By bringing Gary Gygax’s original AD&D rulebooks back into print in deluxe editions, Wizards is making the groundbreaking work of the father of role playing available to a modern audience. More than that, it’s a tacit acknowledgement of the growing popularity of retro-gaming, a nod to those players who still enjoy playing first edition (or OE, Original Edition) D&D and AD&D.
I’m one of them. My most recent game of D&D was last Sunday, and one of the books we reached for during play — as a troop of goblins chased my player characters through a dark wood — was the first edition AD&D volume Unearthed Arcana.
Unlike the Players Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Masters Guide, Gygax’s Unearthed Arcana — which, among many other innovations, introduced the Cavalier, Barbarian, and Thief-Acrobat classes — had never been reprinted, and the copy we used to quickly check the effects of my daughter’s druid’s “Goodberry” spell was the original TSR printing from 1985. That’s a hard book to come across these days, as one of my young players lamented.
But no longer. Wizards of the Coast released the Unearthed Arcana 1st Edition Premium Reprint on Tuesday of this week. Best of all, this edition incorporates the corrections and updates published under Gygax’s supervision in Dragon magazine, making this the definitive edition of the text. At long last, players can assemble a complete collection of the most essential rule books for the greatest role playing game ever written, without having to pay collector’s prices for long out-of-print volumes.
The Unearthed Arcana 1st Edition Premium Reprint was published by Wizards of the Coast on February 19, 2013. It is 128 pages in hardcover, priced at $49.95. There is no digital or softcover edition.