D&D Campaign Case: Creatures Review

The D&D Campaign Case: Creatures is out, and it's better than I expected. This case provides an alternative to minis for anyone who uses a grid or battle map when they run combat. Minis are great but not everyone has the space to store, let alone the time to paint 3D minis.

Creatures Cover Box.jpg

The actual campaign case is enclosed in a decorative box that's glued shut instead of being the typcal tuck flap boxes WotC has used on Dice & Miscellany sets. Why? Because the case inside is weighty. It's not as heavy as the Invisible Sun Black Cube (what is?), but it's a solid 3.8 pounds.

The actual case inside is brown with metallic gold ink in a design that makes the metallic parts seem to glow when the light hits them. This is a carrying case with a thick, twisted satin rope handle. The case's cardboard is thick so it'll tolerate being carried back and forth to games. I wouldn't leave outside in the rain, but it should take normal wear and tear.

Creature Trio Shot.PNG

One trick though: How to open the actual case isn't obvious at first. The top flap where the rope handle is has a strong magnetic closure so if you just lightly touch the various sides you might not realize where it opens.

When that top flap lifts, the front panel folds out, displaying the original artwork shown on the outer packaging and providing access to the storage box. On top is a folder designed to match the carrying case. Inside are five sheets of vinyl creature clings. Instead of stickers that would stay once placed the clings will attach to the plastic disks with static cling. Then they can be pulled off, put away, and reused in the future. As someone who has had some vinyl cling window decorations for more than 10 years, I think this is a good choice and should wear well.

I also like that one sheet has all of the creatures typically faced by low-level players like kobolds, zombies, goblins, and skeletons. You can literally grab that sheet and go.

I have mixed feelings about the fact that the creatures don't have names on them. The downside is that a DM, especially a new one, will have to match the art to the Monster Manual. On the plus side, players won't know exactly what they're facing if they're new or don't recognize a piece of art.

Creature Stickers.jpg

WotC put some thought into the carrying case's design. For example, a black storage tray is next in the box, but the designers included a a red ribbon that adds style while also being a practical way to pull the tray out. The plastic trays below that also have finger holes to make it easy to carry them around since the discs within the trays are a bit heavy and could be tippy otherwise.

Those two plastic trays are set inside black cardboard inserts so everything can easily fit snugly when repacked for transport. The upper cardboard tray with the red pull ribbon is about an inch deep so there's plenty of room for additional vinyl clings sold in the future.

In terms of those plastic discs, WotC didn't skimp. They're all roughly as thick as two nickels so they won't blow away if you're playing outside. The set contains 40 one-inch diameter discs, 20 two-inch diameter discs, and 4 three-inch diameter discs in a mix of white, black, blue, and red. For context, a one-inch disc is basically the size of a quarter.

Because I don't have space to store minis, I've previously used the Pathfinder Pawns sets because they store flat and are easy to transport without worrying that they'll get crushed in my backpack or game bag. The D&D Campaign Case: Creatures give those a run for their money. Because these creature discs are heavy plastic and vinyl clings they're versatile and easy to transport. You don't even have to bring the whole case. Just bring the folder and a handful or two of discs, or prep your discs with the clings in advance and put them in a Ziploc bag or a pencil case.

Folder.jpg

I fully expect WotC to sell more vinyl cling sheets down the road. Or maybe Spelljammer could get its own creature case. Just selling the clings seems easier, though and could easily be done for each adventure book release. I'll be disappointed if they don't. I also expect third-party D&D content providers, like Kobold Press, to eventually release vinyl clings to match their monster books, like Tome of Beasts.

I really like the D&D Campaign Case: Creatures set, much more than I expected. I'd rank it somewhere between a B+ and an A-. As pretty and well crafted as the actual case is, it's just cardboard so that keeps it from being an A or A+. The cardboard is thick, but how cool would it have been if the set had a metal lunchbox-type case?

Everything else about the D&D Campaign Case: Creatures set is well designed and crafted to be useful, versatile, and easy to transport. It's a great alternative to 3D models and takes a lot less time to prep for a game. Good job, WotC. Keep it up.
 

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Beth Rimmels

Beth Rimmels



Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
I also have the "rarely run in person these days" issue, but if I was I would definitely get this. I think they should make supplemental sheets for all the hardcover adventures.
 

JohnnyZemo

Explorer
It's interesting that WotC has started putting suggested ages on their products. Really curious why this is 12+, but Radiant Citadel is 13+. What is it about Radiant Citadel that a 12 year-old couldn't handle? :)
 

JohnnyZemo

Explorer
And why such a fine distinction in the first place? Is every product going to have a different number? You'd think there'd be a few ratings they'd use over and over, like 8+, 13+, 18+ (not that I expect them to put out any 18+ material).
 


Stormonu

Legend
The age notification allows them to circumvent certain gov’t tests and notifications (For example, the “small parts” for Ages 0-3), allowing for a cheaper product.

Does this have all the MM monsters? It sounds like some may be missing from the base set, and I doubt it includes the monsters from Mord’s/Volo/Multiverse.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
If only they had this a few years ago when I was playing in person and already created my own by gluing printed tokens on paper stock to metal blanks.
 

Larnievc

Adventurer
These are cool looking but since I tend to play online exclusively these days, probably not going to be getting them.
I dunno. I DM online and bought a big magnetic white board. I have the little 4th Ed monster tiles and a bunch of those dinky little magnets I blu tack to them.
 


Larnievc

Adventurer
What do you use them for? Is it for your reference? Like a visual aid?
We are all on Google hangout (or whatever it’s called these days). The players tell me where they want there characters to go or attack etc and I do all the measuring.

I draw the scenery on with marker pens and rub it out when they move on the the next bit. Makes all the positioning shenanigans possible and I can draw on area of effects, note status effects , hps, etc.

Been doing this way for a couple of years. Luckily I still have a bunch of old 4th ed monster tokens.
 


fjw70

Explorer
Despite having a large minis collection, I picked this up and I really like it. It could be good as a backup or when improvising away from home. Bit the product need to be supported a lot to reach its potential.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
If only they had this a few years ago when I was playing in person and already created my own by gluing printed tokens on paper stock to metal blanks.
Huh. I don't remember buying it. But it appeared in the nearby Amazon locker for me just the same. :)
 


Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
Supporter
Mine came today. Thoughts:

THE GOOD

Case is cleverly designed, actually rather understated from the outside (rare for D&D) and fairly durable. Certainly way more portable than a box of 150 minis would be.

Vinyl clings and the plastic bases likewise quite durable. Easy to peel off, but don't come unstuck by themselves. More than enough plastic bases.

Art is from the Monster Manual, meaning it's generally rather good.

THE BAD

It's surprising how few clings 150 really is. It's 5 pages of clings, representing maybe1/3rd of the creatures in the 5E Monster Manual. Which means some surprising omissions (aboleth, centaur, etc.).

There are logical choices made for duplicates (you get 5-6 each of zombies, skeletons, goblins, orcs, and a couple of others) but most creatures get only 1 or maybe 2 clings. Sure, you might not use bullywugs that much, but when you do there will probably be more than 2 present.

In particular, small and tiny creatures are largely underrepresented or absent (no animals you'd use for familiars, for example)

The clings aren't arranged in alphabetical order or anything. So even though there are only 5 pages, it can take a few moments to lay your hand on what you're looking for (or to figure out that the creature you want isn't included)

THE VERDICT

I like this as a concept, but for it to really work they will need to support the case by publishing supplemental sets of clings - ideally, releasing new ones to accompany the hardcover adventures featuring the monsters you need for each hardcover.

It's a solid (and much less expensive) alternative to buying a swarm of minis, and will look pretty nice at the table. It's like $60. To buy the equivalent amount of minis, unpainted, you'd easily be looking at $1000+.

There's room in the case for additional vinyl peel sheets, should they publish them
 


MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It will be like two months before I can actually get my hands on the one I ordered as I'm working overseas. But I'm wondering how doable it would be reorder the clings or transfer them to a clear plastic sheet with the names written on the back side?

I actually like not having the names or any writing at all on the pictures themselves, when they are on the tokens. But for pulling them out and putting them back, it would have been nice to have them organized by name or at least alphabetically.
 

darjr

I crit!
It will be like two months before I can actually get my hands on the one I ordered as I'm working overseas. But I'm wondering how doable it would be reorder the clings or transfer them to a clear plastic sheet with the names written on the back side?

I actually like not having the names or any writing at all on the pictures themselves, when they are on the tokens. But for pulling them out and putting them back, it would have been nice to have them organized by name or at least alphabetically.
I really disliked the writing in the pf standies. They were otherwise great. But that kept tweaking my calm.
 

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