Are Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom and Heroes of the Fallen Land supposed to replace the players handbook or are they supposed to add more variation? I get confused on all the different books. Thank you :-)

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Are Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom and Heroes of the Fallen Land supposed to replace the players handbook or are they supposed to add more variation?  I get confused on all the different books. 


Thank you :-) 
They replace the Player's Handbook in that you don't need the player's handbook to use the options presented in HOTFL and HOTFK, so for a new player, they can be a replacement- however, they do also provide more variation for characters made with the PHB, as many of the options are available to the classes presented in both books, and the feats are universal

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They are extra options.  You can run things with only them and not the PHB, but both are needed to get the game's full depth.

Rather than be puzzled by all the books, just get a DDI subscription.  $10.00 a month and you get the character builder (with all the options from all the books) and the compendium (which lets you search through any book you want). 
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Are Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom and Heroes of the Fallen Land supposed to replace the players handbook or are they supposed to add more variation?  I get confused on all the different books. 

Official Answer:  No, they are supposed to add options for experienced players, while presenting new players with easier to grasp options at a lower price point than the PH.  Ironically, the entent of the Essentials Line, of which HotFK and HotFL are a part, was also to create a less confusing retail presence for the D&D game.  

Honest Answer: Yes.

Long Answer:  HotFK and HotFL and the PH1 all include core rules on how to build characters and play the game.  You can get by with any one of them, and the other two are somewhat redundant, but give you additional races classes or build to play.  PH1 is the first and most complete, giving more races, classes and builds than either of the other two, but it is also subject to the most errata.  

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

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Honest Answer: No, they don't replace anything.




Fixed that for you.
Are Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom and Heroes of the Fallen Land supposed to replace the players handbook?


Technically, no; the classes and rituals found in the Player's Handbook are still valid. However, the Heroes books are cheaper, easier to come by, and require far less errata than the Player's Handbook, so they kinda are a replacement for new players.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
Fixed that for you.

Mis-attribution fixes nothing. 

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Fixed that for you.

Mis-attribution fixes nothing. 



Eh, they don't technically "replace", but considering how incompatible a lot of it is... it sure makes it try to look that way without actually doing it.

By "incompatible", I mean sub classes that just don't work with their parent classes alongside sub classes that work fine with parent classes.  
They are extra options.  You can run things with only them and not the PHB, but both are needed to get the game's full depth.

Rather than be puzzled by all the books, just get a DDI subscription.  $10.00 a month and you get the character builder (with all the options from all the books) and the compendium (which lets you search through any book you want). 

Be careful though, let's not give folks the impression that a DDi subscription is a replacement for all the books.  It's a great deal and well worth the money, but it does not replace all the books.  DDi Online Compendium has a comprehensive compendium of all game elements and has a glossary for game terms, but it doesn't give you all the rules, and definitely not in an easy to read form.  For that you will need the Rules Compendium book.

Also, if you don't already know how to play D&D, you either need to get the Players Handbook or one of the Heroes Of ... books, or just learn from someone else.  DDi will not teach you how to play.  It's just an encyclopedia of game elements and a glossary of game terms, plus some tools like the Character Builder and Monster Builder.

OD&D, 1E and 2E challenged the player. 3E challenged the character, not the player. Now 4E takes it a step further by challenging a GROUP OF PLAYERS to work together as a TEAM. That's why I love 4E.

"Your ability to summon a horde of celestial superbeings at will is making my ... BMX skills look a bit redundant."

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"Keep On The Shadowfell" would be hailed as a brilliant, revolutionary triumph in game design if it were followed by the words "A Pathfinder Adventure Path by Paizo."

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Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom and Heroes of the Fallen Land are not Player's Handbook replacements.  They are alternative entry points to D&D 4e.  Like the Player's Handbook, both HotFK and HofFL give you all the necessary rules you need to know as a player as well as enough player options to get started.  So, as a new player, you could pick up any one of the three books and be ready to play.

The newer options presented in HotFK and HofFL do not replace the material in the Player's Handbook.  These books, as you succinctly put it, add more variation, and said material can used along side and in addition to the Player Handbook options.
Thinking about creating a race for 4e? Make things a lil' easier on yourself by reading my Race Mechanic Creation Guide first.
Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdom and Heroes of the Fallen Land are not Player's Handbook replacements.  They are alternative entry points to D&D 4e.

Not a 'replacement,' but an 'alternative.'  Subtle distinction.

Want to see the best of 4e included in 5e?  Join the Old Guard of 4e.

5e really needs something like Wrecan's SARN-FU to support "Theatre of the Mind."

"You want The Tooth?  You can't handle The Tooth!"  - Dahlver-Nar.

"If magic is unrestrained in the campaign, D&D quickly degenerates into a weird wizard show where players get bored quickly"  - E. Gary Gygax

 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

Thank you everyone, I was getting a bit confused. :-)