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Rules Cyclopedia  
Rules Cyclopedia cover.jpg
Author(s) Aaron Allston (compilation and development), Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Jean Watry (editing)
Genre(s) Role-playing game
Publisher TSR, Inc.
Publication date 1991
Media type Print (Hardback)
Pages 304

The Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia was published by TSR, Inc. in 1991, as a continuation of the basic edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, which ran concurrently with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. Its product designation was TSR 1071.


The Rules Cyclopedia contained all the major rules, compiled and revised from the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Rules, as well as the Expert Rules, Companion Rules, and Master Rules boxed sets.[1]

However, the book's introduction on page 5 states that it is "intended to be a reference volume for those who already play the D&D game ... this book is aimed at the experienced user ... [it] lacks many of the examples and patient explanation you'll find in the D&D box sets".[2] The same year, a revised introductory Dungeons & Dragons set was released to introduce new players to the game.[3]

This was the second revision to the D&D rules.[4] These guidelines allow a player to develop and play characters from levels 1-36, and includes a special section on skills.[1] The book also contained an overview of the Known World (Mystara) and Hollow World campaign settings.[1] It also has rules on how to convert characters between the Dungeons & Dragons game and the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons second edition game.

The Rules Cyclopedia includes two optional classes to the game: the druid (introduced in the Companion ruleset) and the mystic (introduced in the Master ruleset, similar to the monk class found in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons).

Publication history[]

The D&D Rules Cyclopedia was designed by Aaron Allston and published by TSR, Inc.[1][4] This 304-page hardback book features cover artwork by Jeff Easley and interior art by Terry Dykstra.[2]


Rick Swan reviewed the D&D Rules Cyclopedia for Dragon magazine #184 (August 1992).[1] He calls the book a "stunningly comprehensive volume", explaining that it "includes more detail than most GMs will ever use [...] but if you want it, you can probably find it here".[1] According to Swan, "Best of all, the material is a joy to read, thanks to the breezy style of Aaron Allston, who must've been genetically engineered to write RPG rules. This is a must for serious fans."[1]

Shannon Appelcline said that the book "was a nice compilation that was appreciated by the fans".[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Swan, Rick (August 1992). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon (Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR) (#184): 76. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  3. Shannon Appelcline. "D&D Rules Cyclopedia (Basic)". Retrieved September 9, 2014. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. pp. 27. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7. 

Additional reading[]

  • Steven E. Schend, "The grand old game–complete at last!" Dragon #177.

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