By Thilo Graf
This pdf from John Brazer Enterprises is 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 5 pages for the new monsters.
The Blightdaemon (CR 4) is a small, imp-like harbinger of disease and comes with a new disease. The Death Adept (CR 8) is an undead priest with divine casting abilities. Kind of like Huecava, but more focused on being an undead cleric. Mantians (CR 5) are giant, preying-mantis-like creatures that come with their own poison I don’t get why they don’t get keen claws or more damage on their primary attacks. Their defensive qualities list “Compound Eyes”, but not what they do. I gather that, similar to Dreamscarred Press’s Dromites, they grant the Mantians +2 to Perception checks, but I’m not sure whether that’s already fractured in the +8 racial modifier to perception they get or whether having compound eyes grants them additional benefits. It should be noted that this does not impair the usability of the creature, though, so I won’t detract a star. Remembrents (CR 3) are shrieking, corporeal undead with some spell-like abilities. Rock-Ophidians (CR 3) are minor dragon-like beings that can spit acid and for a limited amount of time harden their scales. This is a rather strange ability, as no in-game explanation or true reason is given for the creature to have this ability.
Layout adheres to the 2-column standard and is printer-friendly b/w. The b/w-artwork the monsters get is nice and for the price very nice. Editing could have been better – I noticed a relic “a” in one of the statblocks, an adjective/adverb-mix-up in the Remembrents text and a mix-up between horde/hoard in the Ophidian-text. Due to the shortness of the pdf, I think they could have been avoided. Apart from the typo-pet-peeves of mine, I have another point of criticism: In e.g. stark contrast to the “Monsters of the River Nations”-book, the critters in this pdf lack any iconic quality whatsoever. Mantians are Mantis-like creatures and do exactly what you’d expect. The same goes for the other beasts – they just feel generic. And unfortunately uninspired. There is nothing wrong with the creatures or their mechanics per se and their artworks are ok. However, none of them felt unique or inspired in a way that made me want to use them in my campaign. While the pdf is cheap, I still can’t recommend it – due to the low price, my final verdict will be 2 stars.
Book of Beasts: Wandering Monsters is available from: