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Cawood Publishing Challenges Adventurers with Monsters of the Wilderness

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Our friends at Cawood Publishing unveiled a new excursion into the World of Myrr unfolding through their series of monster books. Monsters of the Wilderness for 5th Edition is the fourth book in the series and the Kickstarter campaign bringing it to life for gaming groups all over the world launched today and runs through March 4.

Wild adventure awaits on Kickstarter

Building on the framework of earlier titles in Cawood’s monster book series this latest one presents lots of new monsters to drop into Fifth Edition games but also incorporates an internal structure linking them together through themes and narrative elements. In the case of Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse the legendary wizard Oswald Myrr unleashes the eponymous curse, which opens planar portals through which creatures emerge.

Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse details seven wilderness regions. Ocean, Arctic, Desert, Swamp/Jungle, Forest, Hills/Lakes and Mountains each get a dedicated section including a regional mage and monstrous titan.

“This monster book is actually very closely connected to the core story from our World of Myrr. I started that by making a village six years ago and building out. Now the world has nine continents and tons of lore. Plan to run another Kick later this year for an updated campaign setting book which will tie into this latest book.” — Andrew Cawood

I got a chance to preview the arctic region booklet and like my experience with Cawood’s previous titles I found a lot to enjoy. To some extent when it comes to D&D if you’ve seen one monster you’ve seen them all and I’ve seen thousands of monsters over the years (and designed no small number of them myself). What I’ve always dug about Cawood’s content is the interconnected quality. Reading through the flavor text and lore gets my imagination excited to see how adventurers engage and interact with these creatures and the stories they have to tell.

In the arctic booklet I previewed there’s some great introductory information describing the sorts of themes involved with this particular biome along with examples of inhabitants and the different kinds of terrain features present. There’s even a section detailing the kind of adventuring equipment of particular importance in this wilderness region. Also included are some tables for region specific encounters and weather conditions.

I like the terrain features part quite a bit because these are the kind of details to help a GM really bring the wilderness to life. Further, I’ve been on this kick lately of blurring the line between GM and the other players so I’m thinking this book would be wonderful for players to explore too. There’s excellent material to draw on for creating backstories and preparing for wilderness adventures. And who knows? Maybe it’ll inspire folks to become new GMs themselves too.

The Monsters of the Wilderness themselves offer a wide variety of challenge ratings and creature types not the least of which are the monstrous titans. Adventurers in the arctic would do well to remain wary of The Ragnar, a brutal behemoth and apex predator. Not surprisingly the flavor text folds in connections to other creatures in the book so I’m already formulating adventure ideas after looking at just a single creature. Neat! Looking through the rest of the booklet I see Cawood Publishing sneakily slipped in some magic items and other goodies in sidebars with various creature entries too. You can download the Arctic Region booklet from the Kickstarter page and check it out for yourself.

Over the years it’s been really awesome to see this series grow and develop. Head designer, project manager and editor Andrew Cawood is a creator I’ve come to trust and who always impresses me with the material in these books. I also enjoy the consistent art style from Eisner-nominated illustrator Travis Hanson bringing the World of Myrr to life visually. The team behind Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse also includes Gordon McAlpin as graphic designer and art director with Sarah Bagshaw as assistant editor.

Over on the Kickstarter page you can find out all the details about the project. If this is your first time exploring the World of Myrr you’re in luck because many of the pledge levels include previous titles and also you’re about to discover a terrific creator you can trust to deliver great material right on time. Head over to Cawood Publishing’s Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse Kickstarter page and discover the pledge level that works best for you and your gaming group here.

Cawood Publishing Monsters of the Wilderness

The Ice Dragon from the Arctic Region in Cawood Publishing’s Monsters of the Wilderness: Oswald’s Curse. [Illustration by Travis Hanson]

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Doug Vehovec

Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

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