D&D: DM Tools and Xanathar’s Guide

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This last Xanathar’s Guide preview is all about Dungeon Masters. You’ve got the talent, now get the tools.

Xanathar’s Guide to Everything contains a wealth of options for new players–with 27 new subclasses, and more than 90 spells within its pages, there’s no question that players will benefit greatly from it. But today, we’re talking a look at what awaits all you Dungeon Masters out there. At traps and treasure and encounter design. At foes and downtime and running the game.

That’s right, it’s time for DM’s to get excited. Today we get to hear about their tools, which includes a section on tool proficiencies, so you can expand out what out means to have your fighter with vehicle proficiency, and figure out musty how to adjudicate your rogue trying to use their forger’s kit.

Then of course, there’s the section on Encounter design, which has been revised from the last version we saw in Unearthed Arcana. Now you’ve got a better suite of tools for picking out the right difficulty, number of combatants, etc. It probably won’t change the fact that your players will gang up on your well-crafted villain and lay them out in a turn or two, but, you can be sure and pepper in some challenging encounters beforehand. And if your players tend to wander into unexpected territory, there’s a handy set of Random Encounter tables to populate your world with creatures from the MM as well as Volo’s Guide.

Of course, the one we’ve seen previewed in the most detail is the trap section. The last version of the most recent trap rules made for an interesting challenge. Traps gained a lot of depth and complexity, with rules for simple and complex traps, including multi-part traps that strike at different initiative ticks and send players careening into danger. They’re basically mini encounters themselves, and if you combo them with am axial mobster encounter, it can get deadly real fast.

At any rate, that’s it for the DM Tools for now. Be warned adventurers, dungeons are about to get a lot deadlier.

As a certain Admiral would say, “it’s a trap!”

  • Vepr

    I am glad to hear about the traps. That is another area I need to work on as a DM is more interesting traps.

  • EnTyme

    Glad to see tool proficiency will be expanded. It was never really clear how we were supposed to be using that.