I was looking at the various releases for D&D, I found this interesing -
To play AD&D 1st Edition - you needed the following to play it fully (I've inlcuded EVERYTHING in this list, including "side" books - not essential, but useful) - and I've included publishing dates . . . .
2009 Monster Manual (Note that in 1980 the MM1 was reprinted with another cover)
2010 Player's Handbook (Note that in 1980 the PB was reprinted with another cover)
2011 Dungeon Master's Guide (Note that in 1980 the DMG was reprinted with another cover
2013 Deities & Demigods (Note there are 2 versions, the older one having the Cthulhu and Melnibonean Mythos, the other omitting them - the earlier edition was the best
2012 Fiend Folio
2016 Monster Manual 2
2017 Unearthed Arcana
2013 Legends & Lore
2018 Oriental Adventures
2019 Dungeoneer's Survival Guide
2020 Wilderness Survival Guide
2022 Manual of the Planes)
So, for AD&D 1st Edition - a total of 12 Core Books published over a period of 10 years. Gary and TSR were in it for the long haul with AD&D 1st Ed. Then disaster struck, and Gary left TSR . . . .
So, on to AD&D 2nd Edition - still a nice set of rules (at its root it was basically the same as AD&D 1st Ed) the then (NOT) TSR had tidied it up - BUT they had ADDED the "Complete" Character Books to the lineup of books needed to play the game fully as the new TSR envisoned it.
2100 Dungeon Master's Guide
2101 Player's Handbook
2102 Monstrous Compendium, Vol. 1
2103 Monstrous Compendium, Vol. 2
2110 PHBR1 The Complete Fighter's Handbook
2111 PHBR2 The Complete Thief's Handbook
2108 Legends & Lore
2113 PHBR3 The Complete Priest's Handbook
2115 PHBR4 The Complete Wizards's Handbook
2114 DMGR1 Campaign Sourcebook & Catacomb Guide
2112 DMGR2 Castle Guide
2118 MC 8, Monstrous Compendium, Outer Planes Appendix
2117 PHBR5 The Complete Book of Psionics
2124 PHBR6 The Complete Book of Dwarves
2123 DMGR3 Arms and Equipment Guide
2121 Tome of Magic
2129 MC 14, Monstrous Compendium, Fiend Folio Appendix
2127 PHBR7 The Complete Bard's Handbook
2131 PHBR8 The Complete Book of Elves
2128 DMGR4 Monster Mythology
2140 Monstrous Manual
2138 Book of Artifacts
2134 PHBR9 The Complete Book of Gnomes & Halflings
2135 PHBR10 The Complete Book of Humanoids
2136 PHBR11 The Complete Ranger's Handbook
2133 DMGR5 Creative Campaigning
2145 Monstrous Compendium Annual Vol. 1
2147 PHBR12 The Complete Paladin's Handbook
2150 PHBR13 The Complete Druid's Handbook
2144 DMGR6 The Complete Book of Villains
2159 Player's Handbook, revised
2160 Dungeon Master's Guide, revised
2149 Player's Option: Combat & Tactics
2154 Player's Option: Skills & Powers
2156 Dungeon Master's Options: High Level Campaign
9504 Dungeon Master's Screen and Master Index
2158 Monstrous Compendium Annual Vol. 2
2148 PHBR14 The Complete Barbarian's Handbook
2155 PHBR15 The Complete Ninja's Handbook
2151 DMGR7 The Complete Book of Necromancers
2163 Player's Option: Spells & Magic
2164 Sages and Specialists
2167 AD&D CD-ROM: Core Rules
9532 World Builder's Guidebook
2166 Monstrous Compendium Annual, Vol. 3
2170 Of Ships and the Sea
2167 AD&D CD-ROM Core Rules Version 2.0
2140 Monstrous Manual
9556 Dungeon Builder's Guidebook
2173 Monstrous Compendium Annual, Vol. 4
11349 Priest's Spell Compendium, Vol 1
11383 AD&D Campaign Option: Council of Wyrms
11453 AD&D CD-ROM Core Rules Version 2.0 (Re-release)
I HAVE NOT INCLUDED in this list, because they weren't really needed, the variant Historical Books, the Spell Compendiums, or the various Card Decks released.
So, for AD&D 2nd Edition - a total of 53 Core Books published over a period of 10 years.
So, since Gary leaving TSR you have gone from 12 Books to play to a whopping 53! FFS! Talking about over-egging the pudding (Black, or course).
Now, onto the WizBro years - I never really got into Wizards (not) DnD - I bought the books, read them - even ran a couple of games - then went back to 1st Ed (with a little 2nd) when 3.5 Came out!
28 'essential' Books released for 3rd Ed in four years making it (on average) the most expensive edition so far.
That was until (also in 2003) 3.5 started pouring out . . . . .
42 Books (correct me if I have fallen short, again I've left out compendiums and such) in just 5 years - putting 3.5 on the top of the expense list.
I have a question for WizkBro - how come thier version of 3.5 (not) DnD needed so many Books to run the game properly. Whereas Pathfinder needs less than a quarter as many books to be up and running properly.
GREED thats why, WizBro and TSR 2 were greedy - Gary made a good living out of AD&D - he did it by producing good, solid product - not by "blanket bombing" the market . . . . .
Right, onto 4th (not) DnD . . . .
In just 3 years, WizBro have released 42 "essential" products for (not) DnD (I've included the Power Cards etc - because they are now essential for smooth play) - FORTY TWO - now thats NOT including the now important Miniature Releases - If you include them the grand total becomes silly (including the 5 Floorplan sets that you will need to go with your miniatures).
Congratulations to WizBro - they have out done themselves this time.
Compare that to Castles & Crusades wich will be 6 essential Products when the Castle Keepers guide finally comes out, Labyrinth Lord which requires but two books (and can be gotten for free), and Pathfinder (if you have a 3.5 leaning) needs only 8 Books (including the Screen) - 9 if you need the conversion guide to bring Characters over from 3.5!
So, to all the 4th Edition (not) DnD fans out there - WHAT A BUNCH OF SUCKERS . . . . . . . . .