Official D&D books cover a wide array of adventures, stories, challenges, options, treasures, monsters, and so on. But players and DMs will always want more than that, and so they must come up with their own homebrew to enjoy. Some of the more entrepreneurial of them publish their homebrews for the rest of us to enjoy. Here are just a few of Help Action’s favorite 3rd party supplements:
Tome Of Beasts
From Kobold Press, the Tome of Beasts contains much more than simply beasts. With over 400 different monsters of all types to throw at your players, there’s always something interesting from this book appropriate for the next 5e encounter you’re building. The Tome of Beasts is filled with monsters from every environment, fully illustrated with complete descriptions and inspired abilities you’ve never dreamed of. Whether your players are delving into their first cave, or taking to other planes to clash with more titanic foes, this book is a great boon to any DM that wishes to challenge them.
The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide
Fleshing out your character’s backstory to more than a basic outline can be a lot of fun, and a lot of work. The Ultimate RPG Character Backstory Guide is a thorough introspective journey into your character, where author James D’Amato asks questions that force you to think about all their aspects, while also explaining the importance of these questions. Following along with the book will help you to flesh out not only grand character-defining events, but also the little details that add flavor when you’re roleplaying. An incredible tool for both players and DMs to sculpt a character beyond a simple statblock.
Dragons are quite possibly the most important monster type in all of D&D, and Legendary Dragons provides exactly what you think it does. Published by Jetpack7, this book opens a whole new can of deadly wyrms to wreck your party with, complete with notes on lore and setting for each of the legendary lizards. It then goes further to include lots of other dragon-related content, including a variety of player options and a breakdown of the economy of dragon-hunting. With lots of scaly substance to pull from during world- or campaign-building, this book is a great pick-up for all would-be dragon cultists.
Strongholds And Followers
Strongholds and Followers is a different kind of supplement than the others in this article, less a collection of elements from which you could pick and choose for your game, and more a comprehensive framework for new kinds of gameplay and storytelling to engage in with your players. In it, Matt Colville dives in and defines the ways you could statistically represent a fortress your players can slowly build up, and the NPC followers such an edifice of strength would attract, all the way up to rules for playing out the warfare combat of massive armies clashing.
Dungeons & Dragons is a fantasy game only from the typical settings and descriptions in which the stories are told. If you wanted to recontextualize the system into a setting that takes place amongst the stars and spans galaxies, you would get Esper Genesis. Taking inspiration from all corners of sci-fi, the Core Manual packs the 5e D&D system into its own spacefaring game and setting. A reimagining of the classes, a new cast of races, and all the tools and vehicles involved with faster-than-light adventuring, rolled up into a complete game experience that can be enjoyed all on its own, rather than just a mere supplement. Published by Alligator Alley Entertainment, Esper Genesis is the quintessential ‘D&D In Space’ book that is sure to satisfy even the pickiest of sci-fi fanatics.