Monday, May 15, 2017

Kreature Kompendium

Threat N Ink Issue #7 Kreature Kompendium is a zine-size monster book compiled by Jethro D. Wall available via mail order here. It's for old school D&D mostly, but the stat blocks are variable and haphazard, and the mechanical description of special abilities nonexistent. In other words, if you're looking for a meticulously table-ready collection of creatures with novel mechanics, this isn't that book.

This, instead, is one of the inspiration fodder monster books, where the mechanical details come second to having something really interesting conceptually to throw at players. The Kreature Kompendium reminds me a lot of goofy fun bestiaries of old, like the monster book of the Field Guide to Encounters, but at times it has a more modern and knowing absurdist streak like something from the literary New Weird.

In the former category I'd put the Blignag Cocksparrer which we are told "prefer to ride sweet Nash skateboards into battle" although some "have looted BMXs from human victims or received them as gifts from relatives for Christmas." In the latter category is something like The Painting that Paints Itself and the associated random table to determine the PCs reaction.

As those descriptions might indicate, the monsters are a varied lot, other than they are all what you would call "nonstandard." A couple of my favorites: The Charming Tongued Snuggler that thinks it's the Snaggle Toothed Charmer, but its poor understanding of human frailty causing it to suffocate humans with its tongue while trying to drink their blood; and the Destroyer Bitch Goddess whose special attack generates a time loop where that attack is repeated 666d100 times.

It's a lot of fun. The artwork by various artists is evocative, sometimes crude, and always not the sort of thing that would be used in a modern, corporate monster compendium--which is exactly from what you want from a book like this.

If the above sounds interesting, then you should definitely check it out.

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