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Dungeons and Dragons Player's Handbook, Core Rulebook v3.5 Hardcover – Jul 1 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (July 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786928867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786928866
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 2 x 27.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 77 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I've heard all the backlash before I got a chance to review this. I heard that this update was not only not needed, but an ill concieved attempt just to boost Wizard's profits for the year. I've heard numerous people describe the evils of the D20 system. I heard it all, and needless to say, I feel that critism was unfounded.
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!!
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By A Customer on July 29 2003
Format: Hardcover
First, I'd like to say thanks Wizards of the Cost. Thanks for nothing! The much hyped 3.5 is little more than 3.0 with a ton of house rules applied to them. What's worse is, that there are enough major mechanical changes scattered throughout the 3 books, that converting your 3.0 game to a 3.5 game will be a major task. And there will be no compatibility to your 3.0 campaign.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
As I've mentioned in several of my pther reviews, I had a difficult time accepting that 3e was in fact the wave of the future for the Dungeons & Dragons game. Truth be told, I bought the original 3e PHB the day it was released, and read it cover to cover several times in only a few days. To make a long story short, where once I did not liek the system at all, I am now one if its strongest advocates.
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.
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Format: Hardcover
There isn't much difference between 3rd edition and 3.5. Some minor rule changes and some window dressing basically. This edition came out too soon. I should say the artwork is great though.
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.
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