Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is a core book extension for Dungeon and Dragons 5th Edition. It adds new player options, new magic items and spells, and more.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything starts with a bunch of new subclasses. Every character class gets at least one new option with most getting two or three new options. The subclasses offer additional aspects you can add to your character’s background, as well as new schools and features they can gain.
This part of the guide also has charts for helping to flesh out the details of your character and their past. You can roll on the charts or just read them and choose the options that fit into your idea of the adventurer. It also introduces several racial Feats.
Chapter 2 is full of tips for Dungeon Masters to enhance their game. There are rules for falling, sleeping, adamantine weapons, tying knots and tool proficiencies. The tool proficiencies section expands on the rules in the Player’s Handbook and provides rules for running skill checks with the tools.
The chapter continues with a section on spellcasting; including how to identify spells and areas of effect on a grid. Then it moves onto building encounters and has a bunch of charts for random encounters.
The last part of chapter 2 gives more detailed rules on traps, simple and complex, and how to build them. It also revisits downtime and gives some ways your PCs might spend it and who they might encounter. Finally this chapter closes with awarding magic items. It talks about (and had charts for) both major and minor magic items. And has bunch of common magic items. These are nice as they can be given out without majorly increasing the party’s power.
Chapter 3 is full of spells. It includes brand new ones and some that were only available in the Adventurer’s League or modules.
Appendix A is about Shared Campaigns. These episodic adventures are explained as are designing adventures and creating characters for them. The book ends with Appendix B which is full of names for characters based on their race.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is a great resource for both players and dungeon masters. It is full of more options for characters and useful tips for DMs.
This book is well laid out and the art work is great. It has two separate covers and both look cool. There are tons of funny asides as Xanathar talks to his goldfish, Sylgar. And though some are cheesy most will at least bring a smile to your face.
Players will love having more options when creating and leveling characters. The subclasses all add something different and you will want to try many of them. It is also helpful having the resources to really flesh out your character’s background and just what they were up to before they started adventuring.
Dungeon Masters can appreciate the additional rules and details presented in Chapter 2. It is nice that you can add these modularly. It is not all or nothing. I really liked the section on traps as I have always loved springing them on PCs.
The Appendix with the character names is helpful and is great for PCs and DMs alike. Need a name for that new character? Roll it up. Want that NPC you made to have a catchy elven name? Pick one off the list.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything has something for everyone. It expands the options for players and dungeon masters. If you enjoy running or playing D&D 5e, this is a must have.