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Dungeons & Dragons: Player's Handbook 2- Roleplaying Game Core Rules Hardcover – March 17, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; First Printing edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786950161
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786950164
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,433 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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See all 87 customer reviews
The Players Handbook 2 is a great product for anyone playing 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons.
Rion Wetzel
Players will find the character options excellent and interesting, and DMs will appreciate direct access to possibilities for new NPCs and help for their players.
Included are new feats, most of which are to support classes and races in this expansion, as well as new items and rituals; bards have their own special rituals.
Brad Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

100 of 113 people found the following review helpful By Brennan Atsatt on March 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Players handbook II is the best source book I have ever bought. Period. It offers a huge amount of content in a concise package, none of that filler prestige class padding.
There is an astonishing 8 base classes, updating such classic classes as barbarian, bard, druid, and sorcerer. All new classes introduced include: Avenger; a divine striker, Invoker; a divine controller, Shaman; a primal leader, and Warden; a primal Defender. Also a new power source, which is featured prominently, Primal is added. Essentially you draw your power from nature and the wild, like a druid.

There are 5 new races, bringing back some old favorites, but also adding some great original IP. Half-orcs are revived, they get +2 str and +2dex. Devas are a new race described as "Similar to humans, but with an unearthly beauty and uncanny stillness about them." They get +2 intelligence, +2 wisdom. Gnomes are revised with +2 intelligence, +2 charisma. Goliath are a new race which are essentially very tall, Grey, dwarves. They get +2 str, +2 con. Shifters have two possible builds of either +2 str, +2 wis, or +2 dex and +2 wis. Also new paragon classes called Racial Paragon Paths are added which give you new powers that build and expand upon your basic racial powers.

The feats chapter is great, again, bringing back some old ones and adding great original feats.

New magic items expand on the poor selection in the player's handbook
There are new Epic destinies, but I haven't had a chance to look at them.

The players handbook 2 features most of the omissions of the original phb. I was reluctant to convert to 4.0 mostly because of the omissions, especially barbarian, but when I heard that the PHB 2 would include it I converted without hesitation.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By TheScientistDM on April 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Player's Handbook 2 by Wizards of the Coast is a well-written, interesting tome of player options to be used in 4th Edition D&D. It includes a new power source, Primal, that opens up new, differently-flavored classes, new options for the old power sources, and several new races and general character options for the 4e player.

The first chapter includes 5 new player races and new racial paragon paths for every race included in the first Player's Handbook and this one. The new races include the Deva (a reflavored Aasimar race that seems directly counter in nature to the Tiefling), the Gnome (now a race of fey), the Goliath, the Half-Orc, and the Shifter. These five grant players new flavor options and races that are effective with different classes, including those in this book. I've always found increased player options to be good, and these appear very well balanced to boot. The racial paragon paths are great in that they give players a non-class option for character flavor and development, and grant interesting abilities as well. Some may be slightly weak, but they remain interesting and playable despite this.

The next chapter details 8 new classes: 4 primal, 2 divine, and 2 arcane. Included are classic options like the Barbarian, Bard, and Druid, and new options like the Avenger (a unique divine striker), the Shaman (a primal leader), and the Warden (a primal defender). All of the classes include mechanics unique to them, including transformations, rages, and spirit companions. I am personally very satisfied with the power granted to these classes, which appears on par with those included in the original handbook (though some shenanigans for the munchkins are always found eventually), and the flavor is fairly well-done.
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54 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Thought on April 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
At the heart of the matter, if you liked the first PHB, there is a very good chance you'll like this one. Similarly, if you disliked the first book, you'll dislike this one.

That being said, it should be noted that any player who likes Martial Classes first and foremost will not be impressed with the content of this book. This book's biggest flaw is that it is really a Primal Power supplement, not a general player's handbook. The Martial power source is entirely ignored; at best there are a few things that such a character might find interesting, but nothing was included for them. The Arcane and Divine power sources both get 2 more classes (the Arcane source still not filling all party roles drawing from core alone).

Additionally, the book might also be considered to be largely a way to finish converting 3rd edition players; base classes and races from 3rd edition are here available (Gnome and Half-Orc for races, Bard, Barbarian, Druid, and Sorcerer for classes). Indeed, the majority of the book is little more than updating materials established in previous editions.

Finally, the book has a central theme that won't fit in with all campaigns or play-preferences. That theme is, for lack of a better word, "savagery." Of the 5 races (well, 6 if you count both types of Shifters), not a single one has its own complex civilization. The closest one comes is in the Half-Orc, which might be a hanger-on to other civilizations. Gnomes are largely nomadic escaped slaves, Shifters might have a pack, Devas may never see another of their kind in this lifetime, and Goliaths are tribal individuals.
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