why my D&D books went for $2100 at the Child's Play auction last night

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A lot of people here know the story of my participation in the creation of the D&D episode of The X-Files. Here's how it ends.


In 1997, while I was working for Wizards during the TSR acquisition, I helped write a scene for an episode of The X-Files called "Unusual Suspects." In it, Dean Haglund's character Richard Langly plays Dungeons & Dragons. The scene contains the line "Come on, natural 20! Daddy needs a new sword of wounding!" Which I kind of wrote.

The D&D books and materials in that scenario were contributed by me and Evon, with an assist from Peter Adkison. Particularly notable are my battered 1st edition Dungeon Master's Guide, Peter's 2nd edition Player's Handbook*, and Evon's magnificent blue velvet dice bag. There's a set-layout sketch by D&D artist Sam Wood, and a letter of provenance from WotC chief counsel Brian Lewis. The story of this dice bag and its appearance on The X-Files was told in Will Hindmarch's book The Bones.

Fifteen years later, I auctioned the items for Child's Play at the dinner on Thursday night. Child's Play is an amazing charity started by the Penny Arcade guys, and administered by the talented Kristin Lindsay and Jamie Dillon. The charity provides toys and games to children with terminal conditions in hospitals across the country. It's raised over $2 million this year alone.

The complete list of items:
*my 1st edition game-used Dungeon Master's Guide, DM's screen, Player's Handbook (later edition), Dungeon Master's Guide (later edition), Manual of the Planes, Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, Unearthed Arcana, Judge's Guild character sheets, Dragon #145, Polyhedron #42
*Peter's 2nd edition Player's Handbook
*Evon's handmade blue velvet dice bag and dice
*Sam's set layout sketch
*Brian's provenance letter
*my autographed copy of The Bones

Jerry and Mike from Penny Arcade auctioned this lot off onstage at the Child's Play Dinner, raising $2100 for kids in hospitals last night. They're going into PopCap's game collection. Evon and I were very happy. We were surrounded by friends who clapped us about the shoulders and congratulated us.

Anyway, thought you guys would like to know.

Mike Selinker

*The mix of 1st and 2nd edition books reflects the time period of 1989, when not all the 2nd edition books were out yet.

Anyway, thought you guys would like to know.


Mike Selinker



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*Two points about this gag. Firstly, every writer of anything makes typos and I’m no different. It’s “there but for the grace of God go I” rather than schadenfreude here. The second is something called Muphry’s Law (no, it is Muphry’s, not Murphy’s) which states that any piece correcting or laughing at a typo, spelling or grammatical mistake will contain at least one worse than the original being complained of.
Resident Prophet of the OTTer.

Section Six Soldier

Front Door of the House of Trolls

[b]If you're terribly afraid of your character dying, it may be best if you roleplayed something other than an adventurer.[/b]

Why should we care about this guys boasting?
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The money went to charity. I think it's supposed to be a thank you, to everyone that bid on stuff.
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As a huge fan of both The X-Files and D&D, I think this is awesome...and Unusual Suspects was a great episode.