Dungeons & Dragons: 10 best sourcebooks to start your adventure

Everything you need in your adventurer’s kit.

Dungeons & Dragons has never been more popular or easier to get into, but taking your first steps into the Forgotten Realms can still be daunting.

The current 5th edition of the game (or 5e) has dozens of sourcebooks and supplements to expand the game. We’ve narrowed those down to give you the most varied options with the fewest books.


Here are the 10 most essential D&D 5e sourcebooks for any player

10. Eberron: Rising from the Last War

Based on the popular D&D 3.5 setting of Eberron, this book gives you a whole new setting for your adventures. On top of the magic-powered technology and pulpy tone of Eberron, it brings new races and the Artificer class to the table.

9. Volo’s Guide to Monsters

Volo’s Guide to Monsters is packed with ways for dungeon masters to make D&D’s foes more vivid and interesting than ever. It even includes rules on playing as several species that are usually just enemies in standard D&D.

8. Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide

The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide fleshes out D&D’s default setting, the Forgotten Realms. It’s packed with new subclasses, spells, and other options to make the game feel more alive while still remaining classic D&D.

7. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

As the name says, Xanathar’s Guide has a little bit of everything. You’ll get new subclasses, downtime activities, spells, and even tools for DMs to tweak just about every aspect of the game.

6. Candlekeep Mysteries

Writing a good mystery for players to solve can be a huge challenge for any dungeon master. Candlekeep Mysteries makes things easy with 17 short mysteries that can be played on their own or plugged into an ongoing campaign.

5. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft

Built on the foundation of classic D&D adventure Curse of Strahd, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is a handbook for the spooky Ravenloft setting, complete with a brand-new adventure and tips for striking fear into your players’ hearts.

4. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

The Guide to Everything wasn’t enough? Here’s even more of everything. Tasha’s Cauldron is the perfect way to expand your game with wild new options for characters and encounters.

3. Monster Manual

A must-have for dungeon masters, the Monster Manual is packed with art, lore, and stats for hoards of dangerous beasties. It can even help you can brew up your own monsters to keep your players on their toes.

2. Dungeon Master’s Guide

If you’re running the game, you’ll want a Dungeon Master’s Guide on hand to keep track of D&D’s many quirky rules. It’s also packed with tips, tables, and tools to make you a better game master in any system.

1. Player’s Handbook

It’s not the sexiest answer, but if you’re willing to forego extra customization options or make things up on your own, the standard Player’s Handbook is really all you need to start a lifelong obsession with tabletop RPGs.

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