Beasts & Behemoths is the newest addition to the Young Adventurer’s Guide series. Come take a look at the monsters–and friends–waiting inside.
One of the big reveals in the latest Dragon+ is a preview of the upcoming Beasts & Behemoths, a new Young Adventurer’s Guide from Jim Zub and the folks at Ten Speed Press. This one centers naturally around Beasts & Behemoths, and today we’re taking a look at three of the monsters waiting inside, but there’s an extra gift for folks eager to add to their games. The team behind the books have put together three of the iconic characters from the books (designed to show younger readers how to make a character of each class), and translated them into pre-made characters ready for your adventuring needs.
Whether you play one of them in a game (or offer them to a younger reader in your household to play with), or are just looking for some familiar faces as NPCs in the crowd, there’s three .pdfs to accompany these monsters. Let’s take a look!
Each of these pages should give you a taste of how the book presents its subject matter. As we’ve said before, it’s from the perspective of someone who lives in the world, so these kinds of details are rich with setting and narrative detail. Look at the minotaur up there, there’s not a word about its attack bonus, but instead you get everything you need to know–these are big, muscular, bullish creatures that sometimes live in mazes. If you’re a first time GM details like the Horned King are hooks meant to grab your interest.
Or the Umber Hulk, which is a sort of boogeyman in Underdark stories, according to the entry here. The advice they give to readers is there to show off how to deal with an Umber Hulk both in and out of combat, which is something that these guides go out of their way to highlight, combat isn’t the only way to solve a problem in D&D:
“And we reinforce that creature encounters don’t just have to be about combat. They can be about discovery, interactions, trying to stop combat from happening, or trying to work your way through social situations. Those encounters are just as valid as rolling initiative and attacking.”
The other thing to note is these books don’t talk down to their reader. They assume that, if you’re reading the book, you’re capable of following along. It’s a level of trust in their reader that goes a long way to invite immersion. They don’t dance around what a Demilich is, but they present it in as dangerous/exciting a way they can. These are bad news, but running into one isn’t an unstoppable challenge.
That’s it for the preview, but as promised, here are character sheets for some of the Young Adventurer’s Guide’s iconic characters: