Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is set to come out in a few weeks and change everything we know about building Dungeons & Dragons characters. D&D Lead Rules Designer Jeremy Crawford recently spoke about what that means from a mechanics standpoint. He went deeper into the new Custom Lineage rules that are supposed to allow players to build a character from the ground up, rather than rely on preestablished fantasy archetypes.
Crawford went on the official D&D podcast Dragon Talk to field questions about Tasha’s character creation options. There was a lot of discussion about what this new customization means from a story standpoint. Players are always welcome to play using just what’s in the Player’s Handbook – they can be haughty elves gifted with magic or tricky halfling rogues. But D&D adventurers are often extraordinary, and Tasha’s Custom Lineage guidelines help players bring that out in their stats. Now your orphaned tiefling raised by circus performers can have the Dex bonus and feat to go along with that backstory.
In practice, Custom Lineage works a lot like the Variant Human rules. A character created with a Custom Lineage ignores the standard racial stats and instead has:
- +2 to any stat of your choice
- Darkvision or one skill proficiency
- A feat
These rules seem to build on what we’ve already seen in the D&D Adventurer’s League updated rules. The League puts out a new season with new rules to go along with the yearly hardcover campaign, in this case September’s Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Those rules didn’t allow for anyone to have Darkvision, but did allow for racial stat bonuses to be swapped and for players to trade one proficiency for another. It’s unclear if Tasha’s will also have these rules, or if the AL rules will change when Tasha’s comes out to be in sync.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything will offer loads of customization in other areas, too. It will contain new spells, subclasses, and magic items. DMs also get some tricky tips on creating puzzles and adding “supernatural storms” to their worlds. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything will be released on November 17, 2020.
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