In my copies of the 5e Player's Handbook and 5e Monster Manual, I cannot find it stated anywhere that they are source books for 5th edition. In the PHB, both the preface and the introduction only mention "Dungeons and Dragons", without specifying the edition. I imagine this would make the books hard to identify if I didn't already know what they looked like.

In contrast, the D&D 4e PHB mentions the edition in the credits and on page 7 (and possibly elsewhere, I didn't check further.)

Is the edition specified anywhere in the D&D 5e source books? In particular, I care about whether it's specified in the PHB, DMG, and MM, since these are the core source books.


1 Answer 1


As far as I can tell, the books don't explicitly state that they are for 5th edition.

However, there's a phrase on the back that says:

When you're ready for even more, expand your adventures with the fifth edition other core rulebook #1 and other core rulebook #2.

That's at least an indirect hint that the book is for 5e.

Volo's Guide To Monsters (and probably also the other non-core-rulebooks, but I don't have those atm) states on the back cover:

For use with the fifth edition Player's Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master's Guide.

There is also one tiny, indirect hint in the Dungeon Master's Guide, p. 11, that indicates that the book is for an edition past 4e (which, currently, only leaves 5e afaik):

The pantheon of the Dawn War is an example of a pantheon assembled from mostly preexisting elements to suit the needs of a particular campaign. This is the default pantheon in the fourth edition Player's Handbook (2008). The pantheon is summarized in the Dawn War Deities table. [...]

I couldn't find anything else in the PHB or MM.

On a side note, I recommend checking out this question: How do I know which edition of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) the books I'm looking at are for?.

It's not an obvious indication since you need to know which logo equals which edition, but if you find a random D&D book that doesn't specify its edition, you can compare the logos.

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ I seem to remember an article somewhere that stated that officially they were avoiding using the term 5th edition as it had connotations that there would be subsequent editions. Which is, iirc, was where the coining of D&D Next came... as it was the next D&D... I can't look for that article right now but I do remember that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slagmoth
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 13:58
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Slagmoth I think it was in one of Mike Mearls' DDI articles during the Next playtesting phase. I don't have access right now, but I recall reading the same info. IIRC they also didn't want to spook newcomers by letting them know that there were previous D&D versions that they might have missed out on. \$\endgroup\$
    – MandisaW
    Commented May 10, 2018 at 16:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .