WotC Wizards of the Coast releases pay-for-download PDFs of The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game (BECMI) and Planescape Monstrous Compendium III (AD&D 2E)

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
Wizards of the Coast has just released pay-for-download PDFs of The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game ($8.95) and the Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix III ($9.99).

Contrary to what it might sound like, The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game is not a release of Original D&D. Rather, it's a 1994 starter set that was the successor of the 1991 black boxed set. While it doesn't have the "dragon cards" that its predecessor made use of, it still presented Zanzer's Dungeon as its default map. Interestingly, its first print run would be followed up with a second printing that same year that changed the cover art back to the image of the red dragon in the dark cavern that's rushing toward the viewer. That would mark the last boxed set for BECMI, and with it the "Basic" (or rather, "Classic") version of D&D, compared to AD&D.

The Monstrous Compendium Planescape Appendix III is a bit of a head-scratcher of a release, as the previous two volumes have yet to go up for sale on DriveThruRPG (although MC8 Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix is available). Focused primarily on the Inner Planes, it presents AD&D 2E stats for the various archomentals (i.e. the Elemental Princes of Good and Evil), along with classics such as the xag-ya and xeg-yi, xill, psurlon, and my personal favorite, the garmorm.

These follow the recent PDF releases of the MC2 Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (AD&D 2E) and Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 4 (AD&D 2E).

Other recent PDF releases from WotC have been the Poor Wizard's Almanac (BECMI), Poor Wizard's Almanac III (BECMI), Battlesystem Skirmishes (AD&D 2E), the Cardmaster Adventure Design Deck (AD&D 2E), the AD&D Permanent Character Folder (AD&D 1E), C6 The Official RPGA Tournament Handbook (AD&D 1E), the D&D Monster & Treasure Assortment Sets One to Three (OD&D), the D&D Character & Monster Assortment (BECMI), the Non-Player Character Records (AD&D 1E), AC5 D&D Player Character Record Sheets (BECMI), and the D&D Character Sheets (BECMI; called the Character Record Sheets on the product's front cover), Minsc and Boo's Journal of Villainy (D&D 5E), Domains of Delight (D&D 5E), the Priest's Screen, Wizard's Screen, Wizard's Player Pack, Priest's Player Pack, Thief's Player Pack, and Thief's Screen (all for AD&D 2E), as well as Luck of the Draw (a supplement for Three-Dragon Ante/D&D 3.5), Gamma World 2e, The Complete Starter Set: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Game 2E, Blood Spawn (Birthright), the Savage Coast Campaign Setting (Mystara 2E), and Savage Coast: Orc's Head (Mystara 2E).

Other PDF releases have included the Shattered Keeps map pack, the Worlds of Adventure fast-play game for AD&D 2E, the Hexagonal Mapping Booklet, Quadrille Graph Paper, Outdoor Geomorphs Set 1 - Walled City, Player's Secrets of Muden (Birthright), The Planescape Conspectus, Midnight on Dagger Alley (AD&D 1E), the AD&D 2E starter set Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game, and the 3.5 Deluxe Character Sheets.

Free releases have included Wrath of the Immortals (BECMI), The Book of Regency (Birthright), Three Dragon Ante, Rob Kuntz's To the City of Brass, and the World of Krynn Trail Map and The Eastern Countries Trail Map (Mystara).

Please note my use of affiliate links in this post.
 

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cavalier973

Adventurer
I already have the PDFs of Moldvay, Mentzer, and the PoD of Rules Cyclopedia. Why would I need this?

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I bet it doesn’t even have the DM screen included. There’s no reason for me to buy this.

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Whatever the included “adventure” is probably isn’t half as good as “Castle Mistamere” or even “The Haunted Keep”. What is the added value for me? Not getting it.

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uncontrollable shaking

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Okay, I bought it.
 

cavalier973

Adventurer
After a brief scan through the product, I noticed that there is a lot of artwork recycled from the RC.

Can I mention that, despite the shade I have seen thrown at its artwork, the RC has good illustrations that comport with the topic being discussed, and Dykstra really deserves credit for his work?

The crocodile is included in the monster section; in B/X and BECMI it wasn’t introduced until the “Expert” rules. On the other hand, the boar is NOT included, which WAS in both Moldvay’s and Mentzer’s “Basic” rules.
 

Orius

Hero
From what I understand, the "Classic" game was just a repackaging of the Black Box with the cards and rulebook all jammed together into a single book. I've speculated in the past that TSR only put it out because of legal technicalities concerning Dave Arneson.
 

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