Wizards of the Coast announced Tales From The Yawning Portal this week, the newest installment in published works for Dungeons and Dragons’ fifth edition. It’s similar to other D&D 5E sourcebooks in that it’ll run you 50 bucks, and it’ll be available three weeks earlier in your friendly local game stores than it will on Amazon (April 4th, by the way) – but that’s where the similarities end. Yes, while this hardcover beauty will be packed with tons of new artwork and content – its not just another list of monsters, guide for showcasing areas of established D&D canon, or another set of rules… Tales From The Yawning Portal is a veritable “Greatest Hits” album, packed with seven of the most popular (and infamous) D&D tombs, labyrinths, caverns, and other synonyms for dungeons of all time.
When the shadows grow long in Waterdeep and the fireplace in the taproom of the Yawning Portal dims to a deep crimson glow, adventurers from across the Forgotten Realms, and even from other worlds, spin tales and spread rumors of dark dungeons and lost treasures. Some of the yarns overheard by Durnan, the barkeep of the Yawning Portal, are inspired by places and events in far-flung lands from across the D&D multiverse, and these tales have been collected into a single volume.
Tales From The Yawning Portal is remastering all seven adventures’ magic items and monsters to the fifth edition ruleset, and will contain heaps of new, never-before-detailed artwork that’ll provide classic encounters with gorgeous new context. The adventures included in Tales From The Yawning Portal are: Against the Giants, Dead in Thay, Forge of Fury, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, Sunless Citadel, White Plume Mountain, and last but not least… The Tomb of Horrors. If you’ve never experienced the character sheet-shredding hellhole that is Gygax’s most brutal work – well… Have a fucking bottle of whiskey handy before you get into it. That’s all I’m gonna say.
Not only have the Wizards (see what I did there) at D&D remastered these adventures, they’ve strung the seven together in such a way that DMs and players can progress through each of the six first modules right up until they hit 14th-ish level, where they will face their ultimate test inside of the Tomb of Horrors – a dungeon specifically designed to smite over-powered characters.
My favorite thing about Tales From The Yawning Portal is that it’s designed to fit into any game system. Published, home-brew, or downloaded offline – Tales From The Yawning Portal comes with rules and guidelines to adapt every module into your own party’s setting, or beloved settings like the Forgotten Realms, Greyhawk, Eberron, and Dragonlance. DMs could choose to just drop one (or many) of these encounters into their campaign as they see fit, or maybe The Yawning Portal tavern springs up in a nearby town in their home-brew world, containing actual portals that would transport heroes to each encounter separately.
Any way you slice it, Tales From The Yawning Portal is gonna be fantastic. As previously mentioned, the book will be available online on 4/4/17, and about three weeks earlier at friendly local game shops near you.
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