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DEI Games

Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rulebook Edited by Eric Holmes TSR2001, Vintage Softcover Book Released by TSR in 1974 Good/Good

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Item Details

This listing is for a vintage Dungeons and Dragons Basic Rulebook published in 1974 using the rules created by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. This is the 48-page revision edited by Eric Holmes. It is a 4th print. The Basic rulebook was included with the boxed sets and sold separately as well.

Some great black and white artwork is sprinkled throughout this tome.


From Eric Holmes:

"When I edited the rules prior to the first edition of the D&D Basic Set, it was to help the thousands (now millions) of people who wanted to play the game and didn’t know how to get started. Gary Gygax acknowledged that some sort of beginner’s book was badly needed, and he encouraged me to go ahead with it. What I discovered is that the invention has four vital parts: The first is character generation (the traditional 3d6 determination of characteristics). This character section must also include rules for different races and for special talents. There must be rules for character advancement of some sort. The second part concerns magic (or, in a science-fiction game, high technology, which is the same thing). Rules must be given for how to perform magic, who has magical abilities, etc. There must be a list of allowable spells and their prerequisites. There must be rules for possible spell failure, for saving throws, for magic resistance, and so forth.

Third, a section on “the encounter.” This is mostly rules for combat and the all-important combat table, but there also need to be rules for movement, for hiding and detection (listening at doors), for negotiation and monster reactions, for running away, and so forth.

Finally, there needs to be a section of the rulebook intended for the DM. This includes descriptions of monsters and nonplayer characters, and treasures and magical items. It also includes guidelines for setting up and conducting adventures, usually with several examples.

I struggled very hard to make all these things clear to the readers of the first Basic Rules and yet retain the flavor and excitement of the original rules. I even used the words of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Collectors Edition (the original books) whenever possible. I had disagreements with Gary over some items (I wanted to use a spell point system, for instance), but we kept the rules as close as possible to the original intent."

For more of Dr. Holmes insight into the different versions of the Basic Set visit


This great rulebook is in Good condition throughout. The cover is very worn, has heavy wear/notches all around the edges. There is a black mark on the back, creases at the folds, scuffing, and a few spots on the inside of the front cover. The inside shows moderate wear, creases at the edges, corner rounding and a small tear in the fold of page 8. There is some erased pencil writing and a few stray pencil marks. The last page is missing and has been replaced with a copy.

Please Note:

Please look at the pictures and contact me if you have any questions.

Most of my packing supplies are reused, so don't be too surprised if you have a combination of paper, airbags, and whatever else I have laying around.

I would be happy to wrap your gift purchase at no charge and write a personal note on the packing slip. Just add a note to the shopping cart at check-out. 

  • Item Info/Title: Basic Rulebook
  • Publisher/Manufacturer: TSR
  • Mfg. Code: 1
  • Mfg. Number: TSR2001
  • Game System: Basic Dungeons and Dragons 
  • Author: Eric Holmes
  • No. of Pages: 48
  • Format: Softcover Rulebook
  • Year Published: 1978
  • Series: Basic
  • Dimensions: 8.5"x11"x0.2"
  • Weight: 5 oz