Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Random Esoteric Creature Generator: What Have You Done With It?

The Random Esoteric Creature Generator For Classic Fantasy Role Playing Games And Their Modern Simulacra.

It's been out on store shelves, both physical and virtual, for over six months now. In the blog world, that's ancient, and so I'd like to talk about it for a bit and give my first released RPG project some more time in the spotlight while I'm waiting for the latest sales statement. :D

So... what have you done with it?

Have you taken any of the advice given in the essays? How did that turn out?

What are some or the better creatures that you've made with it?

Has it made a positive contribution to your games?


  1. I've spent some entertaining fifteen-or-twenty minute chunks rolling up random things, and I am sure that some of them will show up in the "Flesh Vats" section of my megadungeon.

    The "Beaver-Man" and the "Hairy Rock Ooze" both have some promise, and, weirdly, I rolled up something that came out a lot like a Peryton.

    It hasn't been a life-changing supplement, but it's damn fun to screw around with.

  2. Amazing but true...

    I was saying how cool it was to a friend who plays various incarnations of D&D and told him to roll a couple of dice and see what kind of bizarre, horrific monstrosity from beyond he could generate.

    A few rolls later, he made...a rat. A small, furry, biting mammal with nothing really special about it at all.

    We laughed for like 20 minutes.

    Barking Alien

  3. James,

    Perhaps I was off my rocker at the time, but I found the advice somewhat contradictory. The entire book is dedicated to random critters, and then, if I read it correctly, you go on to say that, in fact, one ought not create new creatures. Then, interestingly, go off and say that re-skinning existing monsters into humans is the preferable route to take.

    Did I horribly mis-read you?

    As far as the tables go, I have used them to generate two critters when I was truly stumped for my own inspiration, so that (the more important aspect) seems to be a 'go'.

  4. >>A few rolls later, he made...a rat.

    heehee! Well, they are random tables after all... and the ability for it to possibly duplicate existing monsters was a design goal.

    ... and it's got to handle low-power critters too!

    >>I found the advice somewhat contradictory.

    This was entirely intentional. I certainly wasn't trying to proclaim "THE BEST WAY TO HANDLE MONSTERS IN YOUR CAMPAIGN!" So the advice was a little of this, a little of that.

    So if one part of the book says "Make random creatures to surprise your jaded players!" and another part of the book says, "You don't really need a lot of creatures at all to keep things fresh..." both parts are addressing the topic of how to use monsters as part of an interesting campaign.

  5. @James: See, now that makes sense. :D

  6. One of the monsters I created, the "Vapor Crane" made it's way into KnockSpell #2. :-D

  7. So far I have created a four-eyed alligator thingy, a flying weasal with a bashing attack (I have to do a bit of thinking on how to make that work, but I have some ideas--either a bony forehead or a club tail maybe), and a rapidly molting bee person. I dressed up the alligator thingy in a Castles & Crusades template and posted it on my blog today. Fortunately, none of my players are currently reading my blog (not that many people are). I was going to unleash a few randomly generated critters yesterday, but our game session was cancelled. They'll see these beasties soon enough. I'm simply assigning them numbers so that I do not get too attached to them (being the sentimental type) and I plan on using each critter one time. Half my players are very very experienced and half my players are brand new...this is a nice tool to level the playing field for all of them and also create the old "what the hell was that [nameless] thing anyway?" funky vibe.

  8. I have found that I like rolling up creature stats, but that the overall concept never jels together until I remove/change one or two of the randomly-rolled elements, as I seem to always get contradictory results (like the giant turtle, with claws, that slithers like a snake; how on earth does that work?). Once the revisions are made, though, I've got a couple pretty kick-ass creatures to terrorize my players. Both of them are slated to go into the next BFRPG monster supplement.

    Reading the book also gave me an idea for an entire campaign, but that would take a bit of time to actually cover, and this ain't the place for it.