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MAJOR SPOILERS – DM’s only!
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is an all-around supplement for D&D 5e, adding dozens of new subclasses, magic items, and spells for players, and details on puzzles, group patrons, and sidekicks for Dungeon Masters.
The following content is included in the Roll20 module, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything ($49.95):
- Compendium additions, including 30 new subclasses
- Interactive Puzzle Addon with over 50 magic items and a dozen puzzle handouts and diagrams
- Player Token Pack with 33 tokens and player handouts
Like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Tasha’s adds new content that anyone playing 5e can enjoy, regardless of campaign. The Roll20 module adds everything from the sourcebook into the Roll20 compendium, instantly accessible across any 5e campaign, while the Add-on adds magic items and sample puzzles directly to the journal. The token pack adds art handouts of all the character art, as well as drag and drop tokens, accessible from the art library.
The main draw are the new subclasses; Tasha’s adds 30 new subclasses, along with reprinting the Artificer class (along with four subclasses, one of which is new) from Eberron: Rising from the Last War.
Sorry eye-guy, but I like Tasha’s subclasses a lot more than Xanthar’s. We’ve got psi-blade wielding Rogues, telekinetic Fighters, plague doctor Monks, tentacle-summoning Warlocks, and wild magic Barbarians, just to name a few of my favorites.
Tasha’s also includes expanded options and traits for each class, like more battle maneuvers for Battle Master Fighters, and granting Paladins and Clerics the ability to use their Channel Divinity to restore spell slots. No surprise that the undercooked Ranger receives the most attention, yet they’re still not as good as the Revised Ranger from the Unearthed Arcana (Favored Foe requires Concentration and limit uses per rest – what!?).
Alas, the custom race feature is not nearly as expansive as I was hoping for. Instead of a true race-builder of picking and choosing traits, we’re given the option of switching a race’s ability score increase. It’s a start, but also incredibly bare-bones. Custom lineages are allowed, but are essentially just variant human. The entire racial section takes up all of two pages.
Chapter two covers group patrons, a neat concept that helps tie D&D groups together, including perks, quest ideas, and a base of operations. They’re also copied over from Eberron: Rising from the Last War, a 5e sourcebook that’s only a year old.
Chapter three features new magic items and spells. Whereas Xanathar’s focused on expanding the list of common and uncommon items for lower levels, Tasha’s takes the opposite approach, with several intriguing legendary items and artifacts, such as a magical set of tarot cards, an abyssal-powered Denomicon, and a 10-ft tall mech suit!
The final chapter is for DMs only, including expanding on party NPC sidekicks from the Essentials Kit, and reminding us to always run a Session 0 and establish safety rules (it took six years to get that in print).
In keeping with the higher level focus from magic items, the DM chapter also provides several interesting environmental hazards and supernatural regions, along with d100 tables of effects, such as Haunted, Infested, and Mirror Worlds. There’s some neat ideas, and some really incredible artwork. The art in Tasha’s is some of the best I’ve seen yet from an official 5e book, along with delightfully snarky sidebars from the witch herself.
Much of that wonderful aesthetic doesn’t show up in the Roll20 module. Unlike the Roll20 module for Xanthar’s, which included a fun Adventurer’s League module, Tasha’s doesn’t include any adventures.
The add-on does add some of the puzzles as interactive map pages, such as the Illusive Map and Reckless Steps, allowing players (or the DM) to draw directly on the maps. Puzzles with interactive visual aids are a huge plus, though I’d recommend modifying them as written to avoid players reading through Tasha’s and meta-gaming the solution.
Overall I didn’t think the puzzles were terribly impressive. Some are downright stupid, while others are far too obtuse and complex for an average D&D game. Puzzle design is certainly tricky (ask literally any game designer) but I was hoping for something beyond counting numbers in letters and ripping off Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Copying the superior puzzles from Tomb of Annihilation‘s shrines and final mega-dungeon would probably be a more successful approach.
- Fun subclasses that add distinct and unique abilities, like the Rogue Soulknife, Fathomless Warlock, and Astral Monk.
- Fantastic artwork and hilariously snarky sidebars.
- Support for higher level content with more legendary magic items and supernatural environments.
- Interactive puzzle pages.
- Overpriced for Roll20.
- Disappointingly bare custom race rules.
- Meh to bad puzzle designs.
The Verdict: Creative and fun subclasses do the heavy lifting in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, which includes only the bare minimum of content on Roll20.
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