D&D 5E Kobold Press' Tome of Beasts Joins D&D Beyond

400 monsters for D&D 5E.


Tome of Beasts is the latest third party book to appear on D&D Beyond. The book, first published by Kobold Press in 2016, contains over 400 monsters for D&D 5E.

You can pick it up on DDB for $39.99.

Whether you need dungeon vermin or world-shaking villains, Tome of Beasts 1 has it. This book presents foes suitable for any campaign setting—from tiny drakes and peculiar spiders to demon lords and ancient dragons.

These monsters have been designed so that GMs can use them in their favorite settings for fantasy adventure. This monstrous tome contains:
  • More than 400 new monsters for use with the D&D Beyond Encounters tool.
  • Updated with errata, streamlined mechanics, and new monster art from the original Tome of Beasts.
  • Expansive tables that organize creatures by challenge rating, creature type, and terrain.[/callout[

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Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
Wait …. LOVE those books!
What big new coffee table book with Adams’ notes????

They do crowdfunding, but I don't recommend going that route with them. Both times I've done it, there's been terrible communication, unclear timetables, etc., and problems with getting ebooks. Pick up the book through regular outlets later on.

However, the end result is gorgeous and full of previously unseen stuff.

Currently waiting for their book on the art of Fighting Fantasy (love me some Russ Nicholson) which will be ready at some point, some day.

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A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
It was a big moment for me when I finally realized I didn't need 20 years of books I'd previously read on hand in case of ... something. And that for the most part, I just wanted book content, not the physical objects themselves. So now I get 99% of my books in Kindle format and only buy physical books when I know it's going to have a long term value of some sort to me. (I'm a Hitchhikers Guide superfan, so the big new coffee table book of Douglas Adams' notes, yes, I got that.)
Yeah, I learned that lesson early out of necessity as I've had to move many times through my life. In my early 20s, I was renting a storage unit, mostly filled with books, thinking I'd eventually settle down and have a house with a nice, large library. But I fairly quickly came to realize the cost of my hoarding and sold nearly everything in a garage sale. Now most of my books are on kindle. I still have shipped and moved many boxes of books many times over the past few decades, but their are increasingly more curated and I'm not only more willing to give away or sell my books, I'm far more picky when buying physical books.

Beyond books, I'm an extreme declutterer. I'm happier not having a lot of stuff.

My weakness has been DIGITAL clutter. While I've gotten over my habit of impulse buying TTRPG stuff on DriveThruRPG and Kickstarter, it was more difficult than saying no to physical items because off how much cheap online storage I have. Its so easy to buy something that looks interesting, file it away in Google Drive, and never look at it again.

I'm A Banana

I have come to see this as a feature, not a flaw of modern life.

I eventually realized that, for me, the need to own stuff was driven by a "just in case" mentality that was costing me a lot of money and space. I used to have tons of books, CDs, DVDs and other stuff filling my house. I spent tens of thousands of dollars, often on things that got used once, or not at all.

I still buy the occasional thing, if I have a strong need for a physical copy, or it is important for me to have access to it no matter what. But now I think it is better to rent most stuff rather than own it. Most stuff depreciates drastically once you buy it, it wears out, and you have to store it and pack it around. If I die, my kid has to deal with it. It's inherently wasteful. And I spend a lot to get access to way less.

Whereas by renting (streaming, etc.) I have more access, when I need it, save a ton of money, always get the latest material, and don't have to look after it or worry about leaving it behind for someone else to deal with. It's freeing. And economical. And better for the environment.

So what would happen if DDB went offline or something? Well, I'd still have all my purchases on my devices, so I wouldn't lose access to any of the material. I'd lose a really useful interface, but there are others. However, there is also a good chance I'll have already moved on.

I think our addiction to stuff is an existential problem for humans. I think much of the time, we're better off renting than owning, and our planet is better off.
I think this idea is well worth entertaining, but I can't help but think of people beyond myself.

Sure, I don't always need a physical copy. However, if we abide by the seventh generation principle, then what happens to the history, the creativity, the context when these things disappear? How will someone in 50 years understand the context or design or story of a game they can't access? What world am I leaving my grandchildren, where the works of people in my generation are going to vanish in a blip of corporate consideration? When they have no home (because I rent), when they have no art (because media is rented), when they have no vocation (because every career is gig work)? Do we return to an oral tradition, incomplete and myth-prone? Do we have libraries or archivists that do their best to pirate material and stay ahead of the decline of technology? Do we all just forget our Latin, except for those wealthy enough to insulate themselves from the collapse a bit?

If I want a history, a legacy, if I think beyond my own utility and to the utility of the seventh generation, then I want something that's not going to expire so easily. My time on this world is rented, but we build civilization with things passed down. Traditions. Objects. The things we rent don't have a chance to become part of our shared humanity, and I don't view creations as things that should be consumable and disposable.

Not that these things are nakedly unproblematic (we can be overly tethered to our objects of tradition), but just that it's worth questioning if we're OK with letting these things fade and die with us, or if we want to keep them going beyond us.

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