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Players Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  2,088 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews
This is the first of the series of the world famous AD & D role-playing aids. To complement the original version we've asekd new cover art. It is the ideal vehicle of imagination for intermediate through advanced players, ages 10 and up. #2010 1978 TSR By Gary Gygax illustrations by David C. Sutherland III
Hardcover, 126 pages
Published 1987 by TSR Hobbies (first published 1978)
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Dec 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"You roll a … 18! and your vorpal sword cuts cleanly through the goblin."

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!

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
Mark Lawrence
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 game fired my imagination and helped me find some great people. A wonderful gift to give the world!

When I first discovered D&D it felt like something I'd spent the whole of my short life waiting for.
Haven't played for years but I do miss it.

....On reflection I suspect there should be an apostrophe in the title somewhere. Also, that title d
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
David Sarkies
Dec 28, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: game
A book that brings back many memories
26 December 2012

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, how
Mar 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book, and its companions, is solely responsible for my not completing a degree when I first attended university.

I, of course, am not responsible (In fact, I'm sure my mother told me I was irresponsible at the time).
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book by itself looks decent, nice art, wide palet of colours, great monster design. This edition is heavy on story and keeps the mechanics fast and loose, so there’s not too many opportunities to abuse the system, which I understand can be a bit of a downside for some. However, I’m loving how streamlined and clean my encounters feel in this edition. Anything that can get all players engaged and roleplaying all at once is worth the effort, and keeps me excited about thinking up grand new worl ...more
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i get a little shiver of nostalgia just looking at that cover.
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  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
E.W. Storch
Sep 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: gaming
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
Mike (the Paladin)
I didn't think about reviewing this for a'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
May 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A lot of what I want to say about this book (or specifically Dungeons & Dragons) has already been stated by other reviewers. While growing up in the 80s, AD&D and Cars Wars (though this was not a role-playing game, my group of friends basically played it as such with money being awarded in the place of experience points) introduced me to a social hobby that would expand through the years into miniature war gaming and other role-playing games that would introduce me to great people and cr ...more
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.
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.
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 ... ).
Aug 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The rules are complex. Fortuantely, the Spouse shared his expertise as well as his copy of the book.
David Monroe
Dec 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  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. :)
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There can be only one. For this player.
Eric Muss-Barnes
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
Timothy Boyd
Well this is were it all began for me in the roleplaying world. I rolled up my first character waaay back in the mid 1970s and never stopped playing and creating. I went from player to Game master and began creating my own world, but that is another story. I have always kept a spot in my gamer's heart for this version of the game. Recommended
William Gaskins
Feb 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Old School! The first (and best) RPG out there, the rules are clunky but it is hours of fun to play.
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first book I purchased when I started playing Dungeons and Dragons. I read it over and over and memorized most of the information. It was great revisiting it.
Aug 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roleplaying, fantasy
This rating is more based on my enjoyment of reading this book, rather than any intent of using it. First edition AD&D, judging by this volume, is pretty messy and disorganized, and I think I'd prefer to use Second Edition, which cleans things up a fair bit. Plus, I'm not fond of the fact that basic stuff like how to roll stats and how to resolve combat is reserved for the Dungeon Master's Guide. Still, this is an interesting look back at D&D's early years. I like that there's some nice ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Brian Sammons
May 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
Sep 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book ever. I have read this book about 100 times. The fact that I am not a professional Dungeons&Dragons player, or game designer, is proof of an unjust universe. In an alternate dimension, I am the CEO of Wizards of the Coast. Here? Not so much.
Weeping, weeping...
Andrew Vice
May 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gary was a god damn genius, a pioneer in game design, an advocate for equality of the sexes, and a lover of strange and unique fantasy. It is worth reading just for his unique prose when writing down the rules. I love this man!
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Ah memories. Spent hours, days, weeks, playing this. Had a great Dungeon Master. Truly a classic fantasy experience before computers took over childhood.
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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 about Gary Gygax...

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Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition (1 - 10 of 13 books)
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“Do not be sidetracked. A good referee will have many ways to distract an expedition, many things to draw attention, but ignore them if at all possible.” 2 likes
“Although the masculine form of appellation is typically used when listing the level titles of the various types of characters, these names can easily be changed to the feminine if desired. This is fantasy--what's in a name? In all but a few cases sex makes no difference to ability!” 0 likes
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