Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dungeons and Dragons Classics PDFs

The big news today is that Wizard of the Coast has started to release PDFs through www.rpgnow.com, www.drivethrurpg.com, and its sister sites. A special website has also been setup to display only Dungeons and Dragons items as www.dndclassics.com

The selection, currently, is around 10 to 20 products per edition of the game. The filter mechanism allows searching for Dungeons and Dragons along product lines. Basic, 1E, 2E, 3E, and 4E are all represented. After a quick perusal of the offerings, I decided to offer a top pick per category and write a mini synopsis of the product.

But first, you should know, there are a couple items that are offered for FREE! Do not hesitate to jump on over to www.dndclassics.com and download the following items.

B1 In Search of the Unknown
Khybers Harvest
H1 Keep on the Shadowfell Quick Start

And now, my top picks of the selections available.

D&D Basic Rules
For the Basic/Expert line...
D&D Basic Set Rulebook by Tom Moldvay

The 1981 version of Basic D&D, written by Tom Moldvay. Some prefer the earlier, Holmes organized edition from 1977. And some prefer the later, simplified, simple language edition done by Frank Mentzer.

But Moldvay really hit a sweet spot between clarity and depth of material in this "easy to use", "entertaining to read" edition. And if you are a fan of Morgan Ironwolf, this is the edition for you.

Temple of Elemental Evil
For 1E AD&D...
T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil

This epic and massive adventure verges on being classified as a megadungeon. Combining the original T1 Village of Homlet, and providing a sequal in the dangerous and complex Temple of Elemental Evil, this super module provides enough material to run a mini campaign.

We might not be able to ask Gary Gygax about his thoughts on this seminal work, but Frank Mentzer entertains visitors to his section of www.dragonsfoot.com Feel free to jump on over there and ask Frank something about the Temple.

Vikings Campaign
For 2E AD&D...
HR1 Vikings Campaign Sourcebook

I would suggest putting down the $55 US dollars and getting the complete HR bundle, but that would be cheating. Each of the HR series is chock full of interesting information about ages of the earth's past. And, in fact, HR stands for Historical Reference.

HR1 The Viking Age sets the stage with details on what the vikings were like, what monsters they believed lurked in the seas and cold forests of the northern realms. Equipment, new rules, twists on classes and abilities, the list of things in this supplement goes on and on.

Unearthed Arcana
For 3E D&D
Unearthed Arcana

Have you ever wanted to use Damage Resistance for armor instead of Armor Class? Or how about a ranger that specializes in urban environments? This and more is presented in the Unearthed Arcana for 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons. A plethora of dungeon master advice, exotic campaign locals, alternate rules, and much more is provided in this source book.


  1. I think you meant to type "Moldvay really hit a sweet spot" in the second paragraph about the D&D Basic Set Rulebook by Tom Moldvay. (I agree.)

    1. Thank you. Edited to reflect that I did, indeed, mean Moldvay.