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What monsters would you like to see ?


Agentorange

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Speaking hypothetically, if a monster manual type supplement was ever to be mooted what would folks like to see in such a supplement ? My personal preference would be for creatures and monsters from earth mythology, Rakshasa, Berberlang etc etc. The old vikings and Ninja supplements gave a nice selection from Norse and Japanese mythology and I guess they could form the start of such a work, the various other mythologies have huge possibilities, what would other people like to see ? Dinosaurs, Woolly Mammoths, Were Hamsters ?

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What people need is creatures they can use or would probably use.

This depends on settings, to a certain extent, and genre.

Many people would need standard real world creatures for historical or adventure settings, but then we get the bear/lion/tiger/wolf stats from RQ2/3/BRP repeated.

If you include creatures from real world mythology, then do you concentrate on mythology that most people know about (Classical/Celtic/Germanic) or emerging mythologies that some people know about (Aztec/Mayan/Native American/Japanese/Chinese) or mythologies that very few people seem to know about (Basque/Eurasian/African/Australian Aboriginal)? Apologies for anyone whose mythologies I have said weren't well known. You can end up with a book where vert few GMs will use many of the monsters.

Look at the RQ2 Bestiary. How many people, hand on heart, used Baeguests or Red Caps regularly? I've used Red Caps once and Barguests probably twice.

You probably need a generic book with the standard real world creatures and wel known mythological beasts, then folow up with bestiaries in supplements that are setting/genre specific.

But, that's like RQ3 Monsters book with the Gloranthan Encyclopedia to follow.

Simon Phipp - Caldmore Chameleon - Wallowing in my elitism since 1982. Many Systems, One Family. Just a fanboy. 

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I imagine it would also depend on the size and depth of the bestiaries in the various supplements themselves. For example if the Mythic Iceland ( which I'm really rather looking forward to ) pulls out the stops and gives a huge bestiary from Icelandic/Nordic myth then there wouldn't be much call for further material in a monsters supplement, likewise the same might well apply to the Mythic Rome supplement, good bestiaries in real world settings might render the idea of a monster manual redundant.

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I agree that the creatures in this type of book have to be either 1) Mundane and necessary that everyone will use. Such as horse, dog, orc, goblin and dragon or 2) unique and odd. These are creatures that players and GMs have never heard of or seen and would create interesting play around.

I think the problem with each monster manual type book I have ever seen is a lake of motivation for encounters. A few extra paragraphs per creature of a sampe encounter scenario and what not would go a long way from turning Normal Kobolds to the Dreaded Tuckers Kobolds.

In Berlin '61 Im trying for a mix of exotic pantheon specific monsters, classic b-movie horror monsters and everyday typical encounters. Sure I can have hundreds of pages of tentacled demons and nazi war scientists but whats the point if I dont have stats for street thugs, government agents and that drunk guy at the bar?

Just my lousy and useless 2 cents.

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Hello,

Whatever the case, we need killer rabbits (and the holy grenades to hunt them).

Back to topic, I agree monsters/creatures are setting specific, except for the generic ones. So, count me on a light creature book that contains what is quasi-universal. The other creatures have to be described within their setting book.

Runequestement votre,

Kloster

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What I would like to see is not a "monster book" but a "monster construction book". More than just a "one from column A, two from column B" approach, it would analyze how creatures fit into an ecology, or unique monsters fit into a narrative. It would then give tips on how to balance a creature against the the PCs. From what I hear A Magical Society: Beast Builder takes this approach for d20, but in the BRP we have to guess how characteristics and special attacks affect the deadliness of a creature.

Such a book could have wide applicability. Fantasy GMs could create whole new encounters to surprise their players. Science fiction GMs could create plausible alien flora and fauna. Horror GMs could move beyond standard Cthulhoid monstrosities to create their own terrors.

Then again, in games as in real life, I believe the deadliest creature is man, so I think a GM can do pretty well by pitting human(oid) societies, kingdoms, and organizations against the PCs.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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What I would like to see is not a "monster book" but a "monster construction book". More than just a "one from column A, two from column B" approach, it would analyze how creatures fit into an ecology, or unique monsters fit into a narrative. It would then give tips on how to balance a creature against the the PCs. From what I hear A Magical Society: Beast Builder takes this approach for d20, but in the BRP we have to guess how characteristics and special attacks affect the deadliness of a creature.

Such a book could have wide applicability. Fantasy GMs could create whole new encounters to surprise their players. Science fiction GMs could create plausible alien flora and fauna. Horror GMs could move beyond standard Cthulhoid monstrosities to create their own terrors.

Then again, in games as in real life, I believe the deadliest creature is man, so I think a GM can do pretty well by pitting human(oid) societies, kingdoms, and organizations against the PCs.

Yuk. I hate it when TSR tried to give fantastic monsters an ecological niche. For BRP I think such a tactic would be disasterous.

For starters, in BRP, unlike D&D, not all worlds are the same (i.e a fantasy world with a climate like feudal Europe), not are the populated with the same species (elves, dwarves, orcs), and critters. So an ecology book would either be useful for one setting, or force all BRP setting to be alike. Once you work out what fantasy critter eats another fantasy critter, you need the second critter for the ecology to hold up.

Plus, the "balanced" approach of D&D doesn't hold true. The "this creature is a challenge for X characters of Y level" thing is only a very rough guideline. In truth, a GM has to look over the characters and the opposition and figure it all out on a case by case basis. There are simply too many variables for the guidelines to be worth much.

In D&D terms, things like PC attribute scores and equipment carried are not factored into the equations, and they are very important factors.

Likewise in BRP, creatures stats don't tell the whole story. A grizzly bear is bigger and stronger than a brown bear, but isn't really much more of a threat to a group that can hit it with massed missile fire, especially if they have access to modern firearms.

Even very high STR scores sort of cap out as a contributor to threat level. Once you hit 6d6 damage or so, the actual damages becomes irrelevant, a hit means dead or incapacitated. At that point skill is the big factor (skill usually is the major factor in BRP, along with brains).

Technically, a GM could make custom monsters in BRP with the Superpower, or Mutant rules anyway. Buy any sort of hard & fast power measurements are wishful thinking.

As for a creatures book.

I think it would either have to be a mix of mundane, mythic, alien, or else separate books by genre (BRP Animals, BRP Mythical Creatures, BRP Space Creatures, BRP Aliens, BRP Mythic Races, etc).

I think the best approach would be to start with an all-in-one book and then do the rest in setting books, or as supplements to the settings if & when they are needed (the way we are handle multiple forums here).

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I agree with the generic creature book first then campaign specific books after that. I may not want to do mythic iceland or vikings or ninjas, I may just want to do my own thing and a generic monster book would be more appropriate for my needs.

But the generic book has to be fairly vague with some detail but nothing truly specific (Orcs live in the south, elves dont eat meat, all halflings are thieves). I think the true tragedy that is D20 (all all its ancestors) was the wandering monster by HD/Level idea.

A generic "typical" listing, and then a few paragraphs of adjusting the template.

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I think the true tragedy that is D20 (all all its ancestors) was the wandering monster by HD/Level idea.

I think one of the big tradegeies is that so much stuff is common to all game worlds. It makes the game much blander, since so many things are common from world to world. You have the same pseudo-Tolkien high, grey, and wood elves, over 90% of D&D supplemts and game worlds. Its one reason why regardlesss of setting, D&D plays the same. You got the same classes, magic systems, speices, and magic items, just the that the land masses change.

While the BPR core rules are generic, I hope the supplments are not. For the most part, I like my supplments to be tailored to a specific setting or genre. I hope that we get one of more spefic campaign settings to game in, rather than a genric fantasy world with all the old cliches.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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You know, I may be an old roleplaying fogey these days, but I would love to see the old "All The World's Monsters" see the light of day again.

Monster books these days are too po-faced, trying to be zoological textbooks. With ATWM, anything went - you had straight po-faced scientific writeups of giant beasties, and then wild and whacko monsters from just about any source of inspiration - comic books, B-movies, fairy tales, science-fiction, whatever. It fed the imagination and had something for everyone (I still love the "Coachman of Death", if only for the Sleepy Hollow atmosphere).

Three books. Everyone contributes something, everyone gets credited. Favourite monsters all over the place. Would be way cool.

Now where did I put those writeups for Replicants, Aliens, Daleks, Tusken Raiders and Jawas...? Reckon I can change them names if I have too... >:->

"The Worm Within" - the first novel for The Chronicles of Future Earth, coming 2013 from Chaosium, Inc.

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I think a basic monster list in the DBRP book is enough. Specific monsters should be included in the various setting books.

Generally I like SB5 presents its monsters. (eg. the fact that mundane animals only have one page with compressed stats without artwork - which is quite clever because it saves space and everybody knows how a horse or lion looks like)

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I would very much like to see a monster book dedicated to real-world animals from insects to dinosaurs. In RQ/BRP normal animals can be and are dangerous to characters, and fighting them was no light matter. In D&D in all its incarnations, fighting normal animals wasn't even given a thought unless you were first or second level. After third level or so, animals were merely a minor nuisance and nothing of consequence. A bear, bah, a tiger, ho-hum, a lion, yawn.

BRP Ze 32/420

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I'll grant that trying to "balance" encounters exactly is a pipe dream. However ...

Yuk. I hate it when TSR tried to give fantastic monsters an ecological niche. For BRP I think such a tactic would be disasterous.

For starters, in BRP, unlike D&D, not all worlds are the same (i.e a fantasy world with a climate like feudal Europe), not are the populated with the same species (elves, dwarves, orcs), and critters. So an ecology book would either be useful for one setting, or force all BRP setting to be alike. Once you work out what fantasy critter eats another fantasy critter, you need the second critter for the ecology to hold up.

The point of this hypothetical book is not to hand the GM a pre-made ecology, but to present ecological niches and let the GM fill them as he sees fit. So, for example, if the GM creates a carnivorous species, he doesn't forget to create enough prey of whatever species to sustain the carnivorous population.

If the GM wants to create one-off monsters, or magically summoned species, or a species with a bizarre or unbalanced ecology, he's also free to do so. In that case, a discussion about monsters in literature might provide some useful guidance to make sure the creature thematically fits with the GM's intent.

Finally, notes on playing creatures would also help. Natural animals (and sapients!) would run away from a superior aggressor, not attack mindlessly. Semi-intelligent or intelligent creatures would use strategy and their innate abilities instead of a full-on assault. I'm sure someone who did the research could find behavior patterns in nature to supplement common sense, for the GM who wanted realistic animal behavior.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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I'd like to see a basic bestiary with equal content for fantasy beasts, modern day beasts(regular animals and legendary beasts-think mothman, etc...) and sci-fi beasts/creatures. Giant animals/monsters would be great too. I would also like to see a big book just on prehistoric life like Gurps dinosaurs, however I'm not going to hold my breath for that one. I agree most animals/monsters should be in the setting books, but would like to see a general book.

141/420

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I would very much like to see a monster book dedicated to real-world animals from insects to dinosaurs. In RQ/BRP normal animals can be and are dangerous to characters, and fighting them was no light matter. In D&D in all its incarnations, fighting normal animals wasn't even given a thought unless you were first or second level. After third level or so, animals were merely a minor nuisance and nothing of consequence. A bear, bah, a tiger, ho-hum, a lion, yawn.

There was a great PDF ( and I think POD ) D20 book by Betabunny Publishing called Predators that covered a lot of this ground ( no dinosaurs though ) it looked at: canines, felines, primates, reptiles, birds all sorts of stuff, gave stats blocks, hunting tips, pictures of the beasts and their tracks, values of pelts, ecological niches etc etc, covered everything from badgers upto whales even had a few cryptids in there for a little spice. I really liked it. Not to mention I actually learned a lot as well.

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The point of this hypothetical book is not to hand the GM a pre-made ecology, but to present ecological niches and let the GM fill them as he sees fit. So, for example, if the GM creates a carnivorous species, he doesn't forget to create enough prey of whatever species to sustain the carnivorous population.

Assuming that such creatures need an ecology to support them. For instance Dragons might live off of magical energy, and only eat the odd maiden or two for variety.

Maybe rather than an "ecology of" approach, the method used in Sci-FI RPGs like Traveler might be best. Work up a few categories like, Grazer, Chaser and Pouncer, and just assign creatures to a category. Leave an exotic categories for the strange stuff. That way you get a rough ecology without making creatures interdependent with specific other creatures.

Finally, notes on playing creatures would also help. Natural animals (and sapients!) would run away from a superior aggressor, not attack mindlessly. Semi-intelligent or intelligent creatures would use strategy and their innate abilities instead of a full-on assault. I'm sure someone who did the research could find behavior patterns in nature to supplement common sense, for the GM who wanted realistic animal behavior.

Yeah, I with you on this. Maybe something like a flight or flight rating, and a few notes of how certain creatures react. I get a little tired of campaigns where very creatures fights on suicidally unto death.

There are a few RPGs that do give such guidelines (such as Traveler), and some of it would be helpful to BRP. Even things like how bears tend to backtrack pursuers or that playing dead can sometimes stop them from attacking you would be useful in the creature description.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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There was a great PDF ( and I think POD ) D20 book by Betabunny Publishing called Predators that covered a lot of this ground ( no dinosaurs though ) it looked at: canines, felines, primates, reptiles, birds all sorts of stuff, gave stats blocks, hunting tips, pictures of the beasts and their tracks, values of pelts, ecological niches etc etc, covered everything from badgers upto whales even had a few cryptids in there for a little spice. I really liked it. Not to mention I actually learned a lot as well.

Cool. I downloads the Bears preview and looked at it. I might just have to consider purchasing the full item. Thanks!

BRP Ze 32/420

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I think one of the big tradegeies is that so much stuff is common to all game worlds. It makes the game much blander, since so many things are common from world to world. You have the same pseudo-Tolkien high, grey, and wood elves, over 90% of D&D supplemts and game worlds. Its one reason why regardlesss of setting, D&D plays the same. You got the same classes, magic systems, speices, and magic items, just the that the land masses change.

I think its a bad idea to underestimate the "Its just too damn much work" factor here, though; even people trying to create original game worlds have only so much time to put into that creation, and have to decide on priorities. Often monsters, especially non-intelligent ones, are a low priority on that because they're fairly detail intensive but not particularly core to the player experience.

And in the end, its sometimes lost anyway. If you have an intelligent non-human humanoid type in a world that has some elflike qualities, people are going to, as a group, see them as elves almost no matter what you do; even if you emphasize the differences, what will lodge in people's minds is "oh, they're barbarian elves who hate magic", but it'll still be "elves".

So I think some of this is almost inevitable.

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I think its a bad idea to underestimate the "Its just too damn much work" factor here, though; even people trying to create original game worlds have only so much time to put into that creation, and have to decide on priorities. Often monsters, especially non-intelligent ones, are a low priority on that because they're fairly detail intensive but not particularly core to the player experience.

And in the end, its sometimes lost anyway. If you have an intelligent non-human humanoid type in a world that has some elflike qualities, people are going to, as a group, see them as elves almost no matter what you do; even if you emphasize the differences, what will lodge in people's minds is "oh, they're barbarian elves who hate magic", but it'll still be "elves".

So I think some of this is almost inevitable.

Some yes. But a lot of that depends on what effort (if any) is made towards fleshing out the species and culture. Traveler, and most of it's spin-offs, did a great job of making aliens seem, alien. On the other hand, Taslanta used to boast about all the races it had, and NO ELVES, yet had something like a dozen elf clones.

What I don't like is for every world to have "high" evles, who worhsip Corelleion Latherian, are proficnent with swords and bows, are a dying culture, proficient in magic, live for 600 years, etc.

Is there one D&D world, where the Evles are an expanding culture? Or where the Orcs aren't evil? Nope.

That's what I liked about RQ and the other BRP games. Aldrymi weren't the Tolkien (token?) elves, Trolls weren't evil, just different, and neither appeared in CoC or Stormbringer.

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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I think its a bad idea to underestimate the "Its just too damn much work" factor here, though; even people trying to create original game worlds have only so much time to put into that creation, and have to decide on priorities. Often monsters, especially non-intelligent ones, are a low priority on that because they're fairly detail intensive but not particularly core to the player experience.

That's why I have the slogan "man is the most dangerous animal". I prefer adventures where the goal is to stop evil cults, corrupt elites, or some mysterious uncanny thing; slaying a whole bunch of beasts doesn't interest me, and in the BRP system it's likely to get you killed for no good reason.

So, if I truly need a "monster", I'd rather design a one-off suited to the adventure or campaign. Otherwise, I'll draw my enemies from opposing organizations, nations, and cultures. (Last year, I played in a d20 Midnight campaign where 90% or our enemies were orcs, goblins, and evil humans ... but each had enough personality, and importance to our actual goals, that we players never felt bored. Except during combat, but that's d20 for you.)

Even in a science fiction game, I'd rather decree that humans brought Earth creatures with them rather than start cranking out alien beasts (although having generic Grazer/Chaser/whatever templates would be appreciated). I'm even parsimonious with sapient alien species, since most "aliens" in fiction could just as easily be genetically engineered humans with a cultural quirk.

Frank

"Welcome to the hottest and fastest-growing hobby of, er, 1977." -- The Laundry RPG
 
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I like fmitchell's ideas... a book with guidelines for creating creatures and their habits/ecologies... with maybe a sample beastiary... would probably be the most use to me... and the most inspirational for ideas.

A big book of random fantasy monsters not so much... though it might be fun to look at I probably wouldn't use many of them.

Most of the fantasy settings I've made up have tended to really veer towards being low-tech science fiction settings with some supernatural elements tossed in... meaning the creatures shared common morphologies scattered across various niches, rather than just being randomly dispersed and not at all similar to each other.

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I like fmitchell's ideas... a book with guidelines for creating creatures and their habits/ecologies... with maybe a sample beastiary... would probably be the most use to me... and the most inspirational for ideas.

A big book of random fantasy monsters not so much... though it might be fun to look at I probably wouldn't use many of them.

Most of the fantasy settings I've made up have tended to really veer towards being low-tech science fiction settings with some supernatural elements tossed in... meaning the creatures shared common morphologies scattered across various niches, rather than just being randomly dispersed and not at all similar to each other.

Yep. I am doing the same. This creates the necessary authenticity for a good game. Thats why I think that a "monster manual" with generic monsters is not very useful. The basic list of the DBRP book is probably enough to start with. More specific monsters should be described in the various settings.

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The concept of a book which describes how to create creatures for your specific setting has been done; it's called the Monster Burner for the Burning Wheel system.

Not only does it point out how to integrate the specifics of your new critter into the the gamescience, but it gives tremendous weight to the role it plays in the setting. Quite an innovative book, if a bit story-game oriented.

A book of lists of monster stats? Not so interested...

A setting book with the creatures found wandering this specific countries' lesser worn trails? Much more interested...

-pax-

Emerging from my Dark Age...

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