Shopping: Dungeons & Dragons, Finding The Correct Book / Rule Set

I just got back from shopping for Official Dungeons & Dragons books and Chapters Bookstore (Indigo / Coles) at the Mic Mac Mall in Halifax was fully stocked with multiple racks of Dungeons & Dragons, including books, sets and new game cards.

When shopping for Dungeons & Dragons books watch out for bootlegs and third party content, on the book covers and sold at book stores some Dungeons & Dragons titles may be third party and put out along with Hasbro but are not solely Official Dungeons & Dragons books but made with an outside developer.

This is clearly stated on the book cover.

Also of important note there is a bootleg version of Dragonlance: Shadow Of The Dragon Queen circulating that came out after the Official Version with missing important game content and misprinted cover.

Official Version:

How to shop for Dungeons & Dragons titles:

Some titles only require Two Books to use the game for Players…the Players Handbook and The Adventure Module.

Other titles specifically including Ravenloft and Dragonlance may require three books to use the set.

For example, to play the full Ravenloft you need the Players Handbook, The Guide Book and The Adventure Module.

Titles like Dragonlance some have the extra content in the adventure module.

How it works:

Ravenloft for example you need the Players Handbook and then Van Ricten’s Guide To Ravenloft and then you can play Ravenloft Adventure titles.

Dragonlance: Shadow Of The Dragon Queen has the extra content included in the module.

To Play as monsters including Dragons you need Three Books.

You need the Players Handbook, Monsters Of The Multiverse and Fizban’s Treasury Of Dragons.

Monsters Of The Multiverse contains Playable Monsters as well as new Monster Bestiary and Fizban’s Treasury Of Dragons if a full book for Playing as Dragon Characters in Fifth Edition.

Also newer books also come with Cards to use during the game such as Monster Cards and Spell Cards from Books like Xanathar’s Guide To Everything which has it’s own sold separately card set for use during the game which have game content on them.

How this goes together:

You get your basic options from the Players Handbook…

Then the rules are expanded into the second series and card sets.

So you buy the Players Handbook and then buy Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and then also buy the Spell and Monster cards.

Then after this some tiles have a third book which is the adventure module.

The second book is the specific Players Handbook Expansion and that content is featured in the next book the Adventure Modules.

Most titles only use the Players Handbook and Adventure Module.

The point to this:

In the second rule books, they contain Extra Character Creation information that you use in the Adventure Module.

Like in the new Rules Expansion and Playtest, the new backgrounds for titles like Ravenloft and Dragonlance are contained in the second books.

So to play the full Ravenloft you need the new backgrounds for your character from Van Ricten’s Guide To Ravenloft to add the vampire section to your character to play in the Ravenloft Adventure Module Series.

NOTE: The bootleg Unofficial Dragonlance: Shadow Of The Dragon Queen book does NOT contain the extra character sheet information at the start of the book to play the adventure.

Dragonlance has this content at the first of the adventure on Shadow Of The Dragon Queen, in other titles like Ravenloft this in a second book Van Ricten’s Guide To Ravenloft.

Monsters Of The Multiverse also has a second book to play as Dragons, Fizban’s Treasury Of Dragons.

Right now there are no adventure modules for this set that I could find.

Plus I only promote Official Dungeons & Dragons Content.


The Players Handbook is the first book, then you need the guide books with the extra character sheet information, like in the One D&D playtest, then you use that to update your character in the specific setting like Ravenloft or Dragonlance.

Also the new spell cards, monster cards and magic item cards come from these new guide books like Xanathar’s Guide To Everything.

If you use a bootleg book with no extra character sheet information you can’t play titles like Dragonlance and Ravenloft with the card sets from books like Xanathar’s Guide To Everything because the card sets are for the expansion material and play along with books like Van Richten’s Guide To Ravenloft.

Example, if you use Xanathar’s Guide To Everything and the card set on Dragonance…you need the character expansion material from Dragonlance first and then you can add even more backgrounds to the Dragonlance Expansion by adding extra backgrounds from Xanathar’s Guide To Everything, and then you can use the Official Card Sets from Xanathar’s Guide To Everything in Dragonlance and other tiles like Ravenloft.

So the full version for the longer book sets also include guidebooks and card sets.

You need:

The Players Handbook, Van Ricten’s Guide To Ravenloft for the Ravenloft character expansion material, then you can use Xananthar’s Guide To Everything in Ravenloft and then add the card sets to use during the game.

For other basic Adventure Modules you just need the Players Handbook and you can then expand your character by adding books like Xanathar’s Guide To Everything and that allows you to use the card sets during the game for spells, monsters and magic items featured in the guide books to basic titles.

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