One can trace the evolution of Dungeons & Dragons through its beginner / starter / introductory sets. The eternal quest for TSR (and later, Wizards of the Coast) was to have an easy entry point for new gamers into the unfamiliar world of D&D roleplaying. There were frequent adjustments to the intro sets, changes in teaching strategy and components.
TSR had a number of these sets. Earlier, I profiled a duo of boxes introducing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (the parallel and mostly similar iteration of D&D):
By 1997, TSR had collapsed and was bought out by Wizards of the Coast. For the first couple of years Wizards played it safe, reprinting classics and sticking with the AD&D rules set, even to the point of retaining the TSR branding. But meanwhile Wizards was busy working on what would become D&D 3rd Edition (2000).
Today I’m profiling two similar beginner sets released in 1999 and 2000.
Both boxes have a rules book + adventure book, character folios, maps, and dice.
Despite their similar format, these sets have very different rules. D&D Adventure Game: The Adventure Begins Now! (hereafter “ABN 1999”) was the last gasp of AD&D. Yes, the box lid calls it “Dungeons & Dragons”, but the character classes (Priests, Paladins, etc) tell us this is AD&D under the hood. The rules make good use of THAC0 (the workaround for calculating hits on descending Armor Class). I reckon this is the last official use of THACO in Dungeons & Dragons. PCs go from levels 2 through 5.
D&D Adventure Game: The Adventure Begins Here! (hereafter “ABH 2000”) uses then-brand-new D&D 3e rules (Ascending AC, Fortitude/Reflex/Will saves, etc). ABH 2000 is clearly a conveyor belt to the regular 3rd edition rules; a PC with sufficient XP for level three needs the 3e Players Handbook!
DriveThruRPG (PDF of ABN 1999 is available for $10)
1999 & 2000: Side-by-Side
There is almost no overlap in the credits. The sole exception I see is Rob Lazzaretti.
Both sets have 8 pregen player characters in 4-page folios. Each has the CS, plus class-specific rules. (ABH 2000 PCs not shown: Eberk & Korwyn – they’re attached to other sheets.)
ABH 2000 also has 2 additional folios with Rules Summary, blank character sheet, and monster identification.
ABN 1999 has a DM Screen / town map.
ABH 2000 has a folded tactical map and 2 sheets of counters.
ABH 2000 has 89 counters total: 8 Goblins, 5 Dwarven Warriors, 5 Orcs, 5 Skeletons, 5 Zombies, 4 Dire Rats, 4 Elven Warriors, 4 Ghouls, 4 Gnolls, 4 Hobgoblins, 1 Red Dragon, 1 Unicorn, 1 Rogue, 1 Viper, 1 Ogre, 1 Hell Hound, 1 Displacer Beast, 1 Bugbear, 1 Necromancer, 1 Dire Bat, 1 Gelatinous Cube, 1 White Dragon.
ABN 1999 has serious/cool black dice, plus bag. ABH 2000 has the candy colored polyhedral dice that I love.
Another commonality is that each set had a virtually identical jumbo size version. (I don’t have the large ABN 1999 at the moment).
|TSR 11450||ISBN 0786914505|
|TSR 11523||ISBN 0786915235|
|TSR 11641||ISBN 0786916419|
|TSR 11951||ISBN 0786919515|
The ABH 2000 reg/jumbo sets are so similar, the only difference I can see are minor graphical changes: Rulebook, page 14 and Adventure Book, page 21. (Caution, I’ve seen one of the “jumbo” books in a later “reg” set) The jumbo box also has a paperboard insert because there is so much empty space inside.
Some ABH 2000 have a promo sticker on the lid, featuring the Dungeon & Dragons movie. Yay.
Hey, Wayne’s Books, where’s the WP Reblog button for this article?
I have no idea. I just upgraded to Pro, so maybe that has something to do with it. I’ll take a look in my panel.
Upgrading to Pro removed the WP Reblog feature. I looked into this before upgrading to Premium.
That’s crazy?! Why would upgrading remove functionality? Weird.
OK, looking into this, posts can still be reblogged in the Reader using the Share (symbol) button; you’ll see options to reblog to your blog(s). Sorry if that messes with your groove. I need the Pro features.
The WP Share feature doesn’t work as well as the Reblog feature which captures more of the article image and so on.
Roger that. I’ve opened up a case.
You should just be able to add the Share button for a WP site from the Admin console.
Now I can’t reblog your articles!
There is no option to Share to a WP site for this article among the buttons, BTW.
On advice from CS, I installed a Share plugin with WP button. Try it, lemme know.
I’ll Share this article tomorrow with the next batch of three posts and see how it goes.
No Option for WP button in Tools > Marketing > Sharing Buttons.
Chat person seems to be aware of this specific ridiculous problem. Solution was the plugin apparently.
I have an option to add a ‘Press This’ button under the Sharing Buttons tab.
I don’t. :^(
What a strange choice for them to nerf. Or it was unintentional and never fixed. I see stuff in Forums re a Reblog button disappearance in the past.
Wayne, The ‘Press This’ button seems to work reasonably well (check out DDOCentral). I had to manually add the image displayed in the post, but otherwise it appears the same as if I had used the Reblog button.
Wonderful, thank you