To play Dungeons and Dragons back in the day you needed a few things: a Dungeon Master, some players, a sweet collection of dice, and Dungeons and Dragons Modules (or adventure) to go through. Like the Retroist himself, I was a fan of collecting various modules. My friends and I spent a lot of time making up our own adventures to lead each other through, but over time we found that the ones you could buy off the shelf were much more professionally written and designed.
At one of my usual haunts I ran across a literal treasure trove of old modules. The old “$1.99” price tags had been covered with more modern prices (ranging between $10 and $20) making them too expensive for me to buy them all, but I did have a great time thumbing through them and reminiscing about my old days of adventuring.
Descent into the Depths of the Earth
One of the reasons I collect vinyl albums is because of the great artwork displayed on the outside of the cover, and perhaps that’s what attracts me to old D&D modules as well. You can definitely tell the different eras apart based on the cover designs and artwork. The older modules feature less realistic artwork but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable to me. I also always enjoyed the simpler, internal drawings as well.
Bugbears. Oh dear.
Dungeons and Dragons Modules covers contained information pertaining to the targeted experience level of players. I found this one, Midnight on Dagger Alley, to be particularly interesting. These “solo” adventures allowed players to assume both the role of a PC (“player character”) and the Dungeon Master. It did this by “hiding” some of the text and requiring players to read it through red-tinted plastic. I always thought of D&D as being a group activity but when times got tough, a stalwart adventurer will do what they have to do to get their D&D fix.