Looking for Christmas present for the tabletop nerd in your life? Dungeons and Dragons books make for one of the greatest gifts for any enfranchised player but not only are there a lot of them, but also most of them are not cheap. So, in order to help make sure you’re picking up the right tome this holiday season, here’s a quick run-down of some of the available books that we at Towne Book Center recommend. - CHRISTOPHER
Borderline essential for any Dungeons and Dragons player, the Player’s Handbook contains the full rules of DnD (5th Edition). Detailing everything from making characters, to organizing adventures, to lists of ideas for magical loot, the Player’s Handbook always makes an excellent guide for any player that doesn’t have a copy.
But what do you get a player that’s just starting? A $50 book seems a bit much for someone who hasn’t even really played the game. That’s where the Essentials kit comes in. Clocking in at only $25, the Essentials Kit is a great gift for any brand-new player and includes dice, a small adventure to play through, the basic rules, and some other starting materials. It’s the best place to start and I can’t recommend it enough.
Heralded as the best adventure book for 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, Curse of Strahd has it all: complex mysteries, thrilling combat, and a charismatic vampire lord who will stop at nothing to makes sure your party meets their inevitable demise. If the adventurer you’re shopping for is looking for the best DnD has to offer, here it is.
For those that aren’t fans of vampires or have already played Strahd, say hello to Storm King’s Thunder. In this adventure, the party must intervene in the affairs of invading giants, whose agenda consists mostly of, well, being giant and terrifying. Full of excellent locales and characters, Storm King’s Thunder is for anyone who enjoys a more traditional adventure that still brings plenty of fun to the table.
My personal favorite companion book, the Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica introduces DMs and players alike to an ecumenopolis (a world I recently learned that means “planetwide city”). This city is ruled by ten unique and fascinating guilds, leading to countless storytelling opportunities about their interactions. Providing details, plot hooks, and a small adventure, if you know someone looking for a setting to set their story in, this book is an excellent choice.
Or, if an endless city isn’t your speed, check out the world of Wildemount. Setting for the famous DnD podcast Critical Role, Wildmount is home to two primary factions, each ready to go to war at the drop of a feather. Packed full of content in every way, this book is one of the best supplemental books of all time and contains plenty of creative material for your favorite worldbuilder this holiday season.
From the creator of the popular blog The Monsters Know What They’re Doing comes a compilation of villainous battle plans for Dungeon Masters.
In the course of a Dungeons & Dragons game, a Dungeon Master has to make one decision after another in response to player behavior—and the better the players, the more unpredictable their behavior!
From the author of The Monsters Know What They’re Doing comes an introduction to combat tactics for Dungeons & Dragons players.
In his first book, The Monsters Know What They’re Doing (based on his popular blog), Keith Ammann unleashed upon the D&D world a wave of clever, highly evolved monster tactics.
Looking for a quick and easy paperback to shove in a stocking? Of Dice and Men is it. Detailing the history of the game itself, as well as exploring the culturally phenomenon it has become, this book is an excellent choice for almost any DnD player. A fun and informative read, Of Dice and Men is one of my top recommendations.
Know a DnD player that’s still growing? Look no farther than the Endless Quest series of books. Based around the choose-your-own-adventure formula, these books are perfect for 9-12-year-olds looking for a fun and light read that they can find repeat enjoyment in. All of these are excellent options, even for generic fantasy lovers looking for a bit more agency in their stories!
Or perhaps a compendium is a better option? One of a few small indexes available, Monsters and Creatures is an excellent option for anyone looking for a miniature monster manual. While the book doesn’t contain any formal information for playing the game, it’s a great option for younger fans who are looking for a small guide to adventuring of their own!