My latest review on the latest dungeons and dragons supplement the Xanathars Guide to Everything now; it's been quite a long time since we've made dungeons and dragons video. However, it's something some of you may not realize is that this website started as a dungeons and dragons website that was before Diablo 3 came out, and throughout most of my life, ever since I was about 12 years old, dungeons and dragons have been my main hobby passion
It’s been my favorite game more so than Diablo.
In fact, Diablo 2, which I was a big fan of, served as my gateway into dungeons and dragons because my very first D&D experience was through a boxed set of a Diablo 2 themed dungeons and dragons adventure. We've actually played that on stream once you can check out that video over there, and it's been quite some time since we've made a dungeons and dragons video but was is the coast was kind enough to send me a review copy of Xanathars Guide to Everything pdf.
I believe we also have some of the articles on the fifth edition itself, which was released a couple of years ago. The first D&D edition that I really played a lot of was the third edition before migrating to fourth, so 150 addition came out. It was very refreshing. I'm still enjoying the fifth edition. We're still playing the fifth edition, and Xanathars Guide to Everything pdf is the first expansion.
Now We Are Talking About Xanathars Guide to Everything Chapter
if you will, the fifth edition is the first major rules supplement; it's intended as a book for both dungeon masters and players, so we're going to go through exactly what is in here and whether it's worth having so.
Xanathars Guide to Everything pdf details character options. It offers new gameplay mechanics for players different subclasses for all the classes but what I really love about this is the there's the crunch there's the mechanics for those who focus more on that, but I love that this continues with the fifth additions trend of bringing back the role play if you will go to dungeons and dragons. A major criticism of the fourth edition was there's no RP. There's no role play in the fourth edition.
It is up to the group the DM the players to bring the role played as many role players you want there to be. I understand the argument, and it's basically revolved around the fact that if you look at the fourth edition stat book, 95% percent of it was focus on mechanics, with maybe 5 percent discussing anything flavor related,
Whereas in the fifth edition, it brings a lot more pages dedicated to flavor, so in the fourth edition, if you're just looking at the division of. Flavor to mechanics would give a new player the impression that dungeons and dragons aren't really about role-playing. It's mostly just a miniatures combat simulator so the fifth edition brings back a lot more flavor, and a lot of that comes in the shape of tables to roll on. We're tabletop RPG players. We love rolling our dice. So apart from just including write-ups of additional war on the classes which you also see our tables for things that could be important to that class so for instance, for a barbarian,
You have one table to roll on for personal totems, one for tattoos, and one for superstitions, so as a personal totem, my barbarian might have a necklace made from the claws of a young cave bear that I slew single-handedly as a child. I might have a tattoo that is the antlers of an elk inked across my back, and the superstition that I might hold being a barbarian is that dwarves have lost their spirits and are almost like the undead.
That's why they live underground. Now what I love about these tables is that they're more of a springboard you could use, and you could just straight up roll on them and randomly determine something but for a player, what I would do as a player would be to look at the options presented and then either pick one of those or come up with my own use it as a source of inspiration what I like most about this is that it gets us thinking about creating deeper characters.
An example of the bard is a table of embarrassments that you've suffered in your career, for instance, the time on stage when you're we caught fire. You threw it down, which set the stage on fire. It's all great flavor and lower things that help you think more about your character's background and just make an overall more interesting character then toward the end of this chapter, you have the this is your life section which helps you flesh out your background which includes again tables to roll along.
However, it's not presented as a set of rules rather something to use as inspiration tables to determine your parents' birthplace your siblings' birth order. How wealthy your family was your childhood memories, and this calls back to a book that I really enjoyed, and I think it was the third edition. I just found it a great source of adding richness to your character background, so I love that this is included in the somewhat of an abridged form in Xanathars Guide to Everything pdf. It goes way deeper than what I've described and really helps you build out a fully fleshed out deep rich backstory, and then back to those who like the crunch the mechanics, there are racial feats at the end as well.
Chapter 2 about Tools
Chapter 2, which is a dungeon master's tool. You can't read that, but that's okay. You can trust me now this chapter starts with some optional rules things to help flesh out situations that aren't fully covered by the existing rules. However, the established rules are not really clear how quickly you fall, so across various topics, we have these optional rules that are all the more in-depth a little more complex than if you want to just keep something simple and not think about it too hard.
But it's definitely nice to have these as options it's sort of up to your group and your DM style whether you want to adopt this added to grieve complexity is also more rules on how to apply every effect on a grid for those who want to play grid-based combat historically with my groups have always played with grid-based combat the fifth edition was the first time that I went to great lengths.
I must say that I'm enjoying the freedom that it affords, but for those who like to dear to that combat grid liked every little miniature, we've got additional rules on how to handle that then we have some additional guidelines on encounter building or rather alternative guidelines I do like the guidelines of presents on a solo monster challenge. That’s typically been a little bit of an issue with fifth addition properly balancing encounters versus one single enemy and
What I think I find most noteworthy from this new system is that it offers a way via the table of measuring the challenge reading of a player character, which is something that is not otherwise available in the fifth edition you have to sort of reverse engineer based on hit points and armor class the challenge reading of a given. Player character, and I think that's probably a far more accurate way and arriving. At a challenge rating, but as a short cut, we've got tables here that established that, for instance, the first level character corresponds to a challenge rating of one fourth. A fifth level character corresponds to a challenge rating of 2 and
I'm not going to give it all away, but you get the idea, and then I love that they threw in a couple of little tables on monster personality and monster relationships. I feel this is far too often overlooked in dungeons and dragons and helps you think more of the monsters as entities beings with sentience because, for instance, one of the monsters might be cowardly. It is will be more eager to surrender one might be brave and stands its ground one might be a fanatic ready to die fighting, and then the interrelationships you might have one that is worshiped by the others and the others will die for him.
You might have one that's an outcast. No one's going to bother trying to protect him or save him. What I like about this is that it helps give dungeon masters the idea that you can tell a story a narrative in a combat encounter combat does not need to just be a slugfest of hit point exchanges combat can and, in fact, should, and this is something that I need to work on his own my own dungeon mastering tell a narrative story we then have several pages on random encounters for different geographical locations.
Then we have a section on traps revisited. The trap rules and tradition are pretty bare-bones, so this expands on them gives us some additional traps. I do really like this section as a dungeon master. It also gives additional guidelines on creating your own traps. There we have additional supplemental rules on downtime activities that you can do during your downtime, that is, and then we have an entire alternate system of awarding magic items. Now one potential criticism of the fifth edition is that there is no wealth by level tables as we've experienced in previous editions of the D&D. It was a good way as a dungeon master to reference okay roughly how powerful with regards to both the magic items should be character be at this given level.
Now the fifth edition is designed in a way such that the difficulty does not assume that you have any magic items, so any magic items you have are simply a bonus and advantage of fighting, whereas in past editions if you fight a monster challenge rating 15, it was assumed by that point you would have X number of bonuses for magic items so if you run a campaign that was stingy on magic items then CR 15 would be far deadlier than the rules intended the fifth edition instead basically just had random tables for awarding loot with no guidelines whatsoever on how much how many items really were very sparse guidelines on how many magic items any character should have at any given point.
Here we have an alternative system of awarding magic items that sort of breaks items down into different categories and says okay, and this is a very good system that I wish we actually had from the get-go the rules and present a couple dozen of what it calls common wondrous Interest items these are items that their magic but they're not super powerful, so it's just sort of a way of sprinkling additional magic items into a campaign without giving your players significantly more power.
We're talking about things that are like a bead of nourishment. This spongy flavorless gelatinous bead dissolves on your tongue and provides as much nourishment as one day of rations. It's useful. It is magic, but it's not going to give your characters an advantage in combat suits are particularly interesting for those who want to run high magic campaigns that just kind of have magic everywhere magic being common without making it overpowered, of course, we have more magic item tables for a how-to award and break down all those things.
Chapter 3 about spells
We have chapter 3, which is spells. This section offers new spells for every class, so again, more options for players, and I guess, to an extent, dungeon masters as well, but overall, I would say that chapter 2 is really the chapter for dungeon masters chapters 1 and 3 are more player-oriented then at the very end we have an appendix with just a list of names just tables and tables of names for.
But all manner of character races, you've got a broken down into so Arabic names you've got Egyptian names Celtic names German names English names Japanese Greek Mesoamerican and Norris. So it's really cool you can find the names that best fit your campaign setting your specific human subculture. I like to run campaigns with human names rooted in human history rather than just sort of made-up fantasy names, so I really appreciate the tables.
While there's no shortage of tables on the internet, random name generators, I do love this inclusion in the rules themselves. Sometimes I find it faster to flip open a page and a rule book that I know where to find it immediately rather than open a tab, go to a specific website, and click a couple of buttons, and that's basically it Xanathars Guide to Everything.
Is This Book Worth It?
So the question is then, is this book worth owning? I believe it is a good inclusion into any game it's again it's unofficial I guess expansion you can call it it's the first real supplement we had Volos guide to monsters; I missed out on that one. We'll have to pick that up someday. That's more just for dungeon masters. It's like a monster manual part, too kind of, whereas this is something that really is a rules expansion for players. It's for dungeon masters.
Now personally, I find as a dungeon master, I get more value out of this than as a player. I would kind of want my dungeon master to own this so that I could pursue it. Maybe I could pitch in with my dungeon master to buy this because it is $50, so that's $50 American, so its price the same as just a standard core rule book, and I think that's maybe just a tad overpriced, and this right here you can kind of see right one is bigger than the other. You got fewer pages, and centaurs guided them into the core rulebook.
Xanathars Guide to Everything is also available in that fantasy grounds, which is a virtual tabletop application. This is actually my virtual tabletop of choice of messed around with many virtual tabletops in the past. I used the map tool for the longest time because, as a broke college student, the map tool was free, but it was a huge hassle to work with fantasy grounds just works yes, you got to pay for it. However, I found it a wonderful compendium of information. It's a great way to store and have easy access to all the rules.
This is also a tool now that I bring to every gaming session. It's become my DM screen. We did a live stream using fantasy grounds of the Diablo 2 themed dungeons and dragons adventure. I'm going to that in the link below. It's on the twitch channel of my friend, but fantasy grounds is a great tool to have whether you want just to play remotely or whether you want to use it as a tool to bring to the live game sessions you only need to buy one copy your players just need to connect to you, and you can use it as a miniatures board. You can use it to track combat. You can use it just to have a repertoire of rules at your disposal. You can store your encounters and have them ready to deploy at a moment's notice, but I encourage you to look into fantasy grounds further on your own.