The official play league of Dungeons & Dragons is ready to welcome Tasha with open arms… under a few conditions, of course. Adventurers League admins put out the rules for how the newest D&D book fits into standardized play. As some feared, Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is a +1.
D&D Adventurers League establishes a list of rules for what kinds of characters players can create, how they can advance, and how DMs are supposed to run official games. The idea is to keep all players on an even playing field by sticking to finite creation resources, and to make it so newer players aren’t overwhelmed by a wealth of options. For those reasons, the PHB +1 rule exists.
PHB +1 means that a player can only use the Player’s Handbook and one other book to create their character. The PHB covers the basic races and classes, but other books add new subclasses, spells, and other features to fine tune gameplay. Tasha’s does have new spells and subclasses, so it makes sense as a +1.
However, the nature of Tasha’s makes its actual implementation more complicated than just slapping a +1 on it and calling it a day. The book is meant to open D&D up in a big way by making everything optional. Guidance is given for changing subclasses, spellcasting classes are all allowed to swap cantrips, and the ranger gets several beast master companions to choose from. For Tasha’s to do what it’s supposed to do, parts of it need to be usable by all players without restriction.
So that’s what the AL team did. You can read the Tasha’s rule document on the official D&D Discord channel, where you’ll see what options are restricted and which aren’t. To summarize, options for swapping racial scores and proficiencies are open to all players. The new subclasses and spells, however, are subject to the PHB +1 rule. Sorry, no combining Tasha’s and Xanathar’s spells in one character.
The rules are still incomplete, however, in that they don’t show how ALL characters can use Tasha’s. Only Season 10 characters, those playing in the Icewind Dale story, can use Tasha’s. Legacy characters are left out until a new set of rules is introduced. Adventurers League admins says those rules are on the way.
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