Red Box Basic, Expert and Companion D&D PDFs (on Scribd)
This post was updated on .
<strikethru>I was trying to be naughty and upload these PDFs to the forum, but they're pretty large, so for now we'll only be able to read them at the source, on Scribd. But at least we won't have to worry so much about lawyers swooping upon us if they're on another site. </strikethru>
Edit (September 2013) : Newer, better quality PDFs are now being sold online through the OBS/Drivethru sites - as an affiliate of DTRPG - to whom I have sold my soul for a handful of dollars- I'm now obliged that to recommend those products as opposed to file-shared versions on Scribd (also they are too large to email which would also be very bad!) - The newer versions are better managed in terms of PDF compression and have selectable text. When we first started this thread Wizards were not selling any of the old TSR products.
It's the "Holmes" Basic rules which precedes the Moldvay-Cook rules which in turn are before the rules listed above.
On a few D&D and OD&D forums the Holmes rules are loved for their succinctity. It's the earliest "accessible" version of D&D. It also has unique rules for initiative. The Holmes edition is seen as a sort of bridge from Original (White Box) Dungeons and Dragons and all of TSR's Basic editions, it's also got a tangled relationship with AD&D which came out simultaneously - the debate is still ongoing as to whether or not Holmes Basic intended as a true introduction to AD&D (or whether references to AD&D were edited in - In net-lore some of this is bound up with Arneson-Gygax split). It goes up to 3rd level, there's no "Expert" Holmes, the normal armour class is between 0 and 9 (AD&D it's 0 and 10). Damage is 1d6 for all weapons. It also includes strange features like the more complicated Alignment Table (usually associated with AD&D, not D&D). Some of the art is very cool!