This is a retro review. I take a step back and review a game from the past. This is a review of AD&D, including the Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual. Expect more nostalgia than critical review. Dedicated to Iain Shigeoka, my first DM. It’s rambling, and more just stream of consciousness as I relive the old days, it’s not a super in depth look at the game.
First Encounter: It was 1983, I was in 6th grade, headed out to the playground for recess (that was the year they made 6th grade an elementary school grade again.). I saw some of my GATE classmates, who I never really talked to at the time, with these books…I asked what they were doing, they said playing Dungeons and Dragons, I sat down to look at the Monster Manual and the rest is history.
Main Review: This was it, the big daddy at the time, there weren’t a lot of us playing it, but I dug in, and bought, my books. I remember spending hours upon hours making magic items, rolling up characters, making dungeons on graph paper. The rules weren’t perfect by far, but they were new and magical to my young mind. I remember playing Keep on the Borderlands at 6th grade Safety Patrol Camp (I played a Ranger). I remember in 7th grade playing a solo adventure as an assassin.
The stats were rolled with 3d6 in order, Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma. You got what you got. I even remember playing a 5 ST Magic-user, and a 6 IN Fighter. Magic-Users were ultra fragile at 1st level with their d4 hit dice, as were monks; though they both became extremely powerful at their upper levels.
Price Tag: You can find these books used in various states, though Second edition is quite common, there are plenty of copies at Pair-a-dice last I looked, including lots of the Complete books.
Tune in for Next Month's Retro review of Shadowrun 1st edition.