||Dungeon Crawl Classics Presents: Blackdirge's Dungeon Denizens is a d20 monster book from Goodman Games. The product is in a zipped file just shy of fifteen megabytes, containing a PDF of the product and what seems to be a PDF interface for Mac operating systems. The book is one hundred twenty-nine pages long, including single pages each for the cover, the credits, the table of contents (which is not hyperlinked) the preface by the author and company owner, as well as for the OGL and an ad for the DCC adventures. There are also full bookmarks present for easy navigating.
BDD has quite a bit of art. The cover is the only instance of full color, but being a monster book, the majority (though not all) of the monsters have a black and white illustration depicting them. The pages have black borders along the top and bottom denoting the monster entry on that page as well as the page number. The lack of a printer-friendly version could be seen as a downside, but if you're printing off individual monsters, it shouldn't be too bad.
There are almost a hundred monsters in Blackdirge's Dungeon Denizens, all from DCC modules or other Goodman Games products. A list of creatures by type is given before the entries themselves, and by the look of it there's a nice spread of creatures here, though there are no fey to be found. The entries themselves have stat blocks in the MM format (rather than the newer format from the DMG2) and entries frequently spill over onto the next page, rather than each one being confined to a page or two exactly. The stats seem well done, but minor errors are present if you go looking for them. The creatures themselves are quite interesting, especially some of the more exotic ones like the new rakshasas, or the daevas. Several (such as the latter two) are based on mythological creatures, and there are brief sidebars mentioning the real-world roots of such monsters.
The first appendix notes creatures by Challenge Rating, and looking it over reveals that the book is fairly heavily slanted towards the lower levels. At CR 10 and above, the number of monsters begins to drop off sharply. There's then an appendix of monsters by environment, where there'll be a quick paragraph about an environment and a listing of monsters from this book that make their home there. Finally, there's a quick note about what monsters can be summoned with summon monster and summon nature?s ally spells.
Blackdirge's Dungeon Denizens does a great job of presenting a wide variety of interesting and challenging new monsters. While it has some areas that it pays less attention to (such as fey or higher-level creatures) it does very well with what it focuses on. The minor errors some entries have are an occupational hazard of monster books, and while this is no exception, there's nothing glaring, making this a solid choice for a book of foes for your PCs.
LIKED: This book has a wide array of interesting new creatures. This book has everything you'd expect from Blackdirge and Goodman Games.
DISLIKED: There are some areas that the book pretty well excludes, such as the lack of fey creatures and the sparse amount of higher-level monsters. Some monsters don't have artwork, though all have a brief description, and some stat errors are there.
QUALITY: Very Good
VALUE: Very Satisfied
[4 of 5 Stars!]