5E Advice on Books?

zztong

Explorer
One of the games in which I play is coming from PF1 and PF2 and is planning to try out D&D 5e. There are a lot of D&D 5e books. If I wanted to only look at books that involved rules and character options, and avoid books that focused on settings and adventures, what books would you recommend? Or, I guess what I'm asking is what do you recommend for a Pathfinder 2 refugee?
 

dave2008

Hero
I agree with @S'mon ; however, do you just want official WotC content or would you be open to 3PP and/or DM's Guild material?

FYI, if you are cutting out setting and adventure books, you are also loosing some player content (SCAG, Ravnica, & Eberron books all have player content as well).
 

Ash Mantle

Adventurer
Basically what @S'mon and @dave2008 have said.

In addition, Volo's and Mordenkainen's also contain character options, as they have player races.
If you're going for D&D Beyond, you could buy these options individually iirc.

- The PHB has the Path of the Berserker, and Path of the Totem Warrior barbarians; the College of Lore, and College of Valor bards; the Knowledge, Life, Light, Nature, Tempest, Trickery, War domain clerics; the Circle of the Land, and the Circle of the Moon druids; the Champion, Battle Master, and Eldritch Knight fighters; the Way of the Open Hand, the Way of the Shadow, and the Way of the Four Elements monks; the Oath of Devotion, the Oath of the Ancients, and Oath of Vengeance paladins; the Hunter, and Beast Master rangers; the Thief, Arcane Trickster, and Assassin rogues; the Draconic Bloodline, and Wild Magic sorcerers; the Archfey, Archfiend, and Great Old One warlocks; the Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy, and Transmutation wizard traditions.

- Curse of Strahd has the Haunted One background.

- Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica has the Order domain cleric; the Circle of Spores druid; the loxodon, minotaur, simic hybrid, and vedalken races; and the ten guilds as character backgrounds. These guild backgrounds also give guild spells that are added on to PCs with spellcasting capabilities.

- Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes has Tiefling subraces; Elf subraces - seasonal eldarin, sea elf, shadar-kai; the Duergar dwarven race; the Githyanki, and Githzerai races.

- The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide has the Path of the Battlerager, and the Path of the Totem Warrior barbarians; the Arcana domain cleric; the Purple Dragon Knight fighter; the Way of the Long Death, and the Way of the Sun Soul monks; the Oath of the Crown paladin; the Mastermind, and Swashbuckler rogues; the Storm Bloodline sorcerer; the Bladesinger wizard tradition.

- Tomb of Annihilation has the Anthropologist, and Archaeologist backgrounds.

- Volo's Guide to Monsters has the aasimar, firbolg, goliath, kenku, lizardfolk, tabaxi, triton races, as well as a smattering of monstrous races.

- Xanathar's Guide to Everything has the Path of the Ancestral Guardian, the Path of the Storm Herald, and the Path of the Zealot barbarians; the College of Glamor, College of Swords, and College of Whispers bards; the Forge, and the Grave domain clerics; the Circle of Dreams, and Circle of the Shepherd druids; the Arcane Archer, Cavalier, and Samurai fighters; the Way of the Drunken Fist, the Way of the Kensei, and the Way of the Sun Soul monks; the Oath of Conquest, and the Oath of Redemption paladins; the Gloom Stalker, Horizon Walker, and Monster Slayer rangers; the Inquisitive, Mastermind, Scout, and Swashbuckler rogues; the Divine Soul, Shadow Magic, and Storm Bloodline sorcerers, the Celestial, and the Hexblade warlocks; the War Magic wizard tradition; and a smattering of other character options. In particular the "This Is Your Life" character creation tool is excellent.

Hope some of that is helpful.
 

zztong

Explorer
I agree with @S'mon ; however, do you just want official WotC content or would you be open to 3PP and/or DM's Guild material?

FYI, if you are cutting out setting and adventure books, you are also loosing some player content (SCAG, Ravnica, & Eberron books all have player content as well).
At first, just official stuff. The person who typically runs the game tends to roll that way because he doesn't have a lot of time to evaluate other sources. I suspect he might continue to use the Golarion setting.

If I'm asked to run, I write my own adventures for my own setting. I'm much more open to other sources, house rules, and custom content. I can see picking and choosing from D&D Beyond's player-made content.
 

zztong

Explorer
Thanks @Ash Mantle those descriptions help.

The group is largely meat-and-potatoes when it comes to races. Exotic races aren't appealing. I don't know about the other players, but for things like Backgrounds, I tend to find pre-published backgrounds to be limiting, so I usually make up my own. It sounds like I don't need things like "Curse of Strahd."
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
One of the games in which I play is coming from PF1 and PF2 and is planning to try out D&D 5e.
Can I ask about the motivation for this? Is it just time for something new? Just curious as I'm casually interested in PF 2.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Explorer
Xanathar's will be the most bang for your buck if you want player crunch.

I hadn't seen it mentioned yet so I'll bring up the Elemental Evil Player's Companion, which is a free to download pdf containing races and elemental themed spells. You said you aren't really into exotic races and many of the spells here did go on to be reprinted in Xanathar's but it literally costs nothing:
 
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dave2008

Hero
Thanks @Ash Mantle those descriptions help.

The group is largely meat-and-potatoes when it comes to races. Exotic races aren't appealing. I don't know about the other players, but for things like Backgrounds, I tend to find pre-published backgrounds to be limiting, so I usually make up my own. It sounds like I don't need things like "Curse of Strahd."
As @Ash Mantle pointed out, there is a lot out there in other supplements / adventures that are official WotC products that are not strictly for players. Of note: there have been no new classes or feats yet (just archtypes, backgrounds, races, etc.); however, the up coming Eberron book will provide the Artificer.

In fact, except for the lack of classes it looks like there is almost enough for another PHB spread out amongst other books. I hadn't realized that until reviewing Ash's list
 

dave2008

Hero
At first, just official stuff. The person who typically runs the game tends to roll that way because he doesn't have a lot of time to evaluate other sources. I suspect he might continue to use the Golarion setting.

If I'm asked to run, I write my own adventures for my own setting. I'm much more open to other sources, house rules, and custom content. I can see picking and choosing from D&D Beyond's player-made content.
There is also UA content which is semi-official. Most of the player content has ended up in a book eventually (though usually refined some).
 

Parmandur

Legend
Thanks @Ash Mantle those descriptions help.

The group is largely meat-and-potatoes when it comes to races. Exotic races aren't appealing. I don't know about the other players, but for things like Backgrounds, I tend to find pre-published backgrounds to be limiting, so I usually make up my own. It sounds like I don't need things like "Curse of Strahd."
Xanathar's Guide might be the only supplement of interest, as described.
 

ad_hoc

Adventurer
There is also UA content which is semi-official. Most of the player content has ended up in a book eventually (though usually refined some).
IMO UA stuff is terrible.

I think both Mearls and Crawford have mentioned that they intentionally make it too strong and then plan to scale it back for publication.


I also recommend you just start with the PHB. Once you've used that for a while XgtE is worth it. If I were to do things over again those are the only 2 I would buy besides published adventures.
 

Parmandur

Legend
IMO UA stuff is terrible.

I think both Mearls and Crawford have mentioned that they intentionally make it too strong and then plan to scale it back for publication.


I also recommend you just start with the PHB. Once you've used that for a while XgtE is worth it. If I were to do things over again those are the only 2 I would buy besides published adventures.
It's not terrible, it's rough draft for basic playtest purposes. Once they have determined if people want something, they them do the balancing playtesting in-house. Not before UA.
 

zztong

Explorer
Can I ask about the motivation for this? Is it just time for something new? Just curious as I'm casually interested in PF 2.
As @dave2008 mentioned, I've been active on the Pathfinder boards for about a year all during the playtest, so there's lots to dig for over there. I'm happy to chat direct through the board's message system, if you want, but don't want to sidetrack this thread.
 

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