Wednesday, July 17, 2013

D&D Basic Mentzer Edition and B-Series Sale

If you peruse lots of OSR blogs then you should already know about this, but the 1983 Mentzer edition of Basic D&D is now up on at 4.99 apiece for the player's book and the DM's book. I distinctly recall when these first came out; I was playing a 90% AD&D 10% B/X edition of the game by then, with the B/X side mostly to resolve mysterious portions of the AD&D rules that were impenetrable to I and my other fellow 12-13 year-old cohorts. I snagged the new Basic D&D set with an eye toward....not sure what, actually....I guess because it was D&D and I bought all things D&D back then whether I used them or not (some things never change). I remember disappointment, a bit, at realizing that the Mentzer edition felt a bit more basic than I was interested in, and realizing that it wasn't really much of a replacement for my older Otus cover basic book.

Despite that, I still relied on the basic set as a reference for a while, and it's nice to see the books in that boxed set again after all these years. Even better is that buying one gives you a coupon code to get any and all of the B series modules at half off, so if you haven't gotten them all yet now is a good time. I just snagged the eight modules I still didn't have so my B-series PDF collection is now complete. Many of these I never owned...back then I had run or played in The Keep on the Borderlands and Palace of the Silver Princess in the B-series, but that was it; so most of these modules are new to me.

Given my Old Guy fascination for Basic/Expert D&D this is a good thing. I'm still waffling on picking up the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, chiefly because for every person who says, "great scan!" there's someone else who says the scan is deplorable. Also...when the D&D Cyclopedia came out in 1991 I was deeply into AD&D 2nd edition and the idea of "downgrading" the D&D BECM seemed a bit preposterous. I adapted plenty of BECM modules from the time (Hollow World remains a favorite D&D setting of mine) but actually using the rules? Nah. That attitude has changed,'s really hard to beat the stark, simple elegance of what B/X D&D and it's BECM follow-up was all about, and I am pretty sure that when my son is old enough to start gaming that this is the edition I'll introduce him to.

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