Believe it or not the first Hard Back RPG I bought was the original edition AD&D Deities & Demigods, you know the one with Cthulhu and Elric! I was but a wee lad and was still trying to get my head around this whole "D&D" thing. I had recently picked up the Gamma World boxed set and loved it but wasn't sure what to make of this whole ADVANCED series of books. I had played D&D with my cousin, he took me through White Plume Mountain, I was a FIRST level dwarf BY MYSELF! My cousin said Infravision was stupid, I hadn't bought any torches cause I was a dwarf with Infravision, he said it didn't work AFTER I got in the dungeon, I Died in the dark, Quickly and horribly and still am not sure what killed me, he said it was too dark for me to see. Even though I was a newby I knew something was awesome about this game and something was not so awesome about my cousin's DMing skills. I decided to get the books and figure this whole D&D thing out for myself.
I convinced my mom to take me to the local Sears (& Roebuck) and spotted this awesome looking book:
To my young gamer eyes, this book was the mother load, I could have dark Cthulhu gods, with native american heroes alongside Arthurian knights keeping a watchful eye on their albino "ally". I didn't let my cousin DM after that, I took over the reigns and have never looked back!
Good Gaming -B.