As far as I know, the 1st printing of the Moldvay Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rules book has only slight graphical details setting it apart from later printings.

But, hey, in collecting the details are everything.

Zenopus Archives noted similar changes in the Expert Book.

The Acaeum describes the 1st print book in the 8th print box. The Moldvay D&D Basic Box continues on to 9th, 10th, and 11th printings.  Holmes Basic and Moldvay Basic are so vastly different, I have to say I can’t agree with the Acaeum’s combining them in the same printing sequence. Ditto with Mentzer Basic. I understand the Acaeum was trying to reconcile common term usage, but the various incarnations of D&D Basic really are distinct editions.

D&D Basic in our shop


Front cover, the “1” is in a white circle in later prints. And the fonts of the promotional and legal text were adjusted.

D&D Basic rulebook printings fronts-001

Ditto with the back cover.

D&D Basic rulebook printings backs

But the copyright date is not the same: 1980 for the 1st printing, and 1981 for subsequent prints.

D&D Basic rulebook printings back dates coll
I believe the code below the ISBN on the later printing has the MSRP for the rulebook: 0600 or $6

Inside cover, the table of contents went from black to blue.

D&D Basic rulebook printings inside covers

Dates changed on the title page as well. And they numbered the title page as the first page: “B1”. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson went bizarrely uncredited in the first print; this was corrected in later printings.

D&D Basic rulebook printings inside covers dates coll
TSR was more miss than hit when it came to recording printings. All books claim to be “First printing – January, 1981”

See Also: Dungeons & Dragons: The Shift in Early Box Formats

MINIATURE COLLECTOR’S BOX – Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) Expert Set

Which BECMI D&D Expert Rulebook do you have?

B/X Companion in stock

PLAYER’S HANDBOOK & DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE (ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, 1978-9) ** 1ST PRINTS **