- Series: Dungeons & Dragons
- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (November 21, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0786966114
- ISBN-13: 978-0786966110
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 11.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 722 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Xanathar's Guide to Everything (Dungeons & Dragons) Hardcover – November 21, 2017
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Is Xanathar's Guide a must-have? Not in the sense the PH, DMG, and MM are. Nothing in here is essential to playing the game, and a player without Xanathar's Guide is in no way handicapped compared to one who does. Do I recommend it? Without a doubt. Having played with 5th edition for a few years now, I really feel this book helps refresh the game.
The Class background-like options and This is Your Life are both helpful for players that need structure to make backstories.
Racial Feats can also be completely optional.
The descriptions about tools and their possible uses helps DMs that need structure to what tools may or may not be able to do and what the conditions for success would be.
There's also some clarifications of existing rules in text - these are not Errata, but clarifications.
An entire section on building encounters is included - this will be very helpful to DMs.
There's also an entire section on designing traps in a structured way, structure for buying and selling magical items, and a section of additional spells.
You can easily survive and run your table without this book, but it's a very helpful and useful one. While I've seen what books like this might do to Shadowrun, WOTC have produced a book that doesn't find itself "patching the game" like a Catalyst book usually does.
My personal advice is - due to the nature of additional class archetypes and other such things - I'd rule that this book qualifies for the "+1 book" rule in Adventurer's League fashion. If your players use this book, it should count as their "+1 book".
The new subclasses are well designed and flavorful, with some of the most interesting new abilities not being focused on combat. GMs may detect a little power creep here and there (is there a reason to choose College of Valor now that College of Swords exists?), but play will tell.
The character life-path tables are fun, but their usefulness will depend on how much character background you want to leave to chance. As a tool for inspiration, however, they could be very useful.
Likewise with the random encounter tables. Some GMs will get more use out of them than others, but they're a nice option to have. Unfortunately, they do not seem to include any of the monsters from Volo's Guide to Monsters. A strange oversight.
Many of the new options originally appeared in Unearthed Arcana, and most do not seem to have been significantly altered. It's nice to see these things have an official release, but it still leaves the reader with the feeling of having seen these things before.
The worst part of the book is the last several pages dedicated to tables of random names. I understand the thought process behind including it, but mostly it seems like a way to inflate the page count to justify the $50 recommended price tag. At $30, though, it's only a mild gripe. Minus one star for the filler.
Unrelated to the book itself, Amazon's packaged for this item was abysmal. It was sent in a box too large for it with nothing but a single sheet of air bubble wrap tossed on top of the book to "protect" it. Unsurprisingly, my copy arrived damaged. I guess Amazon has reached the point where they are so dominant that they no longer have to care about the quality of their work. Amazon's completely inadequate packaging job did not affect my rating of the product itself.