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Old-school players will likewise be pleased, as the outdated AD&D rules system has been given a thorough overhaul.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