What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:

What I'm Backing on Kickstarter:
Castles & Crusades Players Handbook - 7th Print Edition

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Weekend R&R: Random Esoteric Creature Generator

I made mention in my last post about James Raggi and the difficulties he has had with the 'Insect Shrine' release -- a release which has never seen the light of day. The point I tried to illustrate was that sometimes things happen despite the best of intentions. I didn't mention that Jim had essentially rectified the situation with those who had pre-ordered. Needless to say, LotFP has done very well for itself since, and serves as an example of how a bad turn of events doesn't have to set the tone for other projects.

Kudos

Now, while on the subject of LotFP products, I thought it would be nice to talk about the first product I have had the pleasure to buy and use written by James -- 'The Random Esoteric Creature Generator' (henceforth referred as RECG). I ordered a copy of the book once hearing of it's release back in 2008 not knowing exactly what to expect. If I remember correctly, the price included shipping to anywhere in the world and a PDF copy of the work for something just below 5 euros. It sounded like a good bang for the buck and it sounded like something that would pay off real quickly for my game.

I loved the PDF when I received it, and was happy to see the physical copy when it showed up in my mail box. The paper copy was certainly not the polished looking product that we see today but there was something very nostalgic about it. Even the art exuded a certain 'old school charm'. This accessory has certainly made an impact in my game as well as the gaming community as another version was published by Goodman Games a year or two later. Despite the clearly polished look which the new version has been given, it is the original one that I peruse when I see need of it. It holds a special place -- secure in my C&C White Box (itself a tribute of sorts to the D&D Whitebox) along Geoffrey McKinney's Carcosa. Interestingly enough, LotFP has just recently put out a new version of Carcosa which looks beautiful and is on my 'Must Get List'.

The differences between the two version of the RECG are extremely minor but, in either presentation, it's an accessory I just love picking up and playing with. I have made some notable critters for use in my campaigns time and time again and, if I only could have a handful of gaming books, this would be one I'd want to keep. As it stands, it is a resource I have with me for when I need it thanks to the convenience of PDF -- it's one of the books I have loaded up on my tablet.

That said, what is it? Well, the title pretty much says it all. It's an accessory you use to create creatures with random abilities and features. It has tables covering Body Shape, Characteristics, Size, Movement, Attack, Special Abilities, Motivation, and quite a bit more. Depending on the version you are looking at, 26 to 32 pages of material is included in this little, indispensable accessory.

Suffice to say, it is an accessory that I cannot ever recommend enough to my fellow gamers. While I don't believe the original edition of the accessory is available anywhere anymore, the Goodman Games version is still available either as a PDF or physical copy. Noble Knight Games actually has it on sale right now for $6.49 which is basically 50% off the cover price. Oh... did I forget to mention that it was pretty much system neutral? If you don't have it... get it. :)

One last bit of trivia concerning this accessory -- I found it interesting to read that the roots of this project go back to some of the work that was being developed for the 'Insect Shrine'. A handful of tables for creature generation basically grew beyond the scope of the project it was originally intended for. If it hadn't been for that, this accessory may have never seen the light of day.

Thanks for reading!

M