Customer Reviews for

Dungeons & Dragons: Player's Handbook: A 4th Edition Core Rulebook

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

A Quality Game, But Certainly Not Perfect

I started playing D&D recently in the relatively new 3.5 Edition. I enjoyed it, but didn't play much. Many of the people I played with were often daunted by the rules. I don't think that some of us ever truly got the rules down. But in the end we all wanted to play and ...
I started playing D&D recently in the relatively new 3.5 Edition. I enjoyed it, but didn't play much. Many of the people I played with were often daunted by the rules. I don't think that some of us ever truly got the rules down. But in the end we all wanted to play and enjoyed it. Now, don't get me wrong. We weren't stupid, but we just weren't diehard fans. We didn't play enough to master it and in some ways, the rules scared a few of us away from playing much at all. Fourth edition has changed this. All of the complexity that boggled some of my players in the past is more or less gone. It is true that with that unneeded complexity, some great details went away and they usually pertained to fleshing out your character. Many die-hard players complain about how it took a lot of the role-playing aspects away from the game, but the reality is that if a party and a DM fails to get RP into their game, it's nobody else's fault but the their's. I'll admit that I'm already implementing house rules that add some of 3.5's versatility back in, but it's not like the 4.0 manuals refuse that. RP is in the hands of the party and the DM. In no ways are the rules responsible for the people using them neglecting to do what they enjoy about the game. Make the game your own and enjoy it. The combat is easier and faster paced for my party and we're having a blast. Sure, there are flaws and I know it. But don't let those who can't get away from the rules they've grown attatched keep you from enjoying this edition or your D&D experience, especially if you're new to the game. Put on your robe and wizard hat, folks. Enjoy this one.

posted by Anonymous on July 28, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

The worst edition of the game to date

If you're a longtime fan of Dungeons & Dragons, this isn't the game for you. Much of the game's rich history and iconic elements have been sacrificed in an effort to simplify the game to attract new gamers. The game is far less flexible than 3rd Edition. Character...
If you're a longtime fan of Dungeons & Dragons, this isn't the game for you. Much of the game's rich history and iconic elements have been sacrificed in an effort to simplify the game to attract new gamers. The game is far less flexible than 3rd Edition. Character classes are loaded with gonzo powers and forced into tighter niches than ever before. Multiclassing is nearly non-existant. Classic races that have been with the game from the beginning have been jettisoned to make room for bland, flavorless new ones like the dragonborn. If you're a fan of the past editions of the game, save your money and wait until next year for Paizo's Pathfinder RPG, which looks more like the heir apparent to the D&D throne.

posted by Anonymous on June 10, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2008

    A Quality Game, But Certainly Not Perfect

    I started playing D&D recently in the relatively new 3.5 Edition. I enjoyed it, but didn't play much. Many of the people I played with were often daunted by the rules. I don't think that some of us ever truly got the rules down. But in the end we all wanted to play and enjoyed it. Now, don't get me wrong. We weren't stupid, but we just weren't diehard fans. We didn't play enough to master it and in some ways, the rules scared a few of us away from playing much at all. Fourth edition has changed this. All of the complexity that boggled some of my players in the past is more or less gone. It is true that with that unneeded complexity, some great details went away and they usually pertained to fleshing out your character. Many die-hard players complain about how it took a lot of the role-playing aspects away from the game, but the reality is that if a party and a DM fails to get RP into their game, it's nobody else's fault but the their's. I'll admit that I'm already implementing house rules that add some of 3.5's versatility back in, but it's not like the 4.0 manuals refuse that. RP is in the hands of the party and the DM. In no ways are the rules responsible for the people using them neglecting to do what they enjoy about the game. Make the game your own and enjoy it. The combat is easier and faster paced for my party and we're having a blast. Sure, there are flaws and I know it. But don't let those who can't get away from the rules they've grown attatched keep you from enjoying this edition or your D&D experience, especially if you're new to the game. Put on your robe and wizard hat, folks. Enjoy this one.

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2008

    Act All of the Time

    This book is filled with player oriented information for the latest version of Dungeons and Dragons 'tm'. Primarily a group experience, you and your friends can suspend belief and become heroes of epic proportion. If you want to experience interactive entertainment that requires social and tactical problem-solving, then this book will help you design and equip yourself for such adventures. This edition seems like it will be even more fun, because each player has a contribution to make each round of play. In other words, as a spell caster, you do not run out of spells and have to wait for the brawny fighter to finish the engagement for the team. Good hunting!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    Dungeons & Dragons gets comprehensive and intelligent makeover.

    I recently got involved with the Dungeons & Dragons role playing game after and absence of more than 20 years. I was introduced to the fantasy game as a teen in high school back in 1982-1983. We first played under the D & D Basic rules and then with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules. After high school, the role playing games were put on hold. It was not until this year, 2009, that I picked up the game again. I never saw the 3rd Edition rules. A triathlon friend of mine I recently met said he DM'ed games with his kids and they were just starting to play with the new 4th Edition rules. He asked if I was interested in playing. I said yes.

    I read through a copy of the Player's Handbook that he had and was struck with the realization that the 4th Edition is much different than the Advanced Dungeon and Dragons I was used to. Three things stand out in my opinion. This new Player's Handbook is well organized, very informative, and visually stunning.

    Not that the Player's Handbook of 20 years ago under the AD&D rules was a bad read, but the new 4th Edition Player's Handbook seems to takes things up a notch. Much of it has to do the actual mechanics of playing the game and changes to the core rules. Under the new rules, every character has the ability to be a hero right from the start. Many of the non-combat aspects of the game that used to be guessed at by the DM or many times just not allowed by the DM are now qualified and quantified. Player character role-playing is enhanced. In addition to non-combat rules improvemnets, the 4th Edition Player's Handbook gives very detailed explanations about the mechanics of combat and fighting and specific rules of engagement for various conditions. This makes visualizing the battles a lot more fun for everyone. My final thought regarding the new 4th Edition Player's Handbook has to do with the growth and development of the player character. Characters now have a defined path from beginning to end. There is a goal to reach. Yes you can become attached and emotionally involved in the character, but you know at some point it will be time to start a new one. I think that will be a healthy aspect of the game for younger players to embrace.

    Overall, I very much enjoyed the 4th Edition Players's Handbook. While I am not a DM, I would like to get copies of the other Core Rules books, the 4th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide and the 4th Edition Monster Manual. I recently bought my own copy of the Player's Handbook and a copy of Arcane Power. I plan to purchase more 4th Edition Game Supplement books.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2011

    Finally D&D moves mainstream

    This is more a review for the new line as whole than any particular book. I am very impressed with the current edition of Dungeon and Dragons because it seems like an important step in moving D&D out of RPG dark ages. The core design philosophy of the line seems to be "letting people have fun." with an empasis on the pural.

    With 4e most of the classes are blances in a way that you can play whatever you want with out feeling left out of the fun. Your generic Fighter pulls as mich weight as a Wizard. All the way from level 1 ro 30 no single class is redunant or left out of the action. Each class is set as one of four combat "roles". Then each class has a different and unique take on that role.

    My only critism with the line is that for the first run of books they really din't explain the freedom of reskinning and role playing as well as they would in later books. The books are pretty light on non-combat rules and some people have taken this to mean that you can't role play. This clearly isn't the intention and the designers have explained as much. They wanted to move away from the codified and chart-heavying "roll playing" of earlier editions and into a free-form storytelling type of game. If it is fun and everyone agrees then go for it. But it seems that this went over the head of a loy of older players. It is so radically different from previous editions.

    To sum up you are interesting in role playing for fun and to hangout with friends, if you want to tell epic stories without being bogged down in rules, and if you want to make a unique heroic character, this is the edition for you.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    From a Lifelong Dork

    Been a gamer since D&D first came out (not saying when, do your own research), and have played pretty much every version. I will admit to playing 3.0 and 3.5 most extensively, and we were a little reluctant to give 4.0 the time of day... but we did. And here's the consensus:

    The instructions, especially for new gamers, are a lot less convoluted than 3.5. The rules seem to be broken down to a simpler set (one of our group calls it "dumbed down"), and would be easier to pick up from scratch.

    With that though, we all pretty much agree that this initial book wasn't nearly as comprehensive as it could have been (but then Wizards would have missed out on the supplement revenue we all know they're looking forward to), and it seemed like there were a lot of open spaces in what was covered.

    We're still playing it through from level 1 to 30 (about halfway there), so it's obviously playable, but we do find ourselves "house ruling" a lot of stuff. Not bad, for a "dumbed down" version of the game.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2009

    dungeons and dragons book

    a great book to use when playing the game

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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