Friday, September 30, 2016

Monsters, Blood & Treasure

John M. Stater has released the monster manual for the second edition of his retroclonish Blood & Treasure (discussed, here). While the stat blocks are pretty universal, one might reasonably think if they already have the monster book for their clone of choice, why do they need another? Okay, the cover is awesome, but why else?

It is true that many of the monsters are the usual assortment of humanoids, dragons, demons, and devils, but there are a few SRD notables I haven't seen in any old school product before. There are some new creatures and interesting homages to non-SRD beasties, too, like the "we-don't-need-no-stinking-Modrons" Polyhedroids. All of these stat blocks and descriptions are old school short (I don't think there is a page with less than 2 monsters), it is much more lavishly illustrated than most basic, old school monster books in an array of styles from well-chosen public domain illustration to cartoony. The only downside is that audiences used to modern monster books pinups, these will seem small. All in all, these traits make it probably the most AD&D Monster Manual of monster books I have seen.

There are the usual encounter charts by terrain, plane, and level. There are quick rules for many monsters as PC races. The typical extras, in other words. There are also a handful of one page "mini-adventures," all short and flavorful. John is good at this sort of thing as his hexcrawls attest. I'm not the only one that thinks so.

If any of that sounds good to you, you should check it out. Certainly if you already have Blood & Treasure 2e, you'll want it.


John Matthew Stater said...

Thanks sir!

Scott Anderson said...

I haven't seen JMS publish anything shoddy or of poor quality. I can only imagine this is excellent as well. Blood and Treasure and the family thereof are works that set a good standard for the rest of us to reach for.

Also: I'm totally not a robot