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Get cheap D&D books while you can

Written by Expy - Published on September 27, 2007

D&D3E books can stil be useful

All the sourcebooks that deal with non-mechanic issues – like the great cityscape book that helps you add flavour to your urban D&D setting – will still be useful when 4e is released in 2008. Just check Amazon or Ebay for cheap deals. I saw some ridiculously low prices for used, and even new books.

Collector’s items

I scored the 3 leather-bound 3rd edition core rulebooks for under 20$ each from Amazon. They look amazing. Even though I’ll be using them for less than a year I am pretty sure they’ll occupy a prominent place in my gaming library. The Amazon pictures aren’t good so I decided to show my D&D bling:


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Written by Expy

Meet Expy The Red Dragon

Expy is the mascot for DungeonMastering.com and the real mastermind behind Expy Games. He likes to hoard treasure, terrorize neighbors, burn down villages, and tell white dragon jokes..

No matter how fearful the legends claim dragons are, they always end up being defeated in 5 rounds by adventuring parties they encounter. That’s what dragons are – experience points for the heroes in your Dungeons & Dragon party. And this mascot is no different, hence the name Expy.

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22 Responses to “Get cheap D&D books while you can”
  1. Phil says:

    Yeah, The idea is good. And the fluff will remain good. But I’m going to wait for 4e to buy new things as I already bought too many 3.5 books :)

  2. Dave T. Game says:

    I’m done buying 3.5 books. I’ve still got 3.0 books that I’ve got left over that I haven’t been able to give away. I tend to not keep books for fluff (would much prefer to have them in PDF because I don’t need them for reference at the table) and so I’m worried about being able to jettison my books for 3.5.

    A friend of mine recommended sneaking my 3.0 PHB into a religious book store and leaving it on the shelves.

  3. Phil says:

    Absolutely Brilliant Dave! Also, sign it ‘Dedicated to my good friend Ozzy Ozborne! Your’s truly Osama Bin Laden’

  4. gnome says:

    Besides my AD&D books are as interesting as ever… By the way, that was a glorious Amazon catch…

  5. Stûnibu says:

    well if anyone is not wanting 3.5 books im not going 2 stop playing when 4 cums out so send them my way :P

    in my state there is only one shop that sells DnD books nd its just burnt down :( so i have 2 buy over the net now anyway!!!

  6. Taylor says:

    Still a lot of people looking forward to 4.0, eh? If you’re interested on what the rules are going to be like, check out the new Star Wars game. From what I understand, it’s not going to be a far cry from that.
    Also, just curious – is there any interest in games that aren’t d20? Seems to me that everyone on this site is a die hard DnD’er.
    In my opinion, there are a lot of great “non-d20” games out there – like DragonQuest (an old old TSR game… not the board game), The Warhammer RPG (the new one and the old one), Shadowrun (can’t go wrong with this goldie), and even Role Master.
    I can’t say it doesn’t bother me that WoTC has taken over the RPG market – is anyone else of like mind, or am I barking up the wrong tree?


  7. Phil says:

    It not so much the wrong tree Taylor, it’s that statistically speaking D&D and d20 represent most of the RPG market. Actually it can even be argued that TSR/WotC have always been master of the market.

    However, fans of the other good systems like WoD, Shadowrun and such have had a more vocal presence on the Net. A lot of D&D players never surfed forums or websites on RPGs and have never bought a non WotC book. Only in the last few years have D&D fans started being more vocal. Yax, blog, like mine and Stupid Ranger are very D&D centric because this is what we play currently.

    Martin’s Treasure table is a lot more system neutral.

    I’ve tried a lot of different games and was playing Gurps for the 8th year running when 3.0 came out. It spoke to us as a gaming group and we’ve been playing it ever since (with Iron Heroes).

  8. FireRaven says:

    I like the old books for the art. My hudband is a tattoo artist and uses them for reference. He has done a mind flayer a couple of dragons, I think a beholder and has one guy interested in getting a displacer beast!

  9. jill seal says:

    Taylor, I play Pendragon

    When I do play D&D – which I haven’t for 10 years but I’m probably going to start running a game soon – it’s the old red box/blue box Basic/Expert D&D.

  10. Yax says:

    Wow! That’s old school! I guess it doesn’t really matter when it’s all said and done as long as everyone has fun.

  11. jill seal says:

    Yes, I guess I’m pretty old school. I’ve been playing RPGs on and off probably since before most of your readers were even born. However since it’s been more off than on they’ve probably all spent more time actually playing than I have.

  12. Stûnibu says:

    I h8 to be stuck in my ways but i only play DnD, maybe cause im a new gamer and one set of rules is hard enough or that ive spent so much time and energy on my world that is made for DnD that i dont want 2 play anythign else but also noone has ever intorduced me 2 anything else!

  13. Taylor says:

    Hmmmm.. is there a limit to how many words can be in a post?

  14. Taylor says:

    I’m sorry.. i had to split this post in two so it would take..

    Good to hear, Jill!
    All of you gamers who haven’t tried any of these other great games should really give them a shot.
    I’m not saying that d20 isn’t a great system – in fact, it’s the perfect system. Too perfect. It is simple to learn, fast to play, and perfectly balanced.
    That being said, unfortunately, also creates the problem I like to call “the video game” system. The randomness of combat is lost in DnD, as is the rewards for actually “role playing”. You battle 13.3 at the same CR as your party, and you gain a level. If you have an attack bonus of +4, you are going to hit a creature with an AC of 14 or less 50% of the time, dealing out an average of 5 damage per blow. Even critical hits don’t provide too much randomness – as a GM, combat in DnD can be predicted very easily.
    Though, the big issue I have with DnD right now is that it is too high fantasy. You can’t play a DnD game without magic – and that isn’t to say spells. Magic weapons, magic armour, etc, is all part of the formula to create balance.

  15. Taylor says:

    .. this is the second part..

    To emphasize this point, I’ll use the example of combat. Each time you raise a level, most “fighter” classes gain +1 to their attack bonus. This being said, a “fighter” has a +10 attack bonus when they reach 10th level. Now, this is just his base attack bonus. Let’s give him a STR of 16 (+3 attack bonus), and Weapon Focus (additional +1). This means that his total Attack Bonus is +14 on a normal attack and +14/+9 on a full attack.
    Now, let’s talk about that Fighter’s AC – with Full Plate and a Dex of 12, he’s running his max – AC 19.. we could even give him a shield, so it’s now 21. The BEST he can get without magic.
    If he were to fight a fighter with the exact same character sheet, he’d DESTROY himself. He would hit more than half the time on the first attack, and roughly a third of the time on his second attack.
    The point is that magic is an integral part of the system – thus playing a low fantasy/medieval game is out of the question. D20 Modern tried to remedy this with a Defense Bonus that goes up each level along with attack bonus, but the problem is that the Defense Bonus, combined with armour, is too high to adapt to a low fantasy/medieval game.
    I guess I kind of digressed (it’s very late), but my point is that there are a lot of great games out there that don’t involve a D20, and I would recommend checking them out before WoTC makes them extinct (and yeah, that’s just how big business works).


  16. Dave Dodge says:

    I agree that magic affects ac too much – that is one of my main beefs with 3.0/3.5. What I decided to do was to try to change how ac is calculated. Everything has a base ac of 10 as per normal. But all classes now gain a defensive bonus equal to (their BAB *1/2 rounded up). This is countered by halving the effects of all magic item pluses to a/c.

    A 5th level fighter with +5 BAB wearing chain and heavy shield would have an base ac of 10 , + .5 * (+ 5 for chain, +2 for shield, +5 for bab) = 10 + .5 * (+12) = 16.

    Then, the benefits of all other bonuses to a/c are also halved (rounded up). I.E. +4 plate mail and a +4 heavy shield would give an armor class bonus of +18 (+8 armor +2 shield +4 magic and +4 magic shield) divided by 2 is +9.

    For monsters with natural ac, I took the base a/c -10 and halved that remainder. then added 10 (base) and the BAB *1/2 was added in. So a Dragon with an AC of 24 and a BAB of +8 would have a new AC of (24-10 *.5) = 12 +10 + 4 = 26. If the dragon wore an item of +2 protection it would only give him an ac bonus of 1 etc.

    Note: Dexterity’s affect on A/C is not affected by this change.

    I did this to speed up combat, lessen the effects of high magic to boost a/c and to make combat more 1st edition like in lethality. Also, level makes more of a difference as it should. Its a bit of a pain to calculate this but at least it is just a/c and not saves etc. Also its just me – the players dont have to work out that much of it. If I Know their equipment etc., I can do it myself for them …….

    It takes a bit of work to do this, but it is easier than chucking the whole system.

    It is worth noting that my standard ability roll is 4d6 take the best 3 for all stats for a (low-powered game like wilderlands or Goodman games world) or 2d6+6 for each stat (high powered like Faerun)

    All combat modifiers are unaffected.

    I also simplified touch attacks (instead ranged touch attacks are treated as standard attacks but they are at a base attack equal to the level or HD of the character – class doesnt matter). Dex is the stat that improves this.

    Once I see how 4.0 handles this same subject area (merging a/c with reflex, fortitude saves etc) I may just take that into account and modify my 3.5 variant rules to be more like 4.0. Ive spent so much on 3.5 though, I dont plan on using 4.0 for anything other than online gaming. I dont feel that 3.5 required a full reload to 4.0 – it just needed a book of variant rules or a 4.0 update mechanic along these lines. I dont like the fact that the rules they are using sound like just a money making excuse to make all previous books obsolete – (by merging a/c with the save mechanic etc). It may have a sound reasoning behind it but it is probably just a reason to make more money. There are other ways to fix the problems in 3.5 that dont involve wholesale changes to all monsters and characters. Thats my point.

  17. Dave Dodge says:

    Just also meant to add that Im thinking about making the defensive bonus equal to half the characters level or hit dice. The characters are only 5th level in my game right now but I can see the rogue and mage might have problems at high level by being absurdedly easy to hit. Again, level should matter more……..

  18. Baron says:

    I think DnD has not been a decent game now since TSR went under, I find 3.0/3.5 to be bogged down in massive modifiers and too many rules leaving it unplayable….I think Troll Lord Games “C&C” is a far superior and easier product to play, it goes back to the basics of what its creator wanted (Gary Gygax), a simple playable game of fantasy, WoTC is evil and needs to die!
    For now I have been playing the most popular and playable game to date and NO its not d20, its SAVAGE WORLDS! This game can do it all and without all the loads of bullcrap that is/has plagued the d20 market.


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