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Welcome to the fifth volume in the E.N. Critters series of Open Gaming Content Sourcebooks – Interlopers from the Blasted Realm. If you are seeking an inexpensive monster compendium focused on demons and outsiders, this is the book for you. If having a detailed enviroment to tie all of the monsters together would be useful, even better. Need a reason for extraplanar creatures to be on the Material Plane? The detail on the Blasted Realm provides this as well as an overarching storyline should you wish to use it. This volume not only includes 24 new and unique creatures, but also includes a detailed account of the plane they are from. As an added bonus, counters that can be printed one or two-sided have been provided for almost every creature. The monsters presented here have all either evolved on or been trapped in a pocket plane of chaos and evil known as the Blasted Realm. This realm draws its name from the hellstorms that frequent many of its floating landmasses. A pervasive evil power extends throughout, considerably mutating all who come from other planes as they spend time seeking a way to escape.
A fairly detailed account of the planes properties, history, geography, inhabitants and general plotlines have been provided as well as planar and regional maps. This is however a monster compendium and not intended to be a complete campaign sourcebook. Rather, the plane details have been included to create a framework for the creatures herein as well as to provide the GM with enough information to build adventures in the Blasted Realm and on the Material Plane.
The monsters can certainly be used independently of their Blasted Realm origins - this is meant to act as a standalone monster book first and foremost. While most of the 24 creatures presented are outsiders, more specifically demons, there are a small number of other types detailed. Among these other types are two constructs, one humanoid, three magical beasts, one template and one undead swarm. Of the 24, there are also three that possess the psionic subtype. The volume’s creatures intentionally span a wide range of challenge ratings to increase the volume’s overall usefulness. Each creature has the usual illustration, stat block and combat section, but an ecology section, knowledge table and a notes and game balance section are also included and have become standard in the E.N. Critters series.
The ecology expands on each creature with a few paragraphs about topics such as its origins, where it is found, what it eats, etc., useful for GMs wishing to add an extra dimension of cohesiveness to their games. The knowledge tables are designed as a quick aid in determining what a player’s character will know about each of these creatures with a successful Knowledge check to save the GM time during the game. The notes and game balance section provides insight into the writer’s concept for the creature as well as the reasoning behind its challenge rating in the game. Each full creature entry is set to make the GM’s job easy to run that creature, including additional information about certain types of abilities to save time having to reference additional books. The artwork in this volume differs from previous volumes in a couple of respects. Previously the illustrations were done by a few artists and were in full color. In this volume, they have all been drawn by one artist using charcoal and ink, and once digitized, blood effects were added. Just about everything is in black, red and grey. This gives it a very cohesive feel. The layout in this volume, like previous ones, is specifically set for anyone wishing to print it double-sided and then drop it into a 3-ring binder.
Why should you spend your hard earned cash on this PDF?
• It’s inexpensive -- 61 pages of monsters, background and counters for just $4.95.
• It’s practical -- Individual monsters can be printed for games as needed.
• It’s unexpected -- 24 new and unique outsiders to spring on your players.
• It’s helpful -- Detailed information on the plane they come from, plus maps.
• It’s creative -- Detailed information on each monster including ecology and game balance.
• It’s useful -- Suggested knowledge tables for each creature to speed play of knowledge checks.
• It’s more useful -- Since these are new and there are no figurines specifically for them, counters for almost every creature are provided and can be printed 1 or 2-sided.
• It’s easy -- The PDF is fully linked and bookmarked for ease of use.
• It’s creepy -- Charcoal and blood effect illustration for almost all of the creatures. We even decided to add a gore warning as some were very disturbing.
• It’s sharp -- The PDF is at 150ppi for better viewing and printing.
• It’s quality -- Each monster has been created with uniqueness, usefulness and game balance
in mind. We play the game too and we want to make sure these are as good as they can be.
• It’s self-improving -- If there is errata (monster books being particularly tough in this regard), it will be updated electronically and you can get the improved version for free!
• It’s responsive -- As mentioned before, we also play and run games. If you have questions on any of the creature’s included, contact information for the editor is provided in the PDF and you WILL get answers.
• Did we mention it’s inexpensive?
If you are familiar with the series, you can expect the quality that you are used to. Each new volume is being improved upon and as time is available, the older volumes are being updated to the same level. If you have never seen our projects before, you can expect to get your moneys-worth and much more. There are also four previous volumes you can explore if this PDF meets and exceeds your needs, which we are expecting it will!