DMs Guild Review – Ceazor’s Soldiering

Over a dozen low-level NPC statblocks, inspired by medieval military units.

dms guild review

A review copy of “Ceazor’s Soldiering -NPCs for 5e” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Christopher Faught

Despite the multitude of exciting and exotic demons, dragons, snake-people, and paralyzing lizard-chickens in the 5e Monster Manual, the single most useful and well-worn section is Appendix B, which lists all the mundane humanoid NPCs such as guards, bandits, and cultists.

Ceazor’s Soldiering adds over a dozen new low-level, bog-standard NPC statblocks based mostly on traditional medieval military units.  Unfortunately none of them stand out compared to what we already have in the Monster Manual.

Ceazor’s Soldiering is as bare-bones as you can get when it comes to a supplementary statblock book, consisting of little more than the statblocks themselves, some stock medieval artwork, and a few tables.

I enjoyed the inclusion of the medieval artwork. They fit the historical theme well and are liberally applied to every page. I wish we were given some nice historical background text to accompany the art and statblocks for each NPC; apparently only the mounted knight was worthy of such an aside.

I was annoyed to find mages and clerics sprinkled in with the more traditional mounted knights and crossbowman, however. I would’ve loved to see the historical theme further explored, even within the high-magic world of Dungeons & Dragons. For example, a “cleric” who can use battlefield triage and medical supplies as a non-magical form of Lay on Hands and Spare the Dying.

dms guild review

The biggest problem with the entire product is its justification for existing. Most of the statblocks are slight modification of already existing NPCs in the Monster Manual. The Spearman, for example, is almost the exact same unit as the Tribal Warrior, and ditto for the Sergeant’s near carbon-copy of the Knight.

The few ones that do offer new abilities or traits are overly fiddly, and go against the streamlined nature of 5e. The spearman has an ability called “Spears Unite,” which grants +2 on melee attacks if they’re within 5 feet. Why not just give him Pack Tactics and make it advantage? Because then they’d be a Tribal Warrior.

A d100 table of random encounters is featured at the end, which is the perfect example of a great idea with poor execution. I love NPC books that include example encounters, even single sentence ones, but it’s clear that the designer bit off way more than they could chew. Nearly all of them are some variation of “you come upon X number of soldiers who are fighting a [insert monster].” There’s maybe a dozen solid ideas in here, which is not a great ratio, but I’m glad we got an encounter list nonetheless.

Statblock books need to provide something new over the already extensive options we have between the Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, and Caezor’s Soldiering fails to make its case.

Pros:

  • Classic medieval artwork fits the theme.
  • d100 table of random encounters using the new NPCs.

Cons:

  • Slight modifications of standard low-CR NPC statblocks.
  • Questionable balance.
  • Poorly written.

The Verdict: Ceazor’s Soldiering doesn’t provide new or interesting NPCs to separate itself from Appendix B of the 5e Monster Manual.

A review copy of “Ceazor’s Soldiering -NPCs for 5e” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using affiliate links for shopping and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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