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
number of pages: 224
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
number of pages: 300
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
editor: Amanda Hamon Kunz
interior artists: Bryan Syme et al.
cover artist: Marcel Mercado
publisher: Kobold Press
publication date: 2015
number of pages: 118
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
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
number of pages: 128
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
number of pages: 160
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
number of pages: 430
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
number of pages: 112
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
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)
number of pages: 288
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
number of pages: 48
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
creative director: Andreas Walters
interior artists: Conceptopolis et al.
cover artist: Conceptopolis
publisher: Metal Weave Games
publication date: 2016
number of pages: 76
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
publication date: 1994
number of pages: 128
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
publication date: 1995
number of pages: 128
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.