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How Dungeons & Dragons’ next book deals with race, plus exclusive new pages and art

Your first look at new features for the monk class

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A close up of Tasha sitting on a leaf, surrounded by sprites. Image: Wizards of the Coast
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

The next Dungeons & Dragons book from publisher Wizards of the Coast will offer additional rules for character creation. Titled Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, it includes several new subclasses, as well as additional class features and feats. It will also offer up optional new rules for dealing with the concept of race, which lead rules designer Jeremy Crawford calls one of the main pillars of character creation.

Today we’ll reveal exclusive new art from the book, and recap some of the changes coming when Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is released on Nov. 17.

Tasha’s Cauldron comes at a difficult time for the company, which in early 2020 was called out for the racism in its collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering, which led to banning several cards. The company was also criticized for reinforcing harmful racial stereotypes in D&D. Small changes have already been made to certain products, including The Curse of Strahd, but Tasha’s Cauldron goes a step further by offering an entirely new way to implement race in the game.

D&D races like elves and dwarves have traditionally had statistical bonuses associated with them. Elves are more dexterous, and dwarves are more hearty, so those races receive bonuses to dexterity and constitution, respectively. Crawford said during an episode of the Wizards-produced podcast that this was with a nod toward tradition more than anything else.

“Contrary to what many people might think,” said Crawford, “those ability score increases that are in those different options, they’re not there for game balance purposes. They are there strictly to reinforce the different archetypes that have been in D&D going all the way back to the ’70s. [...] It really has been just about archetype reinforcement, and because it’s not there for game balance reasons we give people the option in Tasha’s Cauldron to take whatever those bonuses are [...] put them in any ability score you want.”

The change mirrors work already done by authors within the community, including projects like Ancestry & Culture: An Alternative to Race in 5e — but with a nod toward maintaining balance in the tactical elements of the game as well.

Page 48 from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything includes new features of the monk class. Image: Wizards of The Coast

Wizards was also able to share a page from the new book that details a new feature option for players who favor the monk class. They include the Dedicated Weapon feature, which monks can gain at second level. It allows the player to focus their ki — a kind of spiritual energy — and turn non-traditional weapons into monk weapons. Now, rather than being limited to a specific subset of Asian-inspired tools, monk players can be much more adaptable. Later on, they can also select the Ki-Fueled Attack feature at third level. That allows them an additional bonus action — including an unarmed strike or an attack with a monk weapon.

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is available for pre-order now at your local game store — where it will feature an alternate cover — and on Amazon. The hardcover book retails for $49.95.

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