D&D General How many of your 5E D&D books have you used?


Not your screen monkey (he/him)
I use 7-8 of the books regularly since they've got character options and/or monsters in them that I use. The others (I think I'm up to 10?) are generally campaign books/adventures that I use as I run the adventures or steal ideas from for the other adventures I run.

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Moderator Emeritus
I wasn't counting 3rd party books, of which I have a handful - Kingdoms & Warfare, Strongholds & Followers, Spells of the Ages, and a PDF about locks and doors - I forget its name. Of these, I have only cannibalized some stuff from Kingdoms & Warfare.


I have the core 3, Volo's, MToF, and Xanathar's in print and on Roll20. I use all of them extensively and I doubt I'll get more WotC product that I actually like and will use since I don't really care so much for the adventures.

At this point if I get anything else it will be 3P content, which I also use! Tons of Kobold Press, MCDM, and Sly Flourish makes it to my table.

I have 4 books (phb, mm, mtof, xgte), but have looked at other ones. Currently only use the phb, but when I was dm I used the others. Thinking of running "ghosts of saltmarsh" but in OSE (I know, I can just use the original modules).


Starter Set/Free Basic Rules- Devoured the Basic Rules when they were released before the PHB was. Lost Mine of Phandelver is a great adventure.

Core Rules
Player's Handbook - Used so much I had to get my copy replaced for free
Dungeon Master's Guide - Read and used
Monster Manual - Used a lot

Supplementary Rules
Volo's Guide to Monsters - The expanded sections on humanoids is nice. Never used the other monster entries though I appreciate having them.

Xanathar's Guide to Everything - The new subclasses are great. Used those so much I've stripped them out and made a separate Word Doc/PDF of all the classes/subclasses. Very useful as a player-facing handout. The rest of the book is a disappointment.

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes - I enjoyed reading the sections on demons and devils quite a bit. The demihuman stuff was decent. The kind of book that combined what likely would have been 3-5 separate leatherette books in 2e into one book. Glad I own it even if I've never actually used it.

Tales from the Yawning Portal
Dungeon of the Made Mage
Candlekeep Mysteries

I've never actually read through any of these or even read more than a few pages, which makes me wonder why I bought them. As I recall, the first two were on a big sale on Amazon for around $20 and I figured that last one would have a few nice standalone adventures.

Galeforce 9 Spell cards - Exceptionally useful for newbie players

3rd Party
You didn't ask, but it's the internet so it's not like that will stop me but here are the physical 3rd party books I own.
CAL1 - Calidar, In Stranger Skies
CC1 - Calidar, Beyond the Skies
CA1 - Calidar, Dreams of Aerie
CAL2 - Calidar, On Wings of Darkness
CST1 - Calidar, Under the Great Vault
CST2 - Calidar, Skies of Fury
(All of the Calidar books are by Bruce Heard, former lead for the BECMI line at TSR)

Cthulhu Mythos for 5e, by Sandy Petersen

Ptolus for 5e, by Monte Cook (This is exceptionally good)

Survivalist's Guide to Spelunking, by Douglas Niles, et. al.


Rotten DM
Adventures not use so far Princes, Giants, Hoard. Not used the Non Adventure League campaign books but bought them due to a good impulse buy price. AKA under $20.


I'm still buying them all (or having other people buy them for me) but have fallen pretty far behind in reading through them, let alone actually using them.

Obviously I use the core rulebooks, and I refer to Xanathar's regularly for the downtime rules. I've run Tyranny of Dragons, Curse of Strahd, Storm King's Thunder and Tomb of Annihilation in their entirety and have used bits and pieces of some of the others. I am currently running ToA again (with Acq Inc elements) and Dungeon of the Mad Mage (but we're only on level 2 and I have no idea if we'll make it all the way to the bottom).

I have 100+ D&D books from all editions in hardcover and a few dozen more in PDF. Not to mention a few dozen Pathfinder products.

Specific to 5E, I have most of the hardcovers, plus D&D Beyond. I've not purchased most of the recent setting guides -- Eberron, Wildemount, Richtoffen's, and all the MtG stuff. In summary, I've got a lot of sh*t!

So what have I used?

Well, I've run about 200 games of 5E spanning 3 campaigns. I've used material from the Starter Set, the Essentials Kit, Tyranny of Dragons, Storm King's Thunder, Dragon Heist, Descent Into Avernus, Curse of Strahd, Tomb of Annihilation, and Princes of the Apocalypse. In some cases I've run large parts of the storyline. In other instances I've pilfered and repurposed a few maps, grabbed magic items or monsters, etc.

And all the splats and monster books have gotten use as well.

Core Books get used a lot. The only adventure I own is Saltmarsh, from which I ran the Sahuagin trilogy and used the town.

Edit: just realized this was general, not 5E. I don't have very many of my original books, keeping only the DMG and a bagged copy of the Tomb of Horror. I owned and used all the 1E books. I owned the core 2E books and a lot of adventures. I only owned the core 3E and 4E books, finding them to be lacking. I had a ton of BECMI adventures, almost all of which saw play, even the ultra high level ones (Maelstrom, Five Coins for a Kingdom, Vengence of Alphax, and Twilght Calling). The only book I got minimal use out of was the Rules Cyclopedia, since by then we'd stopped playing BECMI completely.
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Official 5e Books
PHB - 2 copies because my first saw so much use
DMG - used to read it all the time but less now
MM - almost as much use as the PHB
SCAG - read through it once, used it for a short adventure, and reference it all the time for my current Rise of Tiamat game
VOLO - ran a few-month long campaign using only Volo monsters, rarely read it now
XGtE - still use it regularly and currently have a war wizard so it gets use
MToF - great read but not as much use as I haven't DMed as much lately
TCoE - a lot of use lately
Rick & Morty Boxes Set - used it once, it wasn't worth opening again

Looks like I'm 9 for 9.


Let’s see - Used

Starter set
Curse of Strahd
Ghosts of Saltmarsh
Tales of the Yawning Portal

Not Used

Rime of the Frostmaiden (only because someone else is running the adventure)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Witchlight (haven’t had time to use yet)

12 out of 16 books I own, so about 80%? That’s way better than previous editions- I collected the entire Basic/1E/2E/3E line and my have used about 10%.


Core books, Volo's, Xanathar's, Mordenkainen, Tasha's, Eberron, Out of the Abyss, Rime of the Frostmaiden.

There are some I've only used a few things from, but I've used all of them.


(+)'s are ones I've used. (x)'s are ones I own but haven't used.

PHB (+)
DMG (+)
MM (+)
Starter Set (+)
Hoard of the Dragon Queen (+)
Princes of the Apocalypse (+)
Out of the Abyss (+)
Dungeon of the Mad Mage (+)
Rime of the Frostmaiden (+)
Tomb of Annihilation (+)
Curse of Strahd [own digitally] (+)
Waterdeep Dragon Heist [own digitally] (+)
Volo's Guide to Monsters (+)
Xanathar's Guide to Everything (+)
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (+)
Ghosts of Saltmarsh (X)
Eberron Campaign Setting (X)
Descent into Avernus (X)


I've got a good number of books. The bolded ones are the ones that I have actively used as a DM or a Player.





Van Richten's

Dragon Queen
Frost Maiden

Starter Set
Essentials Kit

Not a bad ratio. Volo's and Mordenkainen's will likely get used in the next campaign I run. I may eventually get around to using the adventures (or not). Van Richten's I haven't used even though I'm playing in a Ravenloft campaign (our characters were already well established when Van Richten's dropped, unfortunately).


5e Freelancer
I've used all of the Core Rulebooks and rule supplements (TCoE, XGtE, MToF, VGtM), I've used most of the adventures that I've bought, have used adventures from the adventure compilations (GoS, TFtYP), and have used every campaign setting book that has come out.

The only ones that I don't think I've used yet are The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, Candlekeep Mysteries, and Tyranny of Dragons. The others I have used, at least a little. Some more than others.

I have a shelf full of official 5E D&D books, but I have used only half of them at most (and I stopped automatically buying all of them about 3 years ago, choosing the ones I think I'll use now). Then again I have 10 x that number of RPGs total, many of which I've never had chance to play. That's OK -- I like reading RPGs!

How many official 5E D&D books have you got?

How many of those have you used?
Other than the core three, I have 7 adventures/compilations, and 4 supplemental books. I have used them all, or used them to plan adventures that my players chose other paths for, but I have only run two of the actual adventures (about to start on a 3rd). I have bought all of them either because I was planning on running that specific adventure or because I was mining it for background on a specific city/faction/dungeon.


5ever, or until 2024
9/11 for WotC stuff, 2/3 for 3rd party (and I have plans for the 3rd).

I am much better about this than I used to be.

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