The Basic rulebook has the following sections in the introduction:
What the D&D Game Is All About
How To Use This Book
Definitions of Standard D&D Terms
Use of the Word "Level"
How To Use the Dice
How To "Win"
A few things I enjoyed or found interesting:
In the "What the D&D Game Is All About" section there are two great and concise sentences:
"In the D&D rules, individuals play the role of characters in a fantasy world where magic is real and heroes venture out on dangerous quests in search of fame and fortune. Characters gain experience by overcoming perils and recovering treasures." - emphasis mine.Now, to most people familiar with Classic D&D, these are fairly self-evident, but these two short sentences tell us what D&D is about.
In the "How To Use This Book" section we are told that the Basic rulebook details adventures in dungeons and refers us to the Expert book for levels 4-14 and gives rules for wilderness adventures. It further explains that a supplement - the D&D Companion Set - would provide details for levels 15-36. What else would have been in that supplement?
Near the top of the second column on page B3 is another great paragraph:
"D&D rules all fit together, and the rules that seem confusing at first will become more understandable when used with the rest of the game. This is not like any other game you've ever played before: it is more important that you understand the ideas in the rules than that you know every detail about the game. When you understand how they work, the rules will become more understandable."We are introduced to the "mapper" and the "caller". The importance of the mapper is stressed and is still something I focus on. There is nothing like taking the map away from the party as they flee from some pursuing monsters and have them try to remember how to get out of the dungeon from memory.
Reading the "How To Use the Dice" section reminds me of the first time I opened the Basic boxed set and I got to handle the dice for the first time. There is still something great about the tactile sensation from D&D dice.