Player's Handbook - WikipediaIt does not contain the complete set of rules for the game, and only includes rules for use by players of the game. Many optional rules, such as those governing extremely high-level players, and some of the more obscure spells, are found in other sources. Since the first edition,  the Player's Handbook has contained tables and rules for creating characters, lists of the abilities of the different character classes , the properties and costs of equipment, descriptions of spells that magic -using character classes such as wizards or clerics can cast, and numerous other rules governing gameplay. The first true Players Handbook was released in June, as a page hardcover. The original cover art was by D. Trampier ,  who also provided interior illustrations along with David C. Sutherland III.
So You Want To Play Dungeons & Dragons...
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The absolute best way to learn is with a group of friends who already know the rules and can guide you through the learning curve. Well, don't worry. You can think of it a lot like a collective choose-your-own-adventure book. One player prepares a fantasy story of sorcery and adventure, then the rest of the players take charge of characters in that story and gather together—preferably around a kitchen table—to cooperatively tell the tale. Maybe the story you'll tell is a mystery. Maybe it follows the classic hero's arc. Or, heck, maybe the story is just thin window-dressing with a series of spectacular battles.