D&D General A tour of each and every TSR/D&D release


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I was never a fan of Geomorphs. Till I tried them with dice and wow! Dungeon on the fly was cool with them.

Here is the last of my backtrack into 1976 TSR releases before diving into 1977. Up today is Dungeon Geomorphs, Set 1. Here are my 1st printing and 2 3rd printing sets, all in original shrinkwrap. Next up, 1977!


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I crit!
more geomorphs! How do I wan't them now. Though I could easily print out ones. It would be awesome if WotC made dice with them on it or licensed them out to the folks that do that.

Okay. We are back on track on our TSR/D&D release tour. Up today from 1977 is Set Two of the Dungeon Geomorphs - Caves & Caverns. The Dungeon Geomorphs were TSR's first commercial attempts at selling playable maps. Here are my original shrink copies, one 1st and two 3rd printings


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OK two more geomorphs in a row and I'm going to put them in one post.

first lower dungeon geomorphs
My TSR/D&D product tour got interrupted by some Red Wizards last week, but we are now back on track. Next up from the year 1977, Dungeon Geormorphs, Set Three Lower Dungeon. Here are my 3 original shrink copies, one 1st printing and 2 x 3rd printings

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And then a breath of fresh air.

We remain in the year 1977 on our TSR/D&D tour. Up today is the final and considered the most rare of the Geomorphs series - Outdoor Geomorphs. Pictured are my 1st print in shrink, my second print in fabulous condition, and my 3rd print in shrink. Until tomorrow!

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I held a set of these, multiple copies, in my hands, in 2007? I didn't know what they were and the store owner quickly wisked them away. The clerk was about to sell them to me for a mere $5 a piece which at the time I thought was a bit of a gouge. Had I been just a little quicker.

In 1977 TSR released a new series of D&D products - the Monster & Treasure Assortments. Here are my copies of Set One: Levels One-Three, a 2nd and 3rd printing respectively.



These also were among those above. I wonder if the store still has them?

What else did TSR release in 1977? I am glad you asked! They released the next version of their Monster & Treasure Assortment - Set Two: Levels Four - Six. Here are my two copies of the 4th printing, one in original shrink and one open.




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No wonder this next one is so rare. I would have used that up.

Our final stop on our D&D/TSR release tour for the year 1977 is an ultra rare. The very first set of Character Record Sheets by TSR were released in 1977. There are three sets known to exist and below is my copy. You can distinguish this ultra rare by the stock number F 1009.




Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
more geomorphs! How do I wan't them now. Though I could easily print out ones. It would be awesome if WotC made dice with them on it or licensed them out to the folks that do that.
Didn't Dyson Logos do a set of them years ago? You could probably find them secondhand.


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The release of the PHB seems to me to mark a profound jump in the slickness and quality of the physical product from TSR. I would love to know more of the details in how that came about. I wonder if Alex knows? This is one of his copies, formerly owned by Kevin Blume!

Let's turn the calendar to the year 1978 on our TSR/D&D tour. Up today is a big one. This was my first ever D&D purchase. I did not by my copy (an 8th printing) until 1982. Depicted is a lovely 1st print, my 8th, and Kevin Blume's personal copy (look to the upper left).



The D&D historian has a bit that I think is relevant now and will probably forever be.

What a Difference an Edition Makes: The Controversy. There's a lot of disagreement over whether AD&D is a minor revision of OD&D — gathering together all of its supplements and articles — or whether it's something bigger. This controversy started in Dragon #26 (June 1979) when Gygax rather shockingly said, "there is no similarity (perhaps even less) between D&D and AD&D than there is between D&D and its various imitators produced by competing publishers." In other words, he was claiming that OD&D was more like Tunnels & Trolls (1975) and RuneQuest (1978) than AD&D! He was very clear in saying this: " It is neither an expansion nor a revision of the old game, it is a new game."

Some folks disagreed, most notably Richard Berg who reviewed the Players Handbook in Strategy & Tactics magazine and said that it was a rewrite of the OD&D game. Gygax took extreme umbrage of this claim in Dragon #22 (February 1979), stating:

"Under the circumstances, one can only wonder why Mr. Berg took the time to write on a subject of which he obviously knew so little. Perhaps it is personal or professional jealousy, as the success of D&D and now AD&D has certainly set the rest of the gaming hobby industry on its collective ear, but that is speculation."

The fans had the ultimate word: when you examine the RPG magazines of the late '70s and early '80s that most of them didn't differentiate much between OD&D, AD&D, and BD&D. Instead, magazine articles were usually written for "Dungeons & Dragons" generally. In the present day, most people would probably still agree that Berg was more correct than Gygax … but it all depends on what you're measuring.

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It always amazes me how small this adventure is but how large it hits. Fitting I guess. I think this print keeps up the enhanced upgraded physical quality of TSR books and I think it mostly only improves after that.

Now that we are into the watershed D&D release year of 1978, let's enjoy the first ever module released by TSR. Up today from the year 1978, the first ever TSR module, G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief. Here are shrink copies of a 3rd print, a 4th, the GDW, and AUS versions.




The D&D historian goes into probably why they were such a big deal.
The Original Adventures. When the parts of G1-G3 were originally published as three separate modules, they were a big deal. They were the first adventures ever for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game (which wasn't even complete at the time), and they were also TSR's first foray into adventure publication. Like other early adventures, the G-series modules originally had simple monochrome colors (brown, blue, and orange - all appropriate for the giants contained within). The original adventures were also among the shortest adventures that TSR ever published at 8, 8, and 16 pages, respectively.

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Oh G2
Now that we are into the release year of 1978, let's keep it rolling with another module release. Up today is the famous G2 The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl. I have attached my shrink copies of the 1st - 4th printings of this one. (Sorry about the flex, not sorry




And G3
In 1978, TSR released their first 3 modules, the giant series. Up today is the final of the 3, G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King. For you enjoyment, here are my copies of an original shrink 1st print, a 4th print, the Game Designers Workshop printing (UK) and the Australian printing




and yes he did correct is above typo.


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And then we have a throwback to the old style. Really I think this have have been a delayed printing.

We are in the TSR/D&D release year of 1978. There were some pretty iconic releases that year, but I admit that today's offering is not one of them. But for the sake of being complete, I give you Monster & Treasure Assortment Set Three: Levels Seven - Nine. My 1st and 4th printing


I don't know why these are not on the DMSGuild. The collected one is but not these, meanwhile G1 is and the G1-G2-G3 is. Odd.



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The underdark. Yea. That was a lot of what was D&D to me. It seems so weird now how early it came about. To me years later as I encountered it it seemed like such a wonderful new thing.


We continue in the year 1978 on our D&D/TSR release tour. Up today is another iconic module release, D1 - Descent into the Depths of the Earth. Printings from my collection: A shrink 1st, a shrink 4th, an Australian and a Games Workshop.




This is another strange missing one on the DMSGuild. D2 and D3 are there as separate products, but not this one. I wonder why?
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I think I’ve run Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, in various iterations, more than any other adventure. It’s certainly flawed but it will always be number one in my heart for gaming.


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I'm going to grab several days in a single post. Note if you like Alex sharing this stuff let him know? A like on one of his posts or go to Gameholecon.

If or when he moves from Twitter pending it's implosion I'll try and follow him.

D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa​

We continue with some pretty iconic D&D releases from the year 1978. Up today we have D2 Shrine of the Kuo-Toa. This was before my time as the 1981 D1-2 module was the printing I remember as a kid. Anyway, here are my shrink 1st and 2nd printings and the AUS printing just for fun




I think it's very interesting that at the very begining of tournament play the best path through one event was a non-violent path. Now that IS part of D&D tradition!

However the most points went to parties that pursued the "perfect" path, which appears to have involved moving nonviolently through the shrine. Points were also awarded for slaying kuo-toa and for surviving the experience.

Found here at the DMSGuild via my affiliate link. The histories there really are a wealth of knowledge and a treasure.
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D3 Vault of the Drow​

TSR was still a fledgling company back in 1978 so there were not a lot of D&D releases that year. We are rapidly approaching the end of that year's products. Up today we have the conclusion of the "D" series, D3 Vault of the Drow. Here are my shrink 1st printing and my shrink 4th



I find it interesting that these adventures were written as a break from writing AD&D for Gary Gygax. Might be a clue there to why they were so great.

Again the D&D historian on the DMSGuild has cool history for us.
During his lifetime, Gygax offered a few different sources for his drow. Ultimately, they're probably derived from the Svartálfaheimr — the dark elves of Norse mythology. Ironically, when the drow were printed up in the Fiend Folio (1980), that book also contained the "xvart," which had been called the "svart" when published in White Dwarf #9 (October/November 1978) and which were thus another Svartálfaheimr derivative.

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The underdark. Yea. That was a lot of what was D&D to me. It seems so weird now how early it came about. To me years later as I encountered it it seemed like such a wonderful new thing.


We continue in the year 1978 on our D&D/TSR release tour. Up today is another iconic module release, D1 - Descent into the Depths of the Earth. Printings from my collection: A shrink 1st, a shrink 4th, an Australian and a Games Workshop.

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This is another strange missing one on the DMSGuild. D2 and D3 are there as separate products, but not this one. I wonder why?
For the 25th anniversary, there was a boxed set that had reprintings of some of these famous old modules. I'm guessing the ones on DriveThru RPG as from that 2th anniversary set, and the ones they are lacking are because they weren't among those, and they didn't have physical copies to scan.

BTW, D2 & D3 were the first AD&D modules I ever had, given to me by a friend.


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This one needs to stand on it's own.

I love this adventure. Sure it's suffered from mal-informed bad takes and criticisms and I do indeed think it can be very bad for the wrong group. But with buy in it's terrrifically fun.

For instance we ran a "Tower of Gygax" style event. Where folks would form groups of 1st level characters and see how far they could actually get. Surprisingly far! Note this was all in the 5e version of the Tomb for AL legal characters, before the level limit guidance came out for the adventure.

Let's put a bow on the D&D release year of 1978 with a very iconic module/adventure. Up today is S1 Tomb of Horrors. From my collection are a shrink 2nd printing as well as TSR's Editing Department's copy. Yes. This is actually that. Onto 1979!



this one is weird on the DMSGuild too. Like D1 I can't find an individual listing for it. Just in bundles of one sort or another. Odd that.
In the history section of one of those compilations it says it was inspired by an adventure sent into TSR. Did you know you can get a copy o that submitted adventure in the book Art & Arcana?
S1: Tomb of Horrors
(1978) is the original killer dungeon. It was designed by Gary Gygax based on a similar tomb by Californian player Alan Lucien. Gygax originally used it to challenge Rob Kuntz's Robilar and Ernie Gygax's Tenser, but later carried it around in a briefcase to test arrogant players. It was used as a tournament for Origins 1 (1975), then became one of TSR's first adventures.

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I hope y’all don’t mind if I indulge a little and post some of the things I have up to date.

These are really good condition.

This was a book of tables.

And these are in shrink, I have copies that are not in shrink.


And this, despite it didn’t have a lot of rules copy, was my second because I read the first one to pieces.

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