About a year and a half ago, I tried...in vain, I might add...to acquire the Wilderlands of High Fantasy boxed set that Judges Guild and Necromancer Games put out in 2005. There was a copy selling for a (then) low price of $300ish dollars.
Then, I went so far as to put my Magic collection up for trade to an interested person who might buy the boxed set. Everywhere else still had the thing at over $1k, so this was a great deal. Sadly, I was unsuccessful at that venture.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, when, as I was selling cards on eBay for the shop, I decided to do a quick search of D&D products and found a copy of the boxed set that the seller had listed in fairly poor condition for a little over $120. This is still a product that can fetch over $500, and does...regularly.
I spent over 3 days thinking about buying the thing, sending off a couple of questions to the seller and getting fairly curt, vague replies to each message. This didn't make me feel too good, as I was led to believe that only one of the books was included, or that the second book was pretty much trashed, but I knew all the maps were included, and that was really the reason that made me finally look back into it.
To my surprise, the item had been relisted for about $5 cheaper, so I hit "Buy it Now." Six days later, I took it from my mail lady, pretty much thinking I was an idiot for buying something I was sure was in shit condition. Boy, was I ever relieved when I opened it up to find a product that's damn near mint. Only the box, which has some shelf wear, shows any signs of it having been used before I owned it.
All that is awesome, and it's more than I could've asked for. I'm super happy with the purchase, and I didn't really know what to expect when I got it. I had heard what the product was like, but I hadn't seen it personally before, even in pdf. This boxed set really is as awesome as everyone says, and I highly recommend it to anyone who appreciates fantasy (gaming or not), or the "old school" styles of play, especially sandbox.
Now, I've already spoken quite a bit about this already, but the whole point of the post (other than nerdgasming via blog,) was to talk a little about sandboxing...
Being a fan of quite a few of the "Old School" rpg bloggers here on the webbernets, I had been intrigued with sandbox-style gaming using editions of D&D outside of the norm for the playstyle, namely D&D 3.x. The version of Wilderlands I own was written for 3.x, but everyone I have read about that uses it does so under OSRIC, OD&D, BASIC Fantasy, or some other retro-clone.
I've not really done alot of things with the style, but I know the basics. All the bloggers I read do this stuff in their sleep, and they've given me a wealth of information to work with.
What experience I do have comes from a game I ran last summer that lasted a total of 5 sessions, in which the players did a little bit of exploration in the Caves of Chaos and the surrounding area. I was just getting my feet wet when we quit that, but I since nabbing the Wilderlands box, I've been wanting to do something with it.
I've been tossing around the idea of running Wilderlands using the Pathfinder rules set, which has gotten a little bit of interest from a few people. I'm rambling about this. Kicking it around. Wondering if anyone reads this and has thoughts. More on it from me at a later time.