Role playing games are fantastic. It offers everyone a great chance to escape from the suffering of day-to-day life and sail off on a grand adventure. It brings people together like no other experience can, sending them off on their own hero’s journey. But what’s a story with no adversity?
There are hundreds of monsters across dozens of books, all designed to push the players to their limits. They come in all flavors, from small to large and from strong to magical. Whether it’s a straight up fist fight or a duel of wits, these creatures are all a unique one-of-a-kind challenge.
But there are so many! It’s practically impossible to know them all and to know what they do! How could I possibly use them all effectively?!
That is why Best of the Bestiary was designed. In this series, I’m going to go through each and every monster in as many of the books as possible. Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, even homebrew is on the table! I’ll be breaking down a few things about each creature, including:
- Lore: what is the story behind this creature? How easily can it be used to improve the story? Is it interesting, and does it make the monster more interesting? Can you use it to build some creative encounters in the game?
- Design: how does it look? Does it’s design hurt or help the intimidation factor? If it looks goofy, does it at least get a good laugh out of you?
- Stats and Abilities: what can it do? How dangerous is this monster, and when can/should they be thrown at the players? Would their abilities lend themselves to a fun and interesting battle?
We’ll be going book by book, starting with the D&D 5th Edition Monster Manual. After that, we’ll move on to the expanded monsters, including Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and Module specific enemies, such as Hoard of the Dragon Queen/ The Rise of Tiamat’s… Tiamat, and other such monsters.
After breaking them down, I’m going to put ’em in a list! Now, take note: this list will entirely be my personal preference. This is not a royal decree of which monster is best. The ones at the top are my personal favorites, and they’ll be placed there based off of the criteria above. Thought that list won’t be up to view until we’re a few monsters in. If you disagree and think another monster deserves that top spot, cool! Feel free to share your list of favorites!
So pull up a chair by the hearth! Grab your dice, lay out your sheet and prepare for battle! We’re diving into the cages of the bestiary and poking the monsters within! We’re off to find the Best of the Bestiary!