So many years into 5th edition, there’s now so many different books that it can be harder to keep track of than a Wizard’s spell list. No need to fret, however, you’re at the Cove! We’ve compiled every book released so far for your easy perusal (with the common internet abbreviation for each book in parenthesis), as well as the upcoming ones to look forward to:
- The Core Rule Books
- Supplement Books
- Campaign Settings
- Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMoP)
- Hoard of the Dragon Queen (HotDQ)
- The Rise of Tiamat (RoT)
- Out of the Abyss (OotA)
- Curse of Strahd (CoS)
- Storm King’s Thunder (SKT)
- Tales from the Yawning Portal (TftYP)
- Tomb of Annihilation (ToA)
- Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (WDH)
- Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (WDotMM)
- Stranger Things: The Hunt for Thessalhydra
- Essentials Kit
- Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus (BG:DiA)
- Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty
- Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (ID:RotF)
- Candlekeep Mysteries (CM)
- Extra Life Charity Content
- Upcoming Books
The Core Rule Books
These are the heart of the game and all you need to run and play your own games for many years.
Player’s Handbook (PHB)
This is the foundation of the game, laying out the majority of the rules on how the game is played (this is a must have for DMs for that reason), the different races, classes, backgrounds and spells to choose from. You’ll also find lists of weapons, armor, equipment, and even a list of inspirational reading materials to get those creative juices flowing.
Dungeon Master’s Guide (DMG)
A DM’s steadfast companion, the DMG is loaded with useful information on how to structure adventures, build encounters, and tell stories. Looking for a guide to how to build an entire multiverse? You got it, starting smaller with how to make NPCs? This book has you covered. Even if you find 5E’s rules not quite to you liking, or want to shake things up a bit, there’s an entire set of variant rules to change up your game (including lasting injuries, different resting times, and an alternative method of initiative). Oh, and if your players ever mess up your pizza order? That’s what the trap section is for.
Monster Manual (MM)
The Monster Manual is every DM’s bread and butter for interesting and down right nasty things to throw at players. The beginning of the book breaks down all you need to know about how different abilities and parts of a monster’s statblock function. The rest of the book is packed full of the art, statistics, and lore you need to run iconic Dungeons & Dragons creatures in your game; the classic bandit, to the paranoid Beholder, and, of course, the titular dragons and their varieties all reside in the MM. A DM must-have!
Supplements are how the game grows and develops over time, with a new one of some variety usually released each year, bringing everything from new races and subclasses, to new backgrounds and monsters.
Volo’s Guide to Monsters (VGtM)
Volo’s is a monster ecology book at heart, written by the in-world adventuring author, Volothamp Geddarm, and provides an in-depth look at some iconic monsters of DnD history. It gives DMs variants of these monsters (which include orcs, gnolls, beholders, and mindflayers), along with maps of their camps/lairs, and rafts of other nasties to send against your unwitting players (from redcaps to the mighty flailsnail!). For the players, an extension of races to choose from (seven), and even the option to play traditionally ‘monstrous’ races like Goblins (another six options, for a whopping thirteen total new races).
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGtE)
This humorous supplement is heavily player-focused, giving us 31 subclasses (a few of which were reprinted from the SCAG) including the Samurai Fighter, Drunken Master Monk, and the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian. That’s not all, though, this book is full of creative tools for players (from a Wild Shape options list for Druids by territory and CR, to tables and guidance to help create your backstory and examples of names) and DMs alike (new optional rules expanding on tool use, downtime and more). Colour commentary is provided by the infamous Xanathar themself, the beholder leader of the Xanathar crime guild based in the Forgotten Realms city of Waterdeep.
Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (MToF)
Another lore and DM-heavy supplement. MToF presents more detailed folklore about the various races of the multiverse, as well as a long list of interesting and very challenging new monsters! Did you know when Dwarves drink, they relive happy memories? Well, you would have if this book was already on your shelf, guess it’s off to Amazon for you. When it gets delivered, you’ll also get access to new race options for players, including both varieties of the psionic gith and subraces for elves.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (TCoE)
The most recent supplement brings with it a staggering 22 new subclasses (inc. the Path of the Beast Barbarian, the Circle of Wildfire Druid, and the Psi Warrior Fighter), as well as a reprinting of the Artificer class (RftLW), the Order domain and Circle of Spores (GGtR), the College of Eloquence and Oath of Glory (MOoT). There’s variant rules for changing your race (referred to as Origin) stats, optional rules for each class, new feats and magic items to sink your teeth into (or in the case of magical tattoos, to sink into you!). For Dungeon Masters, there’s a broad new tool box containing help with puzzles along with examples thereof, guidance on session zero, rules to build sidekicks for your players, and new ways to interact with the environment (supernatural regions, magical phenomena, natural hazards, and, for the brave, parleying with monsters!).
The default world for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is the Forgotten Realms (Faerun, and specifically, the Sword Coast), but what if you need more information on the world to run your adventure? What if you’d be more interested in another setting, that provides different norms and challenges? That’s where these books come in!
(Note: Whilst it’s common for setting books to contain an adventure, these adventures are usually very short and meant as a suggestion of how to play in that world. Due to the shortness of these adventures, they’re being listed only in this section and not in the Adventures section later on.)
The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (SCAG)
The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide (SCAG)- This was the very first supplement published for 5E, written largely with the help of 3rd party company, Green Ronin Publishing. This book offers a vast amount of lore on the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, including the various nations, factions, and deities involved. The sections covering races and classes within the Realms offer new player options, including (but not limited to): a variant half elf (giving benefits depending what kind of elf your parent was), the telepathic ghostwise halfling, the Arcana Cleric, Battle Rager Barbarian, and a slew of backgrounds!
Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica (GGtR)
The first of two Magic the Gathering (MTG) crossover books, GGtR provides all of the lore you need to run a game in the city world of Ravnica. Players will find backgrounds to represent whatever guild they’re a member of, new races and subclasses. Ever wanted to play an elephant? No? But the trunk is so handy. Maybe you’ll want to play the new
moldy Spores Druids, or bossy Order Cleric. GGtR also contains a bevy of new and interesting magic items. Additionally, it also includes the adventure Krenko’s Way as an introduction to a more metropolitan way of playing for characters of 1-2 level.
Acquisitions Incorporated (AI)
Are you a fan of the long-running, office humour campaign as seen on Penny Arcade? Would you like to sell your soul (possibly literally) to a fantasy corporation? Then this is the book for you! Offering guidance on running your own franchise, and reflavouring classes to a more urban, ‘office-friendly’ version of themselves. If you can afford the royalties there’s even new spells for all you aspiring Jim Darkmagic fans. It includes the adventure the Orrery of the Wanderer for characters of level 1-6.
Eberron: Rising from the Last War (RftLW)
An iconic world originating from a setting design contest all the way back in 3rd edition, Eberron gives us the concept of ‘wide magic’ instead of high magic. This is the prevalence of cantrip-level magic and low level magic items, with the scarcity of mid to high level magic effects. The result is a very modern setting with magical solutions for everyday problems, all within a backdrop of post-war intrigue and, at times, unrest. RftLW brings a wide selection of Eberron mainstay races (changelings, shifters, kalashtar), the Artificer class (later reprinted in TCoE), the adventure Forgotten Relics (for 4-6 characters of 1st level), as well as all necessary information needed to run your own adventure in Khorvaire.
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount (EGtW)
The official WoTC tie-in to the critically acclaimed Critical Role (the previous Tal’Dorei setting book is 3rd party content) takes you to the continent of Wildemount (location of CR campaign 2) in Exandria, a world created by Matt Mercer. In addition to the lore relating to the deities, factions, and history of the land, EGtW also provides new options for existing races (like your dragonborns with tails? Without? It’s got both!), and races published elsewhere (aasimar, goblinoids, and so on). Magic is a little different in Exandria, bringing time-and-gravity-based magic (or Chronurgy and Graviturgy through Dunamancy if you’re a scholar, or just like fancy words) that give us the Echo Knight Fighter and two new Wizard subclasses (complete with on-theme spells). Now, you might be thinking, but how do I run an adventure in this kind of setting? What monsters do I use? Oh boy, does this book have you covered, with four adventures for levels 1-3.
Mythic Odysseys of Theros (MOoT)
The second DnD/MTG crossover setting on our list, MOoT provides a DM all they need to run a campaign in the high action world of Theros, heavily inspired by ancient Greece. Want to be a sandal wearing, spear and shield wielding Argonaut in training, but find the reality of 5E breastplate a little underwhelming? Then MOoT certainly delivers in terms of magic items, which range from molten bronze armor, to literal weapons of gods to wield in their name. That last part probably sounds a little much, but the Artifact level weapons and their quests tie directly into the book’s Piety system. This is basically a reputation score with your chosen god, when you get your score past certain milestones, you receive a powerful benefit (detailed in the entry of your god). Certainly not a low magic setting! MOoT also provides new race options (Leonin and Satyrs; as well as republishing Centaurs, Minotaurs, and Tritons) and subclasses (the College of Eloquence Bard and the Oath of Glory Paladin). The included adventure, No Silent Secret, is for levels 1-2 and a good introduction into the glorious world of heroic deeds and godly wrath.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft (VRGtR)
Famed monster scholar and hunter, Rudolph Van Richten, shares his wealth of knowledge to help our poor mortal minds begin to comprehend the Ravenloft setting and its many Domains of Dread. Players can enjoy two new subclasses (the College of Spirits Bard and Undead Pact Warlock), new lineage options (including the dhampir, hexblood, and reborn). Additionally, Dark Gifts to show what your time in the domains has earned you, new backgrounds, and trinkets to help you feel at home, in the home of DnD horror (I know, you’d have thought it’d be the Tomb of Horrors right?). DMs can salivate over rules to customise existing Dark Lords and their domains (or create their own), new monsters, over thirty new and familiar Domains of Dread (including Barovia from CoS), and of course, a horrific adventure to get the old blood pumping.
Whether you are nervous to write your own adventure, playing Adventurers League (official, organised DnD 5E games), or just want to see what the seasoned team of writers over at WoTC has in store for your unfortunate characters, the official published adventures are for you. There’s usually around two main adventure books published each year (some campaigns unto themselves, others a collection of shorter adventures you can pick and choose from or even chain together) alongside other, smaller, adventures included in setting books (as we have already covered), or released in aid of charity. As with our other sections, these books will be in publication order, and include notes about which can be easily linked together.
Lost Mine of Phandelver (LMoP)
The original starter set from 5E’s inception, this adventure will take characters from 1st to 5th level and if bought physically, includes a DM screen, character sheets, and other goodies. This story begins with our heroes as humble caravan escorts to the town of Phandalin (don’t worry, I get confused it isn’t the name in the title, too), and get dragged into a quest to save hostages from bandits and ultimately discover the titular mine itself.
Hoard of the Dragon Queen (HotDQ)
The first part of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline, HotDQ will take characters from 1st level to 7th. The story revolves around the Cult of the Dragon, an organisation usually devoted to the creation of undead dragons to fulfill a prophecy, but times have changed. A new leader (with a powerful voice in his ear) has been collecting fabled dragon masks to release the dragon goddess, Tiamat, from her prison in the Nine Hells. Your party start off straight into the action, coming into the town of Greenest as it is besieged by a small army assembled by the cult and led by a blue dragon. Needless to say the action just continues from here!
The Rise of Tiamat (RoT)
Bad omens are spreading in the northern region of the Forgotten Realms; marauders and monsters bring chaos and destruction as shadowy forces stand in the background, gathering power to bring about the apocalypse. PotA is an adventure that takes characters from 3rd level to 15th level, however, additional adventures are provided in the book for players that wish to start at 1st level. Cults that worship the great Elemental Evil are gaining power and influence, hoping to coax their own elemental princes into the world. Will your party stand against them in force? Or turn the rival cults against each other to untangle their malevolent plot?
Out of the Abyss (OotA)
A sharp left turn from our previous starts as caravan guards, OotA starts off with your adventurers captured by drow for slaves in the subterranean Underdark. As this adventure begins at 1st level (and goes up to 15th!), this is a daunting start as the PCs have to break free of their restraints and escape with whatever allies they’ve made whilst imprisoned. Evading the drow and their priestesses aren’t the only hazard, as this adventure transitions to take on the mighty Demon Lords themselves. Warning to you, fellow arachnophobes, the drow are a spider-based society with a lot of creepy crawly creatures in tow.
Curse of Strahd (CoS)
Like a bat out of… the Underdark? Straight into a gothic horror to send a chill down your spine and compel you to suddenly invest in very thick turtlenecks. CoS takes players of 1st through 10th level to Barovia–a Domain of Dread ruled by the Dark Lord Strahd, a vampire with a lot of time on his hands and a fondness for toying with mortals like puppets on strings, watching as they turn against each other for his amusement. The party will have to rise to the challenge, scouring the land surrounded by mist, finding items they need to destroy Strahd, and save the land. The adventure links with the mini adventure Death House to level players from 1st to 3rd level before entering Barovia. If your players wish to start off at a higher level you can start at 3rd and jump straight into the mists!
Storm King’s Thunder (SKT)
Giants of all kinds are waging war on the Savage Frontier of Faerun, their Ordning shattered, they begin waging their own personal crusades to set their own breed of giant atop the hierarchy. When giants run amok, the little folk are sure to be trampled underfoot and it’s not long until your band of adventurers are drawn in to learn what is happening and put things right. SKT is intended for characters of 1st through 11th level, but provides an appropriate joining point for 5th level characters (if you want to start at a higher level, or are using it as a follow up to LMoP).
Tales from the Yawning Portal (TftYP)
This book is actually a collection of seven remastered adventures from DnD’s past, and covers a variety of levels to fit every table. The adventures (complete with level range and, for fun, original year of publication) are: The Sunless Citadel (1-3, 2000), The Forge of Fury (3-5, 2000), The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan (5-8, 1980), White Plume Mountain (8-9, 1979), Dead in Thay (9-11, 2014), Against the Giants (11-14, 1978) and the ever infamous Tomb of Horrors (high level, 1978). All of these adventures are classics that have been enjoyed by players around the world for decades, why not join them?
Tomb of Annihilation (ToA)
A sweltering jungle, wandering undead, scheming yuan-ti and a Death Curse that reaches across the entire world. Something sinister is afoot in ToA; resurrection magic has ceased to function, and those previously revived are beginning to wither and die. Your band of adventurers must travel to the peninsula of Chult to figure out what is happening and put a stop to it, but the secret that lies at the heart of a trap-filled tomb is coveted by others with less than altruistic ends. An adventure for characters of level 1-11, with an included ‘meat grinder’ mode if your players are feeling brave. Remember your 10ft poles!
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (WDH)
Have you ever longed to go on a treasure hunt of epic proportions? To claim riches beyond your wildest dream by nothing but the sharpness of your wits? Well, you may want to bring a sword just in case, but look no further! For characters of levels 1-5, this adventure initially has your players working for the previously mentioned Volo (yes, of Volo’s Guide fame!) but soon after being handsomely rewarded, the trail of a bigger payday looms. Someone has hidden a hoard fit for a dragon, and it’s a race against time for the players to get to it before one of the numerous baddies does. Interested yet? Did I mention the treasure was half a million gold pieces?
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage (WDotMM)
Have a set of characters based in the city of splendours (perhaps that recently came into a windfall)? Looking for a bigger adventure with bigger rewards to win? Then you should jump straight into this adventure, picking up where WDH left, it will take players from 5th level all the way to 20th level as they traverse each descending level of Undermountain, a true megadungeon. With various factions living in the dungeon itself, traps aplenty, and a long gone mad archmage at the heart of it that doesn’t take well to being interrupted.
Stranger Things: The Hunt for Thessalhydra
Dungeons & Dragons has broken into the mainstream in recent years in many ways, bringing new players into the game we all love. One of the more notable examples of this is the Netflix show Stranger Things, which revolves around kids that start to live through unusual and supernatural occurrences in their 1980s town. This product is an alternative starter set (the original being LMoP) to induct fans of the show into the game; it comes complete with a copy of the basic rules, character sheets, and its own introductory adventure: The Hunt for Thessalhydra which is for levels 3-4. Written as if by the character Will from the show, the adventure takes the players on a hunt for the Thessalhydra, an eight headed monster that has been terrorising the realm. This is a much shorter and higher powered game than LMoP, with the potential to start off with various magic items if the players if they roleplay just right.
A reimagined starter set, aimed to be more comprehensive than LMoP, the Essentials Kit includes character sheets, the basic rules, a DM Screen, rules for solo players (including the Sidekick rules, republished in TCoE) and 4 adventures. The adventures are set in the same general area as LMoP, and characters journeying through all of them will run through levels 1-12 (or they can be used individually with other adventures found in this list).
Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus (BG:DiA)
Time for those Cleric and Paladin character sheets to be dusted off, this adventure starts in their time to shine. The holy city of Elutrel has disappeared and unless your party can unravel what is going on, its neighbour city, Baldur’s Gate, will join it. Starting in the certainly less-than-holy city of Baldur’s Gate; by the time the players finish the adventure, they would have descended into the first layer of hell. Your heroes would have been at the frontline of the ancient Blood War, used souls as currency, and faced off against the fallen angel ruler of Avernus herself. Did I mention there’s really cool, mad max styled hell cars? No? Well, now you have another reason to pick this one up!
Dungeons & Dragons vs Rick and Morty
Similar to the Stranger Things starter set we’ve already covered, this is for fans of the popular Adult Swim cartoon. The book is penned by Rick Sanchez himself, complete with colour commentary on the tropes that have passed in the game through the years. The mad scientist turned madder Dungeon Master turned maddest mage has also been kind enough to provide us with an adventure, The Lost Dungeon of Rickedness: Big Rick Energy for brave Morties everywhere, taking them from a timid first level to a plucky third level.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden (ID:RotF)
The icy, windswept tundra north of the Spine of the World mountains has recently got even colder. Auril, the divine embodiment of winter’s fury, has aimed her vengeance at the region, robbing it of any sunlight and causing blizzards and a churning sea to isolate Icewind Dale in a never ending winter. Your players will move through levels 1-12 as they quest around Ten Towns, helping the locals, foiling disastrous plots, and ultimately taking on Auril herself, to return the sun to the sky and herald in spring.
Candlekeep Mysteries (CM)
Candlekeep is a fortress library with an unparalleled collection of books and scrolls, many of which contain their own mysteries and the key to a door leading to adventure. Besides detailing Candlekeep itself (complete with poster map), and its inhabitants, this book provides a staggering seventeen self-contained short adventures (or one shots if you don’t ramble on, like I do). This book is fantastic to plug into your existing games as side quests, to take a break from an existing campaign, or just get another bite-size chunk of DnD goodness into your life.
Extra Life Charity Content
Each year, Wizards of the Coast release a product where all of the proceeds go towards supporting Extra Life. This is a fundraising movement where the money raised goes to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which helps provide critical care to children in the US and Canada. This content gives us as players and DMs new races, spells, items, and adventures to play, whilst supporting an amazing cause.
The Lost Kenku
One Grung Above
This supplement gives you rules to play a grung as a PC race, this is entirely meant for fun; it’s worth noting this race isn’t supported in Adventurer’s League.
The Tortle Package
The Snout of Ogmar is a location brieflymentioned in ToA, and this product fleshes that location out with maps, Tortle NPC guides for your players to interact with and hire, and also rules for playing a Tortle in your own game (the Tortle was later republished in EGtW). We’ve all wanted to be a hero in a half shell, tortle power has never been so accessible.
Volo’s Waterdeep Enchiridion
The city of splendours should already be familiar to you this far down the list, this product is essentially the lore of Waterdeep from W:DH for running your own homebrew campaigns in the city.
Lost Laboratory of Kwalish
A Kenku companion has gotten lost in the dense and dangerous jungles of Chult, can your 4th level party find him and bring him back to safety?
Adventure with Muk
A fun bundle of content, Adventure with Muk features stylised character sheets, adventure hooks, puzzles, maps, and more. The best part though? If you print it, the entire thing is designed to be a colouring book, every page. There’s no shame in having to go out to buy your crayons or pencils first, not everyone is as prepared as they should be.
Infernal Machine Rebuild
You may remember when I mentioned Mad Max hell cars earlier, well now you can quest to find sweet artifact-level parts to create an even cooler one! This adventure for characters 5-10 takes you to two different dungeon locations (including the iconic Tomb of Horrors) with plenty of new monsters, magic items, and artifact powers to experience along the way. And who said adventuring was hell? Oh, adventuring in hell–that’ll teach me not to read the brochure more thoroughly.
Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio
Running out of new and increasingly more horrific things to throw at your players? Mordenkainen’s Fiendish Folio is a 5E conversion of the Fiend Folio, originally published for ADnD.
Just when you thought you were done dealing with Elemental Evil a couple of dozen entries ago, it rises back up to terrorise the landscape. Or should I say, seascape? Perfect for Locathah adventurers of 9th level, to stop a newly-emerged node of Elemental Evil and restore peace to their normally quiet lives. Don’t worry, the rules to play a Locathah are included, along with adorable art.
Wizards of the Coast bring us more great books to flesh out our games and bring us hours of adventure in diverse and wondrous–sometimes terrifying–worlds. Here are books slated for release in the near future.
The Wild Beyond The Witchlight (TWBtW) – September 21
The Feywild comes to 5E for the first time, this adventure will take you down a wacky and whimsical road you may not have intended to take. This book will come with new monsters, mechanics and likely new subclasses and race (lineage) options, including the Fey Hobgoblin and Fairy!
Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos (SaCoC) – November 16
The next entry in the Magic: The Gathering crossover into Dungeons & Dragons, this book focuses on the Strixhaven school of mages (think Hogwarts, but not everyone is strictly a Wizard, Harry). This book will bring a bevy of new options including subclasses currently in Unearthed Arcana form!
There you have it, every official book and piece of content currently released or announced for DnD 5E. Hopefully more than the odd book has caught your eye and stirred your imagination, so whilst you continue to read and perhaps hit the check out button, I’m going to go put some blister cream on my fingertips. Remember, to stay up to date on all things DnD, visit Dice Cove regularly or if you’re new to the game, visit our how to play section.