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REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1e)
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REF4 The Book of Lairs II (1e)

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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 shannon.appelcline@gmail.com.

 
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December 15th, 2006
Very interesting and exactly what i need ! perfect !<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: it reminds me of an old age ;)<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br [...]
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December 23rd, 2005
The PC's will love to hate this one ( I hope ). Haven't read it all but remember some of these as a pc in the 80's<br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: love it all, even the obscure stuff<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: nothin [...]
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Product Information
Copper seller
Rule System(s)
Pages
96
Edition
1.0
ISBN
0-88038-396-8
Publisher Stock #
TSR 9198
File Size:
4.76 MB
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Scanned image
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File Last Updated:
October 24, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on October 25, 2016.