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Old 02-22-2019, 08:19 AM   #21
hcobb
 
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

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Originally Posted by RobW View Post
I could imagine some Cidri scholars compiling specialist volumes based on habitat, eg the Rare and Unusual Creatures of the Cidri Deserts

But I can't imagine a scholar leaving out creatures like dragons from these volumes.
What sort of critters do dragons abide by their lairs and what do they exclude?
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Old 02-22-2019, 03:52 PM   #22
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

If there are going to be multiple bestiaries anyway, I would prefer a that each one be themed. That makes it easier to remember which book a creature will be in. How narrow the themes should be would depend on how many books are planned. If there's only going to be one big bestiary, just throw everything in there.

If we do end up getting a separate book for humanoids (and yeah, absolutely include orcs, lizard men etc in that one) I would prefer broader write-ups of several possible cultures or ideas for cultures rather than exhaustively detailed mono-cultures. Orcs, elves, dwarfs, goblins, hobgoblins and halflings should exhibit as much cultural variety as humans do.

Maybe have all this kind of variety set up in setting books instead. So beasts get a big book and intelligent monsters another one, but if we want to know about orc cultures we need to open say "Kingdoms of Sharador" or "The Opal Empire" or whatnot and then we'll get details on local cultures, whether human, orc, elf, dwarf, goblin or anything else.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:01 PM   #23
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

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Originally Posted by raniE View Post
If there are going to be multiple bestiaries anyway, I would prefer a that each one be themed. That makes it easier to remember which book a creature will be in. How narrow the themes should be would depend on how many books are planned. If there's only going to be one big bestiary, just throw everything in there.
I disagree with this, not because of personal desire, but a recognition of how game publishing works - or, more specifically, how sometimes it doesn't work. I would rather big books filled with a little of everything than risk some critical beastie going uncovered because sales dropped and its associated volume was cancelled. Keep in mind that SJ Games absolutely will kill a book series if it doesn't sell well; it's part of how they've kept to their high quality standards. Notably, the AADA Road Atlas series was discontinued after seven books, leaving big swathes of the United States - plus Canada and Mexico - without details.

So: I'd like a big book o' everything, like the Monstrous Compendiums of yore. Note, by the way, that those hefty volumes included pages on elves, dwarves, etc., as potential threats that could be found in dungeons. I think that's the best way to handle intelligent foes.
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Old 02-22-2019, 07:32 PM   #24
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

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Originally Posted by ColBosch View Post
I'd like a big book o' everything, like the Monstrous Compendiums of yore.
This would be my preference as well. Don't get me wrong, I'll buy any TFT materials you guys decide to put out, but I've already done the endless rule/campaign/player/monster book/guide/supplement cycle for the last 20-30 years and I'm over it (mostly). Give me one great comprehensive creature book to inspire my imagination and I'll be fine.
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Old 02-22-2019, 09:10 PM   #25
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

My suggestion would be to go for quality over quantity of entries.

Guy, you say you want it to be useful to us, and you say you will include the monsters in ITL, so hopefully the descriptions will be better developed than the ones in ITL.

How so? Well, while I like and am attached to the classic ITL monster descriptions, they tend to be short on detail and things that make them not just stat blocks with maybe one or two added qualities. There are no counters (counters for all creatures would be great to have) for most of them and no facing diagrams for creatures that might not be standard sizes & shapes and facing effects.

There are also a few things that it seems to me want tweaking in general. For example, falling down. It seems to me that probably most animals with 4+ legs might tend not to stumble as easily, nor take as long to get back up, as humanoids would - maybe they should not lose an entire turn when they fall but be able to stand back up on their next action. And the effects of injury brackets only have three categories, the top of which is 25 points of damage to knock down a ST 50+ creature. (The old TFT FM Screen had more categories, and in general I'd suggest upping the thresholds for big creatures a GM might not want to flop over... an average human takes 80% damage before they get knocked down.) Also the relative abilities of some creatures might want revising, such as 4-hex dragons having the ST of a bear and the claw damage of a ST 10 man with a sabre.

A section on variation of individual creatures might be good, too.

Also good/useful would be info like what terrain/biomes creatures live in, their diet, what you can do with their bodies (food, skins, etc), how big their social groups are, tactics, their alertness/senses, when they'd attack or flee, what time of day they're active, other behavior notes, how much they weigh, etc.
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Old 02-22-2019, 10:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

I agree with Skarg's thoughts on this -- and especially with his behavioral notes (especially with regard to "reactions") comments at the bottom. In fact a good "morale" (?) system of some kind that depicts flight/fight/surrender possibilities would be a huge benefit to most GMs. I'm sure something both witty and simple can be done along those lines...
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:32 AM   #27
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

Just to make reference to some format things that have been mentioned. These are points that are in the original proposal for the project Greg and I put together. I welcome comments on each of these points.

1. Our original concept for this was to do it as a Kickstarter project.

2. Each entry done as a half-page, full-page or (in the case of some stuff grouped together like “equines” and “slimes”) multi-page entry. This, we feel, would make it easy to find entries.

3. Every entry will have a full-figure illo in black and white.

4. Every entry will have a matching creature card using the same illo in the book. (For multi-creature entries there would be a card/illo for each specific variant, like different slime types, donkeys/horses/mules, etc.) The deck or decks would likely be Kickstarter add-ons, so you could purchase just the book, or add the deck(s).

(4a. I was planning for tarot-size cards for the creatures to give a little more text room.)

5. Cards would have text/stats on one side and JUST the illo on the other. (This is Greg’s idea, so a GM can show the party what they see in front of them without displaying stats, etc.)

6. Counters provided for all entries using the same artwork from the book and cards. (This would be a set of stretch goals for Kickstarter, probably, starting with a PDF set and graduating to multiple sets of physical counters as add-ons, or so I envisioned it.)

Again, this was initial rough proposal, but Greg and I would like your feedback on these ideas. Be aware that some may not be practical or feasible for whatever reason. Still, I’d like to know if we’re reading the needs of the audience correctly.
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Old 02-23-2019, 10:38 AM   #28
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

So the page layout is something like this?

Critter name as title

stat block - Pic

Additional combat stats

Narrative of the scholar's encounter with detailed description, including sounds and smells. The environments and other natives around with speculation as to how these interacted. Finally tactics seen and motivations guessed at.
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Last edited by hcobb; 02-23-2019 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:28 PM   #29
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

These points all sound good to me! Having only one or two entries to a page suggests that this will be a long book---I certainly hope it is! The larger card size would be welcome. Block print or ink wash illustrations would lend themselves to a somewhat simplified image that fires--rather than dictates to--the imagination. That, too, would be phenomenal from my perspective. They might also look a bit like something a renowned Cidri naturalist might have produced in the field while doing research.
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Old 02-23-2019, 12:58 PM   #30
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Default Re: Bestiary of Cidri

"Illos" and cards may have merits, but I am more interested in counters with counter-style art (no background, shows the feet, big non-humanoid figures generally top-down so you can relate to which hexes which body parts probably are or are not), and the descriptions themselves.

If cards were an option, I might not opt to buy them.
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