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$121,137 pledged of $30,000 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

$121,137 pledged of $30,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

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 300 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, and Hero Lab. 

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.

 

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 first few goals (there are more in the wings).

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

  

  

  

 

   

  

  

   

 

 

 So many monsters already added, and many more stretch goals to come, we hope. Let's keep it rolling!

The kobolds will offer a few add-ons using BackerKit. You can add funding for things like a Tome of Beasts hardcover or 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. 

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.

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    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Submit a Monster

    You get the project news and updates, and you can submit 1 monster of 500 words or less for possible publication. See project description for details.

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    Basic Creature Codex PDF

    No frills or extras, just the meat! More than More than 300 monsters for 5th Edition play, fully illustrated and including all the monster stretch goals.

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex PDF
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    RETAILER TIER

    Put down a pledge for the Creature Codex, and we'll contact you closer to launch to set up your prerelease package. US ONLY.

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex Hardcover
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    Creature Codex PDF + Map Pack + Previews

    Full color monster PDF plus battle maps, lairs and 5 sets of preview monsters arriving months before the full PDF is done. Submit a monster of your own if you like!

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Battle Map and Lair PDFs
    • 5 Preview Packs of Monsters
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    Basic Creature Codex Hardcover + PDF

    No frills or extras, just the meat! Full color hardcover book with all monsters from the project, plus the PDF. You can even submit a monster of your own if you like!

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    • Creature Codex Hardcover
    • Creature Codex PDF
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    Creature Codex Hardcover, PDF & Previews

    Full color hardcover book with all monsters from the project, plus the PDF, previews, and extras. You can even submit a monster of your own if you like.

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex Hardcover
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Battle Map and Lair PDFs
    • 5 Preview Packs of Monsters
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    Creature Codex Deluxe Pack with Pawns

    Full color hardcover book with all monsters from the project, the Creature Codex pawn set, plus the preview packs and the PDF. Even submit a monster of your own if you like.

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex Hardcover
    • Creature Codex Pawn Set (when unlocked)
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Prepared 2 PDF (if unlocked)
    • Battle Map and Lair PDFs
    • 5 Preview Packs of Monsters
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    Limited Edition Hardcover with Pawns

    A beautiful leatherette, foil-stamped edition with ribbon bookmarks, done in a limited hardcover edition of 300 copies. Includes the PDF and all prior rewards.

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex Limited Edition Hardcover
    • Creature Codex Pawn Set (when unlocked)
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Prepared 2 PDF (if unlocked)
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    Pledge $1,750 or more About $1,750

    Game with the Kobolds!

    The kobolds run a game for you at a convention or online, using maps and monsters from the Creature Codex! Plus all prior rewards.

    Includes:
    • Game with the Kobolds Online or at Convention
    • Creature Codex Vellum Handbound Edition
    • Creature Codex Hardcover
    • Monster Commission
    • Creature Codex Pawn Set (when unlocked)
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Prepared 2 PDF (if unlocked)
    • Battle Map and Lair PDFs
    • 5 Preview Packs of Monsters
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    Commission A Monster

    Give us a monster theme or concept, and we'll make it part of the book--fully designed, tested, and illustrated! Plus you get the Creature Codex limited edition hardcover, pawns (once unlocked), PDF, and previews, of course.

    Includes:
    • Monster Commission
    • Creature Codex Limited Edition Hardcover
    • Creature Codex Pawn Set (when unlocked)
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Prepared 2 PDF (if unlocked)
    • Battle Map and Lair PDFs
    • 5 Preview Packs of Monsters
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    Handbound Vellum Edition

    A handbound volume in vellum (a calfskin parchment used in Medieval bookmaking), with ribbon bookmarks, endpapers, and all the heft and feel of a true tome of ancient times. Plus a regular edition as a table copy, the pawns, previews, and all the modern utility of a PDF copy, and a monster commission (at your option).

    Includes:
    • Creature Codex Vellum Handbound Edition
    • Monster Commission
    • Creature Codex Hardcover
    • Creature Codex Pawn Set (when unlocked)
    • Creature Codex PDF
    • Prepared 2 PDF (if unlocked)
    • Battle Map and Lair PDFs
    • 5 Preview Packs of Monsters
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