Queercoded is a new product on the DM’s Guild by Oliver Darkshire. It costs $9.95 and as of this writing is the #1 product there. I had no idea what this was going to be. Slash fic with Jarlaxle? Heartwarming romance with Tiamat? An art book? I liked the author’s other work on the DM’s Guild and for whatever reason this seemed to be upsetting people. I was curious and when it came out I thought, “I’ve spent 10 bucks on far worse things.”
What we have here are eight D&D villains. Each one has a new stat block. Tiamat, Grazz’t, and Jarlaxle are similar to ones you already have. Xanathar and The Lord of Blades are a bit different. Elminster, The Raven Queen and Vecna are new. The stat blocks are honestly the least interesting thing here. If you’ve seen one CR 30 spellcaster you’ve kinda seen them all.
The reason to pick this up is all the other stuff. Each villain comes with some ideas for minions, tables of schemes and plot hooks they might be up to, monsters they might associate with, and a gorgeous map of their potential lairs. These maps are goddamn incredible and I highly recommend checking out Czepeku on Patreon.
This pdf reminds me a lot of a 3.5 product I really liked, Exemplars of Evil. That book had a lot of general information for writing a villain with deep dives looking at some other villains and their lairs. The value in Exemplars, and here in Queercoded, is the advice on running the villain. Their personality, their organization, and the plot hooks, from low level to high level, on how to put this villain in your game.
I think the person who would get the most value out of this product is running a campaign and thinking about using one of these established D&D characters in their game. For me, I’m running an Eberron Game, I want to use this Lord of Blades info for hooks. I could see porting The Raven Queen or Vecna to Dragon Age.
Yeah this is a nice little product. Would recommend.