Thursday, December 4, 2008

BlackDirge’s Dungeon Denizens (BlackDirge Publishing and Goodman Games)

Overall, I have to say that DD holds a horde of very flavorful monsters, most of which look solid (crunch-wise) and definitely interesting enough to use in my campaign. The art is very 1e’ish, and in general, the monsters are a (good) bit more lethal than monsters of the same level from the 4e MM. He really pushes the envelope on how much a damage a monster of a given level should deal. As a DM who likes to kill his players (according to them), this is cool by me (Yum, yum, Greater Barghest drains two healing surges!). Although the book is far from flawless - there is notably a few issues with a few of the solos. They are either too weak, or they are way over the top; Grave Swarm I am looking at you! The editing or crunch mistakes are kept to a minimum, just like we should expect from Goodman Games. The spread of monster by level is good, although it is a pity that there are no regular monsters over level 19; only elites and solos. On the other hand, they are so many cool things (all monsters are indexed by level, by type and by keyword – just awesome for a DM) in this book that you quickly forget and forgive mistakes. Blackdirge reintroduces stuff like magic resistance and damage reduction in 4e format. Some will love this, some will hate it. He also introduces resistances based on the alignment of the attacker – I can’t say that I am huge fan of this, but it will please some people, that is for sure. As a bonus, we also get one of the sweetest curses (disease) that I have yet to see. I can’t wait for my players having to eat the flesh from the corpses of sentient beings in order to be able to heal. Cannibal Curse FTW!
Rating:* * * * *

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