Saturday, December 5, 2015

Monstrous Miscelleany #01 Review — A Handful of Monsters

Monster Miscellany #01 is the first (presumably) in a series of small supplements from James Mishler Games introducing new monster for Labyrinth Lord. How small? Well, four monsters, one to a page. But each page is packed with a huge amount of detail (and text). While Labyrinth Lord is a Basic and Expert D&D retro-clone, the format here is more akin to the monstrous manuals of 2nd edition of AD&D, with sections on ecology, organization, where they are found, and in some cases, unique examples of the monster.

Miscellany certain describes the variety of the four different monsters, they share nothing in common. The first is the abnokh, a type of minor demon. They are tall, red, and emaciated to the point of looking skeletal. They hunt humans to eat and other unpleasant things. They are not terribly tough though, with only 3 hit dice. However they do hunt in packs, so could be a challenge. They remind me a bit of the Xill.

Greethaw are a demon-cursed race of giants. They are pretty tough, with 13 hit dice and able to cast spells as if they were a 13th level Magic-User and Cleric. A specific example of one is given who happens to be something of a warlord, heading a horde of humanoids.

Notoros are a sort of malevolent fairy that look like tiny winged satyrs and in many ways, are evil sprites who like to enslave elves.

Lastly, there is the styram, an angel whose purpose is hunting down evil doers who desecrate temples. I'm not sure they can really back that mission up, as they are relatively wimpy with only 5 (+8) hit dice. They do have a fair amount of powers, such as causing 1d6 fire damager per round to nearby evil-doers and casting spells are per an 8th level cleric.

The level of detail given to each monster is quite impressive, but on the flip side, the ultimate value of a monster book is how likely the contents will be used in a game. I'm not sure how much use the styram is in a game, unless you have evil PCs and want to punish them. The greethaw might prove too tough for anything but a high level game. The last two might have use in the average game. So it's perhaps worth a look, there are a lot of worse ways to spend 99 cents.

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