Wizards of the Coast offered a Stream of Annihilation this past weekend, chock full of fun people playing Dungeons & Dragons with the people who make the game. The company also took the opportunity to announce its plans for the game for the rest of the year. There’s a new adventure book and a mashup of a fan-favorite board game with a D&D theme on the way, but the book announced that’s got the most eyes on it is Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
The Sword Coast’s Adventurer’s Guide and the small bits in the other campaign books have held glimpses of official content, but Xanathar’s Guide to Everything seems like the first book to lean heavily on player content first. Fans have been clamoring for more player options since the Player’s Handbook dropped in August of 2014. The unofficial content of Dungeon Master’s Guild have helped, but this book seems like a sudden rainstorm in a desert of new mechanics for the current edition of the game.
This sister book to Volo’s Guide to Monsters offers another mix of content for both players and Dungeon Masters alike. Xanathar is not just Waterdeep’s most nefarious crime lord, but he’s also an iconic beholder for the Forgotten Realms. Volo’s running commentary put his unique stamp on the first book. Expect Xanathar’s voice to do the same here as a villain who sees threats and pawns everywhere in the streets of the Forgotten Realms most dangerous city. This guide will show his minions how to handle the new hazards to his insidious schemes, while possibly encouraging Dungeon Masters to use those schemes as plot hooks within their games.
Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is expected to include:
- More than 20 subclasses for each of the classes from the Player’s Handbook. According to Jeremy Crawford, lead rules developer, each class gets 2 new archetype, except for the wizard, who gets one. The classes that appear in this book are drawn from the classes that have appeared in Unearthed Arcana, with the most popular ones making the cut.
- Wizards still get some toys in the form of new spells to add to their spellbooks as well as new magic items.
- Players also get more feats for their current characters to use.
- Dungeon master content include more options on downtime rules, expanded rules on traps, and even a completely random character creation system to help Dungeon Masters stuck for unique NPCs or players who wish to leave their next character up entirely to the whims of fate.
Fans looking for something to collect and a way to support their Friendly Local Gaming Store can pick up a limited edition copy of the book featuring Hydro74’s alternate art. The general release date for the book is November 21st, but core hobby stores and other special locations are likely to get copies of both the regular and limited editions much earlier. Fans can wait for a better price or they can get the book early to start pouring over the new options. Either way, Xanathar usually wins.
What is your favorite archetype? Let us know in the comments.
Feature Image Credits: Wizards of the Coast
Rob Wieland is an author, game designer and professional nerd. He writes about kaiju, Jedi, gangsters, elves, Vulcans and sometimes all of them at the same time. His blog is here, his Twitter is here and his meat body can be found in scenic Milwaukee, WI.