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Tome of Beasts 1: What Changed?

Tome of Beasts 1: What Changed?

Last week, we released Tome of Beasts 1 (2023 Edition), which updates and polishes monsters that first appeared in the original Tome of Beasts in 2016. Those of you who own the 2016 version may be wondering: what changed? Well, a lot!

The bulk of the changes were to monster statistics and game rules, clarifying muddy rules, reworking traits and actions that didn’t work as intended, removing excess or uninteresting features, and adding new, flavorful features.

For a deep dive into the types of game rules changes we made to the monsters, check out Tome of Beasts 1, Revisited and look for a second crack at that tomorrow showing off changes to the chaotic rift swine! You can also check out the Tome of Beasts Remastered Kobold Chat.

For a high-level overview of which monsters are new, which were removed, and which monsters got a glow up, keep reading!

New Monsters

Everyone likes new monsters. The new edition of Tome of Beasts has almost a dozen of them! Those new monsters are:

  • Annelidast
  • Arx
  • Ashwalker
  • Caustic Charger
  • Citrullus
  • Necrohydra
  • Nihilethic Dominator
  • Planewatcher
  • Quicksilver Siege Orb
  • Strife
  • Vengeful Spirit
  • Volguloth

New-ish Monsters

Some monsters were missing full stat blocks, and others were reworked in such a way that a name change was required. Those new-ish monsters are:

  • Cave Dragon, Ancient
  • Mithral Dragon, Wyrmling
  • Ushabti (originally Shabti)
  • Ushabti, Corrupted (originally Imy-ut Ushabti)
  • Ushabti, Royal Guard (originally Ushabti)
  • Vampire, Pact (originally Vampire Warlock)

Removed Monsters

Reworking a book that is several years old gives us the unique opportunity to review how monsters have been used and played over the years. In reviewing feedback, we discovered several monsters didn’t get a lot of play, were a bit too similar to other monsters in the book, were too setting-specific (particularly to our Midgard setting), or were considered deities or demi-gods in settings (especially in our Midgard setting). So we took some out. Those removed monsters are:

  • Andrenjinyi
  • Arch-Devil Arbeyach
  • Arch-Devil Mammon
  • Arch-Devil Totivillus
  • Boreas
  • Demon Lord, Alquam
  • Eleinomae
  • Emperor of the Ghouls
  • Koschei
  • Rusalka
  • Zaratan

Glow Up!

The other fun thing about reworking a book this old was opportunity to revisit some of the art. In many cases, this meant replacing old art, while in others this meant adding art to creatures that previously didn’t have it. Over 30 monsters got shiny new art such as:

  • Bucca
  • Cavelight Moss
  • Demon, Psoglav
  • Devil, Arch-Devil Ia’Affrat
  • Devil, Automata
  • Dragon, Cave Ancient
  • Dragon, Cave Wyrmling
  • Dragon, Flame Ancient
  • Dragon, Flame Adult
  • Dragon, Flame Wyrmling
  • Dragon, Mithral Ancient
  • Dragon, Mithral Adult
  • Dragon, Mithral Wyrmling
  • Dragon, Sea Ancient
  • Dragon, Sea Wyrmling
  • Dragon, Void Ancient
  • Dragon, Void Adult
  • Dragon, Void Wyrmling
  • Drake, Rust
  • Elf, Shadow Fey
  • Feyward Tree
  • Ghost Knight
  • Ramag
  • Ravenfolk Warrior
  • Redcap
  • Risen Reaver
  • Shellycoat
  • Sphinx, Gypsosphinx
  • Subek
  • Tosculi Warrior
  • Vampire, Pact
  • NPC Appendix: Bandit Lord
  • NPC Appendix: Black Knight Commander
  • NPC Appendix: City Watch Captain
  • NPC Appendix: Dwarven Ringmage
  • NPC Appendix: Emerald Order Cult Leader
  • NPC Appendix: Scorpion Cultist

10 thoughts on “Tome of Beasts 1: What Changed?”

  1. Ryan jackson (frog prince)

    Already purchased and loving it.!!! Can’t wait to use this with Tales of the Valiant and Deep Magic. I also would like for a remastered Creature Codex Book.

  2. Will my Fantasy Grounds ToB1 module eventually upgrade itself with at least the statblock changes, if not the new monsters? Or will 2023 be a “different product” that I have to buy?

  3. Are the Roachlings a playable race in 5E? I know they make an appearance in the original Tome of Beasts; were they updated in this edition?

    1. Tome of Beasts 3 has suggestions in the back of the book (page 403, under NPC’s) for how to go about having a roachling NPC. They seem reasonably workable for using as a player race.

  4. Will there be an errata of the monster stat block changes for those who own the 2016 version? Not asking about the new monsters, but the ones that had been printed already.

    1. I can’t imagine they will do this. It would be a huge amount of work and they’ve already said its being treated as a different product.

  5. You removed the rusalka? But one features as the big bad in one of my favorite of your “lair” adventures, “The Alchemists’ Guild.” Do you have a suggestion for a replacement?

    1. I suspect that the reason the Rusalka was removed was that it was “a bit too similar to other monsters in the book”, to quote the article. The Drowned Maiden (another monster that’s still in the book) is very similar in terms of concept to the Rusalka (both of them are undead women who drowned in rivers and try to lure others in as well) and is a similar CR, so it’s probably a good fit to replace it.

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