Friday, September 6, 2019

Palace of the Silver Princess

One of the rarest of published D&D items is the first print run of the Palace of the Silver Princess, possibly due to the racy illustrations inside, although others said it was due to  illustrations by artist Erol Ortus that transformed monsters called "ubues" into hermaphrodites with the heads of TSR staff and other illustrations incorporating the like of Gary Gygax.   Be that as it may, Jean Wells, original author of the adventure, says she objected to the illustration but was overruled as management said it was too late to reprint. However, by the time the printed adventure arrived, upper management changed its mind. Some 5000-10000 warehoused copies were dumped in the Lake Geneva landfill and TSR recalled as many shipped copies as possible.

The adventure was rewritten by Tom Moldvay, using standard D&D monsters, instead of the new ones Wells had created, and reissued the book with new art and a green cover, instead of the previous orange cover. However, save for the setting, little remained of Wells' original work and the original content is viewed as mild by today's standards. The Moldvay and Wells' version is comparatively common, selling for $15 to $30. However,  roughly 100 copies of the "orange cover" exist and have sold for over $3000 at auction.

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