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

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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

 Customers Who Bought this Title also Purchased
Reviews (6)
Discussions (0)
March 19th, 2019
A lot of the items are either overpowered, or dangerous enough to cause a tpk for some of the cursed items. That said, quite a few items are fun and unique and ineteresting. With so many items to choose from, just scrolling through the book can [...]
August 5th, 2017
The four tomes of Encyclopedia Magica used in the AD&D 2e game are some of my most used books. They detail and alphabetically list every magic item officially used by TSR in the First and Second Editions (These contain all magic from th [...]
July 17th, 2013
I just wanted to mention that the quality of the 2013 re-release of this PDF appears to be of much higher quality than what is described in the earlier reviews. All of these pages are straight and the text is crisp. No orange highlighter. I didn't even [...]
August 17th, 2007
If you want to make sure you have tons of ideas for magical items these are the books you want. Make sure to get 1-4 so that you have each and every one of them. This orginal TSR AD&D 2nd Ed. I have to say Wizards of the Coast ruined AD&D. Afte [...]
July 9th, 2006
Encyclopedia Magica is really a great idea. Using the same old magic items from the DMG makes them rather predictable to players, robbing the game of its sense of wonder. Using magic items from other books and Dragon magazine helps to alleviate this [...]
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Rules Edition(s)
Publisher Stock #
TSR 2141
File Size:
119.59 MB
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File Last Updated:
September 12, 2013
This title was added to our catalog on July 16, 2013.