Last year I marveled at the perfectly beautiful, wonderfully functional Dungeon Bones, a series of high-quality condition chips for use in Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition. Successfully launched on Kickstarter (and now readily available for purchase), these ceramic poker-style chips give players and DMs an easy way to track and understand the effects of not just conditions, but also common combat actions like Rage and Hunter’s Mark.
The chips quickly became an integral part of my Dungeon Master’s toolkit, helping my then-green adventuring party grasp the ins and outs of things like being Grappled, Prone, or Poisoned.
Clearly not content to simply help me explain and monitor status effects, the Dungeon Bones team is back with another Kickstarter campaign, this time taking on the often thorny issue of fifth edition spell slots with the Tome of Spell Holding.
For those of you unaware, the spell system in D&D 5e is a bit of a beast. In addition to the character level of the spellcaster, spells themselves have their own discreet levels. (For example, a cleric can’t cast 2nd level spells until they are at 3rd level, or 3rd level spells until 5th level.)
Moreover, while your caster may know X number of spells, some may only have a portion of those—let’s say Y—prepared at any given time. To further muddy the waters, they also have a finite number of spell slots, that is a number of opportunities to cast spells of different levels, that replenish after a long rest.
It’s this latter point that seems to cause the most confusion, and that’s where the Tome of Spell Holding comes in.
The Tome of Spell Holding combines chips similar to the original Dungeon Bones with a unique spell level sorter and then places them all in a handsome box clearly evocative of the various spellcasting classes.
I was lucky enough to receive an early prototype of the Tome of Spell Holding in holy white (the Divine colorway), which I immediately gifted to the party’s cleric. Once he realized that the chips themselves—which coordinate with the corresponding box sorter—were numbered, he intuitively understood where to put them to represent his spell slots.
Now, when he casts a 1st level spell, he removes one of his 1st level chips from the box, assuring that both he and I are always on the same page regarding his remaining spells. Best of all, thanks to the eye-catching design and build quality of the item, the Tome of Spell Holding is exactly the kind of accessory that players love to bring to the gaming table. (Currently, the other three party members—bard, paladin, and warlock—are petitioning for their own Tomes!)
Even for experienced gamers, the fifth edition spell slot system can be difficult to wrap one’s head around. The Tome of Spell Holding nicely simplifies the process by making an abstract idea tangible, helping players (and beleaguered DMs) keep track of spell use at a glance. With the Kickstarter freshly live, I highly suggest that you check it out for all your spellcasting needs.