That’s a second printing of the original Dungeon & Dragons rules from 1974.
No. I didn’t buy it–the owner was asking far more than what I can afford at the moment. Believe me, I wanted to.
The box showed the most wear, but books and reference sheets inside were in fair condition–minimal staple rust, no creases. Perfect for a collector.
See, not only were the original three booklets were in the box, but there was also this:
Not pictured are the copies of Blackmoor and Chainmail–I thought I took pictures, but soon after opening the box I was transported back into the mid-1970s.
All of those stories about Gygax running his Greyhawk campaign came to mind, the epic Rythlondar campaign, and how D&D used to be before the rules became “codified.”
You needed Chainmail to run combat properly for D&D (using 2d6! The d20 was an optional rule!). And then Greyhawk came along and supplanted a lot of rules from the original three booklets. Each supplement contained further rules additions, corrections, and variants).
(I’m amazed at how Matt Finch and the rest at Mythmere Games made sense out of it all and came up with Swords & Wizardry).
The longer I perused the booklets, the more I wanted to run a game. At least try. I had some good success running Swords & Wizardry a couple years ago.
I suspect I’d have to house rule a lot things and keep my players from noising about in the books
Player: Why didn’t you tell us the Paladin was available as a class?
Me: Nobody rolled a 17 or better charisma.
Player: So exactly how do elves work again?
Me: Today you’re a Fighting-man. Tomorrow you’re a Magic-User.
Player: But it says in Greyhawk I can be a fighter/magic-user/thief.
Me: Yes it does. It does indeed… (grumble, grumble).
Sadly I had to part ways with those booklets when the owner had to leave the store. But for awhile I got to bask in their glory.
Maybe someday I’ll have the money to afford them.
Edit: Why oh why didn’t I take more pictures!?!