DMs Guild Review – Mordenkainen’s Tome of Marvelous Magic

A compendium of 200 wondrous magic items from the mad mage.

A review copy of “Mordenkainen’s Tome of Marvelous Magic” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: M. T. Black

The only thing I know about Mordenkainen is that he’s a powerful wizard, a bit of a nutter, and has his own sprawling mega-dungeon complex under Waterdeep.

(Editor’s Note: Foolish Eric confused Mordenkainen with Halaster. Our deepest apologies to both wizards).

It makes perfect sense that the mage mage would also have a vault of magical items. Mordenkainen’s Tome of Marvelous Magic includes 200 wondrous magic items, and you won’t find a single +1 sword among them.

The layout and organization is directly inspired from D&D 5e official material. It looks great, though it’s a shame that every single piece of art is lifted from the Dungeon Master’s Guide and other official sources. I’ve been staring at these same magic item pictures so much over the years – give me something new!

Many DMs Guild products like to personalize their product with an in-game character, but often they’re relegated to the preface or even just the title. I appreciate that Mordenkainen appears throughout the supplement in the form of hand-written notes and commentary on several items, even if his personality is a little dry.

Unfortunately these author notes are written in an annoyingly difficult-to-read cursive font. Maybe it’s just me but I have to stare at each word for several seconds before I can parse what it is, especially when they run together, turning a great idea into a component I nearly skipped altogether.

dms guild review

It took me until about halfway through when I realized the unique theme of this magic item supplement – not a single weapon or piece of armor! These magic items are all firmly in the Wondrous Item category, which includes everything from musical instruments to magical beads, blankets, quills, and mirrors.

Two hundred items is a huge number, and they’re not all clever or interesting, like the Saw of Cutting or Rake of Smoothing, but there is a very satisfying ratio of cool new ideas and concepts.

Place the Quill of Necromancy with some parchment on a corpse, ask three questions, and watch the quill write the responses.  Use the Bridle of Speaking to turn your horse (or any mount) into your magical talking super best friend, catch monsters Pokémon style with the Cage of Entrapment, and summon a small army of zombies with Bugle of Reviving.

I particularly enjoy the punny and alliterative magic items, such as the Divan of Divination and Xylophone of Xenomorphy. Did I mention this supplement has the best variety of magic musical instruments I’ve ever seen for D&D? Harps, flutes, horns, drums, bagpipes, and no fewer than three hand-gongs, all with fun little abilities and effects. Bards rise up!

Mordenakinen’s Tome of Marvelous Magic also includes four d100 random magic item tables, one for each rarity. Even if I’m not going to use the actual loot table, it’s helpful seeing all the new items organized by tier level, and I’m pleased to report that the majority of these items fall into the Uncommon and Rare categories. Lower-magic campaigns should get a lot of use out of these items, or anyone looking to spruce up their loot tables without resorting to weapons or potions.

Pros:

  • Professional layout and design.
  • 200 wondrous magical items (as opposed to weapons and armor).
  • D100 loot tables organized by rarity.
  • Fun item commentaries from the mad mage himself.

Cons:

  • Art is all re-used from the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
  • Cursive script for Mordenkainen commentary is difficult to read.

The Verdict: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Marvelous MAgic features a large variety of new wondrous items, from magical Blankets and Chalices to the Xylophone of Xenomorphy.

A review copy of “Mordenkainen’s Tome of Marvelous Magic” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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