The 10 Best Dungeons and Dragons Books 2020

ew fictional worlds are as fleshed out as those of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, with fantastical settings like Planescape, Ravenloft, and the Forgotten Realms, all featuring intricate and meaningful storylines and characters. We’ve selected some of the most beloved and inspiring novels based on the game, as well as some must-have publications for newbies and avid players

1. Of Dice And Men

Those intrigued by the concept of grown adults playing mathematical make-believe will love Of Dice And Men (appx. $27), which offers an in-depth look at the history and development of this cultural phenomenon, helping enrich the reader’s appreciation for the game.

  • Explores the game’s earliest origins
  • Index is overly large
  • Too many personal exploits

2. Curse Of Strahd

Released after a resurgence following the latest iteration of rules, Wizards of the Coast’s Curse Of Strahd (appx. $20) reintroduces players to the revamped Gothic-horror realm of Ravenloft, where demonic pacts, demiliches, and dangerous vampires are the order of the day.

  • Much darker than most other worlds
  • Different from the average campaign
  • Difficult for novice dungeon masters

3. Brimstone Angels

One of the newer releases in this diverse category, Erin Evans’ Brimstone Angels (appx. $5) follows twin Tiefling orphans on a Faustian journey to the ruined city of Neverwinter, battling monsters, as well as their own demonic origins.

  • Dives deep into underworld politics
  • Complex and memorable characters
  • Highly endearing protagonists

4. Ghosts of Saltmarsh

If you are looking to add some more seafaring exploits to your game, Ghosts of Saltmarsh (around $28) has you covered. It offers enough ocean-based campaigns to bring beginning characters all the way up to level 12 and introduces a new port town to use as a starting point.

  • Update on classic adventures
  • Rule sets for water-based travel
  • Several new background options

5. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

If you are ready to expand your world past the character options and spells in the Player’s Handbook, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (appx. $29) can help. With more than 25 new subclasses and detailed random encounter tables, it is bound to make your campaigns more interesting.

  • Includes additional race choices
  • Clarifies some existing rules
  • Full section on designing traps

6. Monster Manual

Whether you are a dungeon master looking to fill your adventures with new foes or a player who wants to garner a better understanding of his or her enemies, and more importantly, their strengths and weaknesses, the Monster Manual (around $27) is an indispensable guide.

  • Vivid full-color illustrations
  • Well-organized for quick reference
  • Part of the official core series

7. The Legend of Drizzt 25th Anniversary Edition

By one of the genre’s most prolific authors, The Legend of Drizzt 25th Anniversary Edition (about $15) tells the story of where it all began for the most famous drow in the Forgotten Realms, providing a compelling background for many characters whom you’ll soon grow to love’ or hate.

  • Contains the series’ first 3 novels
  • A foundation to a vast universe
  • Extremely captivating read

8. Dungeon Master’s Guide

Every customized magical adventure needs an omniscient, third-person narrator, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide (around $28) will help the most ambitious gamers present their friends with a balanced and entertaining challenge, using a consistent and objective set of rules.

  • An essential group resource
  • Filled with useful lore
  • Teaches you how to modify campaigns

9. Dragonlance Chronicles

Among the most respected and beloved stories ever, the three-book set of Dragonlance Chronicles (about $39) follows the journey of a group bound by fate to become Heroes of the Lance, and protect their planet Krynn from the growing threat of war and ancient dragons.

  • Characters are fully developed
  • Based on original game modules
  • Stands the test of time

10. Player’s Handbook

The Player’s Handbook (about $27) is the latest and most refined version of the rule-set, and because it’s considered easier to comprehend than previous generations, it’s a current favorite for new adventurers hoping to minimize their learning curve.

  • Detailed options for character types
  • Contains more than 350 spells
  • Constantly expanding module base