Review: D & D’s Yawning Portal Comes to Life as a 3D Tavern Land Set

Every big Dungeons & Dragons campaign begins in a Tavern (except when it isn’t). There is no more famous tavern in the entire 5th Edition than The Yawning Portal Inn. In November 2020, Polygon announced that WizKids was bringing this tavern to life as a modular plastic kit, and last week they sent us the very first unit off the assembly line. I’ve been playing with it for a few days, and I’m a little blown away.

This nearly $ 400 item is slightly different from what we were originally shown in digital mockups, but it’s easily one of the most impressive and detailed terrain sets I’ve ever had. seen. Basically it’s the GI Joe Aircraft Carrier for Dungeon Masters, something that could easily become the centerpiece of your ongoing home campaign.

Photo: Charlie Hall and Photo: Charlie Hall / Polygon

The Yawning Portal has been featured in three recent books published by Wizards of the Coast. Tales of the gaping portal features its owner, a mysterious retired adventurer named Durnan, and includes a revised edition of the famous Tomb of Horrors among his many unrelated adventures. Water depth: dragon break, which we reviewed in 2018, actually starts inside the tavern and comes back to it several times throughout the adventure. During this time, Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage uses the famous water point as a unique center throughout the adventure. In it, players will delve again and again into the titular Yawn Portal – a gateway to a multi-level deadly dungeon that lurks beneath the ancient city.

A winch and a platform, used to lower adventurers into the Undermountain.

Photo: Charlie Hall / Polygon

WizKid’s interpretation of this portal itself is pretty smart. It includes a luminous infinity mirror which, once its highly reflective surface is set, remains extremely evocative at the table. But the real treasure here is the bar itself, which features cabinets that open and close, a plethora of translucent-colored plastic bottles, and plenty of beer mugs.

I noticed this wasn’t quite what I expected, and that’s because the first mockups shown last year featured two additional cardboard stories rising above the ground floor. of the road. The end product only includes one story, but it’s made of sturdy plastic, like the rest of the set. I actually don’t see this as a big deal because the higher you stack things up on the table surface, the more chance you have of spilling something. I will mainly be using this set without the second story attached at all.

A pillar and a staircase to support the second floor.

Photo: Charlie Hall / Polygon

An adventurer stands in front of the gaping portal

Photo: Charlie Hall / Polygon

Everything included in the set is pre-painted, which means a multi-colored base coat and simple shading. Out of the box the finish is decent. Durnan looks dashing, and all the colors match everywhere. All components are well formed, free of flashings and mold lines, carefully glued together if necessary, and properly painted. Experienced painters can really elevate the look here with a few quick highlights or a dry brushing.

Clips hold the floor together, while a light hearth is shaped like a goblin face.

Modular floor tiles are double-sided, with wood on one side and slab on the other.
Photo: Charlie Hall / Polygon

A particularly nice touch is the entire Yawning Portal branding, which is stamped onto small plastic barrels, the bed linen upstairs and woven into the leaded faux glass windows up front. WizKids even included a small statue of Tymora that players can drop a coin on for good luck as they descend into the Undermountain.

If you are looking to run Dragon heist, which is a great little introductory campaign, be aware that this set can easily be reconfigured to replace Trollskull Manor. This is another Waterdavian Inn that player characters can acquire during the adventure. You can choose to purchase one or two additional sets of Warlock Tiles to build the full three story layout, or you can simply rearrange the floor tiles included with the Portal Yawn set as needed and omit some walls and doors.

Seven miniatures standing in front of a stage where a bard is playing.

The Friendly Faces Pack includes all of the important Yawning Portal non-player characters featured in Water depth: dragon break.
Photo: Charlie Hall / Polygon

WizKids also offers a extension kit with more tables, chairs and bar sections to make the tavern of your dreams. He also has a set of miniatures called the Friendly Faces Pack, seven characters who figure prominently in Dragon heist. This set even includes Volothamp “Volo” Geddarm, the main quest giver of this campaign and the fictional author of The Volo Monster Guide.

No firm delivery window is available at this time, but pre-orders are now open. Expect the sets to start rolling out over the next few weeks and months as they arrive from manufacturing overseas.

Realms D&D Icons: The Yawning Portal Inn has been reviewed with the final retail product supplied by WizKids. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, although Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased through affiliate links. You can find more information on Polygon’s ethics policy here.

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