Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is Coming Through the Portal!

By RJ on 4 February 2018.

Mordenkainen is one of the oldest D&D characters created. Once, he was the wizard player character of one of the RPG’s founders: Gary Gygax. However, once Gygax was ousted from TSR Inc., he lost the rights to his arcane character. Since then, Mordenkainen has played many roles in one of D&D’s first and most famous campaign settings: Greyhawk. The wizard extraordinaire has been on the opposite side of the PCs, voraciously searching for more power, but he’s also assisted parties across the world for the betterment of Greyhawk (and his own interests, too).

Although a few of his own spells appear in D&D's fifth edition, and the wizard himself finds himself in Curse of Strahd, Wizards of the Coast recently announced that he will be the ‘narrator’ of their next book: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.

What’s inside? Well, the official description is as follows:

“This tome is built on the writings of the renowned wizard from the world of Greyhawk, gathered over a lifetime of research and scholarship. In his travels to other realms and other planes of existence, he has made many friends, and has risked his life an equal number of times, to amass the knowledge contained herein. In addition to Mordenkainen's musings on the endless wars of the multiverse, the book contains game statistics for dozens of monsters: new demons and devils, several varieties of elves and duergar, and a vast array of other creatures from throughout the planes of existence."

The book releases on May 29, 2018, with 256 pages, and a price point of $49.99 (keep in mind online retailers usually set this to $28-$35).

At the moment, Mordenkainen’s looks to be a book akin to Volo’s Guide to Monsters, with a focus on the myriad of extraplanar realms of D&D’s massive multiverse. A Manual of the Planes, updated for fifth edition D&D, you could posit.

I’m excited. Why? Keep reading, friends.

Endless Possibilities

WOTC is trying something new with fifth edition D&D. Gone are the times of Monster Manual I, II, III…, and for that, I’m glad. 

These new books are superior to those of the past. Volo's had character and oozed inspiration, something the 'monster' books of previous editions severely lacked. Call me crazy, but I adore reading about beholder reproduction, the curse of the goblinoids, and the structure of mind flayer society. If Mordenkainen's is written in the same style as Volo's, I'll be insanely pleased.

Time for some speculation, folks.

I’m guessing that Mordenkainen’s will have three sections, each akin to Volo’s:

  1. Planar Realms, Conflicts, and Adventure Hooks
  2. Player Options from the Planes
  3. Monsters of the Planes
The first section will detail the most famous realms in the D&D multiverse, along with conflicts that beg to be inserted into a D&D campaign or adventure. Examples include the Blood War, Lolth’s eternal struggle, the creation of the slaadi, Sigil, and the Elemental Chaos. Among these, other, smaller bits and pieces of inspiration will be provided.

The second section will encompass various options for players who wish to build characters originating from the planes or connected to them in some way. Perhaps the gith will become a playable race, mystics will be added as a class, and a variety of backgrounds will be provided.

The third section, of course, will be filled with stats and descriptions of fiends, angels, elementals, and more extraplanar beings. Because the book focuses on extraplanar creatures, I hope WOTC includes a multitude of high-level creatures, meant for campaigns that stretch past level fifteen. My campaigns have lasted until the PCs hit level 20; thus, I’ve often been forced to create creatures without the help of the fifth edition ruleset. With Mordenkainen’s, I wish to see creatures deadly to high-level parties made by the masters themselves.

In Summary

Wizards of the Coast is releasing their next book, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes on May 29, 2018. The book’s page count is currently at 256, and its original, bookstore bought cost is $49.99. We know we’ll be reading all about the extraplanar realms of D&D’s multiverse, from primeval conflicts to crazy creatures.

Within, I hope to see a wealth of ideas, akin to Volo’s Guide to Monsters. In addition, I hope they provide new player options (class, race, backgrounds), and high-levels foes.

In the coming weeks, more information will be released, and I’ll continue to speculate in short posts like this one.

I hope you enjoyed this short piece and keep your sight true for more information on this next book; Mordenkainen’s sounds incredible.

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Here's to greatening your game and world: cheers!

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