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School Me In ... Basic D&D

Peter LaCara

Outsmarts bullets
Validated User
You're right about Basic D&D being perfect for getting newbs into the game, btw... my first book was the Rules Cyclopedia, and I played with that for years before I even knew there was an AD&D...


I can't recommend the Penhaligon Trilogy enough. Not just good gaming fiction... good fiction.

Jack Spencer

New member
the codes.

AC = ACcessory, a DM's or players' aid
B = Basic, for use with the Basic rules or just characters levels 1 - 3
CM = CoMpanion, for use with the Companion rules (levels 15 - 25)
DA = Dave Arneson, scenerios set in his campaign world of Blackmoor
DDA = Dungeons & Dragons Adventure
GAZ = GAZetteer series, campaign setting describing areas of the standard D&D world
GM = Game Master, the name of the scenerio module/magazine
IM = IMmortals, for use with the Immortals rules (above level 36)
M = Master (levels 26 - 36) or Marker which were solos that used special markers to reveal parts of the scenerio.
O = One-on-one for one player and a DM
PC = Player Character series with rules for exotic PCs
RPGA = Role-Playing Game Association
ST = Steam Train
TM = Trail Map a series of maps in the Know World
X = EXpert (levels 4-14)

source: Heroic Worlds by Lawrence Schick

NPC El Draque


The D&D of the boxed sets is not really the D&D first published by Gary Gygax. The original Gygax ruleset, first published as D&D, eventually got what one critic called "a lick of paint" and morphed into AD&D.

The Basic/Expert/Master/etc. version of D&D was an early '80s attempt by TSR to create a more stripped down ruleset. It started out initially without a setting, although the Mystara setting sort of grew organically out of the modules published for the line.

"Blackmoor" was originally one of the first campaign settings published for Gygax's D&D, but it was an abortive attempt -- the line was never published completely and the original Blackmoor materials from the '70s are very hard to come by.


5859B7 Age 48 7 Terms
Validated User
Thanks for the replies, guys!

One more thing, combat looks easy - but how do you handle multiple foes ganging up?

I can't see anything in there to sort this out (not that I can't rule something myself, but I'd like to find out what the canon system was before I start screwing with it).

Hope you can help!


Grandma said kick yo' ass
Validated User
Mithras said:
One more thing, combat looks easy - but how do you handle multiple foes ganging up?
I seem to remember handling it like in any other system - determine how many foes are within attack range at once and the PC either toughs it out or runs.

Edit: curssed typos!
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Grandma said kick yo' ass
Validated User
I just remembered coming across something on the Web called "The Mystara Project," or something to that effect.

The people involved were trying to keep the game world alive by posting key information about each of the nations. It might be worth checking out if WotC's copyright goons havn't gotten to them.

Amok the hungry

New member
Mithras said:
I was looking for a simple to learn fantasy game to try out on newbie 10-year olds. Looks like this is it!
That's funny... I'm doing the same thing with my 11 year old. He kept bugging me to teach him D&D sometime, so I dug out my old red and blue books again. Ahhh... the memories... :)


Simulator & Spellcaster
Validated User
In addition to all the book materials, there was also a series of articles in Dragon for a long time called "The Voyage of the Princess Ark" about a group of explorers travelling the Known World (as it was still called) in their skyship. Tasty fluff, often with crunch sprinkled in. :) If you're really an OD&D Mystara completist, look for those too. -- Pteryx
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