Monsters of the Underworld by Andrew Cawood (@cawoodpublish)
In the spirit of full disclosure, I was provided a review copy of this supplement for a full and honest review.
This is just a quick review with the intention to come back to another time in more detail.
This isn’t my first Cawood Publishing supplement, but it is my first of their mightily impressive “Monsters of” series, with this edition focusing on the eponymous monsters, but also the people and beasts of the underground and Underdark.
I have to say I’m absolutely blown away by the quantity, quality and vision that has gone into this bestiary!
Cawood’s ideas for the creatures and how they come through so clearly in the flavour and description texts, as well as the statblocks themselves are brilliant. There are a great mix of new creatures, adapted and changed creatures, greater specificity of creatures that fill this tome with everything you could possibly want to run a game underground or Underdark with far more flavour and surprise than what is available in the official manuals. But beyond the subterranean, there are many fabulous creatures and racial archetypes that have a much wider scope for populating your games above ground.
Hansons’s art is glorious! Their creature design is wonderful and full of flavour; there are comic tones (both book and humour), blended with the genuinely creepy and grim to create a truly original and arresting style that treads the line between visceral and whimsy.
Porter’s layout is great exercise in clean simplicity, letting the text, statblocks and artwork speak for themselves.
Monsters of the Underworld is perfect for unground adventures and campaigns, while also just being a bloody brilliant collection of creatures that give DMs so many wonderful new blighters to play with. Keeping players on their toes is great for everyone at the table.
There are many manuals on monsters available on the market, only a few of which are discussed in the same breath as the official Monster Manuals, Cawood’s Monsters of the Underworld most certainly should be one of them!
I can’t wait to delve into their Monsters of Feyland when I get the chance and I am ridiculously excited for their new Monsters of the City, Sins and Virtues Kickstarter, which I am backing and recommend you do too! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/monstersofthecity/monsters-of-the-city-for-5e-rpg?ref=android_project_share
Written by Andrew Cawood (@cawoodpublish)
Illustrated by Travis Hanson (@TravsTheBean)
Layout and Graphic Art by Jeff Porter