Find a friend with the Dungeon Master's Guide and some dice and you're ready to play...
By Ned Jordan
The Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Player's Handbook Collection includes two
rule books for the game, The Player's Handbook and The Player's Handbook 2.
Together they contain all of the rules that a player needs to know to play the
pencil and paper RPG that is basically responsible for spawning the whole genre.
The first book gives a nice introduction to the game and to role-playing,
covering not just the basics of play but how to approach creating a character
and developing his or her personality. The remainder of the book is a
reference guide detailing the races, characters, skills, and spells available in
the game. There is also a nice section on combat, which explains most of
the concepts of battles in the game from movement and flanking to cover,
complete with illustrations to reinforce the concepts. The second book is
primarily a reference that expands on the first, adding eight new character
classes, as well as new races and powers. Both books are hardbound, and
feature glossy covers and pages. They are packed with fantasy art that is
presented in full color and provide beautiful illustrations that help to bring
aspects of the Dungeons & Dragons universe to life. My only complaints are
that it does not include any dice and the only way you can know that the game
uses a number of unusual dice from four to twenty sided is to begin reading the
first book. Secondly, this is not everything that you need to begin
playing the game, as the very important role of the dungeon master is left to
another book that is not included as part of this set. A set with book one
of the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide and a set of dice would
be perfect, but at least with this release you're essentially getting the second
Player's Handbook for free.