Sunday, July 9, 2017

Monsters & Other Menaces

The first expansion product announced for Legend Quest back in 1991 was Monsters & Other Menaces.  We knew that we had included all the stats for the monsters but not the text and background to use them all the way we hoped they might be used.  M&OM was going to fix that.  But the feedback at the time was that no, players wanted adventures and possibly a city to be based out of.  Well, we had those too, and we released The Endless Dungeon and The City of Rhum.

But I’ve been working on M&OM for over 25 years now!  Some of it you saw in the Omnibus Edition of Legend Quest, but there is still a ton of material to go.  You see M&OM was actually four parts:

Part 1 - Creature Expansions - The text in the rule books is scant, so here we were going to get into it a lot deeper.  For some of them, elves, dwarves, halflings, this may feel like us forcing our campaign world cultures on these races, but it was always intended to be a much broader dive into what the races were like and what benefits they could take advantage of.  For some of the creatures you may not have seen before like aldar and tumataurs, these longer descriptions may have been exactly what you needed to get these creatures living in your world(s).

Part 2 - New Creatures - This is probably what you were expecting this book would be about.  Here we would lay out a huge number of extra creatures, though most commonly they would have the same one or two paragraph descriptions.  Whenever possible, we based our monsters on a more myth based history, so here we were able to continue adding all manner of monsters from myth and urban legend.  This would also have been our chance to expand the dragons beyond fire breathers, etc. etc.

Part 3 - Characters with Character - Just like we’ve always done, these were to be NPCs who could come alive during a game.  Not one-dimensional character classes with stats, these were going to be full back stories and interesting quirks.  This is where we’ve been filling out the Small Bites M&OM sections, because we just have so ____ many of them.  And personalities and character backgrounds are not dependent on game rules.  You may not be able to use the Celtic inspired brownie creature we developed in your old school rules, but you can absolutely use the vigilante horseman archer who dresses in blue.

Part 4 - Starting Characters - We know - character classes produce player characters more quickly than point based characters, but I’ve been doing this for closing on 30 years now.  I typically have a pretty good idea of what will and what won’t work, and I have all the charts memorized.  So I can whip out a couple of 250 characters in some pretty blinding speed.  Why not let me prep the starting characters for you, so you can just grab one and go?

We went through this to give you a better idea of what the Small Bites M&OM articles are going to be like.  Expect all of the first three, but starting characters have been absorbed into Wet Behind the Ears.  So you’ll still get those, just not in the same space.  With the latest (currently only available to Patreon patrons) edition of Small Bites being All About Dwarves and the next one being All About Equines (horses, unicorns, pegasi +), you know Monsters & Other Menaces has come to the forefront!  Not to be too commercial, but if you sign up as a patron before the end of July, you will get the dwarves issue.

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