Talking to Frank Mentzer could be a trip because you’d get these direct answers to long standing, debated-around-the-game-store questions in a direct bang-bang, one-two punch format.
Turns out The Chaosium did not send a cease and desist letter to TSR about Elric and Cthulhu mythoi. The Blume brothers pulled them from Deities & Demigods because they made reference to games not owned by TSR.
Frank told me there were five versions using three criteria: are the mythoi in the book?; are the mythoi attributed to The Chaosium?; is the correct number of mythoi in the book represented on the cover? So, the five versions starting with the first are:
1. Squids – no thanks
2. Squids with thanks
3. No squids with thanks
4. No squids; no thanks; wrong number of mythoi on the cover
5. No squids; no thanks; right details on cover
Number three is the funniest, I think. They took out the Elric and Cthulhu mythoi and left thanks to The Chaosium on the legal page at the front.
The next time you scope out Deities & Demigoes on Ebay, remember Frank’s advice. You want the oldest version – Squids; no thanks.