Player's Handbook II - What is it good for?

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Big Mac
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Player's Handbook II - What is it good for?

Post by Big Mac » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:36 am

Has anyone got Player's Handbook II?

According to my research, the blurb says this:
The Book-House on The Piazza wrote:The Player's Handbook II builds upon existing materials in the Player's Handbook. This is the first direct follow up to the best-selling and most used D&D rulebook. It is specifically designed to expand the options available for players by both providing new material and increasing the uses for existing rules. Included are chapters on character race, background, classes, feats, spells, character creation, and character advancement. New rules include racial affiliations that make race matter as a character advances in level, new character classes and alternate class features for existing classes, new feats, tools for rapid character creation, and additional organisation and teamwork benefits — an option first introduced in Dungeon Master's Guide II and Heroes of Battle.
What do you think of the "new material" in the book?

What sort of stuff does it add to the game?

If you have run a game with 3e, and looked at PHB II, did you add all the options in this book into your game, or did you restrict the book?

Would you add a few options from this book? Or would you add most of the options from this book?
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Re: Player's Handbook II - What is it good for?

Post by Michael Silverbane » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:18 pm

When I am running a D&D 3.x game, I typically allow everything (or almost everything) from WotC sources, and quite a lot of stuff from non-WotC sources. This definitely includes the Player's Handbook II.

One of the best things in the PHBII is the inclusion of some more high level fighter feats. Feats like Melee Weapon Mastery, Penetrating Shot, Ranged Weapon Mastery, Bounding Assault, Shield Ward, Steadfast Determination, and Weapon Supremacy, among others are good additions to the fighting man's repertoire.

Affiliations are a good way to integrate some rules codified benefits into players being closely associated with an NPC organization.

And the Rebuilding and Retraining rules, allowing player characters to change chosen feats / skills / class levels are a good addition to the game as well, for those DMs who want a more well-defined way in which players can change up their characters.
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Re: Player's Handbook II - What is it good for?

Post by Ashtagon » Thu Feb 09, 2017 7:19 am

I rather like the ideas presented in the knight class, although it still remains weak compared to Angel Summoner. Dragon shaman is an interesting variant using warlock as a baseline. The new feats and character rebuild rules are good.

Chapters 2 and 5 felt like a waste of space. However, chapter 5 does seem like a good base on which to build something similar to d20 modern's character backgrounds.

Affiliations and teamwork benefits seem a bit janky in my opinion.
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Re: Player's Handbook II - What is it good for?

Post by genghisdon » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:14 pm

Big Mac wrote:Has anyone got Player's Handbook II?

According to my research, the blurb says this:
The Book-House on The Piazza wrote:The Player's Handbook II builds upon existing materials in the Player's Handbook. This is the first direct follow up to the best-selling and most used D&D rulebook. It is specifically designed to expand the options available for players by both providing new material and increasing the uses for existing rules. Included are chapters on character race, background, classes, feats, spells, character creation, and character advancement. New rules include racial affiliations that make race matter as a character advances in level, new character classes and alternate class features for existing classes, new feats, tools for rapid character creation, and additional organisation and teamwork benefits — an option first introduced in Dungeon Master's Guide II and Heroes of Battle.
What do you think of the "new material" in the book?
about half is great or useful stuff
Big Mac wrote:What sort of stuff does it add to the game?
options! feats, new classes: knight, duskblase, dragon shaman, beguiler; optional class features, new spells. The other half I do not care for at all, though. "rebuilding" is kinda anathama to me, but lots of d20 folks love that kind of gamist crap
Big Mac wrote:If you have run a game with 3e, and looked at PHB II, did you add all the options in this book into your game, or did you restrict the book?
No, I PUSHED stuff into my games, not the reverse. I add all the stuff I want to add, and that is across the board/all books. I've never added any of PH2 to 2e, though, it is a 3.5e book & I wasn't playing 3e anymore. I always use it/some of it for 3.5e, probably would not use it for 3e.
Big Mac wrote:Would you add a few options from this book? Or would you add most of the options from this book?
most of them. As options. Sorcerers, for example, can have a familiar still, if they want. They do not HAVE to take metamagic specialist instead (but they can, choose at L1...AND STICK WITH IT). A Ranger can have distracting attack OR an animal companion.

Of course, I take full advantage of whatever options (PH2 & all over) for all NPCs & monsters as well.

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Re: Player's Handbook II - What is it good for?

Post by willpell » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:09 pm

The new classes are neat; Beguiler is a nice focused wizard, Knight is an interesting fighter archetype, Duskblade is probably the best fighter/wizard hybrid they ever did, and while Dragon Shaman is not really well-made, it's unlike anything else and I have a particular soft spot for it.

The idea of rebuilding a character is important for nearly any campaign. And while the Affiliation system as presented isn't really fully rounded-out, it's at least a beginning attempt at creating a nice extra "top down" level, for games that aren't all about just killing monsters and taking their loot.

A lot of pages are wasted on largely-unnecessary fluff, however.

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