OK, I took the plunge. Sort of. I purchased the still available reprints of the original 1st Edition AD&D books. They actually have the reprints of the 2nd Edition stuff too, but I have a friend who is giving me two of those three books. I’m going to probably encourage my nephew to start with the new 5th Edition rules, if they seem good when they come out. What I have seen looks pretty good. I’ll send him copies of Editions 1 and 2 also. I reckon I will get the 5th Edition stuff too, just so I can understand what he’s talking about.
I was actually kind of surprised that I couldn’t find any old 1st Editions books at the two Half-Price Books stores I visited. Will have to keep my eyes peeled.
Regarding the difference between 1st and 2nd Edition; I had not noticed that in 2nd Edition they “cleaned up” all the stuff about devils and demons. That kind of bums me out, but I guess they were tired of dealing with the people’s concerns about the occult. At least they left magic and other deities in the game, eh?
If I end up running a game, there are some modifications I’ll make to the 1st Edition rules. Nothing drastic. Just “house rules” kind of stuff.
The game I ran with the 2nd Edition rules in the early 1990s was fun, and I found those books and rules easy to use, but I really wonder if given the still huge popularity of 1st Edition among old-time gamers and the upcoming and potentially very good 5th if the 2nd Edition stuff will be forgotten. It’s probably a function of my age, but I still consider these 1st Edition rules to be the “real” D&D.
Anyway, these reprints seem to be of pretty good quality. One great thing about those original books was their relative indestructibility. If you took care of them at all they lasted a hell of a long time. You got a lot for your money there, for sure.
I sure that I’ll be working on a campaign setting soon. I am compulsive that way. I was thinking about it last night, trying to come up with an interesting idea. I started a list of potential settings and whatnot. Will keep working on that this month and see if anything gets traction. I had this idea of a campaign “on” a gas giant plant, with all the action taking place on magically floating cities and continents. You could kill stuff by throwing it off the edge. Hmmmmm….