Review: Wizards of the Coast – Spell Compendium (Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, Premium Edition)

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Spell Compendium (Premium)
Spell Compendium is a Premium Edition supplement for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 published by Wizards of the Coast.
By Cape Rust
WOTC-DD35-Spell-Compendium-PE

Learn more about Spell Compendium here
Purchase Spell Compendium here
Find other Dungeons & Dragons products here

Player: I want to play a magic user.
DM: OK what kind of magic user?
Player: I don’t know; I want to play a magic user who can cast a bunch of really cool spells.
DM: Wow, that’s vague. I’ll tell you what borrow this book…
Player: (interrupting) This is awesome! Look at all of these spells.
DM: Right. Look through it; there over 1,000 spells in there and they are listed by class. Find the class that can cast the spells you think are the “coolest” and we’ll see what we can do. Be careful, that is the Premium Edition, so don’t handle it while you are eating Cheetos, we know what happened the last time you did that.

CONTENT

This 288 page supplement has over 1,000 spells compatible with Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. The Premium Edition includes some minor changes including a new cover and some new interior art.

OVERALL

If you love RPG books, the feel, the smell, the way they look on your shelf, Spell Compendium (Premium) is worth the cost. If you are looking for a completely reworked, reformatted version of the always useful D&D 3.5 Spell Compendium then this product might not be as valuable. No matter how you view or treat your game books, this one is a looker.

RATINGS

Publication Quality: 10 out of 10
This product is titled the Premium Spell Compendium for a reason. I have a certain tactical love of well done RPG books. Yes I know you can love your game books, you just can’t LOVE your RPG books. From the moment I first laid my clean hands on this book it drew me in. The cover design is suitable for framing. Note that I didn’t say cover art, but cover design. With the release of the third edition of Dungeons & Dragons and carried over into Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, Wizards of the Coast tried to make the core rulebooks looks like tomes of yore. I really liked this approach; it gave the books an old school feel that evoked just the right amount of “I’m delving into an ancient tome feel” without coming off as cheesy.

Mechanics: 10 out of 10
When it comes to d20, Dungeons & Dragons wrote the book (rule book that is) and the Premium Spell Compendium is no exception. This is not to say that all Dungeons & Dragons products are perfect, but they tend to set the foundation in which other companies build upon. If you look at different game design companies and their ability to filter out “bad” mechanics, Wizards of the Coast has a top notch strainer. I tend to play hard and fast with the rules of most game systems, but most of the spells in this product, I don’t think I would mess with much.

Value Add: 8 out of 10
Premium Spell Compendium’s value is directly related to how you view your RPG books. If you are a bibliophile who covets and cherishes the ascetic and tactile experiences of RPG books, then this will be a 10 or better for you. Part of the cover design is embossed, so not only does it look good, it feels right, almost alive in your hands. If you are meat and potatoes kind game booker, then the value of this book decreases. This is the premium edition of the famed Spell Compendium, but there is not a lot of new content or any major overhauls in the formatting from the original.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Having over 1,000 spells in a single tome is always a good thing, unless you are a player who has a GM who spends hours upon hours looking for the most devious and insidious spells they can find in that same tome; then you wish they were spread out a bit. Many will argue that the release of these premium editions of the core rulebooks is just a ploy by companies like Wizards to get more of your money, and at its most basic level it is. Wizards of the Coast knows their customers and they know how many gamers love their books. For someone like me holding a book like this is like holding memories, wonderful cherished memories. Remember that time your sorcerer cast phantasmal killer on that beholder? Yea, me too.

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