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Player's Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons)

4.21 of 5 stars 4.21  ·  rating details  ·  1,311 ratings  ·  40 reviews
Advanced D & D
Players handbook
Compiled Information for Players and Dungeon Masters
by Gary Gygax
Hardcover, 126 pages
Published March 28th 1978 by TSR Hobbies (first published 1978)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,606)
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Brad
Dallas was on TV, and my Mom was sitting in the kitchen doing her nails. I was in the living room with a blank Player Character Record Sheet, a new bag of dice, a pencil, an eraser and Gygax's masterpiece.

Mom and I could still talk, even separated as we were by the full kitchen wall, and I could smell the mixture of her menthols, nail polish and nail polish remover from the other room. Our home was small and intimate: a great place to be on a Friday night when it was just the two of us hanging...more
Jason Koivu
Tired of being a boring accountant or a lowly sales rep at a big box chain store? The cube farm got ya down? Well, open up the Players Handbook and turn yourself into a wizard or assassin! Come on, grow a pair!...A pair of pointy ears and become an elf! Sick of being 7' tall? Try a dwarf's skin on for size! The sky's the limit when you jump into the world of Dungeons & Dragons!

Okay, let's be honest, your own imagination is the real limit. TSR, the company that made D&D, put out this game...more
Chris
I think the reason I could never get into D&D is the class system. What do you mean I can either be an Elf OR a magic-user? How does that make sense? How could ANY fantasy fan think that makes sense, let alone an entire generation of gamers? It bogles my mind to this day.
Jane
i get a little shiver of nostalgia just looking at that cover.
Mark Lawrence
Thank you Gary Gygax (RIP) - I picked up D&D as a little kid in 1977 - when the Player's Handbook came out it was _the_ most exciting thing. The whole thing fired my imagination and helped me find some great people. A wonderful thing!

.
David Monroe
Dec 03, 2008 David Monroe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to David by: Mr. Shurig - my Jr. High Science Teacher
The one I grew up with! I still have a dog-eared copy stuffed with random sheets of graph paper. :)
Eric Muss-Barnes
VIDEO VERSION:
Book Review on YouTube
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons by E. Gary Gygax


The first edition of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook, written by E. Gary Gygax, is only one of a trilogy of rulebooks necessary to play the seminal roleplaying game. My original intention was to do a review of this book alone. However, the more time I put into trying to write a review, the more I realized there is really no way to talk about this book without talking about Dungeons & Dragons as a whole. Becau...more
Michael
Jan 06, 2010 Michael rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gamers, gaming historians
Recommended to Michael by: Seth Klein
Shelves: role-playing, fantasy
This was the foundational book of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as it existed in my youth. Really, one could play the game with only this book and a substantial amount of imagination, although in order to have the combat system one really needed _The Dungeon Master's Guide_ and for pre-made monsters _The Monster Manual_ as well. But this book covered my favorite part of role-playing: character generation.

Unlike later rpgs, D&D didn't really emphasize the dramatic side of role playing, it was...more
David Sarkies
I remember back in the State Library days when I was a spotty little teenager of about 15 trying to work my way into a group of 'sophisticated' university students (and one guy who worked in the fruit and vegetable section of Woolworths) who would play Dungeons and Dragons every Saturday (and Friday, and Sunday, and any other day they could get together). I thought these guys were wonderful and wanted to play their so hardcore characters, however I just never seemed to be able to survive long e...more
Greg
I recently re-read my 34-year-old copy of this core rule book for D&D, thinking I would introduce the game to my kids. I had forgotten how poorly written the book is. There is needless explanation of the rationale behind rules, as if this book were written for game designers, and it lacks a section on core game mechanics, which is left for the Dungeon Master's Guide. Unfortunately, in the introduction, the recommendation is for players to not read the Dungeon Master's Guide! It leaves it up...more
E.W. Storch
It has been decades since I've played the first edition of the Granddaddy of all Fantasy Role Playing Games, and even longer since I've read the rules. Reading them now, at 42, it seemed like I was reading the rules to game both familiar and completely alien. I wondered how my friends and I were even able to play this game back in the 80's - the rules are overly complicated and the writing tries too hard to sound "intelligent."

Play we did, every weekend, and I still have fond memories of the fun...more
Mike (the Paladin)
I didn't think about reviewing this for a while....it's a games rule book. But it gave a lot of enjoyment. This is the rule book for edition 1 at the time called Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) as there was also a Basic Dungeons and Dragons that a lot of people began with.

The book has lists of player character classes, spells for wizards and clerics....all the basic rules needed for an adventure that a lot of us found absorbing. All you needed was the book, some paper and pencil, a hand...more
Andrew
Got a copy recently through Interlibrary Loan; apparently it is still on the shelves in Duluth. The font, the line drawings, the crispy paper, the grey and white tables... this is classic D&D. Wish I'd kept my copy.
tom
The most important of the manuals for a player to own. You will use this multiple times every game. A must own and read.
Mark Bevier
Ah, the nostalgia. Loved the book, and the game. If you wanted the old school play but updated, check out Castles and Crusades.
Dale Houston
where to start...

if you are an old school gamer, you gotta have this book. Even if you don't play anymore, even if you think the game is stupid now, there is something magnificent about the artwork and labyrinthian text that will fill you with more nostalgia that nearly any other book you own (except maybe something like crazy book of your dad's you found in the attic that taght you more in an hour than a year of school).

The organization is sometimes difficult to follow, the rules are nearly inc...more
Lyn
I played this game and used this book back in the early eighties and have kept the books all this time, sometimes revisiting the dusty tombs on my bookshelves. A couple years ago I became a cool dad because I had these "ancient" texts. The game is still alot of fun, and the kids playing today can take some time away from the video screen and let their true imagination work. Good times!
Alessandra
A maddening, inconsistent, overcomplicated, poorly organized mess of a game system which I adored.

I was, in fact, a girl gamer back when we were really rare on the ground. I didn't start playing D&D until about 1982, and so consider myself a latecomer to the system.

This is the classic old handbook from when it was called AD&D (for "Advanced" D&D, you see ... ).
Brian Sammons
The one that started it all. The game that launched a thousand funny-shaped dice. Before video games, if you were an kid with imagination looking for adventure, this is what you did. God bless you, Gary Gygax, you did something new and amazing with this book. How many people can say that?
Stuart
Full disclosure: Never really played AD&D except for a few ill-fated attempts in 5th grade. It's amazing how personalities can clash, especially with an incompetent DM. But it was still pretty cool to read these books.
Clayton Bye
As far as I'm concerned you can't play D&D without this book. Back in the days when I spent entire weekends on campaigns, this book became my bible.
Ivan
A difficult game to play alone. I did actually get my mom to be Dungeon Master once. How could I have forgotten that? Cool huh?
Kaethe
The rules are complex. Fortuantely, the Spouse shared his expertise as well as his copy of the book.
Sunfall
No turning back at this point. Blades edge to the throat. I just remember REALLY wanting a light bow...
Force10
This is the book that started it all. If you don't own it, you can't call yourself old-school.
Iain Watson
Player's Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st edition) by Gary Gygax (1978)
Ken
If you are a real geek like me, you have a copy of this in a box in an attic somewhere.
Ron
Gaming referance material, the first AD&D book that I read. Part of the 1st edition set.
Jenn
Played with my brother and his friends when I was little. Good memories!
Vulgrin
There is very little that speaks to my childhood like this book.
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Ernest Gary Gygax was an American writer and game designer, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson in 1974, and co-founding the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) with Don Kaye in 1973.

After leaving TSR, Gygax continued to author role-playing game titles independently, including another gaming system called Lejendary...more
More about Gary Gygax...
Dungeon Masters Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook) Monster Manual Unearthed Arcana: A Compendium of New Ideas and New Discoveries for AD&D Game Campaigns ... Monster Manual II Oriental Adventures: The Rulebook for AD&D Game Adventures in the Mystical World of the Orient (Official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)

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