Wondering where to start when it comes to Dungeons and Dragons books? There's an almost overwhelming level of choice out there, so finding the right one for you can be tough. That's why we've put together some recommendations for players wanting to get into one of the best tabletop RPGs out there.
Because Dungeons and Dragons books can be expensive, we've also included the lowest prices to get you a discount. Our bargain-hunting software is updated every 30 minutes, so you can be guaranteed that you're getting the best deals.
The following picks are for the most essential Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks - regardless of whether you're a new player or an adventuring veteran, they're a treasure-trove of rules that'll enhance your game.
Best Dungeons and Dragons sourcebooks
Of all the Dungeons and Dragons books that are available right now, this is the one that should be on everyone's shelf. As an in-depth guide to character creation, gameplay, and general rules, it's everything you need to get started. In fact, the Player's Handbook is essential no matter how experienced you are. Want to know how combat works? Curious about the spells you can choose from? This is a one-stop-shop for all things D&D.
Although it doesn't include every playable species or class, this D&D book also has more than enough to keep you busy. With nine races to choose from and countless backgrounds to pore over, the Player's Handbook is everything that a budding adventurer could want.
If you've ever thought about creating or running adventures for your group, the Dungeon Master's Guide is essential reading. Besides arming you with all the tools you need for overseeing a game, it covers everything from making an awesome quest to forging a world of your own.
It's not overwhelming, either. Regardless of what you want to do (be it crafting loot-filled ruins or getting tips on how to use miniatures in-game), the book's advice is straightforward and easy to understand.
The Monster Manual is a must-have if you're running your own game; it helps Dungeon Masters call upon a host of nasty creatures to use in battle. Featuring classic foes like Demogorgon and the many-eyed beholder, it's full of surprises with which to challenge players. There's even an (incredibly retro) gelatinous cube. Basically? This is the ultimate book of foes.
It's one of the biggest Dungeons and Dragons books, too. There are over 350 pages to enjoy with lavish illustrations throughout, making this one of the most comprehensive fantasy bestiaries out there.
Few D&D sourcebooks make bigger promises than Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. In fact, it sets out to fundamentally change the game. And you know what? It works. Although there are the usual spells and magical shenanigans you'd expect from Dungeons and Dragons books, this one adds new subclasses for good measure. These are almost universally excellent.
What's more, tweaked character traits are a revelation (even if they could do with more depth). Allowing players to escape rules that potentially force them toward one playstyle or another, it upends the table and lets you live your best fictional life. In much the same vein, DMs are given more ideas, tools, and quest hooks than they'll know what to do with. Tasha's Cauldron winds up being the best update in years as a result.
- Read more: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything review
The title isn't an exaggeration; this supplement provides players and Dungeon Masters alike with rules for almost every part of the game. No matter whether you're looking for fresh spells, unusual subclasses, or traps in which to catch unsuspecting adventurers, Xanathar's Guide has you covered.
At its core, this is an extension of the Dungeons and Dragons books listed above. That makes it a worthwhile purchase after you've gotten to grips with the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide. In addition to quirky twists (like the unpredictable Drunken Master fighting style or downtime activities to keep your characters busy between adventures), there are plenty of embellishments for your background as well. That makes it a great choice if you want to enrich your hero's backstory. Similarly, DMs are able to give journeys a lot more flavor thanks to the many encounter ideas included here.
Want more D&D? Don't forget to check out our other guides. As well as taking you through the basics, they'll help you find a group to game with in person or online.
- How to start playing D&D
- How to play D&D online
- How do you write a Dungeons and Dragons campaign?
- How to make a D&D horror campaign
- Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set review
- Explorer's Guide to Wildemount review
- Curse of Strahd Revamped review
- Tasha's Cauldron of Everything - our review
- Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft pre-order
- Candlekeep Mysteries pre-order