Before we even start, I want to make sure everyone understands one very
This is not AD&D 3rd Edition!
There, everyone can breathe again.
Rest assured that this is still the same version of the AD&D game that your
friends, classmates, and business partners have been playing for years.
Yes, there are some small and subtle changes in the rules, but you would have
to read the whole book very carefully, and have a tremendous memory, to find
them. (The changes are the sorts of minor corrections and clarifications we make
every time we reprint, and we've reprinted both the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide more than 10 times since 1989!)
So what has changed? Obviously, the books look different. We were awfully
proud of them when they were released in 1989, but the world doesn't stand still
for anyone. We decided that after six years, it was time for a new look.
And as long as AD&D was getting a new suit of clothes, we elected to let out
the seams a bit, too. Both books are a lot bigger: 25% more pages in the PHB, 33% more in the DMG. And we used them up just looking good. Inside you'll find bigger
illustrations, lots more color, and pages that are easy to read. Making the switch turned
out to be a lot more work than most of us expected it to be, but it was well
worth the effort.
Since the 2nd Edition was released, the AD&D game has grown in ways we never
anticipated. We've traveled to a multitude of fabulous worlds, from the misty
horror of Ravenloft, to the exotic bazaars of Al Qadim, and across the burning
face of Dark Sun. Now the endless horizons of Planescape beckon to us, and beyond
even that we see spearpoints and banners waving above the gathering armies of
Birthright. And, of course, presiding over it all is the grand and legendary
Products change, but our goal stays the same: to publish things that make
fantasy gamers exclaim, "That's just what I was looking for!" And we do it for the
same reason that you play: because it's fun!
February 6, 1995
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