Favorite AD&D Rulebook
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Poll: Favorite AD&D Rulebook

Deities & Demigods 8%       8%  [ 11 ]
Dungeon Masters Guide 40%       40%  [ 56 ]
Fiend Folio 4%       4%  [ 5 ]
Manual of the Planes 4%       4%  [ 6 ]
Monster Manual 13%       13%  [ 18 ]
Monster Manual II 0%       0%  [ 0 ]
Players Handbook 22%       22%  [ 30 ]
Unearthed Arcana 9%       9%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 139

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:02 am 
 

What's your favorite AD&D rulebook?

Why?

Is your favorite also the one you think is the best?
If not, which is the best?

Which is the worst?

Due to restrictions on the number of poll options, I was forced to exclude campaign-related books, like Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk Adventures.

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:04 am 
 

My favorite is the first Monster Manual simply because I love monsters.

I think the DMG may be the best.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:05 am 
 

Have always loved the Monster Manual.  Especially the 1st print.  The feel of it is just different and better.  I still leaf through it occasionally just for a light read.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:41 am 
 

My favorite has to be the Monster Manual.  Nearly every page has listings of monsters I've encountered during campaigns, or that I've thrown at PC's when I was the DM, so it contains fond memories at every turn of the page.  It's the only manual that I will actually sit down and read, rather than just referring to it.

Despite what some critics may pontificate, I absolutely love the artwork in the MM.  Some of it may be simple, but it is original and fresh, rather than the uninspired, airbrushed, everything -looks-the-same artwork you encounter today.

I'm very fond of the PHB, DMG, and Deities and Demigods, but the Monster Manual stands just a cut above.

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 10:58 am 
 

Hands down, the Dungeon Master's Guide.

It was the first AD&D book I bought. I still have my original copy. Even after... hmmm... seven years of using it on an almost daily basis (82-89), and 25 years after buying it at Hallmark Book World in Michigan City, Indiana, I still pull that sucker off the shelf and can browse through it and find something new, or something old that puts a totally different spin on something new.

I remember my terrible, terrible disappointment at the 2E DMG. It was so thin and dull, and it was organized! Organized! The 1E DMG was arcane and deep and horridly, horridly organized. But it had more character than all of 2E put together.

When I think AD&D, I think DMG, with the efreeti grasping the screaming rogue chick, fighting the knight and wizard on the doorstep to the City of Brass. I think of tables and charts beyond number and outside of any sort of organization, mysterious references to arcane bits of campaign lore and  odd little comics, and ever more lists and lists and lists interspersed with indispensable advice.

MM? It's all there in the DMG. PHB? Eh, one of my players will have one. Me? I'm the DM...

Oh... um... obviously, the DMG is my favorite and best.

As for worst, that has to go to the FF. It looks cool, but there are so very, very few usable creatures.

PHB is very workaday; it is much better organized than the DMG, and has only a portion of the character. Eminently usable, though.

MM and MMII are fine catalogs.

UA was incomplete; it's a neat addition, but not a book that stands well on its own.

DDG is also a fine catalog, but adds more than the MM or MMII in that it has all sorts of neat cultural bits. I think it was DDG that got me interested in anthropology and history.


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Last edited by jamesmishler on Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:35 am 
 

When I think AD&D, I think DMG, with the efreeti grasping the screaming rogue chick, fighting the knight and wizard on the doorstep to the City of Brass. I think of tables and charts beyond number and outside of any sort of organization, mysterious references to arcane bits of campaign lore and odd little comics, and ever more lists and lists and lists interspersed with indispensable advice.


I agree.  The DMG is an appropriately arcane tome for the subject matter.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:30 pm 
 

The DMG. Its a reference of goodness. It has all the nifty dungeon making tables, the stuff on gems, the stuff on spells, the stuff on combat... and, it has monsters! If one wanted, one could just play with the DMG alone. And, it doesn't treat the reader like an idiot... it says "hey, if you're reading this, you've got at least half a brain... so, if there are incongruities, figure them out yourself!" Love the DMG.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:24 pm 
 

Favourite?  The MM.

Then again, it was the first AD&D book I was exposed to, and I'm also big on bestiaries in general.  I've got bestiaries for systems that I don't even own the core books for.  :lol:  They're great sources of inspiration for something to throw at the players when they feel things are getting predictable.  (That said, the FF is still terrible, even if it does introduce the giths.)

However, for worst books, how about a vote for the Dungeoneer or Wilderness Survival Guides? :D

  


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:47 pm 
 

The DMG is my favorite (and I voted accordingly), but I think the PHB is by far the 'best', in the sense that it is clear and organized and has set the standard for the organization of such books ever since. Whereas the DMG is a total mess - glorious stuff on almost every page, but parasitic infestations before hit and saving throw charts, well...

  

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:35 pm 
 

It's got to be Unearthed Arcana....once that book came out, I noticed that all my character's spells came from THAT book.

It became even more valuable to me than the original PHB.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:43 pm 
 

The question doesn't register in my primitive brain, apparently.  It's like asking your favorite letter -- don't you need them all?  (Other than "C".  It's pretty useless.)

I have more Monster Manuals than anything else, if that's what you're asking...

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:51 pm 
 

My vote is with the DMG. I have to agree with James that the layout was arcane and poorly organized which made it impossible to read from cover to cover.
For years I would find myself stumbling across small "gems" of text scattered throughout the book that I could use to enhance an adventure or take a campaign in a new direction.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 2:56 pm 
 

g026r wrote:However, for worst books, how about a vote for the Dungeoneer or Wilderness Survival Guides? :D


Yeah, I had originally listed those along with the campaign guides, but when I was informed my list was too long, I shortened it.

I figure there'd be quite a few who didn't like the survival guides.  I know I didn't.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:15 pm 
 

It was hard for me to choose between the Players Handbook and the Monster Manual.

For a long time, these two books were AD&D (the Dungeon Masters Guide being a late entry to complete the trilogy).

There is a sense of mystery to the Monster Manual...a sense that these beasties are waiting somewhere for you.  The Players Handbook was full of the illustrations and rules quirks that are now integral to the legened of AD&D.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:19 pm 
 

The survival guides have a desperate feel to them....they presage the arrival of 2nd Edition AD&D and the end of the classic game.

They are so clearly a grasp at cash, with an uncoordinated stab at skills that throws the game out of kilter.

You have to love the DMG.  Bits and pieces of Gary's mind....knowledge that was entirely new to teenagers in 1979.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 3:50 pm 
 

I chose the DMG, simply because I loved the scope of the work and how all encompassing it is, and I also always loved the artwork on both covers, but very different reasons. I also liked how Gary wrote the book, despite some awkward phrasings, at least to my level of understanding. A tie for second however would be the PHB, followed very closely by UA. Both of those works I very much enjoyed ( the PHB being very obvious as to why). UA imho had  a lot of great rules and classes I enjoyed quite a bit, and the cover was fantastic!


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:11 pm 
 

I voted Deities & Demigods just to say that it's got the best combination of artists: Otus, Trampier, Roslof, Darlene, Dee, Sutherland, DSL and Jacquays, each in fine form.

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:18 pm 
 

I posted this over on Dragonsfoot a while back:

zhowar1 wrote:Of the orange-spined manuals, I've gotten rid of the Manual of the Planes, Greyhawk Adventures, Dragonlance Adventures, Oriental Adventures and the Wilderness Survival Guide, but I've kept Unearthed Arcana, Monster Manual II and the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide. I've also kept the early five (non-orange spined).

I like the presentation of the 'Underdark' as provided by these three manuals. MMII gives us monsters like aboleth, duergar, derro, cloakers etc; UA gives us duergar, drow and svirfneblin as PCs (what, no underground halflings?); and DSG gives the outline of the underground setting. While I am not a fan of the Easley covers, there's enough old school art in each manual to make them interesting. DSG has a few great David Sutherland pieces (any one know if this the last book to have his artwork?), plus I generally like the other interior artwork; UA has a bunch of Roslof drawings; and MMII has a plethora of Holloway (a bit a too much, though) and some Sutherland.

Actually, a modified DSG wherein the MMII monsters and the PC races from UA were included would have been ideal.

In comparison, WSG was just plain boring.

Edit: I looked on Pen & Paper database, and Sutherland was an Interior Artist on a few later products (e.g. 2E Handbook) although he mostly did cartography in the later 80's.

http://www.pen-paper.net/rpgdb.php?op=s ... atorid=507

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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:53 pm 
 

Manual of the Planes for me.  I have always had an interest in the inner and outer planes ever since seeing their representation in the appendix of Deities and Demigods.  I always preferred the original 1st edition names as well.  Nirvana, Happy Hunting Grounds, Nine Hells, Hades, etc.  Never really liked the changes to Mechanus, Beastlands, Baator, Gray Waste, and so on.  And changing demons and devils to tanar'ri and baatezu was just plain crap.  I know why they did it but it still sucked.


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Post Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 7:14 pm 
 

I think the DMG is best because it covers the gamut from the bland-but-necessary (melee and saving throw tables), to the exotic (miscellaneous magic and artifacts), to the just plain weird (descriptions of various types of insanity).

Plus, page 10 always catches my eye with its plot of a bell curve.  
And the cover art is cool as hell.

Like g026r, though, I'm drawn to bestiaries, and I had to vote the MM as my favorite.  I'd sit and read that book for hours on end.  I still enjoy reading it and MM II.  Even FF -- which was disappointing overall -- still has some appeal for me.


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