D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides FAQ

I received a ton of excited messages about the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides announced yesterday from Ten Speed Press and Wizards of the Coast.

I’ll answer some of the most common questions I received about them here in this post…

Q: Are these Basic RPG rule books for young readers?

A: No. These books do not replace the D&D Player’s Handbook. They’re rules-free illustrated guides to the core concepts of D&D, built so the reader can discover the lore without being overwhelmed by the rules.

As experienced DMs/players, it’s easy to forget how intimidating tabletop RPGs can be for people who haven’t played before. These guides lay out the major concepts (class, race, equipment, creatures) in a way anyone can understand and encourages them to create their own stories. Readers can use the material in these books to brainstorm a character and imagine their role in an adventuring party. It’s a way to get new players excited about the possibilities, and then bring them to the gaming table to show them how those initial ideas can really flourish with a roll of the dice.

Q: Do these books just re-purpose content from the Player’s Handbook?

A: No. The writing and artwork are all new and they’re organized so readers can either absorb it from start to finish or skip around and focus on the material they think looks most interesting.

For example, the Monsters & Creatures book isn’t organized alphabetically. It starts thematically with underground creatures, moves to the surface (bodies of water, fields, graveyards, forests, mountains) and then soars into the sky to finish with airborne monsters.

Q: New artwork? How much new art are we talking about?

A: Almost every single illustration in the Young Adventurer’s Guides was made specifically for this series, so even if you have the D&D core rules you’ll get 60+ images per book you can use for inspiration or visual reference.

Q: I already own the D&D core books. Should I get these?

A: If you’re already an avid D&D player, they’re not necessary. There’s no new info here you don’t already have, but you might enjoy the new creature art and weapons/armor illustrations to help visualize aspects of D&D lore.

In addition, there are new “legendary” characters developed specifically for this series you might enjoy adding to your game.

Q: What’s the intended age for the Young Adventurer’s Guides?

A: They’re for middle-grade readers (ages 8-12) by design (book trim size, font size, etc.). Older readers can certainly get something out of them, but the core of it was built to inspire young players.

Q: What’s the release date?

A: Monsters & Creatures and Warriors & Weapons both launched on July 16th, 2019.
Dungeons & Tombs launched on November 26, 2019.
Wizards & Spells launched on March 10, 2020.

Beasts & Behemoths arrives on October 20, 2020.

Q: Are there preview pages we can check out?

A: Yes!
Preview – Monsters & Creatures
Preview – Warriors & Weapons
Preview – Dungeons & Tombs
Preview – Wizards & Spells
Preview – Beasts & Behemoths

Q: Do Minsc and Boo make an appearance?

A: Absolutely! Minsc is our legendary Ranger example in the Warriors & Weapons guide and his particular brand of chaotic courage is a fun way to show new players the possibilities in D&D.


Here’s my interview with Dragon+ all about how these guides came to be and what’s inside:
Dragon+ #26: The Experience of Youth

I also spoke to Id the DM at length about the development and purpose of the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides: Id the DM interview.

Here’s co-writer Stacy King talking about the Young Adventurer’s Guides at D&D Live in May 2019:

And here’s another video, this time from D&D Beyond, as Stacy and I both talk about the guides:

Q: How have the Guides been received so far?

A: The response to Monsters & Creatures and Warriors & Weapons has been quite incredible so far. CHECK HERE for a rundown of review articles and videos.

Q: Are there any foreign/translated editions planned?

A: Yes!
The first two Young Adventurer’s Guides are now available in German, French, Portuguese, and Russian:
Dungeons & Dragons – Monster & Kreaturen (Deutsche) published by Ulisses Medien.
Dungeons & Dragons – Krieger & Waffen (Deutsche) published by Ulisses Medien.

Dungeons & Dragons – Monstres Et Creatures (Francais) published by 404 Editions.
Dungeons & Dragons – Armes Et Guerriers (Francais) published by 404 Editions.

Dungeons & Dragons – Monstros e criaturas (Português) published by Book One.
Dungeons & Dragons – Guerreiros e armas (Português) published by Book One.

Dungeons & Dragons – Герои и их снаряжение (русский) published by AST.

As more languages are announced and available, we’ll add them here.

  1. I love this series.
    Is there a reason why the Wizards & Spells is so much behind the others?
    I just got my Dungeons & Tombs but don’t want to start playing till the kids have all the character choices available.

    • On the original schedule we didn’t plan to have all original artwork in the series. Originally it was going to be a mix of exiting and new artwork. As our plans got more ambitious, we decided that all-new artwork would work better, but the production time needed for that necessitated pushing back Wizards & Spells, the book that was still earliest in development. I wished we could have had all four out in time for Christmas, but it wasn’t in the cards.

  2. Picked up Warriors & Weapons, great work! Are the new legendary characters (Whey-Shu and Redclay) meant to “live” in the Realms along with the pre-existing ones, or are their backstories deliberately written to not nail them down as much, setting-wise? Can we expect to see them appear outside of this series?

    • Whey-Shu, Redclay and the new legendary characters in Wizards & Spells are in the Forgotten Realms in theory, though as you said we avoid mentioning anything setting specific right now so DMs can put them anywhere they’d like.

      I would love to see more with all of them in other media: books, comics or games but that’ll come down to continued reader interest in the series. It’s been great so far and my fingers are crossed for the future.

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