The BoLS crew take you through the forbidden pages of Kobold Press’ Demon Cults and Secret Societies.
Spoiler alert: this book is pretty great. We’ve reviewed it before, and talked up its virtues as a book somewhere between monster manual, campaign guide, and dmg. It’s the perfect tool for dungeon masters looking to either add to our create their own campaihns. It illustrates how to use the monsters, npcs, and organizations within its pages while leaving enough room for creativity. But join Adam Harry and I for a closer look at this great book.
Now that we can talk about it on a little more detail. Let me say this book has a lot going for it. I was impressed by the sheer variety of the sinister societies featured within. I mean, you’d think if you’ve seen one demon cult, you’ve seen ’em all–but the folks at Kobold do a fantastic job with characterization. These cults all feel different.
Whether it’s the twisted children of an alien fae, or a group of malevolent mystics seeking to reshape the very concept of truth, or a gang of deluded cultists posting their insane leader and his quest for burning perfection, these organizations differ wildly. The monsters they provide, the npcs, even the magic items all feel distinct from one another.
And I’m saying this about a book with two separate golem guardian type monsters. Even these creatures play downright distinctly. It has to do with the flavor being complemented by the mechanics. This is 5E’s strong suit, and here the various creatures all fit into the given theme of their demonic cult.
That’s the other big reason this book is so great. It’s a primer on monster/adversary design. You can see lessons like “make your opponents feel similar by giving them abilities that synergize with each other.” Which might be obvious. But then when you see some of the suggested adventure hooks, they mention encounters that have adversaries fulfilling different roles in the combat, where their abilities work together in ways that feel distinct. Like the cultists of the rampaging gnoll god who will fight after being reduced to zero, and who pair up nicely with demons that deal area damage.
This book is all about ideas. If you need to give your campaign a boost our just want to find something different to torment your players with, Demon Cults and Secret Societies is the way to go.
Demon Cults & Secret Societies brings 13 nefarious organizations to your tabletop game, each with its own sinister agenda. Their plots range from the conquest of nations to daring heists of the greatest of treasures, from redefining the nature of truth to extinguishing the sun itself!
Compatible with the 5th Edition of the world’s first roleplaying game, this 176-page volume contains:
- 13 deadly cults and secret societies, including the Burning Rune, the Chosen of the Demon Bat, and the Creed of All Flesh
- Each cult’s beliefs and agenda, with complete stats for their top leaders—most in a diverse range of levels, to reflect masterminds and lieutenants
- Acolytes, soldiers, and minions to oppose PCs of many levels
- Adventure seeds with cultist plots and schemes, ranging from low-level skirmishes to epic, career-capping challenges
- New cult-related artifacts, spells, magic items, feats, monsters, vehicles, and more!
Great campaigns need worthy villains. Discover conspiracies, plots, and mayhem to thrill and entertain your players for years!