• Justin Handlin

Elminster's Candlekeep Companion

Updated: Jun 8, 2020

Watch Live: 7pm Est 6/7/20

This week Crit Academy discusses Elminster's Candlekeep companion. A Platinum best seller DMsguild Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition supplement.

Elminster Aumar, Chosen of Mystra, invites you to explore the grandest repository of knowledge in the Forgotten Realms: Candlekeep, the Library Fortress! The Sage of Shadowdale has assembled this companion to help seekers of wisdom navigate the Castle of Tomes. Be warned! Elminster requests that you bring a suitable entrance gift, lest you be turned away at the front gates.

This book is the definitive guide to Candlekeep and includes the first-ever comprehensive map of Candlekeep. Dungeon Masters can find a history and overview of Candlekeep developed in consultation with Ed Greenwood, creator of the Forgotten Realms, new variant rules, 26 new magic items, and 11 new creatures found in the library fortress. Players can create characters from four new subclass options and 34 new spells, and embark on stories involving the Castle of Tomes and the lore held within. Elminster’s Candlekeep Companion also includes an adventure for use in Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus, written by M.T. Black.

Segment: Crit Nation Feedback: Let’s talk about Blank!

How to Run an Avatar Last Air-Bender Theme Campaign


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Segment: Main Topic: Elminster’s Candlekeep Companion

Elminster’s Candlekeep Companion aims to be the definitive guide to Candlekeep in Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition. Players and Dungeon Masters can use this book to create characters and adventures relating to Candlekeep and the knowledge it contains.

Chapter 1 provides new character options for creating Candlekeep-inspired characters.

Chapter 2 presents a general overview of Candlekeep, such as requirements for entry, major locations, and the monastic order known as the Avowed.

Chapter 3 includes an in-depth look at the Great Library of Candlekeep, its rules, and the books contained therein.

Chapter 4 details ideas for creating Candlekeep adventures, and includes an adventure by M.T. Black, for use in Baldur’s Gate: Descent into Avernus.

Chapter 5 contains new magic items and spells found in Candlekeep and its vaults, including magical books, tomes, and grimoires.

Chapter 6 provides new monsters and NPCs, such as bookworms and Miirym, the Sentinel Wyrm.

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Segment: Unearthed Tips and Tricks! (We give you creative content for your next adventure)

Character Concept: Bigfoot

A Big Foot! Patron Ben W.

Get your inner sasquatch on and be a stalker of the forest that can strike fear into your enemies! All you have to do to play your own Bigfoot is to pick up the Firbolg race which not only is tall and hairy but also can make itself invisible once per rest. No wonder he is never photographed. Not to mention the racial ability to cast Alter Self. Take some levels in monk to use those massive trunks you have called arms to pummel your enemies into submission. Perhaps became a master of stealth and become a rogue. Why not do both for some multiclass fun and chaos. I was thinking about making a firbolg skinned as a Bigfoot character to play as well as make him a random encounter while players are traveling. I was thinking rogue and monk for sneak and unarmed combat. What do you guys think?

Monster Variant:

Witness of Tomorrows (Theros Sphinx)

“As the future slips its way into the present, it ceases to be my concern.”

These creatures often are seen gazing off into the distances watching something only they can see, often time itself as it has yet to pass. Many adventurers mistake this at a glance that these creatures are aloof to their surroundings, but could not be more deadly wrong. Afterall, these creatures often know how the battle ends before it even begins. Would you charge into a fight you know you would lose?

Origin Statblock. Wyvern

Lost Features: Bite, Stinger. Darkvision

New Features:

Inscrutable. The sphinx is immune to any effect that would sense its emotions or read its thoughts, as well as any divination spell that it refuses. Wisdom (Insight) checks made to ascertain the sphinx’s intentions or sincerity have disadvantage.

Foresight. When the sphinx rolls a 1 on an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, it can reroll the die and must use the new roll. Additionally, the sphinx has advantage on all Wisdom (Perception) checks.

Portent. Glimpses of the future press constantly against the sphinxes awareness. Allowing it to predict or alter fate. When the sphinx finishes a long rest, roll two D20s and record the numbers rolled. The sphinx can replace any attack roll, saving throw, or ability check made by it or a creature it can see with one of these fortelling rolls. The sphinx must choose to do so before the roll, and it can replace a roll in this way only once per turn.

Each foretelling roll can be used only once. When the sphinx finishes a long rest, it loses any unused fortelling rolls.

Roar (Recharge 6). Each creature within 500 feet of the sphinx must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become deafened and frightened for 1 minute. A frightened creature is paralyzed and can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success


Lore Seeker Expeditions

Candlekeep not only buys books, but even sponsors adventuring groups and lore seekers to undertake expeditions across Faerûn to procure particular tomes for the monastery’s collection. Candlekeep does not condone book theft, but the monks tend to turn a blind eye and not inquire too deeply about a book’s origins.

Recover and return the Book of Vile Darkness to Candlekeep. Strange news is spreading throughout Waterdeep. Rumors run rampant, claiming that the Xanathar Guild either has, or knows, where this book is.

Magic Item:

Torc of the Younger Self (Candlekeep Companion)

Wondrous item, very rare (requires attunement)

Legends speak of Queen Omarosa, a legendary ruler who guided her realm to prosperity during her reign, making decisions that combined the wisdom of age with the passion and idealism of youth. Historians debate the actual location of her kingdom, but the tales say that after Omarosa’s death, this torc was looted from her tomb.

This plain bronze necklace grants you a +1 bonus to all saving throws, and it has 5 charges.

It regains 1d4 + 1 charges each day at dawn.

While wearing it, you can expend 3 charges as an action to spend one or more of your Hit Dice and regain hit points, as if at the end of a short rest. When you do so, you regain hit points using the highest number possible for each Hit Die.

You can also expend one or more charges as an action to cast one of the following

spells, targeting yourself only: lesser restoration (1 charge), remove curse (2 charges), or greater restoration (3 charges).

You can also expend 3 charges to perform a 1-minute ritual to communicate with the spirit

of yourself from an earlier time of your choice. The spirit has no substance, but you can see

and hear it, and it can see and hear you. In all other respects, it is the person you were at the

time you chose, and it approaches you with that perspective. The spirit remains for 10 minutes before vanishing, allowing you time to converse with it. If you remember the right time in your own past to call on the spirit, you can question yourself while important knowledge was still fresh in your mind, potentially gain ing advantage on an Intelligence check on that subject. The spirit’s time with you is separate from your actual younger self’s place in time, and your younger self retains no memory of the conversation.

Dungeon Master Tip:

Always Keep Learning (Kobold Guide to Gamemastering)

There’s always more to learn in this limitless hobby of ours. Each new experience you receive while gaming or talking about gaming can add to our pool of knowledge, a pool that will never completely fill.

Regardless of your long-time experiences, there is so much more you can learn. You may have more overall experiences than other GMs, but they’re also different experiences. You can learn from everyone. You can learn from every game. Keep Always learning” is the philosophy that will always improve your games. It is the one tip that will keep you growing instead of becoming stagnant in your own myopic view of this infinite hobby.

Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Roleplaying Is Other People

The process of building a character involves making the character vivid in your own imagination. But the difference between a character sheet and a character isn't really established until the character comes to life in the minds of everyone at the table. The greatest moments of roleplaying are group efforts. Come up with characterization hooks that your friends can latch onto, and build on the characterization hooks the other players throw out.

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