Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, released in 2020, is a sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Named for iconic World of Greyhawk character Tasha, it presents a variety of character class options, magic items, and tools for DMs.
The standard cover art depicts the witch Tasha, dressed in an iconic witch's outfit, casting a spell on a cauldron with an open spellbook. The art is by Magali Villeneuve.
An alternate cover, released exclusively to hobby shops, depicts a unique monochrome art. According to the credits page, it depicts her alongside the demon lord Graz'zt, casting a spell taught to her by her mother Baba Yaga, while she conjures images of her past and future. The Dancing Hut of Baba Yaga appears on the back cover. It is drawn by Wylie Beckert.
Art director Kate Irwin gave Beckert free reign to decide the composition of the cover image. It was drawn primarily in pencil and ink, with digital effects added later in Photoshop. Color was added with ink wash and digital. Graz'zt is holding a heart as a romantic gesture to Tasha, with the art brief requesting that the demon lord appear "flirtatious". A possessed scroll decpicting skulls and cackling imps depicts the spell Tasha's hideous laughter. The use of feathers as a motif may refer to the material component of that spell. A recreation of the cover image appeared as the cover art in Dragon+ #33, while a clean version of the art also appeared in that magazine.
In both versions of the cover, as well as the internal art, Tasha has a tattoo beneath her left eye which appears to resemble the symbol ᛉ. This is a new addition to the character, and did not appear in previous art, such as the cover of Dungeon #149 (Aug 2007). Its meaning is uncertain. In the real world, it represented the letter "Z" in the Norse Elder Futhark alphabet, while in later occult traditions it represented "man", "life", or "protection". Inverted, it appeared in The World of Greyhawk Fantasy World Setting (1980), p.31 where it represented (evil) magic power.
Using this book
The book begins with this short introductory chapter introducing the character of Tasha. It features Ten Rules to Remember, clarifications of commonly misunderstood or ignored D&D rules.
Ch.1: Character options
This lengthy chapter features various optional rules for player character creation. Much of this content previously appeared in Unearthed Arcana articles.
It begins with Customizing Your Origin, a set of rules for custom or variant races. It also describes Changing a Skill and Changing Your Subclass, giving advice on switching those traits, something which would allow many existing characters to use the new options in the book.
The bulk of the chapter is dedicated to new variant abilities and subclasses for each class. Additionally, it presents the base artificer class which previous appeared in Eberron: Rising from the Last War (2019). The available subclasses included:
- Artificer: alchemist, armorer, artillerist, battle smith.
- Barbarian: Path of the Beast, Path of Wild Magic.
- Bard: College of Creation, College of Eloquence.
- Cleric: Order Domain, Peace Domain, Twilight Domain.
- Druid: Circle of Spores, Circle of Stars, Circle of Wildfire.
- Fighter: psi warrior, rune knight.
- Monk: Way of Mercy, Way of the Astral Self.
- Paladin: Oath of Glory, Oath of the Watchers.
- Ranger: fey wanderer, swarmkeeper.
- Rogue: phantom, soulknife.
- Sorcerer: aberrant mind, clockwork soul.
- Warlock: The Fathomless, The Genie.
- Wizard: bladesinging, Order of Scribes.
Ch.2: Group patrons
This chapter presents rules for party patrons, who may grant unique benefits to a party.
Ch.3: Magical miscellany
This chapter presents spells and magic items.
It presents the spells blade of disaster, booming blade, dream of the blue veil, green-flame blade, intellect fortress, lightning lure, mind sliver, spirit shroud, summon aberration, summon beast, summon celestial, summon construct, summon elemental, summon fey, summon fiend, summon shadowspawn, summon undead, sword burst, Tasha's caustic brew, Tasha's mind whip, and Tasha's otherworldly guise.
It presents the following magic items: absorbing tattoo, alchemical compendium, all-purpose tool, amulet of the devout, arcane grimoire, astral shard, astromancy archive, atlas of endless horizons, Baba Yaga's Mortar and Pestle, barrier tattoo, bell branch, blood fury tattoo, bloodwell vial, cauldron of rebirth, coiling grasp tattoo, Crook of Rao, crystalline chronicle, Demonomicon of Iggwilv, devotee's censer, duplicitous manuscript, eldritch claw tattoo, elemental essence shard, far realm shard, feywild shard, fulminating treatise, ghost step tattoo, guardian emblem, heart weaver's primer, illuminator's tattoo, libram of souls and flesh, lifewell tattoo, Luba's Tarokka of Souls, lyre of building, masquerade tattoo, Mighty Servant of Leuk-o, moon sickle, nature's mantle, outer essence shard, planecaller's codex, prosthetic limb, protective verses, reveler's concertina, rhythm-maker's drum, shadowfell brand tatoo, shadowfell shard, spellwrought tattoo, and Teeth of Dahlver-Nar.
Ch.4: Dungeon Master's tools
This chapter is dedicated to a wide variety of advice and rules the DM can use in running a campaign.
It gives advice on how to run a session zero at the beginning of a campaign. It provides rules for sidekicks, creatures or NPCs who join the party and may take levels in the expert, spellcaster or warrior classes, reminiscent of similar rules appearing in the Dungeon Master's Guide (3.0) (2000). It gives tables for parleying with monsters, suggesting what a monster might want from the party.
It features rules for terrain and weather effects: supernatural regions, magical phenomena, and natural hazards.
It finishes with a section of puzzles.
Development and release
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything drew on the works of several designers, with Jeremy Crawford as lead designer, and Dan Dillon, Ben Petrisor, F. Wesley Schneider and Elisa Teague credited for design. Credits for additional design goes to Bill Benham, Adam Lee, Ari Levitch, Christopher Perkins, Taymoor Rehman, Kate Welch, and Ray Winninger.
Much of the book's content previously appeared in preview form in the Unearthed Arcana article series during the previous year. Designers incorporated feedback from the public, who rated some of the subclasses the most highly of any such content to date.
The new Customizing Your Origin rules were inspired by feedback from a growing number of players who were uncomfortable with D&D's rules on player character race. Jeremy Crawford believed the new more flexible rules would open up new character combinations which were previously sub-optimal.
It was released on 17 November 2020, with its first printing is dated November 2020. It was released as a 192-page hardcover sourcebook for a recommended retail price of US $49.95 or $65.95 Canadian. The standard version has an ISBN of 978-0-7869-6702-5 and product code C78780000, while the special edition has an ISBN of 978-0-7869-6707-0 and product code C78940000.
Reception and influence
Dicebreaker praised the inclusion of Tasha as a powerful female character and her moral rehabilitation as a more neutral character. They also praised the variant character creation rules which allow players to create characters that do not conform to racial archetypes.
- Imagining The Ampersand: Wylie Beckert, Dragon+ #33, Aug 25, 2020.
- The Secret of the Runes (1908) Guido Von List, translated Stephen E. Flowers (1988), p.60.
- The Magic of the Runes: Their Origins and Occult Power (1980), Michael Howard, p.25.
- With D&D's Next Rulebook, Character Creation Will Never Be the Same, io9
- Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is a positive sign that Dungeons & Dragons is working on its problems - preview
|Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition|
|Player's Handbook • Monster Manual • Dungeon Master's Guide • Starter Set • Essentials Kit|
|Acquisitions Incorporated • Eberron: Rising from the Last War • Explorer's Guide to Wildemount • Fizban's Treasury of Dragons • Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica • Monsters of the Multiverse • Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes • Mythic Odysseys of Theros • Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos • Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide • Tasha's Cauldron of Everything • Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft • Volo's Guide to Monsters • Xanathar's Guide to Everything|
|Adventure with Muk • Domains of Delight • Elemental Evil Player's Companion • Minsc and Boo's Journal of Villainy • Mordenkainen's Fiendish Folio Volume 1 • Muk's Guide to Everything He Learned From Tasha • One Grung Above • Plane Shift: Amonkhet • Plane Shift: Dominaria • Plane Shift: Innistrad • Plane Shift: Ixalan • Plane Shift: Kaladesh • Plane Shift: Zendikar • The Tortle Package • Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron|
|Baldur's Gate: Descent Into Avernus • Candlekeep Mysteries • Critical Role: Call of the Netherdeep • Curse of Strahd • Ghosts of Saltmarsh • Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden • Out of the Abyss • Princes of the Apocalypse • Storm King's Thunder • Tales from the Yawning Portal • Tomb of Annihilation • Tyranny of Dragons (Hoard of the Dragon Queen • The Rise of Tiamat) • Waterdeep: Dragon Heist • Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage • The Wild Beyond the Witchlight|
|The Barber of Silverymoon • Infernal Machine Rebuild • Locathah Rising • The Lost Kenku • Lost Laboratory of Kwalish • Return to the Glory • Six Faces of Death • X Marks the Spot • A Zib For Your Thoughts|
|Stranger Things Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set • Dungeons & Dragons vs. Rick and Morty|