Review – Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse

Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse is a supplement by Cawood Publishing containing a plethora of monsters and NPCs, as well as some character options and information about Cawood’s own campaign setting, the World of Myrr.

Overview

There’s quite a lot of stuff in this book, so let’s take a general look of what we’re dealing with.

First up is a general introduction, including some advice on how to prepare when bringing players to the wilderness, as well as lore information for the wizard Oswald and the world of Myrr such as the Great Eight, a wizard council, and the Cerebrax, psionic monsters from another plane that hunt for magic and come from “Riftgates”.

After that come the 7 regions of wilderness, which is the main body of the book. Each region has an introductory page, and then about 15-20 pages of creatures. There’s a certain structure that each region follows that we’ll take a look at later.

Finally, we have some extra things: tables of the creatures sorted by CR and type, which is very useful, supplemental information (and statblocks) about Oswald Myrr’s parents, two new subclasses for the Druid and Ranger, and several Events, Encounters and Locations tables.

Content

Let’s go straight for the main part of the supplement, the wilderness regions and their creatures. There are 7 regions: Ocean, Arctic, Desert, Jungle/Swamp, Forest, Hills/Lakes, and Mountain, each taking up about 15-20 pages.

As I mentioned, each region has a somewhat common structure to how it’s laid out. First is a page.with some introductory information, as well as a few short lists of possible locations, events, inhabitants, encounters, and useful adventuring equipment, followed by a d20 roll table of combat encounters and a d8 roll table of possible weather.

Following that is a gargantuan size, high CR creature that also has some sort of connection or alliance to one to the wizards of the Great Eight. Right after that is the wizard themselves, and then we get the various creatures native to that region. There aren’t just monsters included; there are also statblocks for new races and tribes, as well as NPC for them. For example, we get the aquarians, a new underwater race, and the Norvan, a human tribe to the far north, as well as entries for their leaders and various others.

The creatures are all quite detailed, with no only their statblocks but also explanations, lore, and for some of them even samples of magic weapons they might use. There is also art for each and every one of them – in fact, there’s a piece of art in almost every page of the supplement, in Travis Hanson’s characteristic, somewhat cartoony style.

As for the subclasses, we have the Circle of the Griffon for druid which seems to be heavily leaning into a fighter-style archetype – definitely an interesting direction for a Druid and I think it’s a good option for someone who might not want to multiclass but still have a hybrid playstyle. The Wild One Conclave for Ranger is also a martial archetype, quite similar to Hunter, with more and better weapon attacks as well as some options for sneaking and movement.

Overall, Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse is another great supplement with the fantastic quality we’ve come to expect from Cawood Publishing.

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