OSR: The Monster Overhaul Update - 85% Done

The Monster Overhaul has reached another milestone. 17/20 chapters are complete and 10/20 chapters have art completed or in progress.


What is the Monster Overhaul? It's a ludicrously ambitious 200-entry bestiary designed for at-the-table utility. Every entry is unique, with extra useful tools like generic dungeons, name tables, detailed random encounter tables, interesting twists, or variant forms. You can read more about it here:

The 3 chapters in orange are still in progress. Entries may change (and will almost certainly be renamed). The Summer chapter is almost finished and will be up on Patreon in a few days.

The current pagecount, including a few WIP pages, is 250. I'm expecting it to easily cross the 300 mark by the time the appendices and indices and other miscellaneous tools are done.

Robin Carpenter

What's next?

  • Finish all 200 entries.
  • Do an editing pass, focusing on numerical consistency. Some of the values (particularly treasure values) are placeholders.
  • Sort out the Phylogenetic Tree (the HD(NA) bit), the tactics section, and the alternative sorting methods.
  • More editing and testing.
  • Even more editing and testing.
  • [???]
  • Crowdfunding?

Art is going fairly well. I still need to get ahold of a few more artists, but I'm please to announce that Iguanamouth is now on board and working away. Scott Wegener may also do a map or two, to complement the maps by Dyson Logos. Stay tuned.

All completed chapters are available on Patreon. I sometimes post WIP tables and tools on twitter, mostly to instantly locate spelling errors. It's funny how hitting the "publish" button does that.

Questions? Worried I've missed your favouirte monster? Ask away.

People Sci-Fi Dungeon Dragon Primeval

Lucas Roussel Frenden Robin Carpenter

1 Adventurer Alien Invader Giant Spider Kobold Flying Lizard
2 Barbarian Alien Visitor Goblin Wyvern Herd Lizard
3 Cultist Alpha Brain Lich Young Dragon Swift Lizard
4 Knight Doppleganger Mimic Ancient Dragon Thunder Lizard
5 Mercenary Giant Insect Monstrous Vermin Zombie Dragon Tyrant Lizard
6 Peasant Perfect Predator Mummy Pseudodragon Cave People
7 Pilgrim Robot Hound Myconid Beithir Colossal Ape
8 Merchant Robot Servant Ooze   Ground Sloth
9 Townsfolk Robot Titan Orc   Predatory Plant
10 Wizard Veggie-Mite Skeleton   Troglodyte

Elemental Spring Summer Fall Winter

Ashlyn Rudolph 
  Luka Rejec

1 Elemental Centaur Chaos Frog
Dark Fair Biscuit Golem
2 Elemental Spirit Druid Firebird
Dullahan Blizard Eel
3 Elemental Tyrant Flower Nymph Froghemoth
Harvest Avatar Grey Horse
4 Firebat Hatchling Mandrake
Iron Fulmination Ice Hag
5 Gargoyle Hateful Goose Pyromancer
Leafling Kamaitachi
6 Grue Raincloud Raijū Murderous Crows Nuckelavee
7 Living Gem Satyr Skeeter
Polevik Remorhaz
8 Sandwalker Shambling Mound Sun Dog
Scarecrow Snow Fungus
9 Spitling Sigbin Thriae
Shofar Ram Snow Golem
10 Will-o-the-Wisp Wicker Walker Tunnel Hulk
Tempest Hag Tortoise Tsar

Hot Plains Hostile Forests Mysterious Mountains Thinking Beasts Heraldic Beasts

Logan Nadhir
Lucas Roussel
1 Baboon Bear Alicanto Harpy Basilisk
2 Crocodile Boar Alpine Specter Kappa Catoblepas
3 Elephant Dryad Ape Lamia Chimera
4 Flightless Bird Fairy Couatl Lammasu Cockatrice
5 Hive Insects Giant Snake Giant Manticore Griffon
6 Hippopotamus Tiger Noble Giant Medusa Hydra
7 Hyena Treeant Kirin Minotaur Owlbear
8 Jinn Troll Panther Naga Questing Beast
9 Lion Unicorn Roperite Peryton Strong Toad
10 Rhinoceros Wolf Telluric Goat Sphinx Wurm

  Dark and Malign A Wizard Did It Water Strange Water Divine
    Robin Carpenter    
1 Ghost Aboleth Giant Crab Tardigrade Angel
2 Ghoul Animated Item Kraken Rotifer Beast of Creation
3 Hag Elsewhere Creature Merfolk  Not Another Phylum Cherub
4 Ogre Eye Tyrant Pirate Trilobite Demigod
5 Vampire Golem Remora   Devil
6 Werewolf Homunculus Sea Hag   Dybuk
7 Wight Mind Eater Sea Serpent   Hell Hound
8 Zombie Mutant Seal   Imp
9 Banshee Rust Monster Shark   Scapegoat
10 Mothman Shivered Beast Whale   Visionary


  1. These lists are inspired! Really looking forward to this book

  2. You left out my favorite monster, the hateful goose! Oh wait, there it is. My bad.

    1. It's a lovely morning in the village. You encounter [rolls] a Hateful Goose.

  3. I like where this is headed. I just wonder why Carbuncle isn’t on the Heraldic Beasts lists vs the Strong Toad.

    1. A fair point. I fee like a Strong Toad has more D&D-type combat interest and utility interest compared to the Carbuncle. The Carbuncle is just a valuable item with legs (more or less). A Strong Toad is a problem; a knot of Strong Toads is a very big problem. They can push or pull; the PCs can (if they pick up a Strong Toad) push or pull enemies, at least until the Strong Toad escapes.

      The downside is that it's not particularly heraldic.

      The Alicanto also fills the "associated with valuables / leads to treasure" creature niche in a more interesting way.

  4. Have you heard of the nine sons of the dragon from Chinese mythology? It's a weirdo collection of half-dragon critters, each with their own special powers and interests.

    My favorite of the lot is the Pixiu. He's a symbol of wealth because he eats coins and other treasure, and then never lets them go. And the reason he can't let go of any of his treasure is because he has no butthole, the result of divine punishment for dropping a hot stinkload right in the middle of the heavenly courts.

  5. I'd like to put forth the request for redcaps :)

  6. My favorite underappreciated mythical creature is the amphithere (especially the feathered variety), and it'd help round out the Dragon category if that's still unfinished.

    1. Ah, wait, you have Couatl in there already. I missed that somehow.

  7. How can I apply for an illustrator's position? It's been ages since I did any fantasy illustration and I'd gladly return to the trade. I'll happily roam the attic boxes during the weekend to put together some sort of a portfolio, would I be interested in it? And if so, where should I send it?

    1. Sure, toss a portfolio link here or on this post: https://coinsandscrolls.blogspot.com/2020/03/open-call-for-illustrators-monster.html
      Though I am fairly picky.

    2. Ok, it turns out I have only three things to show that are fairly relevant. But so be it, if you won't like these three, another twenty wouldn't change your mind: https://www.deviantart.com/aandred

      If you'd like to have a look at stuff that isn't really relevant, but shows my competence and range as an artist, here's some portraits, a digital painting and a comic I drew a hundred years ago: https://www.facebook.com/KBpogodzinach

      ...and here's my main focus nowadays, calligraphy and medieval-style miniatures: https://www.instagram.com/kamil.bachminski/

  8. Lovely work! Very much looking forward to this project.
    I've got some suggestions for Strange Water if you haven't filled it out already. Seems like a non-traditional adventuring environment for a book that's attempting to be as broadly usable as possible, but it sounds like a really interesting category!
    - Electric Eel
    - Stomatopod
    - Predatory Gastropod (with options that emulate the classic Flail Snail, or this video for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVWQCd5j_ec)

    Could also expand the definition to enlarged parasites of colossal creatures:
    - Giant Parasite (fleas, tapeworms etc.)
    - Giant Immune System (white blood cells etc.)

    1. Absolutely! I think Electric Eel (or possibly Elemental Eel) is a strong contender. Mantis shrimps are in for sure. Predatory Gastropods (or equivalent name) are also on the list.

      Giant Fleas/Amoebas/White Blood Cells are covered by other entries, I think.

      I really want to include a "Not Another Phylum" arthropod generator.