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VINE VOICEon 1 April 2010
Perhaps I was overly optimistic expecting a book of the overall utility of PHB2, but I admit I doubt I'll be using PHB3 anywhere near as much as its predecessor.

As you would expect from the PHB format, PHB3 introduces several new PC races including Githzerai, Minotaurs, Shardminds and Wilden; and several new classes - many of which have been previewed on D&D Insider.

Much as Primal heroes were introduced in PHB2, the headline power source for PHB3 is Psionics which gives us the Ardent (Psionic Leader); the Battlemind (Psionic Defender); the Monk (Psionic Striker); and the Psion (Psionic Controller). If you haven't seen the D&Di previews, the Psionic power source operates slightly differently from other power sources in as much as it has "augmentable" at-will powers rather than Encounter Powers. (Monk powers operate slightly differently having combined attack and move options.)

Other new classes include Rune Priests (Divine Leader - arguably a variant of a Strength-based Cleric with alternate class Features); and Seekers (Primal Controller - ranged control effects that function through the use of a ranged weapon).

Another new option for 4e is the concept of Hybrid classes - in effect creating a new class by combining abilities from two other classes. This is one of the parts of PHB3 I'm least comfortable with: an inexperienced 4e player may end up creating a very under-powered character while some other hybrid options can create characters whose abilities far outstrip those of a regular single class PC.

My main criticism of PHB3 has to be that Power Creep is definitely setting in - more so than has been apparent in previous 4e supplements. PHB3 includes too many examples of "broken" powers and feats - several of them good enough that they render earlier feats/powers obsolete. The problem is that in amongst all that there are also a lot of good ideas and additions to the rules and this leads to the problem of deciding which to keep and which to disallow: a difficult call for any DM.

Overall, I can't honestly recommend PHB3 without voicing a few reservations. There are certainly a lot of interesting and viable options in there, but also too many game breaking options for me to say it's a "must buy" book.
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on 29 July 2010
This is useful and fleshes out the psionic characters which I know many people love. However if you are not into psionics, then it's not the greatest addition. I got it more for completeness than anything else. It does have some interesting character types (minotaur, githzerai, wilden and shardmind) which are interesting but definatly not for everyone or every game. They are arguably more powerful with some options to stats (eg +2 dex and then +2 to int or wis for an example) although roleplaying them would be more challenging I would imagine.

The classes are decent looking - runepriest seems to trump cleric in some respects but is different nonetheless. Monk is kung fu striker and then the other psionic classes are a bit 'the same' to my mind.

The end has a list of skill based utility powers, eg if you have acrobatics you could take an encounter power that lets you shift which could be flavourful. The last section has rules for creating hybrid classes - a bit like the old multiclassing although not as ridiculously overpowered as 3rd edition or 2nd edition.

All in all its decent, but quite different and you may have to struggle to put it to use. I'd check with your DM to see what bits are being allowed.
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on 27 July 2010
For a rule book its nicely made. Everything seem to keep the same quality as the rest of WotC DnD4E stuff. This is positive. However the context is vague at best. New classes and Races are introduced as always. This time they simply seem far fetched like a living Construct of Crystal. Of course minotaurs are in for the ride - Since DL back in the 80ties introduced Minos are players the creature have always popped up from time to time. But we are not talking about the sailing seamen of Krynn. These are the monsters made playable.
Classes are specific to Psyonic so if you like playing a mentalist (which IronCrown called their version and which seem more fitting) then this book is for you.
Items, abities and soforth are made in the book for use with the book in other words the powers are focusing on Psy-stuff mostly.

Is it usable - well yes as much as PHB1 and 2 actually, if you feel the need for this 4th power type.
Personally I wont ever use it in games I play but at least I bought it and supported WotC money machine that way - so that way WotC wont mind a bad review.

It got 2 stars : well I dont hate the product (which is 1 star) I just simply feel its a waste of money and honestly if I was the author I would be a bit ashame sending such a thin product on the market, but still quality of the product interms of paper/picture/layout is nice and in line with DnD4E.
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on 29 September 2014
To to be fair, we only bought it for the Minotaur character. The only class from this book that is playable is the Rune Priest which is a good addition. All the psionic characters are difficult to roll, play and integrate. They look good to start with but are pretty frustrating. Monks are OK. The section on multiclass characters is excellent, and offers some good ideas. This is probably the least likely to be used of all the books.
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on 6 November 2010
The psionic power adds a bit of a stir to your usual D&D experience.

If you think you knew the standard classes think again.
Using the power of your mind to control your body ,
your surroundings and your enemies gives you an edge in the battle.

The new races introduced are nice to play as but the classes are most important.

Hybrid class system is explained in more detail so that you can become even more powerful.

Overall this book is a must have for all the D&D players
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on 13 November 2014
Great and Informative read
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This is a lovely book!

I understand some people might have problems with the Hybrid classes, but if you take your time they are quite simple to follow.

Really enjoying the artwork!
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on 4 May 2010
Great. Another D&D Book. Number Three Though! If They Had So Many Ideas Then Why Didn't The Boys At Wizards Do It In Number 1? Still, Great Thinking Guys! I'm Liking The Minotaurs!
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