Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 is the edition of Dungeons and Dragons I am most familiar with, having dabbled with it the most compared to any other edition of Dungeons and Dragons in existence. Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 started life as Dungeons and Dragons 3.0, but ended up being revised due to some balancing issues in the game.
It is also the most accessible edition of D&D, thanks to websites like the Hypertext D20 SRD which is completely free. As I mentioned in my About page, I started dabbling in the D&D 3.5 rules as a result of playing computer games like Neverwinter Nights, but I dropped the game in favour of the pen and paper version of D&D.
The tabletop version of D&D 3.5 offers almost unlimited scope for customisation – everything from the setting, campaign, monsters, abilities, characters, treasure, magic items and so much more can be customised, ensuring the uniqueness of your own campaign. If you can dream it, you can make it with the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 rules. So how is this possible?
One word: Splatbooks.
And loads of them.
Splatbooks, also referred to as ‘sourcebooks’, ‘supplements’ and ‘rulebooks’, these books are supplemental rules for the game which add new content in the form of new spells, weapons, settings, monsters, classes, races and so on for use with your own unique campaign. They are entirely optional – the only books required to play D&D are the three core rulebooks. In fact, many players use nothing but the core rules, viewing splatbooks as nothing more than a ‘powergamer’ or ‘munchkin’s’ source of wish fulfillment.
On the flipside, using a splatbook can further enrich your roleplaying game experience by adding new options and adding a fresh twist to the genre. Instead of basing your next campaign in a typical Tolkien like setting, you can go further east and add a bit of Persian flavour to your game, for example.
I have read and used some of the d&d 3.5 rulebooks myself and have my own favourites among them. Over time, I will write articles about each book, giving my own personal reviews and opinions regarding the book in question.