Advanced Dungeons & Dragons®

Player's Handbook for the AD&D® Game.

TSR, Inc. TSR Ltd.

201 Sheridan Springs Rd. 120 Church End, Lake Geneva, Cherry Hinton

WI 53147 Cambridge CB1 3LB USA United Kingdom

Foreword to the 2nd Edition

It has been a long time getting here. I don't mean the months, perhaps even years, you may have waited for a revised, expanded, and improved edition of the AD&D game. I mean the long time it has taken me to reach this point, the writing of the foreword. Forewords are written last, so that you can summarize your feelings and experiences about the book you have written.

It's not accurate to say this is a book that I alone have written. First off, there are a lot of other names listed in the credits. They, especially the editors, contributed time and talents that I don't have. Improving the organization and readability was one of the reasons we started this project in the first place. These are tasks that can't be done without talented editors who play and care about the game. If you discover that it's easier to find rules during your gaming sessions and that everything seems to make more sense, thank the editors.

Even with the editors, this is not our work alone. None of this would ever have come into being without interested and involved players. The people who really decided what needed to be done for the AD&D 2nd Edition game are the players who mailed in

questions, everyone who wrote an article for DRAGON ® Magazine, and everyone who button-holed me (or other designers) at conventions. These were the people who decided what needed to be done, what needed fixing, what was unclear, and what they just didn't like. I didn't sit in a vacuum and make these decisions. As the designer and developer, I had to make the final choice, but those choices were based on your input. And your input

is the most valuable asset we have going.

So how do I feel? Excited, exhausted, relieved, and nervous -- all at once. It's a great bag of emotions. I'm excited to see this book come out. I've spent more time on this than I have on any other single work I've done. That leads to exhaustion. The AD&D 2nd Edition game has demanded and received hours upon months of attention. Now that it is finally coming out, the feeling of relief is beginning to set in. There were times when the task looked impossible, when it seemed it would never end, or when everything was going wrong. Only now, when it's in the final stages of polishing, am I beginning to realize that it is really done. And of course there is the nervousness. The AD&D game is the granddaddy of all role-playing games. You've made it perfectly clear that you liked the original edition of the AD&D game, even with all its warts. I liked (and still like) it. So, now with the arrival of AD&D 2nd Edition, of course I'm nervous.

None of this comes as any surprise. I volunteered to prepare this Edition because I wanted to do something for the game I liked. The ten years of experience I've had in game design has shown me what works and what doesn't and sometimes even why. At the very start, we outlined the goals: to make it easier to find things, to make the rules easier to understand, to fix the things that did not work, to add the best new ideas from the expansions and other sources, and, most important of all, to make sure the game was still the one you knew and enjoyed. Of them all, the last was the hardest and most demanding, conflicting as it did with my basic desire to design things. Fortunately, things didn't rest on me alone. Lots of eager eyes, from those of fellow designers to those of enthusiastic playtesters, minutely examined this book and restrained me from overzealousness. It hasn't always been easy to walk the fine line between "not enough" and "too much."

In the past two years, I've talked to interested players many times, hearing their concerns and sharing my ideas. It was at the end of one of these talks (at a convention in Missoula, Montana), just as I described some rules change, that one of the listeners smiled and said, "You know, we've been doing that for years." And that is what AD&D 2nd Edition is all about--collecting and organizing all those things that we, as players, have been doing for years.

David "Zeb" Cook January, 1989


2nd Edition design: David "Zeb" Cook Development: Steve Winter and Jon Pickens Playtest Coordination: Jon Pickens Editing: Mike Breault, Jean Rabe, Thomas Reid, Steven Schend, and Ray Vallese Proofreading: Jean Black, Teresa Reid, Curtis Smith, Vallerie Vallese, and James Ward Graphics Coordinator: Sarah Feggestad Graphic Design: Dee Barnett

Too numerous to mention by name are the hundreds of players who assisted us in playtesting the AD&D 2nd Edition game. Their efforts were invaluable in improving the


Finally, credit must also be shared with anyone who has ever asked a question, offered a suggestion, written an article, or made a comment about the AD&D game.

This is a derivative work based on the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons

Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master® Guide by Gary Gygax and Unearthed Arcana and other materials by Gary Gygax and others.

Dungeons & Dragons, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, AD&D, Dungeon Master, Dragon, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Ravenloft are registered trademarks of TSR, Inc. Dungeon Master, DM, and the TSR Logo are trademarks owned by TSR, Inc.

This book is protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America. Any reproduction or other unauthorized use of the material or artwork contained herein is prohibited without the express written permission of TSR, Inc.

Random House and its affiliate companies have worldwide distribution rights in the book trade for English language products of TSR, Inc. Distributed to the book and hobby trade in the United Kingdom by TSR Ltd. Distributed to the toy and hobby trade by regional distributors.

©1995 TSR, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Foreword Before we even start, I want to make sure everyone understands one very important fact:

This is not AD&D 3rd Edition!

There, everyone can breathe again.

Rest assured that this is still the same version of the AD&D game that your friends, classmates, and business partners have been playing for years.

Yes, there are some small and subtle changes in the rules, but you would have to read the whole book very carefully, and have a tremendous memory, to find them. (The changes are the sorts of minor corrections and clarifications we make every time we reprint, and we've reprinted both the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide more than 10 times since 1989!)

So what has changed? Obviously, the books look different. We were awfully proud of them when they were released in 1989, but the world doesn't stand still for anyone. We decided that after six years, it was time for a new look.

And as long as AD&D was getting a new suit of clothes, we elected to let out the seams a bit, too. Both books are a lot bigger: 25% more pages in the PHB, 33% more in the DMG. And we used them up just looking good. Inside you'll find bigger illustrations, lots more color, and pages that are easy to read. Making the switch turned out to be a lot more work than most of us expected it to be, but it was well worth the effort.

Since the 2nd Edition was released, the AD&D game has grown in ways we never

anticipated. We've traveled to a multitude of fabulous worlds, from the misty horror of Ravenloft, to the exotic bazaars of Al Qadim, and across the burning face of Dark Sun. Now the endless horizons of Planescape beckon to us, and beyond even that we see spearpoints and banners waving above the gathering armies of Birthright. And, of course, presiding over it all is the grand and legendary Forgotten Realms.

Products change, but our goal stays the same: to publish things that make fantasy gamers exclaim, "That's just what I was looking for!" And we do it for the same reason that you play: because it's fun!

Steve Winter February 6, 1995

Table of Contents

Welcome to the AD&D® Game

How the Rule Books are Organized Learning the Game

Coming From the D&D Game

The AD&D Game Line

A Note About Pronouns

Creating a Character

The Real Basics

The Goal Required Materials An Example of Play


Step-by-Step Character Generation Chapter 1: Player Character Ability Scores

Rolling Ability Scores

Alternative Dice-Rolling Methods The Ability Scores






Charisma What the Numbers Mean

Chapter 2: Player Character Races

Minimum and Maximum Ability Scores Racial Ability Adjustments Class Restrictions and Level Limits Languages







Other Characteristics

Chapter 3: Player Character Classes

Class Ability Score Requirements Class Descriptions Watrior Fighter Paladin Ranger Wizard Mage Schools of Magic Specialist Wizards Illusionist Priest Cleric Priests of Specific Mythoi Requirements Weapons Allowed Spells Allowed (Spheres of Influence) Granted Powers Ethos Priest Titles Balancing It All Druid Druid Organization Rogue Thief Bard Multi-Class and Dual-Class Characters

Multi-Class Combinations Multi-Class Benefits and Restrictions Dual-Class Benefits and Restrictions

Chapter 4: Alignment

Law, Neutrality, and Chaos

Good, Neutrality, and Evil

Alignment Combinations Non-Aligned Creatures

Playing the Character's Alignment

Changing Alignment

Chapter 5: Proficiencies (Optional)

Acquiring Proficiencies Training Weapon Proficiencies Effects of Weapon Proficiencies Related Weapon Bonus Weapon Specialization Cost of Specialization Effects of Specialization Nonweapon Proficiencies Using What You Know Secondary Skills Nonweapon Proficiencies Using Nonweapon Proficiencies Nonweapon Proficiency Descriptions

Chapter 6: Money and Equipment

Starting Money Equipment Lists Clothing Daily Food and Lodging Household Provisioning Tack and Harness Transport Miscellaneous Equipment Animals Services Weapons Armor Equipment Descriptions Tack and Harness

Transport Miscellaneous Equipment Weapons Armor Armor Sizes Getting Into and Out of Armor Creatures with Natural Armor Classes Encumbrance (Optional Rule) Basic Encumbrance (Tournament Rule) Specific Encumbrance (Optional Rule) Encumbrance and Mounts (Tournament Rule) Magical Armor and Encumbrance Effects of Encumbrance

Chapter 7: Magic

Wizard Spells Schools of Magic Learning Spells Illusions Priest Spells Casting Spells Spell Components (Optional Rule) Magical Research Spell Descriptions

Chapter 8: Experience

Group Experience Awards Individual Experience Awards Training

Where's the Specific Info?

Chapter 9: Combat

More Than Just Hack-and-Slash Definitions The Attack Roll Figuring the To-Hit Number Modifiers to the Attack Roll Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers (Optional Rule) The Various Types of Weapons Impossible To-Hit Numbers Calculating THACO Combat and Encounters The Combat Round

What You Can Do in One Round The Combat Sequence Initiative Standard Initiative Procedure Initiative Modifiers Group Initiative (Optional Rule) Individual Initiative (Optional Rule) Multiple Attacks and Initiative Spellcasting and Initiative Weapon Speed and Initiative (Optional Rule) Magical Weapon Speeds Attacking with Two Weapons Movement in Combat Movement in Melee Movement and Missile Combat Charging an Opponent Retreat Attacking Without Killing Punching and Wrestling Overbearing Weapons in Non-Lethal Combat Non-Lethal Combat and Creatures Touch Spells and Combat Missile Weapons in Combat Range Rate of Fire Ability Modifiers in Missile Combat Firing into a Melee Taking Cover Against Missile Fire Grenade-Like Missiles Types of Grenade-Like Missiles Special Defenses Parrying (Optional Rule) The Saving Throw Rolling Saving Throws Saving Throw Priority Voluntarily Failing Saving Throws Ability Checks as Saving Throws Modifying Saving Throws Magic Resistance Effects of Magic Resistance When Magic Resistance Applies Successful Magic Resistance Rolls Turning Undead Evil Priests and Undead Injury and Death

Wounds Special Damage



Energy Drain


Treating Poison Victims


Natural Healing

Magical Healing

Herbalism and Healing Proficiencies Character Death

Death From Poison

Death From Massive Damage

Inescapable Death

Raising the Dead

Chapter 10: Treasure

Treasure Types Magical Items Dividing and Storing Treasure

Chapter 11: Encounters

The Surprise Roll Effects of Surprise

Encounter Distance

Encounter Options

Chapter 12: NPCs




Player Character Obligations

Chapter 13: Vision and Light

Limits of Vision Light Infravision Using Mirrors

Chapter 14: Time and Movement

Movement Jogging and Running (Optional Rule) Cross-Country Movement Swimming Holding Your Breath Climbing Calculating Success Climbing Rates Types of Surfaces Actions While Climbing Climbing Tools Getting Down

Appendix 1: Spell Lists Appendix 2: Notes on Spells Appendix 3: Wizard Spells

First-Level Spells Second-Level Spells Third-Level Spells Fourth-Level Spells Fifth-Level Spells Sixth-Level Spells Seventh-Level Spells Eighth-Level Spells Ninth-Level Spells

Appendix 4: Priest Spells

First-Level Spells Second-Level Spells Third-Level Spells Fourth-Level Spells Fifth-Level Spells Sixth-Level Spells Seventh-Level Spells

Appendix 5: Wizard Spells by School Appendix 6: Priest Spells by Sphere

Appendix 7: Spell Index

Appendix 8: Compiled Character Generation Tables (Tables 1-9, 13, 18, 21, 22, 24, 26-30, 33-36)

Index Tables Table 1: Strength Table 2: Dexterity Table 3: Constitution Table 4: Intelligence Table 5: Wisdom Table 6: Charisma Table 7: Racial Ability Requirements Table 8: Racial Ability Adjustments Table 9: Constitution Saving Throw Bonuses

Table 10: Average Height and Weight

Table 11: Age

Table 12: Aging Effects

Table 13: Class Ability Minimums

Table 14: Warrior Experience Levels

Table 15: Warrior Attacks per Round

Table 16: Fighter's Followers

Table 17: Paladin Spell Progression

Table 18: Ranger Abilities

Table 19: Ranger's Followers

Table 20: Wizard Experience Levels

Table 21: Wizard Spell Progression

Table 22: Wizard Specialist Requirements Table 23: Priest Experience Levels

Table 24: Priest Spell Progression

Table 25: Rogue Experience Levels

Table 26: Thieving Skill Base Scores

Table 27: Thieving Skill Racial Adjustments Table 28: Thieving Skill Dexterity Adjustments Table 29: Thieving Skill Armor Adjustments Table 30: Backstab Damage Multipliers Table 31: Thief's Followers

Table 32: Bard Spell Progression

Table 33: Bard Abilities

Table 34: Proficiency Slots

Table 35: Specialist Attacks per Round Table 36: Secondary Skills

Table 37: Nonweapon Proficiency Groups Table 38: Nonweapon Proficiency Group Crossovers Table 39: Tracking Modifiers

Table 40: Movement While Tracking Table 41: Weapon Construction

Table 42: Standard Exchange Rates

Table 43: Initial Character Funds

Table 44: Equipment

Table 45: Missile Weapon Ranges

Table 46: Armor Class Ratings

Table 47: Character Encumbrance

Table 48: Modified Movement Rates Table 49: Carrying Capacities of Animals Table 50: Stowage Capacity

Table 51: Combat Modifiers

Table 52: Weapon Type vs. Armor Modifiers Table 53: Calculated THACOs

Table 54: THACO Advancement

Table 55: Standard Modifiers to Initiative Table 56: Optional Modifiers to Initiative Table 57: Armor Modifiers for Wrestling Table 58: Punching and Wrestling Results Table 59: Cover and Concealment Modifiers Table 60: Character Saving Throws

Table 61: Turning Undead

Table 62: Visibility Ranges

Table 63: Light Sources

Table 64: Base Movement Rates

Table 65: Base Climbing Success Rates Table 66: Climbing Modifiers

Table 67: Rates of Climbing

Welcome to the AD&D Game

You are reading the key to the most exciting hobby in the world -- role-playing games. These first few pages will introduce you to the second edition of the most successful role-playing game ever published. If you are a novice role-player, stop right here and read the section labeled The Real Basics (on the next page). When you understand what role- playing and the AD&D game are all about, come back to this point and read the rest of

the introduction. If you are an experienced role-player, skip The Real Basics.

How the Rule Books are Organized

The AD&D game rule books are intended primarily as reference books. They are

designed so any specific rule can be found quickly and easily during a game. Everything a player needs to know is in the Player's Handbook. That's not to say that

all the rules are in this book. But every rule that a player needs to know in order to play

the game is in this book.

A few rules have been reserved for the Dungeon Master® Guide (DMG). These either cover situations that very seldom arise or give the Dungeon Master (DM) information that players should not have beforehand. Everything else in the DMG is information that only the Dungeon Master needs. If the DM feels that players need to know something that is explained in the DMG, he will tell them.

Like the DMG, the Monstrous Manual™ supplement is the province of the DM. This gives complete and detailed information about the monsters, people, and other creatures inhabiting the AD&D world. Some DMs don't mind if players read this information, but the game is more fun if players don't know everything about their foes -- it heightens the sense of discovery and danger of the unknown.

Learning the Game

If you have played the AD&D game before, you know almost everything you need to play the 2nd Edition. We advise you to read the entire Player's Handbook, but the biggest changes are in these chapters: Character Classes, Combat, and Experience. Be sure to read at least those three chapters before sitting down to play.

If you come to a term you do not understand, look for it in the Glossary.

If you have never played the AD&D game before, the best way to learn to play the game is to find a group of experienced players and join them. They can get you immediately into the game and explain things as you need to know them. You don't need to read anything beforehand. In fact, it's best if you can play the game for several hours with experienced players before reading any of the rules. One of the amazing things about a role-playing game is that the concept is difficult to explain, but marvelously simple to demonstrate.

If none of your friends are involved in a game, the best place to find experienced players is through your local hobby store. Role-playing and general gaming clubs are common and are always eager to accept new members. Many hobby stores offer a bulletin board through which DMs can advertise for new players and new players can ask for information about new or ongoing games. If there is no hobby store in your area, check at the local library or school.

If you can't find anyone else who knows the AD&D game, you can teach yourself. Read the Player's Handbook and create some characters. Try to create a variety of character classes. Then pick up a pre-packaged adventure module for low-level characters, round up two or three friends, and dive into it. You probably will make lots of mistakes and wonder constantly whether you are doing everything wrong. Even if you are, don't worry about it. The AD&D game is big, but eventually you'll bring it under control.

Coming from the D&D® Game If you are switching to the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game from the Dungeons & Dragons® game, you have some special adaptations to make. You know everything you need to about role-playing, but you will need to adjust to doing certain things different ways.

Much of the jargon of the two games is very similar. Don't let this mislead you into thinking that they are the same game. There are many subtle differences (along with

some obvious ones), and you will need to read the rules in this book carefully to catch them all.

Pay special attention to the chapters on PC races and classes, alignment, weapons and armor, and spell descriptions. The terminology of both games is quite similar, sometimes identical, when discussing these rules. These similarities often hide important differences between the way the rules work or how the numbers line up.

Overall, it is best to approach the AD&D game as if it is a completely new game and be pleasantly surprised when you find overlapping concepts. Don't make the mistake of assuming that a rule, item, or spell with the same name in both games works the same way in both games.

The AD&D Game Line

Quite a few books and other products are published for the AD&D game. As a player, you need only one of them -- this book. Every player and DM should have a copy of the Player's Handbook. Everything else is either optional or intended for the Dungeon Master.

The Dungeon Master Guide is essential for the DM and it is for the DM only. Players who are not themselves DMs have no cause to read the DMG.

The Monstrous Manual supplement is also essential to the DM. It includes the most commonly encountered monsters, mythical beasts, and legendary creatures. Additional

supplements, called Monstrous Compendium® Annuals, are available for specific

AD&D product lines, such as the Ravenloft® and Forgotten Realms® campaign settings. These supplements expand the variety of monsters available and are highly recommended for DMs who play in those settings.

Expanded character class books--The Complete Fighter, The Complete Thief, etc.-- provide a lot more detail on these character classes than does the Player's Handbook. These books are entirely optional. They are for those players who really want a world of choice for their characters.

Adventure modules contain complete game adventures. These are especially useful for DMs who aren't sure how to create their own adventures and for DMs who need an adventure quickly and don't have time to write one of their own.

A Note About Pronouns

The male pronoun (he, him, his) is used exclusively throughout the second edition of the AD&D game rules. We hope this won't be construed by anyone to be an attempt to exclude females from the game or imply their exclusion. Centuries of use have neutered the male pronoun. In written material it is clear, concise, and familiar. Nothing else is.

The Real Basics

This section is intended for novice role-players. If you have played role-playing games before, don't be surprised if what you read here sounds familiar.

Games come in a wide assortment of types: board games, card games, word games, picture games, miniatures games. Even within these categories are subcategories. Board games, for example, can be divided into path games, real estate games, military simulation games, abstract strategy games, mystery games, and a host of others.

Still, in all this mass of games, role-playing games are unique. They form a category all their own that doesn't overlap any other category.

For that reason, role-playing games are hard to describe. Comparisons don't work because there isn't anything similar to compare them to. At least, not without stretching your imagination well beyond its normal, everyday extension.

But then, stretching your imagination is what role-playing is all about. So let's try an analogy.

Imagine that you are playing a simple board game, called Snakes and Ladders. Your goal is to get from the bottom to the top of the board before all the other players. Along the way are traps that can send you sliding back toward your starting position. There are also ladders that can let you jump ahead, closer to the finish space. So far, it's pretty simple and pretty standard.

Now let's change a few things. Instead of a flat, featureless board with a path winding from side to side, let's have a maze. You are standing at the entrance, and you know that there's an exit somewhere, but you don't know where. You have to find it.

Instead of snakes and ladders, we'll put in hidden doors and secret passages. Don't roll a die to see how far you move; you can move as far as you want. Move down the corridor to the intersection. You can turn right, or left, or go straight ahead, or go back the way you came. Or, as long as you're here, you can look for a hidden door. If you find one, it will open into another stretch of corridor. That corridor might take you straight to the exit or lead you into a blind alley. The only way to find out is to step in and start walking.

Of course, given enough time, eventually you'll find the exit. To keep the game interesting, let's put some other things in the maze with you. Nasty things. Things like vampire bats and hobgoblins and zombies and ogres. Of course, we'll give you a sword and a shield, so if you meet one of these things you can defend yourself. You do know how to use a sword, don't you?

And there are other players in the maze as well. They have swords and shields, too. How do you suppose another player would react if you chance to meet? He might attack, but he also might offer to team up. After all, even an ogre might think twice about attacking two people carrying sharp swords and stout shields.

Finally, let's put the board somewhere you can't see it. Let's give it to one of the players and make that player the referee. Instead of looking at the board, you listen to the referee as he describes what you can see from your position on the board. You tell the referee what you want to do and he moves your piece accordingly. As the referee describes your surroundings, try to picture them mentally. Close your eyes and construct the walls of the maze around yourself. Imagine the hobgoblin as the referee describes it whooping and gamboling down the corridor toward you. Now imagine how you would react in that situation and tell the referee what you are going to do about it.

We have just constructed a simple role-playing game. It is not a sophisticated game, but it has the essential element that makes a role-playing game: The player is placed in the midst of an unknown or dangerous situation created by a referee and must work his way through it.

This is the heart of role-playing. The player adopts the role of a character and then guides that character through an adventure. The player makes decisions, interacts with other characters and players, and, essentially, "pretends" to be his character during the course of the game. That doesn't mean that the player must jump up and down, dash around, and act like his character. It means that whenever the character is called on to do something or make a decision, the player pretends that he is in that situation and chooses an appropriate course of action.

Physically, the players and referee (the DM) should be seated comfortably around a table with the referee at the head. Players need plenty of room for papers, pencils, dice, rule books, drinks, and snacks. The referee needs extra space for his maps, dice, rule books, and assorted notes.

The Goal

Another major difference between role-playing games and other games is the ultimate goal. Everyone assumes that a game must have a beginning and an end and that the end comes when someone wins. That doesn't apply to role-playing because no one "wins" in a role-playing game. The point of playing is not to win but to have fun and to socialize.

An adventure usually has a goal of some sort: protect the villagers from the monsters; rescue the lost princess; explore the ancient ruins. Typically, this goal can be attained in a reasonable playing time: four to eight hours is standard. This might require the players to get together for one, two, or even three playing sessions to reach their goal and complete the adventure.

But the game doesn't end when an adventure is finished. The same characters can go on to new adventures. Such a series of adventures is called a campaign.

Remember, the point of an adventure is not to win but to have fun while working toward a common goal. But the length of any particular adventure need not impose an artificial limit on the length of the game. The AD&D game embraces more than enough adventure to keep a group of characters occupied for years.

Required Materials Aside from a copy of this book, very little is needed to play the AD&D game.

You will need some sort of character record. TSR publishes character record sheets that are quite handy and easy to use, but any sheet of paper will do. Blank paper, lined paper, or even graph paper can be used. A double-sized sheet of paper (11 _ 17 inches), folded in half, is excellent. Keep your character record in pencil, because it will change frequently during the game. A good eraser is also a must.

A full set of polyhedral dice is necessary. A full set consists of 4-, 6-, 8-, 10-, 12-, and 20-sided dice. A few extra 6- and 10-sided dice are a good idea. Polyhedral dice should be available wherever you got this book.

Throughout these rules, the various dice are referred to by a code that is in the form: # of dice, followed by "d," followed by a numeral for the type of dice. In other words, if you are to roll one 6-sided die, you would see "roll 1d6." Five 12-sided dice are referred to as "5d12." (If you don't have five 12-sided dice, just roll one five times and add the results.)

When the rules say to roll "percentile dice" or "d100," you need to generate a random

number from | to 100. One way to do this is to roll two 10-sided dice of different colors. Before you roll, designate one die as the tens place and the other as the ones place. Rolling them together enables you to generate a number from | to 100 (a result of "0" on both dice is read as "00" or "100"). For example, if the blue die (representing the tens place) rolls an "8" and the red die (ones place) rolls a "5," the result is 85. Another, more expensive, way to generate a number from | to 100 is to buy one of the dice that actually have numbers from 1 to 100 on them.

At least one player should have a few sheets of graph paper for mapping the group's progress. Assorted pieces of scratch paper are handy for making quick notes, for passing secret messages to other players or the DM, or for keeping track of odd bits of information that you don't want cluttering up your character record.

Miniature figures are handy for keeping track of where everyone is in a confusing situation like a battle. These can be as elaborate or simple as you like. Some players use miniature lead or pewter figures painted to resemble their characters. Plastic soldiers, chess pieces, boardgame pawns, dice, or bits of paper can work just as well.

An Example of Play To further clarify what really goes on during an AD&D game, read the following example. This is typical of the sort of action that occurs during a playing session.

Shortly before this example begins, three player characters fought a skirmish with a wererat (a creature similar to a werewolf but which becomes an enormous rat instead of a wolf). The wererat was wounded and fled down a tunnel. The characters are in pursuit. The group includes two fighters and a cleric. Fighter | is the group's leader.

DM: You've been following this tunnel for about 120 yards. The water on the floor is ankle deep and very cold. Now and then you feel something brush against your foot. The smell of decay is getting stronger. The tunnel is gradually filling with a cold mist. Fighter 1: I don't like this at all. Can we see anything up ahead that looks like a doorway, or a branch in the tunnel?

DM: Within the range of your torchlight, the tunnel is more or less straight. You don't see any branches or doorways.

Cleric: The wererat we hit had to come this way. There's nowhere else to go.

Fighter 1: Unless we missed a hidden door along the way. I hate this place; it gives me the creeps.

Fighter 2: We have to track down that wererat. I say we keep going.

Fighter 1: OK. We keep moving down the tunnel. But keep your eyes open for anything that might be a door.

DM: Another 30 or 35 yards down the tunnel, you find a stone block on the floor. Fighter 1: A block? I take a closer look.

DM: It's a cut block, about 12 by 16 inches, and 18 inches or so high. It looks like a different kind of rock than the rest of the tunnel.

Fighter 2: Where is it? Is it in the center of the tunnel or off to the side?

DM: It's right up against the side.

Fighter 1: Can I move it?

DM (checking the character's Strength score): Yeah, you can push it around without too much trouble.

Fighter 1: Hmmm. This is obviously a marker of some sort. I want to check this area for secret doors. Spread out and examine the walls.

DM (rolls several dice behind his rule book, where players can't see the results): Nobody finds anything unusual along the walls.

Fighter 1: It has to be here somewhere. What about the ceiling?

DM: You can't reach the ceiling. It's about a foot beyond your reach.

Cleric: Of course! That block isn't a marker, it's a step. I climb up on the block and start prodding the ceiling.

DM (rolling a few more dice): You poke around for 20 seconds or so, then suddenly part of the tunnel roof shifts. You've found a panel that lifts away.

Fighter 1: Open it very carefully.

Cleric: I pop it up a few inches and push it aside slowly. Can I see anything?

DM: Your head is still below the level of the opening, but you see some dim light from one side.

Fighter 1: We boost him up so he can get a better look.

DM: OK, your friends boost you up into the room...

Fighter 1: No, no! We boost him just high enough to get his head through the opening. DM: OK, you boost him up a foot. The two of you are each holding one of his legs. Cleric, you see another tunnel, pretty much like the one you were in, but it only goes off in one direction. Thee's a doorway about 10 yards away with a soft light inside. A line of muddy pawprints leads from the hole you're in to the doorway.

Cleric: Fine. I want the fighters to go first.

DM: As they're lowering you back to the block, everyone hears some grunts, splashing, and clanking weapons coming from further down the lower tunnel. They seem to be closing fast.

Cleric: Up! Up! Push me back up through the hole! I grab the ledge and haul myself up. I'll help pull the next guy up.

(All three characters scramble up through the hole.)

DM: What about the panel?

Fighter 1: We push it back into place.

DM: It slides back into its slot with a nice, loud "clunk." The grunting from below gets a lot louder.

Fighter 1: Great, they heard it. Cleric, get over here and stand on this panel. We're going to check out that doorway.

DM: Cleric, you hear some shouting and shuffling around below you, then there's a thump and the panel you're standing on lurches.

Cleric: They're trying to batter it open!

DM (to the fighters): When you peer around the doorway, you see a small, dirty room with a small cot, a table, and a couple of stools. On the cot is a wererat curled up into a ball. Its back is toward you. There's another door in the far wall and a small gong in the corner.

Fighter 1: Is the wererat moving?

DM: Not a bit. Cleric, the panel just thumped again. You can see a little crack in it now. Cleric: Do something quick, you guys. When this panel starts coming apart, I'm getting off it.

Fighter 1: OK already! I step into the room and prod the wererat with my shield. What


DM: Nothing. You see blood on the cot.

Fighter 1: Is this the same wererat we fought before?

DM: Who knows? All wererats look the same to you. Cleric, the panel thumps again. That crack is looking really big.

Cleric: That's it. I get off the panel, I'm moving into the room with everybody else.

DM: There's a tremendous smash and you hear chunks of rock banging around out in the corridor, followed by lots of snarling and squeaking. You see flashes of torchlight and wererat shadows through the doorway.

Fighter 1: All right, the other fighter and I move up to block the doorway. That's the narrowest area, they can only come through it one or two at a time. Cleric, you stay in the room and be ready with your spells.

Fighter 2: At last, a decent, stand-up fight!

DM: As the first wererat appears in the doorway with a spear in his paws, you hear a slam behind you.

Cleric: I spin around. What is it?

DM: The door in the back of the room is broken off its hinges. Standing in the doorway, holding a mace in each paw, is the biggest, ugliest wererat you've ever seen. A couple more pairs of red eyes are shining through the darkness behind him. He's licking his chops in a way that you find very unsettling.

Cleric: Aaaaarrrgh! I scream the name of my deity at the top of my lungs and then flip over the cot with the dead wererat on it so the body lands in front of him. I've got to have some help here, guys.

Fighter 1 (to fighter 2): Help him, I'll handle this end of the room. (To DM:) I'm attacking the wererat in the first doorway.

DM: While fighter 2 is switching positions, the big wererat looks at the body on the floor and his jaw drops. He looks back up and says, "That's Ignatz. He was my brother. You killed my brother." Then he raises both maces and leaps at you.

At this point a ferocious melee breaks out. The DM uses the combat rules to play out the battle. If the characters survive, they can continue on whatever course they choose.


Ability--any of the six natural traits that represent the basic definition of a player character: Strength, Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma. A player character's abilities are determined at the beginning of a game by rolling 6-sided dice (d6s). The scores continue to be used throughout the game as a means of determining success or failure of many actions.

Ability check--a 1d20 roll against one of your character's ability scores (modifiers may be added to or subtracted from the die roll). A result that is equal to or less than your character's ability score indicates that the attempted action succeeds.

AC--abbreviation for Armor Class.

Alignment--a factor in defining a player character that reflects his basic attitude toward

society and the forces of the universe. Basically there are nine categories demonstrating the character's relationship to order vs. chaos and good vs. evil. A player character's alignment is selected by the player when the character is created.

Area of effect--the area in which a magical spell or a breath weapon works on any creatures unless they make a saving throw.

Armor Class (abbr. AC)--a rating for the protective value of a type of armor, figured from 10 (no armor at all) to 0 or even -10 (the best magical armor). The higher the AC, the more vulnerable the character is to attack.

Attack roll--the 1d20 roll used to determine if an attack is successful.

Bend bars/lift gates roll--the roll of percentile dice to determine whether a character succeeds in bending metal bars, lifting a heavy portcullis, or similar task. The result needed is a function of Strength and can be found in Table 1.

Bonus spells--extra spells at various spell levels that a priest is entitled to because of high Wisdom; shown in Table 5.

Breath weapon--the ability of a dragon or other creature to spew a substance out of its mouth just by breathing, without making an attack roll. Those in the area of effect must roll a saving throw.

Cha--abbreviation for Charisma.

Chance of spell failure--the percentage chance that a priest spell will fail when cast. Based on Wisdom, it is shown in Table 5.

Chance to know spell--the percentage chance for a wizard to learn a new spell. Based on Intelligence, it is shown in Table 4.

Charisma (abbr. Cha)--an ability score representing a character's persuasiveness, personal magnetism, and ability to lead.

Class--A character's primary profession or career.

Common--the language that all player characters in the AD&D game world speak. Other languages may require the use of proficiency slots.

Con--abbreviation for Constitution.

Constitution (abbr. Con)--an ability score that represents a character's general physique, hardiness, and state of health.

d--abbreviation for dice or die. A roll that calls for 2d6, for example, means that the player rolls two six-sided dice.

d3--since there is no such thing as a three-sided die, a roll calling for d3 means to use a d6, making | and 2 be a 1, 3 and 4 be a 2, and 5 and 6 be a3.

d4--a four-sided die.

d6--a six-sided die.

d8--an eight-sided die.

d10--a ten-sided die. Two d10s can be used as percentile dice.

d12--a twelve-sided die.

d20--a twenty-sided die.

d100--either an actual 100-sided die or two different-colored ten-sided dice to be rolled as percentile dice.

DMG.--a reference to the Dungeon Master Guide.

Damage--the effect of a successful attack or other harmful situation, measured in hit points.

Demihuman--a player character who is not human: a dwarf, elf, gnome, half-elf, or


Dex--abbreviation for Dexterity.

Dexterity (abbr. Dex)--an ability score representing a combination of a character's agility, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, and the like.

Dual-class character--a human who switches character class after having already progressed several levels. Only humans can be dual-classed.

Encumbrance--the amount, in pounds, that a character is carrying. How much he can carry and how being encumbered affects his movement rate are based on Strength and are shown in Tables 47 and 48. Encumbrance is an optional rule.

Energy drain--the ability of a creature, especially undead, to drain energy in the form of class levels from a character, in addition to the normal loss of hit points.

Experience points (abbr. XP)--points a character earns (determined by the Dungeon Master) for completing an adventure, for doing something related to his class particularly well, or for solving a major problem. Experience points are accumulated, enabling the character to rise in