Tomb of Annihilation artwork (Wizards of the Coast)

Tomb of Annihilation may suck … the life out of D&D’s risen heroes

Books, Featured, Gaming, PC, PlayStation 4, RPGs, Sci-Fi & Fantasy, Top story, Xbox One

Like an unstoppable army of the undead, the next big wave of Dungeons & Dragons products is coming — but it will be cloaked in the steam of the jungle rather than all that “winter is coming” stuff on TV.

Announced last week in a celebrity live-stream broadcast on Twitch, Tomb of Annihilation, the new adventure storyline coming this fall, will span all current versions of the D&D fantasy gaming brand, from tabletop RPG and tactical boardgame to miniatures and electronic gaming. A series of live-streams starting in July will keep the hype building throughout the summer, while continuing to bust the boundaries of the traditional medieval fantasy roleplaying game.

Tomb of Annihilation kicks off with the discovery of a curse that’s afflicting people who have been raised from the dead. Their bodies are slowly deteriorating – skin, hair, and flesh falling off their bones. Strong divinations point to the source of this curse in the jungle peninsula of Chult, a rich land filled with evil snake people, flying aarakocra and pterafolk, and the remains of a vast army of the undead. Adventurers tasked with stopping the curse must travel to settlements such as Port Nyanzaru to secure guides to lead them into the dense jungle. At the end of the journey, a horrifying villain awaits with a familiar visage. Will you survive?

Tomb of Annihilation artwork (Wizards of the Coast)

Tomb of Annihilation artwork (Wizards of the Coast)

Acererak, the demi-lich from classic Greyhawk’s Tomb of Horrors, is that “familiar visage” mentioned in the official description above.

What a fascinating concept — weaponizing resurrection energy, the most D&D-like fantasy commodity! I do love how the D&D creative team is always putting new spins on beloved old material. And if you don’t like it? Well, no one’s going to raid your bookshelf or take away your campaign notes — or memories. A respect for all versions of the game has been a highlight of the current WotC administration, which has made many older releases available again online and for print-on-demand.

But if you are an eager fan of the newer stuff, I hope you’ve been saving up your captured dragons’ hoards — because there’s a lot of material packed into this new campaign path, maybe the most yet? Here is Wizards of the Coast’s master list of Tomb of Annihilation product releases:

  • Dungeons & Dragons Tomb of Annihilation The Tomb of Annihilation tabletop RPG adventure provides tons of information on exploring the peninsula of Chult. Available for a wide release on September 19, 2017, and in game stores on September 8!
  • Perfect World Entertainment and Cryptic Studios are bringing Tomb of Annihilation to Neverwinter, the free-to-play MMO based on Dungeons & Dragons. Look for Neverwinter: Tomb of Annihilation to debut on PC July 25, and on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 soon after. Find out more at PlayNeverwinter.com.
  • Tomb of Annihilation will be available on the digital tabletops Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds in September 2017.
  • Fans will be able to play D&D Adventurer’s League modules created for Tomb of Annihilation at Origins Game Fair in June and at Hascon in September 8. Find out more at https://hascon.hasbro.com/.
  • In September 2017, Wizards of the Coast will release a Tomb of Annihilation Dice set in a specially designed metal container embossed with the classic green devil face.
  • Coming on July 26, 2017 from WizKids is a new Icons of the Realms set of miniatures for Tomb of Annihilation, including a stone juggernaut, pterafolk and an incentive pack featuring the green devil face.
  • WizKids is making a brand-new Adventure System board game for Tomb of Annihilation that’s compatible with all previous Adventure System board games, available September 2017.
  • WizKids will release a set for Dice Masters based on the storyline in September 2017.
  • This Fall, Gale Force Nine will be releasing three new unpainted figures for D&D Collector’s Series, including a stack of three Batiri goblins and a dinosaur rider.
  • A new Dungeon Masters Screen created especially by Gale Force Nine for Tomb of Annihilation will be available this September.
  • Tomb of Annihilation will be the first adventure for fifth edition D&D officially translated into multiple languages by Gale Force Nine, available later this year.

You can also look for this sourcebook coming later this year from Dungeons & Dragons:

  • Xanathar's Guide to EverythingAvailable everywhere November 21, 2017, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything is a tabletop RPG book expanding options for players and Dungeon Masters, including more than 20 new subclasses, dozens of spells, and more.
  • A limited number of a special alternate-cover edition of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything will be available in game stores on November 10, 2017, featuring a design by illustrator Hydro74 of the beholder crimelord.

I may be more excited about Xanathar’s Guide than anything else on that list. It had me at “beholder crimelord,” but Volo’s Guide to Monsters, released last fall, was a fantastic “Monster Manual” supplement to the game’s core rulebooks, and also had a gaming-store exclusive cover variant. Xanathar looks to do for players what old Volo did for DMs.

Before you raid the Tomb of Annihilation …
Tales From the Yawning Portal
Tales From the Yawning Portal

Now in its 5th Edition, D&D has been mining its brand-aware past with dwarven gusto lately.

Tales from the Yawning Portal, available since April, is the latest release to delve into the vast catalog of adventures and dust them off for a new generation of explorers, resurrecting seven classic dungeons from the game’s four decades and updating them to 5E rules. We received a review copy of the supplement and have been itching to put it into action, so it would be a great way to pass the time (if you have it) before the next big D&D content season kicks off with Tomb of Annihilation.

About Jayson Peters

Nerdvana's founder and owner. Digital editor, social media director, educator. Lifelong Star Wars fan and Trekker who also worships all things Tolkien and Doctor Who.