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Advanced Player's Manual (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.5 Fantasy Roleplaying) [Hardcover]

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Item description for Advanced Player's Manual (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.5 Fantasy Roleplaying) by Skip Williams...

The perfect complement to your core rulebooks, the Advanced Player's Manual gives your characters all new capabilities. Like other books in Green Ronin's Advanced Rulebook series, this book is all about options, expansions, and moving your games in new directions! With new race flexibility, variant magic classes, mass combat rules, and more, you have the tools to create a host of unique and interesting characters, or to improve exisitng ones. Whether you are a player or a gamemaster, this book breathes fresh air into character building, putting the power into you hands. Better still, each chapter is modular in design, making it easy to choose the options appropiate for your games. Used by itself or in conjunction with Green Ronin's Advanced Bestiary and the Advanced Gamemaster's Guide, your games can only improve with this invaluable resource. Inside, you'll find: Luck defined as a new ability score with several options for incorporating it into your games. A complete toolbox for building your own variants of the core races, while alos giving guidelines for building planetouched races, half-races, and greater races. Six new base classes, including the eldritch weaver, spellmaster, and thanemage. Epic progressions are also included for each class. New uses and modifiers for skills based on creature types, body types, and a selection of new feats like Fighting Withdrawal and Taunt. An all-new numeric alignment system, with examples for creatures found in the MM. Mass combat rules, fully compatible with Malhavoc Press' Cry Havoc. Over 100 new spells, like crown of valor, foozle, and the devastating ring of fire. The psychic base class, and the skill- and feat-based psychic system first presented in Green Ronin's popular Psychic's Handbook. Engaging illustrations from top artists like Toren "Macbin" Atkinson, Drew Baker, Kent Burles, Storn cook, Marcio Fiorito, Jonathan Kirtz, James Smith III, Joseph Wigfield, and Lisa Wood. Written by the d20 guru and sage Skip Williams, author of the MM, the Advanced Player's Manual is the perfect sourcebook to take your games to the next level. Requires the use of the Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook, published by Wizards of the Coast, Inc. This product utilizes updated material from the v. 3.5 revision.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   224
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.9" Width: 8.7" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 2005
Publisher   Green Ronin Publishing
ISBN  1932442278  
ISBN13  9781932442274  

Availability  0 units.

More About Skip Williams

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Andy Collins writes and edits roleplaying games for Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His most recent credits include co-authoring the "Epic Level Handbook" and contributing to the revision of the most recent edition of the "Player's Handbook."
James Wyatt is currently an RPG game designer for Wizards of the Coast, Inc. His most recent credits include authoring "Oriental Adventures" and "City of the Spider Queen" and contributing to "Deities and Demigods," "Epic Level Handbook," and "Fiend Folio."
Skip Williams is currently a freelance RPG game designer. His most recent and best-known work is co-authoring the three core rulebooks for the current edition of the Dungeons & Dragons game. He also co-authored "Book of Challenges" and wrote the D&D adventure "Deep Horizon."

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Reviews - What do customers think about Advanced Player's Manual (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.5 Fantasy Roleplaying)?

Advanced Player's Manual by Skip Williams  Apr 1, 2006
This book filled me with great Curiosity mixed with a bit of Trepidation... After spending the last four days perusing this tome {and believe me I'm a s...l...o...w... reader so that was no mean feat!} I submit this review for your approval:

Advanced Player's Manual
By Skip Williams
Green Ronin Publishing

Let us start with the basics: this is a hard cover tome of 224 pages, black and white illustrations, retailing for $34.95. The cover is a monochromatic treatment of a fighter standing on a mound of souls in "the Abyss" facing a demon {cover art by William C. Eaken}. The artwork inside ranges from stylized pen and ink to more simple pencil sketches. The book consists of eight chapters and two appendices.

Chapter One: Abilities:
Or rather one new ability: Luck. This chapter offers "Luck" as an additional ability added to the standard six. I was intrigued {and, honestly, this is the reason I purchased this book} by this concept and Mr. Williams gives it a very good treatment. He offers the Luck ability as a less arbitrary way to determine how events affect the PCs. He also offers up the option of substituting the Luck modifier in other rolls. However, I found this to be more useful as a GM's tool than as a player's tool. All in all this is a good optional addition for game flavor.

Chapter Two: Races:
This chapter is broken down into three sections: "Mechanics", "Half-Races & Greater Races" and "The Planetouched Template". The Mechanics section offers a "Buy System" approach for generating racial abilities. It outlines a "Points to Buy" list for each core race and gives a cost for generating a custom character based on each race. The Half-Races & Greater Races portion describes ways to build alternate half-races {such as Half-Dwarf} using the same "Buy System", or "Greater Races" a "distilled" version of a specific race i.e. "Greater Dwarf". The Planetouched Template outlines a step by step break down to creating those who have been touched by the Planes.

Chapter Three: Character Classes:
This chapter offers six new classes to be used in addition to the Players Hand Book as well as rules for taking these classes to Epic Levels beyond the base 20.
The Eldritch Weaver class creates a Wizard who focuses his magic on specific "Threads of Power" {outlined in Chapter Eight: Spells}; growing in specialized focuses and later gaining supernatural like abilities.
The Evangelist isn't the typical man in an overly expensive suit and bad hairdo preaching to you from the magic glowing box. No, these are the traveling preachers of "Brother {insert favorite deity here}'s Church of Devine {insert appropriate theology here}". Weather a shyster or true believer; these are the chosen who share their beliefs with a book in one hand and a divine weapon in the other. Equal parts Paladin and Bard the Evangelist will add a "Brilcream Profit" to any campaign.
The Scout, the only non magic class offered in this chapter is little more than a Roguish-Ranger who is able to specialize in a specific weapon {or weapons}, gaining extra bonuses with her chosen weapon {or weapons} as she grows.
The Spellmaster is probably the best class offered in this book. A very well thought out alternative to the standard Sorcerer class. A Spellmaster doesn't wield magic, she manipulates the ambient forced from her surroundings to cast her spells. Rather than having the limited use of a certain amount of spells a day, she can extend herself and cast spells beyond her slotted set or even cast spells from higher levels. Of course there is a cost...
The Thanemage. I really wanted to like this class, after all it is based on a certain Gray Wizard in a trilogy about a Ring... But it fell short of my expectations. After all is said and done the Thanemage is nothing more than an arcane Paladin.
The Warpriest, we already have a Paladin {and now an Evangelist and a Thanemage}... Do we really need another variant on this same theme?

Chapter Four: Skills:
This chapter takes a good long look at the standard skill list and annotates it. Rather than adding more skills it outlines more uses for the existing ones and ways to apply them to more esoteric creatures {such as a giant centipede making a balance check}.

Chapter Five: Feats:
This chapter outlines eleven new feats ranging from very helpful: "Share Lesser Divination" to the fairly useless: "Taunt", and one pertaining to "Luck".

Chapter Six: Description:
This chapter should have been called "Alignment by the Numbers". Mr. Williams takes the nine alignments {True Neutral, Neutral Evil, Neutral Good, Lawful Neutral, Lawful Evil, Lawful Good, Chaotic Neutral, Chaotic Evil, & Chaotic Good} and treats them as a skill, assigning them a numerical value. This offers a more concrete way to ascertain a character's true alignment and personal commitment to a specific value. In doing so we now have yet another numerical stat to take the place of a role-playing attribute. Pros and cons: this option works for the more numerically driven player and still it does assist the role player in defining certain values.

Chapter Seven: Mass Combat:
Another section I really wanted to like... But it turned out to be a set of mathematical gymnastics that can best be described as: "Average the average of the averages". In creating the "Damage Factor", Mr. Williams did produce a damage system for a unit of creatures that works very well. However, the rest of the Mass Combat System seems overburdened and lays a taxing responsibility on the GM to translate all the rules into a playable scenario that will not take an entire game session to generate. In short more simplicity is needed to make the Mass Combat system more viable.

Chapter Eight: Spells:
As the title indicates this chapter deals with Spells. To be specific it adds new spells to the existing lists and defines the spell lists for the Evangelist, and the Warpriest. The progression and "Threads" for the Eldritch Weaver is remarkably well done and gives me a greater respect for this new class.
The highlights from the spell list are: Spacious Sleeves, Dimension Hop, Moon Shadows, Quick Scribe, Force Marbles and Foozle {mostly cause I like the name}.

Appendix One: Psychic Powers:
This section illustrates a new class: the Psychic, a non-magical class with spell-like abilities. Reprinted from Green Ronin's Psychic's Handbook by Steve Kenson; the Psychic is a well thought out class with a lot of potential for game play, and promises to be a great foil for those high magic games that rely heavily on "Detect Magic" {insert evyl laffter here "mwaaa HaHa haaaa"}.

Appendix Two: Sample Units:
Remember the "Damage Factor"? Well here we see it in illustrated black and white.

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