From the creators of the titanic Tome of Beasts! Kobold Press is at it again, with a lethal and highly entertaining horde of 5e-compatible monsters to challenge new players and veterans alike.
The Creature Codex will bring over 350 new monsters to 5th edition, including lotus golems, wasteland dragons, shadow goblins, and so much more. All Creature Codex Kickstarter backers can submit an original monster design for possible publication, while high level backers can commission Kobold Press to design and illustrate their monster idea. In addition to the Creature Codex, this Kickstarter will fund the creation of monster pawns, encounter maps, and more!
We Kobolds love to make bestiaries and monster books! However, it costs quite a bit to create a high-quality, art-heavy, playtest-honed, rules-crunchy volume of 5th edition monsters—and printing a product of this size calls for some financial clout. We're Kickstarting it to make sure we have the funding necessary for a small, medium, large, huge, or even gargantuan print run, as required.
With your support, we expect to deliver a big book, a juicy and useful PDF, and plenty of extras! Thanks to our prior outing with the Tome of Beasts, we have a seasoned team of skilled 5e monster designers, so you can expect even more innovation and fresh ideas to challenge your players, no matter what level of play they are at.
Get the monster you want designed, developed, professionally illustrated, and published as part of the Creature Codex! As part of the Kickstarter Commissions event, we're offering 10 backers a chance to commission a monster on a theme of their choosing. Let us know roughly what you're looking for from a monster, and we'll put a team of Kobold design commandos and artist ninjas to work. The resulting monster goes into the book, to be shared with the entire world of dungeon-crawlers and dragon-slayers!
Some limitations apply: The monster must be CR 10 or lower, may not be Legendary, and must not violate anyone else's copyright, our publisher's sense of decency, or basic fairness. We reserve the right to reject any monster commission that does not meet our standards for a fun, playable monster.
This Kickstarter is focused on doing what we do best: making great monsters. Once that's accomplished, we'll partner with other companies and use their digital expertise to deliver these monsters to you in other formats.
We will provide in-depth digital support for this book with Roll20, Fantasy Grounds, Hero Lab, and D20PRO.
This time, we're offering both preview and playtest material for those who want it--and skipping that extra layer of material for those who just want it when it is done.
What's the difference between the two?
- A playtest involves running at least one encounter (ideally several) and sending in a short report about the results. Playtesters are acknowledged in the book's credits, and have a real say in the difficulty, balance, and playability of the final creatures. We'll send backers information on how to sign up.
- A preview just means an early look, without providing any formal feedback and without a listing in the credits. No signup or reports required.
We're offering a limited edition run of the Creature Codex with leatherette cover, foil stamps, ribbon bookmarks, and as much arcane, monstrous style as we can muster. This edition is limited to 333 signed and numbered copies.
Here's the short and sweet version of the reward levels.
The one item that you might not recognize are the monster pawns, AKA the Creature Codex Pawn Set. These are cardboard standups for use on a battlemat, like the ones we created for Tome of Beasts (see those here). This is a mockup of what those will look like for the Codex.
The pawns goal was UNLOCKED for Deluxe print pledge levels and up when we funded.
In addition to stretch goals, we expand the project based on how many people back it in total (regardless of pledge level). Every additional backer means we'll publish more submitted monsters in the book, so please help us spread the word!
We want to do ALL THE GOODIES, and with your help, we shall have them! First and foremost, we're adding more and more monsters to the book; that's the majority of our stretch goals, and those goals make the hardcover and PDF bigger and better.
We ALSO have our eyes on delivering a set of monster pawns, encounter maps, short lairs featuring monsters from the Codex, and much more! Here's our unlocked goals in all their glory!
So many monsters have been added to this book--100 of them funded by the backers of this project! Not to mention 7 full-sized battle maps, related short adventures, and more. Thank you all for your amazing support!
The kobolds will offer a few add-ons using BackerKit. You can add funding for things like a Tome of Beasts hardcover, extra copies of the Creature Codex or the like. Please note that add-ons will ship at the same time as the main book, and we are not offering digital add-ons other than PDFs. (The Codex VTT files are being created and sold by other companies.)
Any book this size has a lot of hands working on it. Here is a partial list of the major contributors for Creature Codex, focusing on those writing dozen of monsters, illustrating scads of them, and pulling it all together. We could double the size of this list, but we're trying to keep it under the Kickstarter page cap.
Wolfgang Baur, Designer and Publisher: The chief kobold will design a few dozen monsters but he also works madly behind the scenes (the Kermit flail is a LEARNED SKILL, people). As publisher, he'll coordinate, budget, and track the project from start to finish.
Chris Harris, Designer: A major mover in monster design, with a huge number of creatures under his belt from Tome of Beasts. Harris knows how to make parties squirm and DMs chuckle with fiendish delight.
Dan Dillon, Designer: Known for both deep rules mastery and a original, deadly designs, Dan is another veteran of the Kobold text mines. He's delivering some animal lords.
James Haeck, Designer: With an eye for dragons and dragonkin, James is a young designer who has secured a spot among the top ranks working at Kobold Press today.
Jeremy Hochhalter, Designer: A winner in our Monarch of the Monsters contest, and a specialist in demons and devils and fiends of all kinds.
Shawn Merwin, Designer: Known for his Adventurer's League work, Merwin also does excellent undead and humanoids of various kinds.
Marc Radle, Art Director: The maestro who makes all the art trains run on time. (There are art trains, right?)
Bryan Syme, Artist: A Kobold Press regular with a great eye for humans and kobolds. And spiky bits, and much more.
William O'Brien, Artist: A new artist for Kobold Press, whose talent with monstrous animals and fiends wowed us. Expecting some great monster art here!
Marcel Mercado, Artist: Familiar from Tome of Beasts, Mercado is back with an eye for great poses, great concepts, and lush armor and glistening hides.
Meagan Maricle, Editor: Meagan keeps the rest of this crew honest. Keen eyed and ruthless in defense of clear, sharp, and correct text.
Ben McFarland, Playtest Coordinator: Organizing, shipping, and compiling the data that turns good monsters into great ones. Ben is an unsung hero of Tome of Beasts, and has stepped up for the Creature Codex as well. Someday, a bard will craft a saga of his triumphs.
Risks and challenges
We already have a complete manuscript for the book (minus the commissions and backer monsters), and the art is completed for half of it. So we're in quite good shape on the creative front! There's still a lot of work to do in additional art commissions, playtesting, editing, and development, not to mention layout and printing.
However, our team published a similar book (Tome of Beasts) in 2016, and we know what's required to put a volume like this together and deliver it to backers and the rest of the world. The primary risk is that personal or health troubles would require one or more of the principal contributors to step back. We have other people we could work with in that case, but certain creative staff are key to success.
Also, we are currently working on shipping and logistics for the Midgard: Dark Roads & Deep Magic Kickstarter. That one will be out the door months before this book goes to press; we're in final stages of logistics now. However, it is a second project we're working to get out the door.
We require no external review or approval from other companies to make this book happen, and we've been working on it long enough to see it is coming together well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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