D&D Review: "Spell Compendium"

Thanks to the awesome folks at Wizards if the Coast, I have another awesome review copy of a recent D&D product to share my thoughts with you guys today. I have a big connection to this one, and read onwards to discover why....


I first learned how to play D&D when I was in college, about 8 or 9 years ago at this point (wow, was it really that long ago?). My friends were all into playing the current edition of the game, which at the time was the 3.5 edition. I started off playing a cleric but after hating being the healer in yet *another* game (I played a priest in World of Warcraft then), I quickly switched to being a Sorcerer. In later games, I played an illusionist-type character. Basically, I played lots of magic casting characters, which is why I was thrilled to get a copy of Wizards of the Coast's reprint of the 3.5 edition "Spell Compendium".

The Spell Compendium is an addon guide for 3.5 D&D. It brings together spells published in various places (Dragon magazines, sourcebooks, etc) into one book for easy reference. The compendium includes spells for wizards, clerics, Druids - any class that uses some sort of magic. It does not include the basic spells that are listed in the Players Handbook - this book assumes that you already have that book. When leveling up or creating new characters, the Spell Compedium gives your character more options to choose from, allowing more tailoring and customization of player characters.

The reprinted edition of the Compedium features everything that was in the original printing, combined with a nice new glossy cover. This cover matches the style that Wizards has been using for many of their reprints recently, such as the 3.5 Players Handbook, Monster Manual, etc.


So what do I think of it? It's a great book, and flipping through the various spells it makes me wish that I had the original printing when we were playing in college. Most of us were broke, so we were limited to just the spells in the Players Handbooks that one or two of us had managed to purchase.

The book retails at $50, so if you've never played 3.5 at all, you probably will not be interested in this book. It is largely marketed towards those that are still playing D&D 3.5, as it includes updated errata that wasnt in the first edition, as well as those people such as myself who played 3.5 in the past and are looking for some nostalgia. For me, personally, after looking through this book I wanted to try and find some of my old 3.5 character sheets to see if they still existed at all.

If you fall into one of these two camps, I recommend picking up a copy. It will either add to your existing game, or perhaps get you interested in trying out 3.5 again. As we are gearing up towards the (rumored) official release of D&DNext sometime next year, I am enjoying going back an experiencing all the history that D&D has through these reprints that Wizards of the Coast is doing.

Question: What edition of D&D did you start out with? If you've never played D&D, why not??