DMs Guild Review – 10 Monsters of Midsummer

Ten summer-themed monsters, including the Barbecue Golem and Sandcastle Crab.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher. Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Designed by: Lucas AndersonBum LeeDaniel KingJack WeighillJonathan SwadleySharksideAaryan BaluSebastian Yūe

The creative team behind last year’s 12 Christmas Slays (as well as February’s 10 Hazards of Love and April’s 10 Foolish Fools) have returned with 10 Monsters of Midsummer, a summer-themed monster book with sandcastle crabs, barbecue golems, and the most fearsome of foes, The Sun.

Like the previous releases from the The Holidanger Team, 10 Monsters of Midsummer features detailed monster entries that take up at least two full pages, with several paragraphs of descriptions, detailed statblocks, and three sample adventure hooks for each entry.

The adventure hooks don’t fall into the boring trap of “this monster attacks you on the road,” but actually provide some interesting and varied ideas for incorporating these unique beasts.

For the Giant Cicada, one hook has the party dealing with an emerging brood that poses an environmental hazard for a nearby town, while another has the bugs controlled by a powerful hivemind. And for something completely different, the party could come across a lone, injured bug, and try to help it find its mate before the end of the season.

My favorite monsters combine fun (and funny) concepts with creatively interesting statblocks, such as the Barbecue Golem, Living Firework, and Sandcastle Crab.

The Barbecue Golem (CR 6) can swing with its spatula and skewer arms, and with a bonus action shove its victims into its grill-like torso. It also features fun reactions, such as Kiss My Gass (dealing fire damage back to attackers a la Hellish Rebuke) and You Smell Like Meat!, which summons several wolves and bears who are attracted by the savory scents wafting from the golem.

bbq golem

The Living Firework (CR 3) is constantly exploding with light and sound, damaging anyone it shares a space with, including itself! Aside from firing off painful blasts of fire, radiant, and thunder damage, it also explodes when killed with a Grand Finale.

The Sandcastle Crab is another great idea, featuring a large sentient crab with regional effects, lair actions, and legendary actions suitable to its sandy domain.

I wasn’t as enthusiastic about every monster, however. The Midsummer Queen is just a mid-level druid, Sundae Ooze is funny but mostly just an ooze, and the Spanish Galleon is a weird sentient, talking pirate ship that can summon a skeleton crew.

I did laugh out loud at The Sun being a CR 23 aberration, though its statblock is too boring and underdeveloped compared to something like the Sandcastle Crab. The Rainbow Dragon is alright;  I appreciate the nod to Pride as being a big part of summer, but dragon statblocks are ironically a bit boring in D&D, and the art is too washed out and abstract for me to appreciate. The Barbecue Golem, Crab, and Ooze have lovely art, but the rest feel like a step down from 12 Christmas Slays.

I wish this booklet had gone a little harder into the July 4th summer/party theme, with monstrous hot dogs, sunscreen ghosts, and more beach, sand, or shell-themed creatures. Maybe some kind of chlorine or algae monster for pools?

Summer is my favorite time of the year; I love grilling, swimming, and boating. There’s a lot to like from 10 Monsters of Midsummer, but it also feels like a lot of untapped potential was left buried in the sand.

Pros:

  • Several creative, funny monster ideas with interesting and highly thematic actions and abilities.
  • Variety of fun adventure hooks for each monster.

Cons:

  • Not as strongly themed as other seasonal monster books.

The Verdict: Though not as thematically fun as the publisher’s other holiday monster books, 10 monsters of midsummer includes more creative and interesting new foes for summertime adventures.

This review has been sponsored by the publisher Find more reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

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

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

2 thoughts on “DMs Guild Review – 10 Monsters of Midsummer”

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