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D&D General Past Edition books in D&D5E

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.
this is a good point I missed. A lot of eberron stuff has been updated & republished for 5e, I probably still use some of the 3.5 eberron stuff for lore & such though & have used the 3e ravenloft book in the past too.

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I use my Ravenloft stuff a lot. Plus I convert tons of stuff from the Wizards and Priests Spell Compendiums and the Encyclopedia Magica. I use all the MCs and MMs as well.

Li Shenron

I used many older-editions adventures converted more or less on the fly to 5e, but I don't know if they count.

I have ransacked my Rokugan vault to write a 5e conversion of the setting.

Otherwise that's it. I would love to use again my 3e FR setting books, but I haven't run much in Faerun recently.

the Jester

All of them. Sometimes just for inspiration, sometimes for material to convert (spells, monsters, magic items, etc), sometimes for material to use as is (maps, adventures with the edition specific material swapped out, lore), sometimes just for art (when the pcs encounter a monster, I use the best available picture- so if you encounter a grell, you see the 1e full page art from the Fiend Folio, if you encounter a manticore, you see the 3.5e MM art, etc).

I usually use old edition D&D books as my bathroom reading material, so I am pretty much always looking at something, and it's usually something related to or inspiring for my current games.


I check out monster manuals from past editions for monster ideas as well as the pathfinder books. Old books get used for new 5e spell ideas and subclasses. I've looked at multiple editions and OSR books for ideas on building settlements, currently using dungeon world as a basis or maybe I've combined it, I really need to note down my sources so I know what I did.


Elder Thing
For over a year I've been running a game using a modified version of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, modified to my own tastes. I've used BECMI adventures and gazetteers, old Al-Qadim sourceboxes, Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperboria products, Speeds & Wizardry products, DCC products, World of Xoth products, Primeval Thule products, 2e Spelljammer products, and some 5e stuff in it.

It amazes me some of the spells that have been lost over the years.
A lot of the 2E books were formulaic as most contained a section of new spells & magical items. Quite a few were filler IMO but there were definitely some great ones too that I used in my games from time to time. I wish Id kept my Spell Compendium books. It would be cool if WotC created and maintained a spell and/or magical item database online. Unfortunately the compendium type of products usually only come shortly before the end of the editions life.


I am currently running a converted Iron Gods Pathfinder Adventure Path in 5e. I have long used different stuff in my games and have a lot of stuff as reference for if it comes up. Currently I am referencing more from non-D&D RPG books in the current campaign than old D&D stuff but some old edition books have been pulled out.

One of the PCs wanted his archaeologist kobold bard to be a lay member of a church interested in some lost knowledge issues so flipping through some things I came across the Draconic God Aasterinian so I checked out references in the 2e Draconomicon, the 2e Monster Mythology, and the 3e Draconomicon, and we have built up the dragon cult in the current game as a big element replacing one of the churches that was in the AP.

In my last one I was doing a Carrion Crown Pathfinder gothic horror adventure path using 5e and I pulled out my old 2e Tarokka cards and the instructions from the 2e Ravenloft supplement Forbidden Lore and it worked great. I also handed over a copy of Van Richten's Guide to Ghosts and said one of the PCs had found it in the library of the house they were staying at (with an instruction from me to ignore the gray mechanics portions). They both came into play in fun ways.

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