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I'm new to d20. I recently acquired a bunch of D&D books and I'm sure they are all either 3.0 or 3.5, but it doesn't say in the book which version it is. How can I tell which version the book is?

For instance, I have "Complete Warrior - A Player's Guide to Combat for All Classes". It's hard back, published in '03. Is it 3.0 or 3.5?

Another example, I have "Sword and Fist - A Guidebook to Fighters and Monks". Perfect Bound, published in '01. Is it 3.0 or 3.5?

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6 Answers

up vote 15 down vote accepted

D&D3.5 was first published in July, 2003. Anything published by Wizards of the Coast after that date will almost certainly be for 3.5. Anything published before that date will certainly be for 3.0.

Another source of information is vendors like Amazon.com. The edition will often be in the product description, as it is here: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Warrior-Dungeons-Dragons-Roleplaying/dp/0786928808

Or, for your specific examples:

  • Sword and Fist: 3.0 (too old to be 3.5).

  • Complete Warrior: 3.5 (according to Amazon.com).

Based on my memory, Complete Warrior is essentially the 3.5 equivalent to Sword and Fist.

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For a quick glance turn to page 2 in the book, usually a brown orange colour with all the designers names etc. Look near the bottom of the page.

It will start" "Based on the original Dungeons and Dragons rules..., and Peter Atkinson."

Under this, if it is a 3.5 book, it will say:" This product uses updated material from the v.3.5 revision."

If not, it will continue: This Wizards of the Coast game product...

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Can't believe I didn't know this. Thanks! –  Pat Ludwig Nov 12 '10 at 18:31
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There are several databases out there which will tell you such things (besides Googling in general or checking Amazon).

RPG.net has a searchable index of most any RPG product ever. Search it for "Complete Warrior" and it says "Wizards of the Coast: Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 (2003 Hardcover)" in the search results even.

RPG Geek (a variant site off BoardGameGeek) also has a huge searchable index. Searching that for "Complete Warrior" gets a search result that says "Dungeons & Dragons (3.5 Edition) - d20 System" concisely in its search results.

Between these two, no RPG product question ever needs to go unanswered.

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It's 3.0. 3.5 has been released in 2003, so it's likely that anything you have is 3.0. In any case, the differences between 3.0 and 3.5 are minimal. Yes, there are some, but porting anything 3.0 to 3.5 is generally a minor issue.

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I never bothered to tell them apart, there's nothing really significant to port :) –  Tsojcanth Aug 25 '10 at 23:16
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In addition to all the other answers, which are quite accurate, you can also tell from looking at classes or characters. If they have skills like Intuit Direction, Innuendo, Animal Handling, Wilderness Lore, or a single Perform skill, it's a 3.0 book. If it instead has Slight of Hand, Survival, and Perform (type) skills, it's a 3.5 book.

For third party material, which often doesn't specify clearly which version of the SRD it's based on, this can be a more useful way.

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I was going to say the same. Look for Scry or Alchemy as skills lol. Big tip-off, and it's what I hit first. –  LitheOhm Sep 11 '12 at 3:19
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There is a handy online database of roleplaying games called RPG Geek that you can search.

If you put "Sword and Fist" into the search box, it gives you this result. Notice that it lists the game and the edition in a hierarchy above the title of the book in the search result (as well as on the book's page if you click through). Sword and Fist happens to be for "3rd Edition". Similarly, the search result for Complete Warrior lists it under "3.5 Edition".

This will work for any D&D book you have. If there were two versions of a book, one for 3 and one for 3.5, then you should be able to tell which one you have by comparing it to the book covers in the database.

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