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The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures $21.99 $9.99
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
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The Lazy GM: Savage Creatures
Publisher: Creative Conclave
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
Publisher: Creative Conclave
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: Savage Creatures
Publisher: Creative Conclave
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!]
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