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Epic Monsters
$19.95 $5.99
Publisher: Mongoose
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/19/2007 00:00:00

Epic Monsters is a monster book by Mongoose Publishing. The PDF file weighs in at over sixteen megabytes, and watermarks your name in small print at the bottom left of every page. The entire book is two hundred fifty-eight pages long, including two pages for the covers, a page for the credits/legal/table of contents, and two pages for the OGL.

As a direct scan of the print version of the book, Epic Monsters is replete with artwork. While only the covers have full color art, the books interior is fairly packed with art. Most but not all of the monsters have artwork given for them, and the various appendices have a good number of illustrations as well. Moreover, virtually all of the interior pages have thick borders along every edge. Not having a printer-friendly version may well be devastating for some people, and it might be better just to buy the print book if that will be too big of a concern.

After a very brief introduction, the book opens with a listing of monsters by type. It then quickly details the three new subtypes some monsters have (Lumina, N'gathhau, and Voidspawn), before moving on to the meat of the book.

Over one hundred fifty epic monsters are given in the book's largest section. All of the creatures here are Open Game Content from other books, including the Epic Level Handbook, Legends of Avadnu, Tome of Horrors I & II, The Book of Immortals, and a few others. Interestingly, while some material (mostly the feats) from the Immortal's Handbook Epic Bestiary are present here, the monsters from that particular book (which comprise the highest-CR monsters of any d20 product) are not reprinted here, possibly due to it not being finalized by the time Epic Monsters was printed.

The majority of the monsters fall squarely within the 21-30 range, where the majority of epic level gaming occurs. There are also a surprising number of monsters from the 31-40 range, though these are much rarer. While the book is completely 3.5 (updating what few epic creatures haven't already received a 3.5 upgrade), there are still errors that crop up when you examine some monsters closely. More than one creature has regeneration listed as a special quality, for example, without an entry that says what types of damage overcome it. Likewise, a few Outsiders lack subtypes, which they should have in 3.5. While annoying though, these errors are few and thankfully minor.

Appendix A consists of specific epic creatures, rather than generic monsters. Oddly, many of the Tome of Horrors specific entities (such as Orcus and Lucifer) are listed in the previous section along with the generic monsters. Several of the creatures here have been somewhat reworked (such as the two Immortals from Mongoose's The Book of Immortals) so that they function as stand alone creatures. They usually have greater descriptions than most generic monsters, with some (such as Bodiless Ao) being given quite a bit of descriptive text on their motivations, actions, etc.

Appendix B consists of a collection of epic feats. Note that saying "a collection" here is meant to be understood as "almost all of them." Apparently all of the feats from the Epic Level Handbook are here, along with quite a few others from the sourcebooks previously mentioned. The book finally closes out with a listing of monsters by Challenge Rating.

Altogether, Epic Monsters does a good job in collecting various epic creatures together and presenting them all in a single, unified book. While the material from the Epic Level Handbook is already available free in the SRD, having it here makes for a handy reference, and collecting it in with so much other OGC that might otherwise be missed is very useful. While not as good as it could be, Epic Monsters is still a top resource for any GM looking to challenge their PCs at epic levels. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The number of epic creatures listed here is truly expansive, enough so that even epic-level aficionados will likely find quite a few they'd overlooked before.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: Various mechanical errors still crept into some entries, which can be frustrating. Also frustrating is how material that's freely available in the SRD is reprinted here. Finally, this book really needed a printer-friendly version.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>

[4 of 5 Stars!]