Review – Monsters of the City

Monsters of the City is a monster supplement by Cawood Publishing.

Cawood Publishing has a successful line of environment themed monster supplements. Following Monsters of Feyland and Monsters of the Underworld, Monsters of the City come to provide monsters and ideas for, you guessed it, an urban environment.

Content Overview

This supplement contains 105 monsters that are divided in a very interesting way. There are seven chapters that correspond to various city districts. These are the castle, wealthy, temple, market, docks, slum, and sewer districts.

Moreover, each district comes with a page that gives some useful information and inspiration. Stuff like which factions have control over the district, possible interesting landmarks, as well as stores and other services.

The Monsters

Each chapter gets around 15 monsters, all loosely tied to the themes of their district. I say loosely because the themes of each district are somewhat abstract themselves. A district can be part of any city or settlement and at various times. Thus, a city may not be able to house each of the monsters but each monster has a home.

A really cool concept is that each district also comes with a sin and a virtue. These are turned into high CR monsters that may be used as villains and friendly NPCs. Their design is unique and they can be quite powerful, if things end up with combat.

All of the monsters are very well designed. Some of them have witty names which adds to their flavour. Monsters like Rich Lich, The Critic, and Fowlbear make me chuckle but also give me ideas on how they could be used.

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The CR of the monsters is about as expected. Most of them are below CR 11, since games usually take place up until level 11. There are 8 monsters with a CR above 11, not counting the sins and virtues. All of those have a CR of 23.

Editing, Layout, and Art

The editing and layout of the supplement are really good. No obvious issues could be found. The layout follows the standard of a Monster Manual. Most of the monsters take up a page, which includes the lore, the stats, and some art. Speaking of art, it’s very beautiful. Travis Hanson’s unique style adds to the signature of the whole series.

Extras

Near the end of the supplement there is some extra content. We get the Domain of Truth for the Cleric and the Order of the Heart for the Paladin. There are also a couple of helpful tables that display the monsters by CR and by type. Finally, there are some more tables that provide city events, locations, and encounters.

Final Thoughts

Monsters of the City is an excellent addition to the monster series of Cawood Publishing, and a very good supplement. It can add a lot of flavour to an urban environment and will provide a lot of inspiration for campaigns taking place in cities.

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