Kobold Press has released a new book filled with monsters ready to be inserted into your Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
The Creature Codex contains over 400 monsters designed for Dungeons & Dragons' Fifth Edition play, created by a collective of experienced game designers. Monsters included in the new tome of monsters range from bizarre but mostly harmless to incredibly dangerous and capable of wiping out an entire high level party.
Kobold Press is a third party publisher, but the company does have some connections to Wizards of the Coast, the official maker of Dungeons & Dragons material. Kobold Press previously designed the Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Tyranny of Dragons adventures for Wizards of the Coast, and two of the main designers of this book, James Haeck and James Introcaso, worked on the upcoming Waterdeep - Dragon Heist adventure.
Flipping through the Creature Codex last night, I was most impressed by the number of sources the book pulls from. While there are plenty of variants of popular D&D monsters (there's 17 different golems and a dozen new dragons), there are also monsters pulled from non-Western mythological sources. I noticed monsters that originated from Egyptian, Indian, and Chinese lore, and there were even a few monsters inspired by modern day myths. The chupacabra makes an appearance in the Creature Codex, for example, and there's a giant burning Wickerman monster that looks like a Burning Man festival gone horribly wrong.
There are plenty of monsters that weren't inspired by mythology - including a new type of ooze that's delightfully bizarre. The Giant Shark Bowl Ooze is a new creature that consists of a great white shark living in symbiosis inside of a giant blue ooze. The ooze attempts to pull in hapless adventures inside of it, where the shark tears them to shreds and provides them both with continued sustenance. It's an absolutely amazing creature and I can't wait to spring it on my adventuring party soon.
My only criticism of the Creature Codex is that, like other Dungeons & Dragons monster manuals, it's filled mostly with low level monsters. A sizable majority of the creatures in the Creature Codex are CR 10 or below, which means that you might be disappointed if you're looking for monsters for your high level adventure. Of course, most Dungeons & Dragons campaigns don't last longer than Level 10 themselves, so there's a good reason the book focuses mostly on low and mid-level monsters.
Creature Codex is available on Kobold Press's website for $49.99 (or $29.99 for a PDF copy). It's a high-quality supplement for your D&D adventures and should add plenty of inspiration when planning out future encounters.