View Full Version : What are some good books for 3.5?

2010-10-19, 03:45 AM
I am fairly new to d&d, playing 3.5 for a few months now. Although I am playing with a few experienced players, due to some unfortunate circumstances we have a small amount of books to play with and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on some good 3.5 books? We do already have the core rule books, I'm just looking for some help in finding some resources. Thanks in advance.

2010-10-19, 03:49 AM
Tell us about your games, not all books are appropriate to all groups.

Otherwise I'll just advise you to get the 4e Corebooks to be snarky.

2010-10-19, 04:01 AM
Spell Compendium and Magic Item Compendium were the most-used books (next to Player's Handbook) in the campaign I was in, but both are only suitable to high-magic campaigns, and can easily break games if you're not careful.
I also highly recommend Tome of Battle; if our DM hadn't banned it (due to him not feeling like reading it / learning new systems :smallmad:) 3/4 of the group would have been using it, probably exclusively.

2010-10-19, 04:02 AM
Some of the books commonly held in high regard here:
Tome of Battle: A whole ton of new combat options for warrior characters. Optimizedish out of the box.
Expanded Psionics Handbook: Only drawback is, it's available online for free (http://www.d20srd.org/index.htm). Otherwise, tons and tons of great material and a superb system.
Spell Compendium: Tons more spells. Especially half-casters like Rangers and Paladins suddenly get some good out of their spellcasting (and full casters gain more options).
Player's Handbook II: A handful of rather well-balanced classes, some good alternative class features, interesting feats and good spells (and Celerity but eh...).
Complete Scoundrel: I'm a huge fan of skilltricks for expanding skilled characters' options. Also, has some nice PrCs, feats to make some older Complete classes really work, and so on.
Dungeonscape: Interesting alternative class features, dungeon architecture, Factotum (an awesome new class), items and equipment (including tons of new poisons <3) and so on.
Magic Item Compendium: Kinda obvious...
Magic of Incarnum: Awesome, obscure system for basically warriors who augment them with magical energies that function more or less like magic items they can empower to different decrees with their "essentia".
Tome of Magic: Has one great class and two parts that are more attempts than executions.
Heroes of Horror: If you ever want to run horror adventures, this is for you. Some really interesting stuff for normal adventures too.

Then, some others quickly:
Dragon Magic: Some nice magical stuff. I really like this book, actually. Dragonfire Adepts are cool, many of the spells are awesome, it's all-around nice.

Complete Mage: Nice new caster options, fine balance, lots of useful classes.
Complete Champion: Tons upon tons of material though balance is kinda out of the whack. I like this expansion but it requires some rules knowledge to use properly.

Old Completes (Warrior/Arcane/Divine/Adventurer): Some classes that really want CScoundrel to work, tons of PrCs with trash and few gems, some insanely useful feats, some magic items and spells that got reprinted in Spell Compendium.

Races of X: I like Races of the Wild and Races of Stone myself. Races of Destiny and Races of the Dragon have some useful contents too, and Races of Eberron has a bunch of plain cool races that work in settings other than Eberron too.

Frostburn/Stormwrack/Sandstorm: I think Stormwrack is a great book as it covers something that's otherwise very neglected, and a very important part of the D&D-style world. Other two, less so, but they do have some good crunchy bits.

Monster Books: If DM wants, additional Monster Manuals, Fiend Folio, Lords of Madness, Elder Evils, Exemplars of Evil, Libris Mortis, Draconomicon and Fiendish Codexes are all great tools. Some (notably Lords of Madness, Draconomicon, Fiendish Codexes & Exemplars of Evil) have some crunchy bits for PCs for combating said things too.

Heroes of Battle: Covers army encounters and such rather well. Has some ways to make PCs in big fights more than "I hit it again".

Then there's setting books but I'm not going there (though I'm gonna say I find Unapproachable East and Champions of Ruin from Forgotten Realms to have unusual amount of good stuff, and Eberron Campaign Settings adds Artificer and expands many classes some)

2010-10-19, 05:05 AM
i am a big fan of the Stronghold Builders Guidebook.

The prices are a bit wonky in it but it makes for designing fun homes for your characters :D

But really beyond that it would depend on your style of games?

One of my favorites is the Eberron Campaign Setting as well...

2010-10-19, 05:06 AM
Our campaigns have been all over place, we haven't incorporated any magic users yet but that is going to change soon. Right now a lot of our characters are fighters and alot of epic level characters. The dm is constantly changing so our campaigns are always evolving.

2010-10-19, 05:07 AM
Well if you are wanting to add in some spell casters pick up Complete Arcane for sure!

2010-10-19, 05:38 AM
Complete Arcane, Tome of Battle, Tome of Magic, Dungeonscape, Player's Handbook 2, Miniatures Handbook.

2010-10-19, 05:45 AM
I recommend getting the Tome of Battle and the Magic Item Compendium first, before any other splatbooks.
Complete Warrior, the Player's Handbook 2, and Complete Scoundrel also make excellent additions.

The Pathfinder core rulebook has loads of great ideas in it too.

2010-10-19, 05:48 AM
Echoing Tome of battle and Magic Item Compendium.

2010-10-19, 05:52 AM
It depends on what you want really. There are books with good fluff in them, like the Monster books (Lords of Madness for Aberrations, Draconomicon for Dragons, Fiendish Codices for Fiends...) and books with good rules (Magic of Incarnum, Tome of Battle, Expanded Psionics Handbook, parts of Tome of Magic). Some of the rules books mentioned above also have very flavourful fluff, of course.
In the end, what matters most is what campaign you are running and what kind of characters you have. Your melee character will kiss your feet for buying Tome of Battle. If you intend to do a lot of ocean-traveling, Stormwrack is a great book. If you fight Mindflayers for the next five adventures, get Lords of Madness.

2010-10-19, 06:28 AM
To expand on your Core classes:

Complete Series (Adventurer + Warrior/Arcane/Divine/Scoundrel + Mage)
Magic Item Compendium / Spell Compendium
Unearthed Arcana

To add new stuff/alternate stuff:

Tome of Battle, PHBII, Unearthed Arcana (really that thing is huge), Savage Species, Draconomicon, Lords of Madness, Libris Mortis, Races of Stone, Races of the Wild, Magic of Incarnum. Psionics are on the SRD and XPH has been declared not worth the money. Deities and Demigods is nice but needs conversion from 3.0 to 3.5


All the Forgotten Realms books are good but rather broken. Still when you ignore Incantatrix/Dweomerkeeper they offer a ton of stuff.

Eberron for Artificers and Warforged.

2010-10-19, 10:09 AM
Tome of Battle
Tome of Magic(for Pact Magic)
Complete Arcane+Complete Mage
UnEarthed Arcana