Basic Fantasy Field Guide Volume 1

Creating game materials? Monsters, spells, classes, adventures? This is the place!
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Solomoriah
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:00 am

One of the key elements of my campaign design philosophy is not to have any known "geography" to the other planes of existence. I want the seeming randomness of a Dr. Strange adventure, not the "follow the map" effect you get in 1E or (shudder) 2E's outer planes.

Nazgor is just one of the other dimensions I've used. There's also Antigaea, a strange world of floating rocks in a wind-rent sky, and another I've forgotten the name of which is a pocket universe occupied by a powerful godlike creature. Gah... why can't I remember the name??? Anyway... the important thing is to keep the other planes mysterious.
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Solomoriah
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Fri Dec 02, 2011 1:01 am

BTW... I was really not going for Lovecraft with Nazgor. And I'm not fond of the Aboleth at all.
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Joe the Rat
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Fri Dec 02, 2011 9:19 am

Goofy names aside, I rather enjoyed 2Es take on the planes - as an exercise in design, and a setting for stories. In play practice, It's very difficult to do right in toto. And really messy when you try to overlay the various pantheons and related cosmologies (half the gods would have to be in planes opposing their own alignments if they were to stick together like they're supposed to). And they were totally missing a third axis.

Not even the most dimension-hopping of stories was that concrete in design - there are worlds, you can get there by doing X. Keep the cosmology loose. It lets the GM decide what powers of yin yang and yo are present, and how they interplay.

Which is waaaaay an aside to the field guide. So on topic, we need small mammals and housepets to represent. How am I supposed to hold back the commoner hordes without a decent set of domestic cats?
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SmootRK
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Fri Dec 02, 2011 10:31 am

Joe the Rat wrote:Goofy names aside, I rather enjoyed 2Es take on the planes - as an exercise in design, and a setting for stories. In play practice, It's very difficult to do right in toto. And really messy when you try to overlay the various pantheons and related cosmologies (half the gods would have to be in planes opposing their own alignments if they were to stick together like they're supposed to). And they were totally missing a third axis.

Not even the most dimension-hopping of stories was that concrete in design - there are worlds, you can get there by doing X. Keep the cosmology loose. It lets the GM decide what powers of yin yang and yo are present, and how they interplay.

Which is waaaaay an aside to the field guide. So on topic, we need small mammals and housepets to represent. How am I supposed to hold back the commoner hordes without a decent set of domestic cats?
Bring on the vermin!
I also like a free-form cosmology. Let Asgard be Asgard (and its related environs) and leave it separate and distinct from somebody else's realms such as Olympus, Nirvana, After-life of Egyptian mythos, or whatever. Personally, I only use one or two of such realms in any given campaign or game anyhow. It allows the GM to maintain much of the control over the general flavor of the game.

That said, I have played around with a Planescape sort of game, and have thought to make a sort of DarkCity environ for BFRPG in the past. I wonder where my notes for that have gone.
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Xyphon
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Fri Dec 02, 2011 8:11 pm

Well met BFRPG members,

Groups and Habitat would be very useful to have with the monsters in the field guide.

I am working on assembling a database of BFRPG monsters with the goal of making habitat based wandering monster tables.

http://0x3e.com/bf/monster/

also for finding suitable dungeon fillers for low level adventure etc.

http://0x3e.com/bf/monster/?xp<=150&hd>=3

http://0x3e.com/bf/monster/?name=rat

Only search on xp,hd and name so far.

I have not added many features,documentation and user interface on even fewer, just a quick hack for my use with data based from "Basic Fantasy Creature List Spreadsheet by Mike Roop" so far.

I have been adding the detailed descriptions from the books but have not completed that yet. I would not be showing this if the thread had not shown up.

There is a field for habitat again not implemented correctly yet and no groups.

I am not sure how I was going to present this to you lot, I thought about scripting a transfer to the wiki.

I will be slowly adding features,data and am happy to share the code and database dumps if there is interest.
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SmootRK
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:18 am

Xyphon wrote:Groups and Habitat would be very useful to have with the monsters in the field guide.
See Solomoriah (Chris)'s post about codification. I generally agree with this. One of the functions of this new round of editorial efforts is to substantially simplify and generalize some of the entries given in the Field Guide. One of the nice things about really simplified entries, is that it leaves substantially more for the GM/Players to imagine themselves.

And, as far as making encounter tables (electronically too), is that a monster that does not seem appropriate can really be a cool encounter, and the GM must make some sort of imaginative effort to 'find a way'. As an example, I have used an insane dryad as a major feature of a small adventure scenario... only thing, it was on board a ship in the middle of the ocean. Seems the dryad tree was cut down as used as the main mast. She was insane and dying and was a formidable creature for the characters to deal with.

So, like Solo mentions, neatly deciding all the ecological factors can substantially limit the imagination.

That said, I think your efforts are wonderful... I hope you get this running well, and I hope you continue to share it. Welcome!
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SmootRK
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Sat Dec 03, 2011 12:35 pm

It is a snowy day here in Colorado Springs. We shall see if this will be conducive to doing some writing/editing.... having the family all cooped up can make it harder to think sometimes.
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Xyphon
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Sat Dec 03, 2011 7:51 pm

Well met BFRPGF,

I may appear guilty of urging undue codification, to clarify my ideas though I would not like to see habitat, groups or any changes to in the monster statblock or necessarily descriptions and definitely not advocating additional content in the core book. I would like to see an index of monsters by group and habitat in a supplement or just a database to help me during planning. A book I once had which catalogued creatures included a group and habitat list at the back just a few pages of indices which was nice to have.

I agree totally with codification limiting creativity.

Before posting at all I read most of the postings in the forum in an attempt to find what was happening and where I could help. My attempt at extending the monster data is in relation to this post viewtopic.php?f=2&t=139 but mostly as something I would like for myself, I jumped the gun and posted to soon and failed to clarify what I was doing.
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SmootRK
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:18 am

I have done most of my re-groupings and moving things around a bit (and a few deletions)... and fixing of stuff like spaces, font sizes, etc. Now I am starting at letter "A" and making an effort to rewrite the text descriptions following a logical format.

First paragraph used generally for a gross description with perhaps a detail or two related to the habits of the creature.
Next Paragraphs used mainly for Combat Info, starting with their primary attack (or main physical attack). If all such attack and related combat special abilities can be housed in one coherent paragraph then I leave it alone, otherwise, another paragraph might appear after to organize the abilities.
After combat and other special abilities, I detail any organizational info, which mainly for humanoids details info about leader types.

Of course there could be an exception or two. Extremely simple beasts might just have one paragraph; something complex or pulled from a game/resource with a lot of baggage might take more (for instance if I pulled 'classic' Drow into BFRPG it would take a fair amount of description - not that I am doing that, just an example).

And, all the while, doing what I can to simplify the wording and remove excessive description, which in my opinion belongs in the realm of the GM and Player's minds. This is BFRPG anyhow, and not a zoology tome... things need to be basic.

The few deletions that I have done (and I looked for guidance and input to make these decisions), were chosen mostly because of duplication of the idea or theme.

What I really want, is more additions to fill in the pages... and art. If you are an artist, you can put your own stamp on the game by getting some of the creature artwork done.
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Solomoriah
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Re: BFRPG Field Guide (monsters)

Post Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:49 am

Xyphon wrote:I may appear guilty of urging undue codification, to clarify my ideas though I would not like to see habitat, groups or any changes to in the monster statblock or necessarily descriptions and definitely not advocating additional content in the core book. I would like to see an index of monsters by group and habitat in a supplement or just a database to help me during planning. A book I once had which catalogued creatures included a group and habitat list at the back just a few pages of indices which was nice to have.
Xyphon, I'm sorry I had to call that out. It wasn't just you... I could see that the urge to codify was creeping into the game from all directions, and I knew if I didn't detail my design philosophy soon, it would be harder later.

As to the habitat, one issue with writing it down anywhere is, first you have to know what the habitat is.

Where are Displacers found? As they are purely fictional, It's not an easy question. If you are writing a supplement with this information, and you make the decision that Displacers are found in the mountains, then you've limited creativity. Oh, sure, someone else could decide "no, they live in the forest" but 95% of GMs just do what the book says, so you get that "all worlds look alike" issue.

What about Lions? Well, that's easier, since they exist in the real world. But since they exist in the real world, a GM may already know where he wants them... or the GM may just look it up on Wikipedia.

Now, creating extended encounter tables with additional monsters on them means choosing habitats; this it an unfortunate necessity, a situation where codifying is impossible to avoid.

So am I saying no or yes? It would really depend on the other values of the supplement in question, and until I see such a supplement, I can't answer the question either way.
Xyphon wrote:Before posting at all I read most of the postings in the forum in an attempt to find what was happening and where I could help. My attempt at extending the monster data is in relation to this post viewtopic.php?f=2&t=139 but mostly as something I would like for myself, I jumped the gun and posted to soon and failed to clarify what I was doing.
I'd be thrilled to see your data set, in any state of completion. I'd very much like to work on Dungeoneer again... it has such potential as a GM's aid. Even as it is, I use it all the time.
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