The Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook: Roleplaying Game Core Rules, 4th Edition, commonly known as the 4E Player's Handbook (often abbreviated as "PH" or "PHB", or as "PH1", in order to distinguish it from the upcoming "PH2", or Player's Handbook 2), is a player-oriented rulebook, presenting a wide variety of options for D&D characters. Because it details all of the combat mechanics of the current edition of D&D, the Player's Handbook is considered to be essential to playing 4E D&D. Along with the Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual, the Player's Handbook is one of the three "main" or "core" rulebooks upon which all official 4E D&D material is based.

The Player's Handbook introduced the Arcane, Divine, and Martial power sources.

The Player's Handbook was released in North America on 6 June 2008, both singly and as a part of the Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook Gift Set, 4th Edition. A "deluxe" version of the Player's Handbook was released on 21 October 2008, boasting enhanced-quality binding, but no significant rules differences.

Material Presented in the Player's Handbook Edit

The Player's Handbook presents and details the following rules elements:

Races Edit

  • Dragonborn -- +2 Strength, +2 Charisma; "dragon breath" Close Blast racial encounter power.
  • Dwarf -- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom; Second Wind as a Minor Action.
  • Eladrin -- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence; "fey step" teleport racial encounter power.
  • Elf -- +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom; "elven accuracy" attack reroll racial encounter power.
  • Half-Elf -- +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma; "dilettante" cross-class racial encounter power.
  • Halfling -- +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma; "second chance" enemy reroll racial encounter power.
  • Human -- +2 to any one ability score; extra trained skill, feat, and at-will attack power.
  • Tiefling -- +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma; "infernal wrath" attack bonus racial encounter power.

Classes and Class-Based Paragon Paths Edit

Each class is presented in the Player's Handbook with two suggested builds, each with an entirely different selection of powers and class features intended to help distinguish characters of the same class from one another. Each suggested build in the Player's Handbook only prescribes feat and power choices for first level. However, as these builds are merely suggestions, the rules do not obligate players to follow either build exactly or even at all. In several cases, these first-level suggested builds are suboptimal, particularly in when compared to some builds which include feat and power selections from subsequently published books.

  • Cleric (Divine Leader): Battle Cleric and Devoted Cleric suggested builds.
    • Angelic Avenger
    • Divine Oracle
    • Radiant Servant
    • Warpriest
  • Fighter (Martial Defender): Great Weapon Fighter and Guardian Fighter suggested builds.
    • Iron Vanguard
    • Kensei
    • Pit Fighter
    • Swordmaster -- light and heavy blade-based
  • Paladin (Divine Defender): Avenging Paladin and Protecting Paladin suggested builds.
    • Astral Weapon
    • Champion of Order
    • Hospitaler
    • Justiciar
  • Ranger (Martial Striker): Archer Ranger and Two-Blade Ranger suggested builds, defined by the "fighting style" class feature.
    • Battlefield Archer -- requires archer fighting style
    • Beast Stalker -- requires archer fighting style
    • Pathfinder -- requires two-blade fighting style
    • Stormwarden -- requires two-blade fighting style
  • Rogue (Martial Striker): Brawny Rogue (Brutal Scoundrel) and Trickster Rogue (Artful Dodger) suggested builds, often also known by the names of the "rogue tactics" class feature options.
    • Cat Burglar
    • Daggermaster -- dagger-based
    • Master Infiltrator
    • Shadow Assassin
  • Warlock (Arcane Striker): Deceptive Warlock and Scourge Warlock suggested builds; fey, infernal, and star pacts.
    • Doomsayer -- requires star pact
    • Feytouched -- requires fey pact
    • Life Stealer -- requires infernal pact
  • Warlord (Martial Leader): Inspiring Warlord and Tactical Warlord suggested builds.
    • Battle Captain
    • Combat Veteran
    • Knight Commander -- requires heavy armor proficiency
    • Sword Marshal -- requires heavy blade proficiency
  • Wizard (Arcane Controller): Control Wizard and War Wizard suggested builds.
    • Battle Mage
    • Blood Mage
    • Spellstorm Mage
    • Wizard of the Spiral Tower -- requires longsword proficiency

Epic Destinies Edit

  • Archmage -- requires Wizard class
  • Deadly Trickster -- requires 21 Dexterity or Charisma, and training in one of Acrobatics, Bluff, Stealth, or Thievery
  • Demigod
  • Eternal Seeker -- "multiclass"-themed