5E An Arcanist’s Handbook - The Lesser Key of Sargon, or Thumbs on the Scales of the Universe (DMs Guild, Pay What You Want)

An Arcanist’s Handbook - The Lesser Key of Sargon, or Thumbs on the Scales of the Universe (DMs Guild, Pay What You Want)

Hello all! I'm proud to present you with The Lesser Key of Sargon, a handbook intended for everyone who’s ever wanted to play an arcane spellcaster in Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, but, for whatever reason, just can’t quite seem to crack it. Specifically, the Lesser Key of Sargon focuses on building and playing the Arcanist archetype, which I loosely define as:

“A dedicated primary arcane spellcaster with a flexible set of tools and a tactical mindset that enables them to meaningfully and proactively contribute to every encounter.”

In other words, rather than focus on how to build the perfect Wizard, the Lesser Key advises you on how to perfect a certain playstyle. It isn’t merely intended to strengthen your character, however, but also your own skills as a player—including by consistently advocating a teamwork-focused approach to D&D 5e. Knowledge is power, after all, but a true Arcanist always uses it wisely.

Roughly summarized, the Lesser Key is split into the following parts:

Section I (7 pages) – an introduction to the Arcanist playstyle as applied to both in- and out-of-combat roles


Section II (4 pages) – a discussion of the concept of Relative Superiority, a concept pioneered Admiral William H. McRaven, as applied to D&D


Section III (19 pages) – a comparison of the various character classes who could potentially fill the Arcanist role, along with a comprehensive multiclassing analysis


Section IV (40 pages) – a lengthy commentary on choosing spells, including discussions of most individual arcane spells in 5e D&D and a set of 16 rules for selecting spells for your character

Section V (18 pages) – an essay, aided by flowcharts, discussing the tactics of casting spells in 5e D&D, along with commentaries on resource usage, Counterspelling, the importance of reconnaissance, interacting with your DM and fellow players, the action economy, and improving your own personal defenses

Section VI (7 pages) – a broad comparison of monster types for your general reference, derived from a statistical analysis of the nearly 700 monsters in the 5e Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes


Section VII (23 pages) – a commentary on choosing magic items, with special emphasis on what is more useful to an Arcanist relative to the rest of the party; this section is explicitly team-focused, and assumes the Arcanist takes the enlightened view that what is good for the goose is also good for the goose’s benevolent overlord

Section VIII (2 pages) – a brief conclusion, again setting forth the general intent of the Lesser Key and a few final words of “wisdom”

Appendix A (2 pages) – a discussion of metagaming, including the author’s philosophical stance on “good” versus “bad” metagaming

Appendix B (1 page) – links to other handbooks discussing specific class optimization

The Lesser Key represents the distillation of more than a decade and a half’s worth of experience in conceptualizing, designing, playing, and DMing for arcane spellcasters across various editions of Dungeons and Dragons and at all levels of play. The views stated herein are solely my own, although I have made an effort to link to sufficiently reasonable discussions or official rulings that clarify grey areas.

Have fun! And if you're so inclined, please let me know what you think in the reviews; feedback is my lifeblood. I have now made this title Pay What You Want, so please enjoy!

The Lesser Key is available here:
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/281789/The-Lesser-Key-of-Sargon-or-Thumbs-on-the-Scales-of-the-Universe-An-Arcanists-Handbook-A-Guide
 

Brian Lowe

Visitor
Hello all! I'm proud to present you with The Lesser Key of Sargon, a handbook intended for everyone who’s ever wanted to play an arcane spellcaster in Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, but, for whatever reason, just can’t quite seem to crack it. Specifically, the Lesser Key of Sargon focuses on building and playing the Arcanist archetype, which I loosely define as:

“A dedicated primary arcane spellcaster with a flexible set of tools and a tactical mindset that enables them to meaningfully and proactively contribute to every encounter.”

In other words, rather than focus on how to build the perfect Wizard, the Lesser Key advises you on how to perfect a certain playstyle. It isn’t merely intended to strengthen your character, however, but also your own skills as a player—including by usps tracking consistently advocating a teamwork-focused approach to D&D 5e. Knowledge is power, after all, but a true Arcanist always uses it wisely.

Roughly summarized, the Lesser Key is split into the following parts:

Section I (7 pages) – an introduction to the Arcanist playstyle as applied to both in- and out-of-combat roles


Section II (4 pages) – a discussion of the concept of Relative Superiority, a concept pioneered Admiral William H. McRaven, as applied to D&D


Section III (19 pages) – a comparison of the various character classes who could potentially fill the Arcanist role, along with a comprehensive multiclassing analysis


Section IV (40 pages) – a lengthy commentary on choosing spells, including discussions of most individual arcane spells in 5e D&D and a set of 16 rules for selecting spells for your character

Section V (18 pages) – an essay, aided by flowcharts, discussing the tactics of casting spells in 5e D&D, along with commentaries on resource usage, Counterspelling, the importance of reconnaissance, interacting with your DM and fellow players, the action economy, and improving your own personal defenses

Section VI (7 pages) – a broad comparison of monster types for your general reference, derived from a statistical analysis of the nearly 700 monsters in the 5e Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes


Section VII (23 pages) – a commentary on choosing magic items, with special emphasis on what is more useful to an Arcanist relative to the rest of the party; this section is explicitly team-focused, and assumes the Arcanist takes the enlightened view that what is good for the goose is also good for the goose’s benevolent overlord

Section VIII (2 pages) – a brief conclusion, again setting forth the general intent of the Lesser Key and a few final words of “wisdom”

Appendix A (2 pages) – a discussion of metagaming, including the author’s philosophical stance on “good” versus “bad” metagaming

Appendix B (1 page) – links to other handbooks discussing specific class optimization

The Lesser Key represents the distillation of more than a decade and a half’s worth of experience in conceptualizing, designing, playing, and DMing for arcane spellcasters across various editions of Dungeons and Dragons and at all levels of play. The views stated herein are solely my own, although I have made an effort to link to sufficiently reasonable discussions or official rulings that clarify grey areas.

Have fun! And if you're so inclined, please let me know what you think in the reviews; feedback is my lifeblood. I have now made this title Pay What You Want, so please enjoy!

The Lesser Key is available here:
Wow thanks for this.

Regards,
Brian
 
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Nelson444

Visitor
Hello all! I'm proud to present you with The Lesser Key of Sargon, a handbook intended for everyone who’s ever wanted to play an arcane spellcaster in Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons, but, for whatever reason, just can’t quite seem to crack it. Specifically, the Lesser Key of Sargon focuses on building and playing the Arcanist archetype, which I loosely define as:

“A dedicated primary arcane spellcaster with a flexible set of tools and a tactical mindset that enables them to meaningfully and proactively contribute to every encounter.”

In other words, rather than focus on how to build the perfect Wizard, the Lesser Key advises you on how to perfect a certain playstyle. It isn’t merely intended to strengthen your character, however, but also your own skills as a player—including by consistently advocating a teamwork-focused approach to D&D 5e. Knowledge is power, after all, but a true Arcanist always uses it wisely.

Roughly summarized, the Lesser Key is split into the following parts:

Section I (7 pages) – an introduction to the Arcanist playstyle as applied to both in- and out-of-combat roles


Section II (4 pages) – a discussion of the concept of Relative Superiority, a concept pioneered Admiral William H. McRaven, as applied to D&D


Section III (19 pages) – a comparison of the various character classes who could potentially fill the Arcanist role, along with a comprehensive multiclassing analysis


Section IV (40 pages) – a lengthy commentary on choosing spells, including discussions of most individual arcane spells in 5e D&D and a set of 16 rules for selecting spells for your character

Section V (18 pages) – an essay, aided by flowcharts, discussing the tactics of casting spells in 5e D&D, along with commentaries on resource usage, Counterspelling, the importance of reconnaissance, interacting with your DM and fellow players, the action economy, and improving your own personal defenses

Section VI (7 pages) – a broad comparison of monster types for your general reference, derived from a statistical analysis of the nearly 700 monsters in the 5e Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes


Section VII (23 pages) – a commentary on choosing magic items, with special emphasis on what is more useful to an Arcanist relative to the rest of the party; this section is explicitly team-focused, and assumes the Arcanist takes the enlightened view that what is good for the goose is also good for the goose’s benevolent overlord

Section VIII (2 pages) – a brief conclusion, again setting forth the general intent of the Lesser Key and a few final words of “wisdom”

Appendix A (2 pages) – a discussion of metagaming, including the author’s philosophical stance on “good” versus “bad” metagaming

Appendix B (1 page) – links to other handbooks discussing specific class optimization

The Lesser Key represents the distillation of more than a decade and a half’s worth of experience in conceptualizing, designing, playing, and DMing for arcane spellcasters across various editions of Dungeons and Dragons and at all levels of play. The views stated herein are solely my own, although I have made an effort to link to sufficiently reasonable discussions or official rulings that clarify grey areas.

Have fun! And if you're so inclined, please let me know what you think in the MyKFCExperience Feedback; feedback is my lifeblood. I have now made this title Pay What You Want, so please enjoy!

The Lesser Key is available here:
https://www.dmsguild.com/product/281789/The-Lesser-Key-of-Sargon-or-Thumbs-on-the-Scales-of-the-Universe-An-Arcanists-Handbook-A-Guide

Thanks for this, happy finding this article.
 
Last edited:

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