The original Art of War was written in China over a thousand years ago, a strategy guide of how to conduct your forces and yourself in times of war and preparation for them.

So this is a title with chutzpah, but does it live up to the name? I think so.

Note – Don’t let the title fool you, this book will give you Combat Superiority when playing ALL classes in D&D (and much of it applies for Pathfinder too)


Tone and Style

This book has a great style where the author keeps it short and sweet. Topics are presented in a relevant way to those who adventure. Subjects such as roles, tactics, managing equipment and using cover are broken down for new or experienced players to easily grok.

Artwork – There are many 2 or 3 color art pieces in this book, and they break up the flow of the tome nicely. While the art is not detailed enough for character inspiration, they are stylish enough to fire up your imagination for an encounter ideas.


  • There is a comprehensive section of recommended abilities and spells by class, a great reference for maximising your characters ability to assist or even lead in wilderness and dungeon encounters.
  • For each role in an adventuring party (strikers, defenders etc) the book breaks down how each class performs and what the best options are for fulfilling that role.
  • Multiclassing suggestions, Espionage options and Using Downtime are included in the range of topics covered.
  • But what if you want to make a retreat and discourage your enemies from following you? Yes that is discussed here too!


At 70 pages, this book is great to read in one sitting, or to dip into a specific section for some inspiration while your making your way home on the tube.

The text throughout is large and easy to read. Art of War-For D&D Players has a  (hyperlinked pdf) Contents page, and a thorough Glossary in the back.

Those familiar with Massive Multiplayer Online games will be familiar with the terms in this book, such as tank, nerf, glass cannon and nova.

I’m the Thor and he’s Loki!

  • What if you want to draw the enemies attention, or take the hit for someone else? These things are covered under Attack Interception and Drawing Fire.
  • Maybe you want to make your enemy waste attacks or divide and conquer? These things are discussed under Practice Deception and Separate the Enemy.

The Author

M.T Black displayed his Relentless prowess in gathering the lore within this tome by besieging The Rocks and flanking the Harbour Bridge of Sydney Australia.

To see more of his 30+ D&D works, checkout – https://www.dmsguild.com/browse.php?author=M.T.%20Black



Avoid this book if…

  • You are looking for new equipment, feats or spells. This book covers the most regular feats and spells already existing in the game.
  • Your game is focused on less combat and more melodrama, there is little here for roleplaying.

Buy this book if…

  • You are a new player to D&D or 5th edition, or are unfamiliar with optimising your character, then this book is a great way to let you create an effective character for combat and exploration quests.
  • As a GM if your combats have become stale and repetitive, and you want some fresh ideas to add variety and challenge your players, both in tactical encounters and longer term conflicts.
  • You are a player who usually plays casters, or non-casters, and are looking to try the other roles but don’t want to fail in individual or group tasks, then this book will help you excel.