D&D 2E Wizards of the Coast releases the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game, the AD&D 2E quick-start set, for free on DriveThruRPG (Update: free no longer!)


The EN World kitten
Adding to the list of free PDFs of old products that they've been releasing recently, WotC has just made the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (affiliate link) available for free download.

Originally released in 1999 (you can see the "Silver Anniversary" logo on the cover), this boxed set was (if I recall correctly) the last release of the AD&D 2E Core Rules prior to the release of D&D Third Edition. The contents include basic rules on making characters and on running games, including a few brief adventures set in and around a town called Haven. Obviously, the dice and dice bag are not included in the PDF. ;)

This joins the list of free PDFs that WotC has released over the last few months, including the World of Krynn and The Eastern Countries trail maps, Three Dragon Ante and Rob Kuntz's To the City of Brass, and Wrath of the Immortals and The Book of Regency.

So if you were looking for a quick way to introduce your group to AD&D 2nd Edition, or just wanted some introductory 2E adventures, go ahead and pick this up.
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There's some odd and interesting thing going on in this set. Instead of having "hit dice", the monsters have "levels" - with some odd-looking results where you have things like goblins having a Level of 1-1. The owlbear picture in the monster listings has six limbs, inferring it can fly. And are the xvargs supposed to be xvarts and someone missed a spell check?

Also, while not free, this set apparently uses the same mini-campaign world of Vale as in the Fast-play products Eye of the Wyvern, Wrath of the Minotaur and The Ruined Tower (not on DriveThruRPG that I could find). I find it amusing they're being charged for on DrivethruRPG when the original booklets were free, and this boxed set is free.

As an aside, I have this boxed set and one of the more interesting components was actually the dice bag that came with set. It's a soft plastic with the dragon TSR logo on it and despite the somewhat gaudy appearance it's actually rather durable - probably moreso than the dice.

Dire Bare

Since the DM's Guild and DriveThruRPG are both different skins for the same storefront (that being OneBookShelf), you can replace the "drivethrurpg" part of the URL with "dmsguild" and go to the product's page there: Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (affiliate link).
@Alzrius is of course correct, but . . . sometimes "classic" D&D titles show up in the DriveThru store but not the DMsGuild store when you click on a category like "Recently Added Classic D&D Titles". It's weird, and showcases the outdated storefront OneBookshelf uses. They are working on a new storefront, hopefully it will eliminate these types of issues.


Baronet of Gaming
This was my introduction to Dungeons & Dragons. I played it for quite a while, my 10 year old self probably not grokking half of it correctly, but it was a solid entryway into the hobby. My father even photo copied all the characters sheets so that I wouldn't have to mess them up. Definitely a boxed set I'd like to get a hold of in it's entirety at some point. So much nostalgia here for me!

Egon Spengler

"We eat gods for breakfast!"
I still have my physical copy of this set. It wasn't my introduction to AD&D by any means, but I sure played the heck out of it in high school. (And I used the Vale setting and the three adventures in this box as part of a Karameikos / Barrowmaze campaign I ran at my FLGS, back before the pandemic.)

I just noticed that some of the monster pictures are actually originally of different monsters. The "red dragon" here is actually the blue dragon from the Monster Manual, and they have used one of the Monster Manual liches for the zombie image.


Interesting. I used the Fast Play rules as presented in Dragon 251 to introduce my sister's kids to 2e, and it wasn't too bad. I think I'll grab this even if I don't use it much.

Book of Regency had been a free PDF originally, so I'd be annoyed if WotC stuck a price tag on it. Doesn't really matter too much because I still have the original file I downloaded BitD.

The other products might be worth a look, though Wrath of the Immortals has the problem of being very high level rules coupled with a very railroady adventure that has an ending with no player agency and a world shattering event that I don't agree with. Then OTOH, Mystara is kind of a mess to begin with.


The Trail Maps aren't very good scans at all, no wonder they put them up for free. The Dragonlance one is slightly better, it looks like one side was a poster map of Ansalon, while the other side had a collection of maps which I believe are from the Dragonlance atlas. I'm not too impressed with that because many of those atlas maps were included in the Tales of the Lance box, which I have, so that's nothing particularly new. The box also has a poster map of Ansalon, but it's a different one.

The Eastern Countries map looks like the original copy had been water damaged or something. Unfortunately, it doesn't cover the really classic parts of the Known World area of Mystara which would arguably be Karameikos, Glantri and Darokin.

Wrath of the Immortals is a pretty rough scan from what I can tell. Still, I suppose for the fans of the old Rules Cyclopedia, it's worth picking up since it updates the Immortals rules, though it's questionable if a campaign will ever progress far enough to need or use them.

The Adventure Game is a pretty good introductory product for 2e.


The EN World kitten
UPDATE: The price for this has just jumped up to $9.99! It's not the only product to experience a sudden price jump either, with the Deluxe Character Sheets (affiliate link) for D&D 3.5 now costing $12.99 as well. So far no other free products have received a price increase, so grab them now if you haven't already!

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