Pyramid Review

Players Handbook II (for Dungeons & Dragons)

Published by Wizards of the Coast

Written by David Noonan

224-page four-color hardcover; $34.95

How much more information do players need for Dungeons & Dragons? The Players Handbook II, recently published by Wizards of the Coast, suggests that they can use quite a bit. This book offers up a number of new possibilities for players, suggests ways to make characters more believable and more focused on the game world, ways to beef up the reality of the environment, and, most importantly, ways to incorporate these suggestions into ongoing campaigns. Many of the suggestions here are grounded in making a particular class work better for the way many groups tend to play, adjusting several of the classes in ways that make them far more attractive to the typical player.

The book opens with a quartet of new classes, most focused on combat specialists. The beguiler is the exception here. This class works well in non-combat-intensive campaigns as a manipulator of opinions and creatures. Beguilers have a limited selection of spells, and gain bonuses toward making those spells effective against resistant creatures. Beguilers also blend in some ideas from the rogue class, with the ability to find and dismantle traps. The other three new classes -- dragon shaman, duskblade, and knight -- all tend more toward the martial side of the battlefield. Dragon shamans combine elements of fighters and clerics, with the added bonus of dragon-like abilities . . .

This article originally appeared in the second volume of Pyramid. See the current Pyramid website for more information.

Article publication date: July 7, 2006

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