What is This
Come on, you didn't think for a second that I would start this blog anywhere but the beginning, did you? This is the classic, the original . . .
What?! You're saying you have a very sharp eye for these things and these are the 1980 printings, which came out after the original Dungeons and Dragons had already been out for five years? And that they even post-date the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons by 3 years? And that my own copy of the AD&D 1st edition Player's Handbook is from 1978?
Well, okay, you got me, person who I made up to be uncomfortably familiar with the details of my collection. Look, I don't have the original Dungeons and Dragons and so if I truly want to start at the beginning, I should probably go with my oldest book. However, it just feels weird to start with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I mean, it's like . . . advanced . . . and stuff.
In all seriousness, sometime in the late-70s, early 80s, the Dungeons and Dragons line split. One branch built off AD&D, a refinement and compilation of the original rules, and one branch built off of these suckers here, a simplification and streamlining of the original rules. The branches would eventually merge with Dungeons and Dragons 3rd edition and then the fan base would be unified forever after . . .
By the time I first got these, I'd already been playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition for about five years, so I came into them with some prejudices. It has been maybe 20 years since I last read them and thus my expectations are formed from the unfavorable impression I had as a teenager.
But a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then and I think it will be interesting to see a game from the infancy of roleplaying, one that quite deliberately kept things "basic." I'm also tossing the Expert rules in with this one post because they're both quite short and I'm sure I'll get through them in a single night.
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