Late Entries to a Survey of Bestiaries

The staff of the Poison Pie Publishing House assembled a survey of one hundred bestiaries, posting an entry on their blog for each day from June 1, 2016 to September 8, 2016. When they were done, there were additional bestiaries that they did not want to omit entirely. This page lists latecomers to the survey added in 2017.

 

January 1, 2017
Dreadmire: The Only Swamp Sourcebook You Will Ever Need
author: Randy Richards
interior artists: Hannah Spute et al.
cover artists: Zack Overton & Dan Howard
publisher: Spellbinder Games
publication date: 2005
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 224
ISBN: 978-0977-338337
description: This sourcebook covers all aspects of life and adventuring in the swamps of the worlds. Chapter 5 contains sixty pages of new monsters, fit for a swamp. The book is compatible with the d20 system.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is a lycanthrope, the weregator.

Although this type of lycanthropy can spread to other races, currently 99.99% are Bayou Halflings. They do not often leave opponents alive to spread the disease elsewhere.

Weregators prefer to hunt animal or monstrous prey, shunning the taste for humanoid blood. They prefer to lie and wait for their prey, poking their eyes just above the water's surface to observe.

Bayou Halflings have legends of Weregators. In some stories, they are heroes, and in others they are monsters. Regardless, any talk of Weregators is in a whisper, and any Bayou Halfling encounter with one is likely to cause fainting.

Lizardfolk are immune to Weregator lycanthropy. Some of the more hostile clans hunt them for sport, suicidal as that may sound, and have directed their shamans to use the hides in creating magical shields. Weregators are also sought by wizards who are knowledgeable in the creation of magical clothing by using their leathery hides.

January 7, 2017
Mythic Monster Manual
lead designer: Jason Nelson
interior artists: Mike P. Lowe et al.
cover artist: Ben Wootten
publisher: Legendary Games
publication date: 2015
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 300
ISBN: 978-0986-1035-0-6
description: This bestiary provides mythic versions of over 220 different monsters. Mythic versions are more powerful than their ordinary counterparts. The book is compatible with the Mythic Rules (and Traditional Rules) of the Pathfinder RPG.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the mythic version of the boojum snark, a creature first introduced in the poem, The Hunting of the Snark, written by Lewis Carroll from 1874 to 1876.

A boojum snark's body has the general form of a large walrus or sea lion, with a thick, coarse hide covering rolls of blubber, yet with gills along its upper flanks. Surrounding its jaws, that are lined with sharp teeth, is a mass of stiff bristles that give the creature a whiskered appearance. Its front flippers are equipped with long claws, but instead of rear flippers, its body tapers to a long prehensile tail akin to a suckered tentacle of a giant octopus. On the creature's chest, and from about midway along its body as it tapers toward the tail are feathers; dull and drab on some boojums--easy mistaken as just a variation in the hue of its otherwise dark skin--yet bright, colorful, and unmistakeable on others.

Like a bizarre hermit crab, the creature also carries a large empty seashell. On land, the boojum usually remains in its shell, using its strong and dextrous front flippers to drag itself around while its suckered tail grips the shell tightly from inside. In the water, it frequently emerges fully from its shell, but will not range far from it. It swims using sinuous whole-body movements while using its tentacle to hold the tip of its shell, which it pulls along behind it.

The body of a boojum is around 12 feet long, with its tail adding an additional 15 feet in total length. It weighs 4,000 lbs...

Snarks are very rare and highly elusive creatures yet they can sometimes be found lairing in the shallows around isolated volcanic islands filled with chasms and crags in uncharted reaches of oceans. Rarer still, are the boojums, mythic snarks who can cause those who meet their gazes to softly and suddenly vanish away, and never be met with again.

January 14, 2017
Southlands Bestiary
editor: Amanda Hamon Kunz
interior artists: Bryan Syme et al.
cover artist: Marcel Mercado
publisher: Kobold Press
publication date: 2015
cover: softcover
number of pages: 118
ISBN: 978-1-936781-37-9
description: This bestiary provides more than 100 creatures to populate deserts, savannahs and jungles. The book is compatible with the Pathfinder RPG.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is lemurfolk or kaguani.

These small, intelligent, squirrel-like humanoids live in secret primitive societies deep in the jungles of the world. They are omnivorous, subsisting on fruits, roots, insects, larvae, eggs stolen from treetop nests, and birds and small mammals they bring down with their blowguns. They craft most of what they need from available materials in the deep jungle but sometimes barter with more advanced creatures for metal and crafted items. Lemurfolk are nocturnal but can function normally during daytime hours. They can live about 80 years, their fur graying with age. Lemurfolk stand about three feet tall and weight about 35 lbs.

Lemurfolk Tribes of the Southlands
The lemurfolk tribes of the Southlands are a varied and rather pompous lot, and they are present in every jungle from the Southern Fringe to the wildest islands in the Tethys Sea. The most famous are the Feathertails of Zanskar, who are notorious pirates, bandits, and nuisances to the xorn--and a welcome relief to their slaves. The Feathertails are close followers of Eshu and Isis. They believe themselves to be divinely ordained to bring "merriment and honey" to the downtrodden, and they steal gold and jewels whenever the opportunity presents itself.

However, their thievery comes with gifts, as well--they provide honeycomb and fruits and nuts to the slaves of Zanskar, and thus they claim that they are "purchasing" the gold or precious stones that they take. The slaves are always happy to see the lemurfolk bring their goods or offerings.

The xorn find the whole thing extremely unamusing, and they sometimes offer bounties for lemurfolk hides or tails...

January 21, 2017
Aventurian Bestiary
authors: Dominic Hladek, Marie Mönkemeyer, Alex Spohr, Jens Ullrich
translator: Daniel Mayer
interior artists: various
cover artist: Nadine Schäkel
publisher: Ulisses Spiele GmbH
publication date: 2015
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-3957-522955
description: This bestiary introduces 40 monsters and two dozen animals which can be found in the forest, swamps and jungles of Aventuria. The book is compatible with The Dark Eye RPG.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the blossom fairy.

The most well known type of fairy is the small blossom fairy. They resemble tiny elves with transparent wings, and wear clothes that look like colorful, cup-shaped blossoms. Almost everyone hears stories about fairies as a child, and blossom fairies always play a part. Some call them Ladifaahri, which comes from Isdira, the language of the elves, who usually get along perfectly with these diminutive inhabitants of Dere. Blossom fairies and elves view each other as distant relatives. The exclusively female blossom fairies do tend to stay away from humans, dwarves and other two-legged creatures, though. It is rare for a Ladifaahri to be surprised by a "largeling", and these shy fairy creatures often escape notice entirely.

Blossom fairies don't stray very far from the portals to their realm because they cannot stay on Dere permanently. The longer they stay in the real world, the more life essence they lose, so they return to the fairy realm regularly.

A corrupted type of fairy serves the Nameless One. These creatures, which share an intense hatred for their beautiful cousins and attack them when possible, are called dark fairies (the elves call them Lamifaar). They are ugly and have shrill voices, and feed on other creatures' life essence...

Nobody knows why blossom fairies visit Dere. They are most likely curious about mortals and the wonderful plants of Aventuria, since they are most often seen near flowers. They are often seen gathering nectar like bees, or lingering to breathe in the fragrance of the flowers. Ladifaahri are shy but curious and friendly. They try to stay hidden and watch mortals. Sometimes, blossom fairies deem humans so interesting that they try to lure them into the fairy realm. The ladifaahri do not know that time runs differently there, and this can have terrible consequences for people. A visit of weeks, months, or years in the fairy realm might feel like mere hours to a human. Similarly, a human might spend only a few hours in the fairy realm and return to find that centuries have passed in the mortal realm.

January 28, 2017
The Strange Bestiary
authors: Bruce R. Cordell, Monte Cook and Robert J. Schwalb
lead artist: Matt Stawicki
cover artist: uncredited
publisher: Monte Cook Games
publication date: 2014
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 160
ISBN: 978-1939-979285
description: This bestiary introduces 140 creatures and characters of Earth as well as natives to the recursions of Ardeyn, Ruk, Crow Hollow, Atom Nocturne and more. The book is compatible with both The Strange and Numenera: The Ninth World RPGs.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the cyber sorceror.

Magic and technology are not always at odds. In some recursions, magic is just another power source, and as such, it can drive a machine--even a very sophisticated one. A cyber sorcerer is an intelligent android literally fueled by magic that powers a variety of spells and incantations.

Cyber sorcerers typically look like whatever they wish, but their natural form is that of an advanced mechanical humanoid. Most are quite mad with power.

Cyber sorcerers are intelligent, paranoid and not automatically hostile. They have their own self-serving agendas, which often involve elaborate schemes.

February 4, 2017
Tome of Beasts 5th Ed.
authors: Chris Harris, Rodrigo Garcia Carmona & Wolfgang Baur
developer: Steve Winter
interior artists: Bryan Syme et al.
cover artist: Marcel Mercado
publisher: Kobold Press
publication date: 2016
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 430
ISBN: 978-1936-781560
description: This bestiary presents more than 400 beasts. The book is compatible with 5th edition of Dungeons and Dragons.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the abominable beauty.

Beauty that Destroys. An abominable beauty is so perfect that her gaze blinds, her voice is so melodious that no ears can withstand it, and her touch is so tantalizing that it burns like fire. In adolescence, this fey creature adopts features that meet the superficial ideals of the nearest humanoid population: long-legged elegance near elves, a stout figure with lustrous hair near dwarves, unscarred or emerald skin near goblins.

Jealous and cruel. Abominable beauties are so consumed with being the most beautiful creature in the region that they almost invariably grow jealous and paranoid about potential rivals. Because such an abominable beauty cannot abide competition, she seeks to kill anyone whose beauty is compared to her own.

Males of the Species. Male abominable beauties are rare but even more jealous in their rages.

February 11, 2017
GURPS Space Bestiary: A Guide to Creatures of the Endless Frontier
author: Chris W. McCubbin
interior artist: Thomas Baxa
cover artist: Bob Eggleton
publisher: Steve Jackson Games
publication date: 1990
cover: softcover
number of pages: 112
ISBN: 80742-06503
description: This bestiary presents more than 300 extraterrestrial creatures for a science fiction roleplaying campaign. The book is compatible with the GURPS RPG.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the vacuum cetacean.

Vacuum cetaceans, or "space whales", look and act much like Terran whales, but they live in deep space. They move through the use of an internal organ that manipulates the gravitational "current" generated by all stellar bodies. It feeds on gases emitted from stars, gas giants and planets.

Space whales are massive--as large as a star cruiser. Their huge bodies cannot survive gravity greater than about 0.2 G. The average space whale lives 1,000 years. They travel in pods of two to ten, and give birth every century. A few space whales travel alone--these are usually "rogues" outcast from the pod, and are known to be violent.

The whales slowly "swim" through space, passing close enought to stars, gas giants or planets to absorb the gasses they need to live. They can ride between stars--their "gravitic drive" can push them up to hyperspeed, traveling a maximum of about three times the speed of light.

Space whales are normally docile. There are tales of astronauts who have touched or ridden a space whale. They are intelligent, and seem to enjoy friendly encounters with other lifeforms. However, if a cetacean is attacked or the mother whale is approached recklessly, they can become violent. Rogues and mothers have been known to crush small craft and ram battlecruisers.

February 18, 2017
City of Brass
authors: Casey Christofferson, Scott Greene and Clark Peterson
interior artists: Eric Poak et al.
cover artist: Peter Bradley
publisher: Necromancer Games
publication date: 2007
cover: softcover + box
number of pages: 430
ISBN: 978-1588-467490
description: This product is a boxed set containing 430 pages of information, adventures, NPCs and beasts relevant to the City of Brass, the Efreet Capital of the Elemental Plane of Fire. The set contains three softcover books and a booklet of maps. The third volume, City of Brass: Secrets of the Brazen Throne, contains eight appendices. Relevant to this survey, the first appendix contains 61 pages of NPCs and the second appendix contains 93 pages of beasts. The set is compatible with the d20 system utilizing the 3.5th rules.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the sand giant.

Sand giants are brutal, somewhat barbaric giants that prey on those weaker than themselves. They have dark tan skin, brown hair, and dark brown or dark green eyes. An adult male stand approximately 20 feet tall. Males tend to wear their hair and beards braided. Sand giants wear light clothes and light armor (if any). In times of battle or war, males may don chainmail. A typical sand giant's bag contains food, 3d4 mundane items, and a modest amount of cash (no more than 12d10 coins).

Sand Giants speak Giant and Common. Sand giants can live to be 500 years old.

Sand giants make their homes in warm desert lands away from civilization. They live in organized tribes consisting of 8-9 families of 2-4 members each. On occasion, a tribe forms a raiding party that sets off to the nearest civilized place, returning at a later time with food, coins, and captives. For each adult in a sand giant's lair, there is a 40% chance that the lair has 1d3 captives of any humanoid race.

February 25, 2017
A Tolkien Bestiary
author: David Day
interior artists: Allan Curless et al.
cover artist: Ian Miller
publisher: Gramercy Books
publication date: 2001 (orig. 1979)
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 288
ISBN: 978-0517-120774
description: This book is a comprehensive reference guide to the races, flora and fauna that inhabited J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth and the Undying Lands.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the Witch-King of Morgul.

The mightiest servant of Sauron was the Nazgûl lord called the Witch-king. This wraith served Sauron through the Accursed Years of the Second Age of Sun, but with the fall of the Ring Lord at the end of that Age he faded from the World. In the year 1300 of the Third Age this wraith was resurrected by Sauron and went to Angmar, where he became known as the Witch-king of Angmar. Through many centuries of war he destroyed the Dúnedain of Arnor, though Angmar was destroyed soon after. He then rose again in the South and took command of the tower of Mina Morgul in Gondor.

In the War of the Ring, the Witch-king was the most immediate and most deadly foe of the Men of Gondor. To him came the Orc legions, Uruk-hai, Olog-hai and Trolls out of Mordor. To him also came the Easterlings, the Variags and the Haradrim allies. As the Ringbearer passed into Mordor he watched the Witch-king and his mighty army pour out of the dark citadel of Minas Morgul and march to war against the Men of the White Tower of Gondor.

March 4, 2017
Gloranthan Bestiary: Creatures from Around the World
authors: Sandy Petersen and Greg Stafford
interior artist: Kevin Ramos
cover artist: Steve Purcell
publisher: The Avalon Hill Game Company/Chaosium Inc.
publication date: 1988
cover: softcover
number of pages: 48
ISBN: 0-911605-60-6
description: This bestiary contains more than 60 entries. It includes descriptions, game statistics, and innumerable notes for each creature. Many entries are accompanied by an illustration. The book is written for Standard Edition Runequest and can also be used with Deluxe Edition Runequest.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the hoolar (Lodril imprimus).

PAMALTELA -- The hoolar are huge, half-legendary beings. They possess three faces, two legs and four arms, and are fantastically strong (though peaceful), though not too bright. They can make enchanted objects.

Hoolar can be found anywhere in Pamaltela except the marshes, but are so rare that generations may pass by without a single hoolar sighting. In mythology, hoolars were the first form of intelligent life to populate Palmaltela.

Many traditional Trickster stories include Hoolar as a big, good-natured fellow whom Trickster is always despicably trying to cheat, always failing. One classic story, "Trickster and Hoolar's Pantry", describes Trickster's attempted theft of Hoolar's food. Trickster searches and searches, but cannot find anything edible in Hoolar's house. When Hoolar returns home unexpectedly, Trickster disguises himself as a rock in the corner, hoping to spy on Hoolar and see where he keeps the food (and what he eats). But Hoolar see the rock, licks his lip, and eats it. That's the end of Trickster.

March 11, 2017
Baby Bestiary
creative director: Andreas Walters
interior artists: Conceptopolis et al.
cover artist: Conceptopolis
publisher: Metal Weave Games
publication date: 2016
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 76
ISBN: 978-1-987916-17-1
description: This bestiary contains entries for 32 relatively well-known beasts in their baby stages. The book is designed to be system- and setting-neutral, so it does not contain stat blocks.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the treant sapling.

Like their mundane cousins, treants may be born of seed, although methods vary. Willow-like treants join limbs over the course of the spring and summer seasons, yielding seeds which fall beneath them as they explore their union. Other types mimic natural trees' seed production. In an event, seeds will only develop into saplings if the correct, rare conditions are met...

Treant saplings require sunlight, water, and soil, although exactly what kind depends upon the variety of treant. Natural compounds can be used to augment the soil. Experiment on mundane trees with fish meal, vegetable peels, blood, or even mineral dust to ensure your treant sapling has everything needed for robust growth. Dig carrion you find from small animals and birds into the soil around the base. They must root for the first two months of their lives and being to walk at 2-8 months.

Sapling start to understand speech after 10 months. It won't be able to form words of its own until it's reached at least a year of age. If a sapling is not exposed to speech within the first two years of its life, it will learn language more slowly than a human child would...

March 18, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One
editor: David Wise
project coordinator: Roger Moore
interior artist: Tony DiTerlizzi
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1994
cover: softcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-15607-68388
description: This bestiary contains entries for over one hundred denizens of the land, sky, sea and underdark. The creatures are collected from monsters that appeared in TSR's 1993 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons product line, plus many that appeared in the 1993 issues of Dragon, Dungeon and Polyhedron magazines. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the campestri.

Campestris resemble myconids (see the Monstrous Manual tome) without arms and have a stronger resemblance to mushrooms than their more highly evolved cousins. Campestris are happy-go-lucky creatures with few cares or worries. The fungus creatures have developed a warped sense of humor and some rudimentary powers of reason. Each "herd" of mushrooms also has a collective intelligence equal to about 6-7 on the Intelligence scale. A druid or other character with the herbalism proficiency may have heard of dancing mushrooms in old legends...

Campestris vary widely in color, from white to tan to dark brown, but they always have red or purple caps and speckles. They move by expanding and contracting their "root-balls".

Once per day, each campestri can release a cloud of spores that acts as a slow spell upon all creatures within a 10-foot radius. The effect lasts for 1d4+4 rounds... Campestris are very sensitive to sound and vibrations, so they are surprised only on a roll of 1 or 2.

Campestris are captivated by any sort of singing, even incredibly bad singing. If anyone sings or plays an instrument, the campestris will happily sing along. The mushrooms can easily imitate both words and music. Once they have run through a song or piece of music three or four times, they remember it, although they have a tendency to mix and match parts of different tunes. The campestris will dance all around whoever is singing to them, enjoying themselves immensely. If one of the PCs sings a song to the campestris, the DM should sing back the words a little warped. For example, suppose a PC bard sings, "Mary had a little lamb, whose fleece was white as snow" (one of the campestris' all-time favorites). In response, the campestris madly caper around the PC while singing, "Murray hada weedleam, hoose fleas was wideasno!" (The DM should repeat the lyrics in an obnoxious, nasal falsetto, twisting them in a new way each time until he or she gets tired or the players start to throw things.)

March 25, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two
editor: Jon Pickens
creative director: Steve Winter
interior artists: Arnie Swekel et al.
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1995
cover: softcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-0786-901999
description: This bestiary contains entries for over one hundred denizens of the land, sky, sea and other places. The creatures are collected from monsters that were published by TSR in 1994. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the umpleby.

The umpleby is an eight-foot-tall, 400 pound walking mound of wild, straggly brown hair. Lips and eyes can be discerned on its face, but every other part of its body is covered with fur.

When encountered in its native temperate forest, the umpleby will neither attack nor try to hide, but will just stand stupidly and stare.

The umpleby can speak common in a halting fashion, but will rarely do so; in general it is an uncommunicative creature.

The umpleby stores large quantities of static electricity in its body. Each day, it can deliver a total of 50 hit points of electrical damage simply by touching its opponents...The umpleby can deliver all 50 points of damage in one strike, or it may regulate the amount of electrical damage it inflicts, usually conducting ld8+8 points of damage.

When it delivers the 50th hit point of electrical damage, the umpleby immediately goes to sleep, recharging its static electrical charge...

Habitat & Society: An umpleby usually lives in a cave or hole dug into the earth or into the side of a hill. It is a rather stupid creature, and solitary by nature; the umpleby attention span is too short to be interested in forming a community. Occasionally, a male and a female umpleby will encounter each other in the forest and band together just long enough to bear a young one. They stay together until the "baby" wanders off one day and doesn't come back, then they lose interest in each other and wander off themselves. No more than three umplebys have been seen together at one time.

April 1, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Three
editor: Jon Pickens
creative director: Steve Winter
interior artists: Tony DiTerlizzi et al.
cover artist: Matt Adelsperger
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1996
cover: softcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-0786-904495
description: This bestiary contains entries for over one hundred denizens of the land, sky, sea and outer planes. The creatures are collected from monsters that appeared in TSR's 1995 Advanced Dungeons and Dragons product line, plus many that appeared in the 1993 issues of Dragon, Dungeon and Polyhedron magazines. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the lillend.

Lillendi are natives Ysgard, though they can travel astrally to the Prime and also may be found on the planes of Arborea and Limbo. On the Prime Material Plane, they prefer to dwell in temperate or tropical woodlands. They are peaceful and delight in song and conversation--and far from harmless. Those who offend lillendi may receive harsh treatment at their hands, and even blameless individuals are subject to their pranks. Lillendi are particularly hostile toward those who seek to impose civilized order on wilderness.

A lillend has the torso, arms, and head of a comely man or woman, but also has broad, powerful, feathered wings and a stout serpentine body from the waist downwards. Though the humanlike portions of a lillend are of unremarkable hue, the feathered and scaled parts of its anatomy are brightly colored and strikingly patterned. Each individual has a unique color combination and is quite prod of it. Lillends wear no clothing but sometimes wear jewelry. They always carry weapons and musical instruments.

Habitat/Society: Lillendi serve the gods of the moon in the realm called Gates of the Moon, which lies on the plane of Ysgard. They only travel to the Prime when ordered to do so by their Powers. Of all the proxies of Ysgard, the lillendi are the least involved in the affairs of others.

Lillendi are said to be able to choose the hour of their death, the Silent Hour, when they grow weary of life and service to the moon. This knowledge is either a gift from the gods of the moon, or a curse from the powers of Law, whom the lillendi are said to have served long ago and then abandoned. Shortly before her death, a lillend makes her farewell. As she dies she is absorbed into her power's realm, disappearing in a misty fog that acts as a combination moonbeam and chaos spell.

Lillendi who haven't yet chosen the Silent Hour can still die through accident or violence, but in death their faces are always wracked with despair, for the legends say that those who do not pass through the Silent Hour are never joined with the power they serve.

Lillendi social status depends on a simple system of initiations into mysteries and the ownership of certain totem mask. The mysteries are akin to secret societies, and each mystery is a specific kernel of wisdom passed on from one generation to the next. The more societies a lillend is a member of, the greater her status. Each society is devoted to particular musical forms, songs, instruments, and weapons, so a group of lillendi usually uses the same instruments, weaponry, and spells.

The masks are tangentially related to the societies, since each mask design belongs to a specific family, and long ago each family lived in a single lodge and wore a single type of mask. Things have gotten a little more complicated since then. but the masks still roughly indicate status and family affiliations.

April 8, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four
editor: Jon Pickens
creative director: Steve Winter
interior artists: Glen Michael Angus et al.
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1998
cover: softcover
number of pages: 96
ISBN: 978-0786-912124
description: In this volume, over 100 creatures are presented, originating with the Forgotten Realms, Birthright, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Dark Sun, Red Steel and Greyhawk campaign settings. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the fraal.

Sometimes known simply as the visitors, the psionic fraal are highly evolved and sophisticated humanoids from somewhere else. Some sages speculate that these visitors came from another plane of existence or perhaps another world within the Prime Material Plane. Of seeming fragile build, the fraal rely on devices of unusual workmanship and power to protect themselves. These devices are not magical; in fact, the fraal know almost nothing of magic.

The fraal are thin humanoids, averaging about five feet in height. They can be distinguished by their large eyes, their pale, almost luminous skin, their swept-back ears, and their round heads. Most fraal encountered so far have been bald, although some individuals have been encountered who have wisps of silver, white, or pale-yellow hair. A most disconcerting element is that all fraal display a wizened countenance like the eldest of wizards.

The fraal are natural telepaths, and can communicate telepathically with creatures of low intelligence or better. Whether they have a verbal language of their own is uncertain, though they have never been seen to converse verbally among themselves. They have been known to speak Common to those not of their kind, though they speak it slowly and with some difficulty. Their words display a quiet demeanor and they are not given to excitement or violent emotion.

Combat: The fraal void confrontation whenever possible, negotiating when able and fleeing when communication fails. Indeed, fraal seem more interested in observing violence than taking part in it themselves. Witnesses agree that fraal have been drawn to violence and spectacular conflict. Their behavior is almost childlike as they watch physical combat with wonder and an almost clinical detachment. If fraal should find combat unavoidable, they rely upon their psionic talents, which they call mindwalking, to defend themselves. Even more rarely, fraal use alien devices of great power to dissuade attackers...

No more than one fraal in three will have a device that can deliver a ranged attack. Two different types of fraal ranged devices have been seen: firerods and firestaves. These devices and others that the fraal employ do not radiate any magical signature. The fraal seem reluctant to use their fire devices unless absolutely necessary. Most learned sages suspect that this involves a religious taboo against fire, but no one knows for sure. Communication with the fraal has revealed little, as they babble on about a morality of "limited resource development" and "conservationism" whenever the subject is broached...

April 15, 2017
Game Mastery Guide
creative director: James Jacobs
authors: Cam Banks et al.
interior artists: Alex Aparin et al.
cover artist: Wayne Reynolds
publisher: Paizo Publishing
publication date: 2010
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1601-252173
description: Relevant to this survey, Chapter 9. NPC Gallery presents 81 flavors of human being. The book is compatible with the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the barmaid.

Barmaids are serving wenches, dancing girls, and even harried cooks in inns and taverns throughout the cities and towns of the world. Although usually young, some barmaids are older goodwives working in the family business...

While skilled in improvised weapons, changing a barmaid's feats can create a servant with other useful skills. Alertness or Skill Focus (Perception) makes a barmaid good at overhearing conversations, while a barmaid working in a dangerous dive might carry a concealed dagger and have the Improved Unarmed Strike and Weapon Finesse feats.

A typical small tavern may have only a barkeep and a pair of barmaids (CR 4), while a large inn might have half a dozen barmaids serving the barkeep, with a street thug bouncer for protection (CR 6). A barmaid is often found in the company of a pair of farmers or shipmates (CR 2) or a noble scion (CR 3), or two barmaids might serve a pair of drunkards, street thugs, or vagabonds (CR 4).

April 22, 2017
Ponyfinder Everglow Bestiary
authors: David Silver, Byron Mulvogue & Tim Boura
interior artist: Arcadian Phoenix
cover artist: Arcadian Phoenix
publisher: Silver Games
publication date: 2016
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 40
ISBN: 237-0007-500666
description: This bestiary contains entries for twenty-one creatures, one template, one prestige class and one playable race. The book is compatible with the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the zombie pony.

A grunting moan is the first sign that this corpse has not been set to ease with Soft Whisper. Rising to limbs animated with dark magics, the beast stares from the rotting flesh that is all that remains of its face. It sounds hungry.

Raised by necromancers who clearly do not pay the most cursory of lip-service to the goddess of death, this abomination of the forces of nature known simply as a 'zombie' is at once everything that any sane adventurer should fear. Not just death, but the very perversion of it.

April 29, 2017
Rogue's Gallery
design: Thomas Prusa, Walter Baas, Jack Barker
interior artists: Ken Frank et al.
cover artist: Clyde Caldwell
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1992
cover: loose pages in folder
number of pages: 96
ISBN: 978-1560-763772
description: This bestiary contains all manner of nonplayer character warriors, wizards, priests, and rogues with all their class variations. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is Theopolis the Thoughtful, a 10th level Gnome Clairsentient.

Physical Description: Theopolis is about average in height for a gnome, but his portly bulk, long black hair, and impeccably groomed beard often make others mistake him for a very short dwarf, much to his chagrin. Most of Theopolis's clothes are simply gnomish attire, but since moving to the city, he has purchased a few more striking outfits, which he wears on special occasions.

Background: Theopolis is a gnome who grew up in an isolated tribe, blissfully unaware of the forces of chaos at work in the world. He became aware of his psionic potential at an early age, but never saw any particular reason to develop it. He was happy, his tribe was happy, and it seemed that nothing could ever change. But of course, it did.

A group of human refugees, led by the onetime monarch Jodav, set up residence near the gnomes' underground home. The leader of the tribe, Ellayni Silverdelve, decided that the gnomes should keep their presence a secret from the humans, and ordered the gnomes to go into hiding. This mandate did not sit well with Theopolis, who wanted to meet the humans and interact with them. Seeing his discontent, Ellayni gave Theopolis a pair of magic knives to protect himself, and allowed him to seek his fortune, forbidding him only from contacting or revealing her people's presence to Jodav and his followers.

Out in the wide world, Theopolis quickly learned how to use his psionic senses to survive, becoming especially adept at tracking animals, people, even inanimate objects by their mental traces. Eventually, he stumbled upon civilization where he found a ready market for extraordinary talents. His new profession as expert tracker frequently brought him into contact with the seedier side of life and he had to learn how to set aside revulsion and disgust when he was called upon to locate corpses, skeletons, and other low-lifes.

One of his most frequent customers is the Electrum Wizad, Joachim, who first hired Theopolis to help him find a ring of djinni summoning that had fallen into the hands of a fanatic religious cult. Theopolis succeeded in recovering the ring where four other psionicists had failed, and has been Joachim's "clairsentient of choice" ever since. Theopolis, for his part, prefers to work for people like Joachim, who do not claim to be ridding the world of evil (or plotting to conquer it), but instead are working to maintain a balance between good and evil.

May 6, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Outer Planes Appendix
design: J. Paul LaFountain
developer and editor: Timothy B. Brown
interior artist: Thomas Baxa
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1991
cover: loose pages in folder
number of pages: 96
ISBN: 978-1560-760559
description: This compendium contains denizens of the outer planes, the brightest ambassadors of good and the foulest custodians of evil. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the piscoloth, a lesser yugoloth (daemon).

Piscoloths are the sergeants and overseers of the armies of yugoloth mercenaries. These creatures hold sway over companies of dergholoths and mezzoloths with dictatorial inflexibility. The fish-tailed, walleyed piscoloth has the red, chitinous body of a lobster, the talons of a bird, and the head of a carrion crawler. The piscoloth's arms, while human-like, end in a set of crab-like pincers. This creature is found throughout the lower planes wherever there lurk the armies of the yugoloths.

Piscoloths communicate using telepathy.

Habitat/Society: Piscoloths are sergeants and overlords. They are in charge of maintaining order--or some semblance thereof--among the armies of the yugoloths. They have very short life spans, however, having to answer to the easily-angered, more powerful yugoloths. Keeping order in a yugoloth army is akin to passing a planet through the eye of a needle. Piscoloths do, however, derive pleasure from their tasks, for they are cruel and hateful. They bully weaker creatures whenever possible.

Piscoloths are one of the few yugoloths that will cooperate in groups. They are commonly found in groups of five or six and will be ruling over one or more companies of mezzoloths. They will generally maintain order through destruction of those who do not obey them. Of course, being few at the head of hordes of their own abused underlings makes piscoloths subject to frequent friendly fire.

Piscoloths play a direct role in the Blood War. They are the yugoloths that are most often presented with an opportunity to turn against their employers.

May 13, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix
coordination: Skip Williams and Jean Rabe
interior artists: Thomas Baxa, Mark Nelson & S.R. Bissette
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1992
cover: loose pages in folder
number of pages: 68
ISBN: 978-1560-764281
description: This compendium contains creatures, many drawn from the 1st edition Fiend Folio and some new. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the terithran.

The terithran is a short (4' tall) humanoid creature with long sinewy arms, a disproportionately large and misshapen head, and clawlike hands and feet. In its home on the Ethereal Plane, it is a scaly greenish-gray creature, but when it ventures to the Prime Material Plane it has only a faint shadowy appearance. Most terithrans speak only their own language, although some do speak Common as we11 (15% chance.)

Habitat/Society: The terithran is a solitary creature. Protective of its "hunting grounds" (those areas of the Ethereal Plane that correspond to areas of the Prime Material Plane which are rich in magical energy) the terithran keeps to itself and its own territory, except when the mating urge is upon it. Only rarely (5%) will more than one terithran be encountered. Terithran young are tended by the mother for six months, and then ejected from the mother's lair to fend for themselves.

The terithran's main diet is wizards from the Prime Material Plane, mainly because wizards are such easy prey once the terithran has drained away their spells. The terithran stalks wizards by detecting the magical swirls and eddies on the Ethereal Plane which are caused by the use of large amounts of magic on the Prime Material Plane...

Ecology: The terithran is thought to be a tasty treat by most dracolisks. For this reason, once terithrans have secured a safe lair on the Ethereal Plane, they very seldom venture from it.

May 20, 2017
Hellfrost Bestiary
author: Paul "Wiggy" Wade-Williams
interior artists: Chris Kuhlmann & Justin Russell
cover artist: Robin Elliott
publisher: Triple Ace Games
publication date: 2009
cover: hardcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-1907-204289
description: This bestiary contains entries for over 300 hazards, monsters and citizens of Rassilon. The book is compatible with the Savage Worlds Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the glade unicorn.

Glade unicorns, also known as spring unicorns and gladeicorns, are servants of both Eostre and Kenaz. Their horn radiates powerful magic, which keeps the temperatures around their domains above freezing. Naturally, this power is considered an abomination by servants of Thrym, who have waged a war of extinction against these noble, gentle beasts.

Glade unicorns are tan-colored, with a single flame-red horn. Their horn loses all power when the unicorn dies. They are wary of most creatures except hearth elves. (Taiga elves don't like them, as the temperatures in their glade are uncomfortable for the cold-loving taiga dwellers.)

May 27, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Al-Qadim Appendix
design: Wolfgang Baur & Steve Kurtz
interior artists: Thomas Baxa & Mark Nelson
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1992
cover: loose pages in folder
number of pages: 68
ISBN: 978-1560-763703
description: This compendium contains creatures intended for the Middle-Eastern themed campaign setting, Al-Qadim. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the artist-tasked genie.

Tasked artist genies include both incredibly skilled craftsmen and aesthetically brilliant artists in fields widely accepted as high art. Both groups are capable of producing masterworks in their chosen speciality in a very short period of time. Reshaped from dao and djinn long ago, they will willingly serve a generous master, though they always undertake work they enjoy before doing work that they must do. Tasked artist genies are poets, composers, musicians, sculptors, painters, and weavers. The craftsmen genies (who bitterly deny that their work is any less artistic than that of the pure artists) are potters, woodworkers, furniture makers, silversmiths, goldsmiths, decorative ironmongers, gemcutters, jade and ivory carvers, calligraphers, illuminators, gardeners, maskmakers, tailors, haberdashers, and seamstresses.

Mistreated artist genies will never produce superior work, though they have too much devotion to their craft to deliberately flaw a work (unless they are consistently abused with no hope of escape). Regardless of how hard they try, works produced by enslaved or charmed artist genies are never quite as good as those they make when they are free to pursue their work as they choose.

Of all the tasked genies, artist genies vary the most in their appearance, perhaps because the work they do varies so much. Sculptors have powerful shoulders from handling and hammering stone, weavers have powerful arms and quick fingers for throwing a shuttle across a loom, and painters may be quite frail but have a sharp eye for details and decoration. The craftsmen genies all have nimble fingers and a good sense of proportion.

In their dress, artist genies either push the boundaries of the latest design and daring or wear the most shabby and dated clothing imaginable. The pure artists are entirely hedonistic, though this is manifested in various ways. Some artist genies require odd foods, such as stewed apples or fermented fish while others must have parks and scenic vistas to stroll along each day for relaxation and contemplation before their work will achieve its highest level. Others still wallow in drink or gluttony, constant hot scented baths, or exotic companionship.

Slighting the work of an artist genie demands retribution, but this revenge can take many forms. A skilled critique by a knowledgable patron may earn only some vicious gossip in return. In the case of uninformed criticism by a pretender to knowledge, some artist genies are unstable enough to simply hurl themselves at their detractor, regardless of the consequences. Others are wise enough to enjoy more subtle forms of revenge (for example, creating a work that ridicules the offending party). Sometimes revenge takes the form of a gift that is given to some rival of the tactless speaker, or a mysterious increase in the cost of producing new work for a patron. Some forms of revenge are fatal, such as a potter genie adding enough poison to a clay vessel to slowly kill anyone who eats or drinks from it.

June 3, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix
designer: Rick Swan
interior artists: Thomas Baxa
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1990
cover: loose pages in folder
number of pages: 68
ISBN: 978-0880-388511
description: This compendium contains creatures intended for the East Asian themed campaign setting, Kara-Tur. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the oni.

Oni are ferocious lesser spirits who use their awesome strength and magical abilities to dominate and terrorize the regions they inhabit.

The common oni stands 7 to 8 feet tall, resembling a thickly muscled humanoid whose arms and legs are covered with coarse hair. Their hands end in dirty, thick talons, and hooked toenails grow from their wide feet. Their skin is normally red, but other colors have been noted, including green, black, orange, and purple. Blue-skinned oni also exist, but these are more commonly known as ogre magi, because they have as much in common with the western ogre as they do they with eastern oni.

The features of the common oni are fearsome to behold. They have from one to three bulging eyes and broad, pointed ears. One or two thick horns may sprout from their foreheads. Many oni wear shoulder-length hair--usually silver, black, or green--which sometimes is tied in long braids that drape down their backs. Long golden or ivory fangs line their mouths.

An oni's garb imitates the clothing of the local human population. If an oni band dwells near a military outpost, the lesser spirits usually wear armor pieces, including metallic arm and leg bands and even military insignia that have been taken from murdered soldiers. If an oni band lives near a poor farming community, they usually don peasant smocks and sandals. In any case, an oni's equipment and clothing is always more ragged and filthy than that of his human counterpart...

Combat: Most common oni are bloodthirsty and cruel. Not only do they attack for food, but also for the sheer delight of hurting and bullying other creatures. The common oni usually fights with a pair of two-handed swords, one in each hand, but the creature will use other large weapons if available. It also can make slashing attacks with its powerful claws...

Oni usually dwell in desolate and forbidding places, such as rocky mountain regions, deserted ruins, and other sites commonly considered to be haunted. They also may take up residence along a lonely highway near a shrine or gate, harassing all who pass by. Occasionally, an oni may live within a city, hiding in vacant buildings or in the shadows of the city's most destitute streets.

June 10, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Mystara Appendix
authors: John Nephew, John Terra, Skip Williams & Teeuwynn Woodruff
interior artists: Arnie Swekel
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1994
cover: softcover
number of pages: 128
ISBN: 978-1560-768753
description: This compendium contains creatures intended for the Mystara campaign setting. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the gray philosopher.

A gray philosopher is the undead spirit of an evil cleric who died with some important philosophical deliberation yet unresolved in his or her mind. In its undead state, this creature does nothing but ponder these weighty matters.

The gray philosopher appears as a seated, smoke-colored, insubstantial figure swathed in robes. It always seems deep in thought. Flying through the air surrounding the philosopher are a number of tiny, luminous, wispy creatures known as malices. They have vaguely human faces, gaping maws, and spindly, clawed hands. These vindictive creatures are actually the philosopher's evil thoughts, which have taken on substance and a will of their own...

Habitat/Society: A gray philosopher never seems able to reach any sort of conclusion to the conundrum that has become the focus of its existence; instead, over the centuries, its evil thoughts have coalesced into the malices. A philosopher typically creates 2d4 malices for every century of its foul existence. It is unknown whether the philosopher is even aware of these venal children of its mind...

Ecology: Certain clerics and academicians speculate that any powerful evil cleric who, at death, becomes a gray philosopher may have been attempting to become one of the Immortals. Such sages theorize that a few of the creatures do manage to resolve the philosophical dilemmas upon which they ponder, which leads them to transcend their mortality finally to become profoundly evil and immortal beings. Although these theories propose that it takes a gray philosopher at least 1,000 years to reach such a terrible understanding, the sages urge those who discover these undead creatures to destroy them immediately, in case this frightening theory has merit.

June 17, 2017
The Collected Monsters of Sin
author: Ryan Costello, Jr.
interior artists: Aaron J. Riley & Cory Trego-Erdner
cover artist: Cory Trego-Erdner
publisher: Kobold Press
publication date: 2013
cover: softcover
number of pages: 60
ISBN: 978-1936-781225
description: This bestiary contains four creatures associated with each of the seven cardinal sins. The book is compatible with the Pathfinder Role Playing Game.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is a monster of gluttony, the bottomless pit.

The obese mass sits nearly comatose. At the first sign of a living creature it perks up, licking its lips from snout to navel.

Erupting Metabolism A bottomless pit digests its meals fast enough to keep its ungainly body moving even after swallowing its own weight in prey. Swallowed creatures take 3d6 acid damage every round until dead, and as long as the bottomless pit has at least one still-living creature swallowed, the pit gains the benefits of haste and pounce.

Sectioned Stomach A bottomless pit's stomach branches into numerous smaller chambers, allowing it to contain and digest multiple creatures simultaneously. A bottomless pit can swallow creatures up to its own size category, and can have multiple creatures swallowed at once: up to two Medium creatures, four Small, eight Tiny, or any equivalent combination. If a swallowed creature cuts its way out of the bottomless pit, the appropriate fraction of its stomachs are unusable until its damage is healed, but the rest of its stomachs function normally.

Between feedings a bottomless pit is a sluggish, misshapen creature. Two stubby bowed legs quiver to support its weight. Its flat, earless head ends in a snout. A roll of flesh suggests where a bottomless pit's head separates from its torso, but this is an illusion: Its cantilevered jaw hinges off its hip bones, and when its mouth is open, it extends out the length of its torso, stretching the loose flesh of its jowls taut.

A bottomless pit is most dangerous immediately after it feeds. At that time it virtually explodes with energy, and once it achieves that state it works to maintain it by eating more and more. A pit eats every living creature in sight, and doesn't stop until it runs out of prey. Bottomless pits can sit inert for months between meals, shedding almost no weight and suffering no negative effects from such fasting.

A typical bottomless pit weighs 750 pounds and stands five and a half feet tall.

June 24, 2017
Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix
designers: Grant Boucher, William W. Connors, Steve Gilbert, Bruce Nesmith, Chris Mortika, and Skip Williams
interior artists: Thomas Baxa and Mark Nelson
cover artist: Jeff Easley
publisher: TSR
publication date: 1990
cover: loose pages in folder
number of pages: 68
ISBN: 978-0-88038-836-8
description: This compendium contains creatures found in the Greyhawk Campaign Setting. The book is compatible with Advanced Dungeons and Dragons second edition.

Our featured entry from this bestiary is the skulk.

Skulks are an extremely cowardly, evil race of humanoids with the chameleon-like ability to blend in with any background. They survive on the edges of civilization by theft and murder.

Skulks stand five to six feet tall and are completely devoid of hair. They are elf-like in stature, with graceful limbs, soft facial features, and pink or blue eyes. A skulk's skin is smooth but leathery tough. Its natural color is light gray, but skulks can change skin color instantly, either to flesh tone or, more commonly, to match the surrounding environment.

Skulks speak common and 20% of skulks speak one additional demihuman language, usually elvish or dwarf.

Combat: Skulks are cowardly fighters who run away at first wounding or if the odds are less than two to one in their favor whichever comes first...

Habitat/Society: Skulks survive by thievery and murder. They live in small bands, moving often, and camping in deep forests or underground lairs. They hide by day, but emerge at night to raid nearby human or demihuman communities. Their favorite tactic is to murder an entire family, then ransack the house at their leisure...

Ecology: Skulks eat whatever they find in the pantry of their victims. In hard times, skulks steal livestock, leaving a hole in the fence so it appears the animal escaped accidentally.

In addition to food, skulks steal whatever strikes their fancy. Female skulks often take gold, jewelry, and fine cloths. Male skulks are apt to lug furniture back to their camp. Disputes over property are common but infighting is rare. Instead, skulks steal from one another at the first opportunity...

more galleries