Most RPG fans are aware by now that Wizards of the Coast has started putting their PDF catalog up at DriveThruRPG.com or accessed via dndclassics.com. The latter option is the easiest to just browse the PDFs currently available. I believe they are going to continue putting product up on the site, so if you do not see your favorite product yet – just keep checking back.
In my other posts about D&D reprints, I have said if the Moldvay D&D Basic book was made available I would snatch it up without hesitation. While not quite a reprint, the PDF of the Moldvay rulebook for D&D Basic was one of the PDFs released. Once the server meltdown from the traffic to DriveThruRPG let up, I purchased the PDF that night and spent some time checking out the PDF.
Most are familiar with the D&D Basic set, so this mini-review is less about the content within and more on how does the PDF look and feel. I could not offer an unbiased review of the content, it is the D&D I started with and nostalgia would trump any objective review I could do. Moldvay D&D Basic is my D&D.
The PDF comes in at 7.9MB for my download. That makes it nice and portable, as well as quick to render on both the computer and older iPad model.
The PDF is extensively bookmarked. That makes navigating the PDF very easy. The text is also searchable as we have come to expect from PDFs.
I have seen several praise these PDFs for their scan quality. The scan quality is certainly decent and legible, but on my iPad and computer they do seem a little fuzzy. You can see the text start to break apart on zooming in. Even at 119% in Adobe Reader you can start to see some of the fuzziness creep in. Apparently still a huge improvement over the previously released PDFs and as far as scans go, quality scans. I am just not sure I would rave about their quality unless directly comparing them to the previously released PDF’s quality. Perfectly legible and usable though.
I paid $4.99 to pick up the D&D Basic rules in PDF. I think the price point was very fair for the product. Certainly a reasonable value for my money.
Overall I am quite pleased to have access to PDFs of the older D&D products. I am very happy to have a legal copy of the Moldvay D&D Basic Rules in electronic form that does not involve subscriptions or gimmicky software to access. I will certainly be picking up some more products in the future.
I think this is a great move by Wizards of the Coast and I am quite happy to see them step into the digital era of RPG publishing.