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The Lazy GM Single Shots: Barghests
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/17/2014 07:10:55
If you need barghests for your next adventure herein you will find a wealth of options and detail to make them a lot more than just the next monster for the party to beat up.

To remind you, a barghest is a shape-changing fiend that usually presents as a wolf or a goblin and which has the disturbing ability to increase in power if it eats whatever it kills. At the hardcore mechanical level this works somewhat differently depending on whether you are using the Pathfinder or the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ruleset, so if this detail is important for you both are dealt with in exquisite detail. As far as the party is concerned, it starts nasty and gets nastier... and when the dice hit the table, precise ruleset-based differences pale, you could actually use either to effect whichever set of rules you are using.

This is very user-friendly, particularly if you are reading the PDF onscreen rather than printed out. After the initial preamble that explains what a barghest is and how you might want to use its particular nature in an encounter (or even as the focus of a whole adventure) there's a set of lists (one for each ruleset) that gives a range of options ordered by CR. Click on the one of your choice and a hyperlink takes you to a full stat block. No messing with a generic stat block and notes telling you what has been changed, you get a full block for each and every option!

So once you have chosen the variant/CR you need, everything is to hand to enable that barghest to be dropped straight into the encounter that you have planned. Even if it survives and increases power during the course of the adventure, it will be straightforward to select the right set of stats for the next encounter - even during the course of the game if you keep your notes on a laptop or tablet! A nicely done GM aid.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM Single Shots: Barghests
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The Lazy GM: Orcs
by Dustin G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/06/2012 14:46:52
Love this product. Very helpful with the campaign I am currently working on. Recommended for almost any level of play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Orcs
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The Lazy GM: Spawn Of Non-Terrifying Beasts of Legend!
by Tim W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/24/2012 23:12:48
OMG. Any gamer that has been "around the block" for a whiles can appreciate the humour in this aweseome freebie! Yes! and Yes! to the Lazy GM

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Spawn Of Non-Terrifying Beasts of Legend!
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The Lazy GM: Spawn Of Non-Terrifying Beasts of Legend!
by Anton M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/31/2011 00:50:55
Fun low-level monsters for simple, possibly humor-oriented intermission adventures in between the "serious" chapters of your main campaign. You probably won't want to use these monsters more than once, but that's just fine.

Even if you never use these, it's worth reading for the entertainment value of these clever monsters.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Goblinoids (Pathfinder Edition)
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 05/28/2011 19:49:36
One of the charges that’s often leveled against Pathfinder when going over the game’s negatives is that, in certain areas, it’s cumbersome. And as any GM who’s ever tried to construct customized monsters knows, that’s not an unfair charge. Creating custom NPCs is often a time-consuming task, requiring meticulous work to stack class levels and templates on creatures. Your third-level bugbear rogue, for example, isn’t something easily generated on the fly.

It was exactly this sort of problem that Creative Conclave set out to solve, at least as far as bugbears and their ilk are concerned, with The Lazy GM: Goblinoids (Pathfinder Edition).

An update of the d20 v.3.5 version of the same name, this book details various possible builds with class levels, templates, and more for goblins, bugbears, and hobgoblins, as well as wolves, dire wolves, worgs, and goblin dogs, among others. A truly impressive array of stat blocks are presented for these – more than I could hope to count – leading to this 166-page PDF.

What makes this book truly impressive is that it doesn’t just dump a big bunch of stat blocks on you and walk away. In fact, the book opens with an impressive series of tables that describe and organize the book’s contents. Not only is the book divvied up by creature (with a handy table of contents), but it opens with a handy introduction going over each aspect of the stat blocks and explaining the decisions they made and why. Following this are listings of all the monsters in the book by Challenge Rating, and class/template/variant, with each entry being hyperlinked.

Of course, the book isn’t without its flaws. Some of these are technical in nature, such as the lack of PDF bookmarks (though the aforementioned hyperlinked listings help to mitigate this), and the fact that the stat blocks aren’t in the typical Pathfinder format but are instead in the older 3.5 format. I also suspected that there were one or two details got overlooked – I could have sworn, for example, that some monsters had no favored class bonus.

Still, it should be blatantly obvious that this book is a major help to GMs who want to have goblinoid NPCs in their game. Having put together a truly impressive listing of goblinoids of various class, multi-class, and template combinations, you’ll find something of use in here, or at least something approximating what you’re looking for. If you’re a lazy GM, then this series is quite literally named after you, so pick the book up today and save yourself a lot of trouble.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Goblinoids (Pathfinder Edition)
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Publisher Reply:
You could be right about the lack of favoured class bonus - when we started putting this together Pathfinder was still in its early testing stages so this particular rule may well have been overlooked. My suggestion is to add a number of hit points equal to class level to any creature you think needs a favoured class bonus, which would be the easiset option, although it wouldn't be too hard to add another skill with ranks=level if you preferred.
Addendum to my previous comment, this is now the revised edition and those issues have been addressed - if you buy this now you'll find the stat blocks in standard PF format and favoured class bonuses included. We've also fixed a few minor errors and amended some features that changed between the beta test of Pathfinder and the final publication, such as scaling on feats like Skill Focus. If you've got the older version the updated file is a available to you for free.
The Lazy GM: Undead and Other Fell Foes
by William W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/30/2011 13:28:05
A collection of stat blocks for standard undead (that is, non-template undead) and fiendish creatures (other than demons and devils) with class levels and templates added. This would be very handy for anyone who is planning a campaign with lots of undead and/or feindish opponents, and is looking for some variation in their foes. With this, all of the number-crunching work has been done for you.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Undead and Other Fell Foes
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The Lazy GM: Undead and Other Fell Foes
by Peter I. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/23/2010 07:18:19
The Lazy GM: Undead and Other Fell Foes is one of those products that makes a GMs life a lot easier. The product presents a bucket load of statistics blocks for numerous undead and other creatures, using class levels and monster advancement to generate an assortment of powerful foes of different abilities and challenge ratings (ranging from CR 1 to CR 24). Of the two dozen odd base creatures that are included in this product, hundreds of additional creatures are created in a variety of forms, shapes and sizes. The choice of class levels and advancement HD is well balanced against the creature's native CR, and make sense within the culture of the base creature. The majority of creatures in the product are undead, but numerous other foes are presented such as Howlers and Yeth Hounds.

This is an extremely useful product overall, crafting accurate statistics blocks that can add a huge amount of variety to any GMs game. With the product designed with the 3.5e OGL in mind, it might not be that compatible with the Pathfinder RPG without some modification, but players of the 3.5e OGL can do a lot with this product. Combined with all their other Lazy GM offerings, one never really has to create another stat block from scratch again. Creative Conclave have done it all for you, true to their product slogan of 'We Work, You Play!'. I have to admit though, that I wasn't as enthusiastic about this offering as I have been in the past about some of the other Lazy GM products. It's not that the work isn't spectacular, but rather that I felt it lacked the spark when churning out the statistics blocks. It looked more like an exercise rather than an attempt to also create unique and interesting creature combinations. I really liked the categorization of the creatures according to 'roles', another aspect of the product that makes it easy to use and pick the creature you want based on CR and purpose. Nice product, perhaps not the strongest offering in the Lazy GM series, but still superb value and usability.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Book of Brutes
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/03/2010 16:42:35
Ah! Here it is! After a long wait, the Book of Brutes arrives with gianty goodness for all. I like this product and I think that its current $9.99 price is a bargain. You get bears. You get ogres. You get ettins. You get minotaurs. As sort of a jolly addition to the mayhem, you also get the gleefully powerful athach in all his twisted forms. Just print them off, or highlight, copy and paste and you have yummy monsters to toss down on your gaming group. Any GM who understands how much time it takes to create unique advanced monsters in D20 gaming will instantly see the value in this product. The only criticism I have of this product is that we want more! Where are the fire, frost, hill, cloud and storm giants? We need The Lazy GM; Book of Giants, and we need it ASAP. Keep up the good work Creative Conclave!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Book of Brutes
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The Lazy GM: Lizardfolk
by Henry G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/05/2010 17:13:15
This product is exactly what is says it is.
Stat blocks for 3.0, 3.5 and pathfinder system.
No there not pretty stat blocks never are but you know what it saves me so much work I do not want to do.
Not only do they have stat blocks for the hit point soaking mooks but also spellcasters with there lists which saves and increadable ammount of time.


This product gives a range of stat blocks for lizardfolk all in the lizard folk theme.
Better yet it's open content which allows anyone to use it.

I recommend this product to anyone who does not have the time the use to or want quick plug and play monster on the fly without the work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Lizardfolk
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The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 02/21/2009 19:51:24
Creative Conclave has put together a string of some of the most useful products for the OGL system. If you are a gamemaster who intends to stick around and play D&D 3.5 for a while longer, you would do extremely well to latch on to all this company's products.

DMing 3.5 is a difficult enough task without constantly having to work up advanced monsters and templates. The Lazy GM series is the perfect power tool for any DM who needs muscular, interesting or just plain different monsters.

The only negative thing I have to say about this awesome load of thunderbolts for any DM is...I wish there were more of them. For instance, where is a case of dynamite in the form of the giant class monsters? We want more!

Seriously....totally worth plunking your DM money down for this set of very nice time savers.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
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The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/17/2009 08:00:52
The underlying concept of the Lazy GM series is to provide complete stat blocks for use as opposition during your game. Most of the preceeding volumes have explored a single creature in depth, but this one consists of a trawl through the Monster Manual, presenting many familiar and favourite creatures all ready to square up against the characters. Now they already come with stat blocks, so why bother? you may ask. The added value here is that stat blocks for different Hit Dice, with various appropriate templates applied, and even - when the creature is capable of it - with class levels and abilites added. So it's not just yet another gargoyle, maybe this one is a vampire and knows how to use a crossbow!

But it's not just page after page of stat blocks. The Introduction explains the underlying processes used in their construction, so that the not-so-lazy GM is empowered to tweak them to suit his needs, or even apply the same concepts to a monster not covered here.

The monsters are indexed both by name and by Challenge Rating, so that if you know you want an assassin vine you can review the options; or if you know the level of opposition which you need to supply you can check what's available. As a further refinement, they are also classified by type - mode of behaviour or attack method - so that you can survey all those creatures which, for example, like to grapple and pick out the one which best fits your adventure.

This isn't a good afternoon's read, nor is it intended to be - it is a very useful tool for the DM who likes proper stat blocks for the monsters he plans to use, but would rather spend his preparation time on plotline and other creative aspects of adventure design.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Dungeon Beasts
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/04/2009 20:24:22
Even before I started reviewing Creative Conclave’s work, I knew that their “Lazy GM” series of books was aptly named. It’s not that GM’s are an inherently lazy bunch, but rather, the amount of work that any given GM has to do for even a single adventure is strenuous at best. Even if you’re running a pre-generated adventure, it’s no picnic to prepare and run, and if you’re running an original adventure, well…you’ve got your work cut out for you. Nowhere is that more true with making appropriate encounters. After all, the d20 System allows for incredible flexibility when advancing or otherwise altering monsters, but you better be prepared to sit down and work out the math in painstaking detail…for each creature. Here, however, Create Conclave saves GMs from such burnout with their Dungeon Beasts product, covering a rather wide variety of monsters from the SRD.

Here, we find forty monsters are presented, none of which are humanoids of any basic sort (that is, don’t expect to see trolls or giants here). Each creature has a series of variant stat blocks; all have advanced nature Hit Dice presented, and then various combinations of templates, class levels, and/or size alterations (and, sometimes, natural Hit Dice advancement in conjunction with one of these). There’s no particular rhyme or reason, that I could see at least, for how these latter sections go. Some creatures got skeleton and zombie templates applied, others had fighter levels, some had advanced Hit Dice with the half-dragon template, etc. The variety is enough so that even if you don’t find something exactly like what you’re looking for here, you’ll find something close.

Lest this sound utterly dull, the book doesn’t just throw stat blocks at you and walk away. It opens with a brief introduction, goes over the format of the stat blocks and how to alter them as you see fit, and then has a hyperlinked listing of each stat block by CR, letting you zip to exactly where you need. There’s also a discussion of what monsters work best in what roles (e.g. flyers, guardians, etc). Each monster is presented in alphabetical order, and begins with a short paragraph describing them (and covering their variants). The only drawback that I could find here was that there was no way to zip straight to the entry for a particular monster, whether in bookmarks or a hyperlinked table of contents. This was corrected in their later book, Savage Creatures, but it would have been nice if they’d gone back and added that feature here too.

That said, the truly staggering number of stat blocks here is a great advantage for any GM that’s having a hard time making themselves wade through the sea of numbers that comes with advancing creatures. Rather than going to all that trouble, why not just look here and pick up an advanced monster that’s already been formatted for you. These Dungeon Beasts won’t let you down.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Dungeon Beasts
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The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/16/2008 13:01:32
It can’t really be denied that 3.5 is a game system that requires a fair amount of work to run. Whether it’s calculating the Encounter Levels in your homebrew adventure or building a high-level PC, there’s a lot of numbers to take into account. Nowhere is this more ubiquitous than when designing a non-standard monster (“non-standard” here meaning a monster that differs from how it’s presented in its source material). Luckily, the guys at Creative Conclave are taking care of that for us with the latest addition to their Lazy GM series: Savage Creatures.

The book takes just over forty monsters from the SRD, and introduces myriad variant stat blocks for each and every one. Advanced (and sometimes diminished) natural Hit Dice, templates, class levels, and combinations thereof are given for each creature. Some creatures have only a half-dozen variant stat blocks while others have over a dozen. Each entry also has a brief paragraph discussing the creature (and occasionally offering a variant idea or two) and also lists the unaltered stat block for the creature just to be helpful.

What impressed me most about this book, however, was that Creative Conclave didn’t just throw the stat blocks in here and leave the GMs to figure out what to use. Instead, after a hyperlinked table of contents of creatures, there’s a handy introduction that discusses the various aspects of the stat blocks in terms of how they were made and tips for making your own alterations. There’s also a hyperlinked of creatures by CR, and beyond that, a breakdown of creatures by the roles they play (e.g. “guardians,” “ranged attackers,” etc.), and an index of the variants used. Creative Conclave clearly understood that in a product like this, cross-indexing is king.

It’s almost impossible find fault with a book like this. It does the heavy lifting on one of the most mathematically-intensive aspects of the game, and does it very well. There are hundreds upon hundreds of stat blocks in here, which means that even if you only use a fraction of those in your game, you’re saving yourself a metric ton of effort. Even if you still want to make an altered stat block, using these as a baseline can still save you quite a bit of work. There’s really no downside to this book; just a list of different ways it helps you out.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
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The Lazy GM: Lizardfolk
by Shannon A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/05/2008 00:03:39
Does it job. Not particularly exciting, but if you want a nice lizardfolk tribe, this is the resource to buy.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Lizardfolk
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The Lazy GM: Dungeon Beasts
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/25/2008 11:14:36
In a way, I guess all of us Gamemasters are lazy about one thing or another. I know some guys who love to nitpick and assign every single skill and feat for every single creature in their game. I on the other hand have players whom could care less or not if the Fire Giant blacksmith had craft skills. For this type of lazy GM, whom would rather do other things that stat up creatures, The Creative Conclave presents the Lazy GM: Dungeon Beasts.

Dungeon Beasts ventures into territory that many publishers have done with NPCs. Instead of rehashing the same old monsters, it takes a few dozen monsters and incrementally advances them, providing the reader over 400 varieties of creatures for their game.

The book goes about this by presenting a creature, a brief description and several advancement. It also presents several templates applied to the creature. It is a very simple and effective approach. Whereas most of the 146 pages of the book contain monster entries, the first few pages detail the types of monsters found in the book and reference pages for them.

The book is very simple in its layout, so much so that it becomes its biggest negative. There are no bookmarks or navigation tools and the statblock format is neither the new or old form.

For the DM
Can not say I have ever thought about zombie Bulettes before, but I sure will use one in my game now.

The Iron Word
I would hope to think that the second thing someone thinks of when creating a reference book is navigation (the first being the actual reference material). Still, Dungeon Beasts simple layout and descriptions overcomes this faux pas and feels like one of those books that you should have on file in your laptop for just in case incidents. It is an excellence monster source.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Lazy GM: Dungeon Beasts
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