Gaming Diary – Getting back to the “Basics”!
My first purchased D&D product is a toss up between the AD&D Player’s Handbook and the 1983 Basic D&D red box. Sadly, in 2007, believing at the time that D&D was now forever stuck in the d20 system of 3E, I sold a lot of my classic D&D books like the red box (although I kept my AD&D PHB).
However, the Old School Renaissance is alive and well, people are going back to playing the old, classic, games, and I’ve been spending most of this year reacquiring those books – and more! – that I stupidly sold off 11 years ago.
The 1977 Basic ‘Holmes’ box (the box with the dragon sitting on a pile of gold) has clearly been in someone’s musty basment for the last 40 years. It has everything in it but the dice. On the other hand, the person included a couple Basic D&D adventures they had, as well as their 40 year-old campaign notes and characters!
The 1981 Basic ‘Moldvay’ box (the purple one with the green beast), is virtually brand new. Everything is pristine. Really nice.
The 1983 Basic ‘Mentzer’ set (the red box with the red dragon) is also in really good shape. It’s missing the original dice that came with it (blank numbers that you colored in with a crayon that was included!), however, they were nice enough to include a larger number of old-style dice as replacement (good old fashioned polyhedral dice that you could get in the 80’s and 90’s).
Finally, I have a 1994 Basic Set. This one includes cardboard cutouts, a set of dice, plastic minatures, DM screen, guidebook, plus some extra adventures, maps, handouts, and the previous owner’s campaign notes and character sheets written on graph paper.
I really did well with this! Now I can play any of the versions of Basic D&D whenever I want. Also, I plan to draw on the wonderful artwork from these books and the monsters within them for my Castles & Crusades game!