In my opinion, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is one of the greatest games ever made. I’ve been a fan for years and I’m always happy when people are interested in this hobby. The tabletop gaming community is unique and a great group, but it can be intimidating to get started. There are a few dozen different guides and source books for Dungeons and Dragons. You’ve got your two staples, guides with extra info, optional rules, and pre-made adventures! With all the different Dungeons and Dragons books out there, it can be difficult to know where to even start.
Thankfully, D&D is a hobby that doesn’t take much. If you’ve got dice and a character sheet, you’re good to go! All of the following source books and the information they contain are available online. But if you’re interested in owning physical copies or just learning how to target your search for information, these books will (literally) be your guide!
The list starts with the most important D&D books and leads to some of the best, newest and most unique adventure and bonus information. For more information on starting a D&D club, click here!
Core D&D Books
The Player’s Handbook
While some might argue that the most important book is the Dungeons Master Guide (DMG), most people who delve into D&D usually start out as a player. And even if you are a DM, this book will be the most important thing for your players. It includes everything from details on how to build your characters, to casting spells, to the general rules of the game. It also has a great section to help those who are new to RPGs. A treasure trove of information if you are new to the game this should 100% be your first port of call.
The Dungeon Masters Guide
DMG is a one stop shop for everything game related. It includes the rules, tips and tricks on how to help your players and helpful bonus information. If you’re giving your players a magic item, need to make a decision about how much something costs, or are learning how to set up a combat encounter, this is the place to turn to. If you are going to be a DM for the first time or for the 100th time, you will want this book in your tool kit.
Helpful D&D source books
The Monster Handbook
I often joke that this is the real DM guide. It’s exactly what it sounds like: a manual full of monsters. This beautiful guide with a truly terrifying cover has stat blocks for almost all classic D&D monsters. This is a book that is much more useful for DMs; However, it’s so much fun to watch and gives you a good insight into what you might be getting into if you’re a new player.
Tasha’s cauldron of everything
Tasha’s cauldron of everything is good, everything is full! There is a lot of bonus material here such as spells, subclasses, talents and optional additions to the established classes. This book is by no means required content to play the game, but it’s a great way to add some flavor to the game. Tasha also adds some brand new character creation options.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
That is Tasha‘s predecessor and in the same direction. This book contains so many different bonus materials that add so much to the gaming experience. In addition to the new spells and subclasses, there are also new things for the DM. Xanathar offers great advice on traps, cards, and fun activities to help prepare for the DM session. Perhaps most excitingly, Xanathar himself stops by to add little notes and observations about what he’s seen in the realms.
Fun Dungeons and Dragons books
Eberron: Rising from the Last War
If you’ve ever looked at D&D and thought, “I wish there was more technology,” this is the book for you. A wonderfully unique setting Eberron is a wonderful adventure to explore. In addition, the first additional class has been added to the player options: the Artificer. A fully robotic race called Warforged has also been added for the player to play. Even if you are not interested in the technical aspect, there is something for everyone here.
SpellJammer: Adventures in Space
The latest addition to the D&D 5e canon. Everything here takes place in a place called the Astral Plane, which is basically a magical space. Filled with adventures, giant hamsters and impossible places, magic jam is a fantastic addition to the wonderful world of D&D. Based on an old 3rd addition setting, magic jam is updated and ready to be brought to your table.
There are dozens of other sourcebooks and settings to explore, but this should give you a good starting point. Dungeons and Dragons is one of the best games out there, with some mental health benefits, and I’m very happy for you!