Players handbook dnd 5e

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The prior edition of Dungeons & Dragons, its fourth, welcomed too many players with a feel-bad moment. Eager new players would join a table with a character built from their new copy of their Player’s Handbook and learn the character was unplayable—full of errors created by fourth edition’s errata. The potential message: Your character is bad and you can’t use the book you just bought without embarrassing yourself.

The fourth-edition team strived to get rules right the first time, but they faced a relentless publishing schedule focused on releasing as many hardcovers as the market would bear, all packed with character options. To fix the inevitable missteps, the designers relied on players able to download errata. The game’s business strategy centered on online subscriptions to D&D Insider, so the finished rules existed on the internet, while the books attracted completists and folks who enjoyed reading the latest D&D lore from a comfy chair.

For fifth edition, the D&D team completely reverses this strategy, striving to avoid any changes that contradict text in print. In newer printings, wording gets an occasional change for clarity, but the game’s mechanics remain virtually unchanged. Surely this stability accounts for a measure of the newest edition’s success in winning new players.

To perfect new content before it reaches print, the D&D team relies on a slower release schedule and on letting players preview and test new game elements as Unearthed Arcana. Only the rare overpowered features that prove game breaking get tweaks. While the D&D team avoids errata, they feel comfortable assuming that players and dungeon masters can ignore feats, spells, and archetypes that don’t suit their game. If we find some spells annoying, then we can skip them.

Still, the D&D designers see the game’s flaws. The 12th printing of the fifth-edition Player’s Handbook includes some corrections. On rare occasions, the designers feel compelled to make functional changes to printed rules. For example, errata to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything changes the healing spirit spell from game altering to adequate.

Newer D&D books give the D&D team chances to improve on the Player’s Handbook without actually invalidating anything. Mainly the new books offer options that improve on the original versions. Players can still opt for the original, but the newer alternatives rank as stronger, easier, or just as a more flavorful realization of an archetype. So Xanathar’s Guide To Everything revisits the rules for downtime with a more evolved take, and Tasha’s Cauldon of Everything includes new beast master companions that strengthen the ranger archetype.

During the typical edition cycle of a roleplaying game, years of play expose flaws, while new supplements build a complexity that rewards obsessed players while deterring newcomers. But the D&D team’s careful release strategy has let the game attract new players when most RPGs—including past D&D editions—introduce a new edition. The rules foundation of fifth edition remains strong enough that even an enthusiast like me just names a couple of feats as the worst thing in the game. New editions fuel a surge of sales as a game’s existing fans replace their books, but they also lose players who choose not to leave their experience and old books behind.

Given the success of fifth edition, I suspect the D&D team would feel content keeping the lightly-edited Player’s Handbook in print for years to come. However, I predict that one change in emphasis will lead to a quicker revision. In an article on diversity, the team writes that in the six years since fifth edition’s release “making D&D as welcoming and inclusive as possible has moved to the forefront of our priorities.”

This new emphasis shows in Tasha’s Cauldon of Everything and the book’s options for customizing characters.

The original, 1974 D&D game avoided linking ability scores to a character’s race. Nearly 5 years later the game’s Advanced version added ability score penalties and bonuses for elves, dwarves, halflings, and half orcs. This change reinforced fantasy archetypes, but it also limited player freedom to create capable characters who defy stereotypes. Also, for many, such adjustments raise troubling reminders of how real ethnic groups can suffer from racist stereotypes that paint people as lacking certain aptitudes. Sure, elves, dwarves, and half-orcs are imaginary species, but they become relatable reflections of us in the game world. After all, imaginary halflings, I mean hobbits, just started as Tolkien’s stand-ins for ordinary folks.

Tasha’s Cauldon of Everything offers an alternative to ability score modifiers. “If you’d like your character to follow their own path, you may ignore your Ability Score Increase trait and assign ability score increases tailored to your character.” In a post previewing the change, the D&D team writes, “This option emphasizes that each person in the game is an individual with capabilities all their own.”

The old approach to races in the Player’s Handbook hinders the book as a welcome to D&D. I predict that by the end of 2022, Wizards of the Coast will release of new version of the Player’s Handbook that revisits the old ability score adjustments in favor of the more flexible version. To be clear, this will not represent a 6th edition, but merely a better welcome to the existing game. That book will join revised versions of the other core books by swapping some of the original elements of the edition with the improved alternatives that appeared in more recent books. Meanwhile, the revisited Monster Manual will make some of our more fearsome reflections in the game world clearly “as free as humans to decide who they are and what they do.” After all, isn’t that freedom to decide a lot of the reason we love D&D?

Related:3 Posts that Need Updates Thanks to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged ability scores, diversity, races, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, Tolkien, Wizards of the Coast, Xanathar's Guide to Everything on by David Hartlage. Sours:

Player's Handbook

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 from among the most iconic D&D races and classes.

Dungeons & Dragons immerses you in a world of adventure. Explore ancient ruins and deadly dungeons. Battle monsters while searching for legendary treasures. Gain experience and power as you trek across uncharted lands with your companions.

The world needs heroes. Will you answer the call?


ENnie Awards:
The winners of the 2015 ENnie Awards, an annual fan-based celebration of excellence in tabletop roleplaying gaming, were announced at this year's Gen Con.

  • Winner (Gold): Product of the Year: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)
  • Winner (Gold): Best Game: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)
  • Winner (Gold): Best Rules: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)
  • Winner (Silver): Writing: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)
  • Winner (Gold): Best Electronic Book: Dungeons & Dragons (Basic Rules)
  • Winner (Gold): Free Product: Dungeons & Dragons (Basic Rules)
  • Winner (Gold): Fan's Choice for Best Publisher: Wizards of the Coast

Origins Awards:
The winners of the 2015 Origins Awards were selected by the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design, presented at the Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio.

  • Winner: Best Role Playing Game: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)
  • Winner: Fan Favorites: Best Role Playing Game: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)

Golden Geek:
The winners of the 2014 Golden Geek Awards have been determined by the users of BoardGameGeek, RPGGeek, and VideoGameGeek.

  • Winner: Game of the Year: Dungeons & Dragons (5th Edition)
  • Winner: Best Artwork and Presentation: Dungeons & Dragons (Player's Handbook)

Player's Handbook Errata

Product Information

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Player's Handbook

The Player's Handbook (spelled Players Handbook in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D)) is a book of rules for the fantasyrole-playing gameDungeons & Dragons (D&D). It does not contain the complete set of rules for the game, and only includes rules for use by players of the game. Additional rules, for use by Dungeon Masters (DMs), who referee the game, can be found in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Many optional rules, such as those governing extremely high-level players, and some of the more obscure spells, are found in other sources.

Since the first edition,[1] the Player's Handbook has contained tables and rules for creating characters, lists of the abilities of the different character classes, the properties and costs of equipment, descriptions of spells that magic-using character classes (such as wizards or clerics) can cast, and numerous other rules governing gameplay.[2] Both the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Player's Handbook give advice, tips, and suggestions for various styles of play.[3] The Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual make up the core D&D rulebooks.[4]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons[edit]

The first Players Handbook was released in June 1978 as a 128-page hardcover.[5][6] It was written by Gary Gygax and edited by Mike Carr, who also wrote the foreword. The original cover art was by D.A. Trampier,[5] who also provided interior illustrations along with David C. Sutherland III.[7] In this edition, the game rules were divided between the Players Handbook and the Dungeon Masters Guide, which was printed later.[1] Later editions of the game moved the bulk of the game rules to the Player's Handbook, leaving information needed chiefly by the DM in the Dungeon Master's Guide. The new rules were so open-ended that game campaigns required a referee or Dungeon Master.[8]

The Players Handbook contained the information needed to play the standard character classes: clerics (including druids), fighters (including rangers and paladins), magic-users (including illusionists), thieves (including assassins), and monks.[5] The book also included information on non-human races, such as dwarves, elves, and halflings, character abilities, armor and weapons, spell descriptions, and optional rules for psionics.[5]

The original Players Handbook was reviewed by Don Turnbull in issue No. 10 of White Dwarf, who gave the book a rating of 10 out of 10. Turnbull noted, "I don't think I have ever seen a product sell so quickly as did the Handbook when it first appeared on the Games Workshop stand at Dragonmeet", a British role-playing game convention; after the convention, he studied the book and concluded that "whereas the original rules are ambiguous and muddled, the Handbook is a detailed and coherent game-system, and very sophisticated."[1] Turnbull felt a bit of apprehension at the amount of time it would require to digest all the new material, but concluded by saying "I said of the Monster Manual that it was TSR's most impressive publication to date; that is no longer true—this accolade must belong to the Handbook which is nothing short of a triumph."[1]

In 1983, TSR changed the cover art of the Players Handbook, although the interior contents remained the same.[6] This printing featured cover art by Jeff Easley.[5] Printings with this cover also bear an orange spine that fits in with other Advanced Dungeons & Dragons books.[9]

Numerous foreign editions of the Players Handbook were published, including versions for the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Germany.[10]Games Workshop (U.K.) published a softcover version also in 1978.[5]

Dealers continued to place orders for the 1st edition Players Handbook even after 2nd edition was released, causing the final printing to be in July 1990, a year after the release of 2nd edition.[6]

In 2012, Wizards of the Coast released a new printing of the original book, billed as the "1st Edition Premium Player's Handbook", as part of a set of limited-edition reprints of the original 1st Edition core rulebooks: the Monster Manual, Player's Handbook, and Dungeon Master's Guide. These premium versions of the original AD&D rulebooks were reprinted with the original art and content, but feature a new cover design. Purchase of the reprinted Player's Handbook will help support the Gygax Memorial Fund—established to immortalize Gary Gygax with a memorial statue in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.[11]


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition[edit]

The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition Player's Handbook was a 256-page hardcover book written by David "Zeb" Cook and released in 1989.[5][13][14] The original cover art is by Jeff Easley, and the book featured eight full-page color illustrations,[5] as well as other interior illustrations by Douglas Chaffee, Larry Elmore, Craig Farley, John and Laura Lakey, Erik Olson, Jack Pennington, Jeff Butler, Jeff Easley, Jean E. Martin, and Dave Sutherland.

The Player's Handbook for 2nd edition was compatible with 1st edition rules, but was streamlined and clarified.[5] The book included information on how to play the standard character classes: warriors (including fighters, paladins, and rangers), wizards (including mages and specialist wizards such as illusionists), priests (clerics and guidelines for variance by mythos, including the druid as an example), and rogues (including thieves and bards); while most character classes remained about the same as in the 1st edition rules, the bard was regularized, and the assassin and monk were dropped.[5]TSR, Inc. also removed some races from the game, such as half-orcs,[15] although some of these were added back into the game in supplements, such as The Complete Book of Humanoids.[16] Optional rules for skills, known as proficiencies, were added, and sections describing role-playing, combat, magic, time and movement, equipment, and spell descriptions were all expanded.[5] The book included major changes regarding character classes, races, and magic, and incorporated many new rules that had been published in supplements such as Unearthed Arcana and Dragonlance Adventures.

The 2nd edition Player's Handbook was an Origins and Gamer's Choice award winner.[5]Lawrence Schick, in his 1991 book Heroic Worlds, called the book "a vast improvement" over the 1st edition book; he noted that the monk character class had been "banished to Oriental Adventures where it belongs", but commented that the spell descriptions "have positively bloated to over 100 pages".[5]

In 1995, a new version of the 2nd edition Player's Handbook was released as part of TSR's 25th anniversary.[14] The book was revised, becoming sixty-four pages larger,[17] mainly due to layout changes and new artwork.[18] A new foreword in this edition specifically stated that the book was not Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition.[17]

The 2nd edition Player's Handbook was reproduced as a premium reprint on May 21, 2013.[19]


In the May 1989 edition of Games International, James Wallis called the 2nd edition "an improvement over the original", but concluded that it was "a step forward for the game, but a very small step." Wallis felt that the many improvements called for by the "archaic mechanics" and "hugely overly-complex" rules had not been addressed, and that the game still provided "a terrible introduction to role-playing." He concluded that the designer "lacked the vision to see what could have been done with the material", and gave the book a below-average rating of 2 out of 5, saying, "AD&D may be the biggest selling rolegame of all time, but like the IBM PC, that doesn't mean that it isn't thoroughly obsolete and to be avoided." [20]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition[edit]

The third edition, published August 10, 2000,[21] (with the Player's Handbook debuting at that year's Gen Con[8]) represented a major overhaul of the game, including the adoption of the d20 system. The third edition also dropped the word Advanced from the title, as the publisher decided to publish only one version of the game instead of both basic and advanced versions.

Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams all contributed to the 3rd edition Players Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual, and then each designer wrote one of the books based on those contributions.[22] Tweet is credited with the book's design. Cover art is by Henry Higginbotham, with interior art by Lars Grant-West, Scott Fischer, John Foster, Todd Lockwood, David Martin, Arnie Swekel, and Sam Wood. The 3rd edition Player's Handbook also saw the return of half-orcs and monks to the core rules set,[21] along with some all-new classes.[21]

The reviewer from Pyramid commented on the release of third edition, stating: "There's a lot to like about Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition as seen in the Player's Handbook. The new artwork is gorgeous and evocative, and in the 286 pages of the main rulebook there's a lot of well-written and tightly packed rules."[23] Another reviewer wrote a response to the first review.[24] A third reviewer felt that the design team "smoothed out the rough edges from Advanced Dungeons & Dragon 2nd Edition and added tons of new goodies to make D&D 3rd Edition the best combat-oriented RPG you can buy".[25]

In July 2003, the rules were revised again to version 3.5 based on two years of player feedback.[26] Revisions to the Player's Handbook included the classes becoming more balanced against each other.[26] When asked about the changes from the prior Player's Handbook release, Skip Williams said "I think they range from the almost invisible (unless it affects your character directly) to the pretty radical," while Andy Collins replied "Well, I don't think I'd call any of the changes "radical." Even though some characters will undergo some significant changes, the aim is for the character to still feel like the same character, only with more interesting and balanced options."[27]Andy Collins is credited for the Player's Handbook 3.5 revision. Cover art is by Henry Higginbotham, with interior art by Lars Grant-West, Scott Fischer, John Foster, Jeremy Jarvis, Todd Lockwood, David Martin, Wayne Reynolds, Arnie Swekel, and Sam Wood.

May 2006 saw the release of the Player's Handbook II, designed to follow up the standard Player's Handbook.[28] This book was designed by David Noonan. It contains four new classes, along with new spells, feats, and new role-playing options.[29] Its cover pays homage to the 1st edition Player's Handbook.[21]

The 3.5 edition Player's Handbook was reproduced as a premium reprint on September 18, 2012.[30]


Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition[edit]

On June 6, 2008, the Fourth Edition Player's Handbook, subtitled Arcane, Divine and Martial Heroes, was released. It was originally announced that the 4th edition's three core rulebooks would be released over a three-month period,[32] but the date changed after customer feedback revealed a majority preference among D&D customers to have all three core rulebooks released in the same month.[33][34][35] The Fourth Edition Player's Handbook was designed by Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, and James Wyatt. The front cover illustration was by Wayne Reynolds and the back cover illustration was by Dan Scott, with interior illustrations by Zoltan Boros & Gabor Szikszai, Matt Cavotta, Eric Deschamps, Wayne England, David Griffith, Ralph Horsley, Howard Lyon, Raven Mimura, Lee Moyer, William O'Connor, Steve Prescott, Dan Scott, Anne Stokes, Franz Vohwinkel, and Eva Widermann.

The first Player's Handbook includes eight classes: cleric, fighter, paladin, ranger, rogue, warlock, warlord, and wizard, and eight races: dragonborn, dwarf, eladrin, elf, human, half-elf, halfling, and tiefling. The warlock and warlord classes, and the dragonborn and tiefling races, represented new additions to the core rules, while the book left out previous core elements such as the monk and bard classes and the gnome and half-orc races. Wizards of the Coast emphasized that those elements would be coming in subsequent Player's Handbooks and would be considered to be as central to the game as those in the first book.

The 4th edition Player's Handbook 2, subtitled Arcane, Divine and Primal Heroes,[36] was released on March 17, 2009.[36] The Player's Handbook 2 includes eight classes: the avenger, barbarian, bard, druid, invoker, shaman, sorcerer, and warden, and five races: the deva, gnome, goliath, half-orc, and shifter.[37] The book reached No. 28 on USA Today's bestseller list the week of March 26, 2009 and No. 14 on the Wall Street Journal's non-fiction bestseller list a week later.[38][39]

A third book in the series, Player's Handbook 3, subtitled Psionic, Divine and Primal Heroes, was released on March 16, 2010. Retrieved on 2011-02-20. The book was designed by Mike Mearls, Bruce R. Cordell, and Robert J. Schwalb, and featured cover art by Michael Komarck and interior art by Ralph Beisner, Eric Belisle, Kerem Beyit, Wayne England, Jason A. Engle, Carl Frank, Randy Gallegos, Adam Gillespie, Ralph Horsley, Roberto Marchesi, Jake Masbruch, Jim Nelson, William O'Connor, Hector Ortiz, Shane Nitzche, Wayne Reynolds, Chris Seaman, John Stanko, Matias Tapia, Beth Trott, Francis Tsai, Eva Widermann, Sam Wood, Ben Wootten, and Kieran Yanner. It includes six classes: ardent, battlemind, monk, psion, runepriest, and seeker,[40][41][42] along with four races: wilden,[43] the minotaur, githzerai,[44] and shardminds. The PHB3 also includes new multi-classing rules for hybrid characters.[45]

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition[edit]

The fifth edition Player's Handbook was released on August 19, 2014.[46] The Player's Handbook contains the basic rules of the 5e system, the base classes and races, and character customization options.


In Publishers Weekly's "Best-selling Books Week Ending September 1, 2014", Player's Handbook was #1 in "Hardcover Nonfiction" and sold 22,090 units.[47] It remained in the top 25 for four weeks.[48][49][50]

The 5th edition Player's Handbook won the 2015 Origins Award for Best Role Playing Game and Fan Favorite Role Playing Game.[51] The book won three 2015 gold ENnie Awards, "Best Game", "Best Rules", "Product of the Year", and one silver award for "Best Writing" by Jeremy Crawford, James Wyatt, Robert J. Schwalb, and Bruce R. Cordell.[52]

Chuck Francisco of commented: "While it was an easily accessible system, 4e left a lukewarm feeling with my gaming group. There was something too generic and uninteresting about player characters which pervaded the system, especially in the wake of 3.5e (which some felt provided too many options so as to be confusing). In the process, 4e characters lost an indescribable crunchy feeling, but I'm pleased to say that it's been brought back for the newest installment of this venerated table top series."[53]

Andrew Zimmerman Jones of Black Gate comments on the 5th edition Player's Handbook: "Their rules light approach make it a natural system for old fans to bring new players into the hobby, but even with this initial offering there are enough customization options to keep old school gamers happy playing with it."[54]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ abcdTurnbull, Don (December 1978 – January 1979). "Open Box: Players Handbook". White Dwarf (review). No. 10. Games Workshop. p. 17.
  2. ^Turnbull, Don (April–May 1979). "A Dip Into the Players Handbook". White Dwarf (analysis and critique). No. 12. Games Workshop. pp. 24–25.
  3. ^Pulsipher, Lewis (April–May 1981). "An Introduction to Dungeons & Dragons, Part II". White Dwarf (overview). No. 24. Games Workshop. pp. 10–11.
  4. ^Livingstone, Ian (August–September 1979). "White Dwarf Interviews Gary Gygax". White Dwarf (interview). No. 14. Games Workshop. pp. 23–24.
  5. ^ abcdefghijklmSchick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. pp. 84–85. ISBN .
  6. ^ abcPlayers Handbook at Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  7. ^Gygax, Gary (1978). Player's Handbook. TSR. ISBN .
  8. ^ ab"Dungeons & Dragons FAQ". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2008-10-03.
  9. ^RPGnet d20 RPG Game Index: AD&D First Edition Players Handbook (1983 TSR edition). Retrieved on November 22, 2008.
  10. ^PHB Foreign at Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  11. ^
  12. ^"Têtes d'affiche | Article | RPGGeek".
  13. ^AD&D Player's Handbook, 2nd Ed. (1989)Archived 2008-12-14 at the Wayback Machine at the Pen & Paper RPG Database. Retrieved November 22, 2008.
  14. ^ ab"The History of TSR". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. Retrieved 2005-08-20.
  15. ^To Be Orc Not To Be from RPGnet. Retrieved on November 22, 2008.
  16. ^Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids (TSR, 1993)
  17. ^ abDataBase: AD&D Player's Handbook, 2nd Ed. Revised (1995) at Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  18. ^AD&D Player's Handbook, 2nd Ed. Revised (1995)Archived 2008-12-15 at the Wayback Machine at the Pen & Paper RPG Database. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  19. ^"Player's Handbook". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  20. ^Wallis, James (May 1989). "Role-Playing Games". Games International. No. 5. pp. 40–41.
  21. ^ abcdD&D Alumni: A Look Back at Player's Handbooks. Retrieved November 23, 2008.
  22. ^"Profiles: Monte Cook". Dragon. No. #275. Renton, Washington: Wizards of the Coast. September 2000. pp. 10, 12, 14.
  23. ^Pyramid, Steve Jackson Games
  24. ^Pyramid, Steve Jackson Games
  25. ^Pyramid, Steve Jackson Games
  26. ^ abDungeons & Dragons 2003 Core Rulebook Revisions FAQ. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  27. ^Ryan, Michael (July 4, 2003). "Product Spotlight: D&D 3.5". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved August 11, 2013.
  28. ^3rd edition Player's Handbook II product page. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  29. ^Noonan, David. Player's Handbook II (Wizards of the Coast, 2006).
  30. ^"3.5 Edition Premium Player's Handbook". Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  31. ^
  32. ^Ampersand: Exciting News!. Retrieved November 24, 2008.
  33. ^EN World – Morrus' D&D / 4th Edition / d20 News – View Single Post – Corebooks in June!: News from the Alliance Retailer Summit
  34. ^EN World – Morrus' D&D / 4th Edition / d20 News – View Single Post – Corebooks in June!: News from the Alliance Retailer Summit
  35. ^Slavicsek, Bill. "Ampersand: Exciting News!", Dragon Magazine, Published 2007-10-19, Wizards of the Coast
  36. ^ abCrawford, Jeremy; Mearls, Mike; Wyatt, James. "Contents". Player's Handbook 2. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
  37. ^Crawford, Jeremy; Mearls, Mike; Wyatt, James. "Contents"(PDF). Player's Handbook 2 excerpts. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  38. ^"BC-Best-sellers-Books-USA Today". USA Today. The Associated Press. March 26, 2009. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2013 – via HighBeam Research.
  39. ^"BC-Best-sellers-Books-WSJ". Wall Street Journal. The Associated Press. April 2, 2009. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2013 – via HighBeam Research.
  40. ^Heinsoo, Rob. (2009-11-05) Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Playtest: Player's Handbook 3, The Monk). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  41. ^Cordell, Bruce R.. (2009-07-07) Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Debut: Player's Handbook 3, The Psion). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  42. ^Schwalb, Robert J.. (2009-10-06) Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (The Seeker). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  43. ^Wyatt, James. (2009-04-24) Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Playtest: Player's Handbook 3, The Wilden). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  44. ^Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Debut: Player's Handbook 3, Githzerai). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  45. ^Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game Official Home Page – Article (Playtest: Player's Handbook 3, Hybrid Characters). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
  46. ^Player's Handbook Product Overview
  47. ^"Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists | Back Issue 09/01/2014". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  48. ^"Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists | Back Issue 09/08/2014". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  49. ^"Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists | Back Issue 09/15/2014". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  50. ^"Publishers Weekly Bestseller Lists | Back Issue 09/22/2014". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  51. ^"2015 Origins Award Winners".
  52. ^"2015 ENnie Award Winners". ENNIE Awards. 2015-08-12. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  53. ^"Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player's Handbook Review". August 15, 2014. Archived from the original on March 25, 2015.
  54. ^"Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook 5th Edition: Character Options & Rules Overview – Black Gate".

Further reading[edit]

  • Review: AD&D Second Edition Player's Handbook, White Wolf #17 (1989)
  • "Sage Advice", Dragon #148.
  • "Sage Advice", Dragon #149.
  • "Sage Advice", Dragon #157.
  • Casus Belli #34 (Aug 1986)

External links[edit]


Player’s Handbook 5e PDF

Today we are sharing the Player’s Handbook 5e pdf that is also known as a spelled Players Handbook and many fantasy players would love to play it. We can see that in its first edition the advanced dungeons and Dragons have seen. This is a book of rules for all the fantasy game lovers who love to play D&D dungeons and dragons.

It is one of the most liked dragons books and many lovers would just love to read it. You should keep in mind that Players handbook 5e does not contain the complete set of rules for your game but its Pdf does only include the most important rules that you need while playing game.

Along with it, the guide of handbook players game comes with many optional rules that you can use while playing game, some of them are governing extremely high-level players and some are most obscure spells.

Let’s move ahead.

Content of Player’s Handbook 5e PDF

Before moving ahead, let’s have a quick look on the content of this guide.

Content of players handbook

Book Details

Book NamePlayer's Handbook
AuthorsWizards RPG Team
Publication DateAugust 19, 2014
Total Pages320
AudienceNew & Experience Players
Role PlayerDungeons and Dragons
Book FormatPDF & Hardcover

PDF Vs Hardcover! Which one is Better?

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Similar Books to Player’s Handbook

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Player’s Handbook 5e PDF Free Download

Here you can download the game guide in a pdf format that you can easily read on your PC, mobile tablet or laptop.

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FAQS! (Frequently Asked Questions)

How much does the Player’s Handbook cost?

Depending on your choice, if you want a pdf format then it’s free however if you want Hardcover then you can check it out here.

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How many spells are in the Player’s Handbook?

There are total of 20 spells while you will find 15 spells on the last page.


5e players handbook dnd

Player's Handbook

Publication date

August 2014

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The Player's Handbook, released in 2014, is one of the three core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. It is the primary rulebook which describes how to play Dungeons & Dragons, and is considered necessary for play. Unlike the other two core rulebooks, which are mainly reserved for use by the Dungeon Master, the Player's Handbook is intended for use by all players of the game.

Player's Handbook is commonly abbreviated to PH or PHB. The officially supported abbreviation PH is more technically correct, as "handbook" is one word, but usage of PHB is common in the D&D community.


The Player's Handbook is mainly divided into a preface and introduction, three main parts totalling eleven chapters, and five appendices.


According to the book's credits page, the cover of the Player's Handbook depicts the fire giant king Snurre, calling his hell hounds to help him fend off invading adventurers. Snurre here is dressed in a cloak crafted from white dragon hide.

King Snurre appears in the clasic AD&D adventure module G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King (1978), collected in the G1-3 Against the Giants (1981) trilogy. In this adventure, the player characters attack Snurre's volcanic hall, where he is guarded by two hell hounds. This scene is canonically located in the World of Greyhawk D&D setting.

Snurre's hall later appears in the AD&D adventure module Against the Giants: The Liberation of Geoff. Hall of the Fire Giant King was reprinted for D&D 4th edition in Dungeon #200 (Mar 2012), and for D&D 5th edition as part of Tales from the Yawning Portal (2017).

The cover art is drawn by Tyler Jacobson. A higher resolution wallpaper of this image can be found at


A jocular disclaimer appears on the credits page:

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of splitting up the party, sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face, accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears, storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading, angering a dragon of any variety, or saying yes when the DM asks, "Are you really sure?"

This references several well-known Dungeons & Dragons tropes:

  • Splitting up the party: A common D&D aphorism is "don't split the party". Doing so increases the danger to the party in the event of a combat encounter.[1]
  • Sticking appendages in the mouth of a leering green devil face: A reference to the large green devil face found in the Tomb of Horrors, an infamously deadly dungeon. The devil face contains a black portal, which is secretly a sphere an annihilation that destroys anything placed into it.
  • Accepting a dinner invitation from bugbears: A reference to classic adventure module B2 The Keep on the Borderlands (1981), where a bugbear lair has signs outside offering free hot food and board to all humanoids visitors. The bugbears' meat skewers are actually swords, which the bugbears will use to strike the visitors in an unexpected surprise attack.
  • Storming the feast hall of a hill giant steading: A reference to the classic adventure module G1 Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (1978).
  • Angering a dragon of any variety: A popular online catchphrase is "Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup." This in turn is a parody of a quote from The Fellowship of the Ring: "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."[2]
  • Saying yes when the DM asks, "Are you really sure?": It is common for the Dungeon Master to ask the player "are you sure?" as a subtle warning that the action they have just described is likely to result in catastrophic failure. If the player fails to get the hint and persists, a particularly kind DM might ask a second time, "are you really sure?" The player who answers "yes" to this is likely to suffer catastrophic failure.

Preface and introduction

Part 1

This section primarily describes how to create a new Dungeons & Dragons character. It takes up nearly half of the book's length.

Chapter 1 provides step-by-step instructions for creating a new character.

Chapter 2 details the initial playable races: dwarf, elf, halfling, human, dragonborn, gnome, half-elf, half-orc and tiefling. The first four, which appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons 3-Volume Set (1974), are listed as common races, while the other five are uncommon. Several of the races are divided into sub-races: dwarves into mountain dwarf and hill dwarf; elves into high elf, wood elf and drow; halflings into lightfoot and stout; and gnomes info forest and rock gnomes.

Chapter 3 details twelve character classes: barbarian, bard, cleric, druid, fighter, monk, paladin, ranger, rogue, sorcerer, warlock, and wizard. Each class has one or more archetypes.

Chapter 4 describes personality and background. Backgrounds are an additional character customization option which describe the character's origins prior to becoming an adventurer, and can grant additional skill proficiencies and unique abilities.

Chapter 5 describes equipment. Unlike the D&D 4th edition Player's Handbook, magic items are not described in this book.

Chapter 6 offers further purely optional customization options, including feats and rules for multiclassing.

Part 2

Part 2 mainly describes rules for playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Chapter 7 describes how to roll ability score checks and saving throws, and how to use D&D 5th edition's advantage/disadvantage system.

Chapter 8 gives rules for non-combat activities, including travel, social interaction, resting, and downtime activities between adventures.

Chapter 9 gives rules for combat, including initiative, attacking, damage, and mounted and underwater combat.

Part 3

Chapter 10 describes the rules for spellcasting.

Chapter 11 contains the spell lists for each character class, and the descriptions of all spells in the Player's Handbook.


Appendix A is a list of all the status conditions which can be afflicted on a character or monster in the game. Only fourteen status effects exist in the game. It also describes the rules for exhaustion.

Appendix B lists the deities of various major Dungeons & Dragons pantheons, as well as those of real-world myth. They include the Forgotten Realms pantheon, Greyhawk pantheon, Dragonlance pantheon, Eberron pantheon, Monster pantheon, Celtic pantheon, Greek pantheon, Egyptian pantheon, and Norse pantheon.

Appendix C briefly describes the planar cosmology of D&D, as described in the context of the traditional Great Wheel layout. This closely resembles the cosmology as understood during D&D 3rd edition, with minor changes to accomodate concepts introduced in D&D 4th edition: an Elemental Chaos, which surrounds the edges of the four traditional elemental planes of air, earth, fire and water; the Feywild, previously known in third edition as the Plane of Faerie; and the Shadowfell, synonymous with the Plane of Shadow.

Appendix D provides statistics for various creatures which player characters are likely to interact with, primarily animals which can be selected as a familiar or animal companion. They include the bat, black bear, boar, brown bear, cat, constrictor snake, crocodile, dire wolf, frog, giant eagle, giant spider, hawk (falcon), imp, lion, mastiff, mule, owl, panther, poisonous snake, pseudodragon, quasit, rat, raven, reef shark, riding horse, skeleton, sprite, tiger, warhorse, wolf, and zombie. Further animals are provided in the Monster Manual (5e), Appendix A: Miscellaneous Creatures (2014).

Appendix E provides a recommended reading list. (see Appendix N).

At the back of the book is a three page character sheet.

Development and release

Jeremy Crawford was lead designer on the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook, and joint lead designer on D&D 5th edition overall with Mike Mearls. Crawford has credits on D&D sourcebooks as far back as D&D 3rd edition's City of Stormreach (2008).

According to the credits page, the Player's Handbook was released on August 2014.

Reception and influence

Dungeons & Dragons saw unprecedented success with D&D 5th edition, with profits growing year-on-year. In 2018, the Player’s Handbook reached #21 in Amazon's list.[3]

External links


Most Important D\u0026D 5e Rules for Dungeon Masters

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