Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes comes in 2 flavours. You have your regular edition cover mine declare, which is in the same style as the rest of the 5th Edition rulebooks. Still, then you also have this limited edition cover with much less Clare Clare sandy both possess fantastic wraparound cover artwork and both versions actually retail for the same price, which is at least $50 American or 65 Canadian. Still, the main distinction is that the limited edition cover will only be available from a certain hobby shops or, you know, for checked the prices on eBay by resellers.
Now, what exactly is Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes well, it can be described as a Volo’s Guide to monsters which I would describe as the sort of expansion to the monster manual, except better let me explain why yes its core this is a book that contains monsters this is a book for dungeon masters for the most part, but there is also some stuff in here for players now the main difference between this book and a monster manual is that a monster manual
Just contains monsters however this book as well as volo’s also contained some introductory chapters with war and this is very well in line with 5th edition philosophy of bringing back that lore, and they have been doing a fantastic job of delivering on that.
So Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes is broken down into 6 chapters, the first being on the blood war that eternal feud between the devils and demons, which is kind of similar to the internal conflict between angels and demons in Diablo 3
Chapter 2 is all about elves, chapter 3 is about dwarves, and duergar chapter 4 is about gifts, and their endless war chapter 5 is on Halflings and gnomes in chapter 6 is the bestiary IE the monster manual part of the book now one thing that's really cool about this book is the way it's written this isn't the monster manual 3 this is Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.
And the impression of the book is meant to give you is that it was penned by the great wizard Mordenkainen's himself. The preface explains that Tome was panned by Mordenkainen's and his apprentice big B. As you peruse the pages, you'll see that there are little inserts written in the calligraphy of Mordenkainen's himself really convey his tone and his personality, and if you're unfamiliar with the great wizard, he was created by Gary Gygax himself.
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes - Chapter 1
He was the player character of the co-creator of the D&D himself, and this is one of the most well-known and longest-lived characters in D&D lore, so all this to say presentation-wise well executed, so diving into the meat and bones here of Rick and Morty's Tome of foes again you start off with chapter 1 which is all about devils and demons
it gives an expanded explanation on that war more lore for DM's to work with, and it talks about the concept of the balance that there are some people in the world and want to ensure the balance in the war between devil and demon always stays the same because if either side were to ever win this war, it's believed that that side would then go on to dominate the entire multiverse
So we get lore on devils, we get to understand their point of view, we get to learn that they actually feel like they're fighting some form of righteous fight that they are protectors of the multiverse because if not for them, demons would overrun everything we get to learn about the lords of the 9 the 9 layers of the [censored] and Diablo players will find some similarities and some of the lords of the 9 and some of the lords of howling Diablo both sort of drawing upon the same real-world more inspirations we have as modus in dungeons & dragons and azmodan and Diablo we have Belial common to both we have Mephistopheles in dungeons & dragons and Mephisto and Diablo. So all the lords of the 9 are well documented here well explained.
Then there's a section on diabolical cults it offers rules for dungeon masters on how to modify NPC entries to make them followers of one of the lords of the 9. For instance, in the monster manual, there's a cultists story cult fanatic. Well, you can further customize that cult of whom tied to the same sort of mechanics.
You can make a tiefling whose bloodline descends from Mephistopheles, so that might give you different ability score modifiers and other powers. Hence, you have actually 9 different sub-races of tiefling you can select from, with the default tiefling races being one the main lord of the 9.
Asmodeus and you have plenty of customization tables for creating either NPCs or PC's tables on which you can roll for random devil honorifics, or devil personality traits are devil ideals which again you can use these literally randomly or just use them for inspiration. I think the DND dives for 5th Edition really dialed into the fact that we love tables. These tables are wonderful, very well appreciated, and then, of course, you have a similar treatment for demons.
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes - Chapter 2
The chapter 2, elves, we get the backstory on the rivalry between corellon and the grooms, the main Elvin and the main orc god, respectively. We learn about the rise of love how the two corellon and off has something of a lover’s spat, and that's basically how the drow originated. We get to learn about the elven perspective on life from child to adolescents to elder. I think that's something really important. It helps us get into the mind of a being that lives so long beings that can also revisit literally any memory they've had while they're sleeping transom that's one thing that I think is really helpful.
In a role-playing game that when you have these fantasy races. So often, we as role players will tend just to play them like we would play any other human. Still, there are aspects of the culture and of the physiology of these fantasy races that would make them think in a completely alien way to us, and so having these explanations to try to reinforce what their perspective would be is really helpful it's for this reason that I feel that this book is also valuable to players it's still primarily a dungeon master's book but a player wanting to role-play an elf I think reading this chapter would be very beneficial.
This book is basically everything you could ever want to know about elves, drow, and even Eladrin being reintroduced from the fourth edition. I know they existed before as well. In 5th Edition, Eldrin are now the elves that are closest to the first generation of elves. They're not the only thing from a previous edition to return the raven queen, who we thought was left behind in the fourth edition, is now reintroduced.
In the fourth edition, the raven queen was a goddess, but in the 5th Edition, she is instead not a god but a god-like powers. Now her fourth edition lore was pretty bare-bones and a wall this lord does keep with the thematics. This is definitely a different Raven Queen than the fourth edition.
Some of the trappings are the same. There's that air of mystery, there's a lot of similarities superficially, at least, but there are a number of significant differences. I would almost call this an alternate reality raven queen where she didn't become a goddess, but basically, her lore now is that she used to be an elven queen. I won't spoil the details would. Her followers ended up becoming the shadar-kai. That's another reintroduced race.
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes - Chapter 3
Chapter 3 the Dwarves and the Duergar learned the tragic backstory of the Duergar we get so much Dwarven Lore this, and now this is something that you'll see happen throughout different sections of the book, but there are little in sets that will explain the difference between in this case dwarves or any other race between different campaign settings you see
the Tome is written as though we are not in anyone that setting, but we are looking at all the multiverses Mordenkainen’s was a very powerful wizard you can visit and see all the different multiverses I you campaign settings Dragonlance, Grayhawk forgotten realms and so it'll explain the differences between the doors from those 3 settings, for instance, so we're not in a position where we're retconning what dwarves were like in different settings were acknowledging that these all existed and still exists to this day. You can still run campaigns in these different settings.