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One of D&D’s most approachable campaigns yet is available now

Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk is a great campaign for freshman DMs and players

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The cover art for the standalone D&D campaign, Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk. Image: Wizards of the Coast
Alice Newcome-Beill (she/her) is a commerce writer, and she has been writing about gaming and tech since 2005. Prior to Polygon, she worked at publications such as The Verge.

The latest standalone D&D campaign, Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk, is now available from Amazon, and from your local games store with a very cool limited edition cover. The $59.99 campaign offers 226 pages with eight chapters of approachable encounters, making this an excellent option for novice DMs.

Phandelver and Below: The Shattered Obelisk is an expanded retelling of an adventure introduced in the 2014 Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set, which kicks off on the outskirts of Neverwinter, and features enough content for roughly three or four sessions. The final, challenging encounters of the campaign are designed for a party of level 12 characters.

While this expansion provides an accessible platform for new DMs, the latest standalone Dungeons & Dragons campaign is full of monsters and environments that will be familiar to anyone who’s spent any amount of time traveling around the Sword Coast in Baldur’s Gate 3. For many players, Baldur’s Gate 3 is their first experience with the D&D 5e ruleset, and while we still wholeheartedly recommend the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit for anyone looking to wade into the Forgotten Realms, Phandelver and Below remains an excellent initial campaign for starting players and DMs.

The ruleset for D&D 5e is available for free from Wizards of the Coast, but you’ll need to have the Dungeon Master’s Guide, Player’s Handbook, and Monster Manual at your side to run a game of Phandelver and Below, or any of D&D's other excellent standalone campaigns. We’ve listed some below.

Dungeons & Dragons: Player’s Handbook

  • $26
  • $50
  • 48% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The essential rulebook for playing Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Includes rules and errata for players to create their own characters and features references for spells, equipment, and other items.

Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon Master’s Guide

  • $25
  • $50
  • 50% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

The all-important guide to running a campaign of Dungeons & Dragons 5e. Features guidelines to designing locations, encounters, NPCs, and other helpful aids to apply 5e rules to settings outside the D&D universe.

Dungeons & Dragons: Monster Manual

  • $16
  • $50
  • 67% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

A guide detailing D&D monsters from Aarakocra to Zombie. The essential Monster Manual for D&D 5e includes over 150 creatures, complete with lore, illustrations, and stat blocks to populate your next campaign.

Of course, if you’re looking for some extra goodies to spice up your campaign, we’d recommend checking out the D&D Campaign Case for Creatures and Terrain, or WizKids’ Encounter in a Box: Wagon Ambush. The D&D campaign case includes a trove of interlocking maps and tokens to bring every encounter to life and keep track of every last Goblin and Bugbear. The smaller Encounter in a Box features a pair of double-sided map tiles along with a tidy mix of standees and miniatures to illustrate NPCs and props — perfect for newcomers.

D&D Campaign Cases: Creatures & Terrain

  • $125
  • $130
  • 4% off

Prices taken at time of publishing.

A case that contains everything a DM needs to show how utterly screwed you are. This campaign case includes 30 double-sided interlocking terrain tiles and 64 creature tokens, along with five sheets of reusable stickers illustrating various monsters.

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