Tome of Horrors III is a monster book from Necromancer Games. As with the Tome of Horrors II, virtually all of the monsters found here are original, not updates of creatures from earlier editions of the world?s most popular FRPG. The PDF file is not quite twelve megabytes, and has your name watermarked in tiny print at the bottom left corner of each page. Bookmarks are given for the beginning monster of each letter of the alphabet, as well as to the two appendices in the book. There is also a non-hyperlinked table of contents for each monster. The book is 251 pages long, though this includes the covers, the OGL, the table of contents, and the introduction.
The ToH3 is a book replete with artwork. Even not taking the color cover into account, every monster has a black and white illustration, and there is a grey border on alternating sides of every page. Unless you have a powerful printer, or are only planning on printing out a few monsters at a time, you may well be better served to buy the hardcopy version of this book if you want a print copy.
Aside from a few monsters from previous Necromancer Games products, all of the creatures in the ToH3 are new. Several, though, build off of monsters introduced in the previous Tome of Horrors book. For example, several new devils deal with Lucifer and his plane Infernus, introduced in the Tome of Horrors II. For the most part though, these are relatively rare, and most of the monsters in here stand on their own. A number of the creatures here have a sample advanced creature given as well, just like in the MM, where a random monster will have class levels, advanced hit dice, a template, or some combination thereof.
The monsters here are slightly skewed towards less powerful creatures, aiming for those with a CR of 10 or less. This isn?t too terribly noticeable, as roughly just over a third of the monsters here are CR 11 or more, but GMs looking for lower level monsters will be better served here. And there are only five creatures with a CR above 20, making this a relatively poor resource for epic foes.
The book has two appendices, with the first being animals. Most but not all of these are contemporary animals, such as raccoons, while others are things like the dire smilodon or the brontotherium. The second appendix consists of templates, with each template having an example creature given as well.
The book ends with by giving several new monster feats, as well as briefly going over some new planes of existence (including Infernus), reprinting the information on types and subtypes, and finally ending with a listing of monsters by Challenge Rating. Oddly, the book?s introduction says there?s supposed to be a master index of monsters from all of the ToH books here, but it seems to have been omitted.
The Tome of Horrors III ultimately does a good job of living up to its predecessor volumes. The stat information here seems solid, and the monsters remain interesting without being too cumbersome that a GM can?t just throw them at his players as monsters to hack and slash, if he so wanted. If the original Tome of Horrors was a case of hollow point, explosive shells, then the Tome of Horrors III is a fresh clip.
<b>LIKED</b>: The new monsters here are well designed, and can easily be used in any d20 fantasy game. Several of them nicely build off the themes from the ToH2, making for a great sense of continuity.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: It would have been nice if a printer-friendly version of the book had been offered. It was also disappointing that the promised master index of ToH creatures was not to be found.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>