Xanathar's Guide to Everything
Xanathar's Guide to Everything
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Wizards of the Coast

Game system(s): Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition,
Line: Dungeons & Dragons,
Genre: Fantasy,

Fri 10 November 2017
Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls,
Hardcover (192 pages)
$49.95 | Buy this product
UPC: 9780786966110


Fun with stats: Xanathar's Guide to Everything is ranked #48 out of 68 products with 10 or more reviews, placing it in the 31% percentile. It is rated -5.9 points lower than the overall average product rating of 76.4%. With 22 reviews, this is the #25 most reviewed product.

70.5% HIT

Rated by 22 readers at 70.5% who deem this a HIT. A recommended purchase.
Read all 22 reviews | Write Your Own
EN World's official review of this product gave it 80%. Read this review.
There are 5 external reviews of this product with a combined rating of 90%. Read these reviews.

Explore a wealth of new rules options for both players and Dungeon Masters in this supplement for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

The beholder Xanathar—Waterdeep’s most infamous crime lord—is known to hoard information on friend and foe alike. The beholder catalogs lore about adventurers and ponders methods to thwart them. Its twisted mind imagines that it can eventually record everything!

Xanathar's Guide to Everything is the first major expansion for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, offering new rules and story options:

- Over twenty-five new subclasses for the character classes in the Player’s Handbook, including the Cavalier for the fighter, the Circle of Dreams for the druid, the Horizon Walker for the ranger, the Inquisitive for the rogue, and many more.

- Dozens of new spells, a collection of racial feats, and a system to give your character a randomized backstory.

- A variety of tools that provide Dungeon Masters fresh ways to use traps, magic items, downtime activities, and more—all designed to enhance a D&D campaign and push it in new directions.

Amid all this expansion material, Xanathar offers bizarre observations about whatever its eyestalks happen to glimpse. Pray they don’t come to rest on you.

Beauty and guile are in the eyes of the beholder!
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  1. #2

    4.5 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Review excerpt from Tribality.com

    Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
    is out now on D&D Beyond and at your FLGS (Friendly Neighborhood Gaming Stores). The book will be available everywhere else on November 21, 2017. For anyone who has been following the Unearthed Arcana articles, you’ll find lots of the content in this book, but revised and expanded (after playtests and feedback). This book also contains subclasses and spells that have already been published in other books such as Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide and Princes of the Apocalypse. But never fear, there’s plenty of brand new content to enjoy too. The finished product comes together well, providing us with the first real expansion of D&D fifth edition ruleset.

    After reading the book, I think this is an excellent expansion of both the Player’s Handbook and Dungeon Master’s Guide. I think it does way more things right, than wrong, but there are a few misses. It doesn’t try to do too much in its 200 pages, but nearly everything provided is a solid add to fifth edition.


    • Of the 27 new classes, most are fun, exciting, or interesting to play. I found more than enough subclasses that I want to play and I enjoyed playing both the Scout and Arcane Archer in short sessions. The team did an overall good job on revising and adding to the Unearthed Arcana versions of the subclasses, finding a way to make sure each of them fit into the game.
    • I really, really like all the backstory tools that were provided. I haven’t had a chance to go end to end and generate every aspect of a character yet, but I am hoping to do so shortly.
    • The Dungeon Master’s Tools are solid and there are some real standouts such as the common magic items.
    • We get 56 new spells! Tell me something wrong with that?
    • The appendices are a let down and I would rather see any other content than what was provided.


    Overall 89%

    Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
    shows us that the team behind D&D is listening and learning as they go. While not perfect (I would have gave it a 4.5 if I could here), this is a solid book and a worthy companion to the PHB and DMG.

    Read the Full Review
    Last edited by shawnellsworth; Thursday, 4th January, 2018 at 08:20 PM. Reason: minor change

  2. #3
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    4 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    As the first actual rules expansion of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, Xanathar's Guide to Everything (XGtE) is facing an immense amount of scrutiny, guaranteeing that it won't please everyone. That said, there's a lot there for fans to like.

    Xanathar's Guide to Everything is a good addition to the game. The relatively slim volume holds a lot of meat for players and DMs who want more than a hack-and-slay campaign while also providing options fans of the latter will embrace. It was worth the wait.

    Full review.
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  3. #4
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    4 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    The two biggest problems with Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is the limited amount of content and unexplanatory name.


    For a book that costs as much as the Player’s Handbook but has 128 fewer pages, limiting its usable content is a big drawback. The book features slightly tweaked subclasses we’ve already seen, misses some pretty iconic options, and devotes over a quarter of the book to random tables offering services that existing websites already provide (like random names) or that could have been free PDFs (like WotC has already done, as apparently with the list of spells, the monster by rarity chart, or the magic item rarity index). Or even left for DMsGuild products.


    But it’s the first non-adventure product WotC has released in a year, and will likely be the only accessory for players released for many months, if not another year or two. There’s been plenty of time to save money, and with so little official content released this small smattering of appetisers feels like a feast.


    All this makes the book difficult to judge.


    The actual content in the book is both well-balanced and well-received, being the best-of-the-best previewed in Unearthed Arcana. And I do very much like that they’re only adding a restrained number of new player options to the game. Those 50-odd pages will be great for my group eventually, as new campaigns start and/or replacement characters are brought into the game. The spells are also good, plus some of the DM variant rules will be useful: I can see using a few of the downtime options. But there’s so many more rules modules they could have added, so many more types of content. Looking back to my review of the DMG, rules modules missing from that book included encounter-based PC resources, alternate methods of gaining experience, fantastic firearms (i.e. non-historical), managing strongholds, kingdom building, mass combat, variant critical hit rules, critical fumbles, hit locations, armour as DR, and vehicular (especially naval) combat. All of those topics could have easily been at home here.


    Many players will be happy to roll randomly for a background, either to save themselves some time or brainpower, or simply to challenge themselves to work with the random results and reconcile any irregularities. But just as many might happily ignore those sections, preferring to devise their own backstory. And while some Dungeon Masters will be happy with random encounter tables, I suspect just as many prefer not to leave their encounters to chance. And for groups who primarily run one of the storyline adventures, these tables are also less useful, first because most of the encounters are scripted, but also because those books also feature random encounter tables (as such, I technically already own many, many pages of random encounters). While theoretically useful if an encounter goes off the rails, I have yet to pull of Storm King’s Thunder for a random encounter, and don’t think it likely I will do so with this book.


    After a few days with the book I’m reminded very much of the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, in that it’s a book with a smattering of crunchy content and a lot of "other". Only in this case, instead of being a campaign setting-ette and a guide to the Sword Coast, it’s just page after page of tables. Which, clearly, did not wow me. But, if you are a table junkie who makes regular use of random encounters while also favouring some random chance in your character’s backstories, this third of the book might make you incredibly happy.

    Read my full review here.
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  4. #5
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    5 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Xanathar's Guide to Everything is a smartly written supplement book from a company that historically, at times, has brought us not so smart supplement books. Wizards took a page out of their own playbook and essentially playtested the character archetypes included via Unearthed Arcana, and took their time producing balanced, quality content. Players aren't the only ones who will benefit though, there is plenty for the DM to peruse as well.

    For a full review, check my site: https://melsmifgames.wordpress.com/2...-deeper-delve/

    If you purchase this book here are a few things you can expect:


    • We see every base class presented in the Player’s Handbook receiving two new archetypes for players to utilize (with the exception of the Wizard who only gets one). Most of these were vetted via entry onto the Unearthed Arcana site, so you know they’ve faced some scrutiny from fans and the in house team. Much in the way 5th Edition itself was playtested.
    • A beefed up system of character background generation
    • New feats to play around with, this time focusing on the player character’s race. Reading through these reminded me that I need to pay a little bit more attention to this aspect of the game, feats are actually pretty cool options.
    • New spells are bandied about, many are long time favorites that didn’t make the cut in the first foray into 5th edition.
    • Numerous Dungeon Master tools are also available. Namely these tools serve to expand upon situations a DM might have run into and adds some needed assistance in how one might handle them.

  5. #6
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    3 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Everything is a mixed bag that ultimately doesn't really live up to its name. It doesn't really have everything but it is a good addition to the game. There's little to the book that would qualify as a "need" for any gaming table.

    Its average score comes from the fact that either there should be more to it or it should cost less.

  6. #7

    2 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Xanathar's Guide, a slim 192 pages, is an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise excellent edition.

    Before I get into the book's contents, I want to point out that Xanathar's Guide is comprised of a shocking amount of reprinted material: approximately 4-5 pages of subclasses (from The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide) and 10-14 pages of spells. 37 out of the 77 wizard spells in Xanathar's Guide are reprinted from Princes of the Apocalypse (the same spells also appear in the free Elemental Evil Player's Companion).

    When you subtract 14-19 pages of reprinted material and 20 pages of appendices that many people will find useless (the last chunk of Xanathar's Guide is compromised of random name tables -- yes, really), Xanathar's Guide is a mere ~155 pages. Ouch.

    Player Options
    I'm not a fan of the new subclasses. At all. Almost all of them fail at the conceptual level, meaning they have no place alongside such iconic archetypes as the Thief, Beastmaster, Wild Mage, Assassin, etc. Players aren't likely to come to the game wanting to play a Shampoo Druid or a Peanut Bard, so why add them to the game? D&D thrives on big, splashy icons of fantasy: wizards, fighters, thieves, and clerics, the primary colors of the fantasy genre. The way to achieve different shades and colors is by blending the primary classes through feats and multiclassing. If someone wants to play a purple class with green polkadots, then they can multiclass a red class with a blue one and take a green feat. There's no need to codify purple-with-green-polkadots alongside the primary color classes. It's a hierarchical nightmare.

    And while some subclasses have a strong concept -- the Samurai and the Cavalier, for example -- their inclusion can't be justified in the face of existing player options. What is a Samurai if not a Fighter with the Noble background? And a Cavalier is just a Fighter with a horse. Why do these concepts need to be codified as unique subclasses when players already have the tools for creating them? Another hierarchical nightmare.

    Then there's the fact that the new subclasses have very poor thematic consistency, meaning that their abilities have little to nothing to do with their concept. Take the Circle of Dreams Druid, for example. What would you expect its 2nd level ability to be? Putting enemies to sleep? That would make sense. But instead, they are given the ability to heal their allies. A nice ability, to be sure, but what does it have to do with dreams? Not even the fluff can adequately explain.

    Ultimately, the player options in Xanathar's Guide are a poor addition the game. This is all the more frustrating because 5E was supposed to be the evergreen edition, something that seems more and more unlikely with each new release. (Note to the future developers of 6E: an "evergreen" edition and player options are mutually exclusive. Choose one.)

    DM Tools
    The book's second half is targeted at DMs, and almost all the material was already published in Unearthed Arcana with very few changes. As a result, many of us will feel like we already own a large portion of this book. On top of that, the DM tools are lackluster and add unnecessary complications to the game by introducing practical problems at the table.

    For example, the new magic crafting system doesn't fix the existing system so much as replace it, which might be alright if the new system didn't have its own inherent problems. So now we have a choice between using Flawed System A or Flawed System B. That sort of conundrum is introduced by other sections of the book as well. This is all the more problematic when you consider that Xanathar's Guide is a player-facing book. DM's might feel pressured to use the new crafting and downtime rules simply on the basis that their players are familiar with them.

    Yet Xanathar's Guide isn't all bad. A few sections offer welcome solutions to existing rules problems (identifying spells as they are cast, sleeping in armor, tying knots, and rate of falling). Unfortunately, these comprise no more than a few paragraphs in total, and some of the new rules are already the subject of massive player revolt. Identifying spells, for instance, uses up a reaction, precluding counterspell, and sleeping in armor is penalized with a reduction in Hit Dice recovery. Similarly, returning briefly to the player options, some of the subclasses have been nerfed from their play-test versions, prompting some players to cling to the original iterations.

    Ultimately, the second half of Xanathar's Guide is a lackluster and unwelcome addition to the game. Instead of the mechanical expansion we were promised, it serves as little more than a half-baked revision of existing systems, introducing more problems than it solves.

    Final Rating:
    2/5
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  7. #8
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    2 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    25 subclasses previously published on WotC's site? There's a reason sublasses are the province of fan and blog creations - they're not really all that interesting, or hard to make. It literally takes about 5 minutes to make a subclass. Probably less time than it takes to make a CHARACTER. 5 new CLASSES would have been awesome. 5 new classes would have been worth the price of admission. Subclasses? Meh. I can make them while asleep. The DM tools in this book save it from being a complete washout, but again it's all blog material. It falls far short of being modern version of AD&D's Unearthed Arcana.
    Laugh Wrathamon laughed with this post

  8. #9
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    2 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Xanathar's Guide to Everything does not quite live up to its name. Perhaps a better title would have been Xanathar's Box of Chocolates. Some of its contents are quite tasty, but most of it is rather average. There are a few bits that, if they were chocolates, would most likely get discarded with the packaging.

    - Some of the subclasses are quite cool. Some are rubbish. Some are (updated) reprints. A few don't quite live up to their potential. Standouts include the divine soul and hexblade.
    - The background stuff looks like it could be fun but I haven't had a chance to play with it yet.
    - Some of the DM tools look useful. I particularly like the expanded rules on using tools.
    - A number of the reprinted spells have been updated. As for the new ones, there are a few gems in there, but there are also some that are real game-changers, and maybe even a few that are potential game-breakers. Use with caution.
    - I'm not sure how I feel about all the random name tables. It's nice to have more names for some of the less common fantasy races (like dragonborn and tieflings) but I could have done without all the real world human names.


    Overall I'd have to say that I am somewhat disappointed with this book. Part of it might be because there's not much in there that I hadn't already seen in draft form, but a good chunk of my disappointment stems from the fact that much of its contents still feels half-baked. In fact, the book as a whole feels that way. I'm really not seeing the emphasis on quality over quantity that WotC has been touting here.
    Last edited by pukunui; Sunday, 28th October, 2018 at 10:18 AM.
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  9. #10
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    4 out of 5 rating for Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Yes, some of the material here has been printed elsewhere. And yes, it doesn't cover "everything" as the title suggests. (I would have loved to see some more detail to the extreme weather conditions rules, for one.)

    But, overall I feel that this is a must-have product for your game. Fifth Edition has been a wonderful rule-set. But, it seems some of the rules may have been tacked on and weren't fleshed out as well as they could have been. Particularly the downtime rules and the tool proficiency rules. Tools and downtime have been mostly ignored in our games, because they just didn't seem to offer much value. Xanathar's Guide fixes that. Now, with the fixed rules in this book, you will actually want to run some downtime scenarios. In my epic campaign, where the characters may need to spend some time researching ancient lore of the region or looking for a useful magical item, these rules work perfectly and are what we've been waiting for.

    Likewise, tool proficiencies, other than the thieves tools, have been largely ignored. But now, with a little bit of tweaking in Xanathar's guide, tool proficiencies become relevant and useful.

    I don't really understand some of the ultra-negative ratings some have given to this book. The criticism that a lot of this has been printed in Unearthed Arcana doesn't make sense. Unearthed Arcana is not official material; rather it's meant as sort of playtest material. That means a lot of time and work and playtesting went into these classes before it was put into an official book. Rejoice! The new spells were printed before in the Princes of Apocalypse campaign adventure. But that was just one adventure that might not be for everyone. Now we have this material, somewhat revised, placed into a book alongside other useful material for players and DM's to be used in all of your campaigns. That's a useful thing to have.

    After reading it, it feels like Xanathar's Guide is a sort of 5.1 edition rules update. I hope WOTC continues this trend. Yes, it's still the 5th edition rules, but with some updates to a few rules that didn't really work too well originally. Plus, there are loads of really interesting subclasses that will give many more options to your players and years of more enjoyment. In my mind, while not perfect in every regard, this is still one of the best products they've put out to date for 5th edition. With Xanathar's Guide, it feels like 5th Edition just got a little bit better.
    Last edited by machineelf; Tuesday, 5th December, 2017 at 10:48 AM.

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