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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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7 Answers 7

up vote 24 down vote accepted

Note that thefemmedm's answer indicates a spot in the book where you can look this up directly.

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.

Except... Some books published close to the release of 3.5 (Book of Vile Darkness, Savage Species, a couple FR books) were published in a weird "3.25" state, using only some of the rules from the upcoming 3.5 (which had not yet been finalized).

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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Use this handy list of...

Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition and Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Products from Wizards of the Coast in Order of Publication

The following presented in year/month order for easier sorting. Products released in the same month are presented alphabetically. Parenthetical references are official abbreviations gleaned Wizards of the Coast's indices; some products lack abbreviations. Even the abbreviations are italicized lest someone confuse Champions of Ruin with Challenge Rating, for instance. Wizards of the Coast makes available official errata. Starting with The Speaker in Dreams, Wizards of the Coast made available for many products online-only Web enhancements. Although they bear the official Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition logo and are officially licensed by Wizards of the Coast, I've excluded from this list Kenzer and Company's Kalamar products.

Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition

Dragon #275-308, Dragon Annual #5 and #6, and Dungeon #81-99 present Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition content. Dragon #299 and Dungeon #94 see Paizo publishing the magazines under license from Wizards of the Coast. Paizo published no Dragon Annuals.

  • 2000/08 Dungeons and Dragons Character Sheets
  • 2000/08 Player's Handbook1 (PH)
  • 2000/09 Dungeon Master's Guide1 (DMG)
  • 2000/09 Dungeons and Dragons Gazeteer (DG)
  • 2000/09 Dungeon Master's Screen
  • 2000/10 Into the Dragon's Lair
  • 2000/10 Monster Manual1 (MM)
  • 2000/11 Forge of Fury (Fo)
  • 2000/11 Living Greyhawk Gazeteer
  • 2000/12 Hero Builder's Guidebook (HBG)
  • 2001/01 Speaker in Dreams (SD)
  • 2001/01 Sword and Fist2 (SF)
  • 2001/02 Monsters of Faerûn3 (Mon)
  • 2001/03 Psionics Handbook
  • 2001/04 Standing Stone (StS)
  • 2001/05 Defenders of the Faith2 (DF)
  • 2001/06 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting4 (FRCS)
  • 2001/06 Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil (RT)
  • 2001/07 Heart of Nightfang Spire (HN)
  • 2001/07 Tome and Blood2 (TB)
  • 2001/08 Magic of Faerûn4 (Mag)
  • 2001/08 Sunless Citadel (SC)
  • 2001/09 Manual of the Planes1 (MP)
  • 2001/10 Enemies and Allies (EA)
  • 2001/10 Oriental Adventures5 (OA)
  • 2001/11 Deep Horizon (DH)
  • 2001/11 Lords of Darkness4 (LD)
  • 2001/12 Song and Silence2 (SaS)
  • 2002/01 Lord of the Iron Fortress (LF)
  • 2002/02 Forgotten Realms Dungeon Master's Screen
  • 2002/02 Masters of the Wild2 (MW)
  • 2002/03 Bastion of Broken Souls (BB)
  • 2002/04 Deities and Demigods1 (DD)
  • 2002/05 Faiths and Pantheons4 (FP)
  • 2002/05 Stronghold Builder's Guidebook (SB)
  • 2002/06 Book of Challenges (BC)
  • 2002/07 Epic Level Handbook1 (EL)
  • 2002/08 Silver Marches4 (SM)
  • 2002/09 City of the Spider Queen4 (CSQ)
  • 2002/09 Monster Manual II1 (MM2)
  • 2002/10 Book of Vile Darkness (BV)
  • 2003/02 Savage Species (SS)
  • 2003/03 Arms and Equipment Guide (AE)
  • 2003/03 Races of Faerûn4 (Rac)
  • 2003/04 Fiend Folio1 (FF)
  • 2003/05 Unapproachable East4 (Una)
  • 2003/06 Ghostwalk6 (Gh)

    1. Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, Monster Manual, Manual of the Planes, Deities and Demigods, Epic Level Handbook, Monster Manual II, and Fiend Folio are updated to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 via the Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 Accessory Update Booklet.
    2. The article "Rules Reference: Feats, Prestige Classes, and Spells" lists titular items from the Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition class guidebooks that were updated to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5. Its most recent revision is Jan. 2005.
    3. Monsters of Faerûn is updated to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 via the Player's Guide to Faerûn Web enhancement "Player's Guide to Faerûn: Monster Update."
    4. Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting and Magic of Faerûn receive major updates and Lords of Darkness, Faiths and Pantheons, Silver Marches, City of the Spider Queen, Races of Faerûn, and Unapproachable East receive minor updates to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 via the Player's Guide to Faerûn (5).
    5. Oriental Adventures is updated to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 via the Dragon #318 article "Oriental Adventures Update: Eastern Flavor" (32-48).
    6. Ghostwalk is updated to Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 via the Ghostwalk Web enhancement "Ghostwalk, Part 2: Ghostwalk 3.5 Update."

Dungeons and Dragons 3.5

Wizards of the Coast explains the purpose of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 in the Revision Spotlight column "Compiled D&D Revision Spotlight."

Dragon #309 and Dungeon #100 present Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 content. Dragon #359 and Dungeon #150 are the last Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 issues and the last published by Paizo after Wizards of the Coast doesn't renew Paizo's magazine licenses (see Wizards of the Coast's announcement and Paizo's announcement).

  • 2003/06 Dungeon Master's Guide (DMG)
  • 2003/07 Monster Manual (MM)
  • 2003/07 Player's Handbook (PH)
  • 2003/08 Dragonlance Campaign Setting1 (DCS)
  • 2003/08 Dungeon Master's Screen
  • 2003/09 Miniatures Handbook (MH)
  • 2003/10 Book of Exalted Deeds (BE)
  • 2003/10 Underdark (Und)
  • 2003/11 Draconomicon (Dr)
  • 2003/12 Complete Warrior (CW)
  • 2004/01 Deluxe Character Sheets
  • 2004/01 Deluxe Dungeon Master's Screen
  • 2004/02 Unearthed Arcana (UA)
  • 2004/03 Player's Guide to Faerûn (PG)
  • 2004/04 Expanded Psionics Handbook (XPH)
  • 2004/04 Map Folio I
  • 2004/05 Complete Divine (CD)
  • 2004/06 Eberron Campaign Setting (ECS)
  • 2004/07 Planar Handbook (PlH)
  • 2004/07 Serpent Kingdoms (SK)
  • 2004/07 Shadows of the Last War (SL)
  • 2004/08 Map Folio II
  • 2004/08 Races of Stone (RS)
  • 2004/09 Frostburn (Fr)
  • 2004/09 Monster Manual III (MM3)
  • 2004/10 Libris Mortis (LM)
  • 2004/10 Dungeon Master's Guide (special edition) (DMG)
  • 2004/10 Player's Handbook (special edition) (PH)
  • 2004/10 Monster Manual (special edition) (MM)
  • 2004/10 Shining South (ShS)
  • 2004/10 Whispers of the Vampire's Blade (WB)
  • 2004/11 Complete Arcane (CAr)
  • 2004/11 Sharn: City of Towers (Sh)
  • 2004/12 Races of Destiny (RD)
  • 2004/12 Map Folio 3-D
  • 2005/01 Complete Adventurer (CAd)
  • 2005/01 Grasp of the Emerald Claw (GC)
  • 2005/02 Lost Empires of Faerûn (LE)
  • 2005/02 Races of the Wild (RW)
  • 2005/03 Sandstorm (Sa)
  • 2005/04 Lords of Madness (LoM)
  • 2005/04 Races of Eberron (RE)
  • 2005/05 Champions of Ruin (CR)
  • 2005/05 Heroes of Battle (HB)
  • 2005/06 City of Splendors: Waterdeep (CSW)
  • 2005/06 Dungeon Master's Guide II (DMG2)
  • 2005/07 Eberron Deluxe Dungeon Master's Screen
  • 2005/07 Five Nations (FN)
  • 2005/07 Weapons of Legacy (WL)
  • 2005/08 Eberron Player Character Sheets
  • 2005/08 Explorer's Handbook (EH)
  • 2005/08 Stormwrack (Sto)
  • 2005/09 Fantastic Locations: Fane of the Drow (FLFD)
  • 2005/09 Magic of Incarnum (MoI)
  • 2005/09 Sons of Gruumsh (SG)
  • 2005/10 Dragon Compendium Volume 12
  • 2005/10 Heroes of Horror (HH)
  • 2005/10 Magic of Eberron (MoE)
  • 2005/11 Champions of Valor (CV)
  • 2005/11 Fantastic Locations: Hellspike Prison (FLHP)
  • 2005/12 Spell Compendium (SpC)
  • 2006/01 Player's Guide to Eberron (PE)
  • 2006/01 Races of the Dragon (RDr)
  • 2006/02 Red Hand of Doom (RH)
  • 2006/03 Power of Faerûn (PF)
  • 2006/03 Tome of Magic (TM)
  • 2006/04 Complete Psionic (CP)
  • 2006/04 Fantastic Locations: Fields of Ruin (FLFR)
  • 2006/04 Voyage of the Golden Dragon (VGD)
  • 2006/05 Player's Handbook II (PH2)
  • 2006/06 Fiendish Codex I (FC1)
  • 2006/06 Mysteries of the Moonsea (Mys)
  • 2006/07 Fantastic Locations: Dragondown Grotto
  • 2006/07 Monster Manual IV (MM4)
  • 2006/07 Secrets of Xen'drik (SX)
  • 2006/08 Dragons of Faerûn (DrF)
  • 2006/08 Tome of Battle (ToB)
  • 2006/09 Dragon Magic (DM)
  • 2006/09 Faiths of Eberron (FE)
  • 2006/09 Twilight Tomb
  • 2006/10 Complete Mage (CM)
  • 2006/10 Expedition to Castle Ravenloft (Rav)
  • 2006/11 Cityscape (Ci)
  • 2006/11 Dragonmarked (Dra)
  • 2006/11 Scourge of the Howling Horde
  • 2006/12 Animated Series Handbook3
  • 2006/12 Fantastic Locations: The Frostfell Rift
  • 2006/12 Fiendish Codex II (FC2)
  • 2006/12 Shattered Gates of Slaughtergarde (ShG)
  • 2007/01 Complete Scoundrel (CS)
  • 2007/02 Barrow of the Forgotten King (BFK)
  • 2007/02 Dungeonscape (Du)
  • 2007/02 Secrets of Sarlona (SoS)
  • 2007/03 Magic Item Compendium (MIC)
  • 2007/03 Cormyr: The Tearing of the Weave (Co)
  • 2007/04 Eyes of the Lich Queen (ELQ)
  • 2007/04 Expedition to the Demonweb Pits (EDP)
  • 2007/04 Fantastic Locations: City in Peril (CiP)
  • 2007/05 Complete Champion (CC)
  • 2007/05 Drow of the Underdark (DrU)
  • 2007/06 Expedition to Undermountain (EU)
  • 2007/06 Forge of War (FW)
  • 2007/06 Sinister Spire (SiS)
  • 2007/07 Monster Manual V (MM5)
  • 2007/07 Shadowdale: The Scouring of the Land (SSL)
  • 2007/08 Expedition to the Ruins of Greyhawk (ERG)
  • 2007/09 Exemplars of Evil (EE)
  • 2007/09 Fortress of the Yuan-Ti (FY)
  • 2007/09 Grand History of the Realms (GHR)
  • 2007/10 Dragons of Eberron (DE)
  • 2007/10 Rules Compendium (RC)
  • 2007/11 Anauroch: The Empire of Shade (An)
  • 2007/12 Elder Evils (ElE)
  • 2008/02 City of Stormreach
  • 2008/03 An Adventurer's Guide to Eberron
  • 2012/08 Dungeon Master's Guide (premium edition) (DMG)
  • 2012/08 Monster Manual (premium edition) (MM)
  • 2012/08 Player's Handbook (premium edition) (PH)
  • 2013/04 Spell Compendium (premium edition) (SpC)
  • 2013/07 Magic Item Compendium (premium edition) (MIC)

    1. Dragonlance Campaign Setting is a d20 product published by Wizards of the Coast.
    2. Dragon Compendium Volume 1 is a d20 product published by Paizo yet officially licensed by Wizards of the Coast. Paizo makes available errata.
    3. Animated Series Handbook's 2007 printed publication year contradicts the release date of BCI's Dungeons and Dragons: The Complete Animated Series which included the Animated Series Handbook. Mill Creek Entertainment's August 2009 Dungeons and Dragons: The Complete Animated Series lacks the Animated Series Handbook.

ENWorld's Wiki article "Dungeons and Dragons, 3rd Edition Collector's Guide" was essential for making this list.


Relevant Questions

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THIS is an amazing answer great work on this! –  Ben-Jamin May 1 at 15:46
    
@Ben-Jamin Thanks. I'd been hunting for a list like this for a while and out of frustration I made it myself--if a list this legible and complete exists independently elsewhere I'm happy to change the answer to a link, but I couldn't find one. Also, I fully expect some of these dates to be wrong as instead of using the actual source I used Amazon.com for publication information (I don't actually own Eberron Player Character Sheets, for example, nor does anyone I know). I hope that other users will correct inaccuracies. –  Hey I Can Chan May 1 at 16:46
    
@HeyICanChan I... am reasonably sure I actually have that one at home. Got it when I inherited a bunch of Eberron stuff from an old DM; no idea where he got it. I'll check when I get home. Any others you'd like checked? Also, is it worthwhile to put Book of Vile Darkness, Savage Species, and other "3.25" books in a separate section, or note them somehow? –  KRyan May 1 at 22:58
    
@KRyan I think most major releases (i.e. hardbacks) are accurate, but double-checking minor releases--especially short adventures--would be great. I don't think it's necessary, but you can totally add a note to transitional texts if you think that's important. –  Hey I Can Chan May 1 at 23:22
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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
    
My usual tactic is to look for something that has damage reduction. In 3.0, it's specified as two numbers: X/+Y, where Y is the enhancement bonus needed to overcome the DR. In 3.5, DR is a number and a word: X/condition, where condition describes something about the attack that determined whether or not it overcomes damage reduction. –  The Spooniest May 1 at 3:43
    
@TheSpooniest - Another good one. –  Bobson May 1 at 12:32
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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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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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