Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Other, OTHER Monster Manual & Whatever Happened to Tedankhamen?

Found another great monster manual tonight, Eric Carle’s Dragons Dragons. That’s right, Eric Carle, the author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, wrote a monster guidebook. I don’t know for certain whether Carle ever played RPGs, but the title certainly evokes the old Tunnels & Trolls book Monsters Monsters.

If you have kids (what, gamers procreate?!?), this book is a must tool of indoctrination for future polyhedral rollers. It was a big hit with my one year old munchkin.

The book is a beautiful hardcover with Carle’s characteristically colorful paintings of monsters drawn from the familiar Eurocentric myths but also some outliers from South America, Africa and Japan. Each image is accompanied by a poem, mostly from authors I’d never heard of except biggies like William Blake. The book ends with a neat little section explaining the mythical origins of the creatures featured.

The list of monsters has interesting implications for a gameworld based on it. They are as follows:

Dragon (fire breathing green on the cover)
Drake (inside cover)
The Yeti
White Buffalo Woman
Rainbow Crow
The Phoenix
The Griffin
The Unicorn
The Centaurs
Chinese Dragon (big pull out splash centerpage)

Ganesha, Ganesh

The Hippocamp
Anansi the Spider
Okolo the Leopard Warrior
The Manticore

Any fantasy campaign run with this book as its monster manual would feature a lack of lootable evil demihumans and a load of heavy hitting monsters and demigods, thus would probably feel like Shadow of Colossus, with PCs running from most encounters or trembling in abject terror. The book’s selection makes it more of a mix of Monster Manual and Deities & Demigods than straightforward monster book.

Anyway, great mind and eye candy for little ones of all ages.

As to where I have been, the answer is trapped under the burning timbers of my phd thesis. My plan back in September of providing an antidote to the tsunami of D&D 5E posts fell through, but on the good side I have one chapter deadline to go this month, a final edit next month, then freedom.

Wish me luck, and expect posts infrequently until December when I’ll be diving into blog and gaming therapy for my stress and exhaustion.


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