As we saw just a few days ago, the Dungeons And Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer has already generated a lot of interest from fans of the world’s most popular role-playing game. Those fans have been pouring over the trailer for easter eggs and references from the game, and so have we. To that end, we thought we’d collate a few of favourite D&D easter eggs from the trailer. Some were fairly obvious and may leap right out at longtime players and DM’s. Others may have flown under the radar.
Before we begin, apologies for the blurry nature of some of the screenshots in this piece. I had to grab them from the trailer itself because a lot of the things we’re going to talk about here are blink-and-you’ll-miss-it affairs.
The first thing long-time players will have figured out are the classes of the film’s core cast. Here’s the full list:
Chris Pine is playing Edgin, a bard.
Michelle Rodriguez is playing Holga, a barbarian.
Regé-Jean Page is playing Xenk, a paladin.
Justice Smith is playing Simon, a sorcerer.
Sophia Lillis is playing Doric, a druid.
And Hugh Grant is playing Forge, a rogue.
The Gelatinous Cube is one of the most well-known and recognisable foes in the D&D canon, so it makes sense to see it pop up in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. The Gelatinous Cube was originally designed as a monster of convenience for dungeon masters. Its size, 10 x 10 feet, was the exact size of a battle map tile in older editions. This allowed dungeon masters to hide the Cube in dungeon hallways, in plain sight. Anyone that stumbles into the Gelatinous Cube is caught within it and slowly dissolved unless it can be destroyed or the player freed. In the current 5th Edition ruleset, DM’s quietly roll to see if the Cube contains some sort of tell or giveaway that could warn the party. You can actually see one of these tells in the picture above: a skull floats within the cube, a previous victim.
Say the words ‘Displacer Beast’ to experienced D&D players and they will likely groan at you. These are panther-like creatures with six legs and a pair of plant-like pads on tentacles that extrude from their backs. Displacer Beasts are pack animals and are named for their magical ability to bend light around themselves, allowing them to appear nearer or farther from their prey than they actually are. Though spells like Dispel Magic do nothing to keep the Displacer Beast at bay, True Sight can be used to detect the beast’s actual position. A Phase Trap spell also works quite well. Don’t have a magic user in the party? Good luck.
Another classic D&D monster. Mimics are monsters that can take on the shape of any mundane object to avoid detection. If disturbed, they reveal a mouthful of large, sharp teeth, and attempt to restrain and devour their prey with a long, prehensile tongue coated in adhesive saliva.
Owlbears are iconic and instantly recognisable D&D monsters. Fearsome in combat and cutting a recognisable figure, many a player character has met their end at the claws of an owlbear they were trying to tame. There is some debate online around Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves depicting a druid character seemingly casting Wildshape to turn into an Owlbear. According to the rules of 5th Edition D&D, technically, the druid should not be able to turn into an Owlbear. The reason for this is that Wildshape allows the caster to turn into any Beast they’ve previously encountered. Under the rules, Owlbears are not considered Beasts, they are considered Monstrosities.
However, the rules lawyers have forgotten the most important part of any good Dungeons & Dragons game, and that’s to have fun. If you want to turn your druid into an Owlbear using one of the class’s signature spells, and you can sufficiently justify the transformation to your dungeon master, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to do it. Some people want to stick rigidly to the rules at all times. Those people are boring. Life is short: turn into an Owlbear.
Black And Red Dragons
Dragons, obviously, are a core component in Dungeons & Dragons, and the trailer for Honor Among Thieves features two of them. The first dragon we see is a Black Dragon. This is a dangerous, lithe, rotten-tempered swamp dweller that spews acid rather than fire. A fully-grown Black Dragon, in its lair, is a nightmare for most parties to deal with.
And then we have the Red Dragon. This is the classic D&D specimen, the monster on the front of the vintage Red Box. Red Dragons do spew fire and are much larger than other variants. They are ill-tempered too but are also smarter than the average kobold. This intelligence gives them a wide capacity for cruelty. Red Dragons are notorious bullies and tyrants, creating misery for entertainment’s sake.
I know I already used this picture of Sophia Lillis earlier in this piece, but I’m using it again because you can see her horns quite clearly. Lillis’ character, Doric, is a Tiefling. In the D&D canon, Tieflings are humans that come from an Infernal bloodline — this may mean they have demonic heritage, their line was cursed at some point, or that someone in their family did a literal deal with a devil. Often, Tieflings have red-tinted skin and horns. Doric only displays the horns (and a tail, as seen on the poster with the party in silhouette). Tieflings are a popular background pick among new D&D players: they look cool and they match well with most classes, particularly spellcasters.
The Underdark is a popular campaign setting within the main Forgotten Realms world of Dungeons & Dragons. It is a sprawling subterranean network of cities, caves, and dungeons, and is home to the Drow, a race of dark-skinned elves. For years, the Drow have been considered the “evil” elven subrace in D&D, but recent changes to the established lore have seen the Drow reinvented, less inherently evil and more morally complex as a society.
Icewind Dale and Revel’s End
Icewind Dale is a long-standing location in the Forgotten Realms, a frozen region to the north of the continent of Faerûn. The site of many popular adventures, including the 2020 module Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frost Maiden, and two classic computer RPGs from the late ’90s and early 2000s, there are many fans with a soft spot for Icewind Dale. Of particular note is the prison that the characters appear to be held in during the trailer. This must surely be Revel’s End, a prison created for The Rime of the Frostmaiden campaign. A cool nod to both an older D&D setting and a newer location within it.
The seat of commerce and power within modern D&D, Waterdeep has become Faerûn’s wealthy capital. The site of many urban intrigue adventures, it is a city of business, politics, trade, and infinitely warring organised crime. The city rose to its lofty position in 5th Edition D&D, after a volcanic eruption left a large swath of the northern capital, Neverwinter, severely damaged. Rather than use their fortunes to rebuild the city, many of Neverwinter’s ruling class decamped for Waterdeep instead. The city recently appeared in the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign and its follow-up, Dungeon of the Mad Mage. If your character comes from money, they almost certainly come from Waterdeep.
And that’s all the easter eggs we’ve spotted in the Dungeons And Dragons: Honor Among Thieves trailer so far. Did we miss any? Are you excited about the film? Did you ever watch the old one from the 2000s and are you still recovering from it? Sound off in the comments below.