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Player's Handbook

(Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  7,533 ratings  ·  411 reviews
Everything a player needs to create heroic characters for the world’s greatest roleplaying game
The Player’s Handbook® is the essential reference for every Dungeons & Dragons® roleplayer. It contains rules for character creation and advancement, backgrounds and skills, exploration and combat, equipment, spells, and much more.
Use this book to create exciting characters fr
Hardcover, 5th Edition, 320 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Wizards of the Coast
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Peter I'd say 7--8th grade. There is quite a bit of jargon, but you'll get used to that.
Mathew Walls No. Goodreads is a site for tracking the books you've read and sharing your ratings and reviews. It is not a book shop or library.

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Average rating 4.57  · 
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 ·  7,533 ratings  ·  411 reviews

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Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, games
3.5 stars

So I broke down and got my hands on the newest edition of the Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook even though I’m not very sanguine about the likelihood that I’ll ever actually get to play the game. Ultimately this is not really a huge departure for me when it comes to my relationship with the game. I guess I am what you would call an old-school D&D Lurker. I got the old Mentzer ‘BECMI’ Red Box set and expanded out to the Advanced D & D Player’s Handbook, Dungeons Master’s Guide and Mo
G. Derek Adams
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow. They really knocked this out of the park. Rarely have I seen such a huge brand reinvention carried off so flawlessly. I love the art, the layout, the design - the entire mechanic ethos of the system. I have some quibbles, but it's all glossed over by my infatuation.

It's like returning to an abusive ex to find out they've transmogrified into some sort of unicorn that manifests McDonald's fries at will.

Sep 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gaming
One of my friends called this "The Best Edition", which is the absolute truth. So much of this book is AD&D (1st) and 2nd edition, not only in the rules that are simplified and made to work better than ever, but in the way the rules themselves are laid out. Take character classes for instance - you get a brief intro, then the rules, then it gets fleshed out. Hard numbers that you need during character creation or gameplay are real easy to find.

Everything is broken down, not just for the noob, bu
Aug 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
Note to Wizards of the Coast on an otherwise excellent production of the new D&D Player's Handbook: nowhere in an index should the word "see" appear when followed by another entry in said index instead of a page number.

This goes double if the entry you are directed to also includes the word "see" followed by yet another entry in said index instead of a page number.

Seriously, other than to annoy people, what's the point? It takes up more space to print the name of the other entry than it does to
Jul 11, 2015 added it
Shelves: gaming
I just spent 3 hours on Skype with my cousin and this book (he has a copy, too). I've read until my eyes bled, but I have knowledge now. I'm almost done creating my first character. AWWWW YIIIIISSSSS.

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Mr. Windup Bird
May 27, 2020 rated it liked it
The Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition Player's Handbook is an outstanding book. Presentation is beautiful, it's very organized and easy to read, and as a game system seems to cover most of the bases for easy and intuitive play.

So why only 3 stars? My biggest complaints with the system are the price tag, scope, and expectations.

With the quarantine, my goal is to play games on the Roll20 Virtual Tabletop. Roll20 has a store where you can purchase and integrate the D&D rules into your game, the b
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Hey, all right, so I read this whole thing! I mean I skipped the description of all the spells, I'm not going to remember that anyway. But I legit read basically everything else, hooray for me. How much I actually retain remains to be seen.

I've only ever DMed this here fifth edition, so I don't have a lot of basis for comparison (though I did play one, multi-year campaign of 4e). It seems like there's a lot shit for everybody to keep track of in re: their class, but the onus is on the player for
Angela Blount
Dec 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing

It's been well over a decade since I used the 3rd Edition (the last version I studied at at any length), so my perceptions are no doubt altered by age and experience. None the less, I've had a consistently more endeared sense toward this latest version. The character generation feels streamlined, the gameplay mechanics more logical, and the options more broad. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the artwork is phenomenal!

One of my favorite aspects is the encouragement given to backstory. Rather t
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gaming
I've read a lot of game systems, and even several versions of D&D, and all in all 5E impresses me. The system is robust, the art lovely, and the focus on storytelling refreshing. This is a solid core rulebook, and a solid system. I only dock a star because there are some system patches and expansions that end up in Xanathar's that I'd have liked to see in here instead. ...more
Francesca Calarco
Apr 18, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a pretty strange book for which to write a review, honestly. I’ve played D&D for a few years now, and have consulted this book countless times—though with expanded free time I finally sat down and read it cover to cover. It was a fun time. If you are new to D&D, I especially recommend the official Player's Handbook.

I think most players look to the 5th edition when consulting on game play, character build/background, some story build, and many other components to crafting the best possib
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Well, this is gonna be my life now. Calling it.
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I must admit that I am impressed- Wizards of the Coast did a great job of revising Dungeons & Dragons with 5th Edition. Back in the day, I originally started playing Basic D&D and AD&D 1st Ed., but the main version that I spent a lot of time with (years) was AD&D 2nd Ed. I dabbled a bit in 3rd and 4th Ed. but I didn't really like them compared to 2nd Ed.

This newest Edition (5th), I believe does a great job of bringing it back to the older (1st & 2nd) Editions, but in a better way. The syst
Arthur O'dell
Oct 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, role-playing
I'm not going to mention when I first started playing D&D. I'm not going to mention any feelings about previous editions. I'm not going to mention how many other Players Handbooks I already own. I am only going to mention two things: 1. This is the best iteration of the game. Ever. Period. 2. The book looks and reads the way a D&D rulebook should look and feel. Good writing, good layout, good art. Great game. ...more
J.P. Ashman
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed reading this this and I enjoy referring to parts of it again and again. Great layout and lovely artwork throughout.
Andrew Nguyen
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been playing DnD 5e since 2015. I’ve never actually read the Player’s Handbook (PHB) front-to-back until now. The PHB is pretty much the only source material I would suggest for new players. In a game with as much depth and history as DnD, that is saying a lot.

As a player, DnD is composed of two pieces: role-playing a character and mechanics that support role-playing that character. For example, you might create a half-elf monk who has honed her body to use her fists as weapons. The monk cl
Jason Beil
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dungeons and Dragons, the granddaddy of all role-playing games, has finally released its long-awaited fifth edition. The new rule set provides the perfect opportunity for lapsed players to return to the game, as well as allowing new players to get in on the ground floor. The new edition takes a back-to-basics approach, returning to an old-school feel while maintaining the best game mechanics from the last few editions. The rules have been streamlined without being over-simplified, making the gam ...more
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Finally got around to reading this cover to cover. It's very well constructed when you read things in order but I feel that there needs to be a master cheat sheet in the back for character building references. I think I'm going to just that with the character sheet on page 317 so I can reference specific pages.

I'm definitely not going to retain everything but I wrote all over the tiny margins and covered the book in sticky notes. I have a solid foundation and a much clearer understanding of how
Jul 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So convenient having a physical copy at hand.
Aja: The Narcoleptic Ninja
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy hell getting back into D&D is a LOT of reading. ...more
Juho Pohjalainen
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Not the mess that 3rd edition was, the system actually works, but it still lacks a heart.

Put it another way, what is this game for? What is its identity? What does it try to do, that no other game out there does? Call of Cthulhu is for the horrific cosmic tales in the bent of H.P. Lovecraft and his contemporaries, where madness and death are always the turn of a page away. Savage Worlds is for fast-paced pulpy action, where 'plot' is just an excuse for the next fight or challenge. Burning Wheel
Nick Klagge
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was the Monster Manual from 2nd Edition D&D. The weird thing is that I never once played D&D, nor really had any particular desire to. I must have just found the book in a bookstore and my parents noticed me looking at it so much that they just bought it for me. I guess my experience of reading it was similar to the enjoyment of reading a book of mythology, or maybe looking through an atlas--a spur to the imagination.

Later on, when we got a compute
Homewood Public Library
If you want to play or have played Dungeons & Dragons, this book is a must have. Fantasy writers and fans will enjoy the book for inspiration and basic knowledge of creatures and lore. The Player's Handbook is one of many resources for D&D lovers, but it's a must have as you dive deep into game play. Before purchasing I checked out the book from our library. ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Modernised and improved, and really the only complaint I have is that the spells should be arranged by level rather than simply alphabetically. An impressive re-imagination of the brand and the artwork was impressive.
Peter Newman
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: good-things
All the nostalgia of 2nd and 3rd edition but streamlined and elegant, with good class balance.
Matt S
Jul 28, 2018 rated it did not like it
The authors spent a lot of time with character development, but the plot was hard to follow.
Dom Mooney
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of all, I realise that this is five years late. I skimmed the Player's Handbook when it first came out but was still very much in a Dungeon World place. I'd bought Fifth Edition (5e) D&D mainly to mine for ideas for the various OSR and Dungeon World ideas I had at the time. Reading Curse of Strahd encouraged me to look at it again.

Physically, this is a quality book. Full colour throughout, with excellent artwork and set in a clear, easy to read font with good use of space in the layout. It
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm DMing so I've read it all the way through but! Be not afraid if you're trying to convince players who aren't interested in reading what, let's be honest, can be a more-fun-version-of-a-textbook-but-a-textbook-nonetheless: Having people play who have only read the sections on their character class/race/background is completely doable. The equipment and adventuring gear section are pretty indispensable for DMs but players don't necessarily need to look at those at all if you're willing to talk ...more
Ben Truong
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, reference
Player's Handbook is a comprehensive guide for the current edition, fifth edition, of the Dungeons and Dragons game.

This edition is over three hundred pages long and divided into three sections. The first section deals with the introduction and a brief explanation of what Role Playing Games are in particular to the Tabletop Game of Dungeons and Dragons. It also goes through Character Creation by selecting race (Humans, Elves, Dwarves, etc.) and classes (Cleric, Bards, Paladins, etc.). The second
Oct 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, roleplaying
I was a little skeptical of this edition at first, since my skimming of this book and my experience with the beginner's module weren't the greatest. However, having now read the PHB from cover to cover, I'm pretty impressed. It feels like the designers have done a nice job of keeping things simple and in some ways old school while also including cool new mechanics. Advantage and disadvantage are the standout here. Instead of dealing with lots of fiddly modifiers to rolls, you can have advantage ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
After 4th edition, I was wary of another new edition of D&D, but after finally getting around to joining a campain with a group running 5th, I'm pleased with how fun the system is. They've simplified things in a good way that keeps things going at a good clip, no longer do players and GMs have to keep referencing the books to see if they have the right type of bonuses stacking with each other and what's legal what's not.

My only complaint is that magic seems very mundane in this edition. Magic u
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Lucky D20: Once more into the edition; 5th Edition general chat. 1 5 Dec 09, 2014 10:56AM  

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James Wyatt is an award-winning game designer at Wizards of the Coast, and now holds the position of Design Manager for Dungeons & Dragons. He was one of the lead designers for D&D 4th Edition and one of the original designers of the Eberron Campaign Setting, and has written and co-authored dozens of game supplements. He grew up in Ithaca, New York, and now lives in Washington State with his wife ...more

Other books in the series

Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition (9 books)
  • Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)
  • Dungeon Master's Guide (Dungeons & Dragons)
  • Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
  • Deluxe DM Screen
  • Volo's Guide to Monsters
  • Xanathar's Guide To Everything
  • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)
  • Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica (Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)

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