Thursday, January 19, 2012

1st Edition Returns!

So, the best news I heard today is that the original 1st ed. AD&D hardcover rulebooks -- the PLAYER'S HANDBOOK, the DMG, and the MONSTER MANUAL -- are being reprinted. Since this is the best version of my all-time favorite roleplaying game, it'll be good to see it available again after so long. Granted, it's only a limited release according to this article, but for the finest rpg rules set ever written to be back in print is definitely a good thing. And it's also for a relatively good cause, the Gygax project, which is trying to build a statue of the (co-)creator of rpgs in Lake Geneva. Here's the link:

Having only recently learned of the 'Old School Revival', I'd been somewhat baffled that fans of 1st ed. AD&D were rewriting the rules and publishing their own variants of them (e.g., Labyrinth Lord, Lamentations of the Flame Princess), rather than hunting down any of the thousands of used copies of the original books that must still be out there at Half-Price Books and various online sites. Now I find the originals are finally coming back into print, albeit briefly, and I cdn't be happier. I suspect most copies will be snatched up by longtime gamers for the nostalgia, but I hope at least some sets find their way into the hands of younger gamers who decide to give the classic game a try. Here's hoping.

--John R.


Zenopus Archives said...

Yes, exciting news to have 1E in print again.

I'm no expert (since I just use the originals), but I believe Labyrinth Lord is a Moldvay/Cook retroclone, and LotfP is its own variant (no standard monsters, etc). Swords & Wizardry is closest to OD&D. OSRIC was the first, and is the 1E clone. The original intention for OSRIC was simply to use the OGL to create a ruleset that was 1E compatible, so that publishers could produce modules and other products that were "OSRIC-compatible" - i.e., 1E- compatible via the terms of the OGL, which don't allow you to mention "Dungeons & Dragons".

grodog said...

Well-said, Zach! :D


John D. Rateliff said...

Thanks for the clarification, Zenopus. I'll get it all sorted out eventually!

--John R.