by Ramanan Sivaranjan on July 19, 2012
I picked up copies of the new Premium AD&D 1st Edition reprints earlier this week at Hairy Tarantula here in Toronto. I was on the fence about getting them as I don’t have much interest in actually playing AD&D 1e. I decided to buy them because I heard they were great books on role-playing games in general, and an important part of the history of the game. I’m also a big fan of the art from that era–back when no one working for TSR really knew how to draw. The reprints are really well done1 and I’m quite happy with my purchase.2
The Dungeon Master Guide is the biggest of the three books that comprise the core AD&D 1e rules, and it is fascinating. I plan to post little snippets from the book as I make my way through it.
A word of warning. Many products might purport to be satisfactory for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, but only those noted as OFFICIAL or Authorized AD&D items should be accepted. Do not settle for substitutes or second-rate material in your campaign; ask for approved AD&D products only!
I can only imagine what was happening in the table top gaming community back in the 70s, but clearly Gygax was unimpressed with the work being done by 3rd party publishers. I wonder what his thoughts about the OSR community would be. Gygax’s writing is full of exuberance and passion, but the start of the Dungeon Master Guide is full of talk of official rules and playing the game properly. It seems to run counter to ethos of old school gaming, as I understand it.
Of course, we then get to a table about contracting parasites while adventuring so why are you griping about Gary Gygax? Please!
Wizards of the Coast wrote about the process they went through to create these reprints, and it’s really quite incredible. All three books pre-date digital typesetting, so they had to redone by hand. The designers at Wizards of the Coast had to recreate the layouts from scratch. It’s actually quite amazing when you look at a page from the original books and then the reprints. ↩
I need to begin a moratorium on book buying. ↩