Monday, February 18, 2013

Original Edition Dungeons & Dragons Premium Reprint - In a Real Wooden Box

Thanks to +Jason Paul McCartan for bringing this to my attention.

WotC has decided to go with a "premium" reprint of the 3 LBBs and the four supplements (from the site - a mere $149.99 with a release date of November 19, 2013):

A premium, deluxe edition of the Original D&D "White Box"!

The original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set was published by TSR, Inc. in 1974 and was the very first roleplaying game, introducing concepts that have persisted throughout later editions. It included three small rules booklets in a white box.

This deluxe, premium reprint of the original "White Box" features new packaging and includes the following seven booklets:

Volume 1: Men & Magic
Volume 2: Monsters & Treasure
Volume 3: Underworld & Wilderness Adventures
Supplement I: Greyhawk
Supplement II: Blackmoor
Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry
Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes
Each booklet features new cover art but is otherwise a faithful reproduction of the original, including original interior art.


  1. Guessing the "eighth" booklet shown above is the set of reference sheets from the original set.

  2. I am sure that is correct. My only shock is that it took this long to see them do this.

  3. Nice, but I wish they'd gone with something more affordable.

  4. Well, it is less than you'd pay for a white box plus the supplements on the used market. But really it's pretty weird. Who's supposed to buy this? Do they think someone will actually play with those rules? They're nearly unusable except to people conversant in skirmish miniatures rules circa 1970. And really you need Chainmail as well. So anyone who buys it with the idea of actually playing is going to be annoyed and would be way better off with an inexpensive retro-clone.

    On the other hand a collector or general nostalgia-fiend is going to want the real deal. So who's the target audience? People who like wooden boxes? People who are looking to get more use out of their ancient copy of Outdoor Survival?

    Sigh...okay I have to admit I'd at least consider getting it if I didn't already own the originals...so maybe there is a market after all.

  5. That price is a bit nuts. Especially when you consider Chainmail is absent, and sort of important.

    I own an old box set and have printed and spiral bound my own copy of all this for table use. Fair use since I don't sell and own them all.

    WotC will never move many of these. I was at Genghis Con in Denver this weekend and every dealer booth had shit tons of the new "Collectors" reprints - most selling for around 20 bucks. And lots of Original D&D books in both spine flavors for less.

    Needless to say, a reprint with stupid gold page whatever is not meant for play and neither is this giant monster. I have plenty taking up space on my shelves already --

  6. I suppose moving them to some poor brick and mortar that will sit on them til they half rice them is selling to WotC.

  7. The unusability of the original rules and requirement for Chainmail are both blown way out of proportion. If you've played any other 70s-90s era D&D you are not going to have a problem using it and you won't need CM. The d20 alternate combat replaces CM.

    The original set regularly sells for $150+ on Ebay, and that's without the four supplements, which can sell for $20-40 by themselves.

  8. Chainmail adds a lot of flavor to the game when you use it for combat against hordes of humanoid s baddies and the number appearing values in the old charts are geared towards these kinds of encounters.

    Sure it's optional but then again - so is everything else from all the supplements. You don't need Thiefs, Druids, Magic Missle, Psionics, Random Artifact stats, more underwater rules, or anything else.

    I do agree that these rules are easy as hell to run with any sort of modern D&D background and the gigantic amount of forum and blog commentary that exist now. They are definitely easier than 3.5 for example and tons play that.

    The biggest issue with this is that the original books are expensive actual collector's items and this version is an expensive "collector's" item. Where is the "I want to play oD&D and not open a museum" version?

    1. Well, they don't really want people playing OD&D, they want people playing D&D5e

    2. Sad but true I'm afraid.

    3. It's called Swords and Wizardry.

    4. Don't make me laugh.

  9. No, it's called Labyrinth Lord + Original Edition Characters supplement (both available in free no-art PDF versions). That's a far more accurate clone of OD&D than S&W is any day.

    That being said, considering the content (and see my blog for a detailed explanation) it's really a reasonable price point.

  10. I think the modern covers are incongruous with the rest of the product. Otherwise looks nice so far.

  11. Just in case anyone stumbles (back) into this thread again: I see that on Amazon if you pre-order now you get it for less than $90. That's a huge savings which might change some folks' minds. Cheers.


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