Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes will be coming out in a month or so–and with that release date imminent, folks like Fantasy Grounds and Roll20 are gearing up for the digital drop. Today, courtesy of Sage Advice and Roll20, we’ve got a look inside Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.
This is pretty exciting folks. The pictures don’t necessarily show off too much concrete stuff regarding rules, but there is a lot to sort through here. So let’s settle in and see what lies hidden within Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, looking at everything from Abishai to Zombie.
via Sage Advice/Fantasy Grounds
First up, here’s the formal chapter list, along with some gorgeous artwork to exemplify everything. First up we have The Blood War with all its Tieflings, devils, demons, cults, and so on. Then there’s the Elves, featuring the elves and their fall from the grace of Arvandor. There’s the Dwarves and Duergar chapter, which we’ve heard talked about at length. The Gith, both -zerai and -yanki–and what a lovely picture of a Githyanki riding a red dragon into combat. Halflings and Gnomes (whom we haven’t heard much about at all, other than “they don’t really have conflicts”). And the whole thing is rounded out with the second half of the book, which is all the monsters and appendices for monsters.
There are new character options included in the Tome, including new options for Halflings, Tieflings, and Elves, as well as rules for Githzerai, Githyanki, and Duergar.
Let’s talk a little about what we can see here. Duergar look to be real interesting–this is a much better teaser, mechanics-wise, than the one we’ve seen before. With an increase to Strength (and presumably Wisdom) as well as resistances to certain mind-affecting abilities (including Illusions, Charmed, and Paralysis) which makes sense given their history of struggle against the Illithids.
They also gain some powerful self-buffs, they can enlarge themselves and turn invisible once per rest without needing components or spell slots. Plus it looks like we’ll be seeing a revised version of the Eladrin, so be prepared to make jokes about being a seasoned-adventurer.
But enough stuff for players, let’s move on to the real meat of the book, the Bestiary.
Right away we have a really strong start with the customization options for Devils and Demons which shows off the stat block/template that you can add to the ability to create infernal minions that bear the same flavors of the patrons who grant them their dark power. What looks particularly interesting to me is the additional encounter groupings–so you’re creating random encounters with a little more purpose to them. It also seems like Svirfneblin are back in a big way.
Now we get into the actual creatures. So many monstrous foes–you can still shake a stick at them, but it is very difficult to do. The Abishai make an appearance–these are mortals who earned the favor of Tiamat and were “rewarded” for their service. Then there’s the Astral Dreadnought whom we’ve seen before. But then there’s other cool stuff like the Berbalang (one of the most fun monsters to say), the Boneclaw, Nightwalker–there’s a category of creatures that are The ____ featured here are The Lost and The Lonely, which fill out the mid-level range pretty nicely. There are Tortles, because of course there are, the best monster in the game, and a whopping CR 23 Elder Tempest. Which sounds like some kind of elemental, which sounds like a segue into:
Here’s a look at some of the creatures themselves. You can see Elemental Myrmidons, and the Dire and Spirit trolls featured up there. As well as Shadar-Kai who make a triumphant return from their 4th Edition days as monsters with names that sound like screamo bands.
All in all, this is some pretty exciting stuff, take it in folks, and get ready, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes drops soon.
The Lonely, The Lost, Gloom Weaver, Soul Monger–5th Edition…are you trying to tell us something?