Monday, August 24, 2020

Comments on New D&D Book: Tasha's CoE


Ahoy Greybeards! I'm sure I don't need to belabor the news of Wizard's teased and now announced splat book Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. So I'll make some comments based on what little I know:

  • The cover of Tasha and variant cover especially are gorgeous. I don't know the artists, but it's the first time I'm uncertain which I want to buy. I'll probably lean toward the evil Tasha (Iggwilv as we call her) because it subtly shows Graz'zt and his six fingered hand and possibly a hint of Vecna in the corner as well. The contrast of the off-white margins with her distinctive dark green apparel and dark hair  along with Graz'zt's ebony form is eye-catching!
  • The use of Tasha as a licensing character for a D&D book is remarkable. We've had the privilege to see Iggwilv on the covers of magazines and as interior art throughout the editions. Never before have we seen Tasha (or Natasha the Dark as she was known when adopted by Baba Yaga) depicted in this early form before she got heavily invested in demonology. There is extra art I assume from this book showing Tasha sitting outside the Hut. Love it.
  • The book Tasha holds on the primary cover in Greyhawk lore could potentially be the Tome of Zyx, a book discovered by the Company of Seven back when she hung out with the likes of Zagig Yragerne who with Tasha's aid would entrap the demonlord Fraz-Urb'luu. Tasha would go on to steal this book, run off to the Yatil Mountains, become Iggwilv and add on to this book renaming it the Demonomicon of Iggwilv and go on to trap Graz'zt. I will give the writers of TCoE all my money if they manage to include all of this esoterica in their book.
  • Again I'm positive about having an obscure character like "Tasha" headline this even if 99% of gamers will only know her by the Hideous Laughter spell. It's just another feather in the cap of Greyhawk as far as I'm concerned. Ed Greenwood used to write dozens of mage and spell articles for Dragon Magazine. I don't see them naming a book after the Simbul.
  • As to the contents, I won't list them here. Go read the press releases and news articles online. It's a slew of new variant rules which I'm positive will be a turning point for fans of 5E D&D. I predict 6E will be informed by this book in the future. Mind you I don't believe a new edition is on the way, I'm just hoping this is a marker along the way. I'm still pleased with the pace of WotC releasing new books and stories.
  • I'm very intrigued to see their magic tattoo rules. I only ever seen magic tattoos in play for Eberron (dragonmarks), but I haven't kept up with that setting in 5E, so it'll be cool to see what core D&D offers.
  • I'm anxious to read the sidebar comments in Tasha. They have been a treat in previous books, so I'm positive this one will carry on that tradition.
  • I'm positive I will buy this. I love anything Iggwilv related. She used to be one of my faves from my old Greyhawk webcomic.
That's all for now. Once I have Tasha CoE in my hands, we will see how it measures up!


grodog said...

Always a pleasure to hear some good Greyhawk news first from your fingers, Mike! Thank you for sharing :D


Dick McGee said...

Agreed on the artwork looking great. Not a big enough 5th edition fan to know how much of a sea change the crunch may represent, but it's certainly a nice nod to the game's past - and not the best-known parts of the past.

FWIW, there were a fair number of magical tattoos in 4E, although I don't think they showed up until Adventurer's Vault 2 came out. And 3rd edition had psionic tattoos, which were kind of the same general idea.

Greyhawk Grognard said...

I note they're introducing "Shared Patrons" as a thing now. I wonder if that replaces "Factions" from the DMG? They never really did anything with factions anyway...

Roderick said...

I am also glad to see Wizards giving Greyhawk some of the love it deserves. This is a sure purchase for me.

Mike Bridges said...

grodog: No problem!

McGee: Good info. I was not aware of psionic tattoos, then again I am one of those ppl who don't subscribe to psionics even though its in alot of early EGG stuff.

Grognard: Well Joe, were factions meant to be an individual thing? I never could get play out of them beyond one session bc its additional book-keeping. Maybe sharing a patron is one of those time economy things?

Rod: Well it's up to us hard core fans to shout out (point out) the Greyhawk love sometimes. Lore genercizing has been rife since 3e and it's our job to keep it real lol.

grodog said...

Some interesting discussion has arisen at ENWorld about GH in the wake of the new announcement:


Puff said...

I, for one, am not excited by this book, or any other books in the series. I get players coming to the game wanting to play some of the new class off-shoots that I know nothing about and haven't read up on. I can't keep buying $50 books to keep current with this game. I don't have unlimited funds to keep buying books. I'm tired of the "here's a new book with new spells and new classes and new races to play". Unless they are gathered under one cover, I'll never be able to keep up.

Mike Bridges said...

Puff: That is a legit concern. It was certainly 10x worse during the 3e splatbook craze. I had to get off that rollercoaster during 4E and kept using my 3E books. 5E seemed like a better investment moving forward, but yeah I noticed that $50 price too. I try to be choosier what I buy. I justify buying an occasional book now by reminding myself I never buy those extravagant special editions, I haven't been to GenCon in years, and I pretty much stopped buying minis. I also dont buy books or pdfs that don't compliment Greyhawk (ie I don't collect Eberron, Exandria, etc). If one of my friends happen to get the book I'll consider it, but thats on them to bring it to the table. Less is more with me.