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I feel that the Mayfair version of the City State of the Invincible Overlord is often overlooked and under-rated. Published in 1987, the Mayfair remake of the City State had an introduction by Gary Gygax. This version was considered completely compatible and given the imprimatur for use with AD&D by The Man himself.
Some people may not like the name Briarwood being given to the City State, but the whole point of the original Judges Guild versions of the it was to name it whatever you wanted to - and of course, even with the Mayfair version, you still could and can do that. All of the zany adventures one had "back in the day" are waiting to be once again! If you have never visited the domain of the Overlord, this boxed set is an excellent way to
I own the original red cover original printing of the JG City State of the Invincible Overlord, as well as the Necromancer hardcover for 3.5e. One reason I recommend the Mayfair boxed set is because they are far cheaper than either of these and they contain basically the same information. A typical Judges Guild copy runs about 75 dollars and about the same for the Necromancer version. The Mayfair version typically goes for 40 dollars on eBay.
All three versions have great maps, so that is not an issue in choice. There is something great about all of them. Yet, the Mayfair set gets completely overlooked so often, when it really contains what an Old School GM needs!
I got my box for about 30 bucks online. The box itself is bad shape, but the contents are in excellent condition! There are players guides for the various classes included, some "new races" to use as PCs, 2 fairly hefty DM & Background books, as well as an intro adventure. The layout is organized well and the print is easier to read than the original JG City State, which is a plus.
Recently, I was also able to purchase the Mayfair Briarwood Castle supplement in mint, shrink-wrapped condition for 16 dollars w/ shipping. This supplement contains the plans of the place that every one of my characters that I have ever run have wanted to enter: the Invincible Overlord's palatial castle complex ...and the dungeons that lie beneath it!
There is information on the the occupants of the castle, including stats and such for the Invincible Overlord and his consort, a typical guard, the Black Lotus, new magic and a host of adventure hooks. This supplement is really packed, containing 64 pages of printed material and 2 fold out maps.
I really do not know why the Mayfair iteration of the City State of the Invincible Overlord is so maligned, because it is a OSR treasure! Check it out, the cost is low compared to many out-of-print Old School products that are in demand these days.
|maze portion of the dungeons underneath the castle of the Invincible Overlord|
EDIT: I purchased the Mayfair Games set as a replacement for my first one that was destroyed in a tornado that ripped the roof off of my house back in the 90s. I have taken several years recently to rebuild the things I treasured most in my collection... very little of which escaped the wrath of nature ;)