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Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (D&D 5e) – May 2018 Release – Updated!

Added: Just got the official press release. I have added the details to this story. It looks like we’re getting content for DMs and players. Most interesting is that it looks like we’re getting notes on running higher tier play, which Meals referred to as level 10 and higher. What we do know is the book will have lots of CR 10+ monsters.

We’re a month into 2018 and we hadn’t heard anything about the 2018 books since back in November at Gamehole 2017. Back then, we learned 3 books were coming out in 2018 codenamed Marathon, Broadway and Catacomb. We were told that Marathon would be a 192 page “D&D accessory” and would be released on May 29, 2018.

Like Volo and Xanathar, Mordenkainen is another personality that the D&D team is employing to host this Tome of Foes. Mordenkainen hails from the City of Greyhawk and has become an expert on the multiverse.

Product Overview

  • The title is Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
  • There will be a regular and variant cover (same as previous books such as Volo and Xanathar)
  • The cost will be US$49.95
  • The release date is still May 29th, 2018 and May 18th, 2018 in game stores
  • The page count has been updated to 256 pages and it has been confirmed that it will be a hardcover
  • Limited edition cover will be available in game stores May 18th, 2018

What is Contains

For DMs:

  • New monsters at the table, many CR 10 and higher.
  • Tons of storytelling information on some of the most contentious relationships in the multiverse. You learn about the schism between:
    • drow and other elves
    • githyanki and githzerai
    • dwarves and duergar
    • Blood War between demons and devils.
  • Inspiration and greater challenges for players who have reached higher levels of play

For Players:

  • story hooks to use with their characters
  • player options for races like tieflings, elves, githyanki and githzerai

Hobby Store Exclusive

Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes also comes in a limited edition format exclusive to core hobby stores, featuring an alternative-art cover beautifully illustrated by Vance Kelly.

Upcoming Videos

As with past releases, we’ll see video support from the team to promote and tease this book.

  • Twitch
    The Dungeons & Dragons team will be talking about Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes on twitch.tv/dnd in the coming months.
  • D&D Beyond
    Look for Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford to offer more insight on what’s in the book on Dragon Talk at 2pm PT on Monday, Feb 5th and for follow-up interviews with the team on the D&D Beyond YouTube channel.

Here’s the official product blurb that is showing up on book sites:

Discover the truth about the great conflicts of the D&D multiverse in this supplement for the world’s greatest roleplaying game.

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.

Visit the Official Product Page

  • Can’t tell yet if this is a DM only book or if the multiverse “musings” will include player options.

    • I’d put money on those “several varieties of elves and duergar” being a signpost for new playable subraces (see also that UA of elf subraces), so we’re basically looking at Volo’s Guide to Monsters: Cosmic Edition. If that’s their target, I am here for it.

    • I think you’re right. We’ll know more on Monday.

    • Colin McLaughlin

      I am very excited. Well, as excited as I get.

    • Dave(s) 4 Goombella

      And what multiverse conflict is more notorious than the war between the Githyanki and Githzerai?

    • Colin McLaughlin

      Blood War!

    • I just wanna know what the fuck is up with the modrons marching early. I mean, that’s really weird, right?

    • Erik Filean

      There is the dreaded and ceaseless Edition War….

    • Manos Ti

      What makes me excited is that for the first time we have a publication in 5e that officially speaks about Multiverse.

      So this opens a lot of doors.

    • I heard there is a city full of doors.

    • Manos Ti

      I’ve heard the same thing.

    • Ish

      Um… The Players’ Handbook has numerous references to the multiverse.

    • Manos Ti

      In the same way, also the MM and the DMG. But it’ll be the first time I believe we’ll see a publication that has to do with the Multiverse as a whole entity.

    • I thought the MM did a decent job on providing info on some of these conflict, e.g. Gith, but will be good to get more specifics. I really like how Volo drills into the iconic monsters.

    • Ish

      WotC has been remarkably slow to publish material for the current edition. I honestly appreciate the effort to avoid the splatbook glut that (IMHO) ruined 3.x/4e and has soured me in Pathfinder… But, I really miss the old TSR-style setting supplements.

      5e has a significant dearth of “fluff” books, luckily I still have mine from back in the day, but I kinda feel sorry for new players. If SCAG is the only sourcebook you’ve got for a setting, it’s kinda anemic.

    • Manos Ti

      Well, it actually isn’t. At least if we’re talking about FR. The reason is that SCAG might be the only true sourcebook in 5e but also there are the published adventures that have rich information about the area they take place; for instance SKT has a ton of information about the Savage Frontier and even fills in some of the info not found in SCAG. The same goes for PotA and OotA is a really good guide for 5e Underdark as any.

      I really do not know if they will publish any other “official” setting for 5e (I sure hope so they do) but if they do, I really hope it gets the same treatment.

    • Ish

      I don’t like putting setting material into adventures, at least, not to the extent that they’re the primary source books. Most players won’t buy them and many GMs won’t either… Back when I was a new GM, i certainly didn’t want my players buying the same modules I was running!

    • Manos Ti

      But, they do not NEED (as PCs) to have that knowledge.

    • Ish

      Your mileage may vary, but I find it helps for everyone’s sense of immersion if they know as much about the world their characters inhabit as possible. Oh, sure, they shouldn’t know The Kindly Old Man is secretly the head honcho of The Local Demon Cult, or other plot elements… But they should know the geography, history, society and culture of the land they live in.

    • Manos Ti

      Well, I’m totally on board with you about that. But as far as FR go in 5e, most of the PCs in the campaign I’m DMing found all the info in SCAG sufficient. In case someone wanted something more, I prepared a document for him.

    • Ish

      The Realms are fairly easy to grok with only minimal information, especially the more commonly seen regions in and around Faêrun… It’s the Tolkien-y Renaissance-y Generic Fantasy Melange™️ that’s been seen in thousands of other forms.

      But when dealing with other settings that are either a significant departure from the default (e.g., Dark Sun), have significantly different tone (e.g., Ravenloft), or where the settings lore/history is going to be a major factor in the campaign (e.g., Birthright) then I think it’s best to make as much of the setting material “player facing” as possible.

    • Manos Ti

      Well, not only that, the Realms are in general famous as a setting. So chances are people might know some of the lore already from various sources.

      Sadly, we do not know yet how they’re going to treat other settings in 5e. My guess is they will keep on making these hybrid books as in FR, but we shall see.

    • Ish

      Maybe they’ll get really crazy and give us a NEW setting?

      If you don’t count the Nentir Vale (which was never given much more than a scatter-shot, sporadic hints at a setting instead of a proper sourcebook) there hasn’t been a new official campaign setting for D&D since 2003’s ‘Ghostwalk.’ Which was only ever intended as a single book…

    • Manos Ti

      Yes, it would always be an option. Still, with 5e now 4 years in, and FRs being the only “official” setting so far, they have a plethora of settings to choose from.

    • Dave(s) 4 Goombella

      I think I’ve got a handle on Wizards’ strategy for introducing new campaign settings in 5e, and it’s very clever. Rather than have a bunch of segmented settings as 2e had, Wizards is really playing up the multiverse angle, and looking at 5e as one giant setting. I strongly suspect that any book with a new setting, be it a sourcebook or an adventure book, is going to connect it directly to the cosmology as detailed in the three core 2014 books. Eberron, Greyhawk, and Dragonlance won’t be disconnected universes; they’ll be situated in the overall multiverse as casually as Chult sits in Faerun. In that manner, they make sure all books are suitable for a wider audience.

      Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is almost a Planescape book, but it builds from the cosmology already detailed in the three core books; it doesn’t exist independently.

      Curse of Strahd took a similar approach, where Ravenloft is a parallel dimension rather than an independent universe. The players get transported there by a sinister mist; the adventure module assumes that they’re not citizens of Barovia.

    • Manos Ti

      Mearls et al have said directly that they are treating the D&D cosmology as one big Multiverse; there was such a hint in TftYP and ToA, now in MToF they will do it profoundly.

      This of course is a huge thing; we might see Planescape arriving in 5e soon, we might Spelljammer and thus we might see other famous settings of old (Dark Sun, Eberron etc). As also, just like ToA, we might see a famous BBEG from other settings rampaging through FR or even team-ups we never imagined happening.

      There are no boundaries in imagination.

    • Ish

      Do they need it? No, obviously not. I certainly didn’t mean to imply that it was a necessity. I just feel that it enhances my sense of immersion when that sort of stuff is known to the players.

      Everyone has their different styles of gameplay and different parts of the game they enjoy. For me, it’s all about setting immersion and verisimilitude first, an awesome story arc second, and cool puzzles/tactical challenges third. Obviously, one has to tailor personal preferences to match those of the rest of the table, but it’s my starting point.

    • Erik Filean

      Besides, apart from adventure books (and not always completely so for those), the 5E strategy doesn’t seem to involve a lot of “player-only” or “DM-only” books.

  • Jackson Gorny

    How many types of duregar are there? Could it mean moore dwarven subraces?

    • Matthew

      There arnt. Duergar are essentially a Dwarf Subrace, as are Hill Dwarves and Mountain. THey havnt ever had subraces of their own.

      Im assuming there are referring more to more Elf and Duergar ‘monsters ala Volos that had like the Orc warriors of Luthic and so on.

  • Dave(s) 4 Goombella

    Once again, “Lore you should know” on the D&D podcast has foreshadowed their release content. I am surprised that we’re getting a sourcebook before another adventure book, though. I wonder if that’s just a quirk of staff and contractor availability, or if the existing adventure books (especially Tomb of Annihilation) are still selling well enough that there’s no rush to put out another one until the fall.

    • Manos Ti

      OR, they want to use this sourcebook as the lead to a new adventure set not in the Realms.

  • Updated with new details.

  • Dave(s) 4 Goombella

    They were very forthcoming with new details on today’s live podcast recording. I’m glad to see that Gnomes and Halflings won’t be forgotten, and will have their own chapter alongside the Dwarf and Elf chapters.
    (Sounds like Dragonborn and Half-Orcs are the only PHB races that won’t get some love in the Tome of Foes.)

  • Lilfut

    Please, give me some form of Spelljammer content. I am on my knees