Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything

Reviews Tabletop Games

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is an unexpected delight for players and DMs alike. Whether you’re looking for new subclasses (which are abundant) or new ways to make your world feel magical, immersive, and dynamic, there are options here for you. In the spoiler text below, I go into options for players and DMs. Feel free to only read the section you’re interested in, as there is a lot of ground to cover (and this is just summaries!).

For Players

Each class receives new subclasses, including the Artificer class, which was originally published

Every class gets some balance tweaks, and Dungeon Masters are left to decide whether these updates are right for their game. Most tweaks give variety for players who are bored and give some versatility to classes without enough options. Other options, like updates to Ranger pets are defined as “replacement features” which boot out the mechanics that don’t work, and replace them with more elegant, enjoyable, balanced versions of the original class features.

Artificer:

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This class is now part of another book, making it more accessible. In addition, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything includes a new discipline:

The Armorer

This subclass is an artificer who modifies armor to be much more than a stat boost. The artificer can now wear heavy armor, which is also a conduit for the artificer’s magic, imbuing it with enhanced magics previously unavailable to any class with two further specializations: Guardian and Infiltrator, which give even more niche uses for the artificer in any group. Artificer Infusions Artificers will also gain access to new options for their infusions, including Arcane Propulsion Armor and Spell-Refueling Ring along with other surprises.

Barbarian:

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Barbarians get access to new features like Primal Knowledge, which allows Barbarians to gain additional skill proficiencies at levels 3 and 10, and Instinctive Pounce, which allows the barbarian to move as part of their bonus action when they enter a rage.

Path of the Beast

Path of the Beast is a path which describes barbarians who have a spark of bestial magic in their souls. Barbarians who follow this path resemble druids who Wild Shape, manifesting magical bestial claws, tails, or fangs to fight. Progressing in this Path leads the barbarian to the power to infect and inspire others with their bestial spark.

Path of Wild Magic

Path of Wild Magic is a path which describes barbarians who have been infused with uncontrolled magics. They gain access to their very own Wild Magic table, which functions similarly to the Wild Magic Sorcerer table, but with many fewer options. Progressing in this Path gives the barbarian greater control over the magic they unleash.

Bard:

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Bards start out with new spells, uses for Bardic Inspiration, and the chance to change out skills chosen for Expertise or changing Bardic cantrips periodically.

College of Creation

The College of Creation focuses on creating works of art. Whether that’s dancing motes of light that grant boons to your allies, using the raw power of creation to create non-magical goods, or the new Dancing Item construct the bard can animate, a bard of Creation is constantly re-creating reality to suit their purposes.

College of Eloquence

The College of Eloquence (introduced in Mythic Odysseys of Theros) is dedicated to mastery of the spoken word. This is the best subclass for a bard that wants to be the spokesperson for their party. Whether you just want a better chance at Deception or Persuasion checks, or you want to always be understood regardless of language barriers, the Eloquent bard is ready for all your campaign’s social needs.

Cleric:

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New cleric options include an expanded spell list, and some alternate features for changing out cantrips or doing damage differently with Divine Strike and Potent Spellcasting. Most exciting, though, is the optional feature called Harness Divine Power which allows you to expend a use of your Channel Divinity feature in order to recover an expanded spell slot. This is an excellent feature for several domains, since some forms of Channel Divinity aren’t useful in very many situations.

Divine Domains

Clerics get two new Divine Domains, adding versatility and themes previously awkward to roleplay with a cleric character. The Order Domain is brought back from Ravnica.

Order Domain

The Order Domain is a cleric subclass for those who like to follow the instructions rather than interpret them. Much like the Heiromancers of Ravnica, these champions of order trust that those who create the laws will do so justly, and will do their part to protect the status quo, for everyone. Alternatively, a cleric of this domain might be invested in the rules, customs, and obligations of a faith, culture, or religious institution rather than the law, per se. Features of this class focus on improving the Order Cleric’s ability to detain, dominate, and destroy when necessary.

Peace Domain

The Peace Domain is focused on peace in all forms. From a Channel Divinity that protects you from opportunity attacks while healing everyone you come close to, to forging allies together with divine bonds, the Peace Cleric is prepared to shut down any conflict. 

Twilight Domain

The Twilight Cleric is a master of darkness and light, featuring spells like Faerie Fire and See Invisibility. Domain features include darkvision with a range of 300 feet, advantage on initiative (which you can grant to others) and manipulating the shadows of the world to fly, grant temporary hit points, or even provide cover for your allies.

Druid:

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The Druid’s new optional features include Wild Companion, a Find Familiar spirit bound to your Wild Shape uses, adding a whole new theme for Druids who don’t get the shapeshifting vibe. Druids also get a mechanic for changing their cantrips from time to time, so they’re no longer stuck with their cantrip lineup if they find something just isn’t working for them.

Druid Circles

Druids get two new Circles to choose from, plus Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything includes the Circle of Spores previously only available in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica.

Circle of Spores

This revisit includes minor updates to features, including access to the Chill Touch cantrip. Otherwise, we’re still talking about a fungus-obsessed druid with a symbiotic relationship with countless invisible spores surrounding them at all times.

Circle of Stars

The major theme of this subclass is starlight. The druid completes their Star Map, which becomes a magical tool they use to fortell omens, cast spells, and even embody certain constellations in the night sky. While in the Starry Form, a constellation appears on the body of the druid, and changes how they participate in combat, cast spells, and even maintain concentration.

Circle of Wildfire

This subclass dramatically re-imagines what it means to be a druid. Focused on a bond with a primal spirit, the druid embodies the flames that destroy but also prepare the soil for new growth. Druids can expend their wildshape charges to summon a wildfire spirit, who has a stat block and acts much like the updated ranger pets (see below). Over time, the druid’s mastery over fire expands, improving their bond with the wildfire spirit and their ability to heal or deal damage with the powers of death and primal flames.

Fighter:

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Optional features for fighters include major updates to fighting styles, with 5 new styles available. Another optional feature allows fighters to sometimes change their fighting styles or their maneuvers, if they have any. Seven new maneuvers are available to new fighters, or for fighters who change their maneuvers using the new mechanics.

Martial Archetypes

Fighters get two new Martial Archetypes, as shown below. They also get a major update to the Battle Master archetype, with 12 combat styles including Archer, Brawler, Hoplite, Shock Trooper, and many more.

Psi Warrior

Psi Warriors are the epitome of psychic combatants. Powered by a bool of Psionic Energy Dice, the Psi Warrior has various psionic powers they can use to alter the battlefield. They gain access to barriers, telekenesis, attacks, and even flight through the mastery of their mental energies.

Rune Knight

The Rune Knight augments their weapons, armor, and trinkets with powerful runes to imbue them with unique powers. The best part is, the Rune Knight can use their runes to grant protections to their allies, too. As their mastery increases, the Rune Knight can force opponents to reroll attacks, and even grow in stature (permanently) to reflect the influence of their runes.

Monk:

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Monks gain access to several optional features, including the chance to train in untraditional monk weapons and new ways to spend ki to attack, heal, or grant a bonus to your attack roll.

Monastic Traditions

The monk has two new Monastic traditions, granting players new ways to imagine their monk’s playstyle.

Way of Mercy

This Monastic Tradition gives monks unique healing features, including new proficiencies, healing “attacks” and new ways to combine dealing damage and healing allies in the same attack action. Higher level Monks who follow the Way of Mercy even master the ability to resurrect the dead! 

Way of the Astral Self

The monk who follows this path views the body as little more than a representation of self. They know their true power is inside, in the form of their Astral being. At first, the monk can only summon their Astral arms, but as they increase in mastery they become proficient in summoning their full Astral Self, giving them bonus attacks, improved skills, enhanced senses, and much more. Ultimately, it’s the ghostly appearance that will mark adherents of the Way of the Astral Self, since they manifest a ghostly body over their own body. Spook alert!

Paladin:

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The Paladin gains a few new option features. First, they get access to additional spells. Second, they get access to three new fighting styles. Third is a feature which allows the paladin to recover spell slots using their Channel Divinity. Fourth is the chance to replace a fighting style periodically, while levelling up, so the Paladin can adapt to what they need in their adventuring group.

Sacred Oaths

Paladins gain access to one new Sacred Oath (and a re-print of Oath of Glory from Mythic Odysseys of Theros) which allows them to theme their characters in new ways, or just have a subclass which better reflects the character’s, well, character.

Oath of Glory

Introduced in Theros, Paladins who take the Oath of Glory are prepared for their destiny as a famous savior, hero, or even legend. These are the knights who can tell you their five-year plan for becoming world-renowned, and their new features reflect those goals. Two new Channel Divinity options allow you to be an exceptional athlete or grant massive numbers of temporary hit points to yourself and your companions. As you level up, your speed increases, and you have an aura which increases the speed of your allies. Eventually, you gain the ability to turn defensive movements into attacks, and bolster the defense of an ally at the same time. Ultimately, you become a legend (even if it’s just in your head) and can perform feats that regular mortals only dream of, including turning an attack miss into a hit, a saving throw into a success if it fails, and gain advantage on some skill checks.

Oath of the Watchers

Watchers are paladins who are on constant alert against the dangers of extraplanar threats. New Channel Divinity options allow the Watcher to banish extraplanar creatures, or improve the defenses of allies’ mind. Later features improve initiative for you and your allies and retaliate against mental attacks. Ultimately, you gain extra senses, advantage for attacks against extra-planar creatures, and the ability to banish creatures when you hit them with an attack.

Ranger:

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The Ranger has several updated and new features. Martial updates bring the ranger class up to a level to be comparable with other melee fighters. The first update is called Deft Explorer, which replaces the Natural Explorer feature with more balanced features like expertise, improved movement rules including climbing and swim speed improvements, and a feature which grants temporary hit points. Favored Enemy can now be replaced with Favored Foe, which replaces the Favored Enemy feature, but helps balance how much damage rangers do in combat. Finally, rangers gain access to three new fighting styles which allow them to fit into more groups, along with a mechanic for changing fighting styles periodically, similar to what other weapon-fighting classes get.

Rangers also get updates to their spellcasting which bring them more in line with similar spellcasters. Additional spells are offered, and rangers are given spellcasting focuses for the first time in 5e. Rangers can also replace Primeval Awareness with Primal Awareness to get access to spells which aid in exploration, speaking with plants and animals, or communing with nature.

Ranger Archetypes

The class also gets two new Ranger Archetypes, and major updates are offered for the Beast Master companions. This is effectively three new builds, since the new mechanics for Beast Master change the functionality of that subclass so dramatically.

Fey Wanderer

The Fey Wanderer is a ranger who has been blessed by fey magics. A Fey Wanderer has a fey blessing, such as horns, illusory butterflies, or a dancing shadow. This blessing marks them out to any who are looking for the unusual. They deal bonus psychic damage when they attack, and have various boons from the Feywild as they level up. Like any fey-powered creature, they have bonuses to charisma checks, and can manipulate the minds of others through special features. At higher levels, Fey Wanderers can use the new Summon Fey spell, or teleport without using a spell slot (along with a friend).

Swarmkeeper

The Swarmkeeper is a ranger with a special bond with a collection of intangible spirits who help their Swarmkeeper in and out of combat. These spirits take many forms, from bugs to birds or pixies, and become gradually more powerful as you level up. When you take this subclass, you gain the ability to deal extra damage, push your opponents around the battlefield, or even move yourself, thanks to the intervention of your swarm. At higher levels, you gain access to spells and features which highlight your connection with nature. These features include flight, increased damage, or even the ability to disappear into your swarm in order to teleport away from danger.

Beast Master

While the Beast Master subclass already exists in the Player’s Handbook, there are some major updates in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything that you might want to know about. Namely, there is now an optional feature called Primal Companion, which replaces the Ranger’s Companion feature with a primal beast with primal markings, showing its magical origin. These primal beasts have three simpler but more powerful options. Beasts of the Land, Sea, and Sky are available, each of which has a more powerful stat block than the companions available in the PHB. Also, the rules are improved for companions, allowing the Primal Companion to attack on its turn without the ranger having to sacrifice their attack. These changes may be the biggest update Wizards has done to a build to date, effectively bringing the Ranger on par with other classes for both versatility and damage.

Rogue:

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The rogue only gets one new optional class feature, called Steady Aim. This feature allows the rogue to use their bonus action to grant advantage to themselves for an attack, provided they don’t use any movement on their turn. This is especially great for rogues in parties with flanking challenges, or any rogue who likes to stay in place during combat.

Roguish Archetypes

Rogues get two new archetypes, both of which focus on spell-like abilities without the hassle of spell slots. Most abilities have uses based on proficiency bonus or level, so rogues who take these archetypes won’t have to do lots of complicated math to know how many spells they are allowed, or which level their slots are.

Phantom

The Phantom is a rogue with an intimate understanding of death, and the power the can be harnessed at the moment a creature dies. With this build, rogues forge a bond with various spirits of the dead to get new proficiencies, deal sneak attack damage to multiple creatures, or even capture the essence of a dying creature in the form of soul trinkets. Soul trinkets protect you from death, allow you to deal more damage, or even question the spirit inside the trinket for information. As the Phantom masters their relationship with death, they gain the ability to assume a spectral form which can fly, move through others like a ghost, and has protection from attacks.

Soulknife

The soulknife is a psionic assassin, using the power of the mind to fuel a range of features. At the beginning, the Soulknife gains Psionic Energy dice which grant various boons like telepathy and boosts to ability checks. They also get a psionic blade, which functions similarly to a dagger and allows dual-weilding psionic attacks. As your control over the psionic blade improves, you gain abilities which trigger when you summon it, like increasing your attack roll, teleporting, or stunning the target of the attack. Masters of the craft can also use psychic powers to turn themselves invisible.

Sorcerer:

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Sorcerers get some interesting new optional features along with their new Sorcerous Origins. Metamagic gets an update with two new options: Seeking Spell and Transmuted Spell which allow the Sorcerer to re-roll a d20 for an attack and change the damage type, respectively. They also get a new mechanic for changing the metamagic feature(s) they have selected, along with options for changing cantrips from time to time. Finally, they get a rule which allows them to spend sorcery points to reroll the d20 for ability checks.

Sorcerous Origins

Every sorcerer has a background, a source for their power. These new options aren’t about who your parents are, but about which entities you have come into contact with. These options are especially great for characters who want to multiclass into Sorcerer without having to “discover” some ancestor full of magic.

Aberrant Mind

A sorcerer with an aberran origin gains their power from a psychic connection forged between themselves and some powerful alien entity. With this build, sorcerers gain access to psionic spells and defenses, including the ability to cast spells using only the mind, and protections from psychic damage, and the charmed or frightened conditions. At higher levels, the sorcerer can embody the essence of the Aberrant Mind, and gain special movement abilities like flight, swimming speed, and squeezing through impossible spaces. Paragons of this class gain access to a imploding teleportation skill which damages nearby creatures as they escape from danger.

Clockwork Soul

The Clockwork Soul is a sorcerer who gets their power from the plane of Mechanus, and the abilities reflect the order and precision inspired by such a connection. When casting a sorcerer’s spell, they also manifest an illusory effect reflective of machines, clocks, or gears. At first level, Clockwork Souls gain the ability to cancel advantage or disadvantage gained in their presence. At higher levels, they can shield their allies and gain a rage-like state where all of their d20s have a minimum roll of 10. Masters of this art can also summon a horde of clockwork creatures to heal, deal damage, or end spell effects.

Warlock:

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The warlock has a large range of options, including a new Pact Boon, new Invocations, and two new Otherworldly Patrons. The new Pact Boon is Pact of the Talisman, and grants you a necklace with a variety of benefits for whomever wears it (which can be anyone!). Warlocks also get several options for replacing their known cantrips, Pact Boon, or even Mystic Arcanum features when they level up. New warlock features also include eight new Eldritch Invocations, some of which are specific to the Pact of the Talisman.

Otherworldly Patrons

New patrons give the warlock new class options, with five different flavors to help bring your warlock to life. Both Patrons have a distinctly elemental theme, without falling into weird relationships with nature or the natural order.

The Fathomless

Somehow, you’ve come in contact with a being in the depths of the oceans, and struck a bargain. Whether your power comes from a kraken or a disgruntled turtle, you harness the power of water, becoming an agent of an element as much as an agent for an entity. Starting at level 1, you get a swim speed and can breathe underwater. You also have the ability to summon tentacles from the deeps to help you in combat, and your control over these tentacles grows considerably as you level up. At higher levels, your bond with water allows you to teleport yourself and your friends to nearby bodies of water.

The Genie

Before you get the wrong idea, this isn’t that kind of genie. This is a noble genie, which means you’re looking at a ruler of vast territories on the elemental planes, not a dime-store wish-granter. It’s also 4 builds in one, with the warlock having to decide between earth, air, fire, and water for the various spells, attacks, and other perks granted by your genie. You also gain access to the Genie’s Vessel, which is like an embodiment of your Patron’s power. You can use it to increase your damage, protect yourself, or even hide inside for a short rest. Finally, after you gain a high enough level, you can cast a modified wish spell, where you beg your genie to cast a spell of 6th level or lower for you.

Wizard:

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Wizards gain access to many new spells (most of which are from this supplement) and some tweaks, along with two new Arcane Traditions. The most notable optional feature is the ability to “prepare” cantrips like regular spells, effectively learning different cantrips each day. This is a big boon for all kinds of players because wizards now have a reason to seek out new cantrips, and can adapt to the needs of the group as well.

Arcane Traditions

The wizard has two new Arcane Traditions, each of which brings a stereotype to life. Wizard remains the class with the most number of subclasses, and this is the first time Wizards get two new builds in one book.

Bladesinging

Bladesingers are wizards who have studied elven battle magics. A Bladesinger has proficiencies in armor, weapon, and skills that wizards don’t normally get access to. The Bladesinger can invoke their Bladesong in combat to increase their movement speed, increase their defenses, and deal more damage. They also have the ability to attack more often, and can use cantrips as part of their multi-attack action.

Order of Scribes

Wizards are creatures of pen and paper, but usually all the attention goes on the page. When a wizard joins the Order of the Scribes, though, they get magics focused on both quill and spellbook. Using their Wizardly Quill, they can copy spells faster, never need ink, and can erase any mistakes with a gesture. With their Awakened Spellbook, they can use it as a spellcasting focus, change the damage type of their spells, cast rituals quickly, and even replace their entire spellbook if it takes damage or is lost. Neve worry about losing your collection again! You can also summon forth the mind of your Awakened Spellbook to help you in your adventure in various ways. At higher levels, you can create enhanced spell scrolls which allow you to cast them at higher levels for free, you become proficient with making regular scrolls to sell, and you can even enhance your bond with your Awakened Spellbook so that it can help you remember things or even take damage to protect you.

Feats:

The last player-specific feature update is for feats. New feats allow players to learn a little bit about artifing, cook foods which enhance their allies, increase your damage, create poisons, become telekinetic, and so much more!

For DMs and Players Together

There are a number of features designed to be used collaboratively between the players and the Dungeon Master. These features aren’t included in the game by default, but can give structure, flavor, and new mechanics to a world.

Group Patrons:

The first collaborative feature is Group Patrons. While we’ve seen this feature before, the version in Tasha’s Guide to Everything offers different ways to imagine Group Patrons, with both specific examples and general themes to be had. There’s an entire chapter here full of inspiration for contacts, organizations, rewards, quests, and more.

New Spells:

Since Tasha is one of the core game’s few named mages, it’s no surprise that she’ll be bringing us spells we’ve never seen before. There are 21 new spells, including spells of all levels except 8th level. Every spellcasting class gets new spells, but there is a heavy focus on conjuration, including spells which summon beasts, fey, shadowspawn, undead, abberations, constructs, elementals, celestials, and fiends. There are three new spells named after Tasha, including Tasha’s Mind Whip, Tasha’s Caustic Brew, and Tasha’s Otherworldly Guise, but you’ll have to put your hands on a copy of the book to learn how these spells work.

Magic Items:

There are almost 50 unique magic items in this supplement, of every rarity from common to artifact. Several itmes, like the new Magical Tattoos and the Teeth of Dahlver-Nar have variations, so DMs and players have to pay attention to which version of the magic item they’ve acquired. Also included are new armor, instruments, constructs, tomes, tools, and jewelry, all of which provide new excuses for quests, or new uses for your hard-earned gold.

My only caution for DMs is regarding the Prosthetic Limb magical item. It might seem natural that you’d want to give a player’s character the chance to be “normal” again after they lose a limb, but not everyone is in that camp. Many people with amputations or disabilities see these details of themselves as “normal” already, and would be offended to have a casual magical “fix” dropped in their lap. Talk to players about introducing such an item beforehand in order to avoid ableist assumptions, especially if the player has given thought to the story behind their “missing” appendage.

Dungeon Master’s Tools

This section is not for players. This section is for Dungeon Masters who are looking for new ways to bring their world to life, and you don’t want to spoil that for yourself, do you?

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Session Zero:

This section is not a new idea, but gives you some guidance on how to lead players through character creation, bringing the party together, introducing group patrons, and getting the characters to know each other. There is also a section called Social Contract, which provides guidance for discussing ground rules. Things you might discuss with your group in Session Zero include how graphic your content will be, whether your story will include themes like sex and rape, slavery, violence against children, and other topics which might make a game unpleasant or harmful for your players. The idea is to make the game fun for everyone. Finally, there’s some guidance for customizing your game, introducing house rules, and talking to your players about what is fun for everyone.

Sidekicks:

This very detailed section gives rules for sidekicks who can join your party as NPCs who help out. There are three thorough-but-simple class descriptions for sidekicks: Expert, Spellcaster, and Warrior. There are also many examples of sidekicks to give you an idea of what kinds of companions you can give your party. Each sidekick is designed to fill holes in your party’s composition, whether that’s a dedicated healer, a shield-toting guard, or a lockpick. These sidekick rules don’t make for an extra player character, though. Key features and subclass options are missing entirely, making the sidekick a shadow in the limelight, allowing players to shine.

Parleying with Monsters:

This section offers inspiration for interacting with all kinds of monstrous creatures, from aberrations to undead. Using these tables, you can quickly determine what motivates a creature in a random encounter. Alternatively, when your party is looking for a secluded place in a vast forest, the creatures they meet might like an offering of goodwill before they agree to aid the party’s expedition or answer questions.

Environmental Hazards:

This collection of rules and tables provides fantastic and elaborate inspiration for bringing your world to life. There are a few categories including Supernatural Regions, Magical Phenomena, and Natural Hazards. Each provides a number of environmental effects, including dangers, boons, and unusual game mechanics. Some of these hazards will inhibit the party, while others will inhibit their enemies, whether the party knows about that or not. My favorite, though, is the Psychic Resonance Supernatural Region, which (for one option) can grant sentience to beasts in the region, effectively Awakening every animal in the woods.

Puzzles:

This last section for the DM provides instruction on introducing puzzles, what purposes they might serve, how to implement them, and how to help players get the solution if they don’t “get it.” Several puzzles are provided, including handouts you can copy and pass out, and the solutions, of course. Make sure your players don’t read this part of the book if you plan on introducing these puzzles, because some of them rely on a single trick, word, or solution which is easily spoiled if the player remembers it.

TL;DR

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is a well-executed tome full of new options for players and DMs. If you want to introduce any of these optional rules into your game, at least one person should have a copy of the book on hand for reference. There are new options and subclasses for every kind of player, and new options, guidance, and tools for every kind of dungeon master. It also makes an excellent gift, and is available with alternate art covers at your friendly local game store.

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