Xanathar's Guide to Everything

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Xanathar's Guide to Everything
Xanathar's Guide to Everything.jpeg
Cover
AuthorsJeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett
GenreRole-playing games
PublisherWizards of the Coast
Publication date
15 November 2017
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages192
ISBN978-0-7869-6612-7

Xanathar's Guide to Everything is an accessory for the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published in 2017. It is a supplement book to the 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide and the Player's Handbook.

Contents[edit]

This book adds a variety of options for both players and Dungeon Masters.[1][2]

  • Chapter 1: Character Options[3]
    • Includes over twenty-five new subclasses for the twelve character classes. Includes a variety of character background ideas and tables along with a section of new racial feats.[4]
  • Chapter 2: Dungeon Master's Tools[3]
    • Revisits and expands on traps and downtime activities rules. In-depth coverage of tool proficiencies and spellcasting. Includes a variety of other DM tools such as random encounters and simultaneous effects.[4]
  • Chapter 3: Spells[3][4]
  • Appendix A: Shared Campaigns[4]
  • Appendix B: Character names
    • Includes human and nonhuman names.[4]

Publication history[edit]

Much of the information in Xanathar's Guide to Everything was developed through the public “Unearthed Arcana” playtest and several character subclasses were previously published in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.[5] During the Extra Life 2017 fundraiser in November 2017, free excerpts from Xanathar's Guide to Everything were released as PDFs when different reward tiers were hit.[4] The book was released on November 21, 2017. An exclusive edition with an alternate art cover by Hydro74 was pre-released to select game shops early in November 2017.[2][6]

Reception[edit]

In Polygon's review, Charlie Hall wrote "like Volo’s Guide to Monsters, which was released late last year, Xanathar’s has a narrator named Xanathar. He’s a beholder — a multi-eyed, floating monster from D&D lore — who just happens to be a powerful crime lord in the city of Waterdeep. Think Jabba the Hutt, but with disintegration rays shooting out of its eyestalks. Nearly every page of the book is annotated with little quips and observations. Unfortunately, the humor of those narrative snippets fell flat for me. Xanathar’s voice, as applied in this book, feels a bit too modern. He sounds more like a cranky Redditor than a fantastical crime boss. Luckily, the bulk of the content in the book is outstanding. In my estimation, it’s the first must-have new book from Wizards of the Coast since the latest edition of the Dungeon Master’s Guide. [...] Up front, there are more than 30 new subclasses for players to choose from. They include some vital and popular builds from previous editions of the game, like the Cavalier and the Samurai. But they also include some brand new versions of classic character classes that will liven any newly-formed party. [...] Best of all, WotC has instilled all of these new subclasses with strong role-playing hooks. These aren’t just stat-blocks with new art, but rather inspirations for storytelling in and of themselves. That being said, most players will have no need for the remainder of the book. Chapters two and three are mostly for Dungeon Masters, and include a host of new tools and tables".[7]

Rob Wieland, for Geek & Sundry, wrote that "backgrounds in Fifth Edition offer a good place to start talking about the history of characters, but coming up with a full background for a character can be a little intimidating for someone that’s never done it before. Xanathar’s Guide has a few class-specific elements that can help like tables for a bard’s worst performance or the vice a rogue likes to indulge in, in between adventures. It also has a big section full of tables that determine important character details like siblings, upbringing and other points that can help sketch a character backstory during play. There’s a running gag that all D&D characters are orphans that were born, grew up and became adventurers, but with this section, characters get a skeleton of a backstory to help shade how they react in play".[8]

Richard Jansen-Parkes, for Tabletop Gaming magazine, wrote that "in many ways the slightly unfocused air of XGtE is a reflection of how modern games – both tabletop and digital – are no longer static products, eternally fixed at version 1.0. It was clearly shaped by community feedback and directly addresses many of the questions and concerns that regularly crop up in Reddit threads and Twitter feeds. [...] In many ways, the fact that the new rules feel fun without seeming over-powered is perhaps the book’s biggest success of all. [...] There are a few things that appeal to the power gamers out there, but this is always going to be the case and none of them seem to make any existing abilities or characters completely obsolete. Indeed, plenty of the content doesn’t have any impact on the gameplay whatsoever, such as a guide for generating character backstories or long tables of random names for the DM to consult when players insist on speaking to everyone in the tavern. The best way to describe XGtE, perhaps, is that it upgrades your experience to D&D 5.1. It’s a huge content update that tweaks things here and there, presented with all the usual top-notch design and writing work we’ve come to expect from the D&D team. Arguably some of the rules clarifications should be presented as errata or an update to the existing core books rather than requiring you to buy a new one, but when that’s the biggest complaint going you know you have a success on your hands".[9]

Rollin Bishop, for Comicbook, wrote that "though the supplement’s name does it no favors, it’s mostly a reprinted collection of an online article series with some added depth. Having it all in one physical place, however, is helpful. Even so, the game of D&D technically only requires three books: the Player’s Handbook, the Dungeon Master’s Guide, and the Monster Manual. But if there’s a fourth book every tabletop group should pick up, it’s probably Xanathar’s. In terms of usefulness, Xanathar’s is arguably equally useful to both players and Dungeon Masters. The first and third chapter are heavily player focused while the middle chapter is specifically all about tools for the DM to use. That includes sections on sleep, random encounters, traps, and more. If you’re familiar with the Unearthed Arcana books from previous modern editions, this treads similar territory for 5th Edition. The question most groups will likely be asking themselves is whether the $49.95 MSRP is worth the sticker price".[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Expand Your Dungeons & Dragons Campaign With These Two New Books". pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  2. ^ a b "Xanathar's Guide to Everything Offers New Options for Dungeons & Dragons". Geek and Sundry. 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  3. ^ a b c "Expanding Your Horizons: We Review 'Xanathar's Guide To Everything'". www.bleedingcool.com. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Xanathar's Guide to Everything - Preview Updated". Tribality. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  5. ^ Hudak, Rob (2017-11-30). "Review: Dungeons & Dragons: Xanathar's Guide to Everything". SLUG Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  6. ^ "Xanathar's Guide to Everything (Limited-edition variant cover) | RPG Item Version | RPGGeek". rpggeek.com. Retrieved 2019-06-23.
  7. ^ Hall, Charlie (2017-11-13). "D&D's first major rules supplement is a must-buy for crafty Dungeon Masters". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  8. ^ "Why New D&D Players Will Love 'Xanathar's Guide To Everything'". Geek and Sundry. 2017-11-17. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  9. ^ "Dungeons & Dragons: Xanathar's Guide to Everything RPG review". www.tabletopgaming.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  10. ^ "Review: 'Xanathar's Guide to Everything' Is a Must for Any Serious 'D&D' Player". Comicbook.com. Retrieved 2019-06-20.

External links[edit]