User summaries: In 1977, this was essentially the second version of Dungeons & Dragons to be produced. The second printing of this version was published in January 1978. (The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual was published in 1977 and the Players Handbook was published in 1978.)
This boxed set included the following:
and depending on the printing either:
OR (fourth to sixth printing)
OR (sixth and seventh printings)
Apparently this version was produced to clean up the game's presentation of essential rules and to make the game system more understandable to the general public so that it could sold in common toy stores for a retail price of $9.95.
It was marketed as "The original adult fantasy role-playing game for 3 or more players" for ages 12 and up.
The game book includes 4 pages of spells, 12 pages of monsters, and a 5-page game adventure. The four character classes were fighting men, magic-users, clerics, and thieves, and the four character races were men, elves, halflings, and dwarves.
Along with designers Gygax and Arneson and editor Holmes other ideas were contributed by Brian Blume, Ernie Gygax, Tim Kask, Jeff Key, Rob Kuntz, Terry Kuntz, Alan Lucien, Steve Marsh, Mike Mornard, and Jim Ward.
The illustrators are not credited. Internet sources name David C. Sutherland III as the cover illustrator.
Note: The Dungeons & Dragons game book was sold separately as a different item for a retail price of $5.00.
Additional Note: There were small variations among the first seven printings.
- The first printing dated 1977 had a production code of F115-R and made several references to Hobbits instead of Halflings.
- The fourth printings began to include the "fill-in-your-own dungeon" adventure module "B1: In Search of the Unknown" and display a TSR wizard logo instead of the TSR lizard logo.
- The fifth printing included dice chits instead of dice.
- The sixth printings began to include the adventure module "B2: Keep on the Borderlands" instead of "B1: In Search of the Unknown."