Monsters of the City (Kickstarter)

I don’t think it’s a big secret that I generally avoid Dungeons and Dragons. I have nothing specifically against it, but there are smaller companies with less ubiquitous systems that deserve to have some light turned onto them. But one thing that Wizards of the Coast have done very well with 5th Edition, is encouraging third parties to play in their sandbox. They are far from the only company that does this, but it’s definitely a big part of their success.

I’m starting with that statement to really frame what Spotlighting this campaign means. I almost never look at a project past seeing “5E” in the description, because I don’t play it. I’m almost certain I’ve walk past Cawood Publishing at events, looked at their two previous books in this series, thought they looked amazing, and moved along because “5E”. But as soon as Travis Hanson shared his art for Lust from Monsters of the City, I knew I needed to look closer at this one. So here we are.

As I mentioned, Monsters of the City is the third release in Cawood Publishing’s Monster series. It is separated into seven sections representing the 7 districts of the city (the name of which isn’t included in the campaign, if there even is one). Each district of the city is home to a pair of legendary monsters that exert their influences over that area of the city. Each of those monsters represents one of the 7 Sins and 7 Virtues from early Christain teachings.

Each district section begins with an overview of that particular district. It includes a short (but flavourful) description, and lists on what sorts of buildings, services, and denizens, players may find there. There is also a random encounter table to help out DMs. The table doesn’t seem to include any monsters from the book (at least not in the table I saw) and they all seem like they are common D&D foes.

After that description page, comes the Sin and Virtue that influence that district, and the various unique monsters to be found there. For the record, I’m getting most of this from the Dockyard District section which you can download in its entirety on the campaign page. I absolutely love the fish-like mobster, The Codfather, and his aquarian henchmen. But even more, is the idea of the Puritans running amok trying to enforce their own twisted interpretations of the words of Chastity (the Virtue of the Dockyard District).

There is a good selection of pledge levels to choose from, starting at only $20 (CAD) for the PDF or $37 for a physical copy of Monsters of the City, and only $50 for both. Bouncing around a little, $45 gets the PDF version of all three books in the Monster Series, $150 gets a PDF and Physical copy of MotC and your choice of the same for either one of the previous books, or $250 for all three. There are a few more levels that include a swath of extra stuff, but it’s just easier for you to go look at those.

You might be comparing the cost of just this book to the costs of the packages, and thinking they seem weird. The initial physical offering of Monsters of the City is only in softcover to keep those levels more affordable, with an upgrade to hardcover as an early stretch goal, whereas the previous books are already hardcover. The books are printed in the US, but the campaign is running in Canadian dollars, which is sitting around 30% lower than the US dollar right now. The cost of smaller print runs makes pledging for just MotC a great deal, but also makes the previous books understandably pricey. Whether they are too pricy is something you’ll have to decide for yourself.

You can back Monsters of the City on Kickstarter until February 11, 2020.

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