D&D General Essential supplements for each edition

JEB

Legend
So, tallying some of the responses so far, these seem to be the ones most considered essential for each edition:

0E: Greyhawk and Eldritch Wizardry. The other two supplements important but less so.

Moldvay: Expert Rulebook (of course)

BECMI: Expert and Companion Rules, less so Master Rules. Creature Catalog(ue) is also key.

1E: UA is a bit controversial but mostly considered essential. Fiend Folio and MM II. The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide is also important.

2E: The Complete Fighter's Handbook seems like a must. Followed by Complete Thief, and then Priest and Wizard. Of Player's Option books, Combat & Tactics and High-Level Campaigns are seen as important, but the other two not so much. Other important rulebooks: Complete Psionics, Tome of Magic, Arms & Equipment Guide. Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog, while setting-specific, is also well-regarded.

3.0: All five class books are considered the most important, followed by the Epic Level Handbook, Savage Species, and the Arms and Equipment Guide.

3.5: Book of Nine Swords got strong support (though also a little controversal). Complete Divine appears to be the best-regarded of the Complete series, followed by Fighter, Mage, and Arcane. PHB II, DMG II, and UA are important.

4E: MM 3 is the most popular of the core rules expansions, followed by PHB 2 and MM 2. Martial Power seems to be the best-regarded of the Power books.

5E: Xanathar's is by far the most essential, though MOTM is also up there, followed by Tasha's.

Interesting to see how some of you thought of certain setting-specific products as essential...
 

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Parmandur

Book-Friend
So, tallying some of the responses so far, these seem to be the ones most considered essential for each edition:

0E: Greyhawk and Eldritch Wizardry. The other two supplements important but less so.

Moldvay: Expert Rulebook (of course)

BECMI: Expert and Companion Rules, less so Master Rules. Creature Catalog(ue) is also key.

1E: UA is a bit controversial but mostly considered essential. Fiend Folio and MM II. The Dungeoneer's Survival Guide is also important.

2E: The Complete Fighter's Handbook seems like a must. Followed by Complete Thief, and then Priest and Wizard. Of Player's Option books, Combat & Tactics and High-Level Campaigns are seen as important, but the other two not so much. Other important rulebooks: Complete Psionics, Tome of Magic, Arms & Equipment Guide. Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog, while setting-specific, is also well-regarded.

3.0: All five class books are considered the most important, followed by the Epic Level Handbook, Savage Species, and the Arms and Equipment Guide.

3.5: Book of Nine Swords got strong support (though also a little controversal). Complete Divine appears to be the best-regarded of the Complete series, followed by Fighter, Mage, and Arcane. PHB II, DMG II, and UA are important.

4E: MM 3 is the most popular of the core rules expansions, followed by PHB 2 and MM 2. Martial Power seems to be the best-regarded of the Power books.

5E: Xanathar's is by far the most essential, though MOTM is also up there, followed by Tasha's.

Interesting to see how some of you thought of certain setting-specific products as essential...
It's interesting to me that the only editions on there wher enough can easily point out the pick up "essential supplement" products are the BD&D line (with the box sets) and 5E (with the rules expansion gift set, designed to fill this niche precisely). The others are pretty scattered.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
Out of curiosity, what would you consider the essential non-core sourcebooks for each edition of D&D? The general rules expansions, books of races and classes, and so forth that were considered key additions to the core game. This can be either general observations, or just for your own group.

Well, ignoring the fact that "essential supplement" is IMO an oxymoron because only core books (and not even the whole of them) are essential, I'd go with these:

3rd edition

- The first wave of five splatbooks: T&B, S&F, MotW, S&S and DoftF. These are enough for me to round-up all the characters options to sustain the game for decades.

- Unearthed Arcana, if you want to also tinker with the rules and try variants, also to lengthen the edition sustain for a very long time.

5th edition

- Xanathar's GtE: similarly to 3e, this increases the basic class options to enough subclasses that there is plenty of variety. Compared to 3e, in 5e there is less focus on character builds so IMO this supplement alone is enough.


...everything else is much farther away from being "essential" by all means of the word.
 


Mercurius

Legend
The thing jumps to mind immediately is the 4E Essentials Rules Compendium. In fact, it is the only non-core book for any edition (going back to 1E) that I used at the table more than the core rulebooks themselves.
 

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