A stealthy rogue, a savage barbarian, a pompous wizard, and the horny bard, all work together to slay ancient dragons and takedown monstrous beasts to save the world through epic battles and in-depth, edge of your seat roleplaying. I’m sure by now you have at least heard someone talking of the amazing tales of their party’s latest adventure or that episode of their favorite dungeon crawling podcast. If you are finally ready to take the dive into the magical world of Dungeons & Dragons, I have for you the 3 books you should have on your shelf to get started the right way.
1. Player’s Handbook – Duh
The one 5th edition corebook that you need is the Player’s Handbook. In it you will find everything you need to know as a player of the game. This book will walk you through the ins and outs of creating a character, including detailed information on each of the 9 races, 12, classes, and 13 backgrounds there are to choose from. Not sure what the difference between medium armor and heavy armor is? The PHB gives you a run down of all the basic armor, weapons, and equipment available to you and details everything they affect from your Armor Class to your Attack Bonus and more. Interested in playing someone skilled in the arcane arts? The chapter on spellcasting will show you what you need to know about casting spells and making the most out of a magic-based class as well as giving you a huge list of spells for you to choose from. For getting down all the basics of the game, the Player’s Handbook is the place to start.
2. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
As you begin to think about creating characters you may, at one point, have an idea for a character that you really want to play but can’t find an exact fit for what you’re looking for in the Player’s Handbook. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything will provide you with a slew of additional character options for you to choose from and also give you a number of great resources to help you flush out the personality of your characters as well. You can choose from the additional character options including sub-classes, spells, and racial feats. You can also take advantage of the additional background customization options with tables to help you determine a character’s origin, life events, and personal decisions. There are even an extensive number of random tables just to help you choose your characters name if you are feeling stuck. Tables for many different races and different human cultures. A great way to expand your options for more diverse character creation, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything should be on your list.
3. Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
For anyone new to the game of Dungeons & Dragons, the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide is a fantastic way to become more familiar with the world the game exists in, the land of Faerun. The official 5th Edition setting is referred to as the Forgotten Realms and most of its focus is upon an area called the Sword Coast. This book introduces you to the major regions and locales that make up this long stretch of coast line and the lands within. Learn where the major cities are located and the roads connecting them. Become more familiar with the people and the different races of the realms and how they fit into the lands of Faerun. Not only is the book full of information and rich lore, but alongside it are also additional character creation options that can be chosen from, including additional sub-races, class options, and backgrounds. Any player new to the setting can pick up the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and begin to feel more connected to the world their character will be a part of.