Supplement Review: Tales from the Yawning Portal

Greetings, dear readers and welcome to all you new folk!

In this quick post I’ll be reviewing the latest Dungeons and Dragons supplement, Tales from the Yawning Portal. What’s great about this book has to be the seven (yes! seven!) adventures packed into the nice hard cover. While they’ve all been previously released either in first edition, third edition, or the play test that occurred between forth and fifth edition, DND Next.

For me, one of the best parts of the book has to be the creature blocs and items! Those alone make up a substantial portion of the fun of this purchase. I’ve played in five for the assembled adventures and DM’d two of them. I definitely recommend all five of the modules that I’ve experienced.

I’m not ashamed to say I have not played the classic Against the Giants or White Plume Mountain (who wants to run these for me?) but of course I’d love to. Especially Giants, which was written for tournament level play. I’ll be giving a short review of each of the remaining adventures below. Enjoy!

Sunless Citadel

My sweet spot: I love intro adventures for 1st level characters. Especially one’s that are so classic in terms of the three pillars of D&D. The Sunless Citadel and it’s various levels are bursting with fun. It even involves a Dragon. This module will always have a place in my heart as one of my first 3E experiences and such a memorable dungeon to boot. I’ve enjoyed Dungeon Mastering this adventure for groups of beginners and look forward to doing so again in 5th edition! Totally recommended for first time Dungeon Masters!





Forge of Fury

Nothing less than D&D at it’s best: a historical feud, lost Dwarven treasures, a stout and well defended Dwarven stronghold occupied by orcs and all other manner of deadly beast that the heroes must breach. The adventure’s epic narrative scale pairs with a surprisingly robust dungeon with great differentiating ecology. Also memorable because it has a Dragon.






Dead in Thay

I ran this one in Public Play at the Twenty Sided Store. It was a brutal grinding adventure and just bonkers off the wall in terms of the story and setting. I loved it. If you are looking for a megadungeon, behold for your search has doth been completed. This adventure takes the trophy for most amount of pages in the new supplement. It can only be described as gargantuan. While there aren’t any Dragons, there’s basically every thing else you’ve always (OR NEVER) wanted to test your mettle against.



Tomb of Horrors

This 1st edition adventure can o only be called (in)famous. It has such a following that the story of the tomb has been republished and expanded in every edition of D&D. I played int he 3E Return to Tomb of Horrors adventure module which was a fabulous story. However I’m quite positive it can’t compare to the sheer death machine that the 1st edition dungeon still presents. The update should be a blast to try!

Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan

My first experience with the 1st edition ruleset, this truly iconic adventure places the action in an Aztec like pyramid the the adventurers must explore and escape. The puzzles and monsters are fun and incredibly memorable. I was happy to see that the art pieces from the 1E adventure have been beautifully updated as well. Definitely a winner.
At the front of the book, the Yawning Portal gets more detailing and even a few random tables. The bar is definitely a fun to place in one’s own game located either in the Forgotten Realm’s  Waterdeep, a big city, or somewhere else in your home game.

All in all, this purchase has totally been what I’m looking and very much worth it. Highly recommended all around!


About Berling

Ken Breese (he) Writer, Narrative Designer, and Game Master for hire focused on Inclusion, Table Top RPGs, Nerd Culture, Critical Thinking, and the Politics of Gaming.
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