D&D 5E Best and Worst of 5e - every book rated

Nebulous

Legend
I'll even extend that further and say for people to pick up 4E's Neverwinter Campaign Setting book as well, if for no other reason that it extends out and fills in a bunch of other locations in and around the Triboar Trail and the Neverwinter Wood. Having all three items gave me so many different locations relatively fleshed out that when I ran this adventure area for my players over the pandemic, they could pretty much go anywhere around the entire area and there were peoples and places to run into.

Those three books combined can give you so much at your fingertips. And that doesn't even cover the actual village of Triboar to the east of the trail which if necessary you can also cover if you pick up Storm King's Thunder.
Oh I forgot that I used Neverwinter 4e! Yes, you're right. After Lost Mine I was homebrewing until 5th level and waiting for Princes to come out, then we dialed the new campaign back down to 3rd and started with new PCs. And speaking of Princes, I don't know why it gets so much hate. I loved it, the players loved it. I did have to tweak some things though to make it more engaging, but I normally do that with campaigns.

So yes, grab those three sourcebooks and you will have tons and tons and tons of material. I would definitely use that again if I had new players and wanted to explore the Sword Coast.
 
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Liane the Wayfarer

Frumious Flumph
I love Goodreads, but I don't know that it's a good source for RPG adventure hardcover reviews -- I don't think a lot of the reviewers there have run the scenarios, they've only read them. And sometimes you find things that seem problematic on read-through work fine in-game, and things that seemed solid have unforeseen holes that bring the game to a crashing halt.
 

edosan

Explorer
Strixhaven doesn't know what it wants to be - it is neither truly an adventure or a campaign setting, just has aspects of both. It's an incomplete toolbox.

I would say that about a lot of 5e books IMO - they don't seem to know if they want to do a setting book or adventure, split the difference, and don't do that good a job on either.
 

It's the worst received book of the bunch, even worse than hoard of the dragon queen or SCAG.
Yes, I do see the relative rating of all the D&D books and that Strixhaven is last.

My point was: “considering the Goodreads rating system, is 3.72 out of 5 really terrible?” It’s a bit of a rhetorical question because approaching “really liked it” doesn’t strike me as bad, regardless of the commentary in the thread.
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Interesting ranking.

The difference in rank between the Essentials and Starter Kit is not that significant. But the Essentials Kit is superior to the Starter Kit in pretty much every way (it includes a full rule set [up to level 6] and a more interesting sandbox).

My two favourite adventure books so far are Tales from the Yawning Portal and Ghosts of Saltmarsh. I guess my preference for Greyhawk and freestanding adventures (including updated 1e adventures) places me outside the "consensus."

I think the general consensus (which I agree with) is that the Essentials Kit is superior in every way EXCEPT that Lost Mine of Phandelver is a much better adventure than Dragon of Icespire Peak.
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
But the Essentials Kit is superior to the Starter Kit in pretty much every way (it includes … a more interesting sandbox).
Disagreed


My two favourite adventure books so far are Tales from the Yawning Portal and Ghosts of Saltmarsh.
Agreed


I guess my preference for Greyhawk and freestanding adventures (including updated 1e adventures) places me outside the "consensus."
I’m with ya
 

doctorhook

Adventurer
It’s definitely hard to tell what to make of these rankings. Wildemount is at the top, which I feel is buoyed by Critical Role fans. Nothing is below 3 stars, which should intuitively mean “average”—HotDQ deserves to be below it, for example. And I don’t know what the margin of error is on these rankings.

I guess this data also suffers since Goodreads doesn’t require any specific criteria be considered in its review.

So, while this is interesting, I’m not sure how much really tells us.
 

JEB

Legend
Nothing is below 3 stars, which should intuitively mean “average”—HotDQ deserves to be below it, for example. And I don’t know what the margin of error is on these rankings.
For reference, the meaning of star ratings on Goodreads is slightly different than you'd expect:
  1. did not like it
  2. it was ok
  3. liked it
  4. really liked it
  5. it was amazing
So a 3 there should (officially) be treated more like a 4 elsewhere. That said, I suspect most folks don't pay close attention to the official meanings.
 


Liane the Wayfarer

Frumious Flumph
I've run all of the hardcovers up to Ghosts of Saltmarsh. I like sandboxy play; it should come as no surprise that my favorite two books that I've run are Out of the Abyss and Tomb of Annihilation. Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat I ran when they came out and they required a lot of work to make fun at the table.
 

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