Tuesday, 25 April 2017

B/X-inspired Monster book for 5e / Into the Unknown

I known I said that making the Magic Book was without a doubt the most editorially demanding of the set. But the monster's book is not far behind. Might be more demanding in the end.

I've done all the rough trimming and editing by now. Removing monsters that are obviously not a fit for B/X, removing those of unsuitable challenge ratings and trying my best to make the stat block simpler and take up less space.

this has trimmed my original 140 page draft down to 63 page working document (for comparison, magic went from 122 page draft to 39 pages). I want to get down to 50 pages or less, but the choices from here are harder ones.

I currently have 198 unique entries - Compared to the 186 entries found in B/X. It is not a like for like list of critters. And there is a few I will have to create on top of that (dwarf, elf, halflings and of course - Devil Swine).

Not to mention, most of these have no description in the SRD! They will have to be added on top (groan).

And cutting out monsters is hard. Monsters are cool. Almost all of the ones left speak to me.

Here are some examples of non-b/x monsters I have included in the working document so far:


  • Aboleths
  • Young dragons
  • Five demons
  • Five Devils
  • Hags
  • Rakshasa
  • Remorhaz
  • Sphinx

How do you leave these out? Maybe young dragons can go - There are there basically to have dragons to fight at lower levels. But there rest are just very cool and iconic to my mind.... (It's just weird B/X has no devils or demons).

Below is the table of contents so far for it, and two sample pages to give an idea of where I am at, in regards to the stat block format. I am sharing here mostly for feedback purposes - 5e is not as bad as 3e and 4e for monstrpously large stat blocks, but it is still quite removed from the simplicity of 2e and lower. I think I've come a long way towards condensing it, but there may well be more gains to be made here (ie, do stat blocks need a language entry?).