Earlier this month, Wizards of the Coast released its new 4th Edition Rules Compendium for 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons.
This soft cover 320 page rules book was created to place all the compiled errata over the last couple of years as well as rules and source information from many of the Players Handbooks (1,2, and 3) as well as the Dungeon Masters Guide (1 and 2) and feature it in a table top reference guide.
My gaming group which plays 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons frequently, at least once a week or so, found this little item to be extremely handy and popular. The book is well laid out with easy to find rules and charts throughout and has quickly become to the go to book over many of the hard cover original rule books around the table. The book is well laid out with an excellent easy approach to its context which makes looking up and using rules or checking rules very simple.
If you are a traveling DM, it is much easier to take this two pound gem with you in your pack to use and reference instead of four or five heavy hard cover editions. Will it have everything that is in the Players Handbook 2? No, but it will cover core mechanics added in revolving around Stealth and Hides, which is found in the back of that hard cover book or on a web site errata page somewhere. Another great use for it was just having all of the known or published errata in one area. If you are checking on how to handle a group skill check, or the mechanics on aiding another party member on his or her skill check, or the difference between an opportunity action and an interrupt action, or checking to see how treasure parcels would be arranged for an encounter or adventure, etc, it is all now in one easy to carry little rules book.
In our most recent gaming session, I believe we used this Compendium about four or five times over the course of a few hours and each time, the rules we were checking for were there and easy to find in seconds. A time saver and cut down on checking through several rule books to find one rule is invaluable to conserve game time. At least in our view points around our gaming table.
There are a few draw backs in the new Compendium such as the large first third of the book that is more dedicated to introducing Dungeons and Dragons to a brand new player or game master. For you veteran players out there, you will find yourself skimming over this repetitive material and using the latter two thirds of the text more and more. But I understand why they did this and do not see away around this more introductory or inexperienced player material when you publish a core rule book like this one.
Out of many of the new Wizards of the Coast releases, I would definitely recommend this little gem for players or game masters and it is well worth the $20 bucks to have one of these at your gaming table.
If you’re interested in finding the new 4th Edition Rules Compendium, you can find it in the $20 dollar range right now. Locally around Denver, you can check for this great board game at Attactix in Aurora, Black and Read in Arvada, Valhalla Games in Wheat Ridge, and Enchanted Grounds in Highlands Ranch.