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D&D 5E Open Source dilemmas...(AKA Creature Catalog/Tome of Beasts/Tome of Horrors etc.)

Larnievc

Adventurer
Since no one else has mentioned them, the Monster Manual Expanded books (I, II, and III) are excellent monster books available on the DM's Guild (the first two with PoD if you want, with the third, which was just released, with PoD later in the year), all with loads of monster variants on MM, VGtM, and MtoF monsters, as well as some updates for creatures that haven't made it to 5e yet...
Yep. The third one is especially good.
 

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jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Ah, yeah, now I think about it one book (maybe 5E Foes- or something like 1sr Ed foes 5E feel) uses the term ‘combat advantage’.
Fifth Edition Foes. I have it and while it's kinda cool, it was very early in the edition and there were some issues with wording. Combat advantage was because they didn't know if they could use "advantage" under the OGL. Some of the monsters also have abilities that go outside of 5E's assumed concepts, such as a monster that can break even magical weapons if hit by them.
It's worth noting that most of the monsters in Fifth Edition Foes have been redesigned in later releases from the same publisher: Tome of Horrors and Tome of Horrors 2020.

Some of the early Kolbold books were ports from PF1 and had some things that, while they may not have been against the rules, didn't follow the 5e standards and guidelines.
Just curious, are you thinking of particular monsters here? I've used several from the original Tome of Beasts, which I think was their first, without issues.
 

dave2008

Legend
Just curious, are you thinking of particular monsters here? I've used several from the original Tome of Beasts, which I think was their first, without issues.
Well that was quite a while ago and though I have the book I haven't used a single monster from it! So nothing really sticks in my mind at the moment. If I get a chance I will look through again and see if anything jumps out. However, I don't mean to say they don't work just fine. Heck many think they work better than the MM monsters. I was only saying they are different.

Did that book have the Void dragon? I remember that being a bit OP, but I haven't looked at it in a long time
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Did that book have the Void dragon? I remember that being a bit OP, but I haven't looked at it in a long time
It did, and I even used it in my sequel to the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. It didn't feel "off" to me, but then, there were so few high-CR monsters even available for 5E at that time that I didn't have a feel for what to expect.
 

dave2008

Legend
It did, and I even used it in my sequel to the Tyranny of Dragons campaign. It didn't feel "off" to me, but then, there were so few high-CR monsters even available for 5E at that time that I didn't have a feel for what to expect.
OK, I just checked the ancient Void dragon and it is listed as a CR 25, but it clocks in at CR29-30 per the DMG. The big issue is its Collapsing Star straight. Without that it is spot on.
 


dave2008

Legend
Ah well, my group tends to punch above their level anyway, so that's perfect!
Yes, I generally think that is why many have no issue with book.

I do say that 165 average damage to everyone within 1-mile of the dragon is pretty heavy (and you need to roll 3 DC 25 saving throws to reduce the damage in half). Particularly after you have fought for however long to take it down.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
So one of my weaknesses has been monster catalogs/lists/manuals, and I got these books (Creature Catalog/Tome of Beasts/Tome of Horrors ) along the way. A couple of dilemmas, one being how to use them in DnDBeyond encounter building, the other is what to do when creatures get more than one treatment. For instance, these books have Lovecraftian critters sprinkled through them, but then along comes Sandy Peterson's cthulhu treatment for DnD 5e. Which treatments to follow.....does anyone else ruminate on this?
Just treat them as different monsters. A Peterson orc, a Midgard orc, or whatever.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
I can just see myself saying in a spooky voice....."Oooh...worse tha ghasts..there are some Petersen ghasts hopping to attack!" :LOL:

It kinda fits the dusty academic scholar type character in a Cthulhu game, doesn't it?


"But, Professor, what are these abominations?"
"Ghasts, I believe, but of a sort I am unfamiliar with. Let us consult... the Field Guide."

* feverishly runs finger down index of forbidden tome *

* madly flips through book *

* stops at page *

* desperately reads to bottom of page *

* flips page *

* desperately continues reading at top of next page *


"Oh dear! It's worse than I feared. They're not just ghasts...."

* face pales in terror *

"They're Petersen ghasts!"
 

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