[Kobold Press] Tome of Beasts 5E Kickstarter - It's Alive!!!


5th Edition (And Beyond)

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Liberty's Edge

Mentioned in the 'Kobold Press 5e material' thread, but really worth its own thread ... :)

Tome of Beasts: 300+ New Monsters for 5th Edition

The Tome of Beasts brings more than 300 new monsters to your 5e game—everything from tiny drakes and peculiar spiders to ancient dragons, arch-devils, and demon lords. The Tome of Beasts covers a huge gamut of challenges, from basic vermin to world-shaking personification of malevolence, and everything in between!

In addition to the MASSIVE, richly-illustrated, full color, hard cover Tome of Beasts, there is also a companion book, the Book of Lairs, which presents short, detailed lairs, including an Alchemist's Guildhall, Bloodstone Grove, the Umbral Tower, and the Lost Halls of Everforge. Each lair spotlights a monster from the Tome of Beasts and comes with a 24" by 36" battle map is for use in virtual table tops, projectors, or printing out full-color and ready for play!

Sovereign Court

How "complete" is this book?

Liberty's Edge

Lorathorn wrote:
How "complete" is this book?

VERY complete? :)

Can you be more specific?

Sovereign Court

Well, I mean like... is there art for all of it, will it be delivered by the end of the kickstarter? That kind of thing. Sadly I can't see the kickstarter page from where I am, else I'd look there.

Liberty's Edge

OH, got it! Hopefully you'll be able to check the kickstarter out at some point :)

There is AMAZING, full-color art for each and every one of the 300+ monsters! The main book will be a full-color, hard cover thing of beauty! :)

The book is scheduled to release in April 2016.

There are lots of cool stretch goals and add-ons of course, so be sure to follow as the Kickstarter rolls on.

We've been working EXTREMELY hard on this behind the scenes for months, and I'm confident it's going to be a fantastic book!

Hope everyone checks it out!


The art sealed it for me admittedly. Really nice. Have high hopes for this one.

Any clue on the sort of breakdown for CRs of monsters? Regular vs ones with legendary/lair actions? New options for shapeshifting druids? Already backed, mostly curious!


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I'm in for a normalish pledge but am looking around to see if I can bump it up to a higher level. Looking at the monster hide tome pledge level - I presume a regular printed copy of the book of lairs is included as well?

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Great questions! I do have a good sense of the CR breakdown. There's a range, of course, and the 5E power curve tends to lean on lower-challenge monsters that still work against mid-to-high level characters. So it follows that approach.

So, right now my spreadsheet says CR 1/4 to CR 24 (one of the ancient dragons or a demon lord, depending on which developer/playtester I believe). There are proportionally more monsters at Challenge 10 and up than are in the Monster Manual, because my assumption is that at least some game groups need that extra punch.

Tome of Beasts includes multiple dragons and legendary figures (I'm being vague until we announce them), all with Lair Actions and Legendary Actions. Those are some of my favorites! Not so much my players, necessarily.

For shapeshifting druids.... I'm really not sure, would need to poke around a little more.

I've spent some time trying to make sure that the Tome of Beasts does cover the ground for a lot of groups. Thanks for backing it!

Mandatory Link to Tome of Beasts

Sovereign Court

I'm eager to back it, and I hope to do so as soon as I get the funds, but I'm very glad to see the higher end CR supported. I feel like CR 5-7 is expansive, but much more after that is kind of thin. I'm so eager to see what comes of this.

And congratulations on such a quick funding. Here's hoping that you smash all of those stretch goals.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

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Smashed two of them already! One for more monsters, one for monster tokens. All backers get the benefits, which I always like in a stretch goal.

And yes, higher-CR is tricky. Most campaigns won't need a lot of CR 15 to 24, but CR 10+ is helpful sometimes. I hope to announce some of the demon lords, arch-devils, ancient dragons, and others fairly soon.

Liberty's Edge

Aleron wrote:
The art sealed it for me admittedly. Really nice. Have high hopes for this one.

Awesome! We've been working EXTREMELY hard with some amazing artists to make sure this book is absolutely beautiful!

Every last monster gets a full color illustration and, honestly, they are ALL just fantastic! I can't wait for folks (more than 420 folks so far, after only a single day, and counting :) to get their hands on the finished book!!!


Worth noting the Eye Golem has a grammatical error. Seems to be missing a period (I think) within "Primal Voice of Doom" after the word 'frightened'.

Liberty's Edge

Aleron wrote:
Worth noting the Eye Golem has a grammatical error. Seems to be missing a period (I think) within "Primal Voice of Doom" after the word 'frightened'.

Good catch! Remember these are just initial previews - the final product will be painstakingly and very thoroughly edited, believe you me! :)

Liberty's Edge

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Be sure to check out the new update: A is for Alseid

Also, only 8 backers away from reaching the first Backer Goal (500 backers)!

Last but not least, check out what has to be one of my most favoritest comments from the Kickstarter Comments section :)

"Kobold Press produces the highest quality supplements I've ever seen apart from the big publishers (Paizo and WOTC) - and in some notable cases their products even surpass those publishers! I don't even play 5E but I can't pass up the chance to support Kobold Press while also getting some great content and ideas (even if it's in a different system that what I run)."

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

And we've hit the 500 Backer goal, unlocking more battle maps!

Looks increasingly likely that this project will include an open call to backers for new monsters to be included in the book. We need a few more backers to unlock that goal.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Is the alseid meant to be a PC race or a monster?

Its stat block looks a little wonky. It doesn't add Dex to damage to its shortbow, its passive Perception looks a bit high, or its Perception modifier doesn't have double its proficiency bonus.

As a monster, it seems kind of blah. It doesn't have any special attacks or defenses, other than being hard to track. It would be nice if had some kind oompf, like a skirmish ability that would take advantage of its Stealth and mobility and weapons (spear and bow) and semi-mounted combat physique.

The art is amazing, and the background story for it is really good too. I think with some tweaks, it could be a very popular monstrosity. It reminds me of a graceful, feyish, bariaur.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
SmiloDan wrote:

Is the alseid meant to be a PC race or a monster?

Its stat block looks a little wonky. It doesn't add Dex to damage to its shortbow, its passive Perception looks a bit high, or its Perception modifier doesn't have double its proficiency bonus.

As a monster, it seems kind of blah. It doesn't have any special attacks or defenses, other than being hard to track. It would be nice if had some kind oompf, like a skirmish ability that would take advantage of its Stealth and mobility and weapons (spear and bow) and semi-mounted combat physique.

The art is amazing, and the background story for it is really good too. I think with some tweaks, it could be a very popular monstrosity. It reminds me of a graceful, feyish, bariaur.

It's actually already fairly popular, this will be the fourth system (at least) it's been converted to. I was the one who wrote the original entry for Pathfinder. I intended it to be close to player race power levels, so in my games most of the time they have 3-5 levels of ranger and maybe a 6th level druid for a leader. I'm not that familiar with 5th edition yet, but maybe it would be worthwhile to include a "leveled" version for added oomph.

I'm not directly involved in this project yet, although I will likely submit another monster if we get to that stretch goal.

Liberty's Edge

SmiloDan wrote:

Is the alseid meant to be a PC race or a monster?

Its stat block looks a little wonky. It doesn't add Dex to damage to its shortbow, its passive Perception looks a bit high, or its Perception modifier doesn't have double its proficiency bonus.

As a monster, it seems kind of blah. It doesn't have any special attacks or defenses, other than being hard to track. It would be nice if had some kind oompf, like a skirmish ability that would take advantage of its Stealth and mobility and weapons (spear and bow) and semi-mounted combat physique.

The art is amazing, and the background story for it is really good too. I think with some tweaks, it could be a very popular monstrosity. It reminds me of a graceful, feyish, bariaur.

All the art for this book (more than 300 full-color illustrations!) is absolutely amazing! We're working with some of the top artists in the industry. The alseid was just one of the pieces done by none other than Eva Widermann! Seriously, I can sincerely say you could buy this book 100% for the alone and it would be money well spent!

Regarding the alseid preview, keep in mind these are just previews. They didn't go through NEARLY as much rigorous development and editing as the final book will. In the case of the Dex to shortbow damage, I believe that was recently corrected - so updated versions of this preview page should now be correct.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Maybe give them the ability to Dash as a bonus action or make a melee attack as a bonus action after using the Dash action? Maybe give them the ability to use the Shove action as a bonus action after hitting with a weapon that does piercing damage? Maybe let them use their reaction to move half their speed after an opponent misses them with a melee attack?

Liberty's Edge

Just broke the $45,000 goal level - unlocking the "Cat and Mouse" adventure by none other than Mr. Richard Pett!

Also, a new update: B is for Bouda

Contributor

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Yarp.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

The Bouda looks amazing! Gnolls have always been one of my favorite monsters, and demonic, flea-bitten, organ-noshing shapechanging gnolls are terrifying!

It looks like the Defiling Smear ability is activated as a "move-equivalent" action, which isn't really a thing in 5E. It might work better as a bonus action or a regular action. But I really like the idea of a monster making a "trap" or hazard.


Nevermind all that Smilo, here's the real issue: I can't seem to access a hi-res version of the Alseid update. Whenever I scroll across the dropbox link, it just sits there, and now I'm getting a headache from squinting at pixelated low-res text!

. . .

I mentioned that I'm a backer, right? I feel like I started this post with the best of intentions, but somehow it got really adversarial by the end of the the first sentence.

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

Agree that bonus action is better! Good idea.

Hitdice, the comments on the Alseid have a direct link to the PDF. Is that the one that's not working? I guess we could just put up a JPEG, too.


Too bad there are no pawns or cardboard tokens. Digital tokens are...meh.

Liberty's Edge

Malaclypse wrote:
Too bad there are no pawns or cardboard tokens. Digital tokens are...meh.

There are no pawns ... yet!


Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Agree that bonus action is better! Good idea.

Hitdice, the comments on the Alseid have a direct link to the PDF. Is that the one that's not working? I guess we could just put up a JPEG, too.

The link in the comments section worked, I just hadn't bothered to look for it; y'know, because I'm lazy and want everything delivered immediately, with a minimum of effort on my part. :)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Wolfgang Baur wrote:

Agree that bonus action is better! Good idea.

Hitdice, the comments on the Alseid have a direct link to the PDF. Is that the one that's not working? I guess we could just put up a JPEG, too.

Yay!!!!

That's a really neat feature. It's a little bit battle field control, a little bit de-buffing, a little bit hazard, a little bit trap, all sorts of awesome!!!!

Liberty's Edge

What license is this being published under? Does kobold have a special license for 5e material? If not then what are the limitations you are developing under?
Btw, looks great! Can't wait for release.


Marc Radle wrote:
Malaclypse wrote:
Too bad there are no pawns or cardboard tokens. Digital tokens are...meh.
There are no pawns ... yet!

Cool. Looking forward to the next stretch goals!

Liberty's Edge

Quick Kickstarter update - more than 650 backers and over $52,000 raised so far with 22 days still to go!

New Stretch Goals are now up!

There is also talk of a "rather famous guest cartographer" being announced very soon :)

Oh, and don't forget, word is that if we get up in the 1,000'ish backers range (which seems very possible) a number of very awesome things happen (including very possibly the addition of the battle maps in glorious printed form!)

So, we need to keep getting the word out (word of mouth, social media, smoke signal, owl etc.)

Remember, if everyone tells at least two friends ... and they tell two friends ... :)

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

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Unlocked a new preview as well: the lunar devil from Courts of the Shadow Fey, updated and with new art.


marv wrote:

What license is this being published under? Does kobold have a special license for 5e material? If not then what are the limitations you are developing under?

Btw, looks great! Can't wait for release.

This so much! If this is another 3rd party d20 OGL bastard child trying to imitate 5e (BTW WotC get your **** together and release a license), I'll pass. It does look damn good though. Some high quality looking stat blocks and phenomenal art. That price though is also holding me back. hmm...

Liberty's Edge

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Well, keep in mind that, since there is no official 5E licence yet from WOTC, that's the case with every third party company.

Having said that, remember that Wolfgang Baur and Kobold Press *were* picked specifically by WOTC to do their first ever 5E adventure arc, Tyranny of Dragons, for which the two companies worked very closely together.

In the Kickstarter comments early on, a similar question was asked (the person was affraid WOTC would kill the book in fact.) Here was the answer:

"@Michael Natale, I can't say very much (it's under wraps), but I think there's essentially zero chance of this project getting killed by WotC. I suspect they're (unofficially) happy to see it."

There is a HUGE amount of work and passion being poured into this by a number of people and I can say you will not be disapointed by the final product!


I just had a bad taste in my mouth with the first wave of 5e supported books and some came out before the Core rule books were released if I remember correctly. Not going to name names, but I felt it was rushed to the market to be "first!" and quality suffered as a result, IMO. Makes me wary of 5e 3rd party material in general.

It's surprising WotC hasn't made an official license yet. But having said that, I'm very impressed at the quality of work for Tome of Beasts. It looks amazing. It's not a rush job, that's for sure. I see that passion.

hmm...

Sovereign Court

I'm willing to say too that Kobold Press is dedicated to a high quality standard. This does not smack of a rush job to me.

Liberty's Edge

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Lorathorn wrote:
I'm willing to say too that Kobold Press is dedicated to a high quality standard. This does not smack of a rush job to me.

The kickstarter just topped the 700 backers mark!!! which is just awesome :)

Thanks Lorathorn!!!! Believe me, this is ANYTHING but a rush job! This is painstakingly and meticulously planned from the ground up, well-designed, well-developed and thoroughly edited 5E monster goodness delivered in a beautiful final product

Soullos, if you do decide to jump in and become a backer, I sincerely think you will be very glad you did! :)

Oh, if you want to hear more right from the kobold's mouth, James Intracaso sits down with Kobold in Chief, Wolfgang Baur to talk about the details of the Tome of Beasts 5e Kickstarter.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hi!

Will there be examples of low level aberrations and celestials? There seems to be a dearth of them in the MM. And any higher level beasts for non-dinosaur druids?

Sovereign Court

This kickstarter really makes me wish that I could just pledge the maximum amount. No thing on the list seems superfluous...

The Exchange Contributor; Publisher, Kobold Press; RPG Superstar Judge

SmiloDan wrote:
Will there be examples of low level aberrations and celestials? There seems to be a dearth of them in the MM. And any higher level beasts for non-dinosaur druids?

There aren't a ton of higher-level beasts yet (though I have hopes). There's a rather unusual snake that fits the bill, and I think that's about it.

There are definitely some lower level aberrations included. For celestials... I think there are two, but they're both more mid-level than low-level. Neat idea, though, and I'd love to see one submitted by one of the backers during the open call.

Sovereign Court

Will we get gargantuan tokens finally?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Wolfgang Baur wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:
Will there be examples of low level aberrations and celestials? There seems to be a dearth of them in the MM. And any higher level beasts for non-dinosaur druids?

There aren't a ton of higher-level beasts yet (though I have hopes). There's a rather unusual snake that fits the bill, and I think that's about it.

There are definitely some lower level aberrations included. For celestials... I think there are two, but they're both more mid-level than low-level. Neat idea, though, and I'd love to see one submitted by one of the backers during the open call.

I'm particularly interested in CR 1/4 and CR 1/2 critters, particularly celestials and aberrations. I was working on a 5E summoner base class, and it has a bunch of different archetypes based on the base monster type of your eidolon (aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, fiend, or undead) and there were NO low level celestials, and very few low level aberrations (slaad tadpoles and flumphs) which aren't very eidolony.

Liberty's Edge

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Only 17 away from hitting 750 Backers!

When that magic number is reached, everyone who is a backer can submit a monster! 5 of those will be developed, refined and will appear in the Tome of Beasts, complete with brand-new custom art!

Oh, if you ARE a backer (or have finally decided to take the plunge and become one :), an awesome new preview (complete with a beautiful illustration by Eva Widermann) is up: The Queen of Night and Magic, one of the Fey Lords & Ladies the Tome of Beasts provides as a new category of legendary foe.


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She's gorgeous! Well, her stat block entry; I mean she ain't bad looking herself, but I'm pretty sure I'd get star struck in a shadow rift just for saying so . . .

Looking foreword to meeting the other Lords and Ladies. :)

Liberty's Edge

Short interview with Wolfgang on Tome of Beasts.

As a bonus, you get to see another new monster (very cool and very creepy) illustration (be sure to click the thumbnail so you can see it nice and big! :)

Liberty's Edge

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Another milestone reached last evening (well, two actually, and they both hit at almost the exact same time, which was kinda cool :) ...

More than 750 backers and $60,000 raised so far!

That means a new update:

Update #8: Monster Submissions Unlocked! And 5 More Monsters Added

... and new stretch goals!

  • All backers are now eligible to submit a monster to the Tome of Beasts - the 5 best will be printed in the book!

  • A second adventure to backer’s rewards

  • 5 more humanoid monsters added to the Tome

  • Adding the Lair of the Void Dragon to the Book of Lairs ... with a map by MtG artist Jason Engle!

Be sure to check out the full update for all the details :)

Sovereign Court

Does it matter when you back the project for the monster submission?

Liberty's Edge

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Lorathorn wrote:
Does it matter when you back the project for the monster submission?

I wouldn't think so. It says "All backers", so I'm pretty sure as long as you are a backer by the time the Kickstarter ends, you can submit a monster if you'd like :)

Liberty's Edge

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Cool article about the Tome of Beasts Kickstarter over on io9.com today

Be sure to check it out - they got to show off 2 brand new pieces of art (and man are the awesome!) as well as the first showing of the Void Dragon 2-page preview spread:

Meet Some of the Terrifying New D&D Monsters in the New Tome of Beasts.


Hitdice wrote:

She's gorgeous! Well, her stat block entry; I mean she ain't bad looking herself, but I'm pretty sure I'd get star struck in a shadow rift just for saying so . . .

Looking foreword to meeting the other Lords and Ladies. :)

I'm sure Queen Sarastra would be flattered, or at least act that way for the sake of decorum.

I'm pleased you like the glimpse at the Queen of Night and Magic, she's a really fun character to work with, as are the rest of the Fey Lords & Ladies.

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