Monsters of Sin 1: Avarice
This mini-bestiary from Open Design is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page back cover, leaving a total of 6 pages content, so let’s take a look what Ryan A. Costello has created here!
After a short discussion on the nature of 7 deadly sins, we delve right into a CR+0 simple template to create avaricious creature that can once per day heal themselves via the consumption of valuables.
The first creature, at CR 12, is the hoard golem – born from the greed of dragons, this massive construct can not only steal items by becoming a whirlwind, it also detracts gazes from other threat – with potentially fatal consequences.
The CR 1 Map Mimic is another ingenious creature that can not only mislead adventurers and make for a great story-creature, it is also potentially very deadly if it can get in your face – one of the coolest CR 1 beasties out there.
Midasites, CR 4, locust-headed fey, can permanently turn their victims to gold via a touch. At CR 4 I’m not even I am particularly comfortable with a save-or-die ability, even with a HD_restriction per day imposed on the creatures.
The final creature is a joy to behold: The rodent-faced, facet-eyed, adamant-scythe wielding, 12-stories high CR 20 embodiment of avarice is simply awesome: Each of its eyes can spawn swarms of spidery rat things to steal, has an internal vault, its own outsider subtype and an aura that can potentially disable all opponents close. I love the thing – it is joyfully, beautifully corrupt and disturbing.
The pdf closes with a mini-section on avarice in the Midgard campaign setting.
Editing and formatting are good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. The layout done by Marc Radle is in full-colour, beautiful and adheres to a two-column standard. The pdf has no bookmarks and I hope that if/when there’ll be a compilation, we’ll get bookmarks. The creatures all come with awesome b/w-artworks by Aaron J. Riley – kudos to this talented artist’s vision of these beasts. This is one of the best mini-bestiaries I’ve seen for any game and would immediately go for 5 stars + endzeitgeist seal of approval, were it not for SGG’s Ravagers of Time – while the bang-for-buck-ratio of both publications is mostly equivalent and the artworks in this supplement are stellar and slightly superior to some in SGG’s offering, the latter has more supplemental material. And then there’s the midasites one-trick pony ability and its rather unpleasant consequence at this low level. Thus, while this is still an excellent pdf, I’ll settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, rounded still up to 5 stars.
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