What 5th edition books should I be buying?

der_kluge

Explorer
I own the 3 core rulebooks, and I picked up Volo's Guide, which I really, really like, and I have Xanathar's, which I also really like.

I tried to like TotYP, but I hated it. I kind of like Mordenkainen's Guide, but I failed to see why I needed the stats for over a dozen demon and devil lords. So that was a huge waste of space. But I might pick it up eventually since there was some value in there.

And that's about it. I don't use WoTC's modules, as I have my own campaign, set in the Wilderlands of High Fantasy. So, I don't need any world books. My 2nd edition resources for the Forgotten Realms pantheon (which I use) are truly amazing, and I can't see WoTC redoing that any time soon for 5th edition. So, I'm pretty set for all the books I'll ever really need.

But I'm left wondering if there are any really good 5e books from 3pp that I should be really checking out - PDF or book form. What am I missing?
 

S'mon

Legend
Sounds to me like you have plenty! :)
I think for running Wilderlands (which I do), it's great to have the XGTE encounter tables for when the PCs do the hexploration for which Wilderlands is renowned. I had a level 19 PC fly from the Ghinarian Hills to Viridistan and back recently, and being able to roll on the Tier IV encounter tables for content along with the set hex encounters worked really well. The XGTE tables only use the MM, and I've had little use for Volo's really. I get more use from Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts, which has a lot of distinctive and high-threat monsters that work well as 'specials'.
 

Azzy

Cyclone Ranger
Yeah, you're pretty much set. If you decide to go nautical, Ghost of Saltmarsh has ship rules and related crunch. If not, skip it. Tome of Beast, as S'mon mentioned, is a great monster resource. For more monsters, Fifth Edition Foes by Necromancer Games is hit or miss, but has some neat stuff. Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, which you're hesitant about, I should point out has new character races, and plenty of high-level monsters should your campaign reach the upper levels. But all in all, there really isn't anything you need.
 

robus

Lowcountry Low Roller
But I'm left wondering if there are any really good 5e books from 3pp that I should be really checking out - PDF or book form. What am I missing?
Instead of asking for what you're missing, perhaps tell us what you're looking for? :)

More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety.

More treasure? Arcanis: Forged in Magic has some fun options.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
Depends on what you're looking for. Tome of Beasts is you best choice for monsters (it's pretty amazing). Sword Coast Adventuring Guide adds some player crunch, plus some setting information for the Forgotten Realms. If you're looking for a setting, you've got Ravnica, Eberron on DMsGuild, and I'd recommend Thule and Midguard for 3PP.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
If you can get access to (e.g. borrow or look through at LFGS) a copy of Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide I would suggest checking out the subclasses and the lore about gods. You might already have everything that would potentially be interesting (e.g. swashbuckler subclass), but it's the only thing I could possibly recommend considering in addition to what you have and what others have suggested.
 

MrDM69

Villager
I kind of like Mordenkainen's Guide, but I failed to see why I needed the stats for over a dozen demon and devil lords. So that was a huge waste of space. But I might pick it up eventually since there was some value in there.?
I have to disagree with you. I found the stats for the Demons and Devils quite useful, as I enjoy doing adventurers including those monsters. And the information in it was extremely helpful, especially the history of the different playable races(Dwarfs, Gith, Elfs, etc.). But I believe a good book would be either Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica (D&D meets Magic the Gathering) or Waterdeep Dragon Heist.
 

aco175

Adventurer
Depends on your play and how high in level the PCs get. I would get LMoP boxed set and the new boxed set coming out about icespire peak. both of these can provide a couple campaigns and a couple years worth of gaming. I'm looking at the Elemental Evil book for a new campaign instead of writing one now that there is so much supplemental guides to make it better.
 

jayoungr

Adventurer
I third [ETA: oops, fourth] the recommendation for Tome of Beasts, and its follow-up, Creature Codex, is equally good.

If you liked Xanathar's Guide to Everything, you should also check out Xanathar's Lost Notes to Everything Else. It's basically "More Xanathar's."

If you do any urban-based adventures with competing factions, you might find Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica useful, especially the tables for creating adventures based around faction conflict.
 
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DM Dave1

Adventurer
I get more use from Kobold Press's Tome of Beasts, which has a lot of distinctive and high-threat monsters that work well as 'specials'.
Tome of Beast, as S'mon mentioned, is a great monster resource.
More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety.
I third the recommendation for Tome of Beasts, and its follow-up, Creature Codex, is equally good.

Over here for a fifth!


Both enormous Kobold Press monster books are chock full of such a great variety of monsters that it is a challenge to not find something to fit your desired CR, environment, monster type, alignment, etc. The artwork in those books is quite nice as well.
 
I own the 3 core rulebooks,
You're good.
That's all you need - & more, really.
Complete game.
and I picked up Volo's Guide, which I really, really like, and I have Xanathar's, which I also really like.
I kind of like Mordenkainen's Guide,
I suppose those don't hurt, either.
I don't need any world books.
Judging by what you liked, above, SCAG has some content, but at a low crunch:fluff ratio.

But I'm left wondering if there are any really good 5e books from 3pp that I should be really checking out - PDF or book form.
Yeah, that's a minefield.

What am I missing?
If anything? Maybe that 5e calls back 1e in more than just feel and DM Empowerment, it also has very little official rules content added over time.

So, you're free to make up your own rules &c (you can't do worse than a lot of what's out there), even if you don't do great design, at least it's tailored to what you want.
 

Ralif Redhammer

Adventurer
All three of these products are ones I regularly use in my campaigns. Kobold Press knows their monsters, that's for sure. And Arcanis has some really cool magic items.

More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety.

More treasure? Arcanis: Forged in Magic has some fun options.
 

der_kluge

Explorer
Instead of asking for what you're missing, perhaps tell us what you're looking for? :)

More monsters? Tomb of Beasts and Creature Codex add a bunch of variety.

More treasure? Arcanis: Forged in Magic has some fun options.
Meh - good books. lol

I added Tome of Beasts and Creature Codex to my wishlist. Those look like good options.
I'll go check out Arcanis next.
 

der_kluge

Explorer
So yea, great suggestions. I've added both monster books, and Arcanis to my list. Those look like great resources.

Are there good resources around POIs? I've been wanting a good book that has generic places of interest that I can use to populate a city with. Like what Bluffside had (and I use a lot of those, honestly), but something a bit more generic. Like, here's a blacksmith, what he can make, his personality, and plot hooks around the blacksmith, etc. Something like that would be gold - otherwise, I'll go write the dang thing myself.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Even if you don't have (or want) the Tactical Maps, I highly recommend the Tactical Maps Adventure Atlas. I just really love the format. Each location is given about 2 pages worth of details, and then another page or two of "scenarios," which are in between large encounters and small adventures. It's very easy to run these as one-shots, or squeeze them in as side-quests for an ongoing campaign. I also think the Tactical Maps themselves are a good value, but, they are not books.

I second (third? fourth?) the recommendations for Tome of Foes and Creature Codex. Lots of very creative monsters and great art. (Some of the stat-blocks are a bit rough around the edges, but they are perfectly serviceable for an experienced DM.)
 
I kind of like Mordenkainen's Guide, but I failed to see why I needed the stats for over a dozen demon and devil lords. So that was a huge waste of space. But I might pick it up eventually since there was some value in there.
If you liked Volo's for the monsters, I think you will also like Mordenkainen's, even tho it doesn't have the in-depth monsters ecology chapters as Volo's, it still has plenty of monsters to use (the demon princes of nearly-unusable CRs are just a few pages).

I think you can easily look at book previews just googling for them, so that you get a better idea at the page counts of different sections and get less "wasted space" feeling.
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Out of curiosity, are you looking for books specifically, or are you looking for content? Because the amount of good electronic content dwarfs the amount of good physical content.
 

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