[Disclaimer: I was provided an advance copy of the Gemhammer Grimoire to bring you this preview by Gemhammer & Sons Gaming.]
Did you guys know that I love Dungeons & Dragons? Because I love Dungeons & Dragons.
I’ve been playing D&D weekly with the same group of guys for just about five years now, and those of you who have read our site long enough may recognize the Gemhammer and Sons name, because two of those very guys are the founders of the company (I still do not know if they are meant to be the “sons” themselves).
Gemhammer has brought a number of what they lovingly refer to as “More Better Game Stuff” to market since the launch of their first product – the Deck of Many Things – absolutely exploded on Kickstarter. Since we’re pals, Joe and Conor from Gemhammer agreed to slide us an advanced copy of their newest – and biggest – product yet, the Gemhammer Grimoire, so that the good people of Al Gore’s internet can get a look inside at some never-before-seen pages straight from the book. Let’s dive right in.
What is it?
The Gemhammer Grimoire is a supplement to Dungeons & Dragons’ Fifth Edition (we’ll just refer to it as 5E from here on out to save myself the carpal tunnel). The book adds tons of new spells, feats, items, subclasses, components, and even a new tier of spellcasting that Gemhammer calls ‘Epic Spellcasting’. Why ‘Epic Spellcasting’? Because that tier includes a spell that lets you raise all dead creatures on your current plane of existence. That’s why.
The 180-page book is in full, rich color, and is chock full of completely original artwork, items, rules, and other additions to 5E. For players who aren’t afraid to home brew their own items and stories, you should feel right at home here with the Grimoire.
Spells and Feats
The Grimoire has 100 new spells, Epic Spellcasting, and 15 spells for that Epic-Level tier. It also features 25 new Feats, which is something that 5E is lacking in a major way. Some spells are meant to be comedic and lighthearted (like the spell Fist, which you “cast” but end up basically just punching a creature), while others (like Raise All Dead, above) are completely game-changing.
Gemhammer has a history of mixing humor with great content, but make no mistake, the majority of the spells and feats in the Grimoire are no laughing matter.
Classing Up The Joint
Probably my favorite part of the Gemhammer Grimoire is the slew of new spellcasting options and subclasses. 5E is not nearly diverse as a game like Pathfinder in terms of subclasses and customization options, so god forbid you’ve got two Rogues or two Bards in the same party – you’re probably going to end up with pretty similar characters. Add that to the bane of my existence which is Reddit and forum-based character optimization guides, and things can get pretty unoriginal and boring real quick.
The Grimoire offers a pair of new options for each class, however, which is really excellent to help mix things up. Want a Wizard who’s beefier than the rest? Muscle Wizard is for you. How about a Cleric who’s more about partying than praying? The Grimoire has that too. So print out some extra character sheets, unplug from the internet (after finishing this blog, of course), and get ready to get creative.
More Is Always Better
Gemhammer’s aforementioned first project, the Deck of Many Things, was dedicated to the idea that gaming groups should be able to spend less time combing through their books, and more time at the table with each other. The Gemhammer Grimoire may seem counterintuitive to that, but excitedly flipping through a brand new book with the folks at the table, and getting our heads spinning about all of the new possibilities it’ll allow, is a very underrated (and exciting) part of the game as well.
I’ll never forget my first time thumbing through a Player’s Handbook (or the second, or the third), and the Gemhammer Grimoire seeks to give players that same excited feeling with loads of all-new content. All of Gemhammer’s products carry the distinct humor and genuine care of a gaming group that helps one another to develop unique, humorous, and sometimes absurd ideas, and the Grimoire is no different. It’s got a lot of content, a lot of heart, and a lot for players to be excited about.
The Gemhammer Grimoire will be available digitally this Friday, 7/17, and the print version (and our full review) is coming this Fall. You can pre-order both versions right here.