Player's Handbook: A 4th Edition Core Rulebook

by Wizards Rpg Team

June 6, 2008 | Hardcover

Player's Handbook: A 4th Edition Core Rulebook is rated 3.6364 out of 5 by 11.
The first of three core rulebooks for the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game.

The Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game has defined the medieval fantasy genre and the tabletop RPG industry for more than 30 years. In the D&D game, players create characters that band together to explore dungeons, slay monsters, and find treasure. The 4th Edition D&D rules offer the best possible play experience by presenting exciting character options, an elegant and robust rules system, and handy storytelling tools for the Dungeon Master.

The Player's Handbook presents the official Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game rules as well as everything a player needs to create D&D characters worthy of song and legend: new character races, base classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, more magic items, weapons, armor, and much more.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 11.16 × 8.58 × 0.8 in

Published: June 6, 2008

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0786948671

ISBN - 13: 9780786948673

Found in: Entertainment

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from 4th Edition is Great I recieved my 4th edition core books weeks ago and have been enjoying my venture back into Dungeons and Dragons ever since. I had been playing sporadically with the original rules, and some advanced dungeons and dragons but had avoided 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition (3.5 too). The Totally Rad Show got me interested in 4E and I am so glad they did. 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons does it right. It focuses on all the fun parts of DnD and leaves the monotony out. If you are unsure about making the switch to the newest edition, or if you are just thinking about getting into DnD for the first time than do it with this book. You won't regret it! [Check out dnd4.com for info and a preview of the book.]
Date published: 2009-02-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from More flexibility than ever First off, this book is gorgeous. The artwork, layout, and design are fantiastic. I found it very easy to read and the new rules easy to understand. The organization of the book is first rate. The new rules enable you to be a lot more flexible in your character creation, and a lot more explicit about who your character is and where they are going. For those not interested in the new character classes and races, you can still play the way you did before, but with expanded opportunities for your character. For those of you who always wanted a character that could do more than just fight or pray or cast spells, you can now mix and match abilities to a greater degree.
Date published: 2009-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from New and yet familiar I started playing DnD when i was 10 years old, starting with my father's aged and well worn boxed set. And as such have gone through various editions of the game AD&D , 3.0 3.5 etc. And to be honest i really like 4th edition so far. As has been stated by others all the classes are on an equal footing, the combat system has been redone and streamlined so even larger battles no longer take a half an hour to get through a single combat round. To me a lot of it feels similar to 2nd edition and yet a lot is still there from the 3.0/.5 editions of the game. The skill sets are reminiscent of the old non weapon proficiencies. They cut down on the endless customization and multiclassing of 3rd edition, but left enough of it with the paragon and epic teirs to make your characters your own. The only real downside that i have seen so far is in the reduction in the sheer customization for spellcasting classes, and hopefully it is an issue that will be adressed in further supplements. On one hand its creat because a lot of spells like knock and such have been converted into "rituals" no more wasting that spell slot for something like a knock spell. And other simple defensive spells like shield for example no longer have to be cast ahead of, instead you can simply cast them as a reaction to attacks against you. All in all as i said it has its good side and down side, and as with previous incarnations of the game its only gonna get better as more modules and expansions like PHB 2 are released.
Date published: 2008-11-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love it! I started playing D&D quite a few years ago with the 2nd Edition game. I found it very difficult to learn the rules at the time, but once we started with 3.5 (I totally skipped 3rd edition), it got a little easier. But still, there were too many details that made playing the game fustrating, even if I was having fun. Now that we've started playing 4th Edition, I'm loving the game even more than ever before, and am finding that they have made the rules and guidelines much simpler to follow. I recommend 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons to anyone looking to begin playing the game from scratch, and just as much to anyone who has ever played the game in the past. Sure the rules are different, and people complain, but it's still Dungeons and Dragons. Sure there aren't any sorcerers, and no more monks (which were my two favorite classes in 3.5), but wizards are way more useful now as they are than wizards and sorcerers ever were in the past. (You know, like, how I can actually do enough damage to one-kill things at level 3?). Any classes that are totally non-existent currently, can wait it out a while, since various classes will be making a come back in future expansion books (like the monk! yay!). For those of you who don't want to use up their money on the core rulebooks right away, the first adventure, "Keep on the Shadowfell," includes the basic rules for running the game, as well as pre-made characters. A great set for testing the waters of the new system. So try 4th edition, you'll like it. Trust me.
Date published: 2008-07-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not a bad job at all. The 4th edition of D&D has been a very polarizing release. For a great many people it 'isn't D&D anymore', but then again if you're actually reading the reviews (or heaven forbid have been on any message boards about D&D) you'll have had that many, many times already. 4th Edition has introduced some massive changes to the very core of the system. Vancian magic, a staple of D&D since Gary read Dying Earth has been taken out back and shot. Classes now approach the game on an equal footing, with the design goal being that every level is fun for everyone. In previous editions, it was pretty terrible being a wizard at low levels while at the same time high level fighters were just about as dull as dishwater. A lot of this is attributable to the Vancian system and while some gamers enjoy having wizards 'pay their dues' for the first 10 levels, at which point they tip the scales and begin outshining the rest of the party, it always bothered me. This removal of Vancian magic is just one example of major changes to the way D&D is played. The various character classes now all receive a number of different powers that they can use either at will, once per fight, or once a day. Combat oriented characters have different 'stunts' they can preform while clerics and wizards receive prayers and spells. Combat flows much more quickly now, at least twice as fast as it did in 3rd edition, skills have been consolidated and simplified, several races and classes have been removed, while a few were added, and they have dropped the 20 level paradigm that has been 'standard' since first edition, expanding the game to 30 levels and separating it into 3 distinct 'tiers'. The game is much easier to DM now, building encounters is simple, intuitive and can be done very quickly. If you've been out of the game for a while and are looking for an excuse to get back into it with limited time 4th edition offers fantastic possibilities. To wrap things up I'd like to close by saying, when 3rd edition was released WoTC broke new ground by releasing the Open Gaming License which allowed other companies to publish adventures, settings, or even entire games that were either compatible with, or based on the D&D rules. That license still stands and for the first time in since the Red Boxed Sets of Basic D&D there are effectively two different D&D's out there. 4th edition, published by Wizards of the Coast and Pathfinder RPG, published by Piazo Publishing which uses the 3rd edition system. Both are excellent systems, each designed to appeal to different gaming styles. Cheers Dave
Date published: 2008-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Experienced players may be put off. I'll preface by saying: I've purchased or played every version of the game since the very first 'boxed set' of Dungeons and Dragons. The 4th edition does take a large departure from previous editions and experienced players may be taken aback by this. Once you get over your initial surprise at the number of changes most people will find the updated rules to be very polished. Small items such as the alignment have been streamlined to provide a general description of your characters behaviour, rather than a mold in which you are expected to play. It will take you some time to fully grasp many of the new rules, expected about 2.5 hours to create a new character from scratch. You'll also find that the new rules incorporate miniatures and maps more closely than previous editions.
Date published: 2008-06-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I like it! Well....where to start, we've now made the move to 4E, and for me, I am allowed to breathe a sigh of relief and let out a mutter; "It's about time." I've played DnD for about 10 years now, since I was in highschool and I started out on 2E....for about two weeks. I recall scratching my head hopelessly as I went through the book, trying to understand what meant what and so on, I found it simply too confusing. Finally 3E came along and that was a sigh of relief. Everything was much more streamlined, things were simpler and I could create characters and play a game with little effort. While 3.5E changed a few things, it essentially remained the same game as far as I'm concerned. By that, I mean I could still create the same characters with minor differencesand as a player who was all about creating a "normal" character without working the rules to maximal benefit....sure....it worked. However, I still got confused by a few things at times, I felt there were an awful lot of skills, and using any type of character that wielded magic was simply not possible. For me, playing wizards, sorcerers and even clerics at times just didn't happen, and for me, I considered that a crying shame! I LOVE magic, Lord of the Rhings is fantastic and I just wanted to create a mage that I could create and play (and have FUN with) without worrying if I chose the correct daily spell....hhmmmm.....I just cast my magic missile or my burning hands.....too useless to wield my staff and I have 7hp.....better just wait until tomorrow before I can do anything else. I'm guessing some people really liked that....enough people seemed to play as wizards and 3 and 3.5E were VERY successful....so it MUST have been possible....just not for me. Also, I MUST add that I always started with level one characters....so I guess that didn't help. Then I tried to get my wife into the game. Well.....short of creating her character for her (actually, I think I did just that) and telling her how to manage her spells, skills, etc....she was pretty much disinterested by the whole thing, she found it too complicated and was intimidated about doing the wrong thing. This is where 4E comes in. For people like my wife and I, I personally love the game. I'll even admit, reading the exerpts on the DnD website about the new characters, I couldn't help but laugh. "It sounds like World of Warcraft in a book with all the powers." I remarked with a hint of interest. So, when the day came and the book was released, I picked it up. Having bought no DnD books in the last 8 years as well also helped ease the pain for me, people who have bought every last suppliment there was for DnD have my sympathies, it's like Wizards are mosquitos or something. Anyways, I REALLY like the book. EVERYTHING (and I do pretty much mean everything) is simplified down to the point that a 6 year old could make a character with little effort. The skill list is wayy down (or should I say compressed), every class now has powers so characters like wizards, warlocks, etc are ALL useful which is nice. Indeed, it is pretty much World of Warcraft (or any other MMORPG out there) in a book but it plays like DnD. Wizards can now cast Magic missile as much as they would like, but their more powerful spells are restricted to a daily or per encounter sense. Same thing with clerics and all the other classes, but like I said before, I like that. I've NEVER been into min/maxing, powergaming, etc, so the change in skills, powers and feats don't really bother me. Anything that makes the game more simple but still allows me to roleplay like I always do, I like! For those who like the former that I mentioned might not be so happy or those that liked the old systems with a zealous fervor probably won't either. The way you "create" your characters has DRASTICALLY changed, but I like simple and for me, this simple is great. Overall, if you've ever been intimidated by the previous versions or simply found them too cumbersome, then I would definately recommend 4E to you (if you want DnD....I don't dabble with other systems so I have no comparison). However, if you loved the old system and like all your skills, feats extra books and knew every crook and cranny about how to make your character as powerful as possible, then you won't like it. In the end, it's STILL DnD. It's still about Dungeons, Dragons and having fun either online in forums or offline with friends.
Date published: 2008-06-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Yeah, it's different, but in a good way. As you might have noticed from my other comments, I am not incredibly experienced with D&D myself, only getting into it during the era of edition 3.5. I've found 3.5 challenging, but hard to understand sometimes and, as I have written, hard to play on a level playing field with others. I've played 4th as few times and found it easy enough to learn off the bat and with some real role-playing possibilities. Give it a chance!
Date published: 2008-06-15
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Change is good? As the technical aspect of Role Playing Game (RPG) books go, this book is a winner. Beautifully laid out design and art. Clean and symmetrical. Very nice usage of colour, a variety of different fonts all lead to an eye-catching piece of work. The only RPG book that surpasses this is Monte Cook' s Arcana Evolved to my mind. Wizards of the Coast (WotC) excels at high quality visual materials. The content of the book will leave MUCH debate in the coming months and most likely, the coming years. Those that will be happy with 4th Edition will be the newcomers, the young, the experimental, the simplistic and the WotC diehards. It is a new perspective of an old game. And this is where the real problems lie. It is new to the point of being practically alien to 'traditionalists' and the 'old school'. For ppl that enjoyed the flexibility, customization and complexity of 3/3.5 edition, this is not what you will find here. The game is more accessible through its simplicity and caters to those that do not want to spend time pouring over rules and fiddling with character customization. It caters to a video game playing crowd and the instant gratification folks in that sense. Which by the way is what WotC set out to do. They needed to find a way to compete with the MMORPGs and lost market shares to folks that would rather pick up an XBOX controller than fiddle the books of fantasy land. There are things to like about about the new system, because that is exactly what it is. The D20 concept falls in line with that so that has been kept which is a good thing. What's new are 2 new races the tiefling and the dragonborn. New character classes in the Players Handbook, the Warlord and solid leader type fighter and the Warlock a different type of spellcaster. The ability to progress up to level 30. The introduction of heroic, paragon and epic tiers with the characters rise to power. A new system of dying and healing. Everything is clearly stated and leaves little ambiguity. What has been removed is the customization and complexity of 3.5. Are characters in 4th Ed still customizable? Yes. just not half as much as they were previously. The skills list has gone the way of the Star Wars Saga Edition. Simplified and lifeless. The spells that were in place from the beginning of DnD are for the most part gone. The lush and plentiful spells created for 3.5 are gone. The spell system is, well, gone. This was done to streamline the game for faster playability by way of ease of use. Once core characters have been excised - druid, monk, barbarian, and sorcerer. For the trade off of more abilities for characters Wizards has gone the rout of reducing magical items you can carry with a reduction in item slots. The world of the Forgetten Realms as you know it is also gone. Many of the dieties that once populated it are now gone also. Who will play this new Edition will be those that fall on the simplistic side (read: not dumb), those that want a much more streamlined game and the new. And they will find what they seek here. My personal feelings are very mixed but fall to the negative more. There are things to like about this new edition but there are things that the 'traditionalist' and the powergamer will really hate. This is just not DnD as we know it. There are too many core values that have been removed. For those that are looking for something new but well within 3.5 confines try Pathfinder by Paizo.
Date published: 2008-06-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Different but definitely NOT the DEATH of DnD What can I say. The review below me seems to symbolize what I have been hearing for years ever since I first picked up the dice and began to roll my way through lands of adventure and fantasy. The complaints of those who refuse to embrace any change. Every time a new edition has come out, starting from the very first 2nd edition fan boys have complained and whined about any aspect being changed. Sure the mechanic system plays a role but most fan boys forget what DnD is really about. Having a fun time with some friends and socializing as a group. Its about taking a break from mundane life to have some laughs and some moments of pure fun. So when a new edition hits the shelves there is always this army of shocked players that cry and moan that their game is being changed when really they are not forced to play the new version if they do not like it. As I said the rules are not important but the experience as a whole and the fun you get out of it. As so many are fond of saying and it still holds true today. This is a ROLE-playing game not a ROLL-playing game. Its about the stories and adventures. Many players want things to be overly complicated. I remember trying to break new players into the old 2E Advanced dungeons and dragons. Trying to explain to them things such as THAC0 and all the needlessly complicated rules where one half of the rules contradicted the other half. The complication in what should just be a good time scared many potential players off, mainly because they thought they would look stupid if they did not understand every rule verbatim. This was somewhat solved in 3E and 3.5E when the d20 system was introduced where every action was rolled with a d20 and a high roll was always good. Now players could focus on what really mattered. Playing the actual game and not being confused. There were still things that were difficult to understand sometime but the base game was easy to jump into. As usual though the 2E fan boys complained and whined and cried to anyone who would listen that this was the death of D&D. Actually I started running into more D&D players after 3E came out. No what they saw was some strange notion they were forced to conform to the new game. It was not true of course. You can play whatever DnD system you wish to play. Hell if someone invited me to a 2e game I might still be interested in that. 4E beckons and again all I hear is the voices of complaint. Change can be a good thing. I am sure there will be things in 4E that will raise concerns with me and I might not like. But one thing I DO NOT do is voice a complaint until I have tried it out. There in lies my problem with fan boys. They convince themselves right away "Oh this is bad because of this and that" and condemn before trying it out. Reading and playing it are different things. I listened to the guys from Penny Arcade sit down with a WoTC rep and play a game of 4E and while some things were strange and new. Yes the magic thing shocked me too. But hey the guys at Penny Arcade seemed to be having a lot of fun. You can listen to Part 1 of the Penny Arcade game here http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080530 and part 2 is available here http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/drfe/20080606 They sounded like they were having a blast, that is the important thing. That the game is entertaining, not what numbers you add to your dice roll. Too many players are too focussed on the rules these days which is a shame. There is so much more to D&D then charts and rules mechanics. I reserve my judgment until I actually play it which is the only way to critic such games. Reading the book doesn't count.
Date published: 2008-06-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from R.I.P. D&D Well, after all the hype, and all the waiting, it's here - 4th Edition D&D. WoC promised that they would make the new edition flexible, easy to learn, and yet still true to the D&D we've come to love. Well, they accomplished two out of three. The good stuff first. This new book is graphically nice, with great art. The typeface is easy to read. And there are plenty of examples to ease character creation and game play. The 3rd edition mechanics that worked are kept [Armour Class, feats, etc.], and the classic character classes [Paladin, Wizard, Cleric] remain. The new races {Dragonborn, Tiefling) are also pretty neat, and they have given Human characters a starting bonus as well. So far, so good. But now the bad stuff begins. The skill system was dropped in favour of a new, simpler one, presumably because players couldn't decide what to take or how to spend new points per level. This eliminates much of the unique flavour characters had in 3rd edition - you could have a Fighter who could pick a pocket, or a Wizard who could ride a horse well in 3.5, but no longer. Combat somehow seems to have been simplifed, but the addition of "Healing Surges" and "Bloodied Hit Point Levels" have added more bookkeeping to combat, for limited gains in playability. Hit Points are fixed; you get a certain number when you start, and a set number at each level - no more rolling, no more chance, but no more individuality either. And the biggest change? Magic as we know it is gone. No more spells by level, no more 10d Fireball, no more "Power Word Kill" - just a limited number of "Talents" per level, which probably levels the playing field in tournaments, but it sure isn't what any Mage player will want to see! Clerics suffer the same change, and it totally guts what had ben a core element of D&D; the spell-slinging Magic-User. And no, characters aren't going to be easily translated from 3.5 to 4th - it's much easier to just start over again. Since WoC is updating the Realms and advancing time by decades in the Game World, that's pretty much something players will be obliged to do anyway, but long-term campaigns may wish to stick with their old system and ignore 4th edition entirely. I haven't seen the DMG or Monster Manual [which I will also read], but I'm left with one overwhelming impression from this book: Prepare for the "Dungeons and Dragons" MMOR Computer Game, because this reads like a manual for one. It has over-simplified things, restricted choices far too much, and "dumbed-down" the game so severely that I honestly have no interest in it any more. It looks like lazy DMs, Computer-happy players, and CCG fanatics have finally killed the last great pencil-and-paper RPG. Sigh. Where did I put my GURPS books?
Date published: 2008-06-07

– More About This Product –

Player's Handbook: A 4th Edition Core Rulebook

by Wizards Rpg Team

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 320 pages, 11.16 × 8.58 × 0.8 in

Published: June 6, 2008

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0786948671

ISBN - 13: 9780786948673

About the Book

The first of three core rulebooks for the 4th Edition "Dungeons & Dragons"(R) "Roleplaying Game,"
The "Dungeons & Dragons"" Roleplaying Game" has defined the medieval fantasy genre and the tabletop RPG industry for more than 30 years. In the D&D game, players create characters that band together to explore dungeons, slay monsters, and find treasure. The 4th Edition D&D rules offer the best possible play experience by presenting exciting character options, an elegant and robust rules system, and handy storytelling tools for the Dungeon Master.
The "Player's Handbook" presents the official "Dungeons & Dragons"" Roleplaying Game" rules as well as everything a player needs to create D&D characters worthy of song and legend: new character races, base classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, more magic items, weapons, armor, and much more.

From the Publisher

The first of three core rulebooks for the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons® Roleplaying Game.

The Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game has defined the medieval fantasy genre and the tabletop RPG industry for more than 30 years. In the D&D game, players create characters that band together to explore dungeons, slay monsters, and find treasure. The 4th Edition D&D rules offer the best possible play experience by presenting exciting character options, an elegant and robust rules system, and handy storytelling tools for the Dungeon Master.

The Player's Handbook presents the official Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game rules as well as everything a player needs to create D&D characters worthy of song and legend: new character races, base classes, paragon paths, epic destinies, powers, more magic items, weapons, armor, and much more.