Thursday Treasurepile #3: Liber Bestarius
Every Thursday has a short summary of gaming product. If there are at least 20 unique comments under that review, we’ll give away whatever we’ve reviewed to the reader who posts a ‘+5 comment’ for it. i.e. based upon whether the staff here either got something useful out of reading your post or maybe just LOL’d at your reply. And yes, employees of DMing or their family members are not eligible, although their comments do count towards the 20 minimum requirement. Readers can post multiple times- say if responding to another post- but still only get counted once towards the 20. Contests run for a full-week, so if a book reviewed doesn’t get the full 20, it’ll stay eligible until it both does & the next review comes out.
Our other books to be given away- Love & War- The Sourcebook of Knights & Chivalry- + Classic Play Book of Adventuring still have not been given away, so please check it out & go post there as well. Need a few more posts there before its eligible to be won. Come on readers, we need your help here!
So Eden Studios’ Liber Bestarius- The Book of Beasts by Matthew Colville. A 160-page perfect-bound hardback book from 2002 (MSRP $27) that gives us 61 new monsters, several of which are ranked ‘High’ for PC-suitable races. (Other monsters are Medium, Low, & Zero) . Each monster gets at least 2 full pages as well as an illustration. In addition to the usual stats/numbers, there is a brief background explaining the monster, several paragraphs on their physiology/habitat, & then a section detailing their usual combat tactics. Lastly every beastie has a few story hooks for how to introduce them into your campaign, as well as any PC Suitability- Medium means that 1 or 2 things would have to be changed while Low literally means unique- “the character would be the only one of its kind in a given campaign world.” Zero being ‘no way.”
Obviously fresh monsters can always be useful- the more creatures a DM can draw from, the more interesting an encounter can be. So even being able to include a few of these in a game would help keep things fresh for those who have been through the various Monster Manuals. Even without that factor, there is worthwhile material here. These Platinum Pieces are a combination of things. Eden Studios’ has a neat feature they call ‘Instant Badass’ which is essentially a pretty tough NPC, all ready to meet your PCs. Each is given a name, an illustration (a few with a full=page), equipment appropriate to their CR, & their own personal backstory. Incredibly handy & something more such monster books should do.
The other Platinum aspect to the Bestarius is the overall organization. Eden Studios has a simply awesome Appendix. They start by listing the 2 new Feats (Planar Adaption & Speed of Thought) they made, then organize the creatures by size, Type/Subtype, CR, Level Experience, & then Alignment, Climate/Terrain. All the Instant Badasses are listed along with their Class Level & pages. Finally there is a list of any of these monsters that might be brought by Monster Summoning. Very easy to find the right beastie for the right spot.
Alright DMing Readers, get those comments posted. Remember, we need at least 20 before we can select someone’s to be the ‘+5 comment‘ & win this book for themselves!