Supplement Review: Monsters of Sin 3: Gluttony by Ryan Costello, Jr. for Open Design

Gluttony. As far from the Greek ideal of moderation in all things as you can get, and yet many of us in the real world continue to overeat, drink too much, and generally attempt to drown ourselves in excesses of pleasure. You can be a glutton for punishment as much as for fine food and wine, but we typically only think of the bacchanalian excesses when we look at “gluttony.” We see people like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python‘s Meaning of Life unable to turn down that one final mint or “Fat Bastard” from Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

That is what designer Ryan Costello, Jr. went for when creating the creatures for Monsters of Sin 3: Gluttony for Open Design. These creatures don’t know when to quit. The little voice that says “enough” in the back of most of our heads can’t be heard above the cries for “more!”

It starts with the template for a Gluttonous Creature, which make them stronger but slower and weaker. This can be applied to any NPC or monster in PFRPG and will instantly make some encounters more interesting. That fat giant rat in the corner may not look tough, but if it gets a hold of you… look out!

Then you see the CR5 “Bottomless Pit” – an obese blob of flesh that may seem slow at first, but gets faster the more it consumes. And, like the sarlacc in the pit of Return of the Jedi, it is always hungry and takes a while to digest its food.

The Gnarljak (CR6) looks like a bear trap at first. Once it springs into action and starts trying to mindlessly, relentlessly chew through you again and again however, you figure out this thing is truly nasty. Who would construct such a thing? Someone who really wants to protect their belongings and doesn’t care who dies in the process…

I really like the “Trap Bush” (CR10), as it’s something that a good-hearted yet practical druid may create within their domain. One druidic “goodberry” can give you a full stomach and a point of healing, but it can be tempting to pick a bunch off a bush if you find one and take them
with you. The Trap Bush puts an end to this by ensuring that a creature may take a single berry and no more. To defend itself in cases where creatures get greedy, it will grow twice its size growing extensive natural weapons – claws, spikes, constricting vines and viciously going after its attacker.

Then there’s the “Embodiment of Gluttony” (CR18) – a truly horrible sight to behold. A blob of gelatinous goo with two eyes and a will to consume any living creature near it. Once engulfed by this horrific creature, you won’t last long taking 5d6 acid damage until dead. Basically this is the big brother or the Bottomless Pit and something to avoid at all costs.

Like all of the books from Open Design, this is a well-constructed book. It comes in at 10 pages, with 6 pages of content. Great layout from Marc Radle. Wonderful art from Aaron J. Riley (interior) and Cory Trego-Erdner (cover). Solid writing from Costello. My one nit is that I wish Costello chose to explore other avenues of gluttony beyond the obvious “consuming mass quantities” approach. I’m sure that gluttony has been described and used multiple ways in various religious texts and myths that would have been fun to dive into…

That said, the Monsters of Sin series continues to offer both simple and complex creatures to cause havoc with their players. Pick a sin and run with it – you have seven to choose from!

For more about this series…

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