Tales from the Yawning Portal

4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Is this book a must buy? That depends on what type of adventures your group enjoys. The book is what it is, a nostalgic tribute with some of the best dungeons from the last 40+ years to play as is, group into a dungeon delve campaign, or steal ideas from for your own dungeons. If your group likes a variety of gameplay, you might want to stay away from the longer adventures and their mega-dungeons.

READ THE FULL REVIEW: http://www.tribality.com/2017/04/02/dd-tales-from-the-yawning-portal-review/
 

JLant

Visitor
5 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

So I had all the original adventures, with the exception of Dead in Thay and I found this to be a faithful rendition of all of them. The artwork is beautiful as is the cartography, which brings me to my one complaint: The book would be very well served by the addition of a map booklet (with bigger renderings) or alternatively a separate folio (like PF Adventure Paths have) with bigger format maps of the main dungeons. The crunch at the back and the thoughts about setting each adventure in other world were especially nice touches.
 

Jester David

Adventurer
3 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Tales From the Yawning Portal is a 248-page full colour hardcover book featuring four adventures from 1st Edition and two from 3rd Edition that have been updated to 5th Edition, along with one adventure from the D&D Next playtest. The adventures have been edited (or rather re-edited) to conform with modern standards of presentation and to be *slightly* more similar in tone, but are otherwise largely identical to their original publication. For example, read aloud text (aka grey boxed text) has been added to at least two adventures, which previously predates that innovation in adventure module design. The adventures seem well updated. Fans of the originals should be happy that classical elements – and even text – are retained. Most encounters have been rebalanced to provide an appropriate challenge. But care was really made to keep monster substitutions appropriate.

Tales from the Yawning Portal was always going to have had a hard time winning over my affections. It’s not a product I wanted nor found particularly necessary. However, not everyone feels as comfortable spontaneously updating modules, and would prefer a more professionally updated product. That and the revised formatting often makes just finding important details in the rooms easier. But it doesn’t tweak or “fix” old school modules. The weak points (like random monsters, unclear descriptions, nonsensical dungeon layouts) remain. How dungeons are designed and presented has evolved greatly over the years.
If you’re not a fan of the originals, there’s nothing here that will change your mind or make you reconsider giving these adventures a second look; the originals have been around for years: if you and your group haven’t played them by now, it wasn’t likely because of a lack of availability.

I’m not sure there’s a large number of brand new players clamouring to play unfamiliar dungeons from thirty years ago. But this might get them interested in a few of the classics, and curious about the history of the game.To me, this is a one-shot book. Something for those times when one player can’t make it to the game or you need a break from the regular campaign. Pull out some pregenerated characters or the heroes from a previous campaign and run through a classic module. Fun and low prep. I’ve never run the Tomb of Horrors and this products might have pushed me to give it a try…

Read my full review here.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
5 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Like all of the 5e books, the production values are excellent. The art and maps are great.

This book provides the flavor of old-school D&D dungeon crawls to a new audience.

New DM's will find this a great resource for running players up through many levels without having to commit to a large Adventure Path.

You only need to read and prepare for each individual adventure, no need to go through the whole book to get started. Each can be completed in a couple sessions (or one long session). You and your players needn't keep detailed journals — no need to remember details across many sessions. When an adventure is done, it is done. You don't need any of the info from one adventure in another. Also, you'll have very different adventures with very different tones and styles.

I think WoTC did a great job selecting adventures that give a taste of many different styles, challenge types, and from different eras in the game's history.
 
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GameOgre

Explorer
5 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

This book is packed with great adventures that are perfect for use with the larger adventure paths to get the pc's caught up a few levels.
 

vpuigdoller

Explorer
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

I love the shorter adventures aproach thr only reason it didnt get a five is because they are al rehashed adventures. This with 100% new content and guidelines to tie it all together if you wished like they sort of tried with the entire yawning portal inn would be rock solid.
 

darjr

I crit!
5 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

I've wanted reprints of these for a long time now. Thanks WotC!
 

machineelf

Explorer
3 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

This is the product I had been hoping WOTC would produce, and I wanted to love this book. However, I only like it.

Tales from the Yawning Portal would have been a solid 5 out of 5 if they had done two things better: 1. A better selection of classic adventures, and 2. a better conversion for the modules.

As far as adventure selection for the book goes, there are three modules that are fantastic: The Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, White Plume Mountain, and Tomb of Horrors. These are classics, and are among the greatest adventure modules ever written. There are two adventure modules that are just so-so: Sunless Citadel and Forge of Fury. There is one that just shouldn't be in the book: Dead in Thay. And there is one that is either great or boring, depending on your interest in big dungeons and Giants: Against the Giants.

Now, some people might love Against the Giants, but I find it to be a monotonous slog through the same dungeon several times. If you love the module, then you're not me.

Sunless Citadel and Forge of Fury are OK modules, but that's about all you can say for them.

But I think we can all agree that Dead in Thay has no business being in this book. It's not even a classic, and it didn't garner any rave reviews when it first came out, that I know of. It was an easily forgotten part of a module that was created during the play-testing phase of 5th edition. With all the other great, classic modules they could have put in the book, I don't know why they included this behemoth. It's long, it's somewhat confusing, and your players are likely going to get bored of it before you finish. They also printed the massive map on a standard-size page, which makes it hard to see the details, like where the white portal gates are located.

Dead in Thay was originally meant for several groups of players to all play through simultaneously at different tables starting at different locations. Trying to use it for one group is too much of a slog.

Instead of Dead in Thay, the editors could have included much more interesting modules, like The Isle of Dread, Castle Amber, The Lost City, or The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, among others. Including a few of those instead of Dead in Thay or Against the Giants would have made this book many times better.

The other problem with the book are the conversions. Some of these classic dungeons should be very difficult challenges; chief among them, Tomb of Horrors. But currently, for some unknown reason, modern D&D adventure designers want to make adventures extremely easy, with only the occasional challenge. This seems to have carried over into 5th edition adventure design, as well as these conversions. Traps deal far too little damage and are too easy to spot (with low DCs even for higher-level adventures), and the recommended character levels are higher than they should be. The fact that this book did include three absolutely amazing modules is lessened by the fact that the conversions of the modules take the bite out of them and render them far easier than the their original intent. It also means that to use these great modules, you will likely have to make your own conversion of the conversion. That's not what we spent our money for.

Simply speaking, if this book included a better selection of classic modules and if the conversions stayed true to the originals in terms of danger level, then this would easily have been 5 stars. But it doesn't and they didn't.
 
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Grainger

Explorer
2 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Most 5e product is of a very good standard, and very well presented, but the maps in this book are very badly reproduced. Are Wizards getting complacent?

Before I continue, a bit of context: I am middle-aged, but my eyesight was recently checked, and found to be (just about) 20/20.

On several maps in this book, it's very hard to determine how big the rooms are (which is pretty essential) and in some cases it is also very, very hard to read the labels and room numbers (absolutely essential). This is when viewing in a well-lit room when there is no time pressure (unlike during an actual game session). The rest of the product may well be excellent, but if I cannot even use it because I cannot see the maps, then that is irrelevant; the book has fallen at the first hurdle.

Much bigger maps should have been included, either as pull-outs, or just taking up more space in the book (instead of what we get: tiny maps taking up a fraction of a page). Yes, this would make the page-count higher, and hence made the book more expensive, but at least the maps in question would be usable.

It would be bad enough if the maps were merely uncomfortable to use - this would be an unnecessary distraction when running a game - but to be illegible is totally unacceptable.

So I advise that you see a copy for yourself, and confirm you can actually read the maps, before purchasing!
 

Yaztromo

Explorer
3 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

The adventures in this book are old time classics, but they also had some well known flaws in their design and this was the perfect opportunity to "fix" them.
They were "just" converted to 5th edition.
This way the "old" players already have the old editions adventures (and it's not too difficult to convert them, especially knowing them inside out by heart as is often the case) and the "new" players are disappointed by the (very well known...) design flaws that nowadays are even more glaring than at the time. A lose-lose situation, unfortunately.
 

GameOgre

Explorer
3 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

The adventures are hit and miss and those they picked well,some of them are known to have issues. Issues that were ignored as the entire adventure was just converted over. Still,well worth the money and it has several top notch adventures alongside several ehh ones.

The book at least is very well made without any of the issues WOTC sometimes has.
 

Daramere

Visitor
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Tales from the Yawning Portal has a few truly good adventures (such as the early 3E adventures from Bruce Cordell and Keith Baker), a lot of nostalgia (such as Gary Gygax penned adventures from the late 70s), and one that might be both (Dead in Thay). Those classic "killer dungeons," however, are best only approached by those who want that specific experience, as they do not have a modern roleplaying sensibility.
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
5 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Honesty - I had already purchased the hardback collection 'Dungeons of Dread (S1 - S4)' a while back and converted them all to 5E for my tabletop. With that in mind, the White Plume Mountain and Tomb of Horrors being extracted, instead of paying for 7 classic 'adventures', I paid for 5 and I still found it very much worth the money. A fantastic, beautiful product.
 

SharnDM

Explorer
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

[FONT=&quot]Tales from the Yawning Portal features seven iconic adventures and dungeons collected from the 40+ year history of Dungeons and Dragons. Updated for the fifth edition of the game we are treated with some of the most famous titles out there, not only from the early days but with many picked from the pages of years recently past as well. Another nice little touch is adding in details of the Yawning Portal itself in the introduction for GMs to use in their campaigns.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I love the idea of this book, it holds so much use for just about any Game Master out there. If you are a beginner, the wealth of resources provided to you by having all of these adventures close at hand is simply fantastic. It provides you something to run for your group if you find you aren’t up to crafting one on your own. If, rather, you feel like taking your first crack at adventure design, how could you do worse than some of the most famous quests ever built? Experienced GMs will likely use this book to run some of these iconic games for fun or pull ideas from the pages. Either way, this book has some serious use![/FONT]
 

guachi

Visitor
1 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

I really wanted to like it. Enough that I bought it as soon as it came out. But it fails as a reprint/update of old modules for a few reasons. Several of the adventures were already reprinted in the S series reprint book making them available in their original form for use in your game.

The updates aren't very good. A bit of time on a DM's part and you can run the original adventures, which are available for $5 in PDF form.

The book just isn't worth your time or money.
 

pogre

Adventurer
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

I'm old. I'm nostalgic. I'm certainly the target for these great old adventures that I remember playing over the years. It's hard for me to be critical of this release as a result.
 

Enrico Poli1

Explorer
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

It's nice to have together these classic adventures with new, fantastic art.
I could say that they were made easier for the new edition, and that hurts, especially for Against the Giants and the Tomb!
Another flaw is the presence of Dead in Thay, absolutely out-of-place in this anthology of classics.
Otherwise a strong book, I hope WoTC will produce others of this kind.
 
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

5 classic adventures in one go? Yes, that is what you get, and the adventures are very nice. Starless Citadel is in my mind a perfect adventure for new players.
But!
While there ARE alot of content here, alot of it is crammed in. The maps are tiny and kind of useless when you need em, so you'd have to print them out seperately. Playing without the m seperatly is just not gonna happen.

It would be nice if they could supply us with detachable, bigger version of the maps folded at the end, or something.
 
4 out of 5 rating for Tales from the Yawning Portal

Experience this as a player, and enjoyed the episodic nature of the adventures much much much more than the overlong, tedious 10+ level 5e campaigns I've played in
 

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