Dungeons & Dragons: Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Provides Something for Every D&D Player

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is, as its name suggests, a hodgepodge of new variant rules and [...]

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is, as its name suggests, a hodgepodge of new variant rules and resources for Dungeons & Dragons, providing both players and DMs with just enough new material to justify a Day One purchase. This week, Dungeons & Dragons will release Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, its second major expansion for Fifth Edition. Similar to its predecessor Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is a compendium of mostly unrelated rules that expand different aspects of the game. Inside the book, you'll find everything from new subclasses, magic items, and magic spells for players to a much anticipated rules system that provides additional flexibility to racial traits. And while Tasha's Cauldron of Everything provides plenty of new player options and content, there's very little in the book that feels radically different than the existing rules - the book acts as more of a supplement to D&D Fifth Edition than any sort of substantive expansion.

The new subclasses are one of the biggest draws for Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, providing dozens of new or reworked subclasses for players to use in character creation. The subclasses don't have a fixed "theme" per se, although there are three new subclasses that use psionics and more than a few subclasses that have a distinctively planar theme to them. Players who follow D&D online will recognize all of the subclasses from various playtests - a few subclasses were slightly toned down from their playtest, but players should still enjoy pouring over 70 pages of character options when working on their next character. The section also takes a stab at fixing one of the more controversial classes - the Beast Master Ranger, and provides a lot of great Builds for Battle Master Fighters that effectively provide templates for customizing that subclass in entirely new ways.

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(Photo: Wizards of the Coast)

Another big change in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is the variant origin customization options, which allow players to break away from traditional D&D molds and create a truly unique character. The rules themselves are pretty simple and common sense - players can swap their ability score increases from one stat to another, and they can similarly swap proficiencies and languages to comparable skills - but the fact that the new character creation rules are the first thing players will see is a sign that Dungeons & Dragons is considering to move away from the game's rather problematic depiction of race.

The second largest section is the book is a new section of tools for Dungeon Masters, which includes a guide to Session Zeros (another much needed resource), an expanded section on Sidekick rules, expanded Environmental Hazards (providing rules for supernatural regions, infested towns, a mimic colony and more), and a dozen puzzles that can be inserted into any game. To be honest, the Dungeon Master's section likely would have benefited from a few more pages, as all the information provided is useful, but relatively barebones. The Environmental Hazards section in particular provides kernels of inspiration but largely leaves session planning up to the DM, and the Puzzles are fantastic but are only good for one use (unless you're the type of DM who runs games for multiple groups of people.) As an "always DM," this was the one section that really felt lacking, but maybe the pages on the Far Realm and other planes are portents for future content that will help satisfy that itch.

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(Photo: Wizards of the Coast)

One criticism that you'll likely see about Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is that it contains a lot of rules previously seen in past products. The Sidekicks rules, Group Patrons rules, and several subclasses, spells, and magic items previously appeared in some extent in past products. Many of these rules have been revised or expanded in some way, but seeing those sections may feel like a disappointment if you already have the original rulebooks or utilize the existing rules in your game. On the flipside, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything helps to condense what books players new to D&D need to purchase in order to have full access to the game's subclasses and other useful bits of information.

For the hardcore D&D enthusiast, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything may not spark the same level of excitement as other recent releases. Because of how the book's rules were previewed and designed, there are relatively few surprises. Players that follow D&D have already seen some version of the subclasses, the variant character creation rules, the group patron and sidekick rules, and a few of the spells. This doesn't mean that Tasha's Cauldron of Everything isn't worth buying, but players may likely want to temper their expectations a bit. For the casual gamer who doesn't follow the minutiae of D&D news, this expansion will provide a lot of freshness to their next campaign, bringing countless more options for building a character. Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is a good rules supplement, one that opts to build upon existing rules rather than try to come up with new rules systems, but fits perfectly into the Fifth Edition design ethos.

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything will be released November 17th. Pre-orders are live on Amazon now with a 35% discount.

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