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‘Monsters of Drakkenheim’ Kickstarter Includes D&D Beyond Support – A First for WotC’s VTT

3 Minute Read
Mar 26 2024

A new Kickstarter Monsters of Drakkenheim launched today with a nod from WotC in the form of official support for D&D Beyond.

WotC’s attitude towards 3rd party publishers seems to have come a long way from where it was at this time last year. Cast your mind back to the start of 2023, when WotC was on the verge of “deauthorizing” the Open Gaming License and demanding royalties from 3rd party publishers who made over a certain amount. As the D&D maker put it then, its thinking was that the OGL was intended “for fans only” and not as a license to be used by their competition.

“Competition” here means any 3rd party publisher, from Paizo to folks like Griffon’s Saddlebag, or Ghostfire Gaming, whom you might recognize as one of the publishers behind the recent 3rd party additions to D&D Beyond, Lairs of Etharis, and Dungeons of Drakkenheim.

Today, Ghostfire Gaming’s latest Kickstarter, Monsters of Drakkenheim a sourcebook of more than 150 new 5E monsters, including “epic boss fights” and lairs, illustrates the stark reversal in policy. Because Monsters of Drakkenheim will launch with support for D&D Beyond, as well as other virtual tabletops. This marks a first for WotC; giving support for D&D Beyond to a product in active crowdfunding is not typically how the company has acted in the past. But given the plethora of 3rd party products coming to D&D Beyond, as WotC looks to cement the foundation of their own virtual tabletop (which is still very much in the works), this likely won’t be the last either.

Monsters of Drakkenheim 5E – Eldritch Horrors and Virtual Tabletops

Monsters of Drakkenheim is a 300-page expansion of the world of Drakkenheim, featuring more than 150 new eldritch horror-themed creatures. But it’s not just a catalog of creatures. Monsters of Drakkenheim also includes new sets of lairs, complete with tactical battle maps, harvesting rules for crafting items out of the parts of the monsters you find, and the setpiece of the book: Epic Bosses.

Boss fights in D&D are notoriously difficult. But Monsters of Drakkenheim certainly seems hellbent on trying with their new take on Legendary Actions:

Epic Actions. Epic Bosses take an action after each player characters’ turn. This means their action economy is always evenly matched against the party, no matter how large PLUS their hit points scale based on the number of player characters facing them. This dynamic scaling means an Epic Boss doesn’t need help from minions or lackeys – they’re a threat to an entire adventuring party all on their own.

All this, plus new conditions like burning, freezing, or shock, as well as bewildered or staggered add new layers of crunch to 5E’s rules. If you’re looking for a little more heft to your encounters, this campaign seems well worth checking out.

Seems like the start of a new era for D&D. What do you think?


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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