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Wednesday, 21st March, 2007, 12:16 AM #1
Minor Trickster (Lvl 4)
Cooper's Corrected Creature Codex: A - C
Any publisher that has had a product reviewed by John Cooper knows that his attention to detail, especially with stat blocks and game mechanics, is second to none. His reviews are always insightful and offer a publisher not only constructive criticism, but also the chance to actually improve the product being reviewed. I know that I have learned a lot by reading John Cooper’s reviews, in addition to having him review my own products.
It does not surprise me in the least that an enterprising publisher, Dog Soul in this case, saw Mr. Cooper’s talents as not only a valuable resource behind the scenes as an editor and proofreader, but also as a marketable commodity that could be utilized by the RPG industry at large. As a publisher and freelance editor, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this, and it, and the upcoming installments in the series, will be an invaluable addition to my reference library.
Cooper’s Corrected Creature Codex is, I think, a bit of a niche product, as it is probably of more use to publishers and editors in the RPG industry than the average player or DM. I would think that the minutia of synergy skills and some of the other minor corrections would be of little importance to the average player, but to editors and publishers, who often copy from the SRD (flawed as it is), these corrections are worth their weight in gold.
The first product in this series details monsters from A-C, and John Cooper identifies and corrects a heap of errors in the collected stat blocks. Some of these errors are relatively minor, such as the above mentioned synergy skills, but others are pretty glaring, and I find it a little appalling that WoTC did not catch these missteps in a “core” rule book.
John Cooper details all of the changes he makes to a particular monster in a text box at the end of the entry called “Cooper’s Comments”. These comments are both informative and insightful, and some of the changes made are not necessarily mechanical in nature, as Mr. Cooper corrects thematic issues he sees in certain monsters. These thematic changes are very well done and usually involve swapping out feats and skills with ones that are more appropriate to the monster than those originally presented.
The layout of the book is clean and well ordered, if a bit Spartan, and is easy to read and navigate thanks to a complete set of bookmarks. There are three black and white pieces of art in the book, including the cover, a wonderfully humorous piece by Claudio Pozas. The other pieces are simply cropped version of the cover, one depicting a troglodyte and the other an ankheg. Editing and proofreading is top notch, not surprising since it was written by one of the best editors in the business.
The only downside I see to this product is the fact that all of the monsters from the SRD, not just the corrected ones, are reprinted here. Personally, I would have preferred a shorter volume featuring only the corrected monsters, as I can easily get the others free of charge from the SRD.
I give Cooper’s Corrected Creature Codex: A-C 4 out of 5 stars, primarily because of its limited utility to the average player. Viewed solely as a reference product for industry types, it is easily a 5 star product.
Last edited by BLACKDIRGE; Wednesday, 21st March, 2007 at 03:34 AM.
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