This is Andre Faucher, on Behalf of Gamer's Haven, reviewing Codex Draconis: Red Tyrants of the Mountains a book centered on the deadly and corrupt Red Dragons, beasts of legend and agents of terror and chaos. This book is focused on providing sample Red Dragons for Pathfinder and includes several variations on the same dragon, some sample stories, and of course the massive hoard that the adventurer's are truly after.
First, what are some of the worthy aspects of this book?
1.) Stat Blocks. As it is known I love stat blocks because I hate fleshing out a villain, taking hours to do so, only to have them die after a single battle. The stat blocks for the dragons in this book are both extensive and adaptable to meet most situations. This book does all the work for you so you do not have to spend the next three business days building that Great Wyrm red dragon that the adventurers should never attack, but inevitably do.
2.) Variations. There are variations on dragons so that you can adapt the dragon to what you were hoping for. For example if you were hoping for a dragon who was focused in fighting with their claws, they have a stat variation for that so that you do not have to do most the work, they simply have a small section on what to change in the stats.
3.) "Uping the Ante." They have a section on what possible minions for these great beasts might attract, which can spawn and adventure in itself and make the dragon a colossal challenge.
4.) Hoard. They provide sample loot lists, which saves a lot of trouble in the post combat portion. In addition they break it down for the fast, medium, and slow exp track so that you do not have to alter the lists depending on which exp track the players are heading down.
Okay, so what are some of the downsides?
1.) Artwork. The artwork in the book is a little lacking, with only a few images of red dragons to provide a bit of flavor. Visually the book could have done with some borders or even some artwork of a red dragon eating someone.
2.) Can't cover all bases. One thing about dragons is that they are so versatile in how they are built, that this book could not hope to cover all of the needs of a GM. While this is not so much of a downside for this book, a GM cannot go into this book expecting them to have exactly what they need. So there is some flexibility needed.
Are you a GM who intends to ever use a dragon anywhere? Buy this book. Are you a player? Probably not. The price of this book is very reasonable for this book and is probably well worth the money that a GM can invest in this book. It will save at least the for dollars that the book might cost in time saved merely because dragons are such beasts to roll up, and if they die at the end of the encounter, it was a lot of a work with only a little pay off. With the loot, variations, and stat blocks this book is a huge convenience for anyone who is thinking of using a dragon in their campaign. So overall, lots of uses for only four dollars. I recommend this buy to dragon loving GMs.