AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, First Edition by Gary Gygax.
AD&D Monster Manual, First Edition by Gary Gygax.
The demon idol:
pry the rubies from the eyes,
or the coward's route?
The efreet chuckled.
"Ha, your wish is my command,"
The dragon has come.
dwarves, your gold is his bedroom,
hero's flesh his meal.
I blogged about these Old School AD&D books over at Tor.com, so there isn't much to say about these books here. Having just finished fordmadoxfraud's Stories of Our Youth Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign, the system was in my head. Technically, that was AD&D Second Edition, but the changes are cosmetic more or less. I really like the "roll under attribute" mechanic, that is my major take-away. A d20 system based around "roll low" could work; I think that a stripped down system-- where, say, skills just allow re-rolls if you fail a check, & things like saves, attack & AC are all replaced by attributes-- would be fun to play, where rule features like Sneak Attack are sort of ad hoc "feats." Then again, didn't I just describe how the World of Darkness works? I guess I have a type! To give a succinct rundown of my Tor.com post, I'll say that the Monster Manual was my favorite of these books by a fairly wide margin, with only the items in the Dungeon Masters Guide rivaling it.