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The Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set is a boxed set released in 1981. Edited by Dave Cook, it is part of the second revision of the Basic Dungeons & Dragons product line, and serves as a sequel to the Basic Set (B/X) (1981). The Expert Set provides rules for playing characters from 4th to 14th level.

The Expert Set consists of the 64-page Expert Rulebook, a copy of the adventure module X1 The Isle of Dread (1981), and a set of six uncolored dice.[1]

Official synopsis[]


Development and release[]


The book was written by Dave Cook. Art was provided by Jeff Dee, Wade Hampton, David S. LaForce, Erol Otus, Jim Roslof and Bill Willingham.


The D&D Expert Set was released by TSR in 1981 for $[missing data] US or $[missing data] Canadian.

On February 04, 2013, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $4.99 for the Expert Rulebook, not including the module X1 The Isle of Dread (1981).

Reception and influence[]


The Expert Set sold 277,894 copies in 1981, 189,313 copies in 1982, and 149,942 copies in 1983. The Expert Rules book was also sold separately, selling 42,852 copies in 1981, 45,891 copies in 1982, and 28,633 copies in 1983. In total, this amounts to 734,525 copies in the products first three years on sale.[2]

From 1984 onward TSR did not keep separate sales figures, lumping together sales of the Expert Set, Expert Rules, and the Expert Rules (BECMI) (1983). However, total sales were still lower than the original Expert Set, only 91,797 in 1984 and dropping to 21,500 in 1989.[2]

Critical reception[]

As of 2023, D&D Expert Set Rulebook reached the rank of Adamantine seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

External links[]


Basic Dungeons & Dragons
Core rules
Holmes: Basic Set
Moldvay/Cook B/X: Basic SetExpert Set
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