No, it's not a price cut per se. The truth is that Lulu changed printers midstream. Essentially, the quality of saddle stitch got worse but the quality of perfect bound got better, at least for this style of book. However, the cost of perfect bound has for some reason always been quite a bit less than saddle stitch. So switching from saddle stitch to perfect bound is now a no-brainer. The good news is that the new booklets will be good quality but significantly less expensive. You'll now be able to purchase all four booklets (with shipping) and use them for the rest of your life for less than the cost of taking a date to one movie!
Though Zylarthen differs in a few obvious ways from its inspirational parent, We at Campion & Clitherow believe it is by far the most aesthetically similar contemporary take on the 1974 "three little brown books" (to a fault, some might say). Therefore, it is only fitting that the Zylarthen books are now almost the same price as the 1974 booklets. (Full disclosure, there are now four books instead of three. On the other hand, each current book has more pages on average than the originals. We actually wanted to set the price at a straight $5.00 but Lulu would't allow us to go that low for three of them. )
From the pure economic point of view, this makes the price of the set comparable to the one-volume editions of our, so to speak, competitors (all of which we have great respect for), and so we therefore hope the physical copies will reach more enthusiasts. We like the aesthetic of individual booklets and feel that it is fundamental to what we were trying to do. I doubt we will ever offer the game in another form.
We are thankful to the many old schoolers that have so far downloaded the game, and are especially grateful to those that purchased the original saddle stitched booklets. (You now have "collectors editions" that will probably-unfortunately-never be duplicated, unless or until we can hook up with an amenable local printer.)
Zylarthen is ideally meant to stand on it own as a rules system and game resource. A twenty page Player Reference Sheets pamphlet is about to be published, summarizing some of the most important rules and charts in the four booklets, as well as a sample Character Record sheet. In the works is a supplementary volume of monsters-written in Zylarthen's "stripped down" style-as well as More Things in Heaven and Earth, a pseudo-Elizabethan take on the mechanic.
Happy dungeoneering! Guard the innocent! Avenge the wronged! May you find heaps of gold at the end of your path, or at the least a memorable and heroic demise! But above all, God grant that you find wonder everywhere!