DMs Guild Review – Xanathar’s Secret Stash

Over 100 magic items, each with beautiful artwork.

A review copy of “Xanathar’s Secret Stash” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Grim PressR P DavisTrevor Armstrong

The beholder crime boss of Waterdeep is sure to have more than a few treasures stashed away. Xanathar’s Secret Stash features over 100 magic items, including armor, weapons, boots, belts, staves, and wands.

The nearly 50-page magic item supplement has a woefully tiny table of contents, organizing everything into a handful of categories, such as staffs and wands. It also lacks rarity tables, which is annoying. It looks like most items fall within the typical rare and very rare category, with very few commons and legendaries.

But the original art more than makes up for these organizational slights. Oh my goodness the art! I’ve never reviewed a magic item book that so thoroughly providing original, beautiful artwork for every single magic item.

The artwork is honestly worth the purchase alone. A skilled DM can always tweak and hack an item to suit their needs, but having magic item art ready to go is a huge boon. I only wish it also included official handouts to give to your players!

Great art doesn’t necessarily make for a great supplement, however (though it absolutely helps). Thankfully these items offer an interesting selection of stuff I expect, and stuff I haven’t seen before.

xanathar's items

Highlights include the Staff of Slinging, which turns ordinary rocks into 4d10-damage flying boulders. The Belt of Beneficent Beakers supplies random potions, a bit like having an Alchemist Artificer wrapped around your waist. The Assassin’s Staff springs a hidden dagger and casts useful stealth spells, making it the rare staff coveted by rogues.

My favorite item is also one of the only cursed items. While wearing the Hood of the Shadow Queen, the user can transform into a shadow, gaining its traits and abilities, including that gnarly strength-drain attack. But if you kill a target with it, you must resist a WIS save or suffer from short-term madness.

Three item sets are also detailed, with four items each. The set bonuses feel hilariously overpowered, and I prefer progressively unlocking set bonuses rather than all-or-nothing, but they’re still nice to see.

I especially dig the full-page character art depicting the full set in action! Can we get a full-blown D&D fashion show next, please?

Many of these items draw heavily from official D&D lore and settings, including Faerun and Eberron. It’s easy to tell the designers are well-versed in the history and lore of the Forgotten Realms (and elsewhere), from the Rasehmi’s Mallet of Fury to a powerful staff wielded by a wizard of House Dmir.

The only thing missing from this otherwise excellent book (besides a better table of contents) is the titular beholder. You can’t just slap the Xanathar’s name on a book and not feature him anywhere in the pages! Our delightfully self-centered eye tyrant is reduced to a a few paragraphs in the Foreword, then disappears entirely. A sad waste of a normally fun narrator.

Pros:

  • Over 100 magic items, including weapons, staves, potions, and item sets.
  • Gorgeous original art for every single item, including full-page character art for item sets (Artist: Bob Greyvenstein).
  • Interesting item descriptions drawn from official D&D settings, including Faerun, Eberron, and Ravnica.

Cons:

  • Lacks rarity table.
  • Needs more Xanathar!

The Verdict: With fabulous original art for each of the 100+ items, Xanathar’s Secret Stash is easily the most attractive item book on the DM’s Guild.

A review copy of “Xanathar’s Secret Stash” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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