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Rules Compendium: An Essential Dungeons & Dragons Compendium (4th Edition D&D) Paperback – September 21, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: 4th Edition D&D
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 4th Revised edition edition (September 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786956216
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786956210
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeremy Crawford is an editor, writer, and game developer. He is the managing developer of D&D Next, the next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game by Wizards of the Coast. He lives in Seattle.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked this up for one primary reason: to have all the up-to-date rules for the D&D 4 game in one easy to reference guide. This book is part of the Essentials line of D&D 4 products which is meant to bring in new players, (despite what alot of naysayers are grumbling about this is *NOT* version 4.5). The book is softcover and full color but it is mostly print in single column 10pt (or 11pt) font. It is easy to read and has an excellent index, glossary & exhaustive Table of Content. All in all this book lives up to its claim--a one stop book to reference rules during gaming and to have all the core rules in one place. Do I still plan on using my PHB 1, 2 & 3 as well as my DMG 1 & 2? Yes. Does this book replace the 4e hardcovers? No. While it is part of the Essentials line it is not a replacement of the D&D 4 hardcovers (in fact Wizards reported that there are enough hardcovers in-print that they dont need to print more. They also reported that once Essentials is over they will go back to re-printing the hardcovers). The book is divided into Introduction (examples of in-game sessions); The Basics (how to play & the actual core mechanics of 4e); Adventures & Monsters (how to build them and create games); Understanding Powers (what these are and keyword definitions); Skills; Exploration & Environment (including resting and diseases); Combat (the largest section-all the errated/up-to-date combat rules); Equipment and 3 Appendices: Rewards, Terrain Features, Glossary and Index.

I predict this little book will soon be the most visible book around my gaming table and around all gaming tables in cons/competitions and RPGA events. In fact, I may pick up a second one just because it is probably going to get alot of mileage and wear. No longer will I have to lug around 4 or more hardcover books to a friend's place for a day of D&D and even more so to Cons. Wizards has produced an excellent rules compendium (in every sense of what that word means) for the next generation of D&D.
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Format: Paperback
This is a great, handy-size book that incorporates the errata released for 4th edition so far. While it is labeled 'Essentials', I'd recommend it for anyone who plays 4th edition. It gathers rules for just about everything into one place. Now I can definitively PWN my friend who kept insisting that his fighter got attacks of opportunity on enemies that moved on a forced movement. As you can see, this would be the perfect gift for the rules lawyer in your life. Or maybe not. Besides, they probably preordered their copy months ago!

It could easily be used by DMs or players alike, but it has some great info for DMs. I especially liked the advise on what kind of DCs to set for different actions, especially more unique or unexpected ones. There's a sly little geek joke in there when it says "Sliding down a set of stairs on a shield-Hard DC'. Well played, WOTC, well-played.

Although a lot of this information is available elsewhere, this book gathers together a lot of useful information and packs it into one dense little paperback book at a great price. I know this will get a lot of great use at the game table. I picked my copy up for around 14 bucks. Not a bad price at all.
Comment 28 of 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
I started D&D 4th Edition by way of the Essentials products, and recently received both the DM's Kit & the Rules Compendium. As a whole I'm pretty pleased with the way Essentials presents the game. Regarding the Compendium in specific, it's well designed as a handy reference with up-to-date rules (apparently there have been a great deal of errata since 4.0's initial release).

However... between these 2 books and the 2 "Heroes" books (player classes) there is an unfortunate amount of redundant material. All four of them cover basic terminology & combat rules, which is acceptable, but they also repeat (for example) the pantheon of deities, which is wasteful. DMK and RC share a great deal more duplication, including general rules, how to design an encounter/adventure/universe, Nentir Vale, the planes, etc.

If you are new to 4E, get the DM's Kit but not the Rules Compendium. If you already have a DMG and tokens/miniatures, get the Compendium but not the DMK.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a perfect compendium of all the rules for 4E thus-far. It has so many errata corrections that have been made in the past two years, and it's small enough to slip it in with your other books without adding much weight. I really enjoyed how they have things in the book detailed now, I'm not going to spoil it, but they really outlined a lot of factors that seemed to be missing or not very specific in the original Player's Handbook. This book, though, is certainly not a delve into a fantasy setting. All it includes is rules, rules, and more regulations! But, this is very useful when your party finds a flaw in some logic--to the Rules Compendium!

One very outstanding point of this book is that it is much smaller in dimensions and, of course, it is paperback! Why you ask? Well, Wizards of the Coast seems to understand you don't want to pay more money for something you already, sort of, have. So, they cut costs by making it smaller and paperback for only $19.99 MSRP. I find this aspect very enjoyable because it still have the great quality of the new 4E books with vibrant pictures and great situational text that I just love, in a small form that's east to carry to a game! Now I am certainly interested in the other books in the essentials line!

I would definitely recommend this book to any 4E player that is interested in getting started or even someone who has been playing 4E since it came out.
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