Xanathar's Guide to Orders and Organizations is a certified DM's Guild Masterpiece by the Going Last Tabletop Gaming Podcast!
In his latest book, author Richie Root has created an incredible stockpile of organizations that can be thrown into any campaign, giving narrative options for any player using one of the new subclasses to be found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. These groups run the emotional gamut from dark and depressing, to noble and charitable, to downright ridiculous, and it's clear that Root had a lot of fun writing this book.
Each of the 31 organizations is described in a similar way. First is an initial introduction, often featuring the leaders of the group and a bit of historical background. Next, is a section on the beliefs of the organization, which spring from the subclasses they model. After that is a writeup on the organization headquarters or the way members interact with the group. Next is how to join the organization, as some are secretive or elite. Finally, every organization has a writeup on the kinds of quests they might give out to a willing adventurer.
Not every organization is a perfect fit for my campaign sensibilities, but I love the Architects of the Living City, which are based on the Cleric's Forge Domain. This attempt to plan and build the perfect city is a great place for gnome tinkerers and idealist crafters alike. The Cavalier Fighter organization, the Chaperones of the Dark, ride ankhegs as they escort travellers through the Underdark. Draconis Mortem provides a meaningful purpose to those Conquest Paladins that might otherwise be tough to fit into a heroic campaign. And the backstory behind the Hexblade Warlock's Spears of the Bloodthorn is dark and incredible, potentially providing a campaign all in itself.
Some of the organizations are a little more strange. The Independent Nation of Derek (who will now always be Jason Mantzoukas from The Good Place) is about a charismatic leader who magically gets everything he wants, and The Monsters of Roc are the greatest band of bards you will ever see travelling on the back of a roc. I'm a big fan of these humorous groups, but they may not find an ideal place in a gritty, warlike campaign.
I love this book. You won't find a hair of crunch in the entire Guide. But no matter what kind of DM you are or what kind of campaign you want to run, you can easily find one of these Organizations that perfectly fits your style.
You can hear more of my thoughts about Xanathar's Guide to Orders and Organizations on Episode 227 of Going Last!
[5 of 5 Stars!]