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62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2009
Many people were disappointed that the Bard, Barbarian, Druid and Sorcerer classes were not present in the 4th Edition Player's Handbook 1 released by Wizards of the Coast last year.

These essential classes to players of previous editions of D&D are now finally available, along with 4 new classes: Avenger, Invoker, Shaman and Warden.

The new classes are all well defined and structured, in the same way as the original 8 classes in PHB1.

There are 3 "Strikers": the Avenger a Divine fanatic who focuses on accuracy and pursuing a single enemy, the Barbarian a Primal warrior who uses his rages to grant him feral might, and the Sorcerer an Arcane caster who has a more wild form of magic than seen by the Wizard in PHB1.

There are 2 "Leaders": the Bard an Arcane combat-musician who is far improved from the 3.5 version of the class, and the Shaman a Primal Summoner who uses a spirit companion as the focus for the benefits for the Shaman's ally.

This time there are 2 "Controllers" rather than the 1 that PHB1 offered: the Druid a Primal nature guardian who utilises both ranged powers and beast form melee powers, and the Invoker a Divine conduit and direct link to their gods power who functions in a similar way to the Wizard.

Due to the increase in "Controllers" only 1 "Defender" is present in PHB2: the Warden a Primal force who relies on extreme physical toughness and the aid of the earth to protect allies in battle.

The new races are similarly enjoyable, many players glad to have the Gnome and Half-Orc back, but the Devas (reincarnated former servants of the gods), the Goliath (huge mountain dwelling folk), and the Shifters (two different varieties coming from Were-tigers and Were-wolves) are all enjoyable and match well with the focus on Primal power in this book.

Along with these new classes and races which form the bulk of the book, there are also Racial Paragon Paths for all the races from both PHB1 and PHB2, except for Half-Elves which instead are rewarded in the Feats section of the new book. There are also rules for Backgrounds, new Magic Items, new Rituals, new Epic Destinies and finally some alterations to how certain skills work in PHB1 (mainly stealth).

All in all, a great book. If you buy any product aside from the Core Three Books (Player's Handbook, Monster Manuel, Dungeon Master's Guide) I would strongly recommend it was this one.
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on 21 October 2013
The Player's Handbook isn't mandatory to play the game but you'd be missing out if you didn't decide on purchasing this. The new races are Gnome, Shifter, Goliath and Deva. The new classes are Avenger, Barbarian, Bard, Druid, Invoker, Shaman, Sorcerer and Warden. This book also includes new backgrounds, feats, magic items, rituals and an appendix and glossary.
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on 4 November 2013
A must have if you are going to expand your dungeon party or for those people a little more experience needing something new. These classes go a long way to making for a different game!
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on 13 November 2014
Great and Informative read
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2012
Although 4th ed is almost past its life span if you are considering picking up this FUN iteration of D&D the PHB2 is recommended - especially if you want classes such as the druid and barbarian or races like gnome or half orc. It is quite a 'crunchy' book. That said you can probably get away with having a D&D insider subscription instead!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This book contains some very fun looking classes. It also contains some equipment those classes will want to use, and new races including shifters, gnomes and devas. 4 of the classes use the new primal power source. Also contains information on creating backgrounds with bonuses and clarification of some of the rules in an appendix.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 7 June 2009
For those players in 4th edition this is a must have.

Players Handbook 2 introduced new races and clases which add to the level of any existing or new game. Including the return of sorcerer's and barbarians; gnomes and Half-orcs.

New classes are well-balanced and add greater strategies to the game.
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9 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on 20 June 2009
For those considering buying this product, a word of warning; Don't be deceived. Due to the vast and overwhelming hatred most of the community has for the 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons, very few have actually bought this product - thus the reviews are made by those few whom have decided to continue and can stomach the insulting rubbish that is the new edition. It continues to be a backslide in terms of quality, gameplay, flexibility and roleplaying. For quality, I would suggest White Wolf games instead.
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