• Justin Handlin

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything



Crit Academy discusses the newest Dungeons and Dragons supplement, "Tasha's Cauldron of Everything". The wizard Tasha, whose great works include the spell Tasha's hideous laughter, has gathered bits and bobs of precious lore during her illustrious career as an adventurer. Her enemies wouldn't want these treasured secrets scattered across the multiverse, so in defiance, she has collected and codified these tidbits for the enrichment of all.


Let’s talk about Blank!

Dungeons and Dragons Adventure Begins: A Cooperative Board Game

QUICK ENTRY TO DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: Step into the exciting world of D&D with the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Begins board game. Designed for 2-4 players, ages 10 and up

COOPERATIVE FANTASY GAME: This fantasy board game is a portal to the monsters, magic, and heroes of Dungeons & Dragons. Players work together as they journey through the lands of Neverwinter

QUICK GAMEPLAY: Players can choose and customize their heroes, battle iconic D&D monsters, and experience a new adventure every time. So, step forward, brave heroes; adventure awaits

CHOOSE A JOURNEY FOR YOUR PARTY: Choose a journey and which Boss your party of heroes will fight in the end. Choose from Felbris (Beholder), Orn (Fire Giant), Deathsleep (Green Dragon) and The Kraken

Give Away: Loresmyth: Modular Dungeon Tiles - Arcania

The Arcania digital tile set lets you make dark, shadowy dungeon maps, rich with the fumes of arcane secrets.

Winner: Brod546

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/loresmyth for a free set of digital terrain.


Main Topic: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything


EXPANDED SUBCLASSES. Try out subclass options for every Dungeons & Dragons class, including the artificer, which appears in the book.


MORE CHARACTER OPTIONS. Tasha's Cauldron of Everything introduces a host of class features and feats, plus straightforward rules for modifying a character's racial traits and customizing their origin.


INTRODUCING GROUP PATRONS. Whether you're part of the same criminal syndicate or working for an ancient dragon, each group patron option comes with its own perks and types of assignments.


SPELLS, ARTIFACTS & MAGIC TATTOOS. Discover more spells, as well as magic tattoos, artifacts, and other magic items for your campaign.


EXPANDED RULES OPTIONS. Try out rules for sidekicks, supernatural environments, natural hazards, and parleying with monsters, and gain guidance on running a session zero.


A PLETHORA OF PUZZLES. Ready to be dropped into any D&D adventure, puzzles of varied difficulty await your adventurers, complete with traps and guidance on using the puzzles in a campaign.


Full of expanded content for players and Dungeon Masters alike, this book is a great addition to the Player's Handbook. Baked in you'll find more rule options for all the character classes in the Player's Handbook, including more subclass options. Thrown in for good measure is the artificer class, a master of magical invention. And this witch's brew wouldn't be complete without a dash of added artifacts, spellbook options, spells for both player characters and monsters, magical tattoos, group patrons, and other tasty goodies.


This episode is brought to you by our generous sponsor, Kobold Press!


Fight the Monster in its Den … If You Dare!

Book of Lairs brings you 24 great monster lairs for 5th edition! Each of these exciting and unusual battlegrounds comes with a complete short adventure, including a hook, area hazards, tactics, and treasures. Stage your 5th Edition fights in unforgettable locations like; Clockwork Tower, Branches of Yggdrasil, Sky Stairs of Beldestan and many more! Check it out here!


Unearthed Tips and Tricks! We bring you new and creative content for you to bring with you on your next adventure!


Character Concept:

Chakra Champion - Nathan Heard

“Breathe deep. Then exhale, aligning your chakras, and removing all anger and darkness in your heart. The spirit and body may be separate, but with deep meditation, they can become one. Once done, you understanding of self will allow you to exceed your limits as you never could before.”


A monk dedicated to fully aligning their own chakras, those of their allies, and offsetting those of their enemies. For flavor, think of the Ancient One from Doctor Strange, how she can spirit-punch an enemy.

For mechanics, reflavor the monk's Stunning Strike as the spirit-punch. Multiclass monk with Bard, and have the buff-debuff spells be the monk's ability to exercise their power over the chakras of those around them!


Monster Variant:

Arachnomancer

Origin: Mage

The drow are arrogant and perverse and constantly conspire to subjugate all others. Their sinister race corrupted by their evil deity.


Drow who study the arcane arts, take their practice of faith and show loyalty and devotion to their deity by mastering spells that would bring their Spider Queen god pleasure. The Arachnomancers are casters who devote their energy to conjuring deadly apparitions of spiders of all forms. Their poison seeping through every bite to weaken and kill their target.


Lost Features:

Spell List, Dagger,


New Features

Fey Ancestry, Spider Climb, Web Walker, Sunlight Sensitivity


New Spells:

Cantrips: Acid splash, dancing lights, mage hand

1st level: faerie fire, mage armor, hellish rebuke, shield

2nd level: darkness, misty step, web

3rd level: conjure animals, counterspell

4th level: greater invisibility, conjure woodland beings

5th level: cloudkill


Encounter:

Star Trap

Light bends trangely in the room due to some sort of dimensional distortion. Motes that resemble starlight bob up and down in six places throughout the area. A character with a successful DC 16 Intelligence (Arcana) check identifies the nature of the starlight motes, and realizes that if all six latch on to the same object or creature, they will explode. When a creature enters or starts its turn within 15 feet of a starlight mote, or steps upon a triggering stone, the mote streaks across the room at the target. The target must succeed a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 10 (3d6) radiant damage and latches onto the target. The creature has its movement speed halved. If a creature has at least one mote upon it, the motes moves 20 feet toward the target on initiative 15.


A character with a successful DC 20 Intelligence (Arcana) check knows that the trap's magic is tied to one location, and while the location is somewhat large, the motes do not pass its boundaries. If a creature with attached motes leaves the area, the motes unlatch at the boundary and return to the room.


If a character uses the dispel magic spell, each mote is treated as a 5th level spell for the purposes of removing and dispelling them.

The motes can be targeted for attack, treating each mote as a Will-o’-Wisp without 0 intelligence and all damage it does is radiant.


If all six motes attach to one target, they release an explosion of radiant light. Each creature within a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on the target must make a DC 18 Dexterity saving throw. A target takes 8d6 radiant damage on a failed save and suffers the effects of the slow spell for 10 minutes., or half as much damage on a successful one. New motes are created 10 minutes after they detonate.


Magic Item:

Milk of the Poppy - Nathan Heard

If you want to run a campaign that feels grittier and lower-magic like a Game of Thrones campaign, OR if you just want to throw some mildly defective healing potions at your players to keep them on their toes, use Milk of the Poppy (for the pain). Milk of the Poppy is basically drinkable morphine, which numbs your senses and helps you rest up to get back on your feet. It is also addictive. Here are a few Milk of the Poppy potion ideas:


Lesser Milk of the Poppy

Potion, common

Regain 2d4 + 2 hit points, and you suffer from the Poisoned condition until you complete a short rest.


Milk of the Poppy

Potion, Uncommon

Regain 4d4 + 4 hit points, and you suffer from the Poisoned condition until you complete a long rest.


Greater Milk of the Poppy

Potion, common

Regain 8d4 + 8 hit points, and you suffer from the Poisoned condition until you complete a long rest. Additionally, you must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or immediately fall unconscious for 8 hours or until someone wakes you, whichever comes first.


Additionally, when you drink any of these, you must make a Wisdom saving throw (DC 10, 13, and 17 respectively). On a failed save, you gain the following flaw: Milk of the Poppy will fix all my problems, and I will do what I can to get more of it.


Dungeon Master Tip:

Twist the Ending

At the end of an adventure, consider using a jarring exit. Where the players suddenly learn that the adventure they’ve just completed was a diversion from the main story of the campaign. Perhaps it was just an interesting side trek, or perhaps the villains intentionally misled them in order to get them out of the way for a time: “You return triumphantly from your latest adventure, only to find that while you were away in the northern peaks of the spine, the Knights of Ronin deposed the baroness and took control of Blackrock Keep!”

Don’t overuse this technique, though. Players who feel as though they’re constantly being duped and dragged down the wrong path quickly grow frustrated.


Player Tip: Don’t be a Dick

Playing for Time: Action-Denial

While it's fun to blow stuff up, or slay a monster with a sword. But sometimes, engaging in this sort of combat leads to trading off Hit Points. While this isn’t an issue, trading hits as you work your way through a lair can leave your characters bruised and battered before they engage the big bad boss.


Instead, consider putting focus on more action denial abilities such as command or web. While ultimately you will defeat the enemy in the same way, reducing its hit points to 0, the goal here should be to mitigate the damage the characters take. You want to prevent enemies from getting in as many hits as you can. You do this by tying up the monster's actions, that they can’t attack, or attack at disadvantage.


This can be done in a myriad of ways: Some examples;

Knock them prone and grapple them. Forcing attacks at disadvantage, or waste actions trying to get free.


Use spells such as command to force them to drop a weapon, then kick it away, or pick it up as a free action.


Use manacles to cuff them up, or a rope/chain to tie them up.

etc,


Give Away: Jeff Stevens Games: Scourge of the Nightingale: Part 1 A Song of Love

A masked menace terrifies the region. The adventurers stumble into her scheme: the kidnapping of a famous performer known as Devon Artis. Their mission is to deliver a ransom and collect Devon.

Winner: Seandraganiuk

Didn’t win? Np, head to www.critacademy.com/jeffstevens for more phat lootz.


If you have any feedback, unearthed tips and tricks, or topics you would like us to discuss, please send them to us. You can email them to us at critacademy@gmail.com or find us on Twitter and Facebook @critacademy.

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