Friday, October 26, 2018

Looking at My Original AD&D 1e Player's Handbook is a Peek Into My Gaming History

I talked a bit about this on The Tavern Chat Podcast yesterday, but I think it's an interesting enough topic to also explore a bit on the blog side looking at my old gaming books is like a peek into my personal gaming history. Thankfully, with the blog, I can use photos ;)

Look at the beat up and worn out cover. This book has been used. And yet the binding is still holding tight - not like my Unearthed Arcana and 2e books. I guess TSR changed to a cheaper printer down the line.

Even back in 1980 (6th print), it was important enough for me to highlight a certain sentence. This is the ONLY highlighting in the entire book and is the one rule that applies to every game I've ever run or played in.

I think I made the pencil change for half-orcs for my sister who wanted to play a half-orc thief, but I'm far from sure 38 years later...

This isn't a bad photo, it's a bad print of A Paladin in Hell. Too much black ink on the page for the printer to handle I guess.

I was house ruling the Ranger class before house ruling was a thing apparently ;)

Looks like I failed a roll to learn Feather Fall. WTF was I marking this in the book of all places?

Yep, 4 pages (2 sheets) are missing. They were perforated and that was an invite to "pull them out" and I did. No idea if I still have them tucked away in a folder or not.

I'd love to hear about (or see) the stories of your gaming history tucked away in the books that brought you into the hobby. 


  1. My original 2e books are long gone. Not that it matters, because I was never the kind of person to highlight or pencil things in to my game books. College textbooks, sure, but my gaming books were sacrosanct. If I dug hard enough, I might be able to find some scribblings on notebook paper of house rules and setting rules for my idealized versions of how 2e AD&D should have worked.

  2. Don't feel bad, house-ruling was a thing before the PH came out! And personally, I still use my 1st ed books to run my campaign. :)

  3. Only wrote my name on the edges of the pages of the books (when squeezed tightly together) to keep them from being stolen. Some of my friends actually colored the monsters in the 1st ed Monster Maual with markers, but the ink bled through to the next page ... bad call.

  4. Probably the most important passage in the whole of D&D!

  5. Used parts of my 1e Fiend Folio as a coloring book! Yep, the crab men are a nice bright shade of orange. Ah well, there are many like it but this one is mine.

  6. Believe it or not my favorite part of the 2e DMG was the design your own class optional rules.

  7. Somewhere in one of his Q&A threads, Gygax mentioned that he ordered school textbook binding for the original 3 or 4 books. However, the Blumes then insisted on cheaper binding to save something like a nickel per copy. My PHB, MM and DMG are all intact. beaten but intact. My UA fell apart very quickly, as did the UA of everyone I've known.

    5e PHBs had the problem of falling apart too. La plus ca change...


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