Just spent all morning tearing through the 160 page pdf, and I am very impressed!
It starts with 7 full text pages of witcher lore and history, from the perspective of Erland of Larvik, the first Grandmaster of the Gryphon School. Its grounded and feel very usable.
Following that, we're introduced to the new improved stat blocks. I can't overstate how useful it is to have the attack and defence Base scores easily listed, in addition to the Base of their most relevant skills. Past that, monsters are divided into their type, each section starting with a little overview, with notes from our good friend Erland.
DO NOT OVERLOOK the sidebars on these pages, labeled "[Type] Encounters." They're not long, but offer adventure hooks and ideas for how these monsters might naturally fit into an adventure. And honestly, they're just really good ideas and launching points.
The monsters themselves are well thought out, and dripping with personality. The design team clearly wanted to make each of these feel unique to fight, and as a result we see each monster having a few unique abilities, sometimes even 5 or 6.
After every monster type, we're treated to a one page short story of my Gryphon boi Erland hunting and fighting one of the monsters from the section. They're cool and fun and if nothing else, offer another encounter idea to steal.
Next up, Exceptional Monsters. Both True Dragons and Higher Vampires get the deep dive in this book, each getting a multi page lore section, and a multi page lifepath, before their new expanded stat blocks. All of this is very cool and super useful.
Then a short section going over the new components and mutagens. As expected.
The following 9 pages go over the new Investigation system. I need to go over it more, but at first glance, it seems similar to the spirit of the Verbal Combat system. It's interesting, and very complex. You have a new derived stat called Focus, which is tge average between your Will and Intelligence. There's a new damage formula for defeating the mystery (Complexity Damage = Clue Damage Roll – Obfuscation). I'm sure there's some very cool things that could be done with it, but it seems to be centered for a group that prefers rolling dice than role-playing.
The final handful of pages have an array of job postings. Great flavor, great ideas, and are written vague enough to be used wholesale.
In summary, great layout, beautiful art. As a GM, I highly recommend it. Its chocked full of useful things, and won't be just a dust collector. As a player, understand that this book is (mechanically) for the person running the game. But, its got OODLES of lore and is a thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone who loves the Witcher universe. For a $15 pdf, its worth every penny. I'll be ordering a solid copy too as soon as I get a bigger bookshelf.
[5 of 5 Stars!]