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D&D 5E The New D&D Book: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything!

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The new D&D book has been revealed, and it is Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, "a magical mixture of rules options for the world's greatest roleplaying game." The 192-page book is due out November 17th, with standard and alternate covers, and contains more subclasses, spells, character options, group patrons, and rules. Oh, and psionics!


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Cover art is by Magali Villeneuve

WHAT WONDERFUL WITCHERY IS THIS?

A magical mixture of rules options for the world's greatest roleplaying game.

The wizard Tasha, whose great works include the spell Tasha’s hideous laughter, has gathered bits and bobs of precious lore during her illustrious career as an adventurer. Her enemies wouldn’t want these treasured secrets scattered across the multiverse, so in defiance, she has collected and codified these tidbits for the enrichment of all.
  • EXPANDED SUBCLASSES. Try out subclass options for every Dungeons & Dragons class, including the artificer, which appears in the book.
  • MORE CHARACTER OPTIONS. Delve into a collection of new class features and new feats, and customize your character’s origin using straightforward rules for modifying a character’s racial traits.
  • INTRODUCING GROUP PATRONS. Whether you're part of the same criminal syndicate or working for an ancient dragon, each group patron option comes with its own perks and types of assignments.
  • SPELLS, ARTIFACTS & MAGIC TATTOOS. Discover more spells, as well as magic tattoos, artifacts, and other magic items for your campaign.
  • EXPANDED RULES OPTIONS. Try out rules for sidekicks, supernatural environments, natural hazards, and parleying with monsters, and gain guidance on running a session zero.
  • A PLETHORA OF PUZZLES. Ready to be dropped into any D&D adventure, puzzles of varied difficulty await your adventurers, complete with traps and guidance on using the puzzles in a campaign.
Full of expanded content for players and Dungeon Masters alike, this book is a great addition to the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master’s Guide. Baked in you'll find more rule options for all the character classes in the Player's Handbook, including more subclass options. Thrown in for good measure is the artificer class, a master of magical invention. And this witch's brew wouldn't be complete without a dash of added artifacts, spellbook options, spells for both player characters and monsters, magical tattoos, group patrons, and other tasty goodies.

Here's the alternate cover:

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UPDATE! An online event called D&D Celebration from September 18th-20th will be hosted by Elle Osili-Wood, which is "an epic live event with panels, gameplay, & previews of the book!" See the video in the Tweet below!

Gather your party and join the adventure at  D&D Celebration 2020, an online gaming event open to fans all over the world!

Celebrate the release of  Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden  with a weekend of Icewind Dale–themed virtual play sessions and help us create the biggest virtual tabletop roleplaying game event ever! Fans will also get the chance to preview some content from  Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, the forthcoming book featuring massive rules options, subclasses, and more for the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Watch featured play sessions with D&D luminaries and learn something new with a slate of panels led by the D&D design team and community.


UPDATE! Check out the Nerdarchy site for some previews.


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UPDATE! Other news items around the web about this book:




 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
I'm deeply curious if the 1st level bonus feat of Variant Humans is a feature that will be uncoupled and selectable by characters of other races/ancestries/origins. Because that would be pretty ideal, from my perspective.

I imagine they would have to lose other abilities but they could.

Which makes them probably a funny looking vuman with Darkvision perhaps.

Hey, if I can play some of my favorite races (Changeling, Halfling, Half-elves) with a bonus feat, I don't even need racial adjustments.

Should be available in the book. They're talking about breaking down ancestry features and letting you stitch together your own character from the pieces (I'd bet they'll be point-weighted so that you'd have to "buy" specific features through a point-buy system.

You could also just go the Mythic Odysseys of Theros path and grant a bonus feat and/or EGW/MOT/ExE-style 1st-level supernatural gift to each of the party's characters, and adjust the challenge rating of fights accordingly (or not; depending on how "superheroic" you want the PCs to be).
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
Should be available in the book. They're talking about breaking down ancestry features and letting you stitch together your own character from the pieces (I'd bet they'll be point-weighted so that you'd have to "buy" specific features through a point-buy system.

You could also just go the Mythic Odysseys of Theros path and grant a bonus feat and/or EGW/MOT/ExE-style 1st-level supernatural gift to each of the party's characters, and adjust the challenge rating of fights accordingly (or not; depending on how "superheroic" you want the PCs to be).

It's roughly what I'm expecting, some thing like point buy races.

It's been done before. Even PF2 system is essentially point buy the points are the racial feats.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I counted the fingers...it's definitely Graz'zt in the alternate cover - which is the one I am getting, as I have the alternate covers for Mordenkainen's and Xanathar's, too.

As I said, not sure we need new sub systems for parley, but I just thought of something...if racial traits become optional or swappable, that would provide a sweet simple framework for creating new races. Which is a plus in my book. Seems they are going at least partially the route which I already was a big fan of in the Zweihander system.

For those who don't know what I mean: In Zweihander, you have attribute modifications according to your ancestry but also one other special feature from a list, usually rolled randomly. For example, the ogre that can eat nearly anything, the dwarf with an extra bonus to his resistance against poison...things that make every ancestry unique but are not necessarily shared by all members of an ancestry.

It looks like they basically have a point buy system in place, but with a work sheet flow, similar to the XGtE Background customization system, to make it easier for people to get into.
 

Marandahir

Crown-Forester
It's roughly what I'm expecting, some thing like point buy races.

It's been done before. Even PF2 system is essentially point buy the points are the racial feats.

I guessing there will be more options though than just all the currently-published ancestral features thrown into a pot and given a score.
A feat is probably worth a certain number of points, spell casting progression at 1st/3rd/5th levels is probably worth a certain number of points (so choose any spell equivalent to the Tiefling's spell levels for each and an ability score to cast with), and I imagine you'll be able to assign any weapon or armour or skill proficiencies rather than just the ones available.

Here's hoping they also give guidance for creating your own feature and assigning it points that aren't listed there. 1st-level Supernatural Gifts were great in this way - they're worth a feat! So if there's a point value assigned to a feat, you could also assign it to 1st-level Supernatural Gifts (the ones in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount and Mythic Odysseys of Theros, not the ones in Dungeon Master's Guide as those work differently).

In my setting, all Dwarves are warforged-like robots that forge their own children to reproduce. So Anvilwrought was a huge gift to me, though it meant throwing off the balance of power for character ancestries by just giving Dwarves that feature. If I can remove some proficiencies and balance it out, that would be worth it to me, since I know that Anvilwrought is weighed the same as a feat. I wonder how many Dwarf features I'd need to remove to balance it out, though…
 

Rygar

Explorer
In that case, that probably suggests the setting has really decreased in value in the years leading up to the 5E release, which is a shame.

It didn't. WOTC, for some unknown reason, doesn't seem to want to work with Margaret and Tracey. They tried to get some other author to reboot Dragonlance for 4th edition and he walked away when he found out they were doing it without Margaret and Tracy's blessing.

Margaret and Tracey even floated a new novel series at the start of 5th and wotc apparently turned them down.

Ultimately, it's gone nowhere. I'd imagine that there aren't many people left willing to work with WOTC on this given how shady they've been about it.
 

Undrave

Hero
I find it curious there seems to be pushback on a new mechanical system for parley, while the biggest complaints about psionics were when WotC was just making them like spells and not its own mechanical system. I guess that must be two different groups of people.

Probably the same people who complained that Psionic Talent was a 'new mechanic to learn' -_-

It seems a bit specialised though. How many campaigns take place mostly in the water? Would a ranger really go for a companion that was only occasionally usable?

A beast for riding or a beast for picking pockets seem more generally useful.

Just because a beast has a swim speed, doesn't mean it can't have a land speed. There's alligators, hippopotamus, otters, capybara, beavers, seals, turtles, giant frogs, etc...

Those are realistic expectations, I think, but what I'd really like to see is some other spells attributed to Tasha beside "hideous laughter". Can we get one other, maybe, seeing as she's such a big deal in the lore?

That's already been confirmed! They even mentioned one by name but I forgot what it was...
 

Reynard

Legend
characters are heroic figures, not cultural averages
As an aside, I think this is a perfectly reasonable choice in a campaign but it should not be the default. I reject the notion that all D&D characters are inherently heroic and unusual. Lots of them die in pit traps and on the road to the dungeon. The ones that survive are heroic and unusual BECAUSE they survived. There's nothing inherently wrong with playing Achilles but I would much rather play (or GM for) Jack the Giant Killer -- that is characters who became great, not who were guaranteed it by virtue of birth.
 

Rygar

Explorer
What they said (multiple times, from multiple people, over multiple years) is that MM2-3 or PHB2-3 depress sales by confusing customers. That means they won't ever do it again, because confusing customers and losing sales is not good for business.
They say lots of things that are obviously false. Like the blatantly false numbers they've been claiming for D&D players that fall apart with a moment of examination. I'd imagine this is just the same kind of thing considering that it worked just fine for 40 years and their biggest competitor stole their market by doing that.

Looks to me that they're using it as an excuse to avoid admitting 4th edition was a disaster.
 

Just because a beast has a swim speed, doesn't mean it can't have a land speed. There's alligators, hippopotamus, otters, capybara, beavers, seals, turtles, giant frogs, etc...
Most of them are impractically slow on land. And the one that is fast (and a killing machine) is large and therefore not allowed.
 

Reynard

Legend
They say lots of things that are obviously false. Like the blatantly false numbers they've been claiming for D&D players that fall apart with a moment of examination. I'd imagine this is just the same kind of thing considering that it worked just fine for 40 years and their biggest competitor stole their market by doing that.

Looks to me that they're using it as an excuse to avoid admitting 4th edition was a disaster.
Um, that's not how Paizo "stole their market." WotC abdicated that market in order to try something new. Whether or not you like 4E is a matter of taste, certainly, but that experiement failed and they re-examined. Almost immediately, WotC "stole it back."

Also, just out of curiosity, what numbers do you think WotC is lying about?
 

Long shot prediction time: There are 22 entirely new subclasses in Tasha's Cauldron. People counted up the UA material and got 24, which less the two Wizard subclasses that had been called out as not making the cut (Psionic and Onomancy Wizard) leaves 22. Thus people have assumed that some version of everything else made it in. But is that true?

There's been conflicting information on if the Sorcerer subclass that made it in is the Aberrant Mind or the Psionic Soul. But is there a conflict? In one of the Dev videos, they commented that the feedback on Aberrant Mind was "Too much mucus" and the feedback on Psionic Soul was "Not enough mucus". What if they decided to please both camps by finding enough design space to do both of them?

Thus my long shot prediction is that both the Aberrant Mind and Psionic Soul will be in the book, and an unknown 1 of the other 21 UA subclasses got left on the cutting room floor.
 

Undrave

Hero
Most of them are impractically slow on land. And the one that is fast (and a killing machine) is large and therefore not allowed.

The 'beasts' are not any specific animal anyway, so you can flavor them however you want, or use imaginary creatures from the DnD bestiary or myth. What matters is that the 'Beast of Water' could just be a thing with a swim speed.

Oh and Giant Snakes have swim speed too! And the Giant Frog is a medium beast with 30 ft on land and 30 ft swim speed. That's a perfectly fine companion.
 




Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I'm deeply curious if the 1st level bonus feat of Variant Humans is a feature that will be uncoupled and selectable by characters of other races/ancestries/origins. Because that would be pretty ideal, from my perspective.
Probably not. The bonus feat and bonus skill are part of the human special abilities, just like elves get darkvision and halflings get lucky. I doubt they would take the only real racial abilities humans get, even if it is the human variant.
 


The 'beasts' are not any specific animal anyway, so you can flavor them however you want, or use imaginary creatures from the DnD bestiary or myth. What matters is that the 'Beast of Water' could just be a thing with a swim speed.

Oh and Giant Snakes have swim speed too! And the Giant Frog is a medium beast with 30 ft on land and 30 ft swim speed. That's a perfectly fine companion.
So the beast of the water is the same as the beast of the land but has a swim speed?

In which case why have beast of the land at all? Just take a beast of the water in case swimming crops up.

Realistically, in order to gain swim speed it would have to loose something - either land speed or some other feature. Which would make it an inferior companion for the 90% of adventures that do not take place in the water.

NB, giant snakes and frogs aren't going away, the Primal Beast sits along side them as an alternative.
 

They say lots of things that are obviously false. Like the blatantly false numbers they've been claiming for D&D players that fall apart with a moment of examination. I'd imagine this is just the same kind of thing considering that it worked just fine for 40 years and their biggest competitor stole their market by doing that.

Looks to me that they're using it as an excuse to avoid admitting 4th edition was a disaster.
You should read the Art & Arcana book. The name aside, it's actually a very detailed history of D&D (with great art, obviously) and an unflinching look at the finances of the game and the often-bad decisions made along the way, by both TSR and WotC.
 


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