5e Creature Collection Question

Jon Hodgson


[FONT=&quot]I'm looking for some opinions about 5e monster books, and I thought you guys might have some.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]My name is Jon Hodgson, and I’m leading the 5e Scarred Lands Creature Collection project for Handiwork Games.

 We’re working with Onyx Path to convert the best, and best-loved, Scarred Lands monsters from the rich history of the Creature Collection to 5e. We’ll be hitting Kickstarter in the near future.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]As well as converting a ton of fan-favourite Scarred Lands creatures, we’re really keen on making a strongly useable monster collection for your table. We have some cool features we’re working on right now aimed at making the Creature Collection really easy to use, and helpful to the DM. I wanted to cast a wider net though and ask [/FONT][FONT=&quot]you[/FONT][FONT=&quot] what you look for in a published monster collection.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Let me know, and if you have questions for me, please feel free to ask those too![/FONT]


Lowcountry Low Roller
I'm not sure I have any great insight into this but I do like to have lots of monster options, so more is great! Yay! The biggest ease-of-use aspect (and something that Creature Codex includes) are multiple indexes based on CR, environment as well as simple alphabetical. If there was someway to download a condensed PDF of pure stat blocks that would be awesome (though understandable if you thought that to be too risky). Currently I transcribe monster stat blocks to my own format for use at the table and while that does help familiarize me with each monster and its capabilities it is a bit time consuming...

In some ways I'd like monster books to be focused on a particular environment. "Denizens of the Underdark", "Creatures from the Deep", etc. But a gazetteer for a particular setting is also very useful.

Looking forward to seeing the kickstarter, good luck!


Ecology / Society / Tactics.

Just a bunch of stat blocks is not very useful. I want to know things like how a certain monster fits into the world. How many or what types I might find, and where. And how they are going to act. Are they aggressive and charge in? Do they make lairs with numerous traps or exits and dead falls? How do they use their combination of abilities to stay alive and achieve their goals?

Honestly, I don't want to have to ponder how best their abilities work to make them dangerous. Tell me.


Evocative monster descriptions.

I like reading about them in their intended context and having a solid enough monster concept to use them in my own games out of that context. I've used the venom golem, I think it was from Creature Collection II, in a pathfinder game set in Freeport as a serpent man guardian monster, for instance. But also I like reading about Mormo messing around to create creatures and her druids creating things in her honor. A lot of great Scarred Lands lore came from monster entries.

Good art for monster books also really helps.

I've written for some of the Creature Collections, played in the Scarred Lands, own a bunch of their materials, incorporated some SL stuff into my homebrew campaign, and I run a 5e game so I am rooting for you guys to do a great job.


Jewel of the North
Will you be the lead artist for the book? I'm a patreon member for your battle map, bought most of C7 material and discovered my favorite game, Beyond the Wall, while looking for more art made by you, so a monster manual illustrated by you is an instant buy for me.

I'd like monster with more moving parts, and more interesting abilities. More damage and HP doesnt make for more interesting monsters. I think you should focus on monsters with interesting abilities that are usable at low-ish levels. Most of the 5e's creatures with cool abilities are too high level to be used with regularly.

Jon Hodgson

Thanks everyone!

Yeah good stuff here, thank you. A great deal that is in line with our aims, which is good to know!

We definitely want VTT integration.
I will be doing a bunch of art on the book - there will be some other familiar names too.

And thanks for your patrongage vincegetorix! :)


Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
My favorite monster book from any D&D / d20 type game is the 13th Age Bestiary. A couple of the things that leap out at me:

Most monsters are collections. The start with a good piece of art (in a consistent style across the book) and at least 1/4 page general write up, more often 1/2-1 page. It doesn't need art for each entry

The write-up is written in an evocative style, often dropping little hooks and details that a DM can incorporate into their world, connections to other monsters, etc.

As a side note, B&W line art can be good. If it's good quality and consistent in style that's good enough for me.

They include variations across a number of levels so I can keep them relevant without having to write them out of the story. And that the leader from an encounter in their early levels can be the cannon fodder in an adventure a bunch of levels later.

The stat blocks are short, starting with a short evocative description of the specific variation. Every single one has an unusual ability that will strongly flavor the encounter. Every. Single. One.

(They also often have a 13th Age thing called a "Nastier Special", which are optional special abilities to represent a more unique, dangerous version.)

After the stat blocks there's a section or more that just fleshes them out. Names, things they horde, things found in their pockets|stomach, their lairs. And almost always often a Building Battles section and an Adventure Hooks section.