Friday, June 17, 2011

Massive Monograph of Malignant Malefactors - A

So, here it is, the file you've all been waiting for!  :)

This is the compilation of ALL THE "A" MONSTERS that I think are cool.

Alright, this file is a DRAFT.  I didn't print that all over the file; you might want to use it.  I reserve the right to edit it prior to the final release.  In fact, if you find something that needs changing -- please let me know.  I'll fix it or if it's a constructive criticism, I'll consider it.

To all my contributors -- THANK YOU!  If I have not recognized your contribution in an appropriate manner, you have my apologies.  Please let me know how to remedy the situation and I will fix it!

So, here... we... go!

A big addition (at least I like it) are the ICONS:
They kinda give you a "snapshot" of the capabilities of each monster.

Then I added a bit about the monster's "environment."
And I added the "Badly Damaged (BD)" and "Mostly Dead (MD)" lines to the stat block:
This is a big change and it might not be your cup of tea.  It's optional.

I included Morale and Horde Class:

I also included my "OPTIONAL MECHANICS" on "Hits" and "Plot Points"
As an aside, here's how I track "Hits" and "BD" and "MD" for my monsters:

I copy down the number of HD as a bunch of circles.  Then, I guesstimate where half is (in this case it is 8 "hits" in) and I draw a line.  I write down the range for the monster's BD event.  If I don't roll it, I don't even have to look it up (of course I glance at it when I write down 1-4...)   Then I mark a line for "MD".  I'll do 1 or 2 hits based on how tough the monster is (I note the 5).

That's all there is to it.  Just thought you might be interested.

I've collaborated with Risus Monkey to use his geomorphs as the basis of some maps in the book.  It never hurts to have some maps ready to go.  I've tried to find some evocative public domain art to help identify where the maps are.  Just think it helps.

Finally, there are the monster write ups.  I've scoured the source material and I've used my best judgement to make these as complete as possible.  I hope you can use these monsters in your games.  I've included a bunch of monsters from Bat at Ancient Vaults.  Other contributors will be coming on line soon as I add the letters to the book...
So, here's the bottom line.  This IS A LOT OF WORK!!  SERIOUSLY!  I've probably put in 12 hours this week on the letter A!  

Please give me some feedback.  Do you like it?  Is it crap?  Shall I press on and finish the other 25/26th of the book or should I just hang it up and call it a failed experiment?  

Seriously, please, please, please let me know.  It's a fun project, but I'm looking at (conservatively) TEN DAYS PLUS of my life here.  That's not chump change.

:)  Enjoy!



Flynn said...

That's awesome! I'd love to see you maintain that level of detail throughout the project. It would definitely be a labor of love. If you finish it and decide to publish, I would buy a copy, just because. :)

With Regards,

Trey said...

Cool. I'm looking forward to seeing more of this.

Simon Forster said...

I like it. I can see how much work has been put into it. I use to use hits per Hit Dice for monsters too, especially minion types. Excellent work.

If you ever think of publishing this, I'd change the layout a bit, make it a monster every one or two pages, and try for a coil-bound book that can be easily used at a table.

faoladh said...

Purely for selfish reasons, I'd like to see you finish this. It would definitely be worth it to me. Monster books can only be useful.

Gavin Norman said...

Hey Jim, looking good! A few thoughts / constructive criticism as requested:

1. I can totally believe how much work this is!
2. I love the plot points. I can totally imagine using them when rolling up a random wilderness encounter.
3. The icons for deadly attacks and so on are cool too. A bit like the *s in B/X, but more descriptive.
4. The weird # notations for movement rates... I know they're traditional (assuming you're using the same symbols?) but I find them impossible to read. Have you thought about also using icons for different types of movement? Seems like it might be possible, and would certainly fit with the style of the rest of the entries.
5. The tactics / extra abilities at half / very low hp... I'm not so keen on these. I guess I feel like they add a layer of complexity which is a bit out of place in old-school D&D, and some seem a bit prescriptive with "how to run this monster". I can't think of any suggestions right now as to how I'd prefer these descriptions of tactics / special abilities, and just saying "I don't like them" is a bit crap I know, sorry! :) But of course they're optional though, as you said.
6. Oh yeah... unless I'm gravely mistaken, it's "hoard class" not "horde class" :)

All in all it looks great!


x said...

Quick look-looks good.


Roger G-S said...

I'm with Gavin. I don't like the mechanical nature of the "blooded" effects but they'd be great as suggestions for (respectively) an "upping the ante" combat occurrence and a "self-preservation (or self-immolation!)" feat that the GM can have the creature use as appropriate.

Jim said...

@Flynn -- Thanks! That's exactly what takes the time and it's exactly what I want to do to make this book different.
@Trey -- Thanks!
@Simon -- Thanks! I'll see how the final layout works out. I'm currently set at 6x9 digest, but I've played with US Letter and 2-columns. I think the book will be too thick for spiral binding though, but I'm no expert.
@faoladh -- Thanks! I'm planning to push on through!
@Gavin -- 1) I know... whew! 2,3) Thanks! 4) Yeah, I'm not sold on those anymore either. I may just make notations. 5) I know what you are saying. Anyone is free to ignore them. I use them to "mix things up". 6) You are right. I'll be find/replacing.. :)

Jim said...

@ADD Grognard -- Thanks!
@Roger -- I know. They are not for everyone. Thanks! Maybe I'll add some additional suggestions/clarifications.

Morgan said...

This is fantastic! It looks like the monster book of my dreams. If future installments are anything like this one, it will probably become my go-to monster reference. Thanks for your hard work!

Chaz said...

Jim - Fantastic work! Where did you find your icons? I've been working on a similar project for my personal S&W games for quite some time. Its bizarre but I credit 4E for a lot of my new thinking on monsters.

Jim said...

@Morgan -- thanks. Still plugging away! :)
@Chaz -- thanks. The font is called "Gamedings"

Christopher said...

This is very cool! I think it is worth continuing this project and am very much in the market for this if it is ever published. Thanks!