major revision of the AD&D rules was released in 2000. As the Basic game had been discontinued some years earlier, and the more straightforward title was more marketable, the word "advanced" was dropped and the new edition was named just Dungeons & Dragons, but still officially referred to as 3rd edition (or 3E for short). It is the basis of a broader role-playing system designed around 20-sided dice, called the d20 system. The 3rd edition removes previous editions' restrictions on class and race combinations that were supposed to track the preferences of the race, and on the level advancement of non-human characters. Level advancement for all characters is greatly eased, allowing players to reasonably expect to reach high level in about one year of weekly play. Skills and the new system of feats are introduced into the core rules to encourage players to further customize their characters.

 

Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams all contributed to the 3rd edition Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Monster Manual, and then each designer wrote one of the books based on those contributions.

 

The d20 system uses a more unified mechanic than earlier editions, resolving nearly all actions with a d20 die roll plus appropriate modifiers. The combat system is greatly expanded, adopting into the core system most of the optional movement and combat system of the 2nd edition Players Option: Combat and Tactics book. Third edition combat uses a grid system, encouraging highly tactical gameplay and facilitating the use of miniatures. The wizard class is divided into Wizards and the new sorcerer class, and in later books such as the Complete Arcane further classes such as warmage are added. The thief is renamed rogue, a term that 2nd edition uses to classify both the thief and bard classes. Third edition also presents the concept of prestige classes, which characters can only enter at higher character levels, and only if they meet certain character-design prerequisites or fulfill certain in-game goals. Later products included additional and supplementary rules subsystems such "epic-level" options for characters above twentieth level, as well as a heavily revised treatment of psionics.

 

The d20 system is presented under the Open Gaming License, which makes it an open source system for which authors can write new games and game supplements without the need to develop a unique rules system and, more importantly, without the need for direct approval from Wizards of the Coast. This makes it easier to market D&D-compatible content under a broadly recognizable commercial license. Many other companies have produced content for the d20 system, such as White Wolf (under the Sword & Sorcery Studios label), Alderac Entertainment Group, Malhavoc Press, and Privateer Press.

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The Forgotten Realms is a campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game. Commonly referred to by players and game designers alike as "The Realms", it was created by game designer Ed Greenwood around 1967 as a setting for his childhood stories. Several years later, Greenwood brought the setting to the D&D game as a series of magazine articles, and the first Realms game products were released in 1987.

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