!st get the red demon statue cover (check the pics) of this book thats goes with the red demon Dungeon Masters Guide (DMG),
this is the first part of the original trilogy of D&D books, I'll tell you what we didn't need a ton of skills,
we had a dungeon master and ability checks,and imagination. (yes there are some basic background skills in the DMG),We didn't have tiles and tons of miniatures, we sometimes only had a figure of our character with d6's being monsters on a blank table top, some times we had the chessex battlemat, but we had fun, hours of fun, and yes there were even marathon games that lasted two straight days, but this game gave us so much thats why the reviews.
bottomline get The PHB,DMG, and The Monster Manual, I played and ran games for over 10 years with just these books,
I did eventually get Dieties and demigods, Monster Manual 2, and unearthed arcana btw played this version of Dungeons and Dragons for over 20 years. before finally moved to where there were no more real players, but all good things....I played all the versions of d&d but nothing had the flavor of the original.
the Bottomline is:
with just these three books you really can play Dungeons and Dragons the way The Mad Wizard Zagig really intended
and the wealth of information in the DMG is well worth it and there has Never been a more complete DMG than the first DMG.
get these books and go find Adventure
Thank you Gary Gygax for giving so many of us the best gifts of all imagination and adventure.