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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Old-school players will likewise be pleased, as the outdated AD&D rules system has been given a thorough overhaul.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
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth a look. Aug. 14 2000
Simply stated, if you're reading this, you've probably sunk enough money into role-playing games to purchase a used car. If this is the case, buy this book. If this is not the case, you probably can save a few bucks by buying older books from EBay, just to see if you enjoy RPGs. This having been said, I will direct the rest of this review toward gamers who already own/play D&D.
First, the basics:
Did they change a lot of stuff? Yes. A lot of basic mechanics have changed, from ability scores to classes. Some of this is good(No more confusing fractional strength scores) and some bad(unbalanced racial bonus/penalties:Half-Orc +2 Str, -2 Int, -2 Cha). One of the biggest changes is the dropping of most support for game worlds outside of Greyhawk, with a promise to get around to some Forgotten Realms sometime next year.
Is it really better? Thus far, I've only read the book, and not played a game based on it. As with any gaming system, there are things I like and dislike. Before I actually play a game based on these rules, I will probably sit down with the intended party and discuss all of the changes with them. If they hate something, I won't use it. I know I'm dodging the question a bit here, but the bottom line is, I won't really know until I've experienced the game played.
So how do I justify a rating of four? A lot is based upon my optimism going forward in the next year. As the new books are released, I am hoping that all will be well and good in the world of D&D.
The good:
-The book physically is quite attractive. The artwork is beautiful and the cover very nice.
-Some clunky mechanics have been removed from the game.
-Better system for handling skills(finally!).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Players Handbook Feb. 21 2011
By Jacki
Though it came a few days later than expected, the book is in great condition exactly as I wanted it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 3.0 is STILL better than 3.5 Nov. 12 2003
By A Customer
I wouldn't listen to anyone that claims the "new and improved" 3.5 is any bit "new and improved".
3.0 is truly the right blend of D&D tradition and sound game mechanics. 3.5 is a pile of garbage house-rules for actual D&D crafted by a new batch of "limited" designer minds.
This book is D&D 3rd edition, no other.
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1.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 edition has arived Sept. 23 2003
By A Customer
Woc has done it again. They have released another editon, and it is supearior. Edition 3.5 is very like third (Hence the .5), but realy cleans up the classes and makes things more balanced. This book is good, but the new Players Handbook 3.5 Edition just blows it out of the water. They tweaked all that needed tweeking, and left the good stuff there. Toss your third Edition and go buy 3.5!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The book that starts and runs the game Aug. 1 2003
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 book needed for a player. It includes all of the Races, Classes, Spells, Feats, and Items you need to make and run a Charactor.
The best art of this book is that not only does it list all the things you need to know, it explains in full detail how all things are related to each other. If read like a book, (front to back not just paging for specifics) It spells out what you need, need to do, and how to. You start with the abilities, go into races, classes, and then skills, and items. Finsihing with spells, and feats.
Over all, i would rae this 5, because of what it offers, and its necesity to the game it serves. i recomend you buy it, even if you dont buy it here.
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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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Most recent customer reviews
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
4.0 out of 5 stars Simplified, Still Sensational
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. Read more
Published on June 7 2003 by D. Hennemuth
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 4 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"
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Nececesary
If you want to play DND you NEED this book.
Published on March 18 2003 by Rodrigo Araya
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