"Where Evil Lives" - The MCDM Book of Boss Battles for 5E

"Where Evil Lives" - The MCDM Book of Boss Battles for 5E

Game prep just got easier, and game night just got a whole lot more fun. Get 22 drop-in dungeons with dynamic combat encounters for 5e!
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Where Evil Lives: The MCDM Book of Boss Battles for 5e

The best dungeons have fun boss battles, exciting hazards, and, of course, awesome treasure. Where Evil Lives: The MCDM Book of Boss Battles has all that plus everything you need to run a lair out of the book in a moment’s notice. Use a dungeon when you have nothing else planned, or build an entire campaign that leads up to a climactic encounter in a lair!


What’s in this Book?

We’ve got 22 dungeons in here! There is at least one dungeon for each level of play from 2nd to 20th. Each lair contains…

  • a unique, action-oriented boss with memorable, dynamic villain actions.
  • every monster stat block you need to run the lair. That’s 151 unique stat blocks!
  • a treasure hoard tailored to the dungeon’s denizens that includes an original magic item plus other unique rewards.
  • a full-color map with links to a GM version that has all the information you need to run the dungeon and a player version that keeps those secret doors and traps hidden.
  • detailed descriptions of traps, hazards, and NPCs.

Each stat block in Where Evil Lives is from our rigorously playtested and developed bestiary, Flee, Mortals! That means each foe is more than just a bag of hit points or a list of spells. Each foe has at least a couple of action options in their stat block that keep players on their toes and combat fresh and engaging. You’ll also find the rules for four new types of creatures:

  • Action-Oriented Creatures: Boss monsters just got a lot more fun to fight. Each lair boss has fun and impactful villain actions that turn an encounter into a showstopper. Every action-oriented creature also has a way to succeed on saving throws that costs them something: hit points, speed, the use of a special action, or something more. It’s like a better form of Legendary Resistance. We got exciting villain battles all tied up in one stat block. Combine them with our lairs, and you’ve got a fight to remember.
  • Minions: Minions are a great way to let your characters feel heroic by fighting a sea of baddies without slowing the game down to a crawl. Because while a minion is almost as nasty as a regular monster, they die real fast. Every good villain should throw an army of lackeys at adventurers invading their home.
  • Retainers: Initially introduced in Strongholds & Followers, our rules for retainers have been updated and streamlined to make them even easier to use. These player-controlled NPCs make running a sidekick character a snap. Free that goblin prisoner, and now you have a goblin sneak to help you take down Queen Bargnot!
  • Companions: Players love pets! So we made rules that allow you to give players cool companions. Heal that injured abyssal hyena in the archdemon’s lair and you got yourself a new buddy.

Lord Syuul - Illustration by Jason Hasenauer

Check Out The Lairs

So who are the villains in this book? Check out our list of lairs below (which is also included in the free preview):


Coming Very Soon!

All the art, writing, playtesting, and editing is done for Where Evil Lives. We’re almost done with the layout. We anticipate that anyone who backs this campaign will have the PDF by September.

Once the PDF is ready, we’ll send this book off to the printer and if all goes smoothly, books will begin shipping around December.

Aurumvas - Illustration by Nick De Spain

I Backed or Preordered Flee, Mortals!

If you backed or preordered the Flee, Mortals! PDF before July 31st, you’re getting the Where Evil Lives PDF for free as part of that previous campaign and don’t need to do anything if all you want is the Where Evil Lives PDF.

If you backed the Flee, Mortals! hardcover via Kickstarter, then you are entitled to a discount on the hardcover version of Where Evil Lives! To get your discount, simply select the "Flee, Mortals! Backers Only" tier.

Email us at [email protected] if you backed Flee, Mortals! and are having trouble getting your PDF or discount.


The team is hard at work on the PDF version of Where Evil Lives and we expect to have it complete in September, at which time we will deliver it to backers. Once the PDF version is complete, we begin the print preparation process for the Hardcover. In the past this has taken us about a month, so assuming everything goes smoothly we hope to have this book off to the printers sometime in September. At that point we are going to be working as quickly as reasonable to get books shipped to our warehouses in California, UK, and Australia and begin shipping to backers. Depending on where you are located in the world, we would love to have this book on your shelves by the end of the year.


Shipping, Taxes, and Duties will be collected where required via the pledge manager once we have the final weight of the book. Right now we are estimate the book will be around 320+ pages and weight approximately 2.5lbs (1.4kg)


A lot of awesome folks worked on this book! Check out the credits in the free preview PDF for a full list of everyone involved.

Design Director: James Introcaso

Designers: Teos Abadía, Willy Abeel, Ted Adams, Leon Barillaro, Rudy Basso, Bianca Bickford, Carlos Cisco, Alex Clippinger, Celeste Conowitch, Makenzie De Armas, Alecson de Lima Junior, Marcello De Velazquez, Sam Ellis, Jamie Flecknoe, Paul Foxcroft, Dave Friant, Imogen Gingell, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, V.J. Harris, Spencer Hibnick, Gabe Hicks, Chris Hopper, HTTPaladin, Paul Hughes, Mark Hulmes, Anthony Joyce-Rivera, Nathaniel Kreiman, Kat Kruger, Rich Lescouflair, Amber Litke, Sadie Lowry, Cassandra MacDonald, Sarah Madsen, Sam Mannell, Jessica Marcrum, Nikola Ninković, Mario Ortegón, Taymoor Rehman, Hannah Rose, Michael E. Shea, Sally Tamarkin, Austin Taylor, Eugenio Vargas

Lead Editor: Laura Hirsbrunner

Editors: Shawn Banerjee, Ashley Michaela Lawson, Amber Litke, Sebastian YĹ«e

Sensitivity Consultants: Magnus Pharao Hansen, Gabe Hicks, Maple Intersectionality Consulting, Sally Tamarkin, Basil Wright

Production: Lars Bakke, Jerod Bennett

Executive Art Director: Jason Hasenauer

Art Director: Grace Cheung, Nick De Spain

Graphic Design: Grace Cheung, Jason Hasenauer, Rune Hrafnagaldur, Gordon McAlpin

Layout: Gordon McAlpin

Illustration and Design: Tulio Brito (Conceptopolis), Grace Cheung, Eduardo Comettant Jeri (Stray Studios), Nick DeSpain, Faizal Fikri, Matheus Graef (Conceptopolis), Jason Hasenauer, Patrik Hell, Jaroslav Kosmina, Bruno Machado, Timothée Mathon (Conceptopolis), Gabe McAlpine (Stray Studios), Jessica Nera Bargh (Stray Studios), Michael “Cookie” Niewiadomy, Stephen Oakley, Gustavo Pelissari, Andrea Piparo, Wirawan Pranoto (Conceptopolis), Martin Sobr, Tibor Sulyok (Stray Studios), Allison Theus, Lucas Torquato (Conceptopolis)

Cartography: Miska Fredman, Brian Patterson
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