Original Dungeons & Dragons sold as a core box set with three rulebooks, plus 4 supplements that followed. They were published between 1974 and 1979. The supplements added character classes, monsters, treasure, and new rules (like psionics) that would later show up in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. The supplements are important to enjoy the full OD&D play experience.
OD&D originally derived from the Chainmail wargame rules, and was brought full circle with the publication of Swords & Spells (the successor to Chainmail: fantasy miniatures rules in support of D&D!).
This is my 2023 edit/update to the original post from 10 years ago.
The original March 2013 photo, which I noted “Got in a bunch of original D&D books and 2 of the White Box sets. Wanted to get a photo of them together before they disappeared.”
In the photo:
* White box on the right is the OCE (“Original Collector’s Edition”), the last printing of the White Box, and the least rare.
* White box on the left is a 4th print, the first of the White Boxes (after they discontinued the woodgrain-style set).
* Swords & Spells
* Volume 1: Men & Magic; Volume 2: Monsters & Treasure; Volume 3: Underworld & Wilderness Adventures; Reference sheets – these come in the white boxes or are sold separately.
* Greyhawk (Supplement I)
* Blackmoor (Supplement II)
* Eldritch Wizardry (Supplement III)
* Gods, Demi-Gods, & Heroes (Supplement IV)
Printing Notes & Photos
EDIT: 29 March 2023
TSR was diligent in the early days about noting printings (unlike in later years… ). In general, with these OD&D books, the first printing will have no printing stated. Subsequent prints are noted inside front cover (though the 3 rulebooks are the exception, with printing notes ceasing after the 4th printing). The cover graphics usually changed little, if at all (usually the TSR company logo: GK » Lizard » Wizard).
Book 1: Men and Magic is the only book where the cover art changed. Here are 3rd and 7th prints.
Book 2: Monsters & Treasure. Again, 3rd and 7th prints.
Supplement I: Greyhawk. 2nd and 12th prints.
Supplement II: Blackmoor. 1st and 9th prints.
Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry. 1st and 9th prints. Note that neither 1st nor 2nd prints of EW have a printing notice. A True 1st print has the “printed in u.s.a” in lowercase on the title page, and is missing the “Tzoonk Fragment” on page 43. See the Acaeum supplements page for more info.
Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes. 1st and 7th prints.
[Supplement V]: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes. 1st and 6th prints. (S&S is the 5th supplement book for D&D, though not labeled as such.)
UNBOXING the Original Dungeons & Dragons Premium Wood Reprint Box Set (2013)
EDIT 31 July 2020
In 2013, Wizards of the Coast was “in between” editions of D&D. Yet they still needed to have releases that year. In the retro spirit of what was to become D&D 5e, WotC created a beautiful reprinting of the original D&D books from the mid-70s in a gorgeous engraved wood box.
I got one of those sets in the shop, still in shrinkwrap! So I took the opportunity to see for myself what was in the set, and compared it to my OD&D brown books. Video was shot and edited by my 15½-year-old son, and we had a great back-and-forth about the origins of Dungeons and Dragons.