Reprint Registry: Sailors on the Starless Sea

Updated to include the 9th printing with the tri-fold cover and new translated editions!

Welcome to the Reprint Registry! This occasional feature documents the reprints of Goodman Games products. Collectors often ask us for detailed printing specs on our many reprinted titles, especially the DCC line. Over the years, some of our out-of-print titles have commanded impressive sums on the secondary market. We’ve been told it is helpful for collectors to have some background on the titles they are collecting or selling.

Some dedicated fans collect all the various printings of their favorite adventures. With each new printing of a book, we typically do a fresh editorial review to catch any remaining typographical errors. We often add new content or interior art of some kind. And we occasionally commission entirely new cover art.

And some editions or printings are just hard to find. Some cover variants were originally released only for a certain convention or as a pre-order bonus item. Other titles have been translated into foreign languages, and the diehard collectors want to find every version including the translations.

The Reprint Registry will provide some answers on these topics. Up until now, often the only way to get an exact answer was to pin down Joseph Goodman and see what he remembers. In the Reprint Registry, we will start writing down the details for all the fans to read. At least, as well as Joseph can remember! In some cases, we didn’t keep as clean records as we should have, so there may be some vague answers, or even areas where we ask you, the fans, for additional help. As part of compiling this feature, we’ve also found some inconsistencies in our own internal numbering of editions. D’oh! We’ll do the best we can! And now that we have this feature, perhaps future printings will be more ordered.

This installment of the Reprint Registry covers DCC #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea. Here are all the printings, their covers, and the particularities of each.

And you can find many of these at our online store! Follow the button below to grab a copy today!

The three “basic yellow” printings, which can be differentiated by the colors of the titles. 

Reprint History, Sailors on the Starless Sea

There have been 8 printings of Sailors on the Starless Sea, including convention specials. When you consider that one of these printings had 11 different variant covers by a variety of artists, and another printing included a silver foil hardcover edition, that brings the total to 20 variations on the basic module. In addition, there have been several foreign translations.

There have been three printings of the basic “yellow cover” version. They can be differentiated by the colors of the titles on the front cover, which changes with each printing. Additionally, the first printing was 16 pages long, the second printing 20 pages long, and the third printing 24 pages long.

May fans already know this, but the cover sketch and layout to DCC #68: People of the Pit was originally intended for DCC #67: Sailors on the Starless Sea. The story of this is told in the Goodman Games 2014 Gen Con Program Guide, as well as the silver foil hardcover edition of Sailors on the Starless Sea. Harley Stroh’s original depiction of the chaos lord changed once he saw Doug’s final art, and the adventure text was adjusted to reflect the awesome art.

1st Printing, “yellow” cover

Printed 2012 with the iconic cover art by Doug Kovacs. Red DCC logo and blue lettering for the book title. This printing does not include the bonus level, The Summoning Pits.

2nd Printing, digest-sized “yellow” cover

The first printing of DCC #67 sold out quickly. This digest-sized edition was printed as a stopgap for the holiday season while a larger reprint was in the works. This was the first version to include the new bonus level, The Summoning Pits, although this version has the map that lacks a notation for area H-5.

3rd Printing, Gary Con VII sketch cover

This edition was printed exclusively for Gary Con VII, and can be identified via the Gary Con logo on the back cover. The cover art features Doug Kovacs’ original pencil sketch for his painting. 

4th Printing, the second “yellow cover” edition plus the artist’s choice editions

The 2nd and 3rd printings were stopgaps while the larger 4th printing was being prepared. This 4th printing was a huge project involving a total of 12 different covers.

First, the basic adventure module was reprinted. Area H-5 was correctly added to the map of The Summoning Pits. There are minor changes to art placement and layout (for example, see pages 6 and 8). Additionally, the cover design was changed to include an orange title. 

The packaging for the limited-edition Artist’s Choice covers, which were randomly distributed within the envelopes.

More importantly, this printing included artist tribute covers. Eight other artists were recruited to re-draw Doug’s original painting in their own interpretation. In addition, Doug drew a demon-skull version of the Sailors cover, and we also printed another version of the sketch cover.

These tribute covers were packaged in a custom-printed envelope sleeve and randomly distributed therein. Customers bought the artist edition envelope and opened it up to be pleasantly surprised by what cover they got.

Here are those eleven variant covers:

Doug’s gold foil demon skull
Doug’s sketch cover
Tribute cover by Brad McDevitt
Tribute cover by Chuck Whelon
Tribute cover by Diesel LaForce
Tribute cover by William McAusland
Tribute cover by Michael Wilson
Tribute cover by Peter Mullen
Tribute cover by Russ Nicholson
Tribute cover by Stefan Poag, version A
Tribute cover by Stefan Poag, version B

5th Printing, Gen Con 2017 “8-bit Edition

Let’s just say publisher Joseph Goodman went through a little infatuation with 8-bit graphics. This edition was a convention special produced exclusively for Gen Con 2017 and featured a new 8-bit cover designed by Lester B. Portly.

6th Printing, Gen Con 2018 “Atari Edition

And then he had an Atari phase. This digest-sized version has a cover designed to look like an Atari 2600 cartridge.

7th Printing, “yellow” cover

Printed 2019 to bring the distribution edition back in stock, while also producing the hardcover silver foil edition. This printing is incorrectly labeled “sixth printing” on the back cover. It is actually the seventh printing, as we discovered when preparing this article. Oops. 

There are some other changes between this and previous “yellow cover” editions. The color of the title and logo on the front cover changed, of course. The page count has now expanded to 24 pages, with the addition of the retrospective article. There is also a new piece of art for the Summoning Pits mini-adventure on page 20.

7th Printing, silver foil hardcover

This expanded hardcover was printed at the same time as the third yellow cover edition. This is the first hardcover version of Sailors on the Starless Sea. It includes painted endsheets, showing beastman, a colorized version of the map, and a scene from the Keep. In addition to the 24 pages of “basic content,” it includes an additional 32 pages of bonus material. This includes Harley’s original map sketches, an article on the DCC design process, a full gallery of all the alternate covers, an article by Doug on his Reverse Sailors game, and a photo gallery of the early years of DCC RPG.

8th Printing, tri-fold cover

This new printing from 2021 had several new enhancements added. After all, when you get to the 8th printing, why not splurge a bit? We’ve added a trifold cover, featuring a three-page painting by Doug Kovacs on the outer-facing panels. Doug also painted a new interior cover. There are a few pieces of new or updated, including a new full-page piece by Peter Mullan and Stefan Poag’s impressive re-draw of his opening frontispiece. This edition also features foil printing on the front cover logo.

This printing is labeled Seventh Printing on the back cover because the previous printing was labeled Sixth Printing, but as noted above, this printing is actually the 8th time we printed the book. We probably should have re-read this article and corrected the numbering before re-printing!

One additional footnote on this printing. Due to a discrepancy in the layout, the book was actually printed with two bar codes. There are technically two printings of this edition. One has a bar code ending in 977 and is available only through distribution channels. The other version has a bar code ending in 413 and is only available through direct channels.

Translated Editions

DCC RPG has been licensed for translation in multiple foreign languages. Of course, the lineup for these translations includes Sailors on the Starless Sea. True collectors, do you own these?

Spanish Edition

Published by Other Selves. 

Portuguese (Brazilian) Edition

Published by New Order Editora. 

German Edition

Published by System Matters Verlag. 

Italian Edition

Published by Kaizoku Press and MP Edizioni. 

French Edition

Published by Akileos Publishing. 

Author: pandabrett

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