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


I've bought at least 1 version of everything except the adventure paths - and it has all been of use. I tend to not buy adventure paths, although I buy chapters from them on D&D beyond to get access to the materials for use in my games.

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I have and used the 3 core, 2 box sets, and the elemental evil (PotA) campaign. I think if I was a player I would have bought SCAG and/or Xanthars. I think the next campaign book will be Saltmarsh or Yawning Portal. Not much of the stuff coming out strikes me. Plan on ordering something from A5E, but so not have much from 3pp in 5e. I overbought in 3e days and cut some in 4e and finally only buy what I actually use.


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?

Starter Set
Wrath of Ashardalon (not sure if this counts as 5E)

I used all of those to some degree, although when it comes to the Adventures, the only ones I have used adventure material outside of the adventure are TOA, PTOA and GOS.
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Lowcountry Low Roller
I stopped buying adventures with Dragon Heist. I’ve picked up one or two expansions since then. Of the adventures I own I’ve not run Strahd and Tomb of Annihilation. I haven’t bought Princes because I played it for a bit and wasn’t a huge fan. So I guess that‘s most, which is pretty good.

The only one I use with any regularity (as a DM or player) is the Player's Handbook. There are bits and pieces of things I use from
the Dungeon Master's Guide, the Monster Manual, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, Volo's Guide to Monsters, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, and a few other books (all of which I own in hardcover), but I copied most of those things into a single document that I printed out and keep in a 3-ring binder at the table. Most of those things are player character options (like subclasses), spells, and some tables. Since I don't use published settings or adventures, make up my own creatures, and rewrite the stat blocks for the few standard D&D creatures that I do use, I really don't need to have many books available at the table.

I own several hundred print versions of rpg products, but I mostly buy them to read, for pleasure and inspiration. I'm not particularly fond of 5e as a game, though (even though I mainly DM for a 5e group these days), and don't find the various game books to be that interesting to read, so I haven't bought as heavily into it as some other systems.


Space Jam Confirmed
Player's Handbook - ton of use
Dungeon Master's Guide - reasonable amount of use
Monster Manual - ton of use
Acquisitions Inc - apparently I own this digitally on DNDBeyond. Haven't read it.
Eberron: Rising from the Last War - own only on DNDBeyond; have used it a few times
Explorer's Guide to Wildemount - own only on DNDBeyond; have used some sub-classes and have played one of the adventures in it
Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica - only on DNDBeyond. I once used the Order Domain cleric in a one-shot (pre-Tasha's). That's it.
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes - fair amount of use out of this
Mythic Odysseys of Theros - own it, never used it
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide - fair amount of use
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything - plenty of use
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft - have used it a little; my wife made a replica of the spirit board in it
Volo's Guide to Monsters - ton of use
Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron - a bit of use
Xanathar's Guide to Everything - ton of use

Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus - currently playing; ton of use although only my DM has read it obviously. Will read it after we complete.
Candlekeep Mysteries - own but haven't used at all
Curse of Strahd - own, ton of use, ran this twice. Also own Beadle & Grimm version.
Dragon of Icespire Peak/Essentials Kit - ran the adventure, actually didn't use most of the rest of the kit really
D&D vs Rick and Morty - don't own
Ghosts of Saltmarsh - Own Beadle & Grimm version, some use
Hoard of the Dragon Queen - read maybe 1/3rd of it
Stranger Things Starter set - genuinely regret buying it; likely will never use
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden - currently running this for 2 different groups; ton of use
Lost Mine of Phandelver/Starter Set - Have run this 3 times; ton of use
Out of the Abyss - have cannibalized parts of it; fair amount of use
Princes of the Apocalypse - own it; haven't read it
Rise of Tiamat - own it; haven't read it
Storm King's Thunder - own it; have run the first chapter and a bit
Tales from the Yawning Portal - own it, have run two or three adventures from it
Wild Beyond the Witchlight - own it; haven't read it
Tomb of Annihilation - played it then bought it afterwards to read
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist - currently running it (own Beadle & Grimm edition)
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage - own it, have run first 3 levels

I own 33 books on DNDBeyond, of which I also own some form of physical copy for 28.
For Curse of Strahd, I own it on DNDBeyond, Roll20, original hardcover, and Beadle & Grimm
For Waterdeep: Dragon Heist & Ghosts of Saltmarsh, I own DNDBeyond, Roll20, and Beadle & Grimm (Beadle & Grimm included the DNDBeyond versions)
For Lost Mine of Phandelver, Dragon of Icespire Peak, Waterdeep: DoMM, and Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, I own it on DNDBeyond, physical copy, and Roll20 (you get the DNDBeyond version of DoiP free with the Essentials Kit)
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I own every official 5E hardcover printed to date, plus the Starter Set and Essentials Kit. The only two hardcovers I didn't pre-order or buy ASAP after release were Acquisitions Inc. (eventually bought anyway during a bookstore clearance) and Wild Beyond the Witchlight (held off a few weeks, until I decided I specifically wanted to reward their good decision-making).

Besides the core, I've used the two monster books (Volo's and Mordenkainen's) a fair amount; I've also used some options from EEPC, SCAG, and Xanathar's. The only adventure I've used is the one in the Starter Set - everything else in our campaign was either adapted from other editions/games (3E, 4E, Pathfinder, DCC), or was original material. However, my brother used a lot of Storm King's Thunder.

Also of note: I've only actually read all the way through maybe half of the official products I bought. It's funny, early on I found the pace of releases in 5E frustratingly slow, but now I'm thinking it was a pretty good move... just as they seem to be ratcheting up the pace of their releases, and this backlog of unread books is making me wonder how many more books I really need. (Definitely picking up Fizban's, though.)


TL/DR Going forward I'm only going to buy adventures if I'm going to run them or I can use it immediately as a source book. Though the anthologies of short adventures are tempting. I want some crunch with my lore - that is, if I'm going to read about ancestries, monsters or creatures, I need some stuff on how to use them in combat, how to customize them and make them feel unique every time my players encounter them.

I use the core 3 plus XGtE & VGtM a lot.
MToF gets some use for the monsters, but not the lore. I didn't find it very interesting, which is weird because I use the lore in Volo's all the time.
SCAG I read and it did inspire some adventures, but wasn't worth the $$ in the end.
I only bought TCoE digitally on D&D Beyond so my players would have extra choices when making and levelling up characters.
Van Richten's - I bought the Beadle & Grim's boxed set and have been devouring it. It is fueling my Halloween side quest and it may be instrumental in our next campaign.
I eagerly await Fizban's Treasury of Dragons.

Phadelin starter set - run it twice and I'd run it again for some new players it the chance arose.
HoDQ & RoT - I don't think I've touched since we finished playing it, but it got its use.
Currently OotA is getting a lot of use.
My son has used GoS quite a bit.
I've glanced through TftYP, but not actually run anything.
Icewind Dale might be our next campaign (but it might not).

Anything not on the list that isn't an adventure book, I do not have any use for and don't intend on buying. Time may prove otherwise.
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My approach with every edition cycle has been the same: buy every book at first, then gradually transition to pick-and-choose.

Of the 29 hardcovers published so far (through Witchlight), I currently own 17 of them, and have sold 4 of them. Of the 21 I've owned at one point or the other, I've only "used"--as far as for actual game play, five or six of them. The rest I've either mined for ideas, read/browsed for enjoyment, or said, "Hmm, maybe someday," and placed it on the shelf.

Of those that I don't own, there are probably one or two I'm tempted to pick up at some point. Of the four books coming out that we know about, I'm not sure how many I'll purchase, anywhere from one to all of them.

Further breakdown. Book types and my purchasing habits:

Splats: Pick and choose. I have Volo's and Mordenkainen's, but never picked up Xanathar's (someone in my groups always had a copy) or Tasha's. Wasn't interested in AI, and not sure if I'll get Fizban's or not.

Settings: Being a setting junky, and for me these are the books I'm most likely to read but not use, I buy all of them. I'm not sure if I'll pick up Strixhaven, but will definitely get the upcoming classic settings and most or all of the Magic or new setting books they publish.

Adventures: Pick and choose. I'm more prone to pick up the anthologies as they tend to be better for adaptation to my homebrew, with two out of three of them, but only have about one-third of the story arc books.

Greg K

I own 0 official 5e books.
The only official 5e WOTC material that I own are the free basic set material from WOTC's site and the SRD. Everything else that I have are third party pdfs from DrivethruRPG and Dungeon Master's Guild plus additonal items collected from various web pages and forums.

If I were running 5e, I would allow a few things from the PHB (e.g. the domains, battlemaster fighter, the Assassin Rogue, Archfey Warlock, the backgrounds, most of the feats and several spells) and less from SCA, Xanathar's, and Tasha's (from Tasha's some of the Fighter options, some feats, and spells).


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Okay, I just purchased The Wild Beyond the Witchlight and haven't had a chance to do anything with it so I'm excluding it from the below - that's merely a factor of time.

I own all of the core, "Everything" and monster books. Plus SCAG, Eberron, Ravnica, and Theros settings - generally for the character options. I own no adventures since I usually am fully homebrew.

Core, Xanathar's & Tasha's, Mordy's and Volo's get used regularly. Along the same line I used a couple of 3P monster books plus the internet regularly well for more monsters. SCAG, when it was the only player option book out got used regularly, but most of it has been reprinted so I rarely touch it anymore. I use the other setting books occasionally for monsters or magic items; before Tasha's I used them regularly for character options. If I was getting into the hobby right now I'd only be buying setting books for Eberron (because I love the world even if will not be running it) and Theros (because it was rather unique and had some supporting mechanics for that).

Ogre Mage

Player's Handbook
Dungeon Master's Guide
Monster Manual
Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide
Volo's Guide to Monsters
Xanathar's Guide to Everything
Eberron Rising from the Last War
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

Eberron ... Last War
has minimal use. SCAG was regularly used in the early days of 5E but now I never look at it.

The other books are used regularly.


Game Designer
On top of my head I bought... twelve.
  • Player's Handbook
  • Dungeon's Master Guide
  • Monster Manual
  • Volos'
  • Mordekainen'
  • Xanathar's
  • Tasha's
  • Sword Coast Adventure Guide
  • Explorer's Guide to Wildemount
  • Ravenloft
  • Ghost of Salmarsh
  • Yawning Portal
I've used extensively the first two and all three "monster" books. Xanathar and Tasha are also purchases I'm very happy with. I regret buying every single adventure and setting book; I don't think I will buy these again. Except for the Wildemount book, I never intended to play with it, it was mostly for read.


The following books I have NOT purchased:
Acquisitions Inc
Eberron: Rising from the Last War
Explorer's Guide to Wildemount
Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron
D&D vs Rick and Morty
Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Stranger Things Starter set
Rise of Tiamat

The only ones I own, but have not used:
Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
Curse of Strahd

It does not seem like I play that much, but I have run groups through almost all of the published Adventure Paths. Using Wild Beyond the Witchlight in a campaign presently. I may run Curse of Strahd some day, but it did not appeal to me even though it is regularly sited as the best of the bunch.

I have all official books from WotC save the Rick and Morty...

3rd party
Kobold press Tome of Beast
Nixx Monster Manual Expanded 1 &2 (the 3rd one will bought when print on demand will be available)
Goodman Games All OAR.

Almost all books have either been used or I have taken some parts (usually rules) of them. Only some of the more recent adventures have not been used as K tend to end a campaign before using them. Candlekeep and Witchlight are on the shelf, read but not used yet. I am not sure that these two are for the groups I currently run so I do not really know if I will use them. For me, Candle keep was a bit meh... but so far I do like Witchlight.


I learned in 3E to stop buying/keep books after the core 3.

Especially now a days thanks to the internet where almost anything can be found for free. I almost always use a webpage i found that lists every subclass and feat that comes out.

Any setting info can also be easily found online. IE browse the Faerun wiki.

Adventures I buy it, we play it, then i sale it.

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