This product features descriptions and stat-blocks for twenty urban-based monsters using the rules presented in the Pathfinder Bestiary. In addition, each entry contains further information for how to use the creature in an encounter, encounter ideas, and for most of the entries, a fully detailed lair which you can simply drop into an adventure as a plug-and-play mini-adventure or encounter. While you might get a few less monsters than in a typical bestiary, our goal was to give you very usable monsters, and of course showcase 0one’s exquisite maps.
This pdf is 103 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page blank inside of front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page ToC, 1 page back cover, 1 page ad, 1 page SRD, leaving 96 pages.
We also get three pages of monsters indexed by CR, alphabetical order and a wandering monsters-table.
After one page of foreword by Tim Hitchcock, we are introduced to the creatures and lairs. The best of monsters provide the GM with a plethora of ideas for adventures or encounters once being read and this book goes a step further - it also provides "lairs". Which is actually a misnomer - this monster-book goes far beyond just providing lairs for the monsters and instead often provide mini-adventures or at least encounters. I won't spoil the encounters/adventures, but I will comment on the best ones. That being said, let's dive in!
-Arrbiong (CR 2): Urban fey that feeds off dreams with a nice twist and some great roleplaying potential.
-Bay Zombie (CR 4) & Bay Zombie Leviathan (CR 18): Necromantic experiments gone wrong these creatures feature tentacles and claws. The leviathan makes for a great mystery/campaign arc/seed that is further enhanced by the lair.
-Bone Hag (CR 8): Urban hag with a flexible anatomy and a great, disturbing artwork the made me reminiscent of my old Solomon Kane stories and comics. The legend provided along the lairs also rock and this one just screams to be used.
-Corpse Rider (CR 4): A disturbing, tiny fey (think tooth-fairy gone horribly wrong) that can take over dead people and animate them. Their hooks rock and make for great conspiracy-potential.
-Earwig, monstrous (CR 1) & Earwig Swarm (CR 4): The lair for these monsters is actually a supremely cool sketch of a low-level adventure. Two thumbs up!
-Fabricata (CR 1/2): A creature worthy of China Mièville in its imaginative potential, these self-aware constructs are animated pieces of cloth that have their own society and secret wars. Awesome!
-Ferals include Feral Dogs (CR 1/2), Feral Cats (CR 1/4) and a Feral Cat Swarm (CR 2). Cool, but no lair/sample adventure is given.
-Devil, Gutterkin (CR 5): Manipulative little devils that push addicts and people who are down on their luck over the edge. Despicable and cool.
-Harvestman (CR 6) and his Harvesters (CR 2): Arachnid construct that, as a local boogeyman, hunts and drains arcane casters. The lair/mini-adventure is cool.
-Jacke-in-the-Rafters (CR 7) and the Weitheryn template (CR +1): An old Goblin who cheats death by killing other people in its stead. Not only does the template and creature rock, but the adventure is great, too. Especially the ideas for further adventuring.
-Mokkahl (CR 11): A bulette-turned-ooze by necromantic/arcane waste, this thing is not only disturbing, but might make for a terrible encounter with the PCs. Nice!
-Penumbra Bride (CR 9): Shape-changing aberrations, these brides make for a disturbing twist on the doppelgänger-trope. Their lair is a great location, too.
-Plague Lichen (CR 3): A virulent fungus that rapidly and virulently spreads when in contact with flesh. Disturbing fungi, but you only get a very short encounter, which is a pity, I have some great ideas for this one...
-Saaran (CR 10): Once a pure and noble gladiator, this giant now is a broken thing that still clings to his former principles and would make for a great "right wrongs-adventure".
-Screegie (CR 1/4) and Screegie Swarm (CR 2): Eye-picking, impersonating birds, their mini-adventure once again rocks.
-Shi (Sin-Eater) (CR 13): An extradimensional earth-aligned junkie dependant on souls, these creatures may unintentionally raise the dead and, by consuming souls, get into conflict with undead or work as a medium for the deceased.
-Siluri (CR 3): Croaking monstrous humanoids, they are unique and disturbing.
-Stone Gouger (CR 1/2): Miniature gargoyles, they live in the walls and attics. Unfortunately we don't get a lair/mini-adventure for this one.
-Tillochann (CR 14): Extremely cool owl-like outsider with bizarre abilities to use silk and cocoons. The lair is ok, although it is not up to the supremely cool critter. Believe me, you haven't seen one like these before.
-Zaelemental (CR 13) and Zaelemental, Greater (CR 16): Filth and muck-aligned creatures of all the negative, tainted dark things associated with cities, these creatures make frightening and yet cool enemies. The lair rocks, too.
Editing and layout are great, the b/w-artworks rock, the file is extensively book-marked and the lairs/adventures rock. The creatures are all killer, no filler and quite frankly, each and every one of them made me immediately come up with either an additional encounter or even a whole adventure or campaign-arc revolving around them. The sheer quality and the imaginative potential of the writing is supreme and the content is just stunningly well-crafted. While I encountered 2 minor editing glitches, for the low price and the exceptionally awesome content, I'll settle for 5 stars.
I have to admit the initial draw for me on this was the reputation of the writers and publisher. 0one Games is putting out some good stuff. And after a quick read-through this afternoon, I'm pretty impressed with this product.
I'm about to be "between modules" in my home campaign and I was looking for something in the way of an interlude. The list of creatures got me interested and the free preview of the harvester clinched it.
Overall, this is a solid product. The writing is very good, as are the layout and editing.
The spread of challenge ratings and variety of creature types makes it easy to find something to inflict on your players, no matter what level they are. Additionally, the encounters are interesting, well-developed and seem "ready to run". With some very minor changes, like the names of certain deities, you could easily run these encounters in Golarion, too. (Which is what I plan on doing.)
If you're looking for quick encounters, complete with easy-to-read maps, that use a new creature, "Urban Creatures & Lairs" is an outstanding resource. It easily won a 4-star rating and is pretty close to a perfect, 5-star, score.
I was just thinking that certain 0One Games products ought to go on my wishlist. (Regrettably, it's a long list, so it will be quite some time before I get around to actually GETTING any of them, but still...) So I was looking through the threads of these 0One Games products, and I saw two casually written posts by... Willie Walsh?!?
I don't want to jack this thread so I think I'll continue elsewhere...
Well, there are at least two more of us. One is a bishop and the other runs an airline. It causes confusion sometimes, as explained here.
BTW, this product is really worthy of a bump to a higher position on your wishlist, and I ain't just saying that 'cos I have something in there. We're talking really talented writers here, with enough experience of what makes a good game great to sink a minor battleship!
You know, when I typed "THE Willie Walsh," I had a feeling that someone would mention the CEO of British Airways (although I had never heard of the bishop.) But I have no interest in British Airways, and I'm Jewish, so to me only one Willie Walsh is THE one, and that's you.
(By the way, are those letters you linked to real? If so, that's unbelievable!)
How did I miss this page? Thank you for the thoughtful reviews, guys.
I find it impossible to turn down working on the Great City setting. Mario at 0one Games let us come in on his preexisting setting (lots of map sets and an adventure by Hitch) and do our thing in a big way. When a publisher gives you that much creative control your work becomes a bit of a baby you feel continues to need you. It's absolutely and only a project of love (and maybe a little unbridled creative passion).
I really like Urban Creatures and Lairs, I can say it's the book I like most among the Great City sourcebooks. See, I ever loved "The Book of Lairs" an old TSR supplement, which gave me hours of good gaming and pleasure...
I really hope we can do a Volume II, but for now the creative team is all on "The Sinking", another project I love, at the point I'm writing an episode myself (thing never happened in years...)
Thanks for posting! Any chance we get a sequel? *nudge nudge* Or one for the Player's Guide?
Thanks a ton for the review!!!
As Mario commented, were deep into a series of short Great City adventures called The Sinking.
I suspect once we complete the that, we'll be back at the sourcebook thing. With the adventure stuff, we can cause significant changes within the City- which of course prompt us to think of new things that we'd like to add to the setting.