Back in Print – Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition Core Rule Books

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Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition - Core Rules Books
The three core books for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition integrate the original artwork with a imitation leather cover and foil lettering. Photo taken by Ryan Carlson

I may have started my role-playing career with the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Edition that came in the iconic red box, but the lion’s share of my fondest pen-and-paper RPG memories were playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd Edition. Throughout most of grade-school and college, my friends and I maintained a series of regular role-playing campaigns. We each took turns taking a crack at being the Dungeon Master and collectively told an ongoing story of swords and sorcery several nights a week.

The most recent edition of Dungeons and Dragons was released as 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons (4E). Both myself and many longtime gamers tried the new rules system but felt that 4th Edition made too many fundamental changes to the game we all grew up with. We were being lost as core supporters of the game in favor of products like Pathfinder and Dungeon Crawl Adventures modules that were derivatives of the 3.5 edition rules or system-agnostic. There are plenty of players that enjoy the most recent system from Dungeons and Dragons, but there are just as many veterans of the original early editions of the game that still play AD&D 2nd Edition or would love to go back to something so familiar.

You know it’s old school when the picture for Invisible Stalker is just a blank spot where the drawing normally would be. Photo taken by Ryan Carlson

For those that would like to revisit their roots there is some great news. Wizards of the Coast has gone back to the digital vaults and is now offering reprinted copies of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition rule books. I’ve now had a chance to page through the three new AD&D core rulebooks. Not only do they contain the original rules, but they are complete with original artwork. The covers are the only thing that has changed, and they have the look of leather-bound tomes. The reprinting includes the Players Handbook, the Dungeon Masters Guide, and the Monster Manual (complete with the iconic picture of the Invisible Stalker).

I had long since lost my AD&D 2nd Edition books to hard use, torn bindings, and eventual retirement. But with the new  reprinting of these AD&D core rulebooks their back as if having received a resurrection spell (but without needing a costly diamond worth 5000 gold-pieces).

Disclosure: GeekDad was provided a review copy of the books.


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