Content: Four masks with a diverse spread of granted abilities
Writing: Focused on clean delivery of the masks’ effects
Art/design: Noh masks, paper texture, and kanji establish a distinct cultural theme
Usability: Spiral text may be challenging to read but is an interesting design choice; the masks themselves may serve as a compelling adventure hook
Concept: “The mother of abominations woke up expecting after a feast held in the pits of doom and gloom.”
Content: 40 diverse monsters to add depth and flavor; many truly striking concepts
Writing: Some evocative prose and poetry; first- and second-person instructional text adds a personal tone but may break immersion for some readers
Art/design: Skillfully captures Mörk Borg’s aesthetic
Usability: Streamlined stat blocks, clear tables, and instructional text for linked entries and creature categories
Content: Monsters and scriptures and dungeons, Oh my!
Writing: Text ranges from bloviated to concise; brisk to simple. But it is reliably miserable.
Art/design: A menagerie of styles as creative and varied as the community which spawned them.
Usability: Divided in three sections with a full index to aid navigation. Entries of varied accessibility and ease of reference at your table.
Content: Danger noodle (sometimes called a nope rope)
Writing: Stat block and a mechanically straightforward but still twisted special ability
Art/design: An object lesson in pictures being worth a thousand words
Usability: Special damage adds more nuance to an already sturdy monster
Content: A formidable four-legged opponent
Writing: Quick, concise stat block
Art/design: Relatively conservative but with an expressive illustration
Usability: A challenge for lower- and even mid-level scvm; dog biscuits probably won’t improve its reaction
Content: A basilisk-bonding, child-abducting, palace of a flesh crawl.
Writing: A full-bodied blend of humor and horror that spares no raw material.
Art/design: A well-built manor of an adventure design, with tormented sketches, and fleshy full-color illustrations.
Usability: Easily referenced adventure design. A follow-up to Den of Disarray.
Content: A handy horror
Writing: A stat block with a pair of Specials
Art/design: Integration of title with illustration is wonderfully creepy and fitting for the concept
Usability: May give PCs the munchies (for hand meat)
Content: A sneaky centipede that mimics rope and then kills you (hence the name)
Writing: Stats and Special, straight and to the point
Art/design: Skullipede front and center
Usability: A good “gotcha!” hazard for malicious GMs
Content: An endless nightmare of forced commerce
Writing: Concise with subtle humor; highly effective in both capacities
Art/design: Look at the map. Realize you’re in hell.
Usability: Escape is an option, but winning isn’t
Content: A monster that cuts your head off and then uses it as armor. Awesome.
Writing: Stat block and special ability description deliver necessary information with diction and imagery that support the creature concept
Art/design: Stylized title and unobtrusive text place due emphasis on the illustration
Usability: Potentially lethal for any PC who relies on keeping their head attached
Content: An anti-wish granting monster
Writing: A modest stat block and a qualitative special ability
Art/design: Shrouded, horned-monster-headed dude—not scary at all
Usability: Not to be confused with gin, but both will leave you unhappy
Content: A 10-room dungeon with an additional class, a short solo prequel, variant Misery, and exclusive monster
Writing: Sharp and full of character
Art/design: Clearly, cleanly laid out with evocative illustrations
Usability: Includes death and abuse of animals, but nothing graphic or explicit
This entry was sponsored by Bookkeeper as part of the Ex Libris RPG crowdfunding campaign.
Content: A monster mimicking a suit of armor
Writing: A short paragraph of flavor text, stat block, and a rule for retail ambush
Art/design: Juxtaposes text and image against an interesting multi-textured ground
Usability: Handy for GMs who really want to catch PCs with their guards down
Content: A corruption-based monster
Writing: Quick, concise stat block
Art/design: Illustration’s reticulations reinforce the Special’s effects
Usability: May cause abrupt character death through damage or transformation