Monstrous Menagerie Vol. I
This supplement clocks in at 14 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 3 pages of SRD, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
This little collection of monsters features handdrawn artworks for all of them, and starts with the Cr 5 Arachne, whose kiss features the regurgitating of eggs into the mouths of unwitting victims; with Strength drain (odd choice) to denote whether your body can get rid of the eggs, strong webs and poison, this one is a pretty solid critter. Feats are erroneously lower capped, but that’s aesthetics. At CR 18, the Azgal Worm is a Huge vermin that secretes acid, which damages nearby targets. Striking them is thus not conductive to weapon durability and also splashes nearby targets with acid on every hit with a non-reach weapon. Their bite is also highly poisonous AND ignores item hardness. With rather potent natural weapons, they are pretty deadly. Interesting: Their chitin can be harvested to make armor and weaponry. Minor nitpick: The profession chosen here, skinner, is pretty uncommon.
On the other hand of the power spectrum, the CR 2 Coqui is aFine magical beast, a tiny golden frog that has a soothing song that can help withstand mind-affecting abilities. They can turn this song into a damaging sonic burst and can grant beneficent glyphs to those pure of heart. They may be chosen as Improved Familiars starting at 7th level. The CR 8 Spinal Lasher is a gaunt undead that has four dangling vertebrae that it can use to lash foes. These carry a curse that impedes healing, and these undead, shadow- and mirror-reflection-less, also get a 1/day enervating breath. Neat, though e.g. initiative value is one too low – +3 Dexterity modifier +4 Improved Initiative = +7, not +6. Finally, there would be Shagga the Pale, a CR 11 scarred witch doctor 13, who comes with an adventure hook as well as a new witch hex, the Pale Plague that prevents a body’s decay. While called “plague”, this doesn’t actually confer a contagion. The statblock of this NPC also sports some minor snafus.
Editing and formatting are okay on a formal and rules language level – while precise in many aspects, I noticed a couple of hiccups in the statblocks. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard, and the pdf sports some solid DIY-style artworks for the critters. The pdf has no bookmarks, but doesn’t necessarily need them at this length.
Angel “ARMR” Miranda’s critters herein are actually more interesting than I anticipated. There are some neat ideas here, and while not world-shaking or perfect, there would be the fact that this is PWYW – and it’s certainly worth checking out and leaving a small tip for. All in all, my final verdict will clock in at 3.5 stars, rounded up due to n dubio pro reo and this being a PWYW file.
You can get these critters for PWYW here on OBS!