Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is an accessory for the 5th edition of the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, published in 2018. From Monday 7 May 2018 to Friday 18 May 2018, Wizards of the Coast released two podcasts a day to support the launch.[1]

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.png
Cover
GenreRole-playing game
PublisherWizards of the Coast
Publication date
29 May 2018
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages256
ISBN978-0-7869-6624-0

ContentsEdit

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is narrated by Mordenkainen, a wizard originally created by Gary Gygax for his World of Greyhawk campaign.[2]

  • Preface
  • Chapter 1: The Blood War
  • Chapter 2: Elves
  • Chapter 3: Dwarves and Duergar
  • Chapter 4: Gith and Their Endless War
  • Chapter 5: Halflings and Gnomes
  • Chapter 6: Bestiary
  • Appendix: Monster Lists[3]

Publication historyEdit

In February 2018, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes was announced.[4] An exclusive edition with alternate cover art by Vance Kelly was released early to select game shops on May 18, 2018. The book was published on May 29, 2018.[3][4]

The Oblex, one of the monsters in this book, was conceived by Make-A-Wish recipient Nolan Whale during his day at Wizards of the Coast.[5] SyFy Wire in 2018 called it one of "The 9 Scariest, Most Unforgettable Monsters From Dungeons & Dragons", saying that "Eaten by an ooze that can then use your memory and form to trick and lure others in? That’s the stuff of horrors — and the stuff of an epic adventure. If you weren't paranoid about other characters before, you should be now!"[6]

ReceptionEdit

Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes won the 2019 Origins Award for best "Role-Playing Game Supplement".[7][8]

Bleeding Cool gave a positive review, appreciating the addition of sub-races to Tieflings and details on conflict within Elf and Gith society, also allowing Gith PCs to become a viable option.[9]

Rpg.net gave a rating of 83% with a positive response to the tone captured in the book and the planar background and resources which it gives to DMs. The score was lowered due to the lack of a PDF version that didn't rely on a third-party app, and for reusing verbatim much material from previous editions.[10]

Cameron Kunzelman, for Paste, wrote that "on one hand, I don’t think that Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is a bad sourcebook for D&D. It has lots of great information about the different playable species of the game, their pantheons of good and evil gods, and solid explanations for how those gods impact the long and short term lives of those species. [...] Asmodeus, the lead devil of the cosmology, is delightfully Satanic, and even reading through the book I was trying to figure out how to fit him into the campaign that I am currently running without disrupting the flow and feeling of the world that I am working in. And that, for me, is the other hand: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes feels like a book you need to build your campaign around. The two previous sourcebooks of its type, Xanathar's Guide to Everything and Volo's Guide to Monsters, are both books that I use constantly as a Dungeon Master. The former is a rules expansion and clarification that helps to build out the interactions of any campaign, and the latter is a book of monsters that any party could come upon during any given romp through the world. They are books that are grounded in the dusty roads and dirty swords of fantasy tabletop campaigns, and they slot easily into the workflow that I have to make those kinds of adventures feel good. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes doesn’t work that way. It starts at a very high level of the D&D cosmology, and it feels harder to borrow from or augment than other D&D source books".[11]

Rob Hudak, for SLUG Magazine, wrote that "Tome of Foes has little mechanical application for most players outside of the additional playable races, save for probably the most important facet in all role-playing games—inspiration.[...] Tome of Foes may have the pages you need to conjure richly imagined facets for both playable characters and narrative threads alike, and I think it’s in that latter category where this book offers the greatest value. From the position as a dungeon master, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is a must-buy. There are a couple sections of the bestiary that feel slightly recycled, namely the demon and devil lord stat blocks. The adventure Out of the Abyss has a dedicated segment specifically for these unholy rulers and their context in this region, but that’s ultimately a negligible detail when you consider the immense top-level detailed contribution to the unremitting conflict between them. I vastly prefer the direction and focus 5E took with its supplementary books by dressing them in a vibrant tapestry built on decades of D&D history. When flipping through dozens of new monstrosities on display, I become giddy with anticipation for the countless opportunities to terrify and captivate my players".[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Hall, Charlie (2018-04-20). "The next D&D sourcebook will go to podcasters first, and you can listen in". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  2. ^ Hall, Charlie (2018-05-10). "Exclusive new pages from D&D's next sourcebook, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". Polygon. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  3. ^ a b "Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes | Dungeons & Dragons". dnd.wizards.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  4. ^ a b "Dungeons & Dragons Announces New Book: Mordenkainen's Tome Of Foes". www.bleedingcool.com. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  5. ^ Hughes, William. "D&D's most fucked-up new monster was designed by a Make-A-Wish recipient". News. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  6. ^ Granshaw, Lisa (October 24, 2018). "The 9 scariest, most unforgettable monsters from Dungeons & Dragons". SYFY WIRE.
  7. ^ "Origins Awards 2019 Nominees". Origins Game Fair. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  8. ^ Phythyon, John (June 16, 2019). "Origins Awards 2019 Winners". ICv2. Retrieved 2019-08-05.
  9. ^ "Review: Dungeons & Dragons — Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". www.bleedingcool.com.
  10. ^ "Review of Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes - RPGnet RPG Game Index". www.rpg.net.
  11. ^ Kunzelman, Cameron (May 21, 2018). "Dungeons & Dragons Digs Deep Into Gods and Demons With Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  12. ^ Hudak, Rob (2018-06-04). "Book Review: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes". SLUG Magazine. Retrieved 2019-06-21.

External linksEdit