.

I3: Pharaoh

The first of the Desert of Desolation series. The three adventure combined make the Top 30 list as well.

I4: Oasis of the White Palm

The second of the Desert of Desolation series.

I5: Lost Tomb of Martek

And this wraps up the adventure series ranked 6th greatest of all time.

L1: The Secret of Bone Hill

Another adventure for Greyhawk. Apparently this was supposed to be the first of a set of five, but only the first three were published.

N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God

Another Greyhawk entry. Also, ranked in the Top 30.

Q1: Queen of the Demonweb Pits

A fantastic adventure. The setting for this adventure was revisited in Expedition to the Demonweb Pits for D&D 3.5.

U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh

The first of a linked set. This first one is also in the Top 30.

U2: Danger at Dunwater

The second in the series. Also, has nothing to do with the band of the same name.

U3: The Final Enemy

U3 caps off the underwater series.

X1: Isle of Dread

This one is for OD&D, and I actually owned a copy of this adventure before I bought this lot. However, my Blue Box Expert Set has been lost to time. But now, I have two new (old) copies! Another Top 30 entrant.

M1: Blizzard Pass

Not only another OD&D adventure, but also a solo adventure and one that uses invisible ink(!).

DL1: Dragons of Despair

The first adventure for the Dragonlance setting, which I fell in love with thanks to the novels, which I read when I was in 5th grade. Yet another Top 30 adventure. (This guy had good taste!)

OA1: Swords of the Daimyo

This one actually has three adventures inside, the first of which introduces characters to the setting, and the last two of which are designed for OA characters.

The Rogues Gallery

We move away from the adventures (almost) and to the books. This one provides a bunch of pre-generated NPCs for your DMing needs.

The Monstrous Compendium, Vol 1

An awesome AD&D supplement. And I got two of them. One of them also has the binder pages for the Monstrous Compendium, Vol 2.

Monstrous Compendium, Vol 2

A bit water-damaged, but still very useable.

Deities & Demigods

Sadly, not a first printing, so there’s no Cthulhu Mythos inside. Given all that I did get, I can’t complain, though.

Monster Manual II

More monster goodness. I love these hardback books.

Fiend Folio

The original. I think that’s a Gith of some kind on the front. Can anyone confirm that?

Tomb of Horrors - Photocopy

I wish this were the real deal. Still, it’s a testament to the spirit of old-school gaming. Also, WotC, please don’t sue me.

The Temple of Elemental Evil!

This one about made my jaw drop when I saw it in the stack. I did, however, keep a straight face. I saved the dancing for when I got home, as well.

ToEE Map Folio

And, the map folio that comes with Temple of Elemental Evil. It’s easy to lose this things, so I’m glad it was included.

Third Party Supplements and Dragon Magazine

Lastly, we’ve got some miscellaneous third party books, plus a Dragon Magazine that includes collectible AD&D trading cards (all intact).

The Whole Kit + Kaboodle

As the caption says, that is everything, pretty much how I saw it in the flea market.

I am unbelievably lucky to have found all of those items, especially for the price I paid. Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to look closely at most of them, so if any readers have information to share about these books, including anecdotes of adventures, etc, please, please do so in the comments. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I have some books to read.

9 thoughts on “Old-School Awesomeness – What I Found at a Flea Market

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  1. That’s a very old copy of the Lost Shrine of Tamoachan, it might even be worth what you paid for the lot– depends on the condition and if it’s what I’m thinking.

    Did you get a good marker for Blizzard Pass, because that’s the important part of that module. 😀

    That’s a githyanki on the cover of the Fiend Folio. I might have a copy of Tomb of Horrors I’d be willing to trade. Let me know.



  2. @Ben: We might be able to work something out. Shoot me an email and we’ll see what we can do.

    @thisledownjohn: You didn’t see the flea market. They had a Dire Baby of Cuteness there! I almost had to flee. (Heh, flee market).

    @Lugh: Yeah, I was more than a bit amazed at all of it. Still am, really.


  3. Ha! I just had to run downstairs and check my stash to make that wasn’t my stuff you bought – a lot of the stuff you’ve got listed looked WAAAY too familiar.

    Seeing the “orange bar across the top” modules called “old-school” really made me feel extra old because the still feel like the shiny new versions to me. Oh how quaint the “edition wars” were back then …

    Love seeing G1/2/3 split out separately.


  4. That is amazing! I have dreams of finding things like that at garage sales and flea markets. Generally I end up with lemon-aid or bad hot dogs though.


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