Tell us more about The Monster Alphabet, please.

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Tell us more about The Monster Alphabet, please.

Post by Geoffrey »

How does The Monster Alphabet compare to the Random Esoteric Creature Generator? How are they different?
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Jobe Bittman
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Re: Tell us more about The Monster Alphabet, please.

Post by Jobe Bittman »

I would liken The Monster Alphabet to a combination between The Random Esoteric Creature Generator and The Dungeon Alphabet. The Monster Alphabet has random monster appearance, trait, and ability generation tables in addition to templates for reskinning existing monsters, lairs, treasure hoards, and even campaign ideas. The book builds upon the unique format of The Dungeon Alphabet pairing random tables with interesting layouts and amazing line art by TSR-era and younger artists. To give you an idea of the entries, here are the entries that have already been revealed in the Gen Con 2014 Program Guide.

A is for Android
B is for Breath Weapon
C is for Crossbreed
O is for Omen
X is for Xenotransplantation

Here's a few quick monsters generated off the "C is for Crossbreed" table that I embellished slightly:
- A Gorillator (gorilla/bull creature) that favors the battleaxe in combat.
- A giant octopus sparsely covered in bristly hair with a toothy warthog snout.
- A dragonman comprised entirely from living emerald.

From here you could flesh out the monsters on your own or turn to another page. Our emerald dragonman needs a breath weapon. I rolled on "B is for Breath Weapon" and get a 4.

Spore cloud: A powdery fungal brume wafts forth in slow motion. As the microscopic spores come to rest on a surface, tiny stalks sprout and rapidly mature into clusters of mushrooms — milk caps, stinkhorns, earth stars, and more. Inhaling the spores has a powerful soporific effect. Those who succumb to the magical torpor experience vivid hallucinations of the Fairy Queen’s court. If the sleeper is not removed from the area, endophytes work their way into the skin over the course of a day seizing control of the nervous system. Encrusted in toadstools, the host rises in a dream-like state to serve as thrall to the Mushroom King.

You know what? The spore cloud isn't really working with the idea I have in my head for the dragonman. I roll again and get a 5:

Blizzard blast: A flurry of snow and hail blows in an enormous cone. Targets within the blast are flash frozen inside blocks of ice. A critical hit shatters the ice block like glass, including the victim inside. Due to the similarity of effect, spells or magic items that reverse petrifaction also work against a supercooled victim.

I like this better. But I think this frigid dragonman should be comprised of blue gemstone instead of green. My creation becomes a large humanoid with a dragon head, clawed hands, and a tail. The creature is made entirely from sapphire and has glowing eyes. Twice a day the creature can breathe a beam of frost cold enough to freeze its target in a block of solid ice.

You could stop here and run with your own ideas. For the purpose of illustration, let's add a few more details from unreleased tables in the book:
E is for Extraplanar: The creature has an extraplanar origin. When it scores critical hits, the attack phases through the target's body to strike direct blows against internal organs, adding devastating extra damage.
K is for Kryptonite: There is a weak point in the monster's armor located on its back.
L is for Lore: It is said: "A gem located in the beast's forehead cures disease."
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Re: Tell us more about The Monster Alphabet, please.

Post by GnomeBoy »

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Re: Tell us more about The Monster Alphabet, please.

Post by Stinky1EyedOgre »

The Monster Alphabet looks very promising so far... I like that Michael is doing the intro. I can't believe you guys got Frank to write the foreward! The list of artists and the cover art look good. I think it will do quite well. Everyone should be frothing at the mouth to get their hands on a copy!
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Re: Tell us more about The Monster Alphabet, please.

Post by sundang »

Looks very cool. One can never have enough monster generators! Would you say this could be useful for games or supplements with a more sci-fi bent, such as Crawljammer or Crawling Under a Broken Moon, etc.?
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