TLB Games was founded in association with Three Line Studio to produce the El Raja Key Archive. This DVD contains a treasury of high resolution images of materials from the collection of game designer Rob Kuntz. Rob was there when Dungeons & Dragons was created and served for years as Gary Gygax's own Dungeon Master as well as his co-DM for the Original Greyhawk Campaign. Now you have the opportunity of a lifetime to peek behind the veil of history to play and discover what it was like in those early days of D&D through the artifacts of time.
Contained within the Archive are over 1,000 high resolution scans of adventures, maps and keys, campaign notes, character sheets, and manuscripts from the Original Greyhawk, Kalibruhn, and Blackmoor Campaigns. That's right, from the very creation of Dungeons & Dragons!
Includes all maps & some keys for Rob's Castle El Raja Key, the dungeons where Gary Gygax cut his teeth as Mordenkainen; Rob's manuscript for his lost Dungeons & Dragons Supplement V: Kalibruhn; maps, keys, and notes for over 40 adventures from the Original Greyhawk and Kalibruhn Campaigns including, maps & some keys for 16 of Rob's Original Greyhawk Castle levels, the map for the first ever D&D demo, the Machine Level, at GenCon VII in 1974, and the map for the first ever D&D tournament, Sunken City, and notes, NPC cards, and adventure maps and keys for the Original City of Greyhawk!
These products are a presentation of original historical materials of game play from 1971 and later.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons®, Dungeons & Dragons®, AD&D®, D&D®, RPGA®, World of Greyhawk®, Greyhawk®, and Mordenkainen are registered trademarks or copyrighted names of Wizards of the Coast® and are used only in relation to the author's historical association with those terms. The use of these terms owned by Wizards of the Coast® are for historical purposes under fair-use and make no claim to IP ownership.
All copyright notices, dated 1971-2016, refer to the personal IP of Robert J. Kuntz and are not challenges to Wizards of the Coast's® copyrights or trademarks.
The El Raja Key Archive is an interactive, searchable, fully indexed, virtual museum of roleplaying game artifacts from the dawn of the Dungeons & Dragons game! Along with the high resolution images of these treasures is extensive historical commentary that is fully linked to our searchable index. The El Raja Key Archive uses your internet browser interface to navigate just like surfing the 'net. It can be used on virtually any computer that has a internet browser and a DVD drive (or optionally, a USB port).
In addition to the El Raja Key Archive, TLB Games also publishes Three Little Books Adventures, a line of smaller than digest-sized, "Little" adventure booklets that provide essential companion material for the complete, partial, and incomplete adventures found on the El Raja Key Archive DVD. However, since the full-color and sometimes quite large maps are on the Archive DVD, the modules themselves are more economical in size and cost.
These savings allow us to print our Three Little Books Adventures with an old-school, offset printer that matches the quality, look, and feel of the classic TSR Hobbies adventure modules. Like Patch Press in Beloit, Wisconsin, that printed TSR's products, our printer, Print Co., is a family owned business and our print-man, Troy Reding, is the son of the founder. Like the Patch brothers, Fran and Bryce, he sweats press oil and print-ink runs through his veins.
As Troy led me through the building we passed through a dim little room with what looked like five photocopiers placed end-to-end. There wasn't anyone in this room. He said that was their digital press, the kind print-on-demand websites use to cheaply produce a pile of booklets or one or two at a time when ordered.
Then we walked into the press-room where dozens and dozens of workers, were color proofing, loading, unloading, and inking plates, moving massive rolls of paper with fork-lifts, running printing presses, collating and cutting machines, packaging up orders on pallets, and buzzing happily around the brightly lit room. The place smelled of machine oil and printing ink. This! This was the sort of place to have our old-school modules printed!
Gary Gygax insisted on quality with TSR modules and hardcover rulebooks and it showed. Gary knew this cut into the profit margin but he felt it was essential to make gaming aids durable and able to stand up to years of heavy usage—it was a matter of pride in workmanship—like Gary's own work as a humble cobbler.
Sadly, as Gary lost influence and eventually the company itself, the quality of TSR's product declined to the point where the quality of TSR's products were the butt of many a joke. The ones produced under Gary's watch were built to last. Indeed, if any one roleplaying game rulebook could survive the nuclear holocaust we all feared in the eighties it would be the Dungeon Master Guide!
TLB Games is with Gary on this 100% and with Rob Kuntz writing our adventures you will get quality old-school product inside and out!
Troy, showing us the machine producing the interiors of our modules.
When talking to my friend, legendary artist Dave Sutherland III, before his death in 2005, he was describing going down to Patch Press to oversee the production of TSR adventure modules. He said the place was humming with activity and they were producing the booklets and covers on a massive offset printing press. He said with awe, "Heidelberg Speedmaster—German—so fast and scary, like a giant gray train, thundering along."
Imagine how pleased we were when Troy, our print-man, showed us the machine that was churning along like a high speed train, producing the covers of our TLB Games adventure modules—a Heidelberg Speedmaster!
The Speedmaster was printing our sturdy card stock outer covers, which, in addition to their beautiful art and graphics front and back, are separate and can stand up on their own to be used as an old school dice shield or to hide an open module booklet or a notebook for DM notes
Heck, even our TLB Games logo is old-school! Drawn by the late Jim Roslof in 1980 as a freelance submission, it was rejected by TSR and buried in Jim's personal files for the next 36 years. It was recently rescued from obscurity, re-inked by Tomas Prulberg out of Germany, and, with the purchase of the rights from the Roslof estate, symbolizes a return to Old School gaming for the next generation.
As we unloaded our first boxes of modules from the tailgate of our truck, we couldn't help but feel connected to the cobbler, his best friend, and the kid he had taken under his wing as they unloaded boxes from the tailgate of a station wagon some 40 plus years ago; boxes containing a game that would change the world with Three Little Books...