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Dungeons & Dragons’ digital advent calendar is chock full of Dragonlance monsters

Walrus people are so in right now.

Art of the dragon Ember from Dungeons & Dragons' Dragonlance monster compendium
Image credit: Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons & Dragons is sharing the winter holidays with fans through a digital advent calendar that will deliver goodies and discounts every day throughout December through Christmas Eve. The first day kicks things off with a compendium of monsters for the newly revised Dragonlance setting.

Monster Compendium, Vol. 2: Dragonlance Monsters provides dungeon masters and players stat blocks and flavour information on 11 entities that might pop up as groups adventure across the world of Krynn. They span the challenge rating scale from ostensibly innocent Irda and gnome tinkerers to hulking, magma-bellied red dragons.

The compendium should pair well with the main supplement, Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen, which launched on December 6th. This official return to Krynn takes players back to the War of the Lance but instead focuses on the nation of Solamnia in order to easily fit within the existing Dragonlance canon established through the novel series and previous tabletop books.

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Some of the ‘monsters’ are clearly marked for NPC fodder - the mystic Irda and tinkering Gnomes of Mount Nevermind flesh out cultures that the books rarely explore in greater detail. The anthropomorphic walrus people that compose the Thanoi are extremely rad and will probably be the impetus for many frostbitten homebrew campaigns.

Among the more classically monstrous side are Traag Draconian, the results of dark experiments on dragon eggs to produce brutish, flightless soldiers that explode upon death, along with a very specific and powerful unicorn who protects Krynn’s Darken Wood.

Many of the entries include in-universe missives from two influential figures - Dragon Highlord Verminaard and the red dragon, Ember, as they discuss the war effort with their superiors. Both serve Takhisis, the Dragon Queen, but often find themselves at odds as commanders - and fraying each other’s last nerves.

Image credit: Wizards of the Coast/Daarken

Ember and Verminaard are included in the compendium’s 11 monsters, so players can encounter - or even serve - the condescending dragon and zealous Red Dragon Army commander. They are both legendary creatures with the abilities and stats to match, so don’t expect violence to swing in a party’s favour unless they’re on the back end of a long martial adventure.

December 6th’s prize is also available as of time of writing and gives a 10% discount on Dungeons & Dragons-themed editions of Trivial Pursuit and Yahtzee. These more classic board games will likely be more acceptable at the family holiday gathering than a one-shot D&D session, but maybe grandma is already a veteran dice roller ready to kick some Draconian butt.

The advent calendar can be accessed through the D&D Beyond website, and all offers are redeemed on the platform as digital files that can be used for online campaigns or referenced via most computers, tablets and mobile devices.

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