Sunday, 13 December 2015

[Review] Monstrous Miscellany #01

4Monstrous Miscellany #01 is (currently) James Mishler Games' newest publication. You can get it from RPGNow for under a buck!

In this pdf of 7 pages after cover page, OGL and all that you'll get four new monsters for Labyrinth Lord. Each of the monsters is exactly one page (8,5x11 inch), so they are easy to print to use. There is no illustration of any kind. But the lack of images doesn't matter, as the written descriptions are clear and evocative to give you the picture of these monsters.

The monsters are quite different and very higher fantasy with a little darker or fairy-taleish tone. You'll get a demon, a giant, a pixie, and an angelic creature. The hit dice vary a lot and cover basic to expert level characters' levels 13 being the highest.

With each monster you get basic description, organization, ecology and the usual like treasure and special powers. Descriptions are clear, if not a bit wordy.

Even though the creatures are different and doesn't seem to have a theme, I'd like to use them all in one campaign and make a theme around them. They have something similar, and that's something from what a single author does. James' own style.

$0.99 and four monsters, that's $0.25 a pop. Not bad. But is four monsters enough in a product when there are so many completed monster manuals around? I'd say yes, because even though there are dozens of great monster manuals for all these different games and systems and settings, small products like these easily highlight the monsters written in, instead of those 100+ monsters in one product. Usually I can also focus better on few monsters (which also might have more text in smaller products).

How'd I use this? Print the monsters, put them in a campaign folder, and make them fit. Easy to get new monsters for players, easy to use, easy to choose.

Even though I like weirder and more amazing or unique or grotesque or gonzo monsters, it is still refreshing to see something more fantastic in nature. That's why I liked this a lot. And hey, you can never have too many monster resources around... even if I don't use them all, I enjoy reading them! Well written and evocative and interesting monster descriptions are like short stories.