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So Your D&D Fifth Edition Player’s Handbook Has Fallen Apart…

It’s no big secret that the first print run of Dungeons & Dragons’ fifth edition Player’s Handbook had a batch of books that, unfortunately, tended to fall apart at their spines (see a couple of examples here and here). D&D publisher Wizards of the Coast has changed printers since then, and instances of PHs coming apart should decrease as players get them replaced. However, this topic still comes up from time to time as players, to this day, find their early-print-run PHs’ pages coming loose of their bindings. If any of you experience this, or know anyone who does, here are some courses of action you can take.

OPTION 1: Return to Wizards of the Coast

If you’re sure that it’s a binding problem and not wear-and-tear, you can send it back to Wizards of the Coast for replacement. Instructions on how to return your book can be found here.

According to the instructions, a receipt is needed, but this is not always the case. If in doubt, see Option 2.

OPTION 2: Contact Wizards Customer Support


You might actually want to get in touch with Wizards’ Customer Support before sending a book out, just to make sure they’ll replace it.

Log in (or sign up), then fill out the form with your issue. If you can, snap a photo of the book and upload it to see if it’s a defective copy that they will replace, rather than a book with normal wear-and-tear. A customer support representative should get back to you in a day or two with return instructions if your book is eligible for replacement.

If you end up sending your PH back to Wizards of the Coast, expect it back in about a couple of weeks. Note that the turnaround time can vary depending on the method and speed with which you sent it back. You can always fall back on the Basic Rules while you’re waiting for your replacement book to arrive.

OPTION 3: Exchange in Store

If you bought your copy at a game store and still have the receipt (or know the store owner really well), check with the store to see if you can exchange your PH there.  Some stores have been authorized by Wizards of the Coast to exchange damaged PHs. If your store is not sure whether or not it can make the exchange, it can contact Wizards Play Network Retail Support to find out.

WPN Retail Support

OPTION 4: Spiral or Comb Bind

Have the book spiral or comb bound at your local copy shop or office supply store. A lot of players who have had their books bound this way actually like this solution, since it allows the book to be laid open flat. In some cases, you might even be able to use the original, hard covers.

Spiral bound PHB - Roger Deming (4) Spiral bound PHB - Roger Deming (1) Spiral bound PHB - Roger Deming (2) Spiral bound PHB - Roger Deming (3)Photos courtesy of Roger Deming

OPTION 5: DIY Repair with Bookbinding Glue

Pick up a bottle of bookbinding glue from your local craft store or online. Apply with care where needed, then let let the book sit overnight on its spine with the cover closed.

OPTION 6: Use a Three-Ring Binder

Use plastic page protectors and a three-ring binder. Some players like this solution since it allows pages to be removed as needed.

Hopefully, your fifth edition Player’s Handbook will be part of your gaming library for years to come. If you find yourself with empty covers and a handful of pages though, one of these solutions should do the trick!

Jay Africa
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Author: Jay Africa

Hi, all! I'm the D&D Adventurers League US Far West Regional Coordinator, RPG/tabletop gaming enthusiast, graphic designer, designer for the stage, and sometimes musician. I'm always looking for new games to join and new projects to tackle.

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