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DMGR3 Arms and Equipment Guide (2e)

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At one time or another, every Dungeon Master faces questions like "What's the difference between banded mail and splint mail?" and "What do all these pole arms look like?"
DMs and players alike will be thrilled to find answers to these and other equipment questions all in this book, the Arms and Equipment Guide. Lavishly illustrated, this book provides valuable descriptions and diagrams for a variety of armors, weapons, and barding, as well as important items of clothing and equipment. This is the essential volume for the well-equipped character!
Product History
DMGR3: Arms and Equipment Guide (1991) - by Grant Boucher, Troy Christensen, Jon Pickens, John Terra, and Scott Davis - is the third book in the prestige Dungeon Master's Guide Rules series for second edition AD&D. It was published in August 1991.
Continuing with the DMGRs. Arms and Equipment continues with the loosely-related DMGR series of prestige leatherette AD&D books. As an equipment guide, it was something new for the series, and actually more akin to the Player's Handbook than the Dungeon Master Guide, since that's where the original equipment lists that Arms and Equipment builds upon came from. However, by presenting extensive histories and descriptions of common equipment, Arms and Equipment is also a nice complement to DMGR2: The Castle Guide (1990), which provided basic background for the medieval era.
An Original Equipment Guide. Equipment guides date back to at least FASA's The FCI Consumer Guide (1981) for Traveller, while TSR started their own equipment guide production with TSAC1: G4 File: Guns, Gadgets, and Getaway Guide (1987) for Top Secret / SI. Many more equipment guides appeared in the late 80s, but almost all were for modern or science-fiction games.
Fantasy games got a lot less "equipment love" in the 80s. TSR's major forays prior to DMGR3 included Oriental Adventures (1985), which highlighted Asian-influenced equipment; Unearthed Arcana (1985), which was somewhat infamous for its extensive depictions of pole arms; and PHBR1: The Complete Fighter's Handbook (1989), which added numerous new weapons and armors to the AD&D game. However, none of these earlier equipment sections spanned more than 25 or so pages.
It's thus somewhat surprising that on their first major foray into equipment supplements, TSR took a fairly unusual tack. Rather than listing out lots of new equipment, Arms and Equipment instead provided piles of "fluff" detail on existing arms, armor, clothing, and other adventuring equipment. The well-illustrated book thus helps players to understand the extant accourtements of the AD&D game (including those pole arms, which are once more well detailed).
But An Even More Original Book Would Follow! Arms and Equipment was succeeded by an even more innovative equipment guide, Aurora's Whole Realms Catalogue (1992). Aurora's also gives some descriptive detail on items - though the items in the later book tended to be more esoteric than the standard arms and armor of this release.
Future History. DMGR3 was considered important enough to the AD&D game that it was one of just five books incorporated into the "AD&D Core Rules" CD-Rom (1996). The other four were the Player's Handbook (1989), Dungeon Master Guide (1989), Monstrous Manual (1993), and Tome of Magic (1991).
About the Creators. Like the previous DMGR books, this one was the work of several writers - of whom both Boucher and Christensen had also worked on the Castle Guide. Most of them freelanced for a number of companies over the years. TSR editor and author Jon Pickens is notable for often being a go-to research guy at TSR; he'd thus help out with Aurora's Whole Realm Catalogue as well.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, 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

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Abram R July 19, 2021 5:06 pm UTC
PoD please!
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PoD please
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File Last Updated:
March 19, 2020
This title was added to our catalog on April 23, 2013.