Dungeons & Dragons Reviews

Monsters of Feyland

Monsters of Feyland is a collection of monsters from Cawood Publishing for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. Its cover caught my eye while I was browsing DriveThruRPG recently and after taking a look at the preview, I decided to buy it.

The book is 112 pages and contains about 100 monsters. Each monster has a nice color illustration and a one-page entry including the stat block and a small amount of story information. The format for each monster’s entry is similar to the Monster Manual, but with generally have shorter, more concise text. The monster entries are a mix of unique individuals such as Queen Titania, specialized versions of existing monsters such as Goblin Shamans, and new monster types like Arcane Stalkers.

All of the artwork in the book is by Travis Hanson. His style works really well with the theme and gives the book a distinct feel compared to other bestiaries.

As the title implies, the majority of the included monsters are fey. About 60 of the monsters are fey with the remainder being various other creatures that dwell in Feyland including giants, dragons, and undead. The creatures are drawn from a mix of real world sources including creatures inspired by Alice in Wonderland, Labyrinth, and King Arthur. While pulling from all these sources, the consistent artwork and story ties do a good job bringing them into a shared vision of Feyland rather than just being disparate entries focusing on nostalgia.

I’m not as immersed in D&D 5E as I have been in the past since it’s been a while since I played, but overall the mechanical elements of the monster stats seemed well done and in-line with what I would expect. A few monsters do have abilities that push what I’ve seen in the game’s rules such as a Dream Dragon’s ability to ensnare the party in phantasmal terrain with its breath weapon or the Lake Gnome’s ability that permanently boosts the Wisdom of its target. Where I noticed abilities that push the rules, they were done in flavorful ways that seem fun, but I could see some DMs wanting to adjust or avoid the abilities if they don’t want certain effects in their game.

In addition to the monsters, there is a page with an overview of Feyland, a page showing which fey are members of the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, and a page with a single d100 random encounter table for Feyland. I think that combined with the information in the monster entries, there is plenty of setting information to help a Dungeon Master build there own version of Feyland. I don’t see myself using the single random encounter table. It would probably be more useful to have the monsters sorted by regions of Feyland.

If you’re interested in getting a copy, you can buy Monsters of Feyland from DriveThruRPG as either a pdf or a print-on-demand book.

After purchasing my copy of the book, I learned that it had been funded by a kickstarter last year, and Cawood Publishing currently has a new kickstarter running for a sequel book, Monsters of the Underworld, with a subterranean theme. I’ve enjoyed Monsters of Feyland enough that I’ve backed the new project.

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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