Best DnD Campaign Books Every Player Should Experience

Cover for the Curse of Strahd dnd campaign book

Dungeons & Dragons is filled with endless possibilities. At the heart of this immersive experience are the DnD campaign books—comprehensive guides that offer not just stories, but entire worlds for players to explore. These books serve as the cornerstone for adventures, providing the narrative, characters, and challenges that bring the game to life.

Recognizing the pivotal role these books play in enriching the D&D experience, our goal is to navigate through the myriad of available campaign books, highlighting those that stand as paragons of storytelling and creativity. Whether you’re a seasoned Dungeon Master looking to elevate your game or a player eager to dive into new adventures, this guide aims to introduce you to the best D&D campaign books that every player should experience.

If you’re just getting started with DnD, make sure to check out our Ultimate Beginners Guide for GMs Running Their First RPG as well as our Essential DnD RPG Books Every DM Should Have.

Choosing the Right DnD Campaign Book for You

Selecting the perfect DnD campaign book can feel like navigating a labyrinth as vast and intricate as the adventures within them. These tomes are ripe with fantastic rules and stories. To find the one that resonates with your group’s playstyle and interests, consider the following key factors:

Theme Preference: What’s Your Adventure Style?

Each campaign book brings its own unique flavor to the table. Are you drawn to the gothic horrors lurking in the mists of Ravenloft, or do the cosmic escapades of Spelljammer call to you? Perhaps the political intrigue and urban drama of Waterdeep are more your speed. Reflect on the themes that excite you and your group the most. Whether it’s high fantasy, horror, science fantasy, or anything in between, there’s a campaign book tailored to your thematic preferences.

Campaign Length: A Short Quest or an Epic Journey?

Consider the scope of the adventure you’re embarking on. Some campaign books are designed for shorter, more concise adventures, while others offer sprawling narratives intended to span months or even years of play. Align your choice with how much time you and your group are willing to invest in a single story.

Player Experience Level: Novices or Veterans?

The complexity and challenge level of a campaign book can greatly influence your group’s enjoyment and engagement. If your party consists of, consider starting with a DnD campaign that’s more straightforward and designed to introduce players to the mechanics and storytelling aspects of the game. For more experienced players, look for campaigns that offer intricate plots, complex character development opportunities, and tactical combat scenarios.

Flexibility and Customization:

A great campaign book should also offer room for customization, allowing Dungeon Masters to adapt the story to fit their group’s unique dynamics and narrative interests. Look for books that encourage creativity and provide tools for DMs to make the adventure their own. This flexibility can make all the difference in creating a memorable experience that feels personal to your group.

By considering these factors—theme preference, campaign length, player experience level, and the potential for customization—you can narrow down the vast selection of DnD campaign books to find the perfect match for your adventuring party.

Now let’s embark on a guided tour through some of the most captivating DnD campaign books available. The stories you’ll find in these pages are as boundless as your imagination. So gather your party, ready your dice, and prepare to explore new worlds.

Exploring the Cosmos with Spelljammer and Planescape

Few DnD campaign settings capture the imagination quite like Spelljammer and Planescape. These campaign sets offer adventures that transcend the typical boundaries of fantasy, taking players and Dungeon Masters alike on journeys through the multiverse. Whether you’re navigating the astral seas aboard a spelljamming ship or traversing the myriad planes of existence, these sets promise to elevate your D&D experience to cosmic heights.

Spelljammer: Adventures in Space: Set sail through the stars with the Spelljammer: Adventures in Space campaign set. This collection not only introduces players to the wild and wondrous setting of Spelljammer—a universe where magic-powered ships sail the void between worlds—but it also provides everything needed to launch your own spacefaring adventures. The set includes a campaign book filled with new adventures, a bestiary detailing the strange creatures of the Astral Sea, and a book of lore that expands on the Spelljammer setting. With new character options, spells, and magical items tailored for astral adventures, this campaign set is your ticket to exploring the final frontier of the D&D universe.

Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse: Dive into the complexities of the multiverse with the Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse campaign set. Planescape is a setting where philosophy and belief can reshape reality, where countless planes of existence converge, and where adventurers can find themselves as likely to engage in debate with a demon as they are to battle one. This set provides a comprehensive guide to the city of Sigil, the center of the multiverse, and the countless planes beyond. It includes a wealth of new monsters, characters, and story hooks, along with detailed lore that brings the intricate cosmology of the D&D multiverse to life. If you’re ready to challenge your party with existential dilemmas and planar politics, Planescape offers an unparalleled adventure setting.

Both campaign sets represent some of the most imaginative and ambitious settings in the Dungeons & Dragons repertoire. They challenge traditional fantasy conventions take you through the star-strewn expanses or the infinite layers of the multiverse.

Venturing into the Mists of Ravenloft

The domain of Ravenloft is a realm where horror reigns and the shadows are alive with unspeakable terrors. It is a place where the line between the living and the dead blurs, and where heroes are tested against the darkest fears. For those brave enough to venture into its mists, the Ravenloft campaign setting has everything you to craft a narrative filled with gothic horror and thrilling mysteries.

Curse of Strahd: Curse of Strahd invites adventurers to unravel the mysteries of Barovia, a land trapped in eternal twilight under the tyrannical rule of the vampire lord, Strahd von Zarovich. This campaign takes players from levels 1 to 10, challenging them to break the curse that has befallen the land and confront Strahd in his foreboding fortress, Castle Ravenloft. The adventure is rich with Gothic horror themes, intricate plotlines, and the chance for players to become true heroes… or fall to the darkness that envelops Barovia.

Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft: For Dungeon Masters looking to expand the horror beyond Barovia, Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft offers a treasure trove of tools to create your own domains of dread. This sourcebook introduces a multitude of terrifying realms, each governed by its own Darklord, and provides guidelines for crafting custom horror settings. With new character options, monsters, and a wealth of creepy lore, Van Richten’s Guide is an essential companion for any campaign looking to delve into the chilling depths of fear.

Curse of Strahd Tarokka Deck: The Curse of Strahd Tarokka Deck is a unique game accessory that enhances the storytelling of the Curse of Strahd campaign. This deck of fortune-telling cards is used by the mysterious Vistani to foretell the future and determine the players’ fates within Barovia. The Tarokka Deck adds an element of chance and prophecy to the game, making each playthrough of Curse of Strahd a unique experience.

Exploring the Critical Role Universe

For fans of the beloved web series and newcomers alike, the Critical Role campaign universe offers a chance to dive into the rich, player-driven stories crafted by Dungeon Master Matthew Mercer and his intrepid band of adventurers. These sets transport players to the world of Exandria, a land ripe for exploration and heroism.

Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep: Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep is an epic adventure that spans the continents of Wildemount and Marquet in the world of Exandria. It introduces a thrilling, multi-level campaign that pits players against the Graviturgist mage, Ruidus, as they race against time and the depths of the Netherdeep—a realm of darkness and corrupted magic. Featuring new creatures, magic items, and a narrative that weaves the rich lore of Critical Role, this campaign is perfect for fans and newcomers alike.

Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount: Dive deeper into the world of Critical Role with the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. This comprehensive sourcebook provides everything needed to set your adventures within the Dwendalian Empire, the Kryn Dynasty, and beyond. It includes detailed descriptions of Wildemount’s history, cultures, and factions, along with new character options, spells, and artifacts. Whether you’re looking to recreate the adventures of the Mighty Nein or forge your own path, the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount is an indispensable resource for any fan of Critical Role or enthusiast of rich, detailed campaign settings.

Giants Among Us: Storm King’s Thunder and Glory of Giants

The Sword Coast has long been a setting for adventure in the Forgotten Realms. If you want adventures that visit multiple cities across a huge amount of territory, look no further.

Storm King’s Thunder: Storm King’s Thunder is a grand adventure that beckons adventurers to unravel the mystery of the giants’ sudden upheaval and the chaos that ensues. This campaign takes characters from levels 1 to 11 and beyond, across a richly detailed landscape filled with the looming threat of giantkind. As players navigate the conflict between small folk and giants, they’ll encounter legendary figures, uncover ancient artifacts, and possibly alter the fate of the Forgotten Realms. This is a story of courage and cunning, where the bonds of friendship and the strength of heroes are tested against the backdrop of a war that threatens to tear the world asunder.

Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants: Joining this colossal tale is Bigby Presents: Glory of Giants, a compendium that not only expands upon the magic and mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons but also delves into the lore of one of the giants. While this book serves as an invaluable resource across any campaign with its new spells, character options, and magical insights, it finds a special resonance with Storm King’s Thunder. Integrating elements from the handbook can enhance the adventure, offering new strategies and solutions in facing the giant threat.

Adventure in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist and Dungeon of the Mad Mage

If you’re looking for an urban adventure, then look no further than Waterdeep, the City of Splendors. Here you can find two expansive adventures that can be linked together as one giant campaign.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist: Waterdeep: Dragon Heist offers adventurers a chance to partake in a city-based caper unlike any other. This campaign, suitable for characters of levels 1-5, thrusts players into the heart of urban intrigue, where alliances shift like shadows and every corner can conceal a clue to the vault’s location. Players will need to use their wits, charm, and courage to outmaneuver villains and claim the treasure. It’s a perfect blend of mystery, politics, and urban exploration, setting the stage for a thrilling heist that could make or break the fortunes of those daring enough to undertake it.

Dungeon of the Mad Mage: Dungeon of the Mad Mage picks up where Dragon Heist leaves off, leading adventurers into the depths of Undermountain. This vast dungeon, ruled by the arcane Halaster Blackcloak, is a place of magic, monsters, and endless mystery. Designed for characters of levels 5 to 20, this campaign promises a journey through twenty-three levels of the most dangerous dungeon in the Forgotten Realms. Here, players will encounter bizarre creatures, discover priceless treasures, and possibly uncover the secrets of Halaster’s madness.

More Spectacular DnD Campaign Books

For Dungeon Masters and players eager to explore every corner of the Dungeons & Dragons universe, a wealth of campaign adventures awaits. Each adventure offers unique challenges, settings, and narratives, ensuring that no two journeys are alike.

Tomb of Annihilation: Travel to the wilds of Chult with Tomb of Annihilation. A deadly curse grips the world, tracing back to the jungles where heroes must brave ancient ruins, confront the horrors within, and uncover the source of the malady. This adventure combines exploration, puzzle-solving, and combat against the backdrop of a land teeming with dinosaurs, undead, and the infamous Death Curse.

Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus: Descend into the depths of the Nine Hells in Baldur’s Gate: Descent Into Avernus. Starting in the iconic city of Baldur’s Gate, this campaign quickly spirals into a story of betrayal, infernal intrigue, and cosmic warfare. Players will navigate the treacherous politics of Baldur’s Gate and the fiery perils of Avernus as they confront the forces of evil in a quest for redemption and glory.

Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden: Embark on a chilling adventure in Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. In the frozen frontier of Icewind Dale, darkness and bitter cold reign. Adventurers must band together to uncover the secrets of the Frostmaiden, a sinister force that threatens to bury the land in eternal winter. This campaign is a tale of isolation, paranoia, and survival against the harsh elements and even harsher creatures lurking in the snow.

Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen: Experience the return of a classic with Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen. This campaign transports players to the world of Krynn, where they will stand against the tide of a dragon-led army that threatens the land. Packed with epic battles, political intrigue, and the timeless struggle against the forces of darkness, this adventure offers a fresh entry into the beloved Dragonlance universe.

The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Step into a whimsical nightmare with The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, a campaign that leads adventurers into the Feywild, a realm of capricious magic, strange allies, and twisted dangers. With an emphasis on roleplay and negotiation over combat, players will navigate the intrigues of the Witchlight Carnival and the plane’s darkened woods to uncover a story where not everything is as it seems.

Tyranny of Dragons: Unite to defeat the dragon cult in Tyranny of Dragons. This epic tale combines the adventures of Hoard of the Dragon Queen and The Rise of Tiamat into one seamless campaign. Players will race against time to stop the Cult of the Dragon from summoning Tiamat, the Queen of Evil Dragons, to the Material Plane. It’s a grand saga of bravery, power, and the determination to protect the realm from annihilation.

Princes of the Apocalypse: Face down the elemental evil in Princes of the Apocalypse. This adventure plunges players into a battle against the Cult of Elemental Evil as they seek to unleash the power of the elemental princes upon the world. Adventurers must thwart the cult’s schemes, exploring ancient ruins and battling the forces that seek to bring about the apocalypse.

Out of the Abyss: Survive the Underdark in Out of the Abyss. This adventure starts with players captured by drow and taken deep into the Underdark, a subterranean wilderness full of alien beauty and horror. To escape, they must navigate a world of darkness where society is a fragile concept, and madness is never far. It’s a journey of survival, alliances with unlikely inhabitants, and a race to stop the madness spreading to the surface world.

Crafting Worlds: DnD Campaign Setting Guides

Dungeons & Dragons setting guides offers a unique palette, from the high magic and intrigue of fantastical realms to the gritty streets of urban landscapes. These guides provide the lore, maps, factions, and rules necessary to immerse players fully in diverse worlds.

Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide: The Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide takes you to the western coast of the Forgotten Realms, a land rich with history and adventure. From the bustling cities of Waterdeep and Baldur’s Gate to the mysterious ruins dotting the landscape, this guide offers an in-depth look at one of D&D’s most iconic regions. It provides new character options, background lore, and a wealth of information for DMs looking to set their campaigns in the Forgotten Realms.

Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos: Enroll in the most prestigious university of magic in the multiverse with Strixhaven: Curriculum of Chaos. This setting guide brings the Strixhaven University from Magic: The Gathering to D&D, offering a unique blend of academia and adventure. Players can join one of the university’s five colleges, each with its own flavor and specialties, and navigate the challenges of college life, from exams to extracurricular activities, all while uncovering magical mysteries.

Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica: Join the bustling city-plane of Ravnica with Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica. This setting guide also merges Magic: The Gathering’s world with D&D, offering a sprawling urban setting controlled by ten powerful guilds, each with its own culture, goals, and conflicts. Players can align with a guild and navigate the intricate politics of Ravnica, engaging in espionage, intrigue, and urban adventure.

Acquisitions Incorporated: Dive into the corporate world of adventuring with Acquisitions Incorporated. This guide offers a new way to experience D&D, blending traditional adventuring with business management. Players can take on roles within their own franchise of the titular adventuring company, dealing with rivals, managing resources, and embarking on corporate-sponsored quests. It’s perfect for groups looking for humor and a fresh twist on D&D campaigns.

Eberron: Rising from the Last War: Explore a war-torn world where magic fuels technology in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. This setting guide introduces Eberron, a realm of noir-inspired intrigue and pulp adventure. It features new races, classes, and a unique approach to magic in the world. With its blend of mystery, technology, and action, Eberron offers a rich setting for campaigns that stand out from traditional fantasy.

Mythic Odysseys of Theros: Embark on epic quests worthy of the gods with Mythic Odysseys of Theros. Inspired by Greek mythology, this setting guide transports players to Theros, a land where the gods walk among mortals, and heroes rise to legendary status. It introduces new races, supernatural gifts, and the piety system, allowing characters to gain favor or ire from the gods themselves.

Each setting guide opens the door to new stories, characters, and adventures, offering endless possibilities for your D&D sessions. Whether you prefer the classic fantasy setting of the Sword Coast, the magical academia of Strixhaven, or the urban complexity of Ravnica, these guides provide the tools to bring your imagined worlds to life. Expand your horizons and craft unforgettable adventures with these essential D&D setting guides.


The world of Dungeons & Dragons is a canvas of infinite possibilities. The campaign books we’ve journeyed through offer unique worlds, stories, and challenges that can transform your D&D sessions into unforgettable adventures. As Dungeon Masters and players, we are the architects of our adventures, blending the boundless creativity of our minds with the rich foundations these books provide.

And as you embark on these journeys, remember that the stories you create, the worlds you build, and the adventures you embark on are what make Dungeons & Dragons the legendary game it is. So, in the spirit of adventure and camaraderie, I invite you to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. Which campaign books have captivated you? Which ones are you looking forward to diving into? Let’s inspire each other and continue to explore the endless possibilities that Dungeons & Dragons offers.

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