And now we turn our attention to the Expert Set. Ah, the imagination of youth. The purpose of the Expert set was to allow characters to free themselves of the shackles of third level and progress to the god-like heights of level fourteen. However, at the time, there was also the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rules sets, so while everyone bought both the basic and the expert set, somewhere between level five and seven, you would invariably shed the boxes and head for the green pastures of AD&D.

So… It’s a call back. What can I say? It only seems appropriate as the Expert set cover contains the imagery from the Basic set. How could I do any differently?!? Back in the old days, that Expert cover really intrigued me. First, there was the artistic question. Having no knowledge of the process of creating art other than the application of Crayola to paper, I was fascinated how they managed to layer the basic imagery with the new image so that parts of it appeared to “pop out” of the mist (the fighter’s spear, the dragon’s head, etc). The task seems trivial these days, but it was fascinating to me back then. More importantly, of course, were the implied possibilities of the image. Look at that powerful wizard opening a portal into the scene! Was he going to step through and rescue the intrepid adventurers? Did he need to step through? Perhaps he was simply going to lob fireballs and lightning bolts through his portal from the comfort of his own tower. Perhaps, just perhaps, he was actually a friend to the dragon and was just checking in to be sure that the beast’s dinner had arrived! One picture, but a world of possibilities if you had the imagination to see them…