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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!


tasha.png

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:




 
Last edited:
Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

Parmandur

Legend
Somehow I suspect the Group Patrons are going to be either really generic examples or mixtures of FR and GH factions like the Harpers and Circle of Eight.

I wonder if the Lineage System allows for the cliched "Chosen One" concept, in addition to customizing races.

The latest from Reddit:

  • Group Patrons, first introduced in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Each group patron option comes with its own perks and types of assignments. Group patrons are powerful NPCs.
Examples include:

  • Esteemed Adventuring Academy
  • Ancient Being/Undead Lich
  • Eberron's Dark Lanterns spy agency
  • Merfolk sovereign
  • a dragon

 

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Parmandur

Legend
I think going from races and classes as separate things to class-as-race is pretty huge. Most OSR folks separate which Basic D&D they prefer along precisely those lines, in fact.

Actually, I thought BD&D always had Race as Class: never seen anything beyond the Modules I got second hand.

A good case could be made for breaking Basic into at least 4 Editions, as with breaking 4E into two.
 

Somehow I suspect the Group Patrons are going to be either really generic examples or mixtures of FR and GH factions like the Harpers and Circle of Eight.
I hope so, honestly. I play in a game where the player characters are police agents hired to handle adventurer-level threats (including adventurers) and a group patron model is probably worth looking at. I don't imagine the book will come with the City Watch of Ptolus as a premade group patron, though.

Likewise, in one of the games I'm running (doing a lot of D&D via Google Meet/Zoom during the pandemic), the group's patron is one of the PC's grandmothers, who's a former knight who can't physically solve all these problems herself any more. I am skeptical that Granny is going to be a default patron. ;)
 


Dausuul

Legend
Not to edition war, just some dates:

  • OD&D: 1974-1978 = 4 years
  • AD&D 1E: 1977-1989 = 12 years
  • AD&D 2E: 1989-2000 = 11 years
  • BD&D (with no gigantic shake up, just some minor changes in format): 1977-1995 = about 18 years
  • 3.0: 2000-2003 = 3 years
  • 3.5 (bigger leap than any Basic change) : 2003-2008 = 5 years
  • 4E: 2008-2012 = 4 years (including the original release and Essentials, though a case could be made for two years apiece for both iterations, no new products after 2012, all WotC energy was on playtesting 5E)
  • 5E: 2014- = 6 years and ongoing
This timeline treats the period from 2012 to 2014 as if D&D ceased to exist entirely, which makes no sense. You could argue that those 2 years should be credited to 4E as the then-current edition, or to 5E since the Next playtest was in progress. You could even split the difference and give one year to each. But D&D was certainly still a going concern during that time.

Personally, I would count editions as follows:
  • A "minor edition" of D&D starts when its Player's Handbook or equivalent is published, and continues until the start of the next minor edition.
  • A "major edition" comprises one or more minor editions which are mechanically compatible, such that material from one can be used in another with little or no conversion required.
  • In the special case of BD&D and AD&D, where we had two parallel product lines, each is considered a separate major edition, with 3E as the successor to both.
Thus, the major editions of D&D would include:

OD&D (1974-1977)
BD&D (1977-2000): Minor editions Holmes, Moldvay, Mentzer, Rules Cyclopedia
AD&D (1977-2000): Minor editions 1E, 2E
3rd Edition (2000-2008): Minor editions 3E, 3.5E
4th Edition (2008-2014): Minor editions 4E, Essentials
5th Edition (2014-present)
 
Last edited:

Actually, I thought BD&D always had Race as Class: never seen anything beyond the Modules I got second hand.

A good case could be made for breaking Basic into at least 4 Editions, as with breaking 4E into two.
Holmes' 1977 set has races and classes separate. Moldvay in 1981 made non-human races into their own classes. (The D&D gazetteers walked this back somewhat, with other race-specific classes, sometimes for NPCs only, for halfings and dwarves and maybe others.)
 



It was the best designed version of D&D and the only one that had to complete with its own former edition. It still sold well (even by late 2e and all of 3e standards) but was hamstrung by piazo doing the whole 3.5 continued... if piazo has not done that we would still be moving forwards instead of this half forward half back 5e (still second best edition of game only 4e was better).
I hope by 6e we can return to some of the 4e greatness

Yeah! Power to the people!

And I'm holding out for VHS making a comeback, too.
 

Frilf

Explorer
"During the press briefing they did not get too deep into new spells and magic items in TCoE but there are some tidbits to share. For starters Tasha adds new spells of her own design to D&D canon. Tasha’s caustic brew and Tasha’s otherworldly guise are two mentioned and I’m excited to see more. Spells named for the wizards who created them evokes a sense of mystery and wonder in all D&D players and after all her incredible excursions and magical experimentation I’m certain Tasha’s influence on 5E D&D will be immense." From the article at Nerdarchy mentioned in the original post.

Definitely interested now. Thanks for the information! Somehow, I missed the press briefing tidbits :)
 

Parmandur

Legend
This timeline treats the period from 2012 to 2014 as if D&D ceased to exist entirely, which makes no sense. You could argue that those 2 years should be credited to 4E as the then-current edition, or to 5E since the Next playtest was in progress. You could even split the difference and give one year to each. But D&D was certainly still a going concern during that time.

Personally, I would count editions as follows:
  • A "minor edition" of D&D starts when its Player's Handbook or equivalent is published, and continues until the start of the next minor edition.
  • A "major edition" comprises one or more minor editions which are mechanically compatible, such that material from one can be used in another with little or no conversion required.
  • In the special case of BD&D and AD&D, where we had two parallel product lines, each is considered a separate major edition, with 3E as the successor to both.
Thus, the major editions of D&D would include:

OD&D (1974-1977)
BD&D (1977-2000): Minor editions Moldvay, Mentzer, Rules Cyclopedia
AD&D (1977-2000): Minor editions 1E, 2E
3rd Edition (2000-2008): Minor editions 3E, 3.5E
4th Edition (2008-2014): Minor editions 4E, Essentials
5th Edition (2014-present)

That's a logical way to organize it. 2012-2014 was an interregnum, I'd say it's best to view D&D Next as a separate Edition,but part of 5E is arguable. 4E died in early 2012, however.
 

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
Actually, I thought BD&D always had Race as Class: never seen anything beyond the Modules I got second hand.

A good case could be made for breaking Basic into at least 4 Editions, as with breaking 4E into two.
I didn’t break any edition up... I know that in 90s enough people called skills and power “3rd edition” that at local cons it had caught on...3.5 I think is the only one I count because it is a total overhaul of the phb classes, not just new options

edit: I would be fine with calling a truce on the edition war as long as others stop saying my favorite edition failed was a huge xxx or what ever... and I don’t just mean in this thread, I mean for ever I would be fine if they even just said THEY didn’t like ti “
 

The latest from Reddit:

  • Group Patrons, first introduced in Eberron: Rising from the Last War. Each group patron option comes with its own perks and types of assignments. Group patrons are powerful NPCs.
Examples include:

  • Esteemed Adventuring Academy
  • Ancient Being/Undead Lich
  • Eberron's Dark Lanterns spy agency
  • Merfolk sovereign
  • a dragon



That is some nice stuff there. I like seeing the Bell Branch and the summoning spells
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I didn’t break any edition up... I know that in 90s enough people called skills and power “3rd edition” that at local cons it had caught on...3.5 I think is the only one I count because it is a total overhaul of the phb classes, not just new options

No one in the 90s called it 3rd edition that I heard about. I know my experience doesn't match everyone, but I was pretty active in the 90s, literally playing the game over half of the world (US, Korea, and Europe) during that decade.

Player's Option were referred to as PO, not 3rd edition. They were received as "this is cool", then quickly shifted to "Oh wow, this is either game breaking, or just too complicated and slows the game down" and most groups just didn't play with it, and some outright banned them from the table.
 

For whatever it's worth, game designers I know, both tabletop and electronic, adore fourth edition for its ruleset. I think its issue -- certainly for me, but seemingly for a lot of people -- that it was too big of a break from what many people wanted from D&D.

I literally couldn't play my 3E illusionist in 4E; there were "illusions" in 4E, but they were just skins on existing effects, when every other version of illusions in D&D have mostly been wildly improvisational, requiring DMs to adjudicate on the fly, which wasn't the direction 4E was going.

Neither side is wrong here. Seriously, the professional game designers I know are unanimous on the 4E ruleset. But the players said this well designed game wasn't the one they were looking for. I would guess it would still be in print if it wasn't called "Dungeons & Dragons."
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
For whatever it's worth, game designers I know, both tabletop and electronic, adore fourth edition for its ruleset. I think its issue -- certainly for me, but seemingly for a lot of people -- that it was too big of a break from what many people wanted from D&D.

I literally couldn't play my 3E illusionist in 4E; there were "illusions" in 4E, but they were just skins on existing effects, when every other version of illusions in D&D have mostly been wildly improvisational, requiring DMs to adjudicate on the fly, which wasn't the direction 4E was going.

Neither side is wrong here. Seriously, the professional game designers I know are unanimous on the 4E ruleset. But the players said this well designed game wasn't the one they were looking for. I would guess it would still be in print if it wasn't called "Dungeons & Dragons."

Well then, I shall be proud to announce I am the first game designer you now know to say I did not like the 4e ruleset ;)
 

Dausuul

Legend
That's a logical way to organize it. 2012-2014 was an interregnum, I'd say it's best to view D&D Next as a separate Edition,but part of 5E is arguable. 4E died in early 2012, however.
The idea of an "interregnum" here doesn't make sense to me. People did not shut down their D&D games and cease all purchases on the day the final 4E product hit the shelf.

However, I could see treating Next (released in May 2012) as a minor edition of its own. If so, it would certainly count as part of the "major edition" 5E, since Next and 5E are mechanically compatible. That would extend the reign of 5th Edition to 8 years and counting.
 

DnD Warlord

Adventurer
No one in the 90s called it 3rd edition that I heard about. I know my experience doesn't match everyone, but I was pretty active in the 90s, literally playing the game over half of the world (US, Korea, and Europe) during that decade.

Player's Option were referred to as PO, not 3rd edition. They were received as "this is cool", then quickly shifted to "Oh wow, this is either game breaking, or just too complicated and slows the game down" and most groups just didn't play with it, and some outright banned them from the table.
Did you ever play at CT... because in 97 and 98 I heard it a lot. I had a friend (I meet through VtM at a con) who refused to call actually 3e 3e but instead called it WotC edition.

I also when I told a joke about him at Gen Con the year 3.5 came out one of the guys at the table I was at said all the way down in Nebraska he herd of a pig headed guy who was doing the same.
 


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