There’s a new official Dungeons & Dragons book coming out on Tuesday, but it’s bundled in with the Rules Expansion Gift Set. Due to all of this that we’re living through [waves hands at world] the Gift Set didn’t come out in time for the peak gift-giving time of year. Instead, it’s an oddly timed late-January product with the only “original” part of it not available until May 17.
As is typical alternate art is available at your local gaming store, which you should support. In Renton you can go to Wizards Keep Games or Shane’s Cards. People on the Eastside should go to Mox Bellevue. Down in Tacoma check Tacoma Games. Those are all places in Greater Puget Sound that I’ve supported and am confident in.
What’s in the Gift Set?
There are three books. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything are just reprinted with the latest errata. There’s a new(kinda) book called Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse. You’ll also get a DM’s screen with some tables to reduce page flipping when you play in person. Screens can be quite handy.
Additionally there is a fancy slipcase to hold everything and look really good while it sits there.
That kinda sticks out doesn’t it? Monsters of the Multiverse has one new monster. Those that already own Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes will already have every other monster and nearly ever race, but in a different form. The new book has adjustments to the stat blocks to make them a bit more powerful and a bit easier to use. Also, those two earlier books (Volo’s and Tome of Foes) have dramatically more lore. Most of that lore is Forgotten Realms specific. The new book greatly minimizes the lore elements to what is true for a race or monster, typically, throughout the multiverse of D&D play.
Between the three books you’ll get rules for the Artificer class, a couple dozen new subclasses, over 30 new races, gobs of new magic items, many spells, and some new rules for exploration and be social parts of the game.
Reviews of Mordenkainen Presents Monsters of the Multiverse
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So who is the new product for?
The person who most needs the Gift Set is someone who is recently deep into the game. For all intents this set is the second core of the game, with rules that help both players and dungeon masters. Those players that only have the Player’s Handbook and want to dramatically expand their options will enjoy the set (talk to your regular DM beforehand just in case they don’t want certain subclasses or rules at the table). A Dungeon Master who wants more monsters, traps, and puzzles will get great use from the Set if all they have are the three core books. Monsters of the Multiverse is particularly helpful for those who homebrew, as the weight of lore won’t interfere as much as Guide to Monsters and Tome of Foes.
Maybe certain collectors will want the new set too. There’s an appeal to that. But, I don’t have that kind of room in my house or wallet. The new art and case are great though. When I have that kind of room this might be the set that finds its way into the background of a video meeting.
Overall the set is the next three books a D&D fanatic should get if they don’t have the four books that make up the Gift Set already. If you already have those books it may not be meant for you. Wait for the three or more other books that will come out in 2022 or keep playing with what you already own.