Players Handbook 5E Review
The core of Dungeons and Dragons has always been three books, The first and most important is the Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons). The other two are the Dungeon Master’s Guide (D&D Core Rulebook) and the Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook) . I recently came into a copy of the Player’s Handbook for 5E and a couple other books that shall get reviewed over the next week. Lets dig into what may be the most interesting development for the Dungeon and Dragons franchise in the past decade.
On the basis of appearance the book is beautiful. It is a hardcover book with very strong binding. The book has heft and feels like a grimoire of absolute nerdness. The interior is filled with amazing artwork and it is obvious that they went all out in the manufacture of this book. Flipping through the pages I noted that the layout was not unlike other editions. Quickly notes to help you understand specifics abound throughout the entire book. The classes on first glance look easy to understand and the section on spells is very dense and complete.
The book seems rules heavy but that is an illusion. The actual mechanics of the game are boiled down to just 27 pages. While this is great for old dogs like me, I think it may hurt the new player coming to Dungeons and Dragons. because many of the rules seem to be implied but not detailed. Perhaps these rules will be better fleshed out int he DMG. I understand that the starter set cover some of my concerns but that is not one of the core books so it might get missed by new players. The rules cover nearly everything you might need to play the game. You get things like how to make a character, how to move, how to attack, how to resist magic and other effects, and much much more. Many of the things in this book seemed like they should have been in the Dungeons Master’s Guide, but this book as I discovered is not for the player character but rather the Player himself.
Now we move onto actual play. Once I sat down and began a game, my few misgivings were quickly abolished. The game plays well. It has a great feel and combat moves along quickly. Character design is simple, even if there may be more options that you can imagine. The setting works well and is tried and true. I play Neverwinter Nights and I could see how this new version could be used in conjunction with the online game. The book is much better than expected and I have to admit that I was surprised. I have not been a fan of 4E and 3E had many serious flaws. This new version seems to address those many concerns and it sees to work. I now cant wait to dig into the published adventures that are soon to come. I say bravo to the writers. They knocked this one out of the park.
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