D&D General Has anyone run a PHB only table?

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I've done PHB+1. It works fine, and with certain tables I prefer it to allowing multiple sources. But I agree with this;

If you have to have them level up this fast (and it is VERY fast) then start at level 2 and do 2 levels every other sessions. New abilities every session is going to leave people trying to figure out the new stuff every session (and these are short sessions).
This is an interesting idea. I have a month and am building it as we speak, so this might be the approach I take.

As for short sessions, they are. But, if I have a strong skill as a DM, it is realistically moving the story forward. We'll see. 🤞

You have 18 hours total for that.

I dont think its possible to build anything other than a bare bones story in 9 x 2 hour sessions, but best of luck to you if you can pull it off.
Yes, I know it is short. It is an interlude to our campaign right now. But fortunately, I do have experience running these types of campaigns. To me, it's a challenge. Every word counts. Every element, from the setting to the NPCs, counts. It is certainly not like my older campaigns where a side quest might take three sessions. It is more of a time is moving forward piece, with some NPC character arcs and story conflicts resolving via narrative or off screen.
I have found the hardest part to tackle is the connective tissue from nine adventures to the overall conflict. Placing connectivity into each is difficult in a sand-boxy setting.

Musing Mage

Pondering D&D stuff
Yes, for 5e at least, it's PHB only. I was testing some house rules to 'old school' the system, so I wanted to keep it simple... but I don't think I'd add anything from expansions. The exception being Backgrounds, I told my players that if they wanted a background from another book they could run it by me.

There are over 600 race and class combinations in the PHB alone, that's more than enough variety.


I have tried to run PHB-only campaigns, and the players have failed me each time. Before we begin character creation, I hold up a physical copy of the 5e D&D Player's Handbook and announce "This is the only book you can use." Without fail one or two players will try to sneak something in from another source. When called out on it they will act as if not being able to have some sort of feat or access to some spell will put their real lives into ruin.

I wanted to start doing this because I was tired of players coming to the table with a 1st-level character, but their whole build to 20 was already planned out. Then as the campaign would progress they would discover that their elaborate planned build would not be as effective as they had hoped. This would lead to more whining, possibly crying, and eventually attempts at sabotaging the game.


Just a dude with a shovel, looking for the past.
I like to keep the species/races only from the PHB otherwise the game can end of like a SW cantina and I have to come up with reasons for all the furry/whatever weird amalgamation species someone came up with. But I dont mind using the other books for spells, feats, abilities or background fleshing out. Minius the munchkin spells and subclasses.


Dragon Lover
I’ve played a couple of PHB campaigns in the past and they were fine, but I find the one thing that I don’t care for is the limited subclass options. Heck, most of the subclasses I really like and draw a lot of character inspiration from are from later supplements, especially for classes like Barbarian, Bard, Fighter, Monk, Ranger, Rogue, and Wizard where I don’t really care for any of their original subclasses all that much.


I ran PHB only early on - it worked fine.

As far as the speed of the leveling, it's a bit fast but that actually sounds pretty fun to me.

Gen Con a few years ago, did 16 hours over 3 days where we did levels 1-4 - it was a blast.

This is about double that speed but I think players can handle it fine.

Giving them a feel for the setting that fast? That will be a challenge! But again, sounds like fun for you and them.

Voidrunner's Codex

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