Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mini Review - Critters, Creatures & Denizens (DCC RPG "Monster Manual")

Somehow Critters, Creatures & Denizens slipped by my notice when it released back in March. I usually get a notice from RPGNow for new DCC RPG releases, but not this one.

Now, the DCC RPG is much like LotFP' Weird Fantasy, in that the assumption is that the big scary guys are unique, either by location (Flying Buggywuggies are only found in the Swamp of Armpit Pustules) or by solitary habits (The Ogre ate my momma! Which ogre? The Ogre silly!).

The approach taken by CC&D is twofold. New (or new twists on old) monsters for you to use as inspiration when designing you own adventures (including the odd patron) or for use when you need to drop something on the PCs unexpectedly.

The other thing CC&D gives you is a tool to make your own monsters. I will admit, this shit gets chart heavy and loses me with tables like the one below. The mutations table in the beginning is aces though.

KISS is usually my method. Still, there is more than enough inspiration from the stated out creatures to keep a DCC Judge in monsters for months. Just handwave most of the charts if you are like me. Unless of course, you are a chart monkey, in which case, you'll be in heaven ;)

Did I mention the boatload of +Scott Ackerman art? Holy shit, nearly worth the price of admission on it's own.

From the blurb:

A new book of monstrous surprises and new ideas for the Dungeon Crawl Classics Roll Play Game. In its pages are:

-More than 120 Pre-generated DCC RPG compatible creature entries from the banal to the horrific with more than 400 variations for size and other subtypes.
-More than 7 templates that transform the stock creatures into zombies, skeletons, lycanthropes, and more…
-The guidelines and definitions needed to create your own creatures that will scale appropriately with the DCC RPG environment.
-Two tables with more than 30 mutations so you can create so many variations that your grand children will still be using this manual to create original combinations!

Optional rules for:

-Familiars, critters with class levels, and more…
-Overland and table top movement for those who love a safari…
-New sources for magic items…

Things you will not find in this work:

-Treasure tables. Most creatures don’t bother, and the ones who do are likely to be using what ever it is against the players. Besides, every Judge and Storyteller has their own ideas on appropriate treasure so why bother to codify things with tables?
-Threat ratings and encounter balancing architecture, because only you can know what your players can and cannot handle. Besides, the creatures of the wild don’t look for targets of equivalent strength. They hunt the weak, the sick, and the lame… aka: adventurers…

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