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D&D General Past Edition books in D&D5E


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What D&D books from editions past do you still use, and what for? Do you use any books from other games?

For myself, I use the following books regularly still:

  • 3.5 PHB: I use some of the skill DC tables still, nudged down to the shorter 5E scale.
  • 3.5 DMG: Sometimes I use the magic items (enhancement bonuses divided by 2, rounded down if it has another function and rounded up if it has nothing else). I use the random settlement stuff a lot (just rolled up a whole village actually).
  • 3.5 and 4E MMs: I often find myself looking at both 3.5 and 4E monster manuals for things to spice up my monsters. I make lots of custom monsters.
  • Heroes of Battle/Heroes of Horror: these genre books help me with some things.
  • 3E Manual of the Planes and Deities and Demigods: Lore, some mechanics, and some templates have proven useful to me.
Any books you're still referencing?

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Right now Drow stuff and 3.5 Underdark.


And rereading WotSQ.

I currently play 5E. I use all the core books (PHB, DMG, & MM) from 1E, 2E, 3.5. I still have a good portion of the hardbacks for 3.x too. I use the campaign settings for the Forgotten Realms (all except 4E), Dark Sun 2E revised and Eberron 3E. The only campaign supplements I kept were a good portion of my FR collection. I kept my Encyclopedia of Magica from 2E as well. I got rid of everything else at various points, mostly for reasons other than them no longer being useful. When I say I use them it means I reference them from time to time. If its a creature, spell or magical item for instance I like to see its lineage from edition to edition. Same with rules, I like to see how they have evolved or look up the ones that aren't in the current edition. Except for a few FR ones, I didn't keep 99% of my adventures, I don't convert ones from older editions. Maps of course just because they are cool.


The EN World kitten
It's third-party, but I've been looking at utilizing a tweaked version of Fat Goblin Games' The Rogue's Guide to Capers (affiliate link). It basically allows for rogues to engage in larceny as a downtime activity in order to acquire additional funds (which is mostly useful in conjunction with the community-generated Sane Magic Item Prices document, since it allows those funds to be spent in ways that are directly useful; I've been looking at limiting available items to consumables only, rather than permanent items, to keep it from getting out of hand).


41st lv DM
I routinely use my 1e DMG - assorted charts & magic items.
My 1e Fiend Folio also sees plenty of use.
Beyond this what gets used is purely situational.

Atm I'm also using the module Ravenlift II: House on Gryphon Hill.


Lawyer by day. Rules lawyer by night.
Dungeoneer's Survival Guide and Wilderness Survival Guide, mainly to juice my imagination for hazards that can't just be bopped with a pointy stick.


When I make or update monsters for 5e I look at the Monster Manuals from 1e, 2e, 3e, & 4e for inspiration. I also use the 1e Deities and Demigods a fair bit. I have used the 4e DMG a few times too. That is about it.


I’m going through my 2E core books and the completes to convert some of the kits, spells and magic items to 5E. It amazes me some of the spells that have been lost over the years.

Also doing the same for 3.5E, including converting the three monster books I had published back in the day.

And all my campaign set books are on tap in case they’re needed. Right now, using Greyhawk for our Saltmarsh game.

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
1. 1e DMG. Never not used it, even just for occasional inspiration.

2. 1e and B/X modules. They run great in 5e.

3. The Book of Marvelous Magic.

4. Grimtooth's.

5. Greyhawk (Boxed Campaign Setting).

6. Deities & Demigods.

Greg K

2E - various race/class splatbooks and DM references
Jacob Driscoll did 2e conversions of the Complete Fighter's Handbook, Complete Thief's Handbook, and Complete Priest's Handbook as well as the Complete Wizard's Handbook and Complete Dwarf's Handbook. While I was not a fan of the latter two's original versions and, therefore, did not check out their conversions. I do think the conversions of the first three books are well done. I plan to use most of the quick builds converted from 2e kits when I run 5e (he saved me some work). I also liked what he did adapting 2e cleric spheres as sample priesthood variants of the 5e cleric domains for those taking the Acolyte background.

Now, there are a few minor tweaks that I would make to some of the recommended tool proficiencies for a few of his quick builds. I will also substitute some replacements for two or three recommended classes or subclasses for his rogue quick builds given some new material (official and unofficial) that has been released since the PHB. Similarly, one could substitute new domain for some of the PHB domains in the priesthoods.
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When we go planar, I break out both the 1e and 3e Manual of the Planes. I dearly hope for a 5e Manual of the Planes one day.

  • 3E Manual of the Planes and Deities and Demigods: Lore, some mechanics, and some templates have proven useful to me.

Likewise. I will occasionally even dig into 1e and 2e books for lore and inspiration. When we're in one of the regions covered, the applicable Volo's Guide will get heavy use.

I use my 3rd edition Forgotten Realms book.

Other than that, The Aurora Whole Realms Catalog gets heavy use - when I need details on food and drink being served at a tavern, or the price on some random thing not in the PHB.


A ton. Source material and modules are and always will be valid. I'm borrowing heavily from Raveloft source material for running CoS soon. I consistently go back to Greyhawk and FR source material as well. I dug out my old Greyhawk stuff when I was brainstorming on a Saltmarsh campaign and was recently reading up on Myth Drannor.

For stats/mechanics, I don't use much from 1ed/2ed, except maybe salvaging ideas from old-school monsters. 3ed still has value for mechanics because it is d20-based. The classes and prestige classes can be used for homebrew.

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