Add the grandeur of epic adventure to your AD&D game!
Legends & Lore has now been revised for use with the AD&D 2nd Edition rules and expanded to 192 pages. It describes dozens of deities, heroes, and monsters from 11 different cultures. Special attention has been paid to the priests who worship the deities represented in this book. Each entry outlines the spells and powers granted to followers of a specific faith. In addition, you'll learn about the cultures that worship the deities within and be provided with new spells, magic items, and character classes.
The revised Legends & Lore is a vital reference work for every serious AD&D player!
Legends & Lore (1990), by Troy Denning & James M. Ward, was the fourth core rulebook for AD&D second edition. It was published in August 1990.
The AD&D 2e Line. The second edition of AD&D premiered in 1989, with the Player's Handbook (1989), the Dungeon Master's Guide (1989) and the three core volumes of the Monstrous Compendium (1989) all appearing over the course of the same year. However, there was still one core rulebook needed to complete the 2e set: Legends & Lore. It appeared about a year and a half after 2e had begun.
A Third-generation Book. Legends & Lore was actually a third-generation deities book, following in the footsteps of Supplement IV: Gods, Demi-Gods & Heroes (1976) for OD&D and then Deities & Demigods (1980) for AD&D 1e - the latter of which was renamed Legends & Lore in 1985 to placate certain anti-D&D religious extremists.
The 2e edition of Legends & Lore probably preserves more continuity from those 15 years of publication than any other D&D book. However, it also drops a few mythos from the previous version of the book. The Cthulhu and Melnibonean mythos had been dropped long before due to legal problems. The Babylonian, Finnish, Nonhuman, and Sumerian mythos also disappear in this new edition. Of those, it's most surprising that the nonhuman deities are gone, given that they represent some of the most original parts of the previous Deities & Demigods. However, TSR had decided that their first deities book should reflect the "human experience." The nonhuman deities would follow a few years later in DMGR4: Monster Mythology (1992), a book that's essentially a companion to Legends & Lore.
Despite the continuity from the previous version of the book, the authors say that the new Legends & Lore is "a complete rewrite from top to bottom," with new entries and new research alike.
A New Look at Deities. One of the most notable changes to Legends & Lore is that it offers up a completely new way to look at deities. In 1st edition AD&D, Deities & Demigods had essentially been a super-high-level monster manual. Though Legends & Lore provides statistics for the gods' avatars, no stats are given for the gods themselves. In addition, extensive notes are now provided on worship and the priesthood of each god. The latter includes a list of spheres that the priest has access to as well as some special powers, offering up an early look at the specialty priests that would become increasingly common as 2e continued.
Forgotten Realms Adventures (1990) had previewed much of this earlier in the year, though its formatting was quite different (and actually easier to read, as it didn't depend on extensive abbreviations as Legends & Lore does).
The deity format from Legends & Lore was reused in DMGR4: Monster Mythology. In the waning years of 2e, it would be replaced by a new style starting in Faiths & Avatars (1996), which provided expanded specialty priest listings, detailed the church, and usually included multiple new spells for the clergy.
More Sops. The 1e Deities & Demigods had said that it was "not intended as a treatment of world religions and the rightness or wrongness of their philosophies." The 2e Legends & Lore offers a much stronger statement, saying, "This book is not, in any way, a judgement on the validity or value of any religion practiced in any part of the world, either currently or in the past. It does not encourage or discourage belief in any of the deities listed herein, nor does the omission of any religion reflect in anyway upon that religion's value or validity. Such judgements have no place in fantasy role-playing." This probably reflected an increased fear of religious groups (and mothers) that was rampant at TSR under Lorraine Williams.
About the Creators. James Ward worked on all three editions of D&D's deities book produced from the 70s to the 90s, and thus he's the main element that ties them together. Troy Denning had just returned to TSR in 1989, and 1990 was a busy year for him: He also wrote the entire "FRA" trilogy of adventures (1990) for the Forgotten Realms Empires event.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.