Before we even start, I want to make sure everyone understands one very important fact:

This is not AD&D 3rd Edition!

There, everyone can breathe again.

Rest assured that this is still the same version of the AD&D game that your friends, classmates, and business partners have been playing for years.

Yes, there are some small and subtle changes in the rules, but you would have to read the whole book very carefully, and have a tremendous memory, to find them. (The changes are the sorts of minor corrections and clarifications we make every time we reprint, and we've reprinted both the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master Guide more than 10 times since 1989!)

So what has changed? Obviously, the books look different. We were awfully proud of them when they were released in 1989, but the world doesn't stand still for anyone. We decided that after six years, it was time for a new look.

And as long as AD&D was getting a new suit of clothes, we elected to let out the seams a bit, too. Both books are a lot bigger: 25% more pages in the PHB, 33% more in the DMG. And we used them up just looking good. Inside you'll find bigger illustrations, lots more color, and pages that are easy to read. Making the switch turned out to be a lot more work than most of us expected it to be, but it was well worth the effort.

Since the 2nd Edition was released, the AD&D game has grown in ways we never anticipated. We've traveled to a multitude of fabulous worlds, from the misty horror of Ravenloft, to the exotic bazaars of Al Qadim, and across the burning face of Dark Sun. Now the endless horizons of Planescape beckon to us, and beyond even that we see spearpoints and banners waving above the gathering armies of Birthright. And, of course, presiding over it all is the grand and legendary Forgotten Realms.

Products change, but our goal stays the same: to publish things that make fantasy gamers exclaim, "That's just what I was looking for!" And we do it for the same reason that you play: because it's fun!

Steve Winter

February 6, 1995

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