Dungeons & Dragons publisher Wizards of the Coast has just announced a return to classic dungeon crawling in their upcoming Tales from the Yawning Portal. Set to debut on April 4th, the 248 page hardcover tome contains seven of the most beloved and legendary adventures ever published for the game.
Here’s developer Mike Mearls describing the process of polishing up these gems from gaming’s glorious past, and how they intend these adventures to fit into nearly any campaign setting.
Let’s go over just which iconic stories they’ve decided to include.
Against the Giants
This one’s a 1981 classic written by Gary Gygax himself, including three modules each pertaining to taking down a particular type of giant. The adventure was updated in 1999 with new material by the legendary Sean K. Reynolds. As the more recent book was 96 pages, they’ll probably have to find a way to squeeze it into this book already filled with adventures.
Dead in Thay
Released as recently as 2014 as part of the ramp up to D&D’s 5th edition and written by Scott Fitzgerald Gray, Dreams of the Red Wizards: Dead in Thay is described as: “a tribute to Tomb of Horrors, The Ruins of Undermountain, and other killer dungeons. The monsters, traps, and hazards in the adventure create a deadly challenge.”
Written for the 3rd edition of D&D by Richard Baker in 2000, just as that edition was getting going, The Forge of Fury is a dungeon delve into the home of a legendary dwarven bladesmith. It’s now in ruins, having been overrun by orcs, goblins, and other monsters. The fortress still is said to hold those amazing dwarven blades, tempting adventurers to enter.
Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan
Originally created for competitive play at the Origins International Game Expo, this 1979 adventure was written by Harold Jonson and Jeff R. Leason. Only 300 copies were originally printed. The adventure is a delve into a Mayan-style stepped temple absolutely packed with traps and puzzles. It’s gained a reputation as a thinking-gamer’s adventure.
Published in the same 3rd edition era as the The Forge of Fury, this adventure by Bruce R. Cordell is a weird tale of an underground fortress and a powerful blighted tree which fills it, tended by the twisted druid Belak the Outcast. Certainly, this is a creepy addition to the roster.
Tomb of Horrors
Another classic by Gary Gygax, Tomb of Horrors is easily the most famous of the adventures in the book. Certainly the most feared. It has a reputation for containing traps that will outright kill characters for making poor choices. It’s a trek into the tomb of a powerful Demi-Litch, that’s often thought of as the archetypal dungeon crawl. Mike Mearls explains that this will serve as the ultimate challenge within the book.
White Plume Mountain
A dungeon delve involving the retrieval of three intelligent magical items named Wave, Whelm, and Blackrazor (all of which can be found in your Dungeon Master’s Guide). It was originally written by Lawrence Schick and published in 1979, and updated by Bruce R. Cordell in 1999 in his Return to White Plume Mountain, which takes place 20 years after the events of the original adventure. The module is well-known for it’s heavy use of puzzles, and has been described in WIRED magazine as the “amusement park of dungeons”.
Check out Tales from the Yawning Portal on April 4th, and let us know which adventures you plan to explore in the comments.
Image Credits: Wizards of the Coast