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5E My Favorite Player Options From Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

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This week brings the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and with it, the giddy anticipation of Christmas Eve for Dungeons & Dragons fans. Wizards of the Coast has kept a pretty tight grip on new player options in Fifth Edition, making any time a bunch of them roll out something of an event. I’m going through each class to pick my favorite options out of each class through my very unscientific method of what I would probably play first. It might be a mechanical thing, a flavor thing or a game designer thing.

One broad note on that front; as a game designer, I am very happy that these options have been out as part of the Unearthed Arcana series. The early releases let a massive pool of playtesters provide feedback and give the designers a second chance if their first attempt is weak. It’s very tempting to hold things back to preserve a sense of surprise for a big release like this but I would rather have better versions of things we’ve seen before than brand new stuff that hasn’t been tested.

Artificer​

The full artificer class makes its debut here in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. It’s a great addition for those worlds that want a little bit of crafting or steampunk elements in them. For those folks who already own Eberron: Rising From the Last War, there’s one subclass that’s completely new here. The Armorer lets players get their Iron Man on, complete with two versions within the subclass: the front line Guardian or the run and fun Infiltrator.

Barbarian​

Any time an option offers a little more chaos on the battlefield, I am into it. The Path of Wild Magic gives barbarians a pocket version of the Sorcerer's Wild Magic table and lets them roll on it whenever they activate their rage. Given how often these players might be rolling on this table, I might be tempted to come up with a bigger one for fun.

Bard​

The College of Eloquence first appeared in Mythic Odysseys of Theros and offers a solid choice for players who want to talk their way out of (or into) trouble. I really like the College of Creation though as the type of D&D class where a player creates a solution to a problem that the Dungeon Master never expects. It’s one that can be rethemed depending on the world. Want to outspook Blinsky in Ravenloft with your own creepy toys? This college may be for you.

Cleric​

The Peace domain offers an interesting idea for a pacifist-type character in a game chock full of fighting. Don’t worry, it still offers bonuses for attacks and healing, complete with an ability for peace bonded members of the team to jump in and take big hits for each other.

Druid​

I like that the Circle of Stars really stretches the Druid concept beyond plant and animal magic. It’s a circle that takes “we are made of stars” literally. They get constellation based forms to add to their Wild Shape choices (which seem ripe for customization based on the world) and also grab a little oracle/divination flavor with their ability to affect attack rolls for allies or enemies.

Fighter​

The Fighter section has a lot of stuff for battle masters in its section including a fighting style that opens up battle master maneuvers to other subclasses. The Psi Warrior is our first taste of the psychic subclasses scattered throughout the book, but I ultimately preferred the Rune Knight because of its versatility with rune choices and because you can eventually embiggen like a Power Rangers monster.

Monk​

Monks and medicine go together like peanut butter and chocolate. I like that Way of Mercy gives monks some healing tech to further push out party composition from needing a healer. I love that it's compatible with Flurry of Blows so the monk can still kick but while healing a party member in the same turn.

Paladin​

Our second reprint from Mythic Odysseys of Theros appears here but this time I prefer it. The Oath of Glory feels like a quintessential paladin path; a little self-centered, but also a fantastic choice for someone who wants to play the party leader. I don’t know if we’ll ever get the warlord back in 5e, but this path seems like a nod in that classic Shouty Man direction.

Ranger​

The expanded class features are the big news for this class, but I’ll let the arguments for those play out in the comments. Instead, I would be very happy to play a Swarmkeeper with whatever tiny creatures I can imagine. Birds and bees are a good starting point, but there are a lot of creatures that could fit this particular build well.

Rogue​

Do I want to be The Crow or Psylocke? The Phantom offers some creepy death and spirit sub theming which always appeals to me. But the Soulknife lets me stab people with my brain. The Psychic Energy dice also offer a little bit of that bardic/battlemaster dice pool versatility.

Sorcerer​

The psychic subclasses are on a hot streak as I really enjoyed the Aberrant Mind. It feels like the closest we’re going to get to a full on psion class until they come out with a 5e setting where psionics are a major focus like Dark Sun.

Warlock​

The Genie offers an interesting take on the usual power dynamic in this class. It seems more symbiotic than the patron lording over the warlock. Unofficial patrons have explored this space and it's interesting to see official books do the same.

Wizard​

We end with a tough choice between the very popular Bladesingers and the Order of Scribes. Ultimately, I liked the Order of Scribes more because of the narrative element of a magic pen. Being able to touch a pen to a page and fill it with words appeals to me as a writer, creating scrolls sounds cool as a player, and being able to quote that one sketch from The Kids In The Hall constantly seems deadly to my Dungeon Master.
 
Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland






Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
It's funny... I'm like "dang it, I wish I had that subclass for my campaign 2 years ago" and I'm also "wow am I I glad this subclass wasn't around 2 years ago" at the same time.
 



Aaron L

Hero
I am seriously liking just about everything in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. With the sole exception of the opening up of the Bladesinger to all races, I am loving all of it.

(Seriously, I will not stop harping on this change; I can totally understand the desire to have a Melee Wizard class that's open to everyone, but they really should have just created a new generic Melee Wizard subclass that everyone could use, perhaps inspired by the Elven Bladesinger, but not by just taking this extremely difficult, sacred Elven tradition that takes 50+ years of training just to reach 1st level, is so hard that the vast majority of even the Elves never bother to learn it, and was always specifically described as being so sacred to Elven culture that no Bladesinger would ever teach it to a non-Elf, and if a non-Elf did somehow manage to magically tear the knowledge from an Elf's mind then the Elven People would swear a universal vendetta against that person and not rest until they were destroyed... and finally, a skill that no non-Elf would even be able to perform properly anyway since it requires the special Elven connection to magic and Elven magical senses to properly perform anyway... and then just retconning it to open it up to just anyone. Retcons like that, which directly contradict the spirit and intention of the existing lore, seriously piss me off... but I digress... )

Aside from that one glaring exception I am absolutely loving Tasha's Cauldron.
 

Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
I am seriously liking just about everything in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. With the sole exception of the opening up of the Bladesinger to all races, I am loving all of it.

(Seriously, I will not stop harping on this change; I can totally understand the desire to have a Melee Wizard class that's open to everyone, but they really should have just created a new generic Melee Wizard subclass that everyone could use, perhaps inspired by the Elven Bladesinger, but not by just taking this extremely difficult, sacred Elven tradition that takes 50+ years of training just to reach 1st level, is so hard that the vast majority of even the Elves never bother to learn it, and was always specifically described as being so sacred to Elven culture that no Bladesinger would ever teach it to a non-Elf, and if a non-Elf did somehow manage to magically tear the knowledge from an Elf's mind then the Elven People would swear a universal vendetta against that person and not rest until they were destroyed... and finally, a skill that no non-Elf would even be able to perform properly anyway since it requires the special Elven connection to magic and Elven magical senses to properly perform anyway... and then just retconning it to open it up to just anyone. Retcons like that, which directly contradict the spirit and intention of the existing lore, seriously piss me off... but I digress... )

Aside from that one glaring exception I am absolutely loving Tasha's Cauldron.

But that's just, like, tradition man!

Since when should the tradition, rituals, and accumulated lore of generations ever stop me from making a really kick-butt character that I'll probably play until level 4, when I realize that what I really wanted was a Mountain Dwarf Warlock that recharges on long rests and smites.
 

Einlanzer0

Explorer
I was genuinely surprised by how much I liked most of the content of this book, including the replacement Ranger features which have stirred up controversy (in my view largely unjustly.)

Only thing I would have loved to see is a Swordmage subclass for the Artificer. I actually really like getting new classes, but I feel the 5e Artificer has broad enough design space (thankfully) for the Swordmage to fit really well inside of it.

I still hope and expect to see a full Psion class at some point, but I like that options here allow us to dabble with it while they refine their approach from feedback. I admittedly don't love that they converted the old attack and defense modes into spells, though - they should have just waited to reintroduce those.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Hmmm....favorite parts?

Barbarian path of the beast
pretty much every new change to the ranger
New fighting styles (so many ways to build my protector theme warrior)
Several feats
Rune knight
 

Khelon Testudo

Cleric of Stronmaus
A class limited in-universe to one species ("ancestry") due to in-universe racism isn't going to wash in 2020 - especially in a book with a section devoted to how even gnomes can be as good barbarians as goliaths.
 

Ogre Mage

Adventurer
The subclasses I really want to play are:

Twilight Domain Cleric.
Peace Domain Cleric.
Circle of the Stars Druid.
Aberrant Mind Sorcerer.
Clockwork Soul Sorcerer.
Genie Warlock.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I was kind of surprised that shield training wasn't left in for the feats, I had to add it back in to DnDBeyond so that I could use it.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
My favorite part is definitely the part where they opened Bladesingers to other races. I didn't realize how much my general antipathy for the concept was bound up with its inherent elfishness; I'm seriously considering running one now (well, that and the "swap an attack for a cantrip" feature is awesome).
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
It seems like you can make 4 attacks with Form of the Beast (Claws) if you have the Dual Wielder feat.
Unless I'm mistaken, the off hand attack isn't part of the attack action. It's a bonus action. Therefore, 3 attacks. Which is still nothing to scoff at at level 3-4
 

cbwjm

Hero
Unless I'm mistaken, the off hand attack isn't part of the attack action. It's a bonus action. Therefore, 3 attacks. Which is still nothing to scoff at at level 3-4
I just had a look. Manifest claws and you can make an additional attack as part of the attack action. Get dual wielder at 4th then at level 5 you can make 3 attacks and then a 4th as a bonus action.
 

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