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Welcome to June’s DMs Guild roundup! Every month I gather together some of the best new releases from the DMs Guild. You won’t find many bestsellers here; the huge amount of new content appearing daily means that lots of great work slips through the cracks. It’s my aim to shed some light on those undiscovered gems, and to give you some fun new things to use in your games that you might not otherwise be aware of.
This month saw a lot of tie-in releases for Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, which is unsurprising. For me, at least, that’s a good thing, since I really enjoy planes-related material. I’ve tried to include a variety of products, though, since I know that isn’t everybody’s cup of tea.
There were also a lot of new products released with Print on Demand options this month, which is something I’m really excited about. Where those options are available for products I’ve featured here I’ve tried to remember to mention it in the review, but all of the links go to the PDF versions since they’re the ones that I’ve read.
With all that out of the way – here are my picks!
|Title||Author||Price||Suggested Price (if PWYW)||What I Paid|
|Faiths of the Forgotten Realms||Alex Clippinger, Micah Watt, Scott Bean||$14.95||—–||$14.95*|
|An Ogre and His Cake||Christopher Walz & Emmet Byrne||PWYW||$5.00||$5.00|
|Mordenkainen’s Compendium of Quirks Vol 1: Uncommon and Rare Items||Benjamin L. Eastman & Matt Dunn||PWYW||$1.00||$1.00|
|Krinkle Firetouch’s Guide to Magic Maps: Volume 1||Will Mayer||PWYW||$1.49||$1.50|
|Codex of the Infinite Planes X: Plane of Dreams||Dave Coulson||$2.99||—–||$2.99|
|Cogs in the Great Machine: Modron Hierarchs||Michael Crary||PWYW||$1.95||$1.95|
|Unstuck Encounters 2||Jean Lorber||$2.95||—–||$2.95|
|Nice Day For A Wight Wedding||Alex Clippinger||$1.95||—–||$1.95|
|The Tarrasque||Joe K||$0.50||—–||$0.50|
* I received a complimentary copy of this product, but paid for it after reviewing it.
Unstuck Encounters 2
As with the first Unstuc Encounters, this is a great little collection of quick side-quests that you can drop into your game to keep the pace moving. There are some really interesting ideas here, and it's nice to see a variety of encounters that don't all boil down to "go to the place and kill the thing". I particularly enjoyed "Mama Mimic" and "How much rust...". Well worth the asking price.
I was a little torn about whether to include this here or not, solely because I try to focus on things that my readers (that's you) might actually use. I honestly don't see that many people will ever get the chance to use a single Tarrasque in their games, let alone four new versions, but I had so much fun reading this thing that I couldn't leave it out. The variations on the theme of the Tarrasque offered up here are interesting and unusual, the stats seem decently balanced (as far as you can balance a CR30 creature that's essentially just a massive sack of hit points, anyway), and it's written really well. Plus the artwork is just a joy to look at - it's cartoony, fun, and doesn't take itself too seriously, which is what you need when you're talking about Mechatarrasque. For 50 cents it's a steal.
Nice Day For A Wight Wedding
There are moments when I hate Alex Clippinger. Seeing the title for this collection of mini-adventures was one of those moments. It's brilliant, and I wish I'd thought of it. And to top it off, the 5 short encounters in this release are all great. They're all designed to complement Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, introducing some of the creatures from that book in interesting ways for a variety of levels. There isn't much here for low level groups, but that's to be expected. All the encounters are solid, which is to be expected from Clippinger at this point, and I can see them all being a ton of fun to play through. I'm a particular fan of "The Wrong Prey", which is a devious little bastard of an encounter.
Mordenkainen's Compendium of Quirks Vol 1: Uncommon and Rare Items
The 13th Age RPG contains a few things that I really love and that I've been stealthily introducing into my own D&D games for a while; namely, Living Dungeons, and Quirks. This product introduces magic item quirks into 5th Edition - small, generally harmless/powerless magical effects that serve both to make magic items a little more interesting and to introduce the concept of sentient/intelligent/cursed items early in your campaign. That's useful if you plan to later introduce a sentient item into your game but don't want to completely blindside your players when the thing works in a way they have never seen before (though, of course, sometimes that surprise is half the fun of those items). As well as presenting a selection of new magic items, this also adds Quirks to many of the already-existing magic items from the Dungeon Master's Guide.
Krinkle Firetouch's Guide to Magic Maps: Volume 1
This isn't perfect - it refers to a couple of things (like "free actions") that don't really exist in 5th Edition, and one of the items refers to ability checks for mapping areas that aren't actually referenced or explained in the product itself - but the idea is such a novel one, and the items interesting enough, that I had to shine a light on it. There are lots of magic item supplements out there, but I've never seen one that focuses on maps. This introduces some really interesting magical maps that I can definitely see myself using, and they're all designed in a way that won't break your game or make travel and exploration trivial and meaningless. I'd like to see a revision of this to fix some minor errors, but the ideas are solid and it's made me want to go away and design some magical maps of my own. Definitely worth a look.
Faiths of the Forgotten Realms
I'm sort of breaking my own rules here, since this is currently sitting at #1 on the DMs Guild charts and is already an Electrum bestseller. But I planned to include it last month before I realised that it wasn't actually released yet, and I like it enough that I'm still going to include it even though it really doesn't need my help. The first thing to say is that this thing is massive. Exhaustive, even. You get nearly 200 pages of content here, packed full of new cleric domains, paladin oaths, spells, magic items, and more flavour and ideas than any one person could reasonably know what o do with. It looks great, it's written by some of the best creators currently working on the Guild, and it's available in print as well as PDF. It's absolutely worth the price tag, and deserves all the success it has had.
An Ogre and His Cake
Another broken rule this month - I'm featuring an adventure I haven't actually run myself. In this case, though, I'm fine with that. I started playing D&D as a kid in 1994 with the AD&D First Quest boxed set, and if it wasn't for that set of adventures specifically aimed at children I may well never have discovered the life-long passion that has led to me running this site today. There aren't enough 5th Edition products aimed specifically at kids, and it's a delight to see somebody finally producing something for that market. It also helps that this is a really fun, well-written adventure. It's full of tips for running the game for young kids, and the story itself is simple and easy to follow without being condescending. Hats off to Walz and Byrne on this one. I hope we see a lot more like it in future. Oh, and it's available in print, too!
Cogs in the Great Machine: Modron Hierarchs
Modrons are weird things, and they haven't seen much action in 5e thus far. Cogs In The Great Machine aims to fix that, and does it well. As well as fleshing out some of the roles in Modron society in a little more detail, this also presents a ton of stat blocks for the various ranks of Modrom hierarchs and a new Warlock patron that, while I haven't had a chance to see it in play, that seems like it would be fun to play (or run a game for) without ruining the balance of your game.
Codex of the Infinite Planes X: Plane of Dreams
At this point I might as well simply reserve Dave Coulson a spot on this list every month, since the entries in his Codex of the Infinite Planes series seem to have become a regular feature here. That's for a very simple reason, though - he's doing really excellent work with these books, and the whole series is one of my favourite things on the DMs Guild. The Plane of Dreams isn't something I've ever really thought about using in my games, but having looked through this book I'm going to have to change that immediately. As always, there's a ton of excellently-written lore and information here, and just one of these books should provide you with enough material and ideas to run an entire campaign on just one of the planes that Coulson has covered. I can't recommend these books highly enough.
This is the kind of short and sweet product that I really enjoy. It presents a set of stat blocks for merchants of different varieties, sample goods that they might stock, and simple rules for appraising and pricing items. Along with that you get a selection of named merchant NPCs who might show up as recurring character in your games, with interesting details about their history and personalities and a handful of adventure hooks that will help you get your group to interact with these characters in a more meaningful way than simply treating them as a sort of in-game Amazon Prime. Well worth a look.