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It has little to no information other than what you see. I'm pretty sure it's 1E, but I can't figure out much of anything about it. I was looking at wikipedia's list of DnD products and their release dates, and I can't narrow it down to a singular item. It comes with both the books a vague Amazon seller referenced in an identical but poorly described entry for the product.

I'm not interesting in playing it, I only really play 3e/3.5e/Pathfinder. I just wanted it for the novelty, I picked it up for twenty bucks.


2 Answers 2


You got that at a thrift store?! And for $20?!?! That bro, is the original red box. That is worth its weight in gold. You're looking at one of the earliest rules-lite versions of AD&D and it dates back to 1983! Treasure it bro.

Quote from Wikipedia on it

1983 revision

In 1983, the Basic Set was revised again, this time by Frank Mentzer, and redubbed Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules. The set included a sixty-four page Players Manual, a forty-eight page Dungeon Masters Rulebook, six dice, and in sets in which the dice were not painted, a crayon. The 1983 revision was packaged in a distinctive red box, and featured cover art by Larry Elmore. Between 1983 and 1985, the system was revised and expanded by Mentzer as a series of five boxed sets, including the Basic Rules (red cover), Expert Rules (blue), Companion Rules (teal, supporting levels fifteen through twenty-five), Master Rules (black, supporting levels twenty-six through thirty-six), and Immortal Rules (gold, supporting Immortals, characters who had transcended levels). Instead of an adventure module, the Basic Set rulebooks included a solo adventure and an introductory scenario to be run by the Dungeon Master.

The 10th Anniversary Dungeons & Dragons Collector's Set boxed set, published by TSR in 1984, included the rulebooks from the Basic, Expert, and Companion sets; modules AC2, AC3, B1, B2, and M1 Blizzard Pass; Player Character Record Sheets; and dice. This set was limited to a thousand copies, and was sold by mail and at GenCon 17.

An Australian version of the Basic Set was printed by Jedko Games in 1987.

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    \$\begingroup\$ It's not worth its weight in gold, it's not the original, and it's not a rules-lite version of AD&D. The Set 1 book is worth about $11 mint, it's the the third or fourth edition after the original, and it's from a line parallel to Advanced D&D called "Basic D&D". It is a treasure, but for play and sentimental value, not collector value. :) \$\endgroup\$ Mar 21, 2015 at 0:02

This is the 1983 Edition of the basic rules box set. The product info is included in this sales listing for one of the rulebooks which was a part of the set here

  • \$\begingroup\$ It looks like the link does not send us to the set itself anymore. I suppose these are for sale and get removed once sold... \$\endgroup\$ Sep 10, 2016 at 2:56

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