Monday, October 24, 2011
AEG- Monsters, Summon Piper
In a limited scope I can see how adding some monsters/creatures as a race might be useful. It might even be that in certain campaigns that what are evil creatures normally are now peaceful creatures that coexist normally with the other races. Monsters does not take this route though so it would be up to the GM to make some changes.
Monsters was released by AEG in 2002 under the d20/OGL platform. The book is done in B&W with a limited amount of art but what is used is really quite good and used to compliment the material and not as filler. The book is 152 pages long and contains a lot of material. Though it was originally released with a $24.95 price sticker it can be picked up for a song now.
Monsters is broken down into six chapters. The chapters are as follows:
The Age of Man
A New Breed
From the Hands of Giants
The first chapter deals with what would be considered the normal monster races that already exist in the in the d20 environment. This sections gives an overview of the races. It addresses their society and how they interact with other races. The capsules give the DM an idea on how the races might function in the world as a whole if used. The section is a good read even if the book is not going to be sued as is.
The second chapter si where the book lays out the various races as if they are going to be used as races in the game. The section takes each of the races and provides overall information on them as a race and then racial traits. The information provided about them as a race is Personality, Physical Description, Relations, Alignment, Their Lands, religion, Language, Names and Adventurers. It then provides a description of a tribe from that race to give the GM some ideas.
Chapter three presents the GM with new races that they might use. Some of these are interesting but may too unique for most campaign worlds. Many of these are crossbreeds from the previously listed but there are new races entirely as well as variants of the previously provided races. This section provides the GM two options. the first would be to use as suggested. but I think the option of introducing them as new monsters in the proper format is a better option. Something that is rearing its head after lurking in secret for centuries.
The next chapter is not a bad chapter but it is one of the reasons I am not a big fan of the d20 3.x system as whole. Chapter four deals with feats which I do ot have a problem with. These I understand the need for as part of the system as whole. The chapter does include a number of new Prestige Classes. There are actually nine new prestige classes provided. I have never been a fan of the idea of prestige classes. To me this has always been like getting a mini splat book in every new d20 product.
Chapter five deals with the idea of a a monster campaign. If you have an inkling of running such a campaign this will give you a solid idea on how it might be done and some of the pitfalls you may encounter and how they can be avoided. This may be the most useful chapter in the book though chapter three with the new races offers it some strong competition. There are parts of this chapter where the advice can be applied to a traditional campaign.
Chapter six provides the GM with spells and magic items that would be geared towards a monster specific campaign. With the spells this is the case and I did not find any of the spells all that interesting or useful. The magic items provided are better and there are even monster artifacts provided. I can see using these in reverse where the players need to find and then destroy the monster artifacts. It also provides a Monster manual style entry for each from chapter three.
I can see a use for this book and am glad that I have it in my collection. I am not sure it will ever get used for the stated purpose but there are races that can be taken and used in a normal campaign with a little work. It also provides the GM with new races that can be sued as adversaries in a normal type of campaign and then finally it provides some new magic items as well as artifacts that be used as ongoing adventure fodder as previously mentioned. The book can often be picked up for less than a $1 online and even with a few bucks in shipping this is worth the price.
From the Publisher:
Where reality ends, fantasy starts and at the heart of fantasy lies monsters. Roaming bands of mercenary monsters run along side their human and elven compatriots, searching out adventure and making names for themselves. Orcs, minotaurs, and all the rest are packed into one book. And now that you have Evil, GMs can run full monster campaigns. Details about monster culture, psychology, and adventuring provide GMs and PCs with enough information to run an entire party of trolls, ogres, ettins, orcs, goblins, and more. Rules for mixed races, new feats, and skills only monsters know. New prestige classes, rules for PC monster races, and new magic await.
From the back cover:
TOOTH * CLAW * FANG
My people have stood watch over this land for centuries. There was a time when wars between our kind and the ogres were commonplace. Savage, brutal campaigns left both sides demoralized and broken, But, in one season, each would be prepared to fight again. This was always the way of things.
The ogres have moved on, but the need for watchful eyes has not passed.
Our brothers are savage and warlike, but we are not. Our cousins make enemies with everyone around them, while we stand vigilant and hopeful. Our kin take offense at the slightest misunderstanding, provoking war with nations twice their size and strength. It seems that no matter where we live, conflicts arise.
Our hope is to find a place where we belong and our children can live in peace.
-Gr'gthyr, Gnoll Warden
THIS IS A GUIDE TO EXTINCTION
This sourcebook contains everything a GM or player needs for campaigns involving monster races as PCs. It includes all of the information you need for playing orcs, trolls, and all manner of monsters as player characters. Additional rules for new races and cross-breeds are also included.
The beasts within are yours to command.
THE WEAK SHALL BE CULLED
* New feats
* New spells and magic items
* Rules for monster PCs
* 9 new prestige classes
* New monsters races as adversaries
* 17 new races and original cross-breeds
Area of Effect: 1 Creature + 1 Creature/Level
Casting Time: 3 Segments
Saving Throw: Special
When this spell is cast the magic user summons forth a mystical being who will serve as a piper to lure away a number of creatures. The piper will only be able to exist for a limited period of time in the world of the caster though.
The piper will be able to pull away one creature for each level of the caster. The caster targets which creatures will be affected though they must be in hearing range of the piper and must be able to hear the pipers music. Those selected by the caster will be affected by the spell for at least two rounds.
After the initial period each creature affected is entitled to a saving throw every third round. The first saving throw will be made at -4 and then next at a -2. Future saving throws will be made normally. The piper will continue leading the victims away for a number of rounds equal to the casters charisma score.
The material component for this spell is a small flute like instrument. The flute is not used up with the casting of the spell. The cost of this item will be 100gp.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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