5E What gaming aids from previous editions do you still use?


Someone made a comment about how they still use some 2e stuff in 5e. Which got me thinking. Which aids and supplements from previous editions do you still use in your 5e games?

I still use Core Rules 2.0 (from 2e). The map maker and even the encounter builder (hyperlinked to areas in the map) are still very valuable. I just use 5e monster stats instead. If you don't have another tabletop app you use, this is great.

I also use 2e's Creative Campaigning. Well, I've used it so much to learn from that I don't actively break it out, but rather it has a lot of valuable information that is system agnostic and is great advice.


I use 4E monsters for ideas on spicing up 5E monsters.

I use a lot of the world building in the 3E DMG, Manual of the Planes, and Deities and Demigods. I use 3E's Heroes of Battle and Heroes of Horror for encounter and campaign design ideas.

I'm gearing up to use the 3E DMG for the magic item economy.


Rotten DM
I gave away a lot of my gaming aids a decade or so ago. I just priced a Dragonbone (Dice wand). Ouch almost 300. And the battle mats I see today don't seem to be too hardy.


I honestly look and use alot of 1st/2E and 3E for lore and stuff.

If I want Djinn, That one Secret of The Lamp supplement for Al-Qadim 2E.

If I'm running Temple of Elemental Evil, then the original 1E book with the conversion.

Planescape? 2E campaign setting.

Realms Lore/Races/classes(for reflavoring)? Step on up 3E/3.5.
I use the Manual of the Planes whenever I can find an excuse to. As much as I love extraplanar adventures, I really need to get around to running a Planescape campaign.

Also, when running in the Forgotten Realms, Aurora's Whole Realms Catalog is great. I find the food and drink section to be particularly useful. The various Volo's Guides from that era are also quite handy for inspiration and lore.
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Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
World Builder's Guidebook and Dungeon Builder's Guidebook - essential!

D&D Rules Cyclopedia - still my favorite domain and mass combat rules.

Michael Morris' (what ever happened to him, anyway?) 2nd edition Dusk books - he had a great events and timelines generator that is very handy

A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe and Silk Road

All good stuff to have in your arsenal...
I will look at whatever edition has info on local cities. We aren't worried about timelines matching up with the current canon, so no worries there. Also, I have a 4e DMG adventure that I am planning on tacking on to the end of our current campaign, assuming we last that long. Hopefully by then I will either know how to adapt it or will have found somebody else's cheat sheet! (I know one is at least in the works.)


I still have my old photocopied version of AD&D The North box set in my DM's binder as my go-to reference document for my FR games. Otherwise I periodically consult the 3.0 FR campaign setting book.

I also kept all my Birthright Player's Secret guide to [domain] books which I consult every once in a while, always surprising myself thinking "wow, that was good stuff!", find inspiration from them, then forget all about Birthright for a year or so until I stumble on these booklets again, reading them and thinking "wow, that was good stuff!", and continue the cycle.

Actually, I think I'm due. If you excuse me, I'll be by the RPG bookshelf for a while...


A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
sigh I traded away all my TTRPG stuff for alcohol in college.

But when I got back into TTRPGs with 5e I did go back and bought some old Role Aids stuff from 1e, including the book on Dwarves and the Dungeon Design.

I also bought the 2e book on Illithids on DMs Guild and the PDFs of the original Greyhawk

Mainly I mind prior edition stuff for fluff, but I do like the Goodman Games republishing of classic old modules with updates for 5e.
I get a lot of mileage from Matt Finch's Tome of Adventure Design, AEG's Ultimate Toolbox, my 2e Monster Manual, and 1e DMG though my 5e DMG has given the older one a run for its money recently. Besides this small selection of excellent books, most of the resources I use either online or self-created these days.
1E DMG is filled with useful (and useless) charts that are awesome. 2E had a TON of rule generic supplements great for any edition. Setting books as a rule are always useful. Maps can be reused pretty much forever.


In my current 5E campaign, I’m using the 1E DMG for random tables, etc., the 1E MM for monster ecology and treasure type, and the World of Greyhawk Glossography for the random weather tables.

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
1E DMG is filled with useful (and useless) charts that are awesome. 2E had a TON of rule generic supplements great for any edition. Setting books as a rule are always useful. Maps can be reused pretty much forever.
Yes! I was very happy when I saw, to my surprise, several of those old 2e books listed as recommended reading in the 5e PHB. 3rd and 4th edition always seemed to try to ignore all content from earlier editions and exist in this kind of hermetically sealed D&D-o-sphere. I've been thrilled to see the game reach beyond that.