After a week of exceedingly bad health followed by a week of recovery I have returned, undeterred from my task of bringing to you honest reviews of the homebrew content so popular among gamers of all generations. Today we will be reviewing the little gem known as Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, available on the DM’s Guild. I’ve had this little badboy in my hands since December, and what is significant is this one I sought out on my own. This D&D content comes from the minds of Ruty Rutenberg, Lysa Chen, Will Doyle, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Rich Lescouflair, Shawn Merwin, Cindy Moore, and the one-of-a-kind Satine Phoenix. And Nerdarchy has an exclusive coupon code for when this book finds it’s way into your shopping cart too.
The artwork in Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else is akin to the D&D Player’s Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, and Monster Manual. This is a consistent and eye-catching art style that not only works but creates interest in the details presented alongside it. I cannot count how many products go across my desk where I look at page after page without anything drawing me in. Xanathar’s Lost Notes to Everything Else had me pulled in from the very beginning, and in the middle of me writing this paragraph my own Dungeon Master looked over my shoulder at the picture of the entropy cleric, and stated he wants Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else now. What more can you ask for in art besides provoking interest and therefore thought? That being said, I love the artwork in this and when I have the time will be looking into the artists throughout Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else for more.
While the writing style and ability presented in Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else is on par with the core books, its editing is not. A few typos here and there are noticeable but far from unreadable. Just a forgotten word in a sentence here or a transposed word there. Nothing errata can’t fix to be sure. Still, it is enjoyable, the little notes are an added bonus for me since Xanathar’s quotes are my favorite part of Xanathar’s Guide To Everything. The flow, verbosity, and general layout is as easy to read as the Player’s Handbook, with some humor added in for good measure. Personally I love humor in gaming above all else, and Xanathar (not to mention El) has shown himself to be in line with my sense of humor. My roommate pointed out the typos I mentioned could leave room for purposeful misinterpretation and misuse by munchkin gamers, and thus may be higher priority to get errata than I originally implied. Personally I did not find situations like this, but I admit I am not perfect.
Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else is fairly balanced, in fact my DM is thinking about adding it to our table. This may not seem like much but this is a guy who won’t allow any homebrew, or even the Unearthed Arcana material at his table. That in and of itself is something that speaks volumes about how well this is balanced. I feel like everything has been playtested and measured against existing content. I do believe a pass or two could be done to refine things but nothing is unplayable by a long shot. To give a scale of how refined this stuff is, I would put it akin to Mathew Mercer’s Blood Hunter version 1.7 – it is a great product but not as fine-tuned as it could be.
I don’t give Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else the first 10 on fun lightly. I give it because any class, any level, any campaign style could take this product and have a blast. Without a doubt, you will find something in this. Be it the bloody Red Reaver barbarian or the Mage Hunter wizard, you will add flavor, volume, and gravitas to your game that will expand into hours upon hours of entertainment for your entire gaming group. For me, a particular delight is when you get the opportunity to put mechanics to a thematic idea. Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else did this for me on multiple occasions. I hold the belief firmly dear Nerdarchy reader, that you will enjoy this no matter what.
“Dear God the Dragoon looks f’n fun!” – another quote from my roommate
Now if Emirikol’s Guide To Devils was a new format and continuation of old product, then Xanathar’s Lost Guide To Everything Else is new product in old format. This may sound like a bad thing but the fact is, it could not be better. When you are absorbing new information there is no better way to have it presented than to have it in a familiar established format. You know where the racial features are, where the lore is, and what the individual consumer is looking for. They didn’t reinvent the wheel, but they certainly slapped it on a new model! Some of these ideas are things I have never heard of, or never thought I would see. To this end I offer a personal thank you to everyone involved in the creation of this product.
Alrighty, so this wasn’t necessarily needed to fix the game. It isn’t needed to complete a campaign. Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else loses points here because it just is. It is what it is, nothing more and nothing less than more of what is already pumped out from Wizards of the Coast, though it is a tad more fringe or outside the box than the standard classes, backgrounds (love the polymorphed option), and whatnot.
Learning Curve: 9/10
Okay this one I almost gave a 10/10 but the Rune stuff for the fighter just kinda was hard to wrap my Celtic brain around. I know some might not be as confused as me, and those people can rate it higher but for me that was the one thing that made me slow down. The rest of Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else is as easy to understand as the core books. If you can play fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons, you can play everything in here to the point of instantly weaving them together.
This product mixes about as well as Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, and truly does feel like this is Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else. Though some feel like they may need a bit of jostling to fit them in lore-wise, there is nothing in here to displace any other class in any way shape or form. I will state a few are a tad weird, like the bard College that can pop locks with what I have dubbed their cool factor that just has me thinking of the Fonz. Nonetheless, there are not enough issues here to ruin your happy days… yeah… I went there.
The theme is, and I know this might be hard to guess but bear with me, Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else. It feels like these are notes that should have been in the Guide To Everything, were found by someone else, and that someone else wrote in the margins. These CliffsNotes add humor, explanation, and enhance the theme of the entire experience. I will also say the hidden theme of this being a pseudo core rule book is done fantastically. You will feel this was made by Wizards of the Coast, and sometimes it is hard to believe it isn’t.
I have said it once, I have said it… okay I said it twice before. Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else needs another sweep of editing to fix some typos before I can give out the coveted 10/10. I believe this is nothing that cannot be fixed in an update but as of the writing of this review, it has not been done. I legitimately have no other complaint than this at this time. This product is a lot of fun, is usable at many levels, won’t break anything, and to top it all off… will give you a chuckle reading the notes.
We have a new highest score here on Homebrew Review! Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else is a great item to have in any collection. I would say that this is the homebrew to have in your collection. I dare say it is like a DLC (Downloadable Content) for a blockbuster game. You can buy Xanathar’s Guide To Everything Else, but for a bit more you can get Xanathar’s Lost Notes To Everything Else too! At 19.99 it is a steal, but at this exact moment I see it is on sale for 14.99. If you compare the cost of a season pass on a game, these 87 pages are well worth the cost. Less than a quarter a page to expand your game with something for every class, a new race, and something new for every aspect of your gaming experience that is very comparable to the quality we have come to expect from Wizards of the Coast themselves!
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From the Nerditor’s Desk
Did you know Nerdarchy has an exclusive coupon code for the DM’s Guild, DriveThruRPG or any of the OneBookShelf sites? You can use the coupon code DTRPG-Nerdarchy for a one-time 10 percent discount on any order of digital products $10 or more. Get your own copy of Xanathar’s Lost Notes to Everything Else and let us know what you think in the comments below, or snag any other digital books you’ve had your eye on. If you are a content creator, or have a favorite third party RPG product you’d like us to take a look at, drop a line and we’ll check it out! Note that this code is available for digital products only. It was recently announced that the book is available for a limited time in print-on-demand at DM’s Guild. Both the print and PDF versions are updated with new revisions.
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Nubz hails from the American Pacific Northwest where he has spent the last 24 years living the gamer life and running campaigns of all kinds. Through this he has managed to sate his acting bug and entertain many. Now a father, he wishes to pursue writing to leave a legacy in Nerd culture for his offspring to enjoy.