Monday, January 4, 2010

High Praise For Swords & Wizardry Monster Book

I just wanted to do a quickie review for the Swords & Wizardry Monster Book, available from Black Blade Publishing as a $5 PDF.

This is the monster manual that should have been released for 4th Edition. It has the iconic monsters, the classics, in a broad selection.

It is the best toolkit monster book for oldschool D&D I've seen. It has the classic fantasy monsters, the fairies, the folktale monsters, the legendary monsters, as well as plenty of animals in normal, prehistoric, giant and magical varieties, it has sword and sorcery monsters, it has oriental monsters, it has weird fantasy monsters, it has high fantasy monsters, it has robots and aliens and lovecraftian abominations. It has the best selection of monsters, bar none, that I have ever seen in a monster book.

Really, if you play any oldschool version of D&D, or a similar system, this book pretty much has it all. It doesn't have alignments, treasure types, size, or intelligence scores, so if you're a complete lump, using this book may break your brain; otherwise this book is pretty much it aside from a book or two that you're fond is pretty thin on the Fiend Folio content.

If I have any quibbles, I would like a wider selection of dinosaurs, the iconic lovecraftian beasties, and that's pretty much it aside for robots, androids, cyborgs and random monster tables. It says core rules on the cover and in this case they mean it! You get a very generous core selection of monsters in a broad variety of fantasy flavors. There is a serious "we're not fucking around and doing this half-assed" attitude to this volume that I appreciate.

I used BookletCreator to format the PDF and now have a digest sized booklet of the text that is not only very readable and portable, but replaces 90% of the monster books I need to carry to a game.


  1. It was good fun contributing to it, and Matt Finch did an outstanding job of editing my creatures.

  2. I've been anxiously waiting for the last week or so for my hard copy of this to arrive, now I'm even more anxious!

  3. Also there's 20+ new monsters on the S&W site in the Projects and Artwork section.

  4. Join my campaign for Monster Book 2!

    Seriously, I have to ditto this: "It was good fun contributing to it, and Matt Finch did an outstanding job of editing my creatures."

  5. I'll try and do a more in-depth review in the future!

    @Gnombient: I really wanted to order a hardcopy but the instant gratification was impossible to resist, plus I absolutely love my homemade digest-sized version!

    @Sean: Why am I not surprised that your name keeps popping up in the text ;)

    @ Myrstyr: A pbp game? Wait, there's going to be a second volume? Excellent news!

  6. There isn't a second volume, yet... at least, not until you and your faithful readers deluge Mythmere Games with requests for "more dinosaurs and robots" ;)