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Exclusive new pages from D&D’s next sourcebook, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes

More options for fans of halflings and gnomes

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Dungeons & Dragons Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes - a halfling father wrestles with his daughters, who are fighting over the family goat. Wizards of the Coast
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Dungeons & Dragons’ latest sourcebook, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, goes on sale at your friendly local games store on May 18. Like Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Volo’s Guide to Monsters, it’s a new take on developing content that blends a hefty bit of personality into what would otherwise be a somewhat dry hardcover book.

Publisher Wizards of the Coast told Polygon that its goal with this new approach is to create products for two different audiences — those who want books filled with new monsters and equipment to use in their games, and those who just like reading D&D books for fun.

Tome of Foes is narrated by Mordenkainen, a wizard created by D&D co-creator Gary Gygax for his World of Greyhawk campaign. It will contain lots of new content for the 5th edition, including a lengthy investigation of demons, devils, several kinds of elves and duergar, the infamous dark dwarves.

Also included in the book will be new tools for building player characters, including halflings and gnomes. Both races of tiny folk were included in the 5th edition Player’s Handbook, which was published in 2014. Tome of Foes doesn’t revise them, but simply adds more depth and color to each race’s backstory.

A grinning halfling tosses a fish at a steep angle, bouncing it across the surface of a pond.
A halfling skipping fish in a pond.
Wizards of the Coast
A tinker with a black face, moments after his experiment blew up on the workbench.
A gnomish tinker.
Wizards of the Coast

On a personal note, I’m particularly interested to see how Wizards is reinterpreting the gnomish tinker subclass. That’s because the 2nd edition version of that template was the source of my very first tabletop role-playing character, way back in the early 1990s. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Dirk Snozbim — gnomish tinker, dexterous thief and master of the nose flute — and I look forward to bringing him back to life at the table very soon.

Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes will be available at Amazon and larger retailers later this month.

A hand-written character sheet for Dirk Snozbim, gnomish tinker, circa 1992. Charlie Hall/Polygon

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