The YOUNG ADVENTURER'S GUIDE Books for D&D Are Great for New Players to Quickly Get Used to Ideas, But Won't Let Them Start Playing
Dungeons & Dragons is launching their Young Adventurer’s Guides this month and I was lucky enough to get a copy of the first books Monsters & Creatures and Warriors & Weapons. These books are available starting July 16 and were written by Jim Zub with Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler. I’ve been going over these books and have finally compiled my thoughts.
When I first learned about these books, I had not been informed that there would actually be at least four books in the series and so I was expecting these books to be what I mentioned in my original post about them. However, they’re a little different. They’re essentially encyclopedias for D&D written for a younger audience. You can’t create characters or run games with these books, but they can be used to help design characters and get brain juices flowing about your campaign.
Let’s talk about Warriors & Weapons first. This book talks about twelve races from D&D. You have your nine races from the Player’s Handbook and they also include Kenku, Tabaxi, and Tortle. Those were interesting ones to throw in the mix if you ask me, but I’m not complaining. Then, the book explores the non-spellcasting classes from D&D including the Paladin. Included are some Legendary Warriors for each class. These are characters from D&D that many veterans will be familiar with such as Wulfgar and Whey-Shu. Finally, the book explores the different equipment you will typically have including weapons, armor, and explorer’s packs. This is actually my favorite part because it can be hard to think of what some of those items are or what some of the different weapons are classified.
In Monsters & Creatures, there are a bunch of monsters common to D&D games divided by environment type. Now, I personally love it when books are organized in this manner as it makes it easier as the DM to figure out what my players can run into given their current situation. The book also includes pages about some legendary creatures including the vampire Count Strahd and the evil dragon Tiamat. This is useful as it helps readers easily digest lore about the game that veterans are sure to go on about for ages when mentioned. The third main aspect of this book are the encounters. To me, they more so appear as brain exercises to get juices flowing for Dungeon Masters to consider how they might use a creature in an encounter in their game. After all, these use Legendary Warriors from W&W to set the stage and give a description of what is happening before pulling away from the encounter text to ask the reader questions to provoke thought such as “Should Tulra tell a dangerous truth or a dangerous lie?”
If you are a veteran of D&D and are very comfortable with the classes, races, and monsters, W&W and M&C probably aren’t the best use of your time and money. However, if you’re new or someone you know is new and possibly interested in playing, especially if they’re a middle school or high school aged person, then this is a great way to get an easier to read version of the flavor text from the Player’s Handbook. You won’t be able to create a character, but these books will help explain the differences between classes and weapons in a very clear way. If you’re not familiar with monsters like Beholders, M&C is great for learning about creatures in a quick and clear manner. It is a shame that the Wizards & Spells book isn’t out yet as I’m sure there are plenty of people who would like to learn more about being a spellcaster for their games.
GeekTyrant Score: 8/10