Creatures Critters Denizens Review
Here is the short review: Creatures, Critters and Denizens delivers a whole lot of bang for the buck.
Now the long review: Weighing in at 251 pages for $9.99 (PDF version) or $14.99 (Print on Demand) This is a whole lot of material for not a lot of money. Detailed within are really nicely done stat blocks for mundane creatures like dogs and chickens (helpful in the funnel if your farmer peasant starts with an animal, or wizard familiars) to the most fantastic mutants, demons, and fey creatures you can imagine. Also included are a lot of optional rules and the methodology that was used to create these creatures, so you can create your own.
This book has a very authentic old-school feel to it, which is good in some ways, bad in others. The book has a lot of flavorful black and white drawings illustrating many of the beasties within. Unfortunately, it looks like they have been “enhanced” with lens flares and blur effects, which may be a matter of taste, but I find pretty annoying. It makes it look like someone was using a color scanner and the lid has some light leaks, so the scans of what would be excellent black and white art are kind of ruined. Its a shame too, because a lot of it would be really cool without the effects. Also some of the layout is a bit crowded compared to most recent books, but again is true to the old-school feel of 1st edition books. To Cognition Pressworks’ credit, they do pack this book to the gills!
The actual critters themselves are really well presented with a lot of flavor text and back story for each entry, as well as relative sizes for hatchling, juvenile, and adult versions of several of the entries. This allows for putting some version of the creature you want, at an appropriate level of difficulty for the party you have; Very handy! It also includes some stats you wouldn’t think you would need, but who knows? Maybe you’ll need to know how much a small raccoon can carry, or drag, or … lift. It is possible! This again, leads to it’s old-school mentality which is both quirky and endearing.
Overall this is a solid buy. It is a TON of material for the money, and works well to augment the creatures available in the Core DCCRPG book. It also allows you to peek behind the curtain and use the same approach to create your own monsters for your adventures to face. Support DCCRPG and support 3rd party publishers!