D&D 5E Lore books for 5e that I would actually buy

dave2008

Legend
The current WotC is moving toward removing depictions of certain creatures that are no longer considered socially acceptable. Any historical document should show the whole history, warts and all.
The only product that I can think of that is similar to the OP's suggestion is Art and Arcana. That seemed to cover all of the bits and pieces IIRC. I can't think of them removing any. The may be changing some in current works, but that is different IMO. As far as I know they have not edit old products. They are still there and available, just with a content warning. So I haven't seen any removing that I can think of.
 

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Stormonu

Legend
The only product that I can think of that is similar to the OP's suggestion is Art and Arcana. That seemed to cover all of the bits and pieces IIRC. I can't think of them removing any. The may be changing some in current works, but that is different IMO. As far as I know they have not edit old products. They are still there and available, just with a content warning. So I haven't seen any removing that I can think of.
The orc monster entries from Mord's Tome of Foes being completely dropped in Monsters of the Multiverse is probably the most glaring example.

Back in the day, I enjoyed the various 2E I, Tyrant , The Sea Devils and the Illithiad books, as well as the 3E Draconomicon, Lords of Madness, Libris Mortis, etc. Though, having those books I really don't have an interest for it to be repeated in 5E (that was why I didn't rush out to get Fizban's, though someone was kind enough to get it for me for my birthday).
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Go with 3PP books really, and throw out WotC lore books - it is terrible anyway.

Dragons = Draconomicon. This is really an amazing book
Then just go for setting books, but make each setting its own meta-plane (Primal Order books), akin to MtG, and then you are done.
 

The orc monster entries from Mord's Tome of Foes being completely dropped in Monsters of the Multiverse is probably the most glaring example.

Back in the day, I enjoyed the various 2E I, Tyrant , The Sea Devils and the Illithiad books, as well as the 3E Draconomicon, Lords of Madness, Libris Mortis, etc. Though, having those books I really don't have an interest for it to be repeated in 5E (that was why I didn't rush out to get Fizban's, though someone was kind enough to get it for me for my birthday).
personally I a big category book, one undead one, one aberration book, giant, fae and so on lets me able to look through books for inspiration.
 

Stormonu

Legend
personally I a big category book, one undead one, one aberration book, giant, fae and so on lets me able to look through books for inspiration.
Liber Mortis was the 3E undead book (expanding on 2E's Lords of Darkness and the Van Richten's monster hunter series), Lords of Madness covered aberrations (which was compiled from the I, Tyrant and Illithiad and expanded to cover Aboleths and others). They're still relevant for the lore portions - a lot of which made its way (though abbreviated) into the 5E monster entries. 2E's (FR) Giantcraft covered giants, I don't remember it being revised or updated for 3E forward. I don't remember a Fey book - that'd be a good one with all the focus of late on the Feywild, and dragons have had a book since the days of 2E/BECMI (Draconomicon/Book of Giants and Dragons). And there's also the Fiendish Codexes from 3E, which went in-depth into Demons and Devils, respectively. Again, a lot of that lore crept in, in abbreviated form, into the 5E monster entries.

That's why I'm not so interested in the lore books (except maybe one on Fey) - 2E or 3E did a lot of in-depth delving into monster lore, and short of a few stat blocks, it's all still relevant to the game today. I'm sure folks who don't have the old books would probably enjoy reprints/compilations/updated stats, but for me, I've still got those old books and wouldn't put out the money for them - for example, I'll take the 3E Draconomicon over Fizban's any day of the week if it weren't for the 5E Draconian stat blocks.
 

Liber Mortis was the 3E undead book (expanding on 2E's Lords of Darkness and the Van Richten's monster hunter series), Lords of Madness covered aberrations (which was compiled from the I, Tyrant and Illithiad and expanded to cover Aboleths and others). They're still relevant for the lore portions - a lot of which made its way (though abbreviated) into the 5E monster entries. 2E's (FR) Giantcraft covered giants, I don't remember it being revised or updated for 3E forward. I don't remember a Fey book - that'd be a good one with all the focus of late on the Feywild, and dragons have had a book since the days of 2E/BECMI (Draconomicon/Book of Giants and Dragons). And there's also the Fiendish Codexes from 3E, which went in-depth into Demons and Devils, respectively. Again, a lot of that lore crept in, in abbreviated form, into the 5E monster entries.

That's why I'm not so interested in the lore books (except maybe one on Fey) - 2E or 3E did a lot of in-depth delving into monster lore, and short of a few stat blocks, it's all still relevant to the game today. I'm sure folks who don't have the old books would probably enjoy reprints/compilations/updated stats, but for me, I've still got those old books and wouldn't put out the money for them - for example, I'll take the 3E Draconomicon over Fizban's any day of the week if it weren't for the 5E Draconian stat blocks.
giants badly need an update, and fae book would be good.
 

Inchoroi

Adventurer
I am super-lore heavy as a DM. I use it to feed information on my current campaigns early, and future campaigns that I want to run in the same setting. I don't try to overwhelm my players, though; I like the lore to be found organically by things that the player have done rather than just throw it at them.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
The current WotC is moving toward removing depictions of certain creatures that are no longer considered socially acceptable. Any historical document should show the whole history, warts and all.
That could be an issue. In a history of the lore off _____, you could present it and discuss current criticisms and debate about it. But not sure that a simple history-of book would have the same mass-market appeal of something just presenting different takes and settings with mechanical crunch to go with it. As someone else mentioned above, a "Worlds of Dungeons and Dragons" type book. But the more I think about it, the less likely I see it happening. Easier to sell a Ravnica, Spelljammer, Swords Coast Adventurer's Guide. Maybe smaller segments of the fan base will be interested in any specific setting guide, but that still might sell better than the Smorgasbord I like to see.

One thing I do like about D&D Beyond, it is kinda can be used in the manner. You can have various setting books all together in one place and easily search and pick and choose what you like. Or just buy the crunchy stuff without buying the whole setting guide. Still, I really would like a lore treatment similar to what Art and Arcana did with D&D Art. It was a lot of fun to see how depictions of various monsters evolved over the years. It would be fun to read about how the written depictions have changed and how different settings reimagined monsters and classes and races. The problem with a historian or third-party publisher doing this is the limits on the use of the art and the amount of content you could quote.
 
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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
The only product that I can think of that is similar to the OP's suggestion is Art and Arcana. That seemed to cover all of the bits and pieces IIRC. I can't think of them removing any. The may be changing some in current works, but that is different IMO. As far as I know they have not edit old products. They are still there and available, just with a content warning. So I haven't seen any removing that I can think of.
Well Art and Arcana was a book on the history of D&D art. So it makes sense. But if they were to try to turn it into a game book with crunch meant for play in current games, I could see them shying away from certain depictions and language.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Go with 3PP books really, and throw out WotC lore books - it is terrible anyway.

Dragons = Draconomicon. This is really an amazing book
Then just go for setting books, but make each setting its own meta-plane (Primal Order books), akin to MtG, and then you are done.
I disagree with WotC lore being "terrible" and would rather not throw out my books, but I'll definitely check out Draconomicon.

I'll have to see if I can find a copy at my FLGS's used-book session. Getting the used book on Amazon is very expensive. I hate reading books in PDF format, I just use PDF versions as easy reference during prep and in play.
 

Stormonu

Legend
For World Lore books, I say don't try to make them game books, make them coffee table books.

Both Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance got books of maps back in 1E/2E, which are very nice (and map out the travels from several related books as well as continental maps). Dragonlance got "Leaves from Last Home" that covered a lot of non-game lore, including recipes, songs and tales. Not too long ago, there was "Ed Greenwood's presents Elminster's Forgotten Realms" book - its got NO game rules in it at all and is nothing but deep lore on Toril.

I really think that something like this could be done for some of the other worlds - certainly Dragonlance, very likely Ravenloft, Greyhawk, Mystara and the others.
 


Rogerd1

Explorer
I disagree with WotC lore being "terrible" and would rather not throw out my books
I mean to put YMMV but I get personal preference and all that.
but I'll definitely check out Draconomicon.
I suspect, but certainly need to re-read, both Draconomicon and Dragon Kings 5e that they would work really well together. There is also Legendary Dragons by Jetpack, and Gods and Goddesses also Jetpack - both are also really excellent.

Tales of Arcana is truly excellent, and definitely a different take on cosmology.
If you want another cosmology, try the Angel Compendium - it is homebrew stuff, but would certainly throw players off if you were to use it. Plus Angelarium art is amazing.

For some other lore I recommend, The Hereafter, Kisarta as both give you alternative afterlife stuff which could essentially start off your session - Well you died.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Which book of Tales of Arcana goes into the cosmology? I see a 5e Race Guide and also a separate system that uses cards. The system rules don't go into cosmology. Does the 5e race guide?

I couldn't find "The Hereafter" in DTRPG and could only find the closed Kickstarter campaign. Interesting that they have it for Foundry. But I'm guessing it is only available to those who backed it at this time.

Kisarta looks interesting. Not sure I'm ready to spend the money on the PDF yet, as it wouldn't fit into my current campaign. But I'm bookmarking it for my someday/maybe list.

I've seen that Angels book before but never really read through it. Not sure I would use the cosmology as written but I'm really liking the write ups of the various angels.
 

Rogerd1

Explorer
Which book of Tales of Arcana goes into the cosmology? I see a 5e Race Guide and also a separate system that uses cards. The system rules don't go into cosmology. Does the 5e race guide?
The Race Guide does all of it.
Here is a Let's Read on rpg.net: [WIR] Tales of Arcana 5e race guide

Players can be transforming cars, muppets, people with no true name, beings composed of aether, and many, many other choices.
I couldn't find "The Hereafter" in DTRPG and could only find the closed Kickstarter campaign. Interesting that they have it for Foundry. But I'm guessing it is only available to those who backed it at this time.
It is currently, but obviously it will have general release soon.
Kisarta looks interesting. Not sure I'm ready to spend the money on the PDF yet, as it wouldn't fit into my current campaign. But I'm bookmarking it for my someday/maybe list.
This has some interesting extra classes in here, and a few demi-planes that you might be able to use.
I've seen that Angels book before but never really read through it. Not sure I would use the cosmology as written but I'm really liking the write ups of the various angels.
It was just a breath of fresh air to be honest.
My thought was to send the players to another multiverse, with different rules.
But the art can be found on Google by looking for Angelarium.
 

bloodtide

Adventurer
That would be great as long as it was honest. WotC seems to want to sweep certain older depictions under the rug..
You will never get any sort of "history" type book out of current Wizards. They are too obsessed with re-writing history and saying "5E is the only D&D". And even if they could out source it or something, it would still be one page for 0E to 4E and then 25 pages on how cool 5E is now.

Even then, it's a bit hard to talk about a LOT of the changes over the years without getting in to problems. Why did "someone" utterly ignore 20 or 30 years of lore and just make up some new "stuff"......well, the answer is a problem.
 

UngainlyTitan

Legend
Supporter
Not interested in a lore book per se. I like what WoTC is doing, lore parcelled out in DM/Player crunch or adventure books. I would also consume lore as a side effect of Movie/TV shows (if they are good enough to merit watching in their own right) or electronic games.
 

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