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Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook: Core Rulebook I [Hardcover]

Monte Cook , Jonathan Tweet
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (400 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 1 2000 Dungeons & Dragons (Book 3)
Each of the Dungeons & Dragons core rulebooks has been revised and updated for clarity and content. Each revision integrates user feedback received since the original product release so as to address the specific wants and needs of the player and Dungeon Master audiences. The overall rules system remains intact, with changes targeted specifically at elements of game play that were considered under-powered or incomplete. These revised editions also contain bonus content, such as new feats, that are exclusive to these editions. In addition, the new and revised content instructs players on how to take full advantage of the tie-in D&D miniatures line planned to release in Fall 2003 from Wizards of the Coast, Inc.

Overall changes to all the titles include making complex combat easier to understand and provide more information on interacting with and summoning monsters. Specific changes include the following: the Player's Handbook received revisions to character classes to make them more balanced, and there are revisions and additions to spell lists.

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From Amazon

The Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition Player's Handbook contains all the rules you need to create characters and begin adventuring with the world's most popular role-playing game. Newcomers to the game will appreciate this book's clear explanations, effective examples, pleasing layout, elegant rules, and brilliant art. It's never been easier to create and role-play a heroic human ranger, cunning elf wizard, or any other fantasy character from the game's 7 races and 11 classes.

Old-school players will likewise be pleased, as the outdated AD&D rules system has been given a thorough overhaul. Gone are almost all the old restrictions on race and alignment. Halfling sorcerers, half-orc paladins, dwarf barbarians and gnome monks are now possible. THACO, negative armour class, funky saving throws, inflated ability scores, heat-based infravision and just about every other needlessly complex rule has been reworked into a faster, more consistent and fun system. Players can choose unique special abilities for their characters as they gain levels, which means that even two fighters of the same race and class can have very different abilities. The end result of all these changes is a dynamic game with more customised characters.

Almost every page has some form of new artwork, and the art almost always serves to explain a concept or illustrate a point. The book is filled with example montages that help to show the difference between human, half-elf and elf, or relative size differences between creatures or what the various levels of cover and concealment look like. These illustrations make the rules much more clear. The style of the artwork is consistent throughout the book and is a definite departure from older editions of AD&D. Instead of the classic medieval artwork of Larry Elmore, the new book has the spiky, leathery, Mad Max-meets-Renaissance look of the Magic: The Gathering card game.

The illustrative changes may be too radical a departure from AD&D tradition for some, but the other modifications are definite improvements. The rules are fast and clear, and the characters--including the new sorcerer class and the return of the monk, barbarian and half-orc--are fabulous. If you're new to the D&D game, then this rule book is the perfect introduction. And if you're an old-school gamer who's played D&D since its inception, then welcome to then new era. You won't want to go back. --Mike Fehlauer, Amazon.com

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of good stuff, some (significant) holes July 11 2003
D&D 3E is a massive improvement over previous editions in a number of ways ... D&D has finally embraced skills, a big plus; a lot of the arbitrary and annoying restrictions of previous editions have been eliminated; the whole thing has been streamlined greatly at a fundamental level (there is still a lot of rules grit - attacks of opportunity anyone? - but this has always been the case, and by using a much cleaner and less arbitrary basic system, the game is now more intuitive).
The problem with D&D 3e is that it requires a *lot* of work on the part of the gamemaster. This is not a ready-to-play game by any stretch, unlike WotC's Star Wars d20, say. You have to go to some lengths to create a campaign setting, and realistically you're going to have to throw some of those arbitrary restriction back in. Why? Because D&D 3e has some significant imbalances, and you're likely to be playing with one player who is going to be looking for rules loopholes to create an unbalanced character. A big culprit here is the multi-classing combined with the fact that many classes are front-loaded with a lot of cool abilities at first level, so it's not unusual to find characters with 3 or 4 classes so they can cherry-pick low-level abilities from each. This is not only aestetically displeasing and unbalancing, but makes it impossible to keep a coherent character vision. The prestige classes are a cool and interesting feature, but are for the most part egregiously broken and, in the words of a fellow-player, "pure munchkinism".
Another complaint of mine about the system is that characters are simply too hard to make distinctive; the only real tool you have is this problematic multi-classing, and that is at best a blunt instrument.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Simplified, Still Sensational June 7 2003
I was skeptical about Third Edition (3E) rules, and I finally got around to using them. I'm a Dungeon Master, so I'm the guy who needs to be really up on the rules. All of my players wanted to play 3E, so I didn't want to be...unemployed.
I thought that 3e was just a beautified version of 2E. Better art, prettier covers, etc. I was wrong. The rules are surprisingly solid, and are much more beginner friendly. They have much more balanced classes, and more detailed races and sub-race options. The combat has been greatly improved, and is much more clean-cut. No more THACO, it has been simplified to "to hit" or "attack roll." Which, I'm sorry to say, is much easier on me and the players.
3E isn't flawless though. Some things are so simplified that they can just seem childish though. Spells are cast with pretty much a flick of the fingers, which is total stupidity. The Attack of Oppurtunity makes it a little more difficult. Still, spellcasting is a difficult task, therefore it should have a more difficult process. Overall 3E is a great change of pace, and is much cleaner cut than 2E. The DM is able to run the game a lot smoother. But if you are a harcore DnD player who neglects to go to 3E because it is too simple, I support you too.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not nice written Jan. 14 2003
Most of the reviews you can read for this book here is reviews written by experienced players. I am new in the D&D, and I take the book as a textbook, not as a handbook. I didn't read 1st and 2nd edition of the book.
This is book that I read with more interest than I had for the most of the books I read in last time, but I have certain difficulties.
It is relatively hard to follow the matter if you read book sequencially. The problem is that the matter is not categorised well, so the terms are used before they are defined. For example Class is the term that is used in 2nd Chapter, but it is defined in the 3dr one. Also, there is table about spells in the 1st chapter, buzt spells are defined in 11th. In the second chapter tte term dodge bonus is used that is defined in the 5th section, and so on. As a mathematician, I know that there is no matter that is so complex that cannot be present in consistent way. Unfortunately, this book isn't written by author(s) that are experienced enough in writting textbooks to make it consistent in way that is described above.
It it was a book on the math, the number of stars will be a less than tree, but because it is book on game playing, and it is the only one (as far as I know) that deals with the matter of D&D character creating, so you are, in a way, forced to read this book if you want to be a player, I'll give the 3 stars for this book, and it can be taken as an award not as a punishment for the book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thorough but Disjointed Jan. 7 2003
The 3rd Edition Player's Handbook is almost exactly what the Player's handbook should be. It gives the player a sense of what his or her character can do without bogging down on unnecessary rules. All the very basics of the game are there, from character creation, through skills, feats, item selections, and spells. Much more than tables and charts, the Player's Handbook gives a good idea of what a default campaign will be like and what the character can encounter, but doesn't require the player to memorize everything.
Much of the job of running the game and knowing the rules is left to the DM, but this is a good thing. The DM is the one with the final say, the one who knows the world, and the one who should be charged with keeping the game running smoothly.
My one complaint about the Player's Handbook, and the reason it has only four stars, is that the layout is atrocious in areas. The combat section in particular is great if you're reading right through it, but trying to use it as a reference is an absolute nightmare. Some better organisation would be very nice there.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Players Handbook
Though it came a few days later than expected, the book is in great condition exactly as I wanted it.
Published on Feb. 21 2011 by Jacki
5.0 out of 5 stars 3.0 is STILL better than 3.5
I wouldn't listen to anyone that claims the "new and improved" 3.5 is any bit "new and improved".
3. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 edition has arived
Woc has done it again. They have released another editon, and it is supearior. Edition 3.5 is very like third (Hence the . Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars The book that starts and runs the game
This book for most people is the only book you will ever need for Dungeons & Dragons. While there are many more accesories expanding the game, This is the ancor, and the only... Read more
Published on July 31 2003 by "jeff-0"
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent new edition!
I was a diehard 1st and 2nd edition fan for many years and when 3rd edition came out, my first inclination was to totally ignore it. Read more
Published on June 29 2003 by Richard A. Graves
1.0 out of 5 stars The reasons this is collecting dust in my attic
I played RPGs for 20 years. I liked them, i liked the people I played with and then i stopped. Nothing interested me after a while until 3E. Read more
Published on June 28 2003 by Ed Kuehn
1.0 out of 5 stars Promises a lot...but...
For my background, I will let you know that I have enjoyed the world of roleplaying games for many years. Read more
Published on June 7 2003 by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money on this
3rd Edition is complete garbage. Don't waste your money on it.
2nd Edition FOREVER!!
Published on May 2 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars not gerat but its d&d
D&D is a gerat game but the 2ND edition is better i think havent really played 3erd edition much but what the heck its d&d is gerat any wa u look at it
Published on April 3 2003 by jake
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice one
The artwork is good, and the use of the same party to illustrate the ideas throughout the book helps keep it flowing and make it an enjoyable read as well as an invaluable... Read more
Published on April 1 2003 by "willerz"
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