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Play as a sentient dungeon with this third-party DnD book

A physical reprint of Roll for Combat’s Pathfinder and DnD book asks even more RPGers the question: ‘what if dungeons were people?’

DnD books - Roll for Combat art of a Mimic holding a sword and shield

A third-party DnD book began crowdfunding on Backerkit on February 6, and it promises to introduce all sorts of weird and wonderful races to your Dungeons and Dragons games and Pathfinder games. This includes a sentient dungeon, whose humanoid avatar can head off on its own adventures, tricks and traps in tow.

‘Battlezoo Ancestries: Classic Creatures’ is the physical, hardcover version of publisher Roll for Combat’s ‘Year of Monsters’ project. Throughout 2023, the tabletop RPG creator shared multiple digital sourcebooks, detailing 12 DnD races (or Pathfinder ancestries, depending on which system you want to play) based on monsters.

The newly compiled DnD book lets you play as classic creatures like Mimics, Demons, Gremlins, and Doppelgangers. Minotaurs, Slimes, Nymphs, Oni, Sidhes, and the medusa-like Sthenos also complete the roster. And then there are the truly out-there options – a living, talking sword or a sentient dungeon that manifests a humanoid avatar.

DnD book, Battlezoo Ancestries: Classic Monsters, and Mimic miniature

Every ancestry gets a highly detailed entry documenting everything from naming conventions to societal structure. Roll for Combat has also added two new heritages and four new archetypes to help you further customize your characters.

“When we first conceived of this project, there were a few cool expansion ideas I had that had to be removed and left on the cutting room floor,” Roll for Combat’s director of game design, Mark Seifter, says in a press release from Tuesday. “But this campaign will allow me to add them in for everyone and create the true director’s cut I’d always dreamed of writing.”

According to Roll for Combat publisher Stephen Glicker, this isn’t the first time these monsters have been turned into D&D and Pathfinder books. Year of Monsters got a physical version in a Kickstarter campaign from 2023, “but the hardcover was only available to a small set of people from the Kickstarter and preorder, and we weren’t going to be able to print a full run”. “When BackerKit approached me, we decided to create a new campaign to bring these classic creatures to everyone.”

DnD book, Battlezoo Ancestries: Classic Monsters

The publisher promises to deliver any new content to old Year of Monsters crowdfunders if the Backerkit campaign succeeds. As well as new content, Roll for Combat is offering a free DnD Mimic dice guardian (apparently worth $50) to anyone who backs the project within the first 48 hours.

A hardcover of the book is available for $59.99 (£47.71) on the Backerkit page. If you want the PDF as well, that’ll be $10 (£7.95) more, and Foundry virtual tabletop assets push the price up to $99.99 (£79.54). There are also several more expensive pledge options, which offer features like multiple copies, alternative cover art, and “private access” to early news and feedback sessions.

For more strange DnD monsters, check out our favorite 5e homebrew, Manman-man. Or, for more character options, here’s all you need to know about DnD classes and 5e feats. You can also follow us on Google news for the latest on Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder.