Monday, September 19, 2005

The Books You Will Need

Now that you have decided to enroll in our little Introduction to Dungeonmastering course. You are are going to need the required reading list. I recommend the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Monster Manual as your essential texts. There are other 1st Edition hardbacks like Unearthed Arcana available, but I would recommend that if you have never played 1st Edition AD&D before or if you just want a simple, but still complete game, that you stick to these three.

It goes without saying that you cannot walk into your local bookstore or your Friendly Local Game Store (unless they have a pretty good used section) and pick up your 1st Edition books. Unless you already own a set, I would suggest that you turn to the web to pick them up. The best choice IMHO is good old eBay. Here is a LINK to the Role Playing Games category, where you can start your search. I usually use search terms like 'advanced', 'player's handbook' or 'lot' in my searches, but I don't claim to be an expert. Especially if you get them in lots, you can usually get pretty good copies of most 1st Edition books for $5-10 apiece (except for rarities like the first printing of Deities & Demigods.)

Another option is to search the websites of used game stores like Titan Games and Troll and Toad. I find those sites a bit expensive, but they might offer you a little more security in your purchases than buying through an auction site. Yet another option is to purchase the books as PDF downloads from RPGnow. I still prefer the physical books in my grubby little hands, but I did want you to be aware that the books are (legitimately) available in electronic form. A word of warning for you, however. I have heard at least some of the 1st Edition PDFs are not of the greatest quality and so buyer beware.

What This Blog is All About

The purpose of this blog is very simple. I want it to be a guide for anyone that wants to create and run a roleplaying campaign using the classic 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game rules. Over the coming weeks and months, I am going to try and give you a (hopefully) complete guide to everything from finding the books to creating a campaign world. I hope you enjoy reading what I have to offer and most of all, I hope it helps make you a better Dungeonmaster.

The question you might want to ask now is - why use 1st Edition? There is a new 'third' edition of D&D, right? While it is true that there is a new edition of D&D currently being published, I would like to offer you a very incomplete list of some reasons that you might want to give 1st Edition a try:
  • It's nostalgic. This is probably the game that you played in your youth.
  • It's easy to learn. Even if you don't know how to play, there are many, many adults that still remember and love the game.
  • It's simple. 1st edition is arguably MUCH simpler than the current edition of the game.
  • It's cheap. You might already own the books! Even if you have to buy them, you can find them online or in second hand bookshops for a very reasonable price.
  • It's complete. Since AD&D is no longer being published, you don't have to worry about keeping up with the 'book of the month'.
  • It's well supported. There are many supplements and adventures, and there is plenty of online support to boot.

In my next post, I am going to give you some tips on finding new copies of the rulebooks if you have never owned them before or if yours have been lost with the sands of time. Stick around. It's going to be a fun ride.