Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition
Published by Wizards of the Coast
Written by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams
300 pages and Demo CD-Rom; $19.95
(Editor's note: make sure you read this week's Random Thought Table for information about reviews of this product.)
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Consider the following statement: Gravity's Rainbow is a better book than Hollywood Wives. It may be completely true, but it doesn't say much about the quality of Gravity's Rainbow. By the same token, Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition is better than Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition.
Don't get me wrong. 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.
There are over 100 pages on character creation and another hundred-plus pages are devoted to spell lists. Immediately after the table of contents, the book begins telling you how to make a character. Six statistics are rolled on 4d6, with the lowest die dropped and the numbers assigned as you see fit. You choose a race, which will grant you certain abilities and raise one statistic by two points and lower another by two points (unless you play a half orc, in which case you get shafted by a +2 to strength and a -2 to both intelligence and charisma). The half-orc is the only "new" race, although it's really just a throwback to 1st . . .
This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.
Article publication date: August 18, 2000
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