Compilation Review: Infamous Adversaries (Benjamin Huffman): (5 Stars)
Start a new campaign by pitting your party against Cheddar, an awakened rat running a thieves guild, or end it with an epic showdown against Anhktepot, a powerful mummy seeking godhood and the extinction of light.
Infamous Adversaries is a collection of 40 enemy NPC’s by 16 amazing guild authors, that you can insert into just about any campaign or side quest, or use for a unique one-shot. Ranging from CR 1/4 to 30, there’s something here for every style, level, and setting of play. While some of the adversaries may take more preparation to insert than others, at over 120 pages of content you’ll have everything you need to keep your players busy for an entire campaign, should you wish.
The Hooks. Each infamous adversary comes with an adventure hook, and some have multiple. While these usually involve “something is amiss in this village”, there’s many that have unique and evocative hooks that will draw your players in. A good number of them also involve tie-ins to official adventures or areas such as Waterdeep. Regardless of whether each hook is derivative or not, each of these hooks make it incredibly easy to tie in to a larger campaign or to develop an entire one-shot around.
The Tactics. One of the most difficult aspect of running a creature, especially against powerful characters and experienced players, is running them both effectively and with narrative consistency. The “Tactics” and “Traits” section provides the DM with everything they need to run both a challenging and strategic battle and a narrative appropriate one, as well as any roleplaying encounters the characters might engage in. While this is especially useful for newer DMs, even the most seasoned vets will appreciate how easy it is to get into character through these sections.
The Rewards. The best part for the players, and probably the most feared for the DM, the rewards section highlights the items, treasure, and even spells the characters can receive from the adversary and their lair. While all inherently balanced on level, a known hallmark of Benjamin Huffman, perhaps the best part is the number of unique items, spells, and potions you’ll find throughout the book. These make this more than just a collection of NPC’s, it’s a series of one shots wrapped in a brilliant package.
NPC Choice. This title is packed full of adversaries that are both mechanically and narratively interesting. While they span nearly all levels, I’d guess about 80% of them are level 10 and below, giving you plenty of choices for the majority of the levels you’ll play. All types of unique creatures from new oozes to traditional mummy’s are contained in here, and you’ll like move through 2-3 entire campaigns before you’re able to use more than half of them. With extensive flexibility and plenty of options, you’ll use this book time and time again.
Preparation. If there is one downside to this product, it’s that the sheer amount of information for some of these adversaries might be easy to implement, but isn’t necessarily quick. Reading tactics, plugging in the adventure hooks, even going over the lairs and maps that some of them have require a bit of preparation for DMs who want to run them “right”. Because some of the adversaries could be one-shots in and of themselves, they’re going to require roughly the same amount of preparation.
This isn’t a complaint or weakness so much as a fact we’d prefer DMs to be fully aware of. There is a lot of great stuff here, and some might take a bit more preparation than others. There’s something for everyone.
Infamous Adversaries is a high quality product packed with NPCs that will be enjoyable for both DMs and players. It gets a 5 Star rating and is a Must Have for just about any DM based on it’s flexibility, ease of use, and potential for use across multiple campaigns. Pick it up by clicking the picture below.