Dungeon Master Review: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes

The gods of Wizards of the Coast have at last heard our prayers. With published adventures typically finishing at level 10, the question “What next?” has been on many lips.
“Send us high-level content”, we asked.
“So it shall be”, Wizards of the Coast replied.
And then there was Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.

While the newest supplement is indeed filled with the substance for many third- and fourth-tier adventures, there’s also much more to be found within. This 256-page supplement is filled with enemies of all levels (high and low), as well as beautiful artwork, fascinating lore, and new character options. Some players may recognize a few of the creatures that appear in the book’s pages, such as the shadar-kai and the githyanki (both now available as character choices, too), while others like the oblex (created by special guest contributor Nolan Whale) and dire trolls are entirely new.

Familiar epic-level threats such as the famed archdemons also make their reappearance with new, fancy Fifth Edition stats sure to make for final boss battles that are sure to be a satisfying climax of a campaign. A few, such as Demogorgon and Orcus, previously appeared in Out of the Abyss, and appear here with revised stat blocks more appropriate for general audiences who are not playing the official adventure. With 139 new monsters with challenge ratings as high as 26, there is something to challenge or confound even the most well-equipped party and keep them occupied all the way to the end of their adventuring career.

Much like the celebrated Volo’s Guide to Monsters, the new supplement offers greater insight into the nature of iconic enemies. The entire first chapter focuses on the Nine Hells and the Blood War that has defined the demon/devil conflict since time immemorial. It also offers suggestions for customizing diabolical cults to fit your vision of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, or even your own original worlds.

Elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes, and the two gith races also get significant coverage (including some new takes on their racial histories) to help inspire players to embrace what makes these races unique, including tables filled with player options, similar to what Xanathar’s Guide to Everything offered for classes. We found it particularly interesting that the gith had their psionic abilities presented in the same way as racial spell abilities, possibly indicative of Mike Mearls’ design model for the soon-to-be-released Fifth Edition psionics.

The Verdict

If you were on the fence about whether or not to buy this book, take our word: it’s worth every penny. With player options, DM options, and a menagerie of new monsters sure to challenge players who are bored with fighting the same enemies, it has quality options to fit every need. The folks at Wizards of the Coast really went all out in terms of providing not only what their players want, but also what they need. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes is a must-have for any Dungeon Master who wants to provide their players with truly memorable entertainment. Get your copy today from Amazon here!

Have you purchased Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes? We’d love to hear what you think about it in the comments below!

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