The 10 Best Tabletop RPG Books of 2022

A dragon deep within his lair roars as he towers over his treasure.

illustration: DE Publishing / Kotaku

Let me be clear here: once I had copies of these books, I knew I would never go back to the regular books D&D.

The 5th edition of dungeons hit bookshelves in 2014 and became one of the best iterations of the classic formula. But it’s 2022, and since the core rules are available through an open license from publisher Wizards of the Coast, it was only a matter of time before someone expanded and updated them. With EN Publishing and an incredibly diverse and talented team answering this call, Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition is a new standard for fantasy roleplaying games.

This isn’t just one book, it’s actually three books in Standard D&D fashion with which adventure guide, monstrous menagerie, and the must-not-be-overslept Trials & Treasures.

Advanced 5th edition overclocks out the original rules D&D to make room for more narrative depth and tactical play. The best way to experience all the updates and changes is to just jump into these books, but here are some of the highlights:

Race is discarded as a mechanic in favor of an amalgamation of heritage, culture, and background. You can also choose a fate. This is a rich collection of traits that can be used to build characters. You have more unique, nuanced options with a bold, heroic direction to follow, and it’s so much more dynamic than anything you’d get from the original rules. Additionally, several classes have been tweaked, with the Warlock probably benefiting the most.

If you’re just a player, then the adventure guide is your starting point. It also serves as the core rule of the game. Game masters, referred to here as “narrators”, can jump into the realms Monstrous Menagerie for monster stats, but this book isn’t just a list of monsters. Each monster gets a “Legends and Lore” section, so you can safely answer the question “I got an 18 on my history check, what do I know about the kobolds in this area?”. This is in addition to essential advice for planning balanced and interesting encounters, with information on what kind of mark a particular animal would leave or how it might behave if it encountered the group, adding to what would otherwise be a collection of things would be to add a nice narrative flair to statistics.

I didn’t even mention Trials & Treasures but it is – to a certain extent –A5E‘s Dungeon Master’s Guide. You will have enough information to run a game out of it adventurer To leadbut T&T will give you Nobody’s heaven Tiers of resources to flesh out worlds: exploration frameworks, travel activities, weather events, roaming monsters, and rules for specific regions and biomes.

I can not praise Advanced 5th edition enough. It replaced not one game for me, but two, which gives me good reason to retire my very weathered 1st Edition as well Pathfinder Core Rulebook. And did I mention that since it’s built on top of that? dungeons 5th Edition you can just use all the material you already have in existing 5e games with some minor tweaks here and there.

This is the final version of dungeons. Do not accept replacement.

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