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Angry Blind Readthrough: Xanathar's Guide to Everything.
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CapnTthePirateG
Duke


Joined: 17 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2018 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

Chapter 3: Spells

The last chapter of this god damn book. Now I will admit this chapter is not one I'm doing blind, I'm using one of the cantrips in AL and it's fine.

There's a lot to sort through here. There's the usual pile of damage spells you don't care about because they're bad. There's a weird ceremony spell that marries people for life without the possibility of divorce. There's an instantaneous Animate Dead that lasts for an hour. There's some shit that should have been in the PHB like Charm Monster. There are a few high-level save or dies you can grab, a few demon summoning spells that are good, and the usual collection of poorly thought out shit that's a D&D spell section. Some of the cantrips are better than the ones in the PHB, Like the actual PHB, you are going to have to dumpster dive long and hard for any attack magic of value and you will probably be disappointed along the way.

Appendices

There's a few of these in the back. Appendix A is about running a shared campaign with multiple DMs, where people are encouraged to use point buy, stick to 1 splatbook, and not bully each other on Facebook. Yes, that is actually in there. The last appendix is 17 pages of character name tables.

At the end of the day there's really not much you can say about Xanathar's other than it's a lazy piece of shit book for a lazy piece of shit edition. While there are token attempts made to shore up the skill system from "nonfunctional piece of shit" to "look, we have some DCs now!" it's really duct tape over the shitpile that is 5e D&D. The core problem that fights are a boring slog of HP smashing isn't really addressed at all and the only thing the edition really provides rules for are combat. Sure, you can have fun MTPing with your friends, but save your money and don't buy this book.
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Cervantes
Apprentice


Joined: 28 Jul 2014
Posts: 96

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

hexblade is one of the most egregious class archetypes, to the point where you can get people who aren't seething rage monsters to look at it and say "wow, Mearls really DID fuck up with this thing, jesus christ"

Hexblade 1/Paladin X lets you be a SAD Paladin as long as you stick to Sword+Board. That's wild
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RobbyPants
Prince


Joined: 06 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

CapnTthePirateG wrote:
...and the usual collection of poorly thought out shit that's a D&D spell section.

Any examples? Is this stuff like Polymorph Any Object, or what?
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CapnTthePirateG
Duke


Joined: 17 Jul 2009
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It's less like Polymorph any Object and more like an FR book where you have a collection of marginal damage spells and mostly spells you're not going to use. There's some batshit crazy stuff like the spell that makes you immune to damage (9th level), Tenser's Transformation makes a return, but it's the usual 2 or 3 things that start showing up on mages' character sheets and 20 pages of useless shit you wouldn't wipe your butt with.

There's still really nothing worth casting as a level 1 wizard (remember, those 5d8 hp from sleep are less than the max HP of many low level monsters) as the save at end of turn paradigm really, really fucks over low level casters. Once you get the minion spells and actual 1-save disables you're in business, but it's a long slog to that point.
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OgreBattle wrote:
"And thus the denizens learned that hating Shadzar was the only thing they had in common, and with him gone they turned their venom upon each other"
-Sarpadian Empires, vol. I


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Voss
Prince


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

It makes me sad that the cantrips are the selling point of the spells section.

Though after all these years, shitty 1st level spells don't even register.
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RobbyPants
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

What makes for a good cantrip in this edition?
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Voss
Prince


Joined: 07 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

RobbyPants wrote:
What makes for a good cantrip in this edition?


Scaling damage (which starts outpacing weapon damage at level 5, as they add a die at 5th, 11th and 17th) and useful rider effects, usually also combining them in a class that gives a stat bonus to damage (though that often comes very late).

If you're trying to do raw damage as a spellcaster, cantrips actually matter in a way a lot of higher level spells don't- for one thing they're compatible with haste and other effects that allow casting a spell as a bonus action. For any non-cantrip spell, this doesn't actually matter in 5e, because you can't cast another spell if you cast one as a bonus action- haste, quicken effects and spells that are just bonus actions to cast are bizarrely incompatible with spellcasting.

In other editions of D&D, cantrips don't matter much, but in 5e, the various restrictions mean you'll be using them a lot, rather than a weapon you suck with. Unless, of course, you go with hexblade warlock.
--

One of the big things these cantrips are doing is making damage types available (which was a big problem for sorcerers), as well as giving various schools something to do (which is a big deal for wizard specialities)

Toll the Dead is just thematically amusing plus does d12s of damage provided the target is not a full HP. Plus it isn't fucking radiant damage, which is useful for clerics. It's basically a ranged greataxe that gets better as you level.

Frostbite has bad damage, but inflicts disadvantage on the next weapon attack by the target. That's a pretty useful fuck you, and relevant from 1-20, given how 5e works.

Infestation is a bit random for me, but a decent chance an enemy will step out of melee range is situationally useful.

Create Bonfire is limited but useful battlefield control, despite the name, it us a damaging cantrip, but also makes an entire 5' area a fucking bonfire, which damages anyone who wanders in later, which gives budding wizards their first taste of battlefield control.

Primal Savagery is kinda meh, but is doing 1d10 acid damage as a melee attack (and is a transmutation spell), with only somatic components.
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Lago PARANOIA
Invincible Overlord


Joined: 25 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Add User to Ignore List

All but one of the offensive cantrips in Xanathar's are n00b bait. There is some utility to be had with the elemental cantrips of Mold Earth, Shape Water, and Gust but for the most part you will want to stick with Fire Bolt/Eldritch Blast/Ray of Frost/Vicious Mockery.

You will not be using Create Bonfire out of the low levels. It takes up concentration. The only people who will use this are Warlocks with Repelling Blast and Grasp of Hadar who need a resource-stretcher. Xanathar's also nerfed it so you can't even use it with Pyrotechnics anymore, though only an idiot moron DM wouldn't let you set something on fire with it.

Frostbite and Infestation run off of CON, so you will also not be using them out of the low levels. Same deal for Word of Radiance and Thunderclap (Mike Mearls sucks horse anus).

Magic Stone is also worthless, despite being a ranged spell attack. It eats up bonus actions and the damage is hard-capped at 1d6 + spellcasting modifier per round. Meaning, it's barely passable at low levels and becomes worthless at level 5. The only utility is if you're playing in Dark Sun or something and the DM announces you'll be fighting a lot of nonmagical weapon resistance enemies. You and your friends have fun chucking rocks at the enemy for 1d6 + 3-5 a pop.

Primal Savagery is dumb and a waste of time. If you're a backline caster, you will not be using it. If you are a frontline druid, you are unable to use this cantrip in wildshape until very late in the game. The only people who will be using this are people restricted to the PHB + 1 rule who need something to use with Spell Sniper.

The only cantrip you will be using is Toll the Dead. Targeting WIS is a dicey proposition, but it is fairly large damage.
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Your freedom to make rulings up on the fly is in direct conflict with my freedom to interact with an internally consistent narrative. Your freedom to run/play a game without needing to understand a complex rule system is in direct conflict with my freedom to play a character whose abilities and flaws function as I intended within that ruleset. Your freedom to add and change rules in the middle of the game is in direct conflict with my ability to understand that rules system before I decided whether or not to join your game.

In short, your entire post is dismissive of not merely my intelligence, but my agency. And I don't mean agency as a player within one of your games, I mean my agency as a person. You do not want me to be informed when I make the fundamental decisions of deciding whether to join your game or buying your rules system.


Last edited by Lago PARANOIA on Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:33 pm; edited 2 times in total
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