Advanced Search

Encyclopedia Magica, Vol. 1 [A-D] (2e)Click to magnify
Quick Preview
Full‑size Preview

Encyclopedia Magica, Vol. 1 [A-D] (2e)

The Encyclopedia Magica is a four-volume series that describes every magical item for the AD&D game. These items have been collected from rule books, campaign settings, supplements, adventures, and magazines dating back to 1975. This essential reference tool puts the power of more than 20 years of AD&D history at your fingertips!

**Warning: Large file size!**


Product History

The Encyclopedia Magica, Volume One (1994), compiled and developed by Dale "slade" Henson from the work of thousands of authors, is a work of either tremendous hubris or absolute brilliance. "How hard would it be," someone foolishly asked, "if we were to just pull together every magic item TSR has ever published? That can't be all that hard, right?"

Wrong. There's a reason that the credits acknowledge James M. Ward, "for laughing when he heard slade had this project."

So. Many. Items. From the original Dungeons & Dragons woodgrain and white box set and the first issue of The Strategic Review right up to the last product published in December of 1993, these four tomes work to include every single magical item ever to have hit print for D&D. They succeeded almost perfectly.*

slade gathered, collected, sorted, and tracked each magic item from every module, rule book, and Dragon or Polyhedron article that had been published by TSR. It was without doubt a monumental and mind-numbing task.
A Story in Every Item. This tome (the first of four) is one quarter of your go-to guide for magic item inspiration. The volume begins at Abacus of Calculation and finishes up 390 pages later with Dust of Blending. This volume also includes comprehensive tables and rules for artifacts, money conversion, and enchanted enhancements (another name for magical quirks or additional enchantments that could be applied to almost any item). You'll find Al-Azid's Ghostly Palace, arrows of bow-breaking, multiple chaos-laden bags of beans, boots of star striding, several cloud castles, the Invulnerable Coat of Arnd, a dryad's cordial, the crown of Imperium, Tenser's Tantulus, and more versions of the deck of many things than you can play 52-card pickup with.

One of the things that I really enjoy about the Encyclopedia Magica is that the entire item description is included for each item, not just the raw game mechanics. If there is background, history, or flavor text in the original entry, it's included here. That makes this a very fun read compared to most magic item books, with hints and suggestions of the original context that sometimes shine through.
That said, it's still a collection of innumerable magic items, some of which are better (read: more balanced) than others, and it should be taken as such: There's been no attempt to correct rule imbalances, edit entries, or even match game mechanics to one particular edition of the game. This book is purely a reference guide - a "I'll pick it up and read ten pages" book, if you will, and not an "I'll read it cover to cover" book.

Love Magic Items? You'll want this series. Whether you're window shopping for cool items or researching how and where an item first came about, you'll want all four books. There is nothing else quite like them.

About the Creators. Dale "slade" Henson worked at TSR in the early 90s and produced superb work for lines as diverse as Birthright, Gamma World, Lankhmar, and Spelljammer. We have no idea how he managed to produce the Encyclopedia Magica item compendiums, but we're glad he did.

* I know of only one missed item: the flail of Yeenoghu from the 1e Monster Manual. Gnolls everywhere snarl at the indignity.

About the Product Historian

History and commentary of this product was written by Kevin Kulp, game designer and admin of the independent D&D fansite ENWorld. 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 (6)
Discussions (12)
Customer avatar
Amanda P July 23, 2023 1:09 am UTC
Quick question, are these scans of the originals, or did someone type it out from their own copy of the books? I'm sorry if this seems like a stupid question, but I'm rather new here and am not familiar with the items on here.
Customer avatar
Kevin H March 08, 2023 4:46 am UTC
Lol. There must be a reason there's no POD. I am here for it. Wondered how many Discussions touched on it. Answer: all of them.
Customer avatar
George F December 27, 2022 2:06 am UTC
If these were cleaned up and made PoD, they'd be an immediate Top Seller.
Customer avatar
Stephen H January 10, 2022 1:40 am UTC
Print version, please.
Customer avatar
allen P October 01, 2021 6:31 pm UTC
Please contact WotC so that you can make a print copy of this, thank you!
Customer avatar
Adam J September 27, 2021 11:52 pm UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
Adam J August 05, 2021 3:09 pm UTC
POD please
Customer avatar
Brent W June 14, 2021 1:49 am UTC
POD please!
Customer avatar
Adam J April 05, 2021 5:07 am UTC
Whenever you would like to listen to your customers would be great - I mean, you've reprinted far lesser books in the past. Please reprint the Encyclopedias - they are ridiculously expensive on the used market and PDFs aren't my favorite!
Customer avatar
Nicholas P January 27, 2021 6:38 pm UTC
POD please.
Customer avatar
Heath B January 16, 2021 10:52 pm UTC
Wizards: I wish people would stop asking for everything Print on Demand. Can't they just be happy with digital?
Customer avatar
Steven R January 23, 2021 4:39 pm UTC
On this one I agree no POD. TSR lost money printing these. Plus with the PDF bundle you have access all 4 for less the original price of one of them. Great Books so helpful in any edition.
Customer avatar
Heath B May 10, 2021 2:01 am UTC
I want a physical copy, losing money on the original has no bearing on PoD, and using the PDF isn't as useful as having the actual book at hand. Thanks anyway.
Customer avatar
Adam J August 05, 2021 3:07 pm UTC
People are asking for reprints because they don’t like PDFs.
Customer avatar
Bruce L June 25, 2020 2:22 am UTC
POD, please! Thank you!
Customer avatar
Mike P July 14, 2020 1:19 pm UTC
Customer avatar
Jason C July 17, 2020 6:29 am UTC
Pretty please?
Browse Categories
$ to $
 Follow Your Favorites!
NotificationsSign in to get custom notifications of new products!

Product Information
Platinum seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2141
File Size:
119.59 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:
September 12, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on July 16, 2013.