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Posts Tagged ‘undead’

Johannes Bund, Imperial Spy

April 9, 2022 2 comments

Here’s an NPC who didn’t make it into The Horned Rat Companion. See what you think. But first:

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It is no secret that the final chapter of The Horned Rat is an affectionate pastiche of all those spy movies that see the resourceful hero infiltrating the villain’s lair to stop an insane weapon from causing unthinkable damage. Therefore, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that the PCs might encounter just such a resourceful hero in Karak Skygg.

Johannes Bund is a tall man, of medium build but evidently very fit. His dark hair is worn short in a military style, and his blue eyes hold a gleam of sardonic amusement. He is fairly handsome, his looks marred only by a hint of cruelty about the set of his mouth.

He is daring to the point of recklessness, and has a deep interest in (and an encyclopedic knowledge of) everything connected with good living: the best food and drink, the most fashionable clubs and gambling houses, and the most beautiful women. He has left a long trail of romantic conquests in his wake, and fancies himself a great lover — something which may become an inconvenience to any female Character he encounters.

Bund speaks with a soft Nordland accent, marked by a slight lisp that turns ‘s’ into ‘sh.’ He had a habit of introducing himself as ‘Bund — Johannesh Bund.’

This description, of course, is based on Sean Connery’s portrayal of the character. As GM, you should feel free to make any changes you like, to make the NPC fit another version.

And, of course, like everything else on this blog the following is to be regarded as a fan work and does not constitute any challenge to any trademark or copyright held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, Eon Productions, or anyone else. It’s all just for fun.

Johannes Bund — Agent (Gold1)

Former Seaman, former Assassin

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Skills: Animal Care 30, Animal Training (Pigeon) 30, Athletics 45, Bribery 45, Charm 65, Climb 55, Consume Alcohol 30, Cool 65, Dodge 45, Endurance 45, Entertain (Acting) 45, Gamble 45, Gossip 55, Haggle 30, Intimidate 30, Intuition 55, Language (Battle Tongue) 30, Leadership 30, Melee (Basic) 60, Melee (Brawling) 30, Melee (Fencing) 30, Navigation 30, Perception 55, Ranged (Crossbow) 30, Ranged (Thrown) 30, Ride (Horse) 35, Row 30, Sail 30, Secret Signs (Scouts) 30, Sleight of Hand 30, Stealth (Urban) 30, Swim 30

Talents: Accurate Shot, Ambidextrous, Attractive, Blather, Careful Strike, Carouser, Catfall, Cat-Tongued, Combat Reflexes, Dirty Fighting, Disarm, Etiquette (Nobles), Furious Assault, Gregarious, In-Fighter, Lip Reading, Marksman, Menacing, Read/Write, Relentless, Reversal, Seasoned Traveller, Shadow, Strike to Injure, Strike to Stun, Strong Swimmer, Warrior Born.

Trappings: Good quality clothing, hidden sleeve dagger1 (right sleeve), hidden sleeve pistol2 (left sleeve), 12 explosive coat buttons3, 8 gas sleeve buttons4, poison bracelet5, fine quality pistol (Lightweight, Practical), 10 shots of normal powder, 10 shots of silent powder6, 10 normal bullets, 10 alchemical bullets7, belt with hidden wire garrotte, 2 throwing knives (one in each boot), blowpipe hidden in right boot, 10 blowpipe darts disguised in the lapels of brocade jerkin, 10 doses of Black Lotus hidden in boot-heel, license to kill signed by the Emperor himself, sewn into jerkin.

Bund’s Gadgets

Johannes Bund would not be a proper pastiche (or homage, if you prefer) without an array of hidden weapons and other gadgets. Here are brief descriptions of some of them.

1. Hidden Sleeve Dagger: Secured in a spring-loaded arm-sheath, it shoots into his hand at will, without needing to be drawn. Counts as a normal dagger.

2. Hidden Sleeve Pistol: A one-shot weapon strapped to his lower arm, which can be fired even if he is holding something in his left hand. Rang 6, Damage +6, otherwise as normal pistol.

3. Explosive Coat Buttons: Appearing to be normal gold buttons, each one is a small bomb that explodes one round after being pulled from the coat. Blast 2, Damage +6, otherwise as normal bomb.

4. Gas Sleeve Buttons: Appearing to be normal gold buttons, each one is filled with an alchemical gas that is released on a 2–yard radius on the round after being pulled from the coat. Every creature in the cloud must make a Hard (-20) Endurance Test or gain the Unconscious Condition.

5. Poison Bracelet: This bracelet of gold set with gems is fake. Each of the 8 gems is a Heartkill capsule which dissolves in food or drink within one round.

6. Silent Powder: A alchemically modified form of gunpowder that detonates silently and without smoke. Range is reduced by 10% and Damage by 1 point, but otherwise any weapon loaded with silent powder fires normally.

7. Alchemical Bullets: Hollow bullets containing a concentrated explosive. Shots that hit a living target cause double normal damage; those that hit inanimate objects are treated as bombs with Blast 1 and Damage +4.

Wonderful Toys

The array of special weaponry on Bund’s person will probably cause any player’s eyes to light up with envy, but it will be very difficult to get hold of them without Bund noticing. Quite apart from the fact that he is a highly-trained agent with an unforgiving nature and an Imperial license to kill, most of these items are physically attached to him and tricky to remove.

Unscrupulous PCs might be tempted to try and murder Bund for his equipment, but this will not be easy — even in the midst of a horde of Skaven. In the unlikely event that they succeed, the PCs will find themselves hunted throughout the Empire by other agents of Bund’s secretive agency, all similarly skilled and equipped. When the events of Empire in Ruins take them to Altdorf and their success depends on the goodwill of the Imperial authorities, this could be inconvenient to say the least.

Encountering Bund

As one of the Emperor’s most skilled and trusted agents, Johannes Bund is in Middenland on a secret mission to find out what plans are afoot to declare northern independence and plunge the Empire into civil war. He chanced to be in Middenheim when the Skaven attacks took place, and has been conducting his own investigation independent of Graf Boris, Baron Heinrich, and the other northern authorities. Somehow he came to learn of the Skaven presence at Karak Skygg, and he infiltrated the place at more or less the same time as the PCs.

The GM has a couple of different options for having Bund cross the party’s path, depending on events.

A Fellow Prisoner

When the PCs are captured by the Grey Seer and treated to the gloating speech in which he lays out his evil plan, they may find that they are not the only prisoners. Bund may be there, tied up and stripped of all his obvious weapons. When everyone is left to die in the beam of concentrated Morrslieb-light, one of the PCs may be close enough to Bund to reach one of his boot knives, or pull a button from his coat — and perhaps free one or both of them without being badly cut or blown up.

A Rescuing Hero

Just when the PCs are at the point of freeing themselves from their bonds, or getting themselves out of some other tricky situation, Bund may appear and rescue them in a gratuitously spectacular style, whether they want him to or not. Thereafter, he will treat them as his lackeys, issuing orders and setting out plans as though he were the hero of the adventure — which, of course, he is in his own opinion.

He will not listen to the PCs about anything, and will take the most reckless and dangerous approach to any situation. His recklessness might even be instrumental in getting the PCs captured by the Grey Seer, with or without the help of some other NPC betraying them. In that case, he might free himself with irritating ease, heading back into the hold with the intention of destroying the device and assassinating the Grey Seer — and promising to come back for the PCs but conveniently forgetting to do so.


And while you’re here…

Since 2020, I’ve been a director of Rookery Publications, a new indie TTRPG studio that I co-founded with some names that WFRP fans are sure to recognize: Andrew Law, Lindsay Law, Andy Leask, and Mark Gibbons. Our first product is available from DriveThru, and has garnered some good reviews so far. There is much, much more to follow.

If you like the idea of new, system-agnostic roleplaying products (which means that they have been designed to be used with any edition of WFRP, and indeed with any other ruleset) from our merry band, check the Rookery out on any of these platforms.

Discord is the the hub of a vibrant and growing Rookery community.

YouTube and Twitch each have a Rookery channel where you can find our weekly Inside the Rookery streams, where we chat with big-name guests from across the industry about all manner of things.

Inside the Rookery, along with the occasional Beside the Rookery streams, are supported by our Patreon campaign. If you like what the Rookery has to offer and would like to be part of our story, you can support us for a very low monthly commitment (and if you can afford more, we have higher tiers, too!), and get access to exclusive content like the Rookery masterclasses on game design and development and special publications like the just-released Mother Hoarfrost PDF.

And you can also find us on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RookeryPublications
Twitter: @RookeryP
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rookerypublications/

Giant Bats and Fell Bats for WFRP 4

January 31, 2022 5 comments

I just noticed an omission in the adventure “The Return of the Gravelord” in The Horned Rat Companion. Stats were not provided for the Fell Bats in Gräber’s retinue. Fell Bats first appeared in the Vampire Counts army books for Warhammer, and to the best of my knowledge they have never received official stats for any edition of WFRP. Similar, though not as frightening, are the Giant Bats which were first described in the WFRP 1st edition rulebook. So here are stats for both.

As always, everything here is to be regarded as a fan work, and no challenge is intended to any copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.

Oh, and I’ll be adding another monster when the blog hits 350 followers. So if you haven’t followed yet, do it! And if you have, thanks – now, tell your friends!


Giant Bat

A Giant Bat measures almost four feet from nose to tail, and is covered with jet-black fur. The head resembles that of a dog, and the mouth is equipped with long, sharp teeth. These nocturnal creatures are capable of attacking and killing an animal the size of a Human. They are also cunning scavengers, feeding off the carcasses of larger creatures. According to legend, some Sylvanian Vampires have the ability to transform into Giant Bats.

The Move score given on the profile is for ground movement. When flying, a Giant Bat gains a + 10% bonus to Initiative in the first round of combat, unless attacking in illumination equivalent to daylight.
The natural ‘sonar’ of a Giant Bat allows it to ‘see’ up to 20 yards in total darkness. There is a 35% chance that the bite of a Giant Bat may cause Infected wounds.

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Traits: Bestial, Bite+4, Dark Vision (echolocation), Flight 60, Size (Small), Skittish, Wallcrawler
Optional: Fast, Infected, Infestation


Fell Bat

The Giant Bats of Sylvania grow to monstrous proportions, with bodies as long as a human is tall and wingspans of fifteen feet or more.

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Traits: Bestial, Bite+6, Dark Vision (echolocation), Fear 1, Flight 60, Size (Large), Undead, Wallcrawler
Optional: Fast, Infected, Infestation


And while you’re here…

Since 2020, I’ve been a director of Rookery Publications, a new indie TTRPG studio that I co-founded with some names that WFRP fans are sure to recognize: Andrew Law, Lindsay Law, Andy Leask, and Mark Gibbons. Our first product is available from DriveThru, and has garnered some good reviews so far. There is much, much more to follow.

If you like the idea of new, system-agnostic roleplaying products (which means that they have been designed to be used with any edition of WFRP, and indeed with any other ruleset) from our merry band, check the Rookery out on any of these platforms.

Discord is the the hub of a vibrant and growing Rookery community.

YouTube and Twitch each have a Rookery channel where you can find our weekly Inside the Rookery streams, where we chat with big-name guests from across the industry about all manner of things.

Inside the Rookery, along with the occasional Beside the Rookery streams, are supported by our Patreon campaign. If you like what the Rookery has to offer and would like to be part of our story, you can support us for a very low monthly commitment (and if you can afford more, we have higher tiers, too!), and get access to exclusive content like the Rookery masterclasses on game design and development and special publications like the just-released Mother Hoarfrost PDF.

And you can also find us on:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RookeryPublications
Twitter: @RookeryP
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rookerypublications/

Wights in D&D 3.5

October 3, 2021 1 comment

In Dragon #348 (October 2006), I wrote “Ecology of the Wight”. A lot of my original material as cut from the published version, so here it is. I hope you find it useful, or at least interesting.
I was hoping to include a link so you could buy the magazine online, but it doesn’t seem to be available on DriveThru or the DMs’ Guild. If anyone knows of a place where non-pirated copies can be obtained, please drop a link in the comments below. Thanks!


Advanced Wights: Non-Core Sources

This article assumes that the DM is only using the three core rulebooks, but DMs who have access to additional rulebooks and supplements will find more options for producing advanced wight characters.

Libris Mortis

In addition to general notes on undead characters and NPCs, this sourcebook contains much that will be useful to a DM planning a wight-centered adventure or campaign. The evolved undead template allows the creation of ancient and powerful individuals with spell-like abilities. Feats like Improved Energy Drain, Spell Drain, and Life Drain increase the power of the energy drain ability that wights share with many other undead creatures. Monstrous prestige classes include the lurking terror with its enhanced stealth abilities, and the tomb warden (only available to a wight who has already advanced by other means) which confers many useful abilities within the confines of a particular tomb complex. New undead creatures include the slaughter wight, which could make a good leader or champion, and several other monsters that might be found alongside wights in a barrow-field or necropolis.

Monster Manual II

Of most interest is the spellstitched template (page 215), which confers spellcasting ability on an undead creature. With their high Wisdom, wights gain access to first through third level spells by spellstitching – and gain some useful save bonuses – while only increasing their CR by one.

Savage Species

The emancipated spawn prestige class (page 75) is available to creatures and characters who became the spawn of an undead creature such as a wight, and who regain their independence after their creator has been destroyed. As they advance in this prestige class, emancipated spawn gradually remember the skills and class features that they had while living. The wight template (page 136) can be used to create variant wights based upon any humanoid creature.


Wight Lairs

Unless they are under the command of a necromancer or some other master, wights normally lair in tombs. As their full name of barrow-wights suggests, they are often found in earthen burial mounds, but they can make their lairs in any kind of tomb complex or necropolis. A wight lair will usually be the original burial-place of the oldest wight in the pack (sometimes called the master wight); younger wights are usually the spawn of that first individual.

Wight lairs are usually cramped, dark places. Narrow passages and low ceilings hamper weapon-using intruders and favor unarmed wights. They use their knowledge of their lair’s layout, along with secret doors and passages, to spring close-quarters attacks without having to advance under fire from spellcasters and ranged weapons. Labyrinths of short passages allow a pack of wights to surround intruders and attack from all sides; their Hide and Move Silently skills give them a good chance of gaining surprise. Shifting walls and other devices are sometimes used to confuse and disorient outsiders.

Wights’ acute senses and stealth skills make them skilled and dangerous ambushers. When faced with a strong party, their usual tactic is to try to pick off enemies one by one, draining their life energy at leisure and turning them against their former comrades as wight spawn.

A Sample Wight Lair

The map shows a typical barrow where wights might be found. Built millennia ago to house the honored dead of a long-forgotten people, it is built of stone, filled in with dirt and rubble between the walls. Its front is dominated by a curved façade of monumental stones.

Inside, a narrow passage leads past a number of empty tombs (which might hold minor encounters such as rat or spider swarms) to an apparent dead end. The rubble is a decoy, though, intended to distract intruders while 4-5 wights use the secret passages to get behind them. They will not attack right away, but will follow stealthily until the adventurers are busy fighting the rest of the wights in the narrow confines of the two pillar rooms. Then they will mount a surprise attack, surrounding the trespassers and using their energy drain and create spawn abilities.

The four rooms at the far end of the barrow belong to the king and queen, who may be more powerful than the others (see Advanced Wights above). The treasury contains a little treasure (note that wights normally have none). The king’s tomb is hidden by a secret door in the back of his stone throne, and may contain some magical treasures or other special items.


Finding Wights

Wights are not only found in dark barrows on lonely, mist-wrapped moors. Here are a few ideas for placing them in other locations.

The Dead Below

From their headquarters in an abandoned catacomb beneath a city’s oldest cemetery, a powerful band of wights can use sewers, thieves’ tunnels, and other underground passages to reach almost anywhere. Moving mainly by night, they remain unseen and unheard as much as possible, ambushing unwary victims returning home from the city’s hostelries and other unfortunates who are outside after dark. Their ultimate goal may simply be to survive undetected, or they may have come to the city in search of an ancient treasure that was stolen from their leader by grave-robbers, and which now rests in the vaults of the thieves’ guild, or the academy of magic.

Fortress of Nightmares

The wights’ stronghold is heavily defended, both above and below ground, with multiple entry and exit points through small tombs and mausolea nearby. In addition, the wights may have control of swarms of vermin, rats, and the like, as well as alliances with other undead creatures – especially lawful evil undead – that make their home in the cemetery. These undead allies may not fight alongside the wights, but they might inform them of adventurers headed their way, or mount surprise hit-and-run attacks on living trespassers who are already engaged in fighting the wights.

The Forbidden Island

A remote island also makes a suitable home for a pack of wights, especially if it is dotted with the remnants of a lost civilization. If no living souls have set foot on the island for a long time, the wights’ hunger for life energy will make them particularly aggressive. Their first act will probably be to disable any watercraft or other means of escape from the island, and then pick off stragglers or scouts to reduce the visitors’ numbers before mounting an all-out attack by night. They may set traps in the thick jungle of the islands, or among the rubble-choked ruins.

Not Just Mummies

Desert tomb complexes – with or without pyramids – also make good homes for wights. Adventurers will probably expect to find mummies in such locations, and wights will take them by surprise, at least initially. If the wights are dressed in scraps of bandage, the confusion over their true nature may last beyond the first encounter – and nothing worries adventurers more than not knowing what they are up against. True mummies can act as leaders or elite fighters, and spellcasting mummy lords can make up for their comrades’ lack of magic.


My Complete and Utter D&D Bibliography

Everything I have published for various editions, starting in 1982. Includes links to some free downloads.
Click Here.

Rookery Publications

The Spectral Claw: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4

June 13, 2020 21 comments

Following on from last week’s post about the Toad Dragon, I’m taking a look at another old and obscure Citadel Miniature. This time, it’s from the C18 Night Horrors range. The Night Horrors were an interesting collection of demons (but not Daemons), devils, undead, and miscellaneous monsters, advertised between 1986 and 1989. You can find a complete set of ads and flyers on the Stuff of Legends web site.

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The first Night Horrors flyer from November 1986.

In the years that followed, the demons were replaced by Daemons as Realm of Chaosi codified the Ruinous Powers and their minions for the first time. Most of the Undead received their own army lists, starting in Ravening Hordes for 2nd edition Warhammer and developing through Warhammer Armies and the Undead, Vampire Counts, and Tomb Kings books for subsequent editions. And the monsters. . . well, the monsters languished.

The Spectral Claw (bottom right) in the January 1998 flyer.

The Bloodwrack Medusae are part of the Dark Elves army, but the rest of the monsters are all but forgotten.

Here’s my take on one of them, with stats for WFRP4. As always, everything that follows is to be considered a fan work and no challenge is intended to copyrights held by Games Workshop, Cubicle 7, or anyone else.


Spectral Claw

Warhammer Giant for sale | In Stock | eBay

The Spectral Claw is a rare and dreadful monster, created when the severed hand of a Giant is animated by foul Necromancy or Chaotic energies. They may follow the orders of a master such as a Necromancer or a Chaos Sorcerer, or rampage mindlessly through whatever deep forest or desolate landscape saw them come into being.

A Spectral Claw moves by dragging itself across the ground with its fingers. The forces that animate it give it a dim awareness of its surroundings, equivalent to Dark Vision with a range of 20 yards. Its fingers are the size of logs, and make effective if unsophisticated weapons.

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Traits: Bash (2) +8, Construct, Dark Vision, Fear 3, Painless, Undead, Unstable

Optional: Corruption (Minor), Diseased, Infected, Infestation


More Like This

Zoats: From Warhammer to 40K (and back again)
The Ambull: From 40K to WFRP (again)
Viydagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Mardagg: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Mabrothrax: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
Jabberwock: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
The Devil Eel, a New Monster for WFRP4
Gargoyle: A Forgotten WFRP Monster
The Toad Dragon: An Old Citadel Miniature Described for WFRP4
The Mud Elemental: Two Old Monsters Combined for WFRP4
Ngaaranh Spawn of Chaos: A Very Old Citadel Miniature for WFRP4
Leaping Slomm Two-Face, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Zygor Snake-Arms, Another Old Citadel Miniature
Independent Daemons for WFRP 4th Edition
Chaos Snakemen – A Forgotten Warhammer Race
Menfish – Another Lost Warhammer Race
Golems in Warhammer

My Top Five Monster Books (that I worked on)

January 25, 2020 11 comments

In an earlier post, I wrote about my love for monsters and picked out a few of my favorite rpg monster books. A lot of you got back to me with your own favorites, either in the comments section or through Facebook or other means, and now I have quite a few more books to look at – so thanks for that!

This time, I’ll be looking at some monster books that I’ve written or co-written. I’ll explain what I hoped to achieve with each one, and you can judge for yourselves how well I succeeded or failed. As always, I’d love to have your thoughts on each one, especially what you think would have made it better.

There’s more to this request than simple nostalgia, or a need for validation. You see, I’m gearing up for a new project (more than one, in fact: #secretprojects) and I’m studying previous rpg monsters books to figure out what features turn a good one into a great one. I’ll be issuing a formal announcement about the project some time in the next few weeks, but until then, tell me what would make a monster book irresistible to you. What are the must-haves, what are the cut-aboves, and what are the mind-blowing, come-look-at-this, can-you-believe-it features that turn a monster treatment into something that you have to use as soon as you can, and that you will talk about for the rest of your gaming career?

Creatures of Freeport

Creatures of Freeport

https://greenroninstore.com/products/creatures-of-freeport-pdf

A great attraction of this project was the opportunity to work with my friend Keith Baker. Before Keith created Eberron, Gloom, and the other games that have made him rightly famous, we worked together in a video game studio in Boulder, Colorado. We were both impressed by Green Ronin’s Freeport setting: I mean, D&D with pirates – what’s not to love? I had been thinking of ways to expand and improve the way monsters are covered in tabletop rpgs ever since my Games Workshop days, and Keith was a whiz at the complex process of creating monster stats for the 3.5/d20 system.

We added three sections to the standard treatment. The first set out the kind of information about the creature that might be available on a successful knowledge check, the second covered various magical, alchemical, and other uses for the dead creature’s remains, and the third presented a selection of adventure hooks.

The book got some good reviews, and we were both quite happy with it. But I’m still left with the feeling that it is possible to do better.

Atlas of the Walking Dead

Atlas of the Walking Dead

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/566/Atlas-of-the-Walking-Dead?affiliate_id=386172

Eden Studios’ zombie survival-horror game All Flesh Must Be Eaten came out just at the start of that heady (brain-y?) period in which zombie horror began to take over the zeitgeist. Since the undead have always been one of my favorite classes of monsters, I jumped at the chance to pitch them a monster book.

I took myth and folklore as my starting point here. Over the years, I had read an enormous amount on the subject, especially on the creatures of folklore around the world. I found that the walking dead – which I defined as all kinds of corporeal undead, not just zombies – broke down into a number of classes, with variants from different parts of the world. For each type, I started with a short piece of atmospheric fiction to set the scene, defined the base creature in terms of the game’s rules, and added a short section on variants. In many cases it was necessary to define new traits (Aspects in the game’s lingo), and as in Creatures of Freeport I finished up with a selection of adventure hooks.

GURPS Faerie

GURPS Faerie

http://www.sjgames.com/gurps/books/faerie/

Like all the GURPS worldbooks, this was as much a setting as a bestiary. Faeries are found across the world under a range of local names, and like the walking dead they break down into a number of distinct types. In addition to chapters on faerie lands, faerie magic, and faerie nature, I wrote a chapter of templates for the various types with variants on each. Following the format established by previous monster-centric sourcebooks for GURPS, a chapter on campaigns and adventures took the place of adventure seeds per template.

I like this book because faeries are another favorite class of monsters, and because it allowed me to examine their folkloric context in greater depth than a bestiary-style book would have permitted. Faerie is a tone as much as a class of monster, with its own feel and its own tropes, and to neglect this would have been to do the subject matter a grave injustice – and who knows, possibly to suffer spoiled milk and bedbugs for the rest of my life!

Werewolves: A Hunter’s Guide

Werewolves cover

https://ospreypublishing.com/werewolves-a-hunter-s-guide

Is this an rpg monster book, really? There’s not a rule or a game stat in sight, but I think of all the Dark Osprey line as systemless rpg sourcebooks. I took the example set by line editor (and future designer of the excellent fantasy skirmish game Frostgrave) Joe McCullough in his book Zombies: A Hunter’s Guide, and set my werewolf book in the same alternate reality.

Although I already knew quite a bit about werewolves, the research for this book led me to the conclusion that there are at least five distinct kinds. Each one got a chapter, supported by case studies drawn (mostly) from genuine historical and mythological sources, and I took a couple of chapters to shoot a glance at other shapeshifters (such as Japanese hengeyokai and Indian weretigers) and to invent various organizations that hunt and/or study werewolves. Of course, I covered werewolves at war, from Norse ulfhednar to the ever-popular Nazi werewolves and various Cold War spin-offs from Nazi research in that area.

The viewpoint is from contemporary urban fantasy rather than medieval fantasy, but that made a nice change, and I didn’t think that it lessened the book’s usefulness for rpgs set in any time or place. It is not aimed at any particular rules set, so there is some work for the GM to do, but I still hope that it offers a good source of information and ideas.

Colonial Gothic Bestiary

Colonial Gothic Bestiary

https://www.rogue-games.net/bestiary

Colonial Gothic is a very nice historical-fantasy game published by Rogue Games. I met Rogue’s head honcho Richard Iorio years ago when we were both working on the Hogshead Publishing booth at GenCon, and when he published Colonial Gothic I got in touch. A solid monster book is an essential part of an rpg’s core, and I aimed to provide one in the Colonial Gothic Bestiary.

As monster books go, it’s fairly unambitious. The aim was to cover a large number of critters and provide the GM with options, rather than to look at a smaller number in detail. What I like most about it is the way that it reflects the setting in its blend of North American wildlife, Native American folklore monsters, fearsome critters from tall tales, and Old World monsters that might believably have come across with the colonists.


So there you have it – or them. I will look forward to hearing your views, and discussing what features make a monster treatment really shine. And as soon as I can, I’ll be lifting the curtain on my #secretprojects. Bye for now!