The best third-party D&D 5e supplements

Dungeons and Dragons had a huge year in 2023. The TTRPG saw a return to the big screen with the Honor Among Thieves film, got adapted into an award-sweeping videogame with Baldur’s Gate 3 and has an upcoming system revision under the name of OneD&D, which is slated to come out in 2024. Yet things aren’t always sunshine and rainbows over at Wizards of the Coast.

On December 13th of 2023 it was announced that WotC was not exempt from the lay-offs that parent-company Hasbro wanted two weeks before the holidays. A number of people that worked on D&D projects were suddenly laid off. According to Hasbro themselves, Wizards saw a huge 40% increase in revenue in the last quarter (though according to the company this has been largely due to the success of Baldur’s Gate 3 and Monopoly Go!) where Hasbro’s overall revenue decreased by 10% in that time.

Add on top of that the massive OGL debacle that happened earlier in 2023, where Wizards suddenly tried to undermine every third-party creator’s livelihood (of which The Washington Post did a very detailed explanation here) and it’s hard to believe the company isn’t simply looking for profit (though it’s unsurprising). While Wizards of the Coast still makes really great books for D&D 5th Edition, I’d like to take a look at all my favourite third-party supplements for the TTRPG, and compile a few of them. A link will be provided for every supplement so you can support these creators as well!

Mindflayer Dungeons and Dragons
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Note: I’m not earning anything through these links. The purpose here is simply to highlight some amazing projects.

Drizzt’s Travelogue of Everything

If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking to add more stuff to your D&D games. Be it as a player or Dungeon Master, having more options is simply a lot of fun. These two volumes of goodness provide just that: options. Each volume provides at least two new subclasses for every class in D&D 5E (including Artificer!) and they both provide an entirely new class as well. In volume 1 you will find the Tactician, who fills the role of a battlefield strategist and support, while volume 2 offers us the Alchemist, which relies on brewing potions to create spell-like effects. Both of these classes also come with a number of subclasses of their own.

Additionally, divided through the two volumes, Drizzt’s Travelogue of Everything offers a number of new character races, spells, magic items and tools for DM’s. This includes the domestication of animals, expanded cooking rules and guidelines on how to utilize mounts throughout adventures. The books feature beautiful artwork, balanced and unique subclasses as well as a bunch of flavour-text from the iconic Drizzt Do’urden. Check it out for yourself here.

Price: Both of the PDF’s can be purchased in a bundle for $39,99, or $19,95 per volume.

Drizzt Do'urden Dungeons and Dragons
Image: Wizards of the Coast

Dragonlance: Shadow of the Black Rose

If the players in my group are reading this, they might let out a little sigh. I’ve been trying to run a Dragonlance campaign with them for a while now, but to no avail. Part of the reason that I want to do this however, is to be able to run this adventure. It can be run as either an epilogue to Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen or a standalone adventure for 11th to 13th-level characters, that takes place in the world of Krynn.

It’s a grand dungeon crawl taking place over a whopping thirty pages, with the rest of the fifty-page book being filled with Appendixes and handouts that tell you everything you need to know about the iconic Death Knight Lord Soth. Shadow of the Black Rose has players travel throughout his castle of Dargaard with the goal of destroying the once noble but now twisted and evil knight.

Price: Only $8,99 for this absolute gauntlet in a PDF format, with physical copies also available.

Dragonlance Dungeons and Dragons
Image: Wizards of the Coast

The Combat Wheelchair

Fantasy should be accessible. It’s really as simple as that. So Mark Thompson took it upon themselves to create the Combat Wheelchair. It’s a supplement that gives disabled characters a tool to assist them, and is generally a really great item that can be upgraded and used in a variety of ways. It makes playing a disabled character just as easy and filled with options as any able-bodied character.

The PDF contains the ruleset for using the Combat Wheelchair along with a number of upgrades to adjust the wheelchair however you see fit. Along with that every class in the game gets a new subclass that takes the Combat Wheelchair into account, and there are a number of NPC’s provided that can easily be added to any campaign. It’s a necessary addition to the TTRPG space and one that deserves all the love it can get.

Price: The PDF can be downloaded for free from this Google Drive, however I still encourage supporting Mark Thompson in any way you can.

Stibbles Codex of Companions

Partially created by the popular creator Runesmith, Stibbles Codex of Companions is a supplement that puts the focus on mechanics surrounding, you guessed it, companions. The book provides statblocks for over a hundred new critters ranging from beasts, fey, constructs and more. Every monster gets a bit of backstory and an explanation of where to find them and what their behaviour is like, which leads into the most fun part: taming them!

It doesn’t stop there either. There are rules in Stibbles Codex of Companions that cover how to bond with your companions and how to battle other trainers with companions (Pokémon says hello). This, alongside a number of character options for when you really want to focus on being a keeper of critters, makes for an incredibly expansive book that I personally can not wait to use fully in one of the upcoming arcs of my own game.

Price: The PDF of this book is available for $24,95 here.

Stibbles Codex of Companions
Image: Ghostfire Gaming

Nerzugal’s Dungeon Master Toolkit

If you ask me, D&D 5e tends to leave a lot of work to the DM, even in pre-written adventures. The books and even DM’s Guide don’t prepare you for a lot of things and it depends on the DM how well you’re able to go with the flow that your players decide. Along with that, if you’re homebrewing a campaign you can’t possibly plan out everything that happens or come up with an interesting encounter on the spot every single time.

Nerzugal's Dungeon Master Toolkit

Nerzugal’s Dungeon Master Toolkit contains a bunch of tables with random encounters and magical effects, as well as a number of puzzles for easy implementation in your campaigns to take a little bit of strain off the DM and possibly provide some inspiration. Along with that this book also contains six one-shots and four dungeons ranging in difficulties appropriate for 1st to 9th level characters.

Price: This supplement is ‘pay what you want’ on dmsguild, but the suggested price of $9,99 is absolutely a fair one.

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Posted by Dunke

An easily obsessed nerd with a particular fixation on Star Wars, comic-adjacent projects and fantasy. But honestly? Interested in anything. Always up to watch The Empire Strikes Back, or play some Undertale.