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1st Edition AD&D Books Re-Release; 1e Playstyle Support Coming

2012 January 19
by Stan Shinn

WOTC is releasing new 1st Edition AD&D books:

Wizards of the Coast will reprint limited premium versions of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rulebooks by Gary Gygax to help support the Gygax Memorial Fund.  The new editions will be released in limited quantities exclusively for the hobby channel on April 17, 2012.  They’ll include the original art and content with new cover designs commemorating the re-release.

The three core books being released are:

1st Edition Premium Dungeon Master’s Guide, a 240-page hardcover at $44.95

1st Edition Premium Player’s Handbook, a 112-page hardcover at $34.95

1st Edition Premium Monster Manual, a 128-page hardcover at $34.95 (source)

This comes on the heals of announcing you can play 1st Edition style roleplaying in the upcoming D&D Next (5e) game. Monte Cook talks about the new edition in his latest Legends & Lore column explaining the ambitious goals of the design team:

  • “……this sounds so crazy that you probably won’t believe it right now—we’re designing the game so that not every player has to choose from the same set of options. Again, imagine a game where one player has a simple character sheet that has just a few things noted on it, and the player next to him has all sorts of skills, feats, and special abilities. And yet they can still play the game together and everything remains relatively balanced. Your 1E-loving friend can play in your 3E-style game and not have to deal with all the options he or she doesn’t want or need. Or vice versa. It’s all up to you to decide.” (source
  • “…this isn’t another salvo in the so-called edition wars. This isn’t an attempt to get you to play Dungeons & Dragons in a new way. This is the game you’ve already been playing, no matter what edition or version you prefer. The goal here is to embrace all forms of the D&D experience and to not exclude anyone. Imagine a game where the core essence of D&D has been distilled down to a very simple but entirely playable-in-its-right game. Now imagine that the game offered you modular, optional add-ons that allow you to create the character you want to play while letting the Dungeon Master create the game he or she wants to run. Like simple rules for your story-driven game? You’re good to go. Like tactical combats and complex encounters? You can have that too. Like ultra-customized character creation? It’s all there.”  (source

The blogging community posted some early reactions here:

It will be interesting to see how WOTC’s strategy with regard to old school style roleplaying unfolds.

6 Responses
  1. January 19, 2012

    This is good news, I believe!

  2. Joel Jenkins permalink
    January 19, 2012

    I already bought these when they originally came out–and were priced at an outrageous 12 to 15 dollars each.

  3. Bob permalink
    January 23, 2012

    Hopefully they come out with more details soon. I’d like to know how they are going to reprint these.

  4. Stan Shinn permalink*
    January 23, 2012

    My bet is it will be the size of the original books, B&W interior, with a new cover so it won’t be confused with the old ones. We’ll know by April I suppose.

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