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Collecting Highlights Archives Past issues of the Collecting Highlights column for Anne McCaffrey Fans. Posts are open for reply, so feel free to add a comment about what you own or would like to!

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Old Oct 5 2007, 05:01 PM   #1
Hans
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Default Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Long time, no Collecting Highlight. I do apologise for the lack of them but I, no all three of us, have been extremely busy and still are. However, I need to put this one under my belt since Becky has already done her #58, so… The fifty-seventh Collecting Highlight should be mine anyway because the number holds special significance… Let’s just say it was a very good year despite the fact Anne didn’t publish anything! [see footnote]

The subject this time is Dragonriders of Pern – The Book Game ("A game of competitive cooperation based on the novels by Anne McCaffrey"), designed by Alfred Leonardi, developed by Lee Enderlin and published by NOVA in Manchester, Ct. in 1984. The ISBN for the package, I can’t call it anything differently, is 0-917037-05-7.

The package contains a cardboard box with Michael Whelan's wonderful White Dragon cover on the front and, like with a computer game “screenshots” (read: pages from the included books) on the back. On the back it states what it is and what you can do with it:

Dragonriders of Pern, The Book Game is an exciting, fast-paced picturebook game of Threadfighting based on the books by Anne McCaffrey. Whether or not you’ve read the novels, you’ll enjoy this tense, action-packed simulation as YOU try to save Pern, working in cooperation with a wingmate, but still trying to outdo the other for honor and social standing. Advance (or decline!) in rank, prestige and ability as one of the books’ characters or as your own.
Easy enough to learn in five minutes, playable in fifteen – and challenging enough to KEEP you playing. Each 144 page book contains 115 illustrations of dragon flight with YOU at the reins. You can also play an entire compaign [sic!] involving all the dragon weyrs of Pern.


Sounds nice but a book-game... action packed...? The blurb reads as one for a computer game and in 1984 we were on the treshold of those although we had to wait a lot longer for real action games. Anyway, this game offers Threadfighting and that was what fans were waiting for (the lack of which was one of the major reasons many were disappointed with the PC game). I’ll readily believe the copywriter of Nova when he says you can learn it in five minutes and play it in fifteen (are you supposed to go to the toilet during the intermediate ten minutes?). Enough of that. The box also contains two player booklets, one for Dragon A and one for Dragon B, two teams score forms. To the real fan and nitpicker the fact that the team score form starts with Bendan [sic!] Weyr stand out immediately. Not too many mistakes I the lists though. Who has heard of R’len from High Reaches and his faithful brozne Ponteth (OK, I do but as you know I’m crazy – as far as I know this dragonrider is only mentioned in the Dragondex of US edition of Moreta); G’narish’s Gyarmath is called Gyamanth and even I haven’t heard of K’der and his blue Warth from Ista. Jaxom and Ruth have a special place and special rules (with only T’kul – of all possible riders – having more “prestige points” than Jaxom!

My box also contained a Nova leaflet advertising other bookgames: Lost Worlds, Bounty Hunter and their big hit Ace of Aces (WWI dogfighting).
The most interesting thing about this, apparently non-important leaflet, is the mention of the fact that with the Lost Worlds game a coupon is included “good for 10% off the appropriate miniature sculpted by Ral partha Enterprises, of Cincinnati”. Since the Pern Ral Partha miniature dragon + rider was launched/published in the same year as the bookgame (1984) this leads me to believe the miniature was marketed to go with the bookgame; a thing I hadn’t known before I started writing this article. See for a Collecting Highlight on this very collectible little dragon: http://forums.srellim.org/showthread.php?t=2985

In this day and age the game is hardly playable but… it’s relative rarity (I haven’t the slightest idea how many were made) has made it a sought after Pern Collectible! Like with any good collectible prices vary wildly. Booksellers seem to anticipate wealthy Pern fans as the few offers found through Bookfinder all range from $145 to $160 (that includes postage within US) while a copy that was recently offered on eBay (July 2007) didn’t sell for the asked price of $50. I think mine was $15 (acquired only a few years ago) but I would consider that cheap and think a reasonable price would be anywhere between $25-$50 depending on its condition.

Here's the pictures - have fun looking, playing or hunting!

Front of package.



Back of package with "screenshots".



The two booklets for dragoins A and B.



The two score forms and advertisement leaflet.



Threadfighting! Looking back at your mate who got the Thread you missed!



Ah, looking forward gives a much better view. Who'se that Weyrling crossing my flight pattern?




*[footnote]

I just found out that, while Anne didn't publish anything, she says somewhere (a speech held on Movember 16, 1969) that she wrote the story "The Greatest Love" in 1957!
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Last edited by Hans; Oct 7 2007 at 11:00 AM.
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Old Oct 5 2007, 05:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Great highlight, Hans

I got beaten to a really good value copy of this on e-bay last year Maybe next time I'll be lucky
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Old Oct 6 2007, 12:38 PM   #3
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

I have a copy of this game, though the printing is a little skewed on the back of my box. -Chuckles-

I've not played it properly yet since I've never really gotten around to it...But I've had a little go and it was enjoyable. (Even to the extent that I sulked when I got hit by thread. xD )

Great Highlight Hans!
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Old Oct 7 2007, 09:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Nice to know what the game contains, thanks Hans! (mine's still in it's shrink wrapping) Loads of great info! I love your footnote too, btw!
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Old Oct 8 2007, 11:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

One of these days I'll remember to bring my copy of this game with me to a con and find someone to play it with!
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Old Oct 8 2007, 06:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Thanks again to Cheryl, for the fact that I have one of these...and also at Hans, very low price. I do love getting to see the line drawings of the Dragons fighting thread...but I haven't played the game either. Good Idea Cheryl..of bringing one or two of these to the next gather/convention a group of MoMers attend. I actually thought about bringing my Dragonriders board game to Copenhagen...but found I didn't have room for even the thin book of instructions...much less the box the game came in...arrggghhh!!!
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Old Oct 8 2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Maelin View Post
Thanks again to Cheryl, for the fact that I have one of these...and also at Hans, very low price. I do love getting to see the line drawings of the Dragons fighting thread...but I haven't played the game either. Good Idea Cheryl..of bringing one or two of these to the next gather/convention a group of MoMers attend. I actually thought about bringing my Dragonriders board game to Copenhagen...but found I didn't have room for even the thin book of instructions...much less the box the game came in...arrggghhh!!!
Next gather...-Rubs hands together-

It might be an idea to look through the books to see what Pernese games there are to see if we're in any fit state to play those as well. xD
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Old Oct 9 2007, 04:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Your *ON* Sara, the next time we're together we'll see if we can get a good game going
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Old Oct 14 2007, 10:24 PM   #9
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

I believe it's sjslack who has the copy I had. Got it, read it, could NEVER figure out how to play it, sold it. Did the same with a similiar concept X-wing vs. TIE Fighter game--I just don't get these paper-based fighting games.
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Old Oct 15 2007, 10:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anareth View Post
I believe it's sjslack who has the copy I had. Got it, read it, could NEVER figure out how to play it, sold it. Did the same with a similiar concept X-wing vs. TIE Fighter game--I just don't get these paper-based fighting games.
-Nods- That's correct.

I read the rules and whatnot, and it did take a bit of getting into, though I've never actually played a campaign all the way through properly.

it was a sort of non-text based 'Which way book'.
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Old Oct 15 2007, 12:13 PM   #11
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

For me its the different dragon poses that are shown on the pages...that I mostly have enjoyed going back to. So far I have to admit, I haven't actually got into reading the game to be able to play it...ugg!!!

When next we get together...perhaps we will have figured out how to play this game...or at least we could give the board game a go...that's not to hard, and a few of us already know how to play that one!!!
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Old Dec 30 2008, 05:55 AM   #12
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Default Re : Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Did you know there was a french adapatation of this game? It is named "Les Maîtres des dragons" (literally "Dragon Masters").

Actually, most of Anne McCaffrey or Pern references are suppressed, and even dragon colors are changed. You now play with a white and a black dragon, but purpose is the same; avoiding burning threads.

Here is the linkto a page displaying pics.
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Old Dec 30 2008, 06:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Cool photos, I have the Mayfair game "Dragonriders of Pern". Has all the pieces and instructions and cover (which has wear and tear around the edges but it's still all there). Currently on bookshelf at moment because there's no other Pern fans in my immediate area except for perhaps Myt and Dragongirl but they're busy with their own affairs at moment.
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Old Dec 30 2008, 08:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Interesting and weird, Maleus. You'd think they'd have just translated the game into French, but to have fiddled with it, changing dragon colors and removing obvious Pern references, that surprises me.
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Old Dec 30 2008, 02:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

They probably didn't want to pay Nova and Anne?

very interesting, Maleus. Thank you!
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Old Dec 30 2008, 11:19 PM   #16
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Quoting Hans .... "They probably didn't want to pay Nova and Anne?"

I think you've the right of it, sir.

Thanks Francois for the info! Neat to see the covers and how dragons are interpreted. There's one that looks sort of like a ram with those curled horns.
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Old Dec 31 2008, 08:45 AM   #17
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Making only minor changes doesn't make it a new book/game. money would still be owed for borrowing and slightly modifying the concept.
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Old Dec 31 2008, 05:52 PM   #18
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (57) - Dragonriders of Pern Nova Bookgame

Its a shame that they feel the need to change the dragons so drasticly...the one with the ram like horns...actually looks like the rider and dragon are wearing masks or decorative head gear....interesting to see the differences though.
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