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10 Best ‘Dungeons and Dragons’ Books, Ranked

Dungeons & Dragons‘ hallowed novels are more than just books—they’re passports to fantastic lands where an adventurous spirit and a love of fantasy are all that’s needed to explore them. They’re loved not just for the escapism they grant but also for the friendships they forge in the flickering torchlight of a basement. Within their pages lies the alchemy that turns pizza into elven bread and soda into dwarven ale. 

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Each volume, be it a monstrous encyclopedia or a guide to mystical lands, is a book of collective storytelling, a sacred script for a secular congregation. It’s the shared love of “what if?” and “then what?” that binds players to these grimoires. If you’re wondering which Dungeons & Dragons books stand head and shoulders above the rest, here’s your answer.

10. Curse of Strahd

Curse of Strahd
(Wizards of the Coast)

The Curse of Strahd is where Dungeons & Dragons decides to flirt with the gothic, inviting vampires to the fantasy party. It’s a campaign that whispers sweet nothings of fear into players’ ears, transporting them to the fog-enshrouded land of Barovia, where the fashionably late Count Strahd von Zarovich plays the most inhospitable of hosts. This book is less a set of dusty pages and more a dance card, listing encounters with creatures that are dying to meet you—literally. 

It’s a world where the shadows cling a little tighter, and the night has an unhealthy pallor as if it, too, fears what’s lurking just beyond the candlelight. Wear your cloaks, clutch your holy symbols, and don’t forget to tip your Dungeon Master, for they’re about to orchestrate a symphony of suspense that could make even a lich tap its phalanges in anticipation.

9. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything
(Wizards of the Coast)

Within the pages of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, Tasha, the witch who’s been stirring the pot since the early days of Greyhawk, spills the beans on everything from patron-warlock relationships to what a Paladin might wear on casual Fridays. It’s an eclectic mix—new subclasses that ensure your next Barbarian might rage with a hint of celestial magic, or your Monk could be that rare connoisseur of astral self-improvement. 

The book is a patchwork quilt of rules and narratives, a sprinkle of balance updates here and a dash of character background options there, all seasoned generously with Tasha’s peculiar humor. And for the Dungeon Masters? It’s less of a guide and more of a whispered conspiracy, offering new ways to challenge players and keep them on their toes.

8. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Xanathar's Guide to Everything
(Wizards of the Coast)

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything isn’t your run-of-the-mill guidebook; it’s more like the diary of the most eclectic, slightly unhinged beholder you’ll ever have the pleasure of not meeting. Xanathar—Waterdeep’s criminally inclined eye-tyrant—turns author to share a treasure trove of options and expansions that the original rulebooks didn’t cover. 

From subclasses that give rogues a glint of arcane mischief to fighters who can now literally punch the magic out of their foes, it’s an array of choices for the discerning player. Meanwhile, dungeon masters get their fair share of cunning traps and treasures, enough to make even the most seasoned adventurers check for tripwires. 

7. Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount

Explorer's Guide to Wildemount
(Wizards of the Coast)

In Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount, Matthew Mercer, a dungeon master akin to a cartographer of fantastical worlds and a connoisseur of epic tales, guides you into the lively lands he has created. This book is not just a guide; it’s a VIP backstage pass to the world of Critical Role, where the very fabric of the continent of Wildemount has been incorporated with arcane mystery and political intrigue. 

Think of it as a travel brochure with teeth and claws offering not just new character options but an entire geopolitical assortment for players to sink their swords into. This book will lead you to your chosen path, be it the Chronurgy wizard’s ability to manipulate time’s weft or the Echo Knight’s ability to reverberate through conflicts. 

6. Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden
(Wizards of the Coast)

In the frostbitten pages of Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden, D&D enthusiasts find themselves wrapped in a chilly narrative that’s part survival guide, part frozen horror story. Think of it as a travelogue penned by a yeti with a flair for the dramatic. The eponymous Frostmaiden, Auril, plays the unforgiving hostess in this frigid fiesta, where the nights are long, the shadows are hungry, and the snowmen do not want a warm hug. 

It’s a tale where the sun is just another absentee landlord, and the auroras overhead are less about light and more about eldritch warnings. This campaign is a hearty stew of paranoia and frostbite, best served cold, naturally. It dares adventurers not just to battle the elements but to puzzle out the icy heart of a mystery.

5. Eberron: Rising From the Last War

Eberron: Rising from the Last War
(Wizards of the Coast)

Eberron: Rising From the Last War invites you to a world where noir meets high fantasy, and the line between magic and machine is as blurred as a rogue’s morality. Think of it as the love child of Tolkien and Tesla, or perhaps Gandalf opening a detective agency in a metropolis powered by spells. 

Eberron is a land still dusting itself off from the ashes of the last war, with intrigue as thick as the smoke from its lightning trains. This book is your ticket to a place where artificers are the rock stars of arcane innovation, and every alleyway could lead to a new mystery or a dead end—sometimes both. 

4. Mordenkainen Presents: Multiverse of Monsters

Mordenkainen Presents- Multiverse of Monsters
(Wizards of the Coast)

Mordenkainen Presents: Multiverse of Monsters is less of a book and more of a cosmic zookeeper’s ledger, chronicling the critters and creatures that lurk in the far-flung corners of the D&D multiverse. Penned by the wizardly equivalent of a supernatural David Attenborough, Mordenkainen, this book is where footnotes are as likely to bite as the beasts they describe. 

This guide is an all-you-can-eat buffet for the Dungeon Master with an exotic palate and a knack for unleashing otherworldly fauna upon their players. From the cosmic seas to the infernal depths, it’s a comprehensive safari through worlds unbounded by mere geography. 

3. Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons

Fizban's Treasury of Dragons
(Wizards of the Coast)

If you want to know the dirty little secrets of the dragon family tree, go no further than Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons. Fizban, the doddering sage who’s forgotten more about dragons than most will ever learn, serves as the guide on this fire-breathing journey. This book is your field guide to the dragon kingdom, from the tiniest pseudo-dragon fluttering in the bushes to the grandest ancient wyrm hoarding gold like it’s going out of style. 

It’s a collection of stories, stats, and shiny things that could make a dragonologist weep joyfully. Whether you’re looking to adopt a dragon, become one, or adequately prepare for your next dragon-slaying gala, Fizban’s got the goods, with scales and tales aplenty. 

2. Ghosts of Saltmarsh

Ghosts of Saltmarsh
(Wizards of the Coast)

Ghosts of Saltmarsh sails into the D&D repertoire like a seasoned captain at the helm of a ghost ship, offering up a briny blend of nautical nostalgia and fresh, salty adventure. It’s an anthology that resurrects classic sea-faring escapades, giving them a spit-shine and a new set of barnacles. 

This collection is not just for the old salts who cut their teeth on the high seas of yore but also for the greenhorns eager to test their sea legs against Kraken, pirates, and the occasional surly merfolk. With the turn of each page, you can almost hear the creak of timbers, the snap of sails, and the distant chantey of sailors long gone. 

1. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft

Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
(Wizards of the Coast)

When you flip the pages of Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft, you’ll hear the faint ring of a church bell and the distinctive rustle of mist against the cobblestone. Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft is more than a book; it’s an express train to the domains of terror, where it’s always Halloween and the undead are always en vogue. 

Dr. Rudolph Van Richten, the esteemed monster-hunter (who likely has “I told you so” etched on his tombstone), is your dubious guide. He invites Dungeon Masters and players to throw caution to the howling wind and craft tales dripping with gothic horror. 

(featured image: WotC/ D&D)

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Faith Katunga
Faith is a freelance journalist with an insatiable curiosity for all aspects of current events, from the global economy and fashion to pop culture and travel. She watches an absurd number of cat videos on Instagram when not reading or writing about what is going on in the world. Faith has written for several publications, including We Got This Covered, Italy Magazine, TheTravel, etc., and holds a master's degree in Fashion Culture and Management.