Overall, the exclusive edition has plusses and minuses. It adds some content—cool! But it adds it in an unfortunate way that visually disrupts some of the other content—blah! Is it worth it? Well, I bought it, but I also have the (IMO much better) Deluxe version that Trent's review showed; if I could only have one, I would choose the Deluxe version, not the B&N exclusive edition.
|The "exclusive" edition's red cover differentiates it from the two different black covers used in the regular and Deluxe versions.|
|Back cover of the "exclusive" edition.|
"The Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition features a unique cover, plus six full size gate-folds including additional game maps, draft sketches, panels from past adventures, non-player character illustrations, and additional levels of iconic dungeons."The gate-folds are interspersed throughout the book, and have extra details about whatever topic the book is covering at that point.
|Gate-fold #1: Tomb of Horrors.|
Left panel shows art from the 1975 tournament version, that isn't in the A&A regular edition, but is in the deluxe edition.
|Gate-fold #1 pt 1: Illustrations from Keep on the Borderlands, where the bottom one is from the French edition.|
|Gate-fold #1 pt 2: More from Keep on the Borderlands|
The Unfortunate Part...The extra content is fine enough by itself, but they stuck it into the book in a way that sorta wrecks the surrounding content. Case in point: That Keep on the Borderlands gate-fold sits right in the middle of a two-page depiction of a preliminary cover illustration, making it kind of hard to appreciate the preliminary illo in its full glory:
|The gate-fold section blocks an all-at-once view of the Jim Roslof preliminary B2 cover illustration|
|NOT the the "exclusive" edition—you can see the preliminary illustration as it was intended.|
Back to the Gate-folds...For completeness, here are the rest of the gate-fold sections:
|Gate-fold #3: Illustrations from Village of Hommlet and Temple of Elemental Evil|
|Gate-fold #4: The rest of the maps from the first Undermountain set. (The main book already shows the Undermountain level 1 map.)|
|Gate-fold #5: Illustrations from Labyrinth of Madness|
|Gate-fold #6: From some later edition thing that I didn't care enough to try to remember.|