Jeremy Crawford and Kate Irwin sat down to talk about Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes with Dragon Talk yesterday. Here’s what we learned.
Lots of cool things from the latest Dragon Talk. Jeremy Crawford (Lead Rules Designer) and Kate Irwin (Senior Art Director) sit down with the Dragon Talk podcast to talk Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (not to be confused with Mordenkainen’s Foam of Toes, or Tomb of Foes). They had a lot to say, so let’s dive in.
via Wizards of the Coast
First up, they talked a lot about the overall shape of the book, and the goal of it. As we learned before, a big part of it is providing higher level monsters, and the narrative context for that is the planes and more specificallt, conflicts across the cosmos. So to that end, the first half or so of the book lays out the lore. And the second half is monsters inspired by those stories.
This last part in particular is pretty cool, because they spent a lot of time talking about the conflicts that the more traditional player races might be involved in. Elves vs. Drow, Dwarves vs. Duergar, even Gnomes and Halflings–who don’t really have any epic conflicts are kind of defined by that absence. Or at least, they’ll get a section that loops at what sets them apart. And even then, we still get monsters inspired by their stories–they teased a couple of clockwork guardian creatures, including a shield construct and a mechanical frog.
There’s a whole chapter on the schism of the Drow from the other elves, but they go into great depths about Elves themselves. They look at what makes an Elf an elf, what makes an Eladrin different. Which, side track, Eladrin are definitely in the book (along with Sea Elves, and Shadar-Kai). Only they have been changed–and the monster section might have nonhuman Eladrin in it. Eladrin have received a pretty extensive makeover, it sounds like, including a new look–one that emphasizes their connection to the Feywild.
And so it goes with the Drow as well. They really talked about exploring the time before the schism, and delving into why there are so many different varieties of elf.
Then of course you have some more nostalgic conflicts. Like the Blood War between devils and demons. Or tana’ari and ba’atezu, if you want. Which, they confirmed means we’ll be seeing stats for higher level fiends–including the archdevils.
And accompanying all that are revised versions of a lot of the Unearthed Arcana we’ve seen. Tieflings, rules for adding Stat blocks to cultists and other monsters to theme them towards a devil or demon–along with rules for making different kinds of cambions, and more yugoloths. Which you can never have too much of.
In addition to the archdevils, we get other powerful monsters like Elder Elementals, Leviathan, and other city-destroying kinds of creatures–comparable to the Tarrasque.
All in all they estimated at least 130 monsters, including monsters from previous editions making their debut, as well as new monsters–a lot of shadowfell themed things.
And it seemed clear we could expect to see new miniatures accompanying this release as well. And finally, they confirmed gith of both kinds as playable races. Though, according to Kate Welch, the newest member of WotC, it’s pronounced “jith”.
At any rate, May 29th might be literally figurative years away, but we’ll keep the news coming as it drops.
In the meantime, happy adventuring!