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Tome of Beasts for 5th Edition

4.78 out of 5 based on 9 customer ratings
(9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

A Horde of New 5th Edition Monsters!

DM: “A collection of hundreds of eyes floats down the corridor toward you, trailing ganglia and dripping caustic fluid that sizzles when it hits the ground. What do you do?”

PLAYER: “I retire, and become a farmer.”

Whether you need dungeon vermin or a world-shaking personification of evil, the Tome of Beasts has it. Here are more than 400 new foes for your 5th Edition game-everything from tiny drakes and peculiar spiders, to demon lords and ancient dragons.

Tome of Beasts includes monsters from the entire history of Kobold Press, with longtime favorites such as:

  • Clockwork creatures
  • Drakes and dragons
  • Devils and arch-devils
  • Dangerous flavors of the fey
  • Undead-and much more!

Use them in your favorite published setting, or populate the dungeons in a world of your own creation. Pick up Tome of Beasts and give your players an encounter they won’t soon forget!

***

Also Available: One-shot adventures using creatures from Tome of Beasts, in the Book of Lairs and in the Prepared collection.

Additional Information

Weight 3 lbs
Manufacturer

Kobold Press

9 reviews for Tome of Beasts for 5th Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    :

    I received my physical copy of the Tome of Beasts today and I’m really happy with it.

    Physical Attributes:
    The pages are the same thick matte stock as Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat. This adds a bit to the book’s overall weight and thickness, but it also feels really durable.

    Printed colors are bright and vibrant, although some of the darker pictures lose a bit of detail when compared with the pdf.

    The book is 432 pages and is close to 1.5″ thick. Other than the Pathfinder Core Rulebook, this it the largest book on my gaming shelf.

    Artwork/Layout:
    The artwork is plentiful and professionally done; every monster is in full glorious/gruesome color.

    The layout and text are clean and easy to read; stat blocks are a near-perfect match to the Monster Manual format which is good.

    There are faint images of the monsters in the background of the pages which actually look really cool. (These are less visible in the pdf, but are quite striking in the print version.)

    Content:
    The monsters hail from a wide-variety of folklore and backgrounds making it easy to find one that will thematically fit into nearly any adventure. There’s the old standby dragons, giants and golems that appear in almost every RPG monster book ever, but there are also plenty of new stuff in here too, especially fey. If you want wicked fey for your game look no further.

    CRs are a good mix with maybe slightly more focus on mid & high level monsters than lower level ones. I thought a lot of the monster abilities were really creative and interesting (Ex: the Idolic Deity is a small construct that can cause clerics and paladins to doubt their faith.) My overall impression is that quite a few of these horrors are lethal. No punches were pulled in handing out the hero-thrashing abilities for the Tome. The stuff in here will provide a good challenge for adventurers of all skill levels

    The lore is okay. Each monster has a written description and a few miscellaneous factoids about it. It’s not as in-depth as the Monster Manual, but there’s certainly enough to run a monster in-game or get a feel for its disposition.

    If you’re playing in the Midgard setting there are sidebars how some of the monsters fit into that setting. These are small and unobtrusive if you’re not interested, but reading a couple of them actually made me want to learn more about Midgard. I hope Kobold Press considers a 5E version of the existing Midgard campaign setting.

    I was a little disappointed to not find any this-monster-as-player-race sidebars. I had seen one on the preview page for the Alseid, but it looks like it was cut from the final book.

    Another minor quibble: some of the beast type monsters with really minimal intelligence are listed as neutral (ex: bone crab, carrion beetle) They should probably be unaligned since they don’t have the mental capacity to choose between good and evil or law and chaos.

    Summary:
    Overall I’m really happy I bought this. Production values are extremely high as is the quality of the content. I have no hesitation in recommending this book. It’s well worth the asking price. Do yourself a favor and spend the $49.99 for the print/pdf bundle.

  2. 5 out of 5

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    I haven’t yet received my hard copy but I have just took 30 mins to skim-read the PDF and am very impressed. There is so much material in this book that your brain starts to ache when you think about how you can try and fit all these incredible monsters into your game.

    There is a fabulous mix of completely new horrors and additional types of existing monsters – I particularly like the new kobold, hag and giant types, but the list is endless. There is a nice vein of humour throughout the book with creatures like the Ale Drake and the Oozasis – creatures that will certainly raise the laughs in your game.

    Finally, as noted by the previous reviewer, all these monsters have ‘teeth’ and I don’t mean literally. They all carry a certain amount of heft and power and are not monsters that will be despatched with easily. An amazing product at a great price. This book alone can fuel your story ideas for years to come. Thanks Kobold Press!

  3. 5 out of 5

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    Received my copy of the physical book a couple days ago. I’m very happy with the quality of the content and the artwork as well as the binding, paper, and print quality. An all-around excellent book that I’m sure I will get much use out of.

  4. 5 out of 5

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    Awesome, a must have.

  5. 5 out of 5

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    I received the Tome of Beasts in surprisingly fast time! When I opened the pages, I loved immediately how thick the paper was and how vivid the colors were with each picture. The monsters themselves are very creative and lend to a lot of unique possibilities for future DnD games! A must-have for anyone seeking to add some more beasts, both good and bad, to their campaigns 😀

  6. 5 out of 5

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    Excellent book! Filled with creatures of all difficulties. There are some really impressive High CR monsters, including members of the fey court and arch devils and demons that you could build entire campaign arcs around.

    The background information included was so fascinating, especially for the Ghoul Imperium, that this book convinced me to get the Midguard Campaign setting.

    This is a must have, especially if your players are maybe a little too familiar with the monster manual and you want to keep them on their toes 😉

  7. 3 out of 5

    :

    So I got my copy last night and I was so excited that I ripped open the package and started to look through it. In Appendix B: NPC Features I realized that not all things listed are in the book for example the Dhampir, I wanted to know what the abilities do, so I went to the contents page and looked under d for Dhampir, and it goes from devils to dinosaurs no Dhampir. So I went to the monster manual for 5e and it isn’t there. Don’t get me wrong I love the book, so many cool new monsters like the void dragon but if you put something in a list and don’t explain the abilities, then there should be a page for it, or a page of abilities and what they do. So that is the reason I give it 3 stars but over all I love it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    :

    The second greatest book I have ever received, The first being a gift from my fiancee, so no contest.

    Pros:
    -This book is 110% manliest creation of most Badass creatures, EVER!
    -Well made, Solid design, pages are high quality, Art is High quality, most importantly Binding is high quality.
    -Smells of the tree it was cut from, Made my manly beard become even manlier and the creatures more afraid of me.

    Cons:
    -Contains so many bad guys, I will have to play for at least 1000 years to use them all.

    Suggestion:
    Stop what you are doing and buy this book. Now. Seriously, Go add it to your cart and buy it. No Regrets.

  9. 5 out of 5

    :

    Disclosure: I don’t know if this needs to be said, but I did kickstart this project, so there you have it.

    So this review has been a long time coming. I have had this book for a long time, I have looked at a good number of the monsters in detail (though not all, it may take another few months to a year to do so). I think I have a pretty good handle on this book and its contents in a way that I can deliver a relatively in depth review, and hopefully I can tell you something you didn’t already know.

    What you likely do know is that this book is amazingly well done. It has many great monsters that are very well thought out and excellently written. It has a lot of baked in adventure ideas that can be based off of nearly any of the monsters within. It has art that is the envy of the 1st party publishers. It has enough monsters to keep your players entertained and challenged for many a campaign.

    Lets start with some of my favorite monsters.

    First, I thoroughly enjoyed the Chained Angel. It is one of very few examples of a creature that can be redeemed, and gives a very good reason for wanting to redeem it. Most creatures are made for bashing to death, or at the very least to present formidable opposition with no choices outside of victory and defeat. The art for the chained angel is excellent. Interestingly, the chained angel had a good number of errors in its mechanical text that have since been fixed in errata, so be wary if you have a print copy. That having been said, the errors do not make this creature unplayable.

    Second, I have to call out Camazotz as being one of my favorite creatures. I won’t go into its mechanics for being a CR 22 creature, but the art is fantastic, and the fact that it is derived from a Meso-American myth is something that pleases me to no end. Overall, well done, and a good candidate for a demon lord.

    Third, the Drakon makes me happy because it is a beast. Beasts need more love, and one of the central issues with the “animal” type in Pathfinder is that they are too boring. 5e, and Tome of Beasts in particular, seem to dispel this notion and make beasts as interesting as any other creature type. The art work is of course evocative and great, and its stat block is brief but useful.

    Finally, in a sweeping category I love the NPC section, as it expands the very useful but relatively limited NPC section in the 5th edition monster manual. Not only do we get pictures (unlike in the aforementioned monster manual) for every NPC, and the statistics can easily be used for a plethora of occasions. This is a good addition to the Tome of Beasts, but actually makes me wish that Kobold press would put out a book of NPCs on its own!

    An honorable mention goes to the various Cthulhu creatures. There is one other book that has Lovecraft monster and I hope to do a comparison on my blog, but so far I am loving the Kobold Press take on them.

    Now on to the things I didn’t like. Now I know a lot of people have mentioned this, but I have to echo that the “dangerous water maidens” are pretty prevalent. In all fairness, it is an artefact of Pathfinder; Pathfinder probably has more of the dangerous water maidens throughout its various bestiaries. However, I would have wanted maybe… one entry for a dangerous water maiden, and an ample side bar or page dedicated to the various cultural variations that comprise the numerous myths surrounding women and water (and boo for not having “la llorona”, if you are going to go full on water maiden, be all inclusive!). Really, I get that water maidens are an interesting cultural touchstone like vampires and dragons and ghosts and so on, but I think that it could have been approached more elegantly, with an eye towards the curious cultural differences and what they say about the collective myth.

    I also am somewhat disappointed that some of the potential playable monsters (things like the Ramag or the Rat Folk) weren’t given sidebars for play as PCs, but this is hopefully just to preempt more products like Midgard Heroes and Southland Heroes, both of which I enjoyed and recommend.

    If I had one other quibble, it is that there are no comprehensive lists as with the Pathfinder Bestiary, with breakdowns of creatures by type, terrain, and so on, but that’s really just me being lazy, and I don’t fault them for not doing that. I’m sure that the layout on this monster (book) was enough as it was. Moreover, I’m sure that some industrious individual will create such a list soon, if not already.

    Now, my dislikes of this book were actually few and shallow. I have to end this review by saying that I love this book, it was very well done, and it is an essential book for anyone serious about running 5th edition games. It should be essential if you love bestiaries as I do, and fancy just paging through monsters for any reason. This book is essential as a designer, because every stat block tells a story through its intricate use of the rules.

    This book is just essential.

    Trust me, you won’t regret the $20 that you will spend on this book as a pdf, and if you should have the extra money, pay to get it in print. I can’t tell you how impressive the book really is as a physical text. You will marvel at the size of it, then at the beauty of its full color and glossy pages. It’s as big as those obnoxious textbooks you had to carry around in college or perhaps high school, with the important distinction that you will want to see every page and thumb through it.

    Yes, get this book. Get it now. What are you waiting for!?

    5 stars and my royal approval.

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