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Information
RPG
Genre
Series Code
 
Category
Mechanic Show More »
Designer
Artist
Production Staff
Publisher
Year Published
1977
Primary Name
Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (First Edition)
Alternate Names
D&D Basic Set
Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (Blue Box)
Holmes Basic
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ObjectID: 45783
Versions
Pg. 1
Nick: 
Seventh printing
Publisher: TSR
Year: 1979
Box Set
48 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Nick: 
Sixth Printing
Publisher: TSR
Year: 1979
Box Set
Product Code: 2001
48 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Nick: 
Fourth printing
Publisher: TSR
Year: 1979
Box Set
Product Code: 1001
80 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Nick: 
Third printing
Publisher: TSR
Year: 1978
Box Set
Product Code: 1001
48 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Nick: 
Second Printing
Publisher: TSR
Year: 1978
Box Set
Product Code: 1001
48 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Nick: 
First printing
Publisher: 
Year: 1977
Box Set
Product Code: F115-R
48 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Nick: 
UK Version (Second Printing)
Publisher: TSR
Year: 1977
Soft Cover
48 pages
Size: Letter
English
View
Corrections
Link Image
Description Edit | History

Page two preface: This book is based upon the original work published in 1974 and three supplementary booklets published in the two year period after the initial release of DUNGEONS & DRAGONS. It is aimed solely at introducing the reader to the concepts of fantasy role playing and the basic play of this game. To this end it limits itself to basics. The rules contained herein allow only for the first three levels of player progression, and instructions for the game referee, the "Dungeon Master," are kept to the minimum necessary to allow him to conduct basic games. This is absolutely necessary because the game is completely open-ended, is subject to modification, expansion, and interpretation according to the desires of the group participating, and is in general not bounded by the conventional limitations of other types of games. This work is far more detailed and more easily understood than were the original booklets nonetheless, for with it, and the other basic components of the game, any intelligent and imaginative person can speedily understand and play DUNGEONS & DRAGONS as it was meant to be played. Players who desire to go beyond the basic game are directed to the ADVANCED DUNGEON & DRAGON books.

More Information Edit | History

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."

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8 The Holmes Companion
A 4 page, level 4-9 rules expansion for TSR’s 1977 D&D Basic Set.
English
2010-03-12
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