Saturday, July 13, 2024
HomeReviewsReview: Flee, Mortals! The MCDM Monster Book

Review: Flee, Mortals! The MCDM Monster Book

The Flee, Mortals! The MCDM Monster Book is a Kickstarter funded project launched to provide an alternative to the Wizards of the Coast Monster Manual. The project raised  $2,084,117 USD from 27,009 backers which just shows the power of YouTube in developing a designer profile from which one can launch a commercial product.

Flee Mortal’s is a hefty and beautiful and well made book – purchasers can expect the book to last. With more than 339 stat blocks covering goblins, orcs, hogoblins, dragons, elemental, monstrosity, NPC’s, and a sprinkling of MCDMs own new creatures there is something here for every game master.

Unique (at the time) is that creatures (such as goblins) have been broken down into archetypes such as brutes, support and ambushes which skills to match. This provides the game master with clarify on how these creatures should be used – impacting their placement at the commencement and during combat encounters and aligned skills, brutes up front, and ambushers at the site using ranged weapons and sneaky tactics to target ranged focused player characters.

To complement these specialty creatures a new type of expendable mass creature called a minion has been introduced. These are one-hit one-kill creatures who can be killed on mass if the damage left over from the first minion killed is higher than the hp total of the next minion. This simple mechanic provides the opportunity for player characters to participate in mass battles against hordes as portrayed in comics and movies but this will need explaining in advance to players as this is a deviation from 5e game play expectations, and the last thing game masters will want is players deciding to run away from a horde rather than running head-long into it.

The outstanding addition is other notable feature is the addition of Villain actions to monsters. These complement and add to both lair actions and legendary actions. A villain action can only be used once per combat and their implementation has been masterful. Villains with these actions are now unique. Dragons radiate with power which aligns with the lore of each creature – no doubt this takes more time to design but for a game master these monsters are a joy to play – most villain actions are area effects meaning that they have a dramatic impact on game play experience – your players will not forget these battles.

Spooky Castle MCDM Style

Creature design does lean into the combat pillar of 5e. You will not find creatures with out of combat abilities. This appears to be a distinct design choice – combat (or as MCDM puts it – action orientated monsters) is their jam. If you are looking for monsters that are for out of combat use the game master will need to flesh out these details. Fortunately the lore of each creature supports this.

The art budget for this book can only be described as generous and of the highest quality. The style feels like a combination between Wizards of the Coast and Pathfinder but it would be fair to say its a style that is unique to MCDM and is complementary to each. Layout throughout the book is great.

If you are looking for a monster book to supplement the Monster Manual definitely put this on your list. It is available digitally in PDF as well as for Fantasy Grounds as well as DnDBeyond.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Content
10
Artwork
9
Layout
9

REVIEW SUMMARY

Flee mortals is an excellent 5e adventure book with monsters focused towards the combat side of the game pillar. It does not replace the monster manual but sits alongside as a strong companion. Its minion feature is great addition but will require explanation to players before its use as mass combatants is atypical of the game as currently played by most. The Villain action mechanic addition really makes creatures and boss monsters stand out - allowing creatures and combats to be unique and memorable play experiences. A hard copy of the book is recommended if you can obtain it.
Flee mortals is an excellent 5e adventure book with monsters focused towards the combat side of the game pillar. It does not replace the monster manual but sits alongside as a strong companion. Its minion feature is great addition but will require explanation to players before its use as mass combatants is atypical of the game as currently played by most. The Villain action mechanic addition really makes creatures and boss monsters stand out - allowing creatures and combats to be unique and memorable play experiences. A hard copy of the book is recommended if you can obtain it.Review: Flee, Mortals! The MCDM Monster Book