They’re either too expensive or too ratty if you find them on your own — those old adventures and rulebooks that fired your imagination as a kid, but your mom sold off at a garage sale when you weren’t looking. If you missed it already, you should know it now: Wizards of the Coast is releasing (and selling) all the old out-of-print Dungeons & Dragons products from the early days to the latter days, some in digital form, some as refurbished hard copy.
You know the ones. Paperback modules with zany, colorful covers, mind-blowing campaign ideas, and memorable black and white illustrations (and the odd risqué one) of heroes and monsters. Hex-grid maps that showed exactly how far the Kingdom of Furyondy was from the Valley of the Mage. Ancient hardcover tomes that told you about the world of Abeir-Toril or how much damage you would take if you visited the Elemental Plane of Fire unprotected — 4d10 points of damage per round even if you made your saving throw vs. breath weapons! Crazy books with improbable author names on them like Gygax, Grubb, or Greenwood.
If none of this sounds familiar, you need to acquaint yourself with Dungeons & Dragons, the forerunner of all those RPG video games and MMOs you play. Old or new, it’s all going to be at your fingertips again. Most will be available as downloadable PDFs, but some, like the 1st Edition Unearthed Arcana, will come back as physical books.
The costs are reasonable if you’re looking to cherry-pick some favorites, less so if you’re hoping to grab them all. Oh, and the PDF files will be searchable. Ctrl-F can be a Dungeon Master’s best friend when scanning digital files in lieu of page-rifling a hard copy. They’re not all available yet, but already a selection of greats has appeared on the new site, dndclassics.com. Nearly one hundred are there now — books like the Fiend Folio or The Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide — but new ones are also rolling out. We’re talking products from all editions of the game, too. So grognards and noobs alike, quit your edition-warring and just roll for initiative already!
And while you’re at it, why not join the D&D Next public playtest and have a voice in the next iteration of the game?
- D&D Next and why you should play it
- Planescape could return
- Illuminate your game room with stained-glass dice