Review: Elminster’s Guide to Divination

It has been a while since I have actively played my favorite Dungeons & Dragons character, T’Lerion Flowspell. He is an elf wizard, specializing in divination magic. T’Lerion has been played in 3.5, 4e, and 5e. I have managed to have a solid version of him in all these editions. However one of the biggest issues I faced with playing him in 5e was the lack of divination spells. In all of the official publications of 5th Edition, there are only 18 total divination spells that wizards have access to. That is not a lot, considering that the next lowest have around 25. So when I saw that M.T. Black had spearheaded a DMsGuild release focused on divination, I had to get it.

Elminster’s Guide to Divination” is 33 pages dedicated to what is, in my opinion, the most powerful school of magic in D&D. In true to fashion, this is from Elminster’s point of view and the first few pages serve as a crash course for those wanting to build characters around divination.

The document in question…

Expert Divination from the wizard subclass in the PHB, is one of the most powerful wizard specialist abilities, allowing for spells to regenerate at rapid rates while using your specialist school. But the distinct limit of 18 spells, with some levels having none, made it problematic. However, this book adds over 50 divination spells to D&D 5e and of those 29 are for wizards, expanding the repertoire to 47! A much needed boost. Some classics I used at T’Lerion return, such as arrow mind and probe thoughts, but the inclusion of more divination cantrips is by far my favorite. Far hearing and peer into the Feywild are dead on for what I want for T’Lerion, adding a lot of flavor to the character and his adventures. By far, the spells included in this book are the highlight

Continuing on, the guide has a slew of magic items related to divination. They range from uncommon to artifact, allowing for a diverse usage in campaigns. Of specific fun is the reading mirror, an uncommon item that takes for the form of a hand mirror. It allows the attuned to understand the literal meaning of any text or written material they see in its reflection for one hour. Due to the reversal of the written words, it does take a bit longer to read things (1 minute per page), but how handy could this be throughout any campaign!

The final additions to the game come in the form of four subclasses. I will approach them as I did my review of Xanathar’s Lost Notes to Everything Else, by giving my “yay or nay” to the subclasses on whether I would include them in my campaign.

Bard College of the Fates: the gambler in essence with the Luck feat built in, also able to read cards, think a more honest version of Taliesin Jaffe’s Mollymauk from Critical Role. Yay!

Cleric Divine Prophecy Domain: flavorful, a burden is granted for access to consistent prophecy. Knowing the future can make a party confident, but perhaps to a fault. Yay!

Druid Circle of Spirits: the fylgia is a like super familiar, letting you almost spirit walk at will. The fylgia effectively permeates enemies and the world around you, granting you more knowledge. Yay!

Warlock Otherworldly Patron of the Foretold: Your patron is from the future; could be some unknown or even the character themselves, either way that future is trying to happen and beware of those that impose. Yay, with hesitations due to a DM having to wrangle this one a bit.

Overall, for $5 this is a killer little addition to my favorite school of magic. Divination is not flashy and rarely combat oriented, but it can really create some fantastic storylines and moments. As such, “Elminister’s Guide to Divination” comes highly recommended. And don’t just take it from me, T’Lerion Flowspell recommends it too!

Let me know what you dig about this release on Twitter @OnlyPlayWizards