B1 In Search of the Unknown                     Home Up click thumbnails to enlarge
 
B2 Keep on the Borderlands

The first two modules created for use with Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set.

B1 In Search of the Unknown by Mike Carr
B2 Keep on the Borderlands
by Gary Gygax

The various versions of the D&D Basic Set included one of these modules (or in the case of the earliest Basic Sets, a Dungeon Geomorphs Set One and Monster and Treasure Assortment Set One instead).  For this reason, they are among the most common and most recognizable of all D&D modules.

B1 In Search of the Unknown has unique "fill-in-your-own" monsters and treasure, from provided tables (rather than the standard pre-scripted encounters and loot).  The only other module to have this feature is the First (recalled) printing of B3 Palace of the Silver Princess.

Exp Descrp
Printing Information Logos
B1 In Search of the Unknown Foreign
  • Pre-Production (1978):  Appears to be identical to First, except that the upper left corner (containing the module code, B1) is completely black, with the module code in white lettering.  It was never actually published; the only reference we have to it is in the picture on the bottom of early D&D Basic Sets.  If you know otherwise, please drop us a line!

  • First (Nov 1978):  Yellow monochrome cover.  Wizard logo.  Copyright states 1979, but was actually printed in Nov 1978.  Has a section on page 6: "Using this Module with AD&D", and statement on cover, "With only minor modifications, this module is also eminently suitable for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS as well".  Items listed on the back cover have prices.  This print was included in the Fourth through Fifth prints of the D&D Basic Set.

  • Second (1979):  Yellow monochrome cover.  Wizard logo.  Has a section on page 6: "Using this Module with AD&D", and statement on cover, "With only minor modifications, this module is also eminently suitable for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS as well".  Items listed on the back cover are now without prices (thanks to Rhea Shelley and CJ MacLean for this info).

  • Third:  Yellow monochrome cover.  Wizard logo.  Does not have a section on page 6: "Using this Module with AD&D", and the statement on the cover has also been removed ("With only minor modifications, this module is also eminently suitable for use with ADVANCED DUNGEONS & DRAGONS as well").  Items listed on the back cover are without prices.

  • Fourth (1981):  Brown color cover.  TSR Face logo.  ISBN on the back cover bottom left.

  • Fifth:  Brown color cover.  TSR Face logo.  ISBN and Piece Code on back cover bottom left (thanks to Scott Cisek for this info).

  • Sixth:  Brown color cover.  TSR Face logo.  ISBN and Piece Code on back cover bottom left, Product Number on back cover bottom right.
B2 Keep on the Borderlands Foreign
  • Pre-Production (1979?):  Appears to be identical to First, except that the upper left corner (containing the module code, B2) is completely white, and there's an ISBN on the front cover bottom left.  Unknown if this module was ever really printed; the only reference to it is in the picture on the bottom of early D&D Basic Sets.  If anyone has a copy, please let us know!  Recent rumor (unsubstantiated): cover of this may have been brown.

  • First (Dec 1979):  Wizard logo.  Copyright states 1980, but was actually printed in Dec 1979.  Contains several illustrations removed in Third and later printings: Erol Otus' treasures on page 9; minotaur with skull shrine on page 20; and the stirge on page 23.  Also, all the monsters have Dexterity scores, reflecting the original combat system.  Line in the text on front cover states, "With minor modifications, is suitable for use with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons".  Rear cover has the statement "If you desire a complete catalog and/or the name of your nearest outlet, write to...".  ISBN on back cover bottom left.  (Thanks to Dan Collins, Michael Deaton, John Justice, and John Kozol for this info, and to John Kozol for the scan).  This print was also bundled with the Sixth and Seventh prints of the D&D Basic Set.

  • Second (1980):  Wizard logo.  Contains the illustrations mentioned above, but AD&D statement removed from front cover.  Two illustrations have been added to this print: self-devouring snakes on page 5 and Dave Sutherland's dragon on page 6.  Rear cover omits the "and/or the name of your nearest outlet" portion of the phrase.  ISBN on back cover bottom left.  This print was also bundled with the Seventh print of the D&D Basic Set.  (Thanks to Bruce Woodcock for help with this info).

  • Third (1980):  TSR Face logo.  TSR address ("TSR Games") is directly adjacent to the logo, on the left.  Missing the extra illustrations mentioned in the First and Second prints (on pages 5, 6, 9, 20, and 23; the snakes on pg 5 have actually been replaced by a picture of a character upended, and the minotaur/skull shrine on pg 20 has been replaced with a picture of a minotaur with a polearm).  ISBN on back cover bottom left.  Charts in center of module updated to newer Basic Set conventions.  This print was also bundled with the Eighth print of the D&D Basic Set.  (Thanks to Michael Deaton and Eric Pass for help with this info, and to Michael Deaton for the scan).

  • Fourth (1981):  TSR Face logo.  TSR address ("TSR Hobbies, Inc") is now centered on the front cover.  ISBN on back cover bottom left, but no Product Number (thanks to Michael Deaton for this info).  This print was also bundled with the Ninth print of the D&D Basic Set.

  • Fifth:  TSR Face logo.  ISBN on back cover bottom left, Product Number on back cover bottom right (thanks to Michael Deaton and Alex Wu for this info).  This print was also bundled with the Tenth and Eleventh print of the D&D Basic Set.

  • Sixth:  TSR Face logo.  ISBN and Product Number stacked on back cover bottom left.  This print was also bundled with the Eleventh print of the D&D Basic Set.

  • Seventh (1983):  Contents identical to Sixth, but has a red cardboard header stapled to the top of the module, with the D&D logo and some other advertising.  Note that this version was not sold bundled with a D&D Basic Set, but rather sold separately (and meant to be hung by the cardboard header on a rack).  The module itself, separated from the header, is indistinguishable from a Sixth printing (thanks to Adrian Newman for the scan).  This print is significantly rarer than all other prints of this module.  Further info on header modules is here.

  • Eighth (1999):  Has the TSR Silver logo on the bottom center.  The front covers of the exterior and interior booklets have been reconstituted by the TSR graphics department to be similar to the First print.  All other aspects of this module are otherwise identical to the Third print.  This print was available only within the limited-edition Silver Anniversary Collector's Edition released by TSR in 1999.  It did not come shrinkwrapped.  (Thanks to Michael Falconer for this info, and to Adrian Newman for the scan).

Auction Commentary

These modules are simply too common (considering they were included in the D&D Basic Sets) to command high prices.  The exception is a monochrome B1:  this module was not shrinkwrapped when included with the early Basic Sets, so a shrinkwrapped copy indicates it was purchased separately (and is therefore rarer). 

A Seventh-print B2 in "SW" condition assumes an intact cardboard header.


Current eBay Auctions

In Search of the Unknown
(pre print)


In Search of the Unknown
(1st/2nd print)


In Search of the Unknown
(4th-6th print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(pre print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(1st print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(2nd print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(3rd print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(4th-6th print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(7th print)


Keep on the Borderlands
(8th print)