Sham’s Cover to Cover

Here is an index of Sham’s wonderful D&D Cover to Cover series. I couldn’t find a sequential list of the posts on Sham’s site, so I made one myself. If you have any interest at all in 1974 OD&D, you should read this. I’m about halfway through the posts myself. My content notes below are not reflective of all the subjects that the 3LBBs cover; they are a summary of what Sham is discussing in his posts.

Sham’s own introduction:

D&D Cover to Cover
Being a series of articles in which the author reads the indelible words of Gygax and Arneson as presented the Original Collector’s Edition of Dungeons & Dragons, published by Tactical Studies Rules. Beginning with Men & Magic, and concluding with The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures, the author will consider those earliest passages, adding elucidations and interpretations along the way for your consideration.

Men & Magic

Part 1 Forward
Part 2 Introduction
Part 2B Introduction
Part 3 Scope
Part 4 Recommended equipment: outdoor survival (board game), chainmail (game rules), imagination, 1 patient referee
Part 5 Preparation for the campaign
Part 6 Characters: fighting-men, magic-users, clerics, dwarves
Part 7 Characters: elves, other types, alignment, changing class
Part 8 Determination of abilities; bonuses and penalties thereof
Part 9 Languages
Part 10 NPCs, equipment, experience tables, class stats
Part 10B Basic equipment and costs; the cross and religion
Part 11 Alternative combat system
Part 12 Saving throw matrix
Part 13 Spells table, turning undead, evil and chaotic clerics
Part 14 Explanation of spells (pages 23-34), 1st level: read magic, read languages, protection from evil, charm person, sleep
Part 15 Explanation of spells, 2nd level: levitate, phantasmal forces, invisibility, ESP. 3rd level: hold person, dispell magic, fire ball, lightning bolt, slow spell, haste spell
Part 16 Explanation of spells, 4th level: polymorph self, polymorph others, remove curse, confusion, charm monster. 5th level: contact higher plane, cloudkill, feeblemind. 6th level: anti-magic shell, death spell, geas, move earth, control weather
Part 17 Explanation of spells (clerics), 1st level: cure light wounds. 3rd level: cure disease. 4th level: cure serious wounds, turn sticks to snakes. 5th level: dispell evil, raise dead, create food, the finger of death. More on anti-clerics.
Part 18 Magical research, books of spells
Part 19 Conclusion
Part 20 Conclusion: discussion of reader comments

Monsters & Treasure

Part 21 Monster reference table, hostile & benign, monster categories
Part 22 Bad guys: men, gnolls, trolls, giants
Part 23 Dead guys: skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wights, vampires
Part 24 Mythological: manticoras, hydras, chimeras, wyverns, dragons (size & subdual)
Part 25 Myth. (cont.) purple worms (“lurk everywhere just beneath the surface”); Fairy tale: centaurs, dryads, dwarves, elves, rocs
Part 26 Otherworldly: invisible stalkers, elementals, djinn, efreet; “great power demands great caution”
Part 27 Clean-up crew: ochre jelly, black pudding, green slime, gray ooze, yellow mold; “nuisance monsters”
Part 28 Mundane: large insects or animals; other: cyclopses, juggernauts, living statues, geletinous [sic] cubes; robots, golems, androids
Part 29 Treasure types, tables, probabilities, swords, armor, miscellaneous weapons, rare magic weapons, potions
Part 30 Scrolls, maps (“Maps constitute 25% of all randomized items from the ‘any’ category”)
Part 31 Magic swords: intelligence, powers, egoism, alignment, bonuses
Part 32 Armor (“Armor Class is not only defined by the armor worn, but also defines what armor is worn”) , magic shields
Part 33 Potions: giant strength, longevity; rings: three wishes, delusion; wands & staves: paralyzation, staff of striking (“a 1974 beat-stick”)
Part 34 Miscellaneous: medallions of ESP, protective items; elven cloak & boots; non-protective helms; gauntlets of ogre power, girdle of giant strength
Part 35 Magical items’ saving throws (limiting magic item proliferation), artifacts (powerful aligned magic items)
Part 36 Conclusion: “This IS the Holy Grail of RPGs, and it deserves attention and its truths need to be brought forth, that they might stand on their own merits.”
Part 37 Conclusion: discussion of reader comments
The Underworld & Wilderness Adventures

Part 38 Adventure styles, sample dungeon cross section, “the campaign is also the world which emerges from these adventures”
Part 39 The underworld, dungeon size, sample dungeon level
Part 40 Tricks & traps, distribution of monsters & treasure, maintaining freshness

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