Advanced Search

REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1e)Click to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1e)


This is the second in a series of ground-breaking AD&D accessories. Within these pages are nearly 70 fully developed adventures that can be inserted into any campaign. They are ready-to-play challenges for all levels of characters. DMs need not spend long hours creating diversions for their players?we've done it for you.

If you have The Book of Lairs, you already know what you'll find herein. These mini-adventures are arranged by terrain type (city, desert, hills, mountains, forest, etc.), with monsters in alphabetical order for easy access. At the back of the book is a combined monsters statistics table, showing all the necessary figures at a glance.

These are familiar monsters (like the gnome, brownie, and ettin) and not-so-familiar ones (like the bakemono and tengu), form both original AD&D sources and the Oriental Adventures book. Some of these mini-adventures are mere diversions; others can turn into minor campaigns! In any case, DMs and players alike are sure to be pleased with The Book of Lairs II.

Product History

REF4: The Book of Lairs II (1986) is the fourth AD&D REFerence and the secound of the Lairs books of short adventures. It was published in April 1987.

About the Cover. The cover of REF4: The Book of Lairs II (1987) is a fun contrast to REF3: The Book of Lairs (1986). Where the first featured a group of (presumably good) adventurers fighting a green dragon, this one depicts more obviously evil adventurers — including a cleric, a thief, and a half-orc fighter — assaulting a gold dragon.

Origins: More Lairs. The first Book of Lairs was apparently popular, because this follow-up hit stores less than nine months later. However, there's a big change: where the first Book of Lairs was just the work of two authors, this second Book of Lairs instead featured the work of twenty(!).

As TSR more fully embraced adventure anthologies in the late '80s, this massive division of labor would become common because it allowed the company to divide up a book among many freelancers. These freelancers were becoming more important as TSR produced more books out-of-house and this methodology insured that one freelancer missing his deadline wouldn't impact the overall work.

Many reviewers felt that the division of labor in Book of Lairs II was also very good for the book, because it allowed each author to come up with just a few lairs, instead of the thirty each that Zeb Cook and Mike Breault had to produce for the first one. This allowed for more polished, thoughtful, and innovative designs, because they didn't have to be mass-produced.

Adventure Tropes. Like its predecessor, The Book of Lairs II is an adventure anthology of encounters. A couple of its encounters have maps, but most still do not.

Monsters of Note. The Book of Lairs II still features many classic D&D monsters, but it's moved on from standard undead and humanoids to the more iconic originals, such as displacer beasts, fungi, beholders, and mind flayers, and the more mythological beasts, such as pegasi and medusas. Overall, it's a bit of a hodge-podge, but most of the monsters are still well known. The exception are the Oriental Adventures monsters like the shan sao and the tengu, which are somewhat more common in this book than its predecessor.

This time around the most common levels for the monsters was 1 to 8 HD. The lowest-level monsters are the leprechauns at 1 HD, while the highest is the iron golem at 18.

About the Creators. Project coordinators Bruce Heard and Karen S. Martin herded twenty different contributors, some TSR staff and some freelancers: Anne Brown, Scott Bennie, Deborah Christian, David Cook, Jane Cooper, Ed Greenwood, Jennell Jaquays, Robin Jenkins, David E. Martin, Karen S. Martin, Anne Gray McCready, Bruce Nesmith, Jeff O'Hare, Steve Perrin, Jon Pickens, Michael Price, Rick Swan, Gary Thomas, William Tracy, and Allen Varney.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons — a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (4)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
Colby G April 18, 2022 6:58 pm UTC
POD Please!
Customer avatar
Antonio W December 06, 2020 1:35 am UTC
Customer avatar
Edmond Dee C February 08, 2020 12:54 pm UTC
Has this been re-scanned?
Narrow Results
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Gold seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9198
File Size:
4.76 MB
Scanned image Click for more information
Scanned image
These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
Original electronic format
These ebooks were created from the original electronic layout files, and therefore are fully text searchable. Also, their file size tends to be smaller than scanned image books. Most newer books are in the original electronic format. Both download and print editions of such books should be high quality.
File Information
Watermarked PDF Click for more information
Watermarked PDF

These PDF files are digitally watermarked to signify that you are the owner. A small message is added to the bottom of each page of the PDF containing your name and the order number of your purchase.

Warning: If any files bearing your information are found being distributed illegally, then your account will be suspended and legal action may be taken against you.

Here is a sample of a page from a watermarked title:

File Last Updated:
October 24, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on October 25, 2016.