Saturday, April 2, 2011

B is for Basic D&D

Ok that was silly yesterday, but now lets get down to the serious business of serious blog posting.  Seriously.

I am fairly well known in these circles for my enjoyment of the new 4th ed D&D game.  It's fun. Really what else should it be?  If I want to play something that feels like an older edition of D&D then I have older editions of D&D still on my shelves.   Which is interesting because lately my current favorite edition of D&D is the Moldvay/Cook versions of Basic and Expert.

Like so many other gamers my age I had been exposed to the AD&D 1st ed books and LOVED the Monster Manual.  And like so many others I asked for D&D for Christmas.  I didn't get this:

I got this:

Of course I was not sure what the difference was.  I had been using a really piss-poor scan of someones Holmes Basic book that was I was sure was blue.  This one was red in a purple box.  But it said D&D on the cover and that made it official D&D to me (funny how that hasn't changed much in the past 30 years).

I played this edition and then eventually got a hold of the Expert Set too.  We played AD&D, but I still used these books.  OR maybe we played D&D and used the Advanced books too.  It was a good time in any case.

With the release of such cool products like Basic FantasyLabyrinth Lord and the B/X Companion (more on that tomorrow!) I have been able to get my Basic D&D fix all over again.

The rules are light, to the point and very, very fun.
I have gone back now and re-bought both the Moldvay Basic and Cook Expert sets (my originals were long since lost), the Holmes Basic and even the Mentzer Basic set and Rules Compendium.  But it is this version is the one I consider "mine".  When people say Red Box, this is what I think of first.  Sure there are some "odd" things about it.  I got really used to the alignment system in AD&D and races as classes seemed odd to me then and they still do.  But these books are just such good fun that I can overlook all of that.


Alex Osias said...

I also love that the cover shows a fighter with a spear & shield rather than a sword and the mage has a funky torch.

Nice touches!

The Jovial Priest said...

I was Mentzer Basic with Cook Expert and now with JB B/X Companion (1st printing)! Looking forward to tomorrow.

Tony Payne said...

I never had the opportunity to play D&D, maybe one day. Nice to see you on the challenge.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Sorry to pop in on a year old post. :-) We played a bit of Basic last night, and I was surprised at how much fun it was. I was never exposed to the OD&D book, and when I found [ahem] a copy I was surprised that it had the AD&D alignments, at least at a glance. Law, chaos, neutrality then good, evil, neutrality. I wonder why they pared it down?