If there’s one thing we here at GeekDad take seriously, it’s supporting passionate creators as they navigate the frequently tumultuous waters of crowdfunding. In fact, one of our favorite things to do is to spotlight brand new, struggling, or lesser-known Kickstarters that you, our beloved GeekDad readers, might help push over the threshold of their meager financial finish lines.
This is not one of those cases.
Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters for 5th Edition from Mike Myler and Russ “Morrus” Morrissey was fully funded 15 minutes after launch—which has got to be some kind of a record.
In this case, I’m simply sharing what I think is a really wonderful resource for DMs and their players, especially those looking to spice up a campaign with a little added real-world culture or dabble in some unique, historically-rooted homebrew. (And I’m probably also looking for tacit confirmation that I’m not the last gamer on Earth to actually hear about this project.)
Inspired by 1980’s seminal Deities & Demigods resource—and featuring a forward written by TSR’s own James M. Ward—this 230-page tome includes 100+ entries full of custom character builds and stupendous stat blocks for the heroes, villains, and otherworldly entities of history, mythology, literature, and lore. Each is paired, in traditional Dungeons & Dragons fashion, with evocative artwork and written in a clever, encouraging voice that serves to inspire just as it challenges convention.
Sure, Arthur Pendragon, Cthulhu, and even Don Quixote aren’t too far removed from the high fantasy of the Forgotten Realms, but their entries exist alongside those from farther afield, like Harry Houdini, Captain Nemo, and the Mothman. And while Norse myths, Arthurian legends, and American folklore are certainly well represented, Myler and Morrissey made it a point to step outside of D&D‘s longtime western slant and include notable figures from Chinese, Japanese, Egyptian, and Mesopotamian legend. Moreover, given the sometimes unflattering portrayals of real-world peoples in the RPG sphere, this project employed a number of cultural consultants to assure its representation of the subjects was both respectful and authentic.
Digital reward levels start at £15 (about $20 American) with £40 (approximately $50) scoring you a handsome hardbound edition of Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters. There’s also a dedicated retailer tier and a luxurious “Deluxe Gift Set” for you big spenders.
Even now I am poring over an advance PDF copy of this distinctive resource thinking of ways to weave pirate bad-asses Anne Bonny and Ching Shih into my weekly campaign. So if you too dream of pitting the Easter Bunny against Elizabeth Báthory to decide the fate of the Sword Coast, definitely give Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters a look. With just under two weeks left in the Kickstarter, there’s still time to get in on the one book that promises a world of heroic inspiration, from Achilles to Zhuang Zhou.