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PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:36 am 
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Hard-Bitten Adventurer

Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:09 am
Posts: 181
How does The Monster Alphabet compare to the Random Esoteric Creature Generator? How are they different?

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2014 2:06 pm 
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Wild-Eyed Zealot
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Joined: Mon May 04, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 57
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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PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 10:39 am 
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Cold-Hearted Immortal
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Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 3320
Location: Left Coast, USA
FLGS: Bizarro World
want

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Playing RPGs since '77 • Quasi-occasional member of the Legion of 8th-Level Fighters.

Link: Here Be DCC Monsters

PbP Purple Planeteers!

Havarth • Cleric/Zikcub • Animal trainr • L
S11 A11 S9 P15 I9 L7 • AC10, HP12, R0 F1 W2
Glaive+0 1-10
Club+0 1-4
X' chain, sack
Bless, Dtct Ev, Prot fm Evil, Word oCmmnd

Lucius • Cleric/Verlore • Slave • N
S13 A11 S8 P15 I11 L11 • AC10+, HP6, R0 F0 W2
Sword+1 _
Club+1 2-5
Hide armor, flint/steel, green stone, oil 1
Crit table +1
Dark, Holy Sanct, Resist Cold/Heat, Word o Cmmnd

Toby • Squire
S13 A10 S14 P15 I16 L9 • AC10+, hp3, R0 F1 W1
Lg swrd+1 2-9
Scale armor, sack, helm, L’ rope, torch • Com, Chaos, Hobgob

Kelven • Smuggler
S14 A8 S11 P12 I7 L10 • AC9+, hp2(4), In-1, R-1 F0 W0
Sword+1 _
Staff+1 or Sling -1 2-5
Scale armr, waterprf sack, L’ rope, torch, 39cp

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2014 10:07 am 
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Far-Sighted Wanderer
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Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:04 am
Posts: 14
Location: San Diego, CA
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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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Ill-Fated Peasant

Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2014 11:51 pm
Posts: 7
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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