Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook, Core Rulebook v3.5 Hardcover – Jul 1 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
The Player's Handbook 3.5 does a fixes many of the problems of the original book. Wizards of the Coast came up with a much overdue and spectacular idea a few years ago when they opened up their game mechanics wth the open gaming license making source books for any type of character (gladiators, necromancers, and even shamans) easy to find, and it all fit together. 3rd edtion was the grandaddy that started it, and it gets an overhall.
Most notably, they change 3 of the classes. The Bard finally gets more skill points (6) so that he can more resemble the "Jack of all Trades" than a low rent, underpowered mage/theif that nobody wanted to play.
The Ranger, perhaps one of the most loved classes in First and Second Edition D and D was nearly unplayable in 3rd edition (past 1st level anyway.) This problem is fixed, with choices in specialization with the bow or two weapon fighting, more skill points, and increases in power more in line with the other classes. (No more playing for one favored enemy and a few cantrips you can cast at 8 level.)
The Monks are no longer cookie cutters of each other, as you have choices to make along the way so that you can do things that not every other monk you'd meet would be able to do.
Oh, by the way, now every race that has a special weapon (Dwarven Warhaxe) can fight with it without a feat. What an idea!!Read more ›
I thought the point of a new revision was to make improvements to the system and to clarify rules that were unclear. As it turns out the improvements are so minor, and the clarifications are only covering about 30-40% of the issues my group argues about. That and stat-boosting spells have been rendered almost completely useless. Unless you are certain that you are going to have an encounter in the next couple of minutes, Bull's Strength is now a trash-can spell. It makes no sense to me. Granted an hour per level is a little long for a duration, but a minute per level is way too short. Our DM house-ruled a long time ago that stat boosters durations were 10 minutes per level, thus usable in most situations, but not lasting all day long.
Rangers took the biggest hit of all the class revisions. They're supposed to be improvemed? I'm having difficulty differentiating between the new ranger and a druid. The only difference I can see is that one is more spell focused vs. combat focused. They even have the same hit die now. They should just be call them Combat Specialist Druids and the Spell Slinging Druids.
What's good about this book? I'm still struggling to find something noteworthy and posative to say about this version. It's a challenge.
Enter 3e.5 (or whatever you want to call it). Partial actions in combat have been removed (thank the creator) to simplify combat, character classes revised to balance them, some spells reworded to actually make them useful, and on and on.
This is a book review, so, is 3.5 a good revision? In a word, yes. The book has included just the right amount of information and rehashed rules to make the new system streamlined without threating the core genius of the rules. While two players could sit at a table and play with the different rules (3.0 and 3.5) for a while without compatibility problems, there would eventually be clashes over class abilities, combat actions (especially those pesky and now non-existent partial actions).
Overall, a great book. My only criticism really isn't about he book, but the 3.5 system in general - the lack of 3.5-updated material adds a workload to DMs trying to keep their library up to date. Wizards needs to light a fire under their editing department and get those revisions out there. They did release a revision summary (available for free download at [...]) that covered the other as-of-yet unrevised books, but the cross-referencing is driving me (and other DMs, I'm sure) a little batty.
All in all, bravo.
D&D has gone from being a RPG to a "minatures" game, which is o.k. if you like lots of tactical combat and complex rules. I prefer 1st and 2nd edition which were a little easier to administer. Some of the new rules just create arguments among players, such as "does this constitute an attack of opportunity or not?" Other rules are way too complicated, such as turning undead. Even the saving throws have gone from a table-based design to a formula design, forcing the players to keep track of exactly how high each monster needs to role in order to evade a particular spell.
The Feats further complicate things, leading to situations in which players are using virtually separate rule systems during the course of the game. For instance, if my PC has combat reflexes, he gets 4 attacks of opportunity, while everyone else only gets one.
Combat takes about 3 times as long when compared to 1st and second edition.
Spells are less powerful, which is o.k. in most circumstances.
Some things I do like. The DC concept is good, and the skills system adds some flavor to the game.
Utlimately, it depends how much complexity you want.
Most recent customer reviews
I already knew this version of the book because I've played for a long time with this version. I finaly decided to buy some book because I started to be a Master.Published on Nov. 20 2013 by Tommy Bouchard
Même avec certe version les changements sont très important par rapport a la quatrième version. Au moin les images belle...Published on June 26 2008 by Charels le Loyal
While I used to play 2nd edition AD&D a lot, there was always the problem of lack of balance in most of the rules. Read morePublished on July 17 2004 by Rafael Lopes Vivian
LOL. I remember when I was younger Christian groups and parents used to always claim that AD&D was a secret occult plot to pass on occult lore to the young so it could spread... Read morePublished on July 11 2004
I have to say one thing about this book. IT ROCKS!!!!!! For those who says 'This new type of D&D sucks.', they are so wrong. Read morePublished on July 2 2004 by Robert Bier
I am a GM, and I have started with my group playing 3.5 rules. I have played 2nd edition AD&D as well as 3rd edition, and I find that 3. Read morePublished on June 19 2004 by Kiley
My gaming group has switched to edition 3.5 mainly becuase we started adding new players, and the 3.0 books were no longer available. Also, I'd been rough on my 3. Read morePublished on June 3 2004 by M. Spielman
I have been a D&D player for 15 years. TSR made some great products. I was disappointed when Wizards bought them out, but I must say the 3.0 rule book they made was great. Read morePublished on May 31 2004 by K. McCormick
I actually bought this to help me with my Neverwinter Nights module. I needed better race/class descriptions, and I was curious about the changes. Read morePublished on May 15 2004 by Ted