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The second hardcover manual for AD&D.  Covers character classes and spells.

Players Handbook by Gary Gygax

Unlike the Dungeons & Dragons system, the AD&D Players Handbook provides info for characters of all levels in one manual.  However, AD&D assumes that characters will rise up to a maximum level in the mid-20's; D&D includes rules for character levels up to 100 or so (and actively encourages characters to rise that high, through the Immortals-series sets).


Printing Information  Foreign Logos

Corrections mentioned in the Errata article of Dragon Magazine #35 were never incorporated into any version of the Players Handbook.

  • True First (Jun 1978)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is centered on the cover top, with "Players Handbook" (in white lettering) towards the bottom
    • No ISBN
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are white (this is the only feature differentiating this print from the First print below)
    • Copyright page does not state the printing month/year, nor the edition
    • Catalog on last page refers to a future "Referee's Guide" and Outdoor Geomorphs sets 2-4
    • The charts on the Reference sheets in back do not have intermittent shading
    • Thanks to Jeff Soileau and Joe Tibbetts for help with this info
       
  • First (Jun 1978?)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is centered on the cover top, with "Players Handbook" (in white lettering) towards the bottom
    • No ISBN
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are orange (this is the only feature differentiating this print from the True First print above)
    • Copyright page does not state the printing month/year, nor the edition
    • Catalog on last page refers to a future "Referee's Guide" and Outdoor Geomorphs sets 2-4
    • The charts on the Reference sheets in back do not have intermittent shading
       
  • Second (Sep 1978)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is centered on the cover top, with "Players Handbook" (in white lettering) towards the bottom
    • No ISBN
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are orange
    • States "2nd Printing, September 1978" on copyright page
    • Catalog on last page refers to a future "Referee's Guide" and Outdoor Geomorphs sets 2-4
    • The charts on the Reference sheets in back do not have intermittent shading
       
  • Third (Jan 1979)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" is centered on the cover top, with "Players Handbook" (in white lettering) towards the bottom
    • No ISBN
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are orange
    • States "3rd Printing, January 1979" on copyright page
    • Catalog on last page has been updated in this and later prints; now correctly reflects a future Dungeon Masters Guide and omits reference to Outdoor Geomorphs sets 2-4
    • The charts on the Reference sheets in back do not have intermittent shading (though a copy has been spotted that has this shading)
    • Thanks to Eric Aldrich for help with this info
       
  • Fourth (May 1979)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced D&D" is now in a yellow angled banner on top left, with "Players Handbook" (in yellow lettering) centered towards the top
    • No ISBN
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are orange
    • States "4th Printing, May 1979" on copyright page
    • The charts on the Reference sheets in back in this and later prints have intermittent shading, for ease of reading
       
  • Fifth (Oct 1979)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced D&D" is in a yellow angled banner on top left, with "Players Handbook" (in yellow lettering) centered towards the top
    • No ISBN
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are orange
    • States "5th Printing, October 1979" on copyright page
    • Thanks to John Justice and Steven McGahan for help with this info
       
  • Sixth (Jan 1980)
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced D&D" is in a yellow angled banner on top left, with "Players Handbook" (in yellow lettering) centered towards the top
    • ISBN now on spine
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are orange
    • States "6th Printing, January 1980" on copyright page
    • Thanks to Josh Berling, Michael Deaton, Scott Gregg, and John Justice for help with this info
       
  • Seventh
    • Wizard logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • "Advanced D&D" is in a yellow angled banner on top left, with "Players Handbook" (in yellow lettering) centered towards the top
    • ISBN on spine
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are white
    • Still states "6th Printing, January 1980" on copyright page
    • Thanks to Matthew Foster, Cheryl Smith, and Tim Powers for help with this info
       
  • Eighth (1981?)
    • TSR Face logo
    • Cover art is of two thieves prying the gems out of a large demon idol
    • Added "Adventure Games" under "Advanced D&D" in the yellow angled banner on top left, with "Players Handbook" (in yellow lettering) centered towards the top
    • ISBN and Product Number on spine
    • Endpapers and flyleaves are white
    • Still states "6th Printing, January 1980" on copyright page
    • Thanks to Matt Foster, Richard Graves, and Eric Pass for help with this info, and to Michael Deaton for the scan
       
  • Ninth (1983)
    • Angled TSR logo
    • Updated cover art (wizard casting a spell), matching the cover style of the just-released Monster Manual II.  The first batch of the Ninth print had a sticker on the front cover stating "The Original, Uncut Players Handbook in TSR's Attractive New Cover".  One copy of this actually had the sticker on the rear cover instead
    • Orange spine
    • Still states "6th Printing, January 1980" on the copyright page
    • Cover artist attribution still incorrectly refers to D.A. Trampier
    • Contents are identical to Eighth printing
    • Rear cover has the ISBN (0-935696-01-6) and the Product Number (394-51112-3TSR1200) stacked on the bottom left.  No UPC bar code, no price
    • Front cover and spine refer to "TSR Hobbies, Inc"
    • Thanks to Adam Gilchrist and Jason Parise for help with this info, and to Adrian Newman for the scan
       
  • Ninth Plus
    • Angled TSR logo
    • Updated cover art (wizard casting a spell), but sticker has been removed
    • Orange Spine
    • Still states "6th Printing, January 1980" on the copyright page
    • Cover artist attribution corrected to Jeff Easley
    • Contents are otherwise identical to Eighth printing
    • Rear cover has the ISBN (0-935696-01-6) and the Product Number (394-51112-3TSR1200) stacked on the bottom left.  No UPC bar code, no price
    • Front cover and spine refer to "TSR, Inc"
    • Thanks to Michael Deaton, Rene Hurka, and Branden Robinson for help with this info
       
  • Tenth Minus
    • Angled TSR logo
    • Updated cover art (wizard casting a spell), no sticker
    • Orange Spine
    • Still states "6th Printing, January 1980" on the copyright page
    • Cover artist attribution corrected to Jeff Easley
    • Contents are otherwise identical to Eighth printing
    • Rear cover has a UPC bar code, along with the ISBN and Product Number stacked on the bottom left.  No price
    • Front cover and spine refer to "TSR, Inc"
    • Thanks to Michael Deaton for help with this info
       
  • Tenth
    • Angled TSR logo
    • Updated cover art (wizard casting a spell), no sticker
    • Orange spine
    • Still states "6th Printing, January 1980" on the copyright page
    • Cover artist attribution corrected to Jeff Easley
    • Contents are otherwise identical to Eighth printing
    • Rear cover has a UPC bar code, ISBN, and the price ($15.00)
    • Front cover and spine refer to "TSR, Inc"
    • Thanks to Michael Deaton and Ted Huckaby for this info, and to Adrian Newman for the scan
       
  • Eleventh (Aug 1987)
    • Angled TSR logo
    • Updated cover art (wizard casting a spell), no sticker
    • Orange spine
    • Copyright info has finally been corrected, now stating "11th Printing, August 1987"
    • Cover artist attribution states Jeff Easley
    • Contents otherwise identical to the Eighth printing
    • Rear cover has a UPC bar code, ISBN, and the price ($15.00)
    • Front cover and spine refer to "TSR, Inc"

Later prints differ only in the printing number noted on the copyright page.  The Twelfth printing was in November 1987, the Fourteenth printing was in October 1988, the Fifteenth printing was in July 1989, and the Seventeenth printing was in July 1990 (actually a year after the 2nd Edition Players Handbook had been released, since dealers were still placing orders to TSR for the 1st Edition PHB!).


Auction Commentary

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Players Handbook
(True 1st - 3rd print)


Players Handbook
(4th - 7th print)


Players Handbook
(8th print)


Players Handbook
(9th print)


Players Handbook
(10th and later prints)