A Look at the Duerger: Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes Preview


Usually this time of the month we would get a new Unearthed Arcana from WotC; however, this month they've posted a one-page preview of May's Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, showing some random tables associated with the Duergar. Click on the image below for the PDF!


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"We have a number of things we're tinkering with for upcoming installments of Unearthed Arcana. Between wrapping up [/FONT]
Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes and going to Gary Con, were not ready to show any of the UA inventions in the workshop (mysterious smoke is billowing out of some of them), so we're previewing a page from the Tome of Foes! This page-showing some duergar-themed tables-gives you a taste of the sorts of tables you'll find in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, which is out this May. The book's tables will help you flesh out different aspects of your D&D campaigns and characters.
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The tables include clan name, clan status, clan's notable traits, adventurer story hooks, and quirks."[/FONT]
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Find the PDF here.

Separately, WotC's Nathan Stewart shared these images:

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QuietBrowser

First Post
I find this preview a huge disappointment. I mean, it'd be pretty lackluster regardless, but the fact it's duergar is just icing on the cake... sad truth is, whilst TSR struck gold with the Drow, the Duergar never have been as good.

I mean, not only does their entire characterization and culture boil down to "they act like any other grumpy dwarven jerk, but unlike surface dwarves, there's no heart of gold under that cranky arrogant workaholic exterior", but they aren't even that unique: they used to share the Underdark Dwarf niche with a non-evil dwarf subrace up until 4th edition! Even drow have something more to them than just "Generic Jerky/Evil Elf" as an underlying culture...
 


It might be worth having a separate thread Duerger.

The preview is clearly underwhelming. The one thing that did manage to make Duerger interesting was the Sword Coast Legends computer game. As a game it was rubbish, but it did visit a duerger city that had a real atmosphere of oppressive industry and a people stoically crumbling under crushing despair.
 


Jacob Lewis

Ye Olde GM
"Hey guys, look! Duergar are back! Remember them? It's just like old times! This is gonna be great!"

Yeah. Wow. I can hardly... stay awake. Wake me when this edition is over.
 

JRedmond

Explorer
They should have released nothing rather than release a book preview under Unearthed Arcana. The preview is also pretty boring, not sure what they were thinking.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
They should have released nothing rather than release a book preview under Unearthed Arcana. The preview is also pretty boring, not sure what they were thinking.

I'm really scratching my head on how something not very exciting is actually worse than nothing at all. That makes no sense whatsoever. :)

With UA only once a month and DDB now supporting UA, I was really hoping for something more and preferably player-centric. But also in the OotA game I DM, they are just arriving at Gracklstugh, so it's perfect timing even if it isn't very much.
 

I'm seeing MToF as being more of a preview of what direction the next WotC AP is going to go. That said, more random charts makes it hard for me to suppress a yawn.
 

SuperTD

Explorer
I'm seeing MToF as being more of a preview of what direction the next WotC AP is going to go. That said, more random charts makes it hard for me to suppress a yawn.

I mean, you don't have to pick on these tables randomly. It's possible to disregard the numbers at the side, and use the ideas as inspiration or just choose from the list.
 

I mean, you don't have to pick on these tables randomly. It's possible to disregard the numbers at the side, and use the ideas as inspiration or just choose from the list.

I understand that. They have some interesting ideas, even. But there are more interesting ways to present such concepts, in my experience. Look at Games Workshop, for example. They put lots of flavor fiction in their books to give a fuller concept of how their world looks and behaves.
 

I'm really scratching my head on how something not very exciting is actually worse than nothing at all. That makes no sense whatsoever. :)

With UA only once a month and DDB now supporting UA, I was really hoping for something more and preferably player-centric. But also in the OotA game I DM, they are just arriving at Gracklstugh, so it's perfect timing even if it isn't very much.

Anticipation is better than disappointment.
 

JRedmond

Explorer
I'm really scratching my head on how something not very exciting is actually worse than nothing at all. That makes no sense whatsoever. :)

With UA only once a month and DDB now supporting UA, I was really hoping for something more and preferably player-centric. But also in the OotA game I DM, they are just arriving at Gracklstugh, so it's perfect timing even if it isn't very much.

UA is meant to be playtest material. This is a preview from an upcoming book, it does not fit at all and is insulting that they are trying to release this as UA.
 

UA is meant to be playtest material. This is a preview from an upcoming book, it does not fit at all and is insulting that they are trying to release this as UA.

That seems like a bit of hyperbole. It was explained that they had a lot on their plate this month and why play test info wasn't in the cards. A sample of an upcoming book that includes new races and likely rules seems within the wheelhouse of what UA provides in lieu of other materials. After all, UA is not something that Wizards owes us.
 

I'm not even sure which way they're going with the Duergar yet, was it the fully embracing psionics or going fully infernal.

And I can't remember if Derro were still Dwarves or not in this edition.
 

Shroomy

Adventurer
I for one love the duergar and welcome our new gray dwarf overlords (seriously, I do really like them, probably more so than the drow). The page is a nice teaser for MToF, but nothing more.

As for no UA, it's disappointing, but it's not like Mike Mearls isn't publicly designing brand new 5e content for an hour each week or something.
 

kenmarable

Adventurer
That seems like a bit of hyperbole. It was explained that they had a lot on their plate this month and why play test info wasn't in the cards. A sample of an upcoming book that includes new races and likely rules seems within the wheelhouse of what UA provides in lieu of other materials. After all, UA is not something that Wizards owes us.

Agreed. Calling a book preview "insulting" is an example of the weird sort of negativity (especially in regards to anything WotC does) that I noticed on EN World a few years ago when I returned after being away for a while. Used to be people would just post a "Meh" and move on, but it seems to have shifted into hostility and anger in pretty much every post about WotC's latest. Seems like a weird thing to be insulted by. *shrug* [-]Ah well, guess communities change, not always for the better.[/-]
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Agreed. Calling a book preview "insulting" is an example of the weird sort of negativity (especially in regards to anything WotC does) that I noticed on EN World a few years ago when I returned after being away for a while. Used to be people would just post a "Meh" and move on, but it seems to have shifted into hostility and anger in pretty much every post about WotC's latest. Seems like a weird thing to be insulted by. *shrug* Ah well, guess communities change, not always for the better.

I think that's kinda the internet now, pretty much everywhere. To our credit, I think we manage to maintain a pretty civil community here. There's some scary places out there!
 

JRedmond

Explorer
Agreed. Calling a book preview "insulting" is an example of the weird sort of negativity (especially in regards to anything WotC does) that I noticed on EN World a few years ago when I returned after being away for a while. Used to be people would just post a "Meh" and move on, but it seems to have shifted into hostility and anger in pretty much every post about WotC's latest. Seems like a weird thing to be insulted by. *shrug* Ah well, guess communities change, not always for the better.

It's just my opinion, it's okay if it differs from yours. I love everything they've done, I just think this one didn't make sense. My comment doesn't herald the end of the golden age of ENWorld I promise.
 

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