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Monsters of NeoExodus: Bilecrawler (PFRPG) PDF

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This worm-like creature’s long body ends in fleshy tendrils, uncoiling like bloated serpents tipped in barbed spines, surrounding a pink, bile-stinking orifice lined with rows of inward tilted fangs. The bilecrawler (also known as a bile wyrm for the gastrula stink it gives off) makes its lair in caves and dungeons, often burrowing into such places in search of water or prey. This wyrm is the bane of most subterranean humanoid races, being clever enough to tunnel around heavily defended guard positions and into living spaces and sleeping areas to feast upon the surprised inhabitants (most of whom are usually non-combatants). Many underground races have a number of folk tales regarding these monsters, most involve the wyrms having a taste for particularly unruly children. Real bilecrawlers don’t particularly care whether their meal has been naughty or nice.

    This supplement includes:
  • Two new monsters the Bilecrawler and the Vilecrawler
  • Background and history of the Bilecrawler and the Vilecrawler
  • Bilecrawler Counters
  • Initiative and Monster Cards

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Product Reviews (2)

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Monsters of Neoexodus: Bilecrawler from LPJ weighs in at 9 pages, with 1 page going to cover, 1 for OGL, 2 pages of tokens, and 3 pages for tracking sheets. That leaves us 2 pages to cover two variations of the bilecrawler creature. The artwork (used for the cover and within, as well as a cropped version for the tokens) shows us what might happen if a slug and an earthworm ever got left alone with a Barry White cd and a bottle of red wine. Format follows the standard dual column approach, with editing having a few hiccups in sentence structure or wording, nothing so far off base you can't figure out the meaning, just reads awkward in a few spots.

So, the bilecrawler, a CR3 creature, with a nasty acid attack (it spews it at ya, lol), is essentially a rather large worm with teeth, doing exactly what you would assume a big worm would be doing, digging. Equipped with tremorsense, these subterranean eating machines tend to go for the element of surprise, typically only fighting long enough to secure a meal before vacating.

Presented with a more aggressive variant, the vilecrawler, at CR5, you get two creatures for the price of one. Tending to be larger, and more willing to fight past securing a meal, the vilecrawler is far more dangerous than its smaller, more docile cousin.

With fluff continuously mentioning setting specific information, it is apparent this creature was designed for the Neoexodus setting, but is easily portable to any setting a GM would wish to use them in. As mentioned the product comes with two pages of tokens, one sized for both variants. Not being a fan of token, I really would have preferred to see a paper mini option here, but that's a coin toss and you can't please everyone, lol.

The remaining three pages struck me as odd, as they have nothing to do with the product, and I came to the conclusion that they are there for two purposes, one to bulk up the PDF, and two to put a sample of the style of sheets LPJ has to offer into the hands of potential customers. What do I mean by sheets? Well, there are two pages of mini character sheets, with four per page, that could prove useful to a GM still tracking groups and NPCs via paper means, I can easily see these used similar to index cards in that respect, or kept as full pages, and stored by campaign to help track NPCs. The final page is a combat/initiative tracker, with sections for Pcs/NPCs/Conditions and spells, as well as notes.

So, final thoughts. To be honest, the combat initiative tracker was probably my favorite part of the entire PDF. Not to say the bilecrawler wasn't a well designed creature, it just wasn't all that interesting. It didn't strike me truly original or groundbreaking, there are plenty of worms with teeth crawling around within fantasy settings, it takes more than some acid spit to set yourself apart from the crowd. Mechanics appear to be good, and the creature is usable as is, with pretty good support art, so I will go with a 3 star rating for this one.

A sluglike monster similar to the Ankheg

***( )( )

This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 2 pages of content.

This is straightforward, we get two incarnations of a slug-like monster somewhat similar to the Ankheg.

-Bilecrawler (CR 3): A nice slug-like critter that spews caustic bile and hunts by digging up, surprising enemies.

-Vilecrawler (CR 5): The domesticated, weaponized advanced version of the Bilecrawler, this is just a bigger, more bad-ass version of the Bilecrawler.

Their flavor-text includes some references to other critters not yet released and made me interested in them as well. The artwork of the creature is top-notch and cool. There is one editing relic in the passage on their tunnels.

There is nothing per se wrong with these critters, they are cute death-slugs and for the low price, you'll get a decent purchase. Unfortunately no lore-section is given for the creatures and I would have loved a section on e.g. how to harvest their acid or how to train them. The editing relic is unfortunate. It would also have been nice, if the Vilecrawler had some other kind of ability apart from being a bigger version of the Bilecrawler that does everything a bit better. As written, it's a decent purchase and a nice alternative to the Ankheg. Due to the similarity with the Ankheg and the potential the critters have, I'll settle for a solid 3 stars. This could easily have been a 5-star file, though.

I can't say anything about the initiative cards or counters, as they were not included in my complementary copy. Gift Certificates
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