Why this Book?Edit
Wizards of the Coast published the original Tome of Battle in the waning years of DND 3.5. The book addressed the two great problems of melee in 3.5: options and power. Instead of just increasing numbers, a martial character gains new options at every level. And while they are no match for wizards and druids, the martial classes can stand proud amidst beguilers and factotums all the way to level 20. To make this work, the Tome introduced nine martial arts.
Nine. How many are there in real life? Is it even possible to count them? The options in a world of magic are even greater.
With the shift to fourth edition, it became clear there would never be an official Tome of Battle II, nor a Tome of Archery. So the fan community of the Giant in the Playground board gathered together to create this.
What you NeedEdit
Most of this book should be clear with only the Player's Handbook and the original Tome of Battle. Those are needed, and there's little point in reading this without them. Bits and pieces of this work rely on other pieces of DnD. Indeed, one of the recurring themes was that it should be possible to combine ToB material with other systems. Each school or class that involves a noncore system should name it in its description, and then your favorite search engine should suffice to find the book it's from. If you don't have that book, or just don't feel like learning another system, simply don't use that class or school.
Picking and ChoosingEdit
This book was intended to form a coherent whole, but not everything fits in every game. Removing classes should always be safe. Removing schools may require removing or modifying classes that allow them. Two schools that are likely to not fit are Black Rain (which depends on firearms, which are absent from most campaigns) and Falling Anvil (which is decidedly silly).