Monday, November 22, 2010

Monster Vault

Another 4th Edition box set has hit the shelves at my not so local Borders.  It's tagged a $29.99, but armed with a 33% coupon and about $8 dollars in the gift card managed to get this for $12 out of pocket.  The price of the AD&D PHB and MM back, back, way back in the day.  If I played 4th Edition I think the $30 price tag would be fair, but since I don't play 4th edition I was only willing to get it for the reduced price.  And it is worth it.  What irked the shit out of me is as soon as I got out of my car I dropped it and scrunched in two corners. 

The main reason why I bought it were the monster tokens.  There are 10 sheets of excellent artwork on sturdy tokens.  I gave my miniatures to Rob years ago because 1) I don't have the space to keep them 2) I don't have the room to store all the paints and dodads you need 3) I don't like painting miniatures.  These tokens are a nice replacement not requiring much space and no painting.  They suit my needs just fine.  There is a wide variety and I like that the three different size tokens, plus they have a handful of 'rings' that makes smaller creatures larger. 

Also included in the box is the adventure, Cairn of the Winter King.  A predictable, but not bad adventure for 4th level characters.  It looks easy enough to convert to S&W or OSRIC.  It's definitely an adventure by the numbers, but most of 4th edition modules I have or read are set up this way.  There is a flip map to assist the adventure.  It provides the location when the undead ship arrives and attacks the town and a portion of the dungeon on the other side.  I wish the map was more generic or been large enough to include the entire dungeon doesn't make much sense to just have it include just a few of the rooms.

Lastly, the Monster Vault book itself.  It has an owlbear as the featured monster on the cover.  That's 4th edition tugging on my old school heart strings.  It's a large digest size book fashioned in the same manner as the Rules Compendium.  A thick and sturdy book with tons of monster stats I have absolutely no use for.  But it has bits and pieces of descriptions of the critters and I always like the small twists of monster ecologys. 

Everything in the Monster Vault, including the box (which I dropped and it still irks me) is top quality stuff.  My main reason for getting this was for the tokens and I am not disappointed.  The adventure is good and it will be easy for me to convert and the monster book has a lot of great artwork and I'm sure will be a good read.  Getting this for only $12 was a good deal.  The $30 price tag would have been too high since I don't play 4th edition, but if I did play 4th edition then I would have had no problem paying it for this product.