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D&D 5E My Quick and Dirty Tasha Read


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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Meh. Using your Channel Divinity, for 1 minute.

Artillerist can do it for 1 hour for free.

I appreciate you taking the time to reply, and that is a great one to compare to. On a surface level, sure, it's about the same ish right? So I decided to look into it further... and twilight is massively better. Let us compare shall we?

Opportunity cost:
First, both take an action to "deploy" - there is an opportunity cost - the PC could have used that action to do something else. However, the artificer needs a bonus action to make it "fire" each round. The twilight cleric has no such need and can use their bonus action to do something else (spiritual weapon?). Furthermore, the artificer, by using the protector, is not using the offensive version of their cannon, and is therefore reducing their damage output, something that the twilight cleric doesn't have to worry about.
Winner: Twilight cleric, strongly.

Amount of "healing" done:
The artificer has a bit of an edge because the healing effect doesn't have to be centered on them, flexibility wise. However, that edge is more than equalized by the twilight cleric's area - 30 foot radius, vs the much more modest 10 feet radius of the protector. The artificer's protector does 1d8+int bonus temp HP. The cleric does 1d6+cleric level. So sure at low levels the artificer does a bit more, but the twilight cleric will massively outpace the artificer at mid and high levels (the double cannon at level 15 allows the artificer to catch up a bit). Lastly, the twilight aura also removes fear or charm.
Winner: Twilight cleric

Aaaaand that's just for the twilight aura! There are other powers too.
 

Snip

No draw backs. Now I know people can disagree on this, and people like different things, but one of the things I liked about the Wild Magic Surge was that things could go horribly wrong. You can cast grease or fireball centered on yourself, you can turn into a potted plant, you can get older or younger, everybody within 30' could gain vulnerability to damage.

The Wild Magic barbarian has none of that. Everything is good, and not just good, but good for you and your friends. You can't control what magic will happen, but you can control who is effected by it. If it is protective lights, it protects you and your friends. If you grow a bunch of plants around you, they only hinder your enemies. I mean, sure, magic can do that kind of stuff, but if it is really random, why does it always recognize who is friendly and who isn't? Why doesn't it randomly effect everyone? Or randomly give the bad guys a bonus?

Now I understand this is supposed to be a benefit, so the majority should be beneficial, but you can throw a few curve balls in there to make things interesting. I mean, if you always won at gambling, it wouldn't be fun anymore. Sure you would still do it to make some money, but now it is just a chore.

I think in part because of the Wild sorcerer. Most people avoid the subclass like the plague because of that potential to fireball and kill your team. So people would see the Wild Magic Barbarian as just a detriment to their team and not pick it.
 

I think in part because of the Wild sorcerer. Most people avoid the subclass like the plague because of that potential to fireball and kill your team. So people would see the Wild Magic Barbarian as just a detriment to their team and not pick it.

More important, take a step back and ask what value it brings to the game to give PC abilities a random chance to backfire negatively? It doesn't feel cool when it happens, it doesn't add anything to the story, it just negates your action while inflicting a penalty on you or the group. It's exactly the same as crit-fail tables where Fighters randomly hit an ally instead, and everyone agrees those suck.

Abilities with a cost are fine. You weigh the cost, you decide when it's worth it, and you control when it happens. Abilities that randomly fail are bad, and abilities that randomly backfire are worse. It doesn't matter if they're crit-fail tables or wild surge charts.
 
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So I got my book today, and did my usual quick skim....delving into a few things that interested me. My general quick and dirty thoughts:

1) Player Options: Most of these are "fine"...honestly its mostly fluff to my eyes. The ranger changes are at least interesting. The Monk ones....why does WOTC hate the monk so much, like that healing ability is a ridiculously weak use of ki.

I agree it's unlikely to see much use, but it does give you something to do with ki if you're about to short rest. Since ki recovers on a short rest, a monk is going to be able to recover all their HP during the day. IMO, this ability adds a ton of survivability to the class, and is also reminiscent of the self healing the class used to have in prior editions. Overall I think the monk features add a lot of flexibility to a historically very narrow class.

2) Artificier: Compared to the UA, looks like they tightened up a few abilities and move some things into infusions. They also took out the weird extra attack with magic items thing. Don't have much more to say until I dig in.

Yeah, that's my take, too. It's mostly cleanup and making the more oddly written abilities feel more standard. Polishing the rough edges.

3) My first read of the Fighter subclass "Rune Knight" gave me a bit of an eyebrow raise. It looks really cool, but man some of things abilities seem pretty darn strong. Its probably one of the favorite ones I looked over.

I think rune knight is a very interesting take on a gish, and I'm glad to see it. I'm not sure if the runes are actually impactful, however. The class gets a pile of odd abilities. I think the biggest problem is that none of them feel like they synergize all that well. Still, it's cool and different.

5) Feats: All of the feats look solid enough. WOTC is clearly embracing the idea of "multiclassing through feats"...not as a requirement, but as another avenue to allow characters to "dip their toe in the water". That said...I WANT MORE FEATS!!! This is actually a common complaint about my table, that the players miss the plethora of 3.5 feats and really want to see feats in more places.

I'm a little disappointed by Crusher, Piercer, and Slasher. They're decent and I'm sure I'll take one at some point. But... they're not really compelling. Maybe it's because the names read like playtest names they forgot to have a writer replace.

I don't understand why the multiclass spellcasting feats all say, "You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level," when none of the original multiclass spellcasting feats have errata to say that. Just a bit odd.

6) The Group Patron section is just all fluff to me....and fluff I wasn't really looking for. Its a cool idea that many dms already use, its a good idea, but doesn't need such a large amount of space dedicated to it.

I actually like these. Not going to use them as patrons, but I will use them as fodder for organizations and the kinds of resources they have. Many of them are self-evident, but I did find that it got my imagination going reading through them. As a DM, I like this kind of content. Even if I will never use it I like the feeling I get reading through it.

I'm also a bit happy it took the form it did. I was worried that the book might be stepping on the toes of the forthcoming Kingdom & Warfare, which would've been a low blow.

7) Spells: My favorite thing in the book are the new summon spells. I really really like the new format. Effectively you summon a specific type of creature...but you get a few choices. Example, you summon an elemental and choose which type. You summon a fiend, and choose between a devil, demon, or yugoloth. Then it provides you a statblock. Your choice means you access certain parts of the stat block and not others. For example, the devil gets one type of attack, the demon gets another. Further, the level you summon the spell is a major factor in the statblock, so you can easily scale the summons up with level...instead of having to just summons hordes of things.

I also prefer this type of summon. Yeah, it's not as evocative or satisfying as actually pulling creatures from the monster manual, but this is way easier to balance and it's basically how these things in like every other game work. Monster manual summons just take a lot more time at the table, unfortunately, and they encourage players to find the best value and then never go with anything else. In that case I'm fine with everything becoming like animate objects. I'd kind of be on board with polymorph spells and wild shape doing the same thing, to be honest.

It feels like a good balance, provides players the statblock (no MM needed), gives them a solid base with some customization, and with some good spell level scaling. I like it.

The other spells seems all well and good, my only beef..... clerics have been shafted in the spell department in Xanathars and now Tasha's. Everyone else to enjoy a plethora of new spells, clerics get 2.

Non-arcane casters have been shafted most of this edition, IMO. I think druids and clerics have generally poor spell lists regardless of the books your DM lets you use. In general I've been dissatisfied with clerics and druids in this edition. There are some exceptions, but my experience with them was having a lot of options that don't feel good. I don't see that changing because while they're also bad fighters they're good enough at both.

9) The sidekick rules remind me of the old npc classes. They are decently useful if the DM wants to throw in another character without overshadowing anyone.

Yeah, they even have the same class names. I think they're a great NPC addition. I've often used the acolyte or priest NPCs as a companion NPC, and this may make that easier. I don't really like the half caster spell progression. I'd rather they just not get spells of 6th level and higher. Maybe slow them down by a level, but I'd much, much, much rather that delayed progression be at the same rate but behind 1-3 levels rather than at half rate. Being 6, 7, or more levels behind primary casters is just awful. That counts for both PCs and NPCs.

10) There is a section called Parleying with Monsters I actually really like. Its short and simple, but it offers good ideas on how to diplomacy with monsters but not make it "pass or fail". Effectively it provides things the monster might be interested in, that if the party provides, the monster would be more cooperative.

Yeah, I also really liked this section. I doubt that I'll ever use the system as presented exactly, but, again, it gives me some really nice ideas and evokes a good way of thinking about things. In that sense it does a very good job.

11) I like the Environmental Hazards section a lot. It provides a lot of options to have whole landscapes altered by forces, such as a haunting or infestation. Then it provides random results as the party explores to help sell the weirdness of the new landscape...its solid.

I'm sure I'd seen these somewhere before. Maybe a UA, maybe an earlier edition. They're cool, but I don't know if it's what I would want exactly. Again, it's good fuel for ideas, but I don't think I'll use exactly what's presented here. There's great nuggets of ideas here, though.

12) Puzzles: Now personally I am not a puzzle guy, but some players are my table are, so having some new ones to use on them is handy. They also come with some pretty handouts in the back that you can copy to help make the puzzles pop. That said, the first puzzle in the book noted as "Easy".... damn that one was not Easy for me!!!

Yeah, that "easy" puzzle is extremely obtuse. It would not be solved at my table. Like maybe if one or two of the paintings had plaques with the names of the monsters and one of the letters painted red.

I love puzzles. But I hate them in TTRPGs. First, they almost always feel super contrived. Second, most of the people I've played with don't like them, so you'll essentially never have a puzzle where everyone at the table is invested. Not like combat, not like social encounters, not even like exploration. So I avoid them as a DM and dislike them as a player.

So all in all what did I think?

1) New subclasses will get some use.
2) New magic spells and magic items will see a lot of use. Probably the meatiest section
3) New feats are solid for certain classes. I know my players will be disappointed there were not more of them.
4) I will make solid use of the Environmental Hazards...and an occasional use of the puzzles....assuming I can prevent my players from looking at that section!
5) About 1/5 of the book is just stuff that I think is fluffy or uninteresting....overall a bit better than Xanathar's for me.

This book has more content that I find interesting or useful -- directly or indirectly -- than any book printed since the original core rulebooks. This is easily my most favorite release since 2015.
 

I don't understand why the multiclass spellcasting feats all say, "You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level," when none of the original multiclass spellcasting feats have errata to say that. Just a bit odd.

The language of the PHB errata implies that the intent is for it to work the same way as these new feats. It's just not quite as clear as the new phrasing. Maybe they'll rephrase it the next PHB printing, or maybe it takes too much space on the page.

Here's the current PHB errata.

"Magic Initiate (p. 168). The second paragraph has been changed to “In addition, choose one 1st-level spell to learn from that same list. Using this feat, you can cast the spell once at its lowest level, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it in this way again.”

"Spell to learn", "using this feat", and "in this way" are the relevant phrases that make it work the same as the Tasha's feats.

Jeremy Crawford has also clarified in the past that it works that way.
 

The language of the PHB errata implies that the intent is for it to work the same way as these new feats. It's just not quite as clear as the new phrasing. Maybe they'll rephrase it the next PHB printing, or maybe it takes too much space on the page.

Here's the current PHB errata.

"Magic Initiate (p. 168). The second paragraph has been changed to “In addition, choose one 1st-level spell to learn from that same list. Using this feat, you can cast the spell once at its lowest level, and you must finish a long rest before you can cast it in this way again.”

"Spell to learn", "using this feat", and "in this way" are the relevant phrases that make it work the same as the Tasha's feats.

Jeremy Crawford has also clarified in the past that it works that way.

Oh, I know that's how they want them to work. My point -- and I wasn't clear -- is that they just released new errata like a week ago and this newer, clearer phrasing wasn't used. Especially because the SA compendium says they were publishing it to bring things in line with Tasha's. The fact that they have issued errata on it before, then changed the wording again for Tasha's to something very clear (so they knew it was still an issue), and then issued errata to bring things in line with Tasha's, and then didn't apply the same fix? It's odd.

I have to think it's just an oversight or that errata in books published as often as the core books are carries some significant cost or has some review process.
 

Now that I'm diving into the details of what's new or different from the UA material, one thing it took me a couple reads to notice is that the magic tattoos no long share an attunement slot. At least, I can't find the clause anymore, so if anyone spots it do let me know. Because to be honest, I thought some of the common tattoos were pretty cool, but that was predicated on being able to bundle their attunement cost. If each one stands alone it makes them way, way less attractive.
 

G

Guest User

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Non-arcane casters have been shafted most of this edition, IMO. I think druids and clerics have generally poor spell lists regardless of the books your DM lets you use. In general I've been dissatisfied with clerics and druids in this edition
I have been pleasantly surprised at how fun the cleric class is to play. The class, (mostly), has great action economy, and is extremely magical.

XGE had Toll the Dead, which is a "Mic Drop Moment".....no more spells were needed.
The 5e cleric is very different than the AD&D cleric. Thank goodness for that!
(I do wish clerics had some more summoning spells)

The tie between the Druid class and the Fey is stronger than in any prior edition, and I find that rather cool. I didn't expect to create some Quickling Fey NPCs, but somebody went and played a Druid. 🧚🏿‍♀️🌩
 


I appreciate you taking the time to reply, and that is a great one to compare to. On a surface level, sure, it's about the same ish right? So I decided to look into it further... and twilight is massively better. Let us compare shall we?

Opportunity cost:
First, both take an action to "deploy" - there is an opportunity cost - the PC could have used that action to do something else.
We have an artillerist in the party. Since the thing lasts an hour, the eldritch cannon is usually deployed before the start of the fight, so in-combat deployment time is usually zero.

And this is the big difference. The twilight cleric's aura lasts at best for one fight. And most fights last 3 round or less, so you are probably only going to get three uses per Channel Divinity consumed. The eldritch cannon effectively lasts until the party takes a rest. That's usually at least three fights in our game. It's de-facto always on.
However, the artificer needs a bonus action to make it "fire" each round.
Our artificer doesn't have anything else to do with their bonus action.
The twilight cleric has no such need and can use their bonus action to do something else (spiritual weapon?). Furthermore, the artificer, by using the protector, is not using the offensive version of their cannon, and is therefore reducing their damage output, something that the twilight cleric doesn't have to worry about.
The Eldritch cannon's damage is meh.
Winner: Twilight cleric, strongly.
Actually, the "winner" is our Glamour bard, but that's yet another source of temp hp for the whole party.
Amount of "healing" done:
The artificer has a bit of an edge because the healing effect doesn't have to be centered on them, flexibility wise. However, that edge is more than equalized by the twilight cleric's area - 30 foot radius, vs the much more modest 10 feet radius of the protector.
This is irreverent. If everyone in the party is taking damage every round the tank isn't doing their job. Usually just one or two party members need to be in position to have their temp hp refreshed. You can send the EK to the front line (it also serves as a meat shield in itself).
The artificer's protector does 1d8+int bonus temp HP. The cleric does 1d6+cleric level. So sure at low levels the artificer does a bit more, but the twilight cleric will massively outpace the artificer at mid and high levels (the double cannon at level 15 allows the artificer to catch up a bit). Lastly, the twilight aura also removes fear or charm.
Winner: Twilight cleric
At those high levels, monsters are hitting for 60+ hp per round. A few more temp hp makes very little difference.
Aaaaand that's just for the twilight aura! There are other powers too.
You are massively over-rating it, I don't think anyone else thinks it's that good.

Temporary hp are cheep because they don't stack and there are lots and lots of potential sources in the game, and if you don't get hit they are wasted.
 

I don't understand why the multiclass spellcasting feats all say, "You can also cast these spells using spell slots you have of the appropriate level," when none of the original multiclass spellcasting feats have errata to say that. Just a bit odd.

This has been a houserule at my tables for a long time. Never made a lot of sense to have spells that you knew, but you couldn't use your spell slots to cast them.

Non-arcane casters have been shafted most of this edition, IMO. I think druids and clerics have generally poor spell lists regardless of the books your DM lets you use. In general I've been dissatisfied with clerics and druids in this edition. There are some exceptions, but my experience with them was having a lot of options that don't feel good. I don't see that changing because while they're also bad fighters they're good enough at both.

I'd disagree with clerics, they feel very solid, but Druids.... yeah. They were hit far too hard with concentration.

I've been playing a play-by-post druid for a year or so now, and we don't get into a lot of fights, to be fair, but I just went HAM recently in a dungeon, losing my mind and just hitting everything with the most powerful spells for each situation...

And I still have a 4th level slot, two 3rd level slots and all of my other slots. Because three fights were three spells. I couldn't cast more and still be maximally effective.

I love puzzles. But I hate them in TTRPGs. First, they almost always feel super contrived. Second, most of the people I've played with don't like them, so you'll essentially never have a puzzle where everyone at the table is invested. Not like combat, not like social encounters, not even like exploration. So I avoid them as a DM and dislike them as a player.

Agreed. Also, a lot of puzzles can work like Riddles rely on knowledge from our world. Doing a riddle based in the mythology of the game world really devolves to either needing players super invested in the setting or "roll Intelligence and I'll tell you the answer."
 

I finished the player options and all I want now is to play a crusty dwarven Fathomless Warlock with the Chef feat.

I'm really digging the new magic items. The magic tattoos are everything I could've hoped for. One thing I caught that was interesting was the part about Madame Luba, a halfling Vistani. That seems new, unless I've missed that bit of lore.
 


caddo2000

Explorer
I finished the player options and all I want now is to play a crusty dwarven Fathomless Warlock with the Chef feat.

I'm really digging the new magic items. The magic tattoos are everything I could've hoped for. One thing I caught that was interesting was the part about Madame Luba, a halfling Vistani. That seems new, unless I've missed that bit of lore.
MAin dish Octopus Salad!!!
 


Lord Twig

Explorer
I think in part because of the Wild sorcerer. Most people avoid the subclass like the plague because of that potential to fireball and kill your team. So people would see the Wild Magic Barbarian as just a detriment to their team and not pick it.
Sure, and I'm saying that there are people that like that gamble. I'll agree that killing your team with a fireball might not be fun, but the one time our sorcerer was turned into a potted plant was hilarious. Afterwards his character claimed he had seen the error of his ways after having seen "how the potted half live" and would go out of his way to be kind to plants, particularly if they were in pots.
More important, take a step back and ask what value it brings to the game to give PC abilities a random chance to backfire negatively? It doesn't feel cool when it happens, it doesn't add anything to the story, it just negates your action while inflicting a penalty on you or the group. It's exactly the same as crit-fail tables where Fighters randomly hit an ally instead, and everyone agrees those suck.

Abilities with a cost are fine. You weigh the cost, you decide when it's worth it, and you control when it happens. Abilities that randomly fail are bad, and abilities that randomly backfire are worse. It doesn't matter if they're crit-fail tables or wild surge charts.
While I agree that the fumble tables (or crit-fail tables) are not good, that is mostly because they happen far too often and aren't that interesting. And there are ways of making effects that are interesting without being so bad or so good that they ruin the fun. The ground-zero fireball is probably too negative (at least until higher levels when it isn't an instant TPK), but they could have the wild growth difficult terrain effect everybody. That is neither a bonus or a negative by itself as it effects everyone equally, but the party could make it a bonus by being prepared for something like that to happen.

There is also all of the random stuff that doesn't effect the game directly. Like you grow a beard of feathers, or change color, or become immune to alcohol. They could even combine things like this with the useful things so maybe when the ground sprouts vines and flowers for 15' around you, you also turn green and don't need to eat for the next day if you get enough sunlight. Maybe for the bonus teleport effect you don't get to choose whether you teleport or not. You have to teleport at least 10' every round, even if you would rather not. Still incredibly useful, but adds a little catch that you might need to work around to make things interesting.

And epic fails really are some of the best stories. The time the party had everything go right and beat down a beholder isn't that memorable, but if the barbarian leapt off a cliff to jump on the beholder, rolled a 1 on his athletics and face-planted 20' below, that is hilarious and will be talked about for years.
 


My Q&D-read of Tasha's:
Feels like I already have most of that in other books, or at least read it in UA.
Artificer, Bladesinger, spells, feats, meh...

And then these ridiculous pseudo-Psionics classes.
Why not play an eldritch knight / arcane trickster / whatever-class-with-arcane-spells and claim it's psionics?

More and more draws me back to Pathfinder (1e).
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
And then these ridiculous pseudo-Psionics classes.
Why not play an eldritch knight / arcane trickster / whatever-class-with-arcane-spells and claim it's psionics?
If people had been willing to do that, the subclasses would never have been made. But people aren't. They want new and different and specific stuff and WotC is usually willing to give a certain amount of it.

Your question is no different than the person who asks why WotC bothered to keep the paladin class when people could just play a cleric/fighter multiclass. And the answer of course is that if people actually did that and were happy with it, WotC wouldn't have. But no one ever actually does it.

Because the irony of that request is that if we were to ask the person who complains there is the paladin or ranger class (when one could easily just make them using cleric/fighters or a rogue specialized in wilderness stuff) if they just use the Basic Rules... they 99% of the time would say 'no'. So they themselves could play D&D 5E with cleric/fighter multiclasses and wilderness-built rogues like they supposedly want, but they never actually do. Which makes their whole set of complaints so easy to just ignore because they don't walk the walk while they talk the talk.
 

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