Dungeons and Dragons has a huge variety of items to not only allow you to play the game but to add a huge swath of new adventures, settings, rules, and more. On top of that, there are tons of other accessories to change up how you play the game, or just make it flat out easier overall.
Whether it comes to new and exciting adventures, new settings to explore or add to your current campaign, or new character options to build a character in any way you want, there’s going to be something out there for the creative minds. And for those who want to just collect neat trinkets and clickety-clackety math rocks, we’ve got you covered too.
In this DnD Products and Merchandise guide, I’m going to show you not only the items I think are essential for your Dungeons and Dragons game but also some great products and accessories that can improve your experience (or just make it easier overall).
5th Edition Core Rulebooks
It’s kind of hard to play Dungeons and Dragons without, y’know, the actual books. Whether you’re just a player or you’re interested in running your own campaign, these books are all essential to your games in one way or another. While not all three of the books are 100% essential for every person, it’s a good idea to have access to most of them at any given time.
This is most likely the only item I suggest that every Dungeons and Dragons player owns, or at least has easy access to. This is the defacto sourcebook on creating the most impactful part of the game: the characters. The Player’s Handbook contains all the rules for character creation, how to play the game, and crucial instructions on how the game works overall. There’s no way to really pass up owning a copy of the Player’s Handbook; it’s a key part of any Dungeons and Dragons player’s library.
Dungeon Master’s Guide
Just like how the Player’s Handbook is essential to all D&D players, this book is a hard requirement for anyone who wants to run their own campaigns or even one-shots. The Dungeon Master’s Guide holds all the tips and tricks to running a compelling and interesting session. If you aren’t interested in being a Dungeon Master for your group, then I don’t recommend picking this book up. However, if you ever plan on running your own game, you definitely need this.
Out of all three core books, I think the Monster Manual is the least important.
It’s all monster stats! And that’s great, if you are a dungeon master. And pretty much only if you are a Dungeon Master. The average player won’t have any need for this since they shouldn’t technically know any stat blocks for monsters, and if they need them for a summoned ally, the DM should supply it.
For Dungeon Masters, the book is optional. There are some free resources online for stat blocks, and the Dungeon Master’s Guide also includes how to create your own stats for monsters for those who want to spice it up.
5th Edition Core Rules Gift Set
Why buy them separately when you can get all three core books with a nice slipcase? This is the premier way to get into the hobby or a great gift for someone you love. Not only do you get a copy of each of the core books, but it also comes with a Dungeon Master’s Screen and a slipcase for storage and decoration.
Additionally, there are two different versions of this set. If you buy it from your local game store, you can find a version with alternate covers that are absolutely beautiful, coming in bold colors that are also foil!
Author’s note: A lot of the books have alternate covers, but they sell out pretty frequently for newer books. The Gift Set is the only one that is reprinted frequently but also comes at a steeper price.
Wizards of the Coast always releases new books every year, whether they’re brand new adventures for you and your friends to explore or enhance your gameplay with new classes, spells, and worlds.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
Our Beholder friend Xanathar brings us his hoard of knowledge in the form of a massive book filled with all kinds of new stuff for players and Dungeon Masters alike. You get a ton of new subclasses for players to build their characters, new spells, and feats, as well as new tools for Dungeon Masters to spice up their games.
Volo’s Guide to Monsters
Imagine the Monster Manual, but better! This guide gives you a plethora of new lore for monsters to bring into your Dungeons and Dragons campaign, as well as almost a hundred new monsters (not included in the Monster Manual) to use in combat. Plus, it also adds new races for players to choose from, including Goblins and full-blooded Orcs.
Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
If you were hoping for a cool follow-up to Volo’s, this book is it, but more!
The powerful wizard Mordenkainen brings us a plethora of new subraces for Elves, Tieflings, Dwarves, Halflings, Gnomes, as well as adding two new races: Githyanki and Githzerai. It also includes notes and lore for all of these races and a ton of new monsters for Dungeon Masters to use. I think this is a great resource for Dungeon Masters, but not as essential for players unless they’re really interested in the additional subraces.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
The newest entry on our list, Tasha, brings another swath of new information and options for players and Dungeon Masters alike, though this book is much more suited for players. It adds another huge amount of subclasses (though some are repeats from other books), as well as the Artificer Class. There are some new class features, feats and spells, and new Dungeon Master tools for new options, and some puzzles to be used.
Now that we’ve covered all of the rules stuff, let’s play!
Campaign books are huge, captivating stories for Dungeon Masters that are ready to go, with a little prep work ahead of time. These don’t all run from level 1-20, but offer different levels for each campaign. That way, DM’s can start their campaigns before jumping into the book itself- or give them time to plan out what happens after it’s done!
If you aren’t a fan of using a full campaign for your players, Wizards has released a few anthology collections for you to pick up and play through these smaller adventures from Dungeons and Dragons books long ago. These are typically self-contained adventures that should only last a few sessions at most and usually feature only a small number of locations.
Tales from the Yawning Portal offers Dungeon Masters seven different modules to choose from, as well as options to change the level scaling of characters for each one.
Ghosts of Saltmarsh is another group of seven modules to pick and play, although there are included rules to play this as a full campaign as well. All of these adventures are seafaring-focused, and the campaign will take players from 1-12 by the time the journey is done. This also comes with rules for ship combat, in case there are some Dungeon Masters who want to make their own swashbuckling campaign.
Candlekeep Mysteries, just like Saltmarsh, is a bunch of modules that can be played through as a campaign or just as individual adventures. This book offers a whopping 17 modules to choose from, with levels ranging from 1-16. Unfortunately, this one doesn’t come with any additional rules that I’m aware of, but it does have a lot of great modules.
Out of the Abyss
This campaign throws you straight into the Underdark on a quest to escape the grasp of the evil Drow Elves as well as find out the demonic influence that has taken over the region. It’s a little dated, and I don’t think this campaign is as popular as some of the newer ones, but it is a great glimpse into the Underdark and offers a lengthy campaign.
Storm King’s Thunder
Storm King’s Thunder takes you around different parts of the Forgotten Realms as you quell the Giant’s invasions against Faerun. It offers a great campaign that technically ties in with the Tyranny of Dragons for groups who have already completed that campaign.
Princes of the Apocalypse
One of the first campaigns to be released for 5th Edition, this comes with a fantastic sandbox-style campaign with an intriguing story. Alongside this is a free Elemental Evil Player’s Companion PDF that adds a few new spells and races for players to choose from as well.
Curse of Strahd
Ravenloft is one of the most famous campaign settings in Dungeons and Dragons, and for a good reason. The gothic horror setting of Barovia and its vampires, witches, and other creatures are just dripping with flavor. Wizards also released a deck of Tarokka cards to allow the Dungeon Master to randomize parts of the campaign, too, keeping it fresh over and over again.
2020 saw a re-release of this classic campaign with a ton of new toys; a book with new monsters for the campaign, the Tarokka deck, a themed Dungeon Master screen, maps of Barovia and Castle Ravenloft, and postcards for your players, all wrapped up in an imposing coffin-shaped box.
Tomb of Annihilation
Inspired by the Tomb of Horrors module (without all of the backbreaking, torturous gameplay along with it), Tomb of Annihilation offers players a chance to explore the vibrant and dangerous jungles of Chult. In recent times, this campaign has caught some flak with several people mentioning some of the “dated stereotypes of African cultures,” but Wizards of the Coast has since edited these out with printings of the book going from 2020 and onward.
Baldurs Gate: Descent into Avernus
Baldurs Gate! The iconic city from the classic PC RPGs brought to the 5th edition with a fantastic campaign that brings players from civilization to actual Hell, combatting demons and evil gods alike. It also includes a ton of information about the city itself for any Dungeon Master who may want to spin their own campaign from the city.
Waterdeep: Dragon Heist
In the first of two Waterdeep-focused campaigns, players are given a chance to hunt for a hoard of gold hidden somewhere in the iconic city. While this campaign is short, it offers Dungeon Masters the choice between several different iconic Waterdeep villains. It can also lead into the other Waterdeep campaign or sprawls off into a homebrew adventure.
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Picking up where Dragon Heist left off (or starting from scratch), adventurers are tasked with exploring the insane underground labyrinth of Halaster Blackcloak, a wizard who was driven mad. Unlike most campaigns, which usually take place across multiple areas in a setting. this takes place almost entirely within a single, sprawling dungeon. Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage offers a unique experience and is the first adventure to offer content for levels 17-20.
Hoard of the Dragon Queen
Part one of the Tyranny of Dragons storyline, this adventure pits you against the dragon-god Tiamat and her evil minions. However, since this is one of the first few adventures released with 5th Edition, the Hoard of the Dragon Queen is a little dated compared to newer adventures.
Rise of Tiamat
The continuation of Tyranny of Dragons lies here, with players eventually facing off against Tiamat and her evil Cult of the Dragon. Like I mentioned with the first part, this book is a little dated and suffers from odd design choices as 5e was still growing when it was originally released.
Note: As of 2019, there was a special re-release of both books named “Tyranny of Dragons” that fixed some of the poor design mentioned by players.
Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden
Taking place in the frozen north of Icewind Dale, this campaign offers two different entry points for players at different levels. It offers multiple endings, as well as some slight Lovecraftian horror. I’ve heard mixed opinions on this campaign, some stating it wasn’t structured very well, and some saying it was very easy to run.
If running a pre-written adventure isn’t your style, or you want to shake up one of those with a new coat of paint, these campaign settings are perfect. Each setting is unique and often includes new spells, classes, races, and more!
Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica
My all-time favorite plane from Magic: The Gathering does not disappoint with its first Dungeons and Dragons book. The Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica offers five new races, two new subclasses, and a ton of options to play in the plane-wide city of Ravnica, this book is fantastic for anyone who is a fan of Magic.
Mythic Odysseys of Theros
Following up one Magic: The Gathering world with another, Theros offers the beautiful and intricate Greek-inspired realm for you and your friends to explore. It brings along two new races, three reprinted races, two new subclasses, and new mechanics for creating adventures in the world of Theros. My favorite part of this has to be the Mythical Monsters, letting your players seek out massive mythical beasts on a grand odyssey.
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
There’s no way to describe how impactful Critical Role has been on the culture of D&D in the last few years, and this book is the ultimate way to bridge the gap from listening to immersing yourself in the world of Wildemount. This book adds four new races, a bunch of reprinted races, three new subclasses, and a bunch of new spells and monsters. It even includes four starter adventures for players across the four corners of the world.
Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft
In case you weren’t tired of Barovia while trying to escape Strahd, now you’ve got the chance to explore the other 38 Domains of Dread that encompass Ravenloft. If you’re looking for a scare, this book has you covered from Scooby-Doo to Hellraiser.
Plus, it includes two new subclasses for players to choose from and a brand new mechanic: lineage. Lineages are a new way to customize your character beyond races and classes, allowing you to replace your character’s race with a new dynamic – you can gain new racial traits to better represent a dark past for your character while still looking like the race you want.
Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
The smallest book on our list and by far the most disappointing. If you’re a longtime fan of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, this just adds more fluff to the more well-known Sword Coast area. Aside from that, you do get new 13 subclasses and some new spells, but for the most part, this book is skippable.
Eberron: Rising from the Last War
Our last book on the list is probably the biggest – at a whopping 320 pages of exciting content for the realm of Eberron. Not only does it add the Artificer class to play as, but it also includes a whopping 16 new race options, new spells, and plenty of goodies for Dungeon Masters.
A unique mix of a setting book plus a mini-adventure, this allows you to join the Fantasy-Business realm of the Forgotten Realms, filled with the wacky characters and ideas from Penny Arcade’s hilarious actual-play podcast. While it’s not a full setting on its own, it does add some unique things to the Forgotten Realms.
Dungeon Master’s Guild / Drive-Thru RPG
If the official books aren’t enough for you, the age of the internet has blessed us with thousands of talented writers and designers who have created some seriously impressive works. The Dungeon Master’s Guild / Drive-Thru RPG holds the largest collection of homebrew content that you could ever dream of for whatever you could want in your Dungeons and Dragons game.
Accessories For Your Table
Books are great and all
if you’re a nerd, but if you’re interested in something a little more interactive, there are plenty of fun things to make your games more enticing and enjoyable beyond the pages of a book or in the mind of your Dungeon Master.
Author’s note: I am a huge nerd.
Anyone who wants to be a great DM should always have some sort of quick reference. There’s no way one mortal human can memorize every single rule in Dungeons and Dragons, and Game Master Screens are my personal favorite way to run my games.
Whether you want one of the official ones from Wizards of the Coast (which are great, and have campaign-specific ones as well if you choose to run one of their campaigns), or buying a custom one from Etsy, there are a lot of options, and I urge any Dungeon Master to find one that works for them (or, make your own! I’m not your boss, I’m just a dork with a keyboard).
C’mon, what can I say? We’ve all got a little dice goblin inside us. Whether you want quality or quantity (or you just need to punish your lucky d20 for crit failing twice in a row), there is a myriad of options for buying those clickety-clackety math rocks.
Acrylic or Resin is the most popular type of dice out there, and you’ll find them at almost any place that sells dice. These can be found in mass production in a monstrous variety of colors from popular companies like Chessex, or digital storefronts, and even Etsy stores. They’re light, almost invulnerable, and come in all shapes and sizes
Metal dice are on the pricier side–but man, are they great to throw. They always have a nice weighty feel and come in a wide variety of colors and materials. The downside is that they’re way more expensive than other dice, and they’re heavy. In addition, you can easily dent your table if you roll them too hard, so I recommend picking up a dice tray.
Read our full guide to D&D Dices and how to find the best one for your needs.
Dice Towers & Trays
Speaking of dice trays, where are you gonna put all these dice you just bought? Dice trays offer a safe place to roll your dice without worrying about them knocking over minis or falling off the table, and they also come in a pretty great variety of materials.
Dice Towers, on the other hand, remove the need for rolling dice at all! These bad boys roll the dice for you, keeping your drinks and miniatures safe from stray dice, and these come in a wide variety of materials. You can also 3D print your own if you have access to a printer.
Spell Slot Trackers & Spell Cards
Spellcasting in Dungeons and Dragons is hard. How many spells slots do I have? What level spells can I cast? How many have I used so far? What do my spells even do? It’s a hard concept to visualize and not really suited to pen & paper play, and keeping a handwritten list of every spell your character knows is a pain. Thankfully, there are a few accessories that can make this easier for you.
Creative players and crafters have started a great trend with Spell Slot Trackers that allow you to do just that- track how many spells slots you have and what you can still use. They look simple at first, but anyone who has played a high-level Wizard knows the struggle.
Wizards of the Coast also brought us Spell Cards for nearly every single spell that currently exists in Dungeons and Dragons. These nifty playing cards come in packs for each class, as well as some for general arcana.
Dungeons and Dragons has shifted from a strictly narrative “theater of the mind” game to one that plays very well with the wargame-like miniature-sized gameplay that has risen in popularity since 3.5 edition. Wizkids offers the best miniatures on the market, and in a massive selection.
Want minis for your Icewind Dale campaign? Done.
Looking for some Critical Role minis for your Wildemount adventures? Sold.
Are you trying to buy a massive Adult Blue Dragon to scare your children and drive your wife away from you? They’ve got it.
The detail on these miniatures is great (although earlier sets are not that great, the newer ones have a much higher quality), and they release new sets every few months. You can grab both monsters or player characters in a wide arrangement of classes, races, and settings.
Finally, we come to the most high-tech and advanced way to play Dungeons and Dragons: On your computer!
These Virtual Tabletops do their best to simulate your kitchen table campaign in a big way, offering a ton of resources for Dungeon Masters who want to make their lives easier, and even keeping players honest with built-in dice rolling.
- Roll20 is the most popular, and the oldest. They have a ton of content for not just Dungeons and Dragons, but a huge amount of other tabletop games too. Plus, it’s entirely free!
- Foundry is a relative newcomer, offering a beautiful interface for Dungeon Masters to present their games just how they want. It does cost $50, but only one person needs to hand over the cash to allow everyone else to experience the game.
- Talespire is still in Early Access, but I personally think this is the next step. A beautiful, customizable 3D world that your Dungeon Master can craft with effects, lighting, a fog of war, and more. It’s beautiful and I’m excited to see what else they do with it.
My Top 5 DnD Products and Merchandise
- Player’s Handbook – It encompasses so much of the core rules for the game, I don’t think anyone who wants to play the game more than a casual one-shot should go without this book.
- Metal Dice – Since I roll a lot of dice, I want it to be as satisfying as possible.
- Dungeon Master’s Guide – I’m a little biased, because I’m always a Dungeon Master (and I even run my own D&D Podcast), but this book has been a cornerstone of how I approach the game as not only a facilitator of the adventure but as a player for someone else’s table.
- GM Screen – Again, I may be biased here, but these are such a useful tool for new and old Dungeon Masters alike. There are tons of fringe rules and handy tables that come on these screens for all sorts of scenarios.
- Spell Cards – Tracking spells is a huge pain for most players, and the time of scribbling down spell descriptions on the back of your character sheet is long gone. These card packs are cheap, super durable, and easily picked up at most game stores.
Question: What is the Most Important Item to Own as a Player?
Answer: The Player’s Handbook is by far the most essential tool for anyone who wants to play Dungeons and Dragons
Question: What’s the Best Accessory for D&D?
Answer: There are a huge variety of items for all kinds of needs. Personally, I think that a copy of the Core Rulebooks and a nice Poly 7 dice set are the best thing to own, hands down.
Question: What is The Best Dungeons and Dragons Setting?
Answer: Forgotten Realms is the most iconic setting for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, with almost all of the campaign books taking place somewhere in the world. Paired with its rich lore and history across different editions, Forgotten Realms is easy to get immersed into without the need to do hours of research.