Ring Side Report-Esper Genesis Threat Database
Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!
Product- Esper Genesis Threat Database
System-Dungeons and Dragons 5e
Producer- Alligator Alley Entertainment
Price- $ 24.95 https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/285863/Esper-Genesis-5E-Threats-Database?affiliate_id=658618
TL; DR-Solid world building in a monster manual! 95%
Basics-They have a multidimensional cave troll! Esper Genesis Threat Database is Esper Genesis’s Monster Manual, BUT it has so much more. Let’s dig into my thoughts on this.
Mechanics or Crunch-Ok, it’s a monster manual. You follow the basic rules put out by WotC and you get solid, well executed monsters. Alligator Alley Entertainment put in good effort and created good monsters to challenge your heroes. You will always have your favorites. I like Lovecraftian horrors and xenomorphs like the movie Alien. I have both those things, so I’m happy! You will find your own favorite monsters and organizations to throw at your players. The one thing I miss that this system needs to steal wholesale from Starfinder is the monster manual also being a second player guide by providing new races for players. Again, I’m asking for a solid thing to be more. However, since most of the bad guys are not horrible spider animals but humanoid-ish creatures, it fits that players could be them. It’s a small gripe on an otherwise well made crunch book. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff- Honestly this is where things shine. One of my MAJOR complaints about the base book was who are the bad guys? This books delivers on that by not only having flushed out monsters but a WHOLE SECTION on alien threats and organization. Like all monster manuals you get a page per bad guy that has a picture, some crunch, and some words about the bad guy, but the cherry on top is the fact that this book adds universe to the universe not just by throwing all of that into the book, but also a section on organization that threaten the universe, making this a world building book as well. I love what’s here for the monster and world story! 5/5
Execution- PDF? Yep! Hyperlinked? Yep! Ok, all the things I want standard in a book! Aside from that its a well laid out easy to read monster manual. It’s got all the small issues I hate in a monster manual with the key one being when you have a monster group of things like a bunch of different robots, not all the robots get pictures. You know they exist and you get a picture of one or two of the five, but I need something to throw up on a tablet to show my players so they know what the heck is going on! That’s a pretty small thing in an otherwise amazing book. However, there is one thing this book does that really makes me happy and it’s honestly, quite literally the smallest thing. If there is a picture of the creature in the book, they took a small blue representation of it and set it next to a standard human for scale. That’s it. That right there fills me with with all the happy because if you show me a space cockroach and say this is the key threat to the galaxy I think that might be the size of a planet when you meant as a literal space cockroach and they just swarm their prey and are getting everywhere. I love that as its something again I can throw up on a tablet, show don’t tell my players, and have them get their heads into the fight! Fantastic work on the production of this book! 4.75/5
Summary-Esper Genesis is honestly a sleeper system with some real power in it. It’s got a new take on DnD 5e, and this book proves that Esper Genesis has a solid creative team in it. The Threat Database provides a ton of monsters to throw at your players, great world building, and an excellent example of how to build a book. My gripes are far and few with most of them being things this system needs based on other Sci-Fi systems and problems I see in all monster manuals. Overall, this is an amazing addition to the Esper Genesis universe. 95%