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Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook (4th Edition)

by Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt

Series: Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition (WTC 217367200, and deluxe WTC 219567200)

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772327,692 (3.36)None
"The Player's handbook features the 4th edition game rules, including character creation, combat and adventuring, classes and races, equipment and magic items, skills, feats, powers, and more"--Cover p. [4].

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Hugely better organization; too combat-heavy. ( )
  morbusiff | May 9, 2013 |
I haven't played any edition other than 4th, so I can not compare it to other DnD games. However, compared to certain other RPGs, it is fairly combat heavy and drama light. Great for when you want to smash things!

One disadvantage I found is that battles last MUCH longer than many other systems. Especially when the dice are not with you. ( )
  rglightyear | Aug 27, 2009 |
First Impressions: Well, they certainly dealt with 3.5's rules bloat. Which needed fucking doing, right enough, when the only way to tote around all the reference books you wanted to stew up a creditable encounter was to buy a laptop or a minivan. Obvs more books will come out, but the core mechanic still rules, and a stripped-down version of it even. So: Clean, crisp, nubile and built for speed - score one.

As we know, the game lives and dies by class balance, and I think taking the ad hoc advances in gaming theory - in party roles - that have been made by MMOers - tank, buffer, etc. - and systematizing them - striker, leader, controller, and whatever they're calling the fighter role - was a great thing. It discourages four-wizard parties, I suppose, but it brings out and makes explicitly exploitable - with feats and items and so on - a hardcore, small-scale tabletop strategy aspect to the game that has been present ever since Chainmail I suppose, but has been strongly inconsistent. Score two. The core races all remain, except gnomes, who were the poor man's dwarf or halfling depending on your poison (and I say that as a gnome fan), and they have high- and grey-elf surrogates, which is cool. More elves means more good times.

Build options? They are here, and at a cursory glance they really cover ground, without being a threat in their multitudes like in both 2e and 3e. I'm gonna look forward to pushing adorable feyborn wizard Ianire Zaitequi Llogbregas up the rungs of the net to "Deadly Trickster" and beyond. Result!

And here is where it falls down. the point of the D&D rules, to me, is to give you an easy way to clap together your character, resolve combats and situations, and then get out of the way and let "imagination practice" (thank you, Vin Diesel) reign. And the incredible, annoying combat-centredness of these rules just does not let that happen. It makes it easier to calculate good value for money when you're buying yer magic armour, but where's the wand of wonder? It gives you a hundred subtly different ways to ambush the shit out of foes and feel cleverer than DMsie, but where's a goofy-yet-awesome mainstay like "rope trick"? I'm not some conservative nerd who's all "I can't believe you took out _____", nor do I think they need to fill it all in for us - we can come up with out own hilarious magic and scenarios and characters choices - but when you take out all hints in the direction of whimsy and laffs in the core rules, even pushing us toward a straight diplomacy roll to resolve negotiations, it feels . . . yeah, mechanistic. Numbing. It makes D&D a great strategy game with some RP gracenotes that hopefully affect your decision-making, but not a role-playing adventure.

But hell, this is just the first book. Maybe that stuff will come with the DMG - a better division of content, really, when you think about it. And keeping it simple, stupid, and then making the other stuff all supplementary and blowing the minds of the eight-year-olds raised on video games who have no idea all the ways D&D can go, well, that sort of makes sense to me. Still, I can't help but feel like something is lost, at least until the first appearance of an Apparatus of Kwalish or Huggles, the psychic, psychedelic, psychotic pig.

I guess this is really a review of 4e. The book is laid out well and the art is bland in a 3e way, the end. ( )
1 vote MeditationesMartini | Jul 7, 2008 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heinsoo, Robprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Collins, Andymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, Jamesmain authorall editionsconfirmed
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The D&D 4e Player's Handbook was reprinted with cover and art and layout changed - D&D 4e Player's Handbook (Deluxe) - however the text is not substantially different, therefore they are all one LibraryThing work.

The WTC codes are WTC 217367200, and deluxe WTC 219567200.

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"The Player's handbook features the 4th edition game rules, including character creation, combat and adventuring, classes and races, equipment and magic items, skills, feats, powers, and more"--Cover p. [4].

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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.
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