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Dawn of the Overmind is a 68-page adventure module for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition released in October 1998. It is for a party of four to six characters of levels 8 to 10.

It is based on mind flayer sourcebook Monstrous Arcana: The Illithiad (1998), Bruce Cordell's definitive work on the mind flayer. The module is the third part of the illithid trilogy, preceded by A Darkness Gathering (1998) and Masters of Eternal Night (1998).

Spoiler alert: The following article contains spoilers for an adventure module.

Official synopsis[]

A new age dawns . . . an age of terror!

They are close. I can feel them even stronger, now. It won't be long before the Masters come again. I have waited for them, waited for their return. Once they extinguish the Light, the true Dawn can begin.

The illithids once ruled a mighty empire that stretched across many worlds. These foul creatures enslaved or destroyed whole races in their quest for ultimate power - until a rebellion spread like fire on dry plains. The mind flayer empire toppled, and the multiverse was freed from eternal servitude.

Now, a hundred suns burn toward extinction, their light stolen by the flayers to reinvent their past. If the PCs do not stop the new dawn, the Dawn of the Overmind, the illithids will rule once again! Following the clues left by their benefactor, the adventurers journey over a vast world of ancient ruins. Buried deeply within these ruins lies an artifact of ancient illithid manufacture. This item is all that stands between the illithids and their nefarious goal: complete and utter domination.

Dawn of the Overmind is the third adventure in a trilogy (originating with A Darkness Gathering and continuing in Masters of Eternal Night). It can be played alone or linked with the other two parts of the trilogy to form an epic-length adventure. The illithid trilogy supports The Illithiad, a MONSTROUS ARCANA® supplement that contains invaluable information on every facet of illithid life, psychology, technology, and ability.

Content[]

Backstory and plot[]

The party has uncovered a plot by mind flayers to blot out the sun. Their adventure lead them to a nautiloid, a plane-shifting illithid ship. Now they head to the illithid world Penumbra to finish them for good.

The book introduces the the artifact Annulus, the items bonethriven of mastery, laethen, Ilsensine's Ring, staff of ancient penumbra, and Vibrissagauntlet; the spell vivimancy; and the monsters illithocyte and voor larva.

Development and release[]

Development[]

The book was written by Bruce R. Cordell. Art was provided by Jeff Easley and Glen Michael Angus.

The illithid homeworld is inspired by the Alderson Discs in Larry Niven's Bigger than Worlds.

Release[]

Dawn of the Overmind was released by Wizards of the Coast in October 1998 for $13.95 US or $18.95 Canadian.

On June 20, 2017, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $9.99.

Reception and influence[]

Critical reception[]

As of 2023, Dawn of the Overmind reached the rank of Gold seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

External links[]

References[]


Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition
Core rules
Player's HandbookDungeon Master Guide
Monstrous Compendium Volume OneMonstrous Compendium Volume TwoMonstrous Manual
First QuestIntroduction to Advanced Dungeons & Dragons GameThe Complete Starter SetDungeons & Dragons Adventure Game
Optional core rules
Player's Option: Combat & TacticsPlayer's Option: Skills & PowersPlayer's Option: Spells & Magic
Dungeon Master Option: High-Level CampaignsCampaign Option: Council of Wyrms
Supplement lines
Player's Handbook Rules SupplementDungeon Master's Guide Rules Supplement
Monstrous Compendium AppendixMonstrous Compendium Annual
Encyclopedia MagicaHistorical ReferenceThe Magic EncyclopediaMonstrous ArcanaPriest's Spell CompendiumWizard's Spell Compendium
Other supplements
Bastion of FaithBook of ArtifactsCastle SitesChronomancerCity SitesCollege of WizardryCountry SitesDen of ThievesDungeon Builder's GuidebookGuide to HellLegends & LoreRogues' GalleryShamanTome of MagicThe Vortex of Madness and Other Planar PerilsWarriors of HeavenWorld Builder's Guidebook
Adventures
The Apocalypse StoneAxe of the Dwarvish LordsCleric's Challenge (II) • The Dancing Hut of Baba YagaDestiny of KingsDie Vecna Die!Dragon MountainDungeons of DespairFighter's Challenge (II) • The Gates of Firestorm PeakA Hero's TaleLabyrinth of MadnessThe Lost Shrine of BundushaturMoonlight MadnessThe Murky DeepNight Below: An Underdark CampaignA Paladin in HellReturn to the Tomb of HorrorsReverse DungeonRoad to DangerThe Rod of Seven PartsThe Shattered CircleThe Silver KeySwamplightTale of the CometTales of EnchantmentTemple, Tower, & TombThief's Challenge (II) • TSR Jam 1999Wizard's Challenge (II)
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