log in or register to remove this ad


5E What type of D&D sourcebooks do you miss from older editions?


I like 5E as a system, but I have mixed feelings about the type of books WotC publish for the system.

I would love it if WotC published more of the following type of books:
  • Setting books: We have a few that could qualify, but I would love to see more of these.
  • Monster books: I enjoyed Volo's Guide to monsters, but I miss the good old standard monster manuals that we've seen in all previous editions. I have the books from Kobold Press, but would love to see WotC return to this format.

Would you like to see any of the old type of books be used as formats for future 5e books?


log in or register to remove this ad


Victoria Rules
Compendia, where everything of a particular type is all gathered in one place.

Spell compendium
Magic item compendium
Feat compendium (new)
Race. class, and subclass compendium (combined as there's not enough material to support each alone)

Obviously, as 5e is still a living growing system, these would need to be online (freely accessible to all!) and constantly updated as new material gets released. In printed form they'd be out of date by the time they reached the FLGS.

Better yet would be combined compendia for all previous editions plus 5e, in other words the equivalent of a massive update of the Spell Compendia and Magic Item guides from late 2e.


To be fair the big 2nd edition settings almost always included a mix of setting, monster, NPC and adventure. Particularly the box sets of yore.

The format hasn’t really changed, just the appearance and condensing the boxes into single hardback books of similar or greater page counts. Perhaps the adventures are larger... but they’re certainly of better quality.

I got rather tired of the splat book format of extra race, extra class, extra feats, extra spells, extra magic items, extra monsters. With a bit of setting fluff that became the norm in 3e. Just created more and more bloat.


Lowcountry Low Roller
I got rather tired of the splat book format of extra race, extra class, extra feats, extra spells, extra magic items, extra monsters. With a bit of setting fluff that became the norm in 3e. Just created more and more bloat.

It does sound like a recipe for a maximal cash grab. FFG are currently doing it with their Star Wars RPG and it seems a bit overkill.

I would also prefer a setting book that provided character/race options that suited the setting (as well as spells, magic items, monsters and BBEG ideas). Basically a "Xanathar's Guide to XXX" (hmm, that sounds a bit naughty but you know what I mean :) )


Am I allowed to say a complete, regularly updated SRD?

No? Okay, then.

I miss "deep dive" books that either hyper focus on a particular aspect of play (Stormwrack) or an element of a particular setting (Fiaths of Eberron).

Oh, and boxed sets.

And stand alone adventures.


One of the best resources I remember from my beginning days as a DM was the AD&D 2nd edition Campaign Sourcebook and Catacomb Guide. It was full of information about different play styles, establishing house rules, being a good player, how to draw maps, etc. While most of this information can be found online these days, back in the day this was a great help for those of us learning the craft of DMing in relative isolation and trailblazing the hobby in our local communities.

In looking up this information, I just noticed that Jennell Jaquays was a co-author! No wonder the advice was so good.



Definitely the massive spell compendiums and magic item compendiums. A real opportunity for odd magic items and obscure spellcaster specialisations.

Settings books. I don't know that I need the microlaser focused ones (don't get me wrong, I like them, but I don't know that that model needs to be brought back), but I sure would like to see the authoritative main setting tomes return.


The one book I keep thinking about is Oriental Adventures.

I would love to see a full book that gave classes, races, spells, and so on for non-Western European campaigns.

I know that 5e is customizable, but I'd like to see a specific book.

This. I know many of the Asian themes, especially Japanese or Korean have been touched upon in various books thus far, like Xanathar's (but they haven't touched the Chinese Warlord yet as far as I know), but something which gathered them all as Classes distinct and separate from Western Classes found in the PHB, as well as gathering all different types of Monsters found throughout the Asian continent is something they haven't brought about in a while.

They could also use it to rename it to something more encompassing of all of Asia, and perhaps include things related to India, and Western Asia in general.

In regards to campaign stuff...not much to say. Would like to see a Dragonlance Campaign book of some sort which specifies archetypes particular to Krynn (I know they included Knights of Solomnia as optional takes on certain archetypes in SCAG) covering the whole gamut.


Not more "save the realms from epic threats" 15 level hardback adventures.

On a specific note- Products like:

Volos Guides-Fun reads for player and GM. Tons of plot hooks, but nothing players shouldn't know. Perfect for creating adventures as well as improv adventures when players decide to do their own thing.

Setting products that cover a large area with less detail. DM focused. Examples-FR1 Waterdeep & the North, or The Adventure Begins as a entire setting example- Overview of the setting and then a focus on a smaller area (GH and the surrounding territory in that case)

Self contained 32-64 page adventures. Plenty of examples out there from previous editions.

Smaller more focused Monster books. Examples- 3E's MoF, 4E's Threats to the Nentir Vale. Van Richten's Guides.

Softcover Adventure books like some of the 3E Kalamar adventure products (these were official! ;) ). The adventures have the same "theme", like say, the undead, but the adventures are not linked and are roughly the same length as classic "modules" or dungeon mag adventures. 5 or 6 adventures per book.

I want to say books like Martial Power, but that would include books like Complete Fighter's Handbook or Sword & Fist...

...and I suspect any 5e analog to first would likely end up more like the second.


I'm not sure I'm actually "missing" anything as I think about it. Certainly I don't need retreads of the multiple shelves of setting material on my shelves. More monsters and magic items would be useful, but I've figured out how to reskin things well enough that I don't think I really need them - I can just use earlier edition materials as a guide and reskin stats and powers well enough.

I dunno. I personally like the focus on adventures (even as I hate the format they've settled on for them) and have gotten a lot of use out of them. I would like to see more products like the Essentials Kit though - I prefer it to the big hardcover books.

Ash Mantle

I really am a fan of boxed sets. Despite the possible financial impracticality of it all, I'd really like to see their come-back. Lands of Intrigue, and the Planescape Boxed Sets are some of my favourite things of all time, and they remain treasured possessions.

I'd want another Lands of Intrigue for any of the 5e books.

COMING SOON! Halloween Horror For 5E