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A Magical Society: Beast Builder

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$15.00
Description:
A Monster Builder like nothing ever seen before…

A Magical Society: Beast Builder is 224 pages packed with information that helps you make your own monsters. In the tradition of A Magical Medieval Society: Western Europe and A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture, A Magical Society: Beast Builder gives you the tools you need to make your own campaign specific monsters to challenge and excite your players while adding to the depth and realism of your campaign world.

Chapter One: Monster Concepts and Functions— Monster concepts and functions drive what a monster is and even more importantly, what it does. This chapter discusses common concepts such as creature hierarchies (juvenile, adult, elder etc.), additive abilities (like the vrock’s dance of ruin), mythological inspiration and other monster building aspects.

It gives advice on creating a good concept based upon the function of a creature. Every monster has a concept and a type (such as giant, vermin, etc.), but more than that every monster has a function; the part of the monster that answers the question “What does it do?” I outline the 20 most common functions such as grappler, caster, disabler, energy attacker and PC killer, and how such functions play out in the game. Under each function, you’ll also find a list of the creatures from the SRD as well as creatures from Monster Geographica: Underground that possess that function.

Chapter Two: Monsters and their Environment— Every monster has a place in your world and every place has its monsters. This chapter is simply stuffed with useful information about environment, ecology, biology, and behavior that will help you completely customize every creature to suit your needs. We all know that statistics alone don’t make a great monster. The best monsters are ones with a rich place within your world and this chapter will help you give your new creation a fitting background.

Chapter Three: Monster Statistics— Although a great background is a must for a great monster, statistical accuracy is just as important. This 19 page chapter discusses every bit of the monster stat block and gives you the information you need to insure your great fluff isn’t let down by poor crunch.

Chapter Four: Type and Subtype— Continuing the statistical break-down of creatures, type and subtype is analyzed in chapter four. I give advice about determining subtype (just what is an aberration anyway?) as well as breakdown on ability scores based upon the SRD monsters. You’ll find that although the rules say one thing, the execution often shows another when it comes to ability scores.

Chapter Five: Templates— Worthy of their own chapter, templates are great additions to any GMs bag of tricks. This chapter gives you information on the main 14 template (such as archetypal, greater, half, and planar-aligned) themes as well as seven main ways of acquiring a template. It finishes with a template-only version of chapters four and seven, giving you all existing information so you’ll have more options when designing your own templates.

Chapter Six: Bits and Pieces— Bits and pieces is a short chapter filled with campaign oriented monster parts. In a magical world filled with hostile monsters, holistic magic plays its role and the remains of fallen foes can often be used against those who lived. This chapter helps think of monsters from yet another perspective.

Chapter Seven: Special Attacks, Special Qualities, and Conditions— This huge chapter provides you with 600 special abilities taken from all the creatures in the SRD and all the creatures in Monster Geographica: Underground. Each of these abilities has been broken down to component parts to demonstrate useful guidelines when using them with any CR creature. For example the balor’s death throes SA/SQ is now tied to a creature’s HD, instead of being a straight 100 points of damage. Every SA/SQ has its source monsters (the monsters that possess that ability) listed as well. Once you jump into this chapter there’s no turning back; there’s simply so many cool things you could do when making your monsters you may not want to move onto the next chapter.

Appendix I: D20 Mechanic Table— A single table showing the d20 mechanic. You’ll be surprised how useful this is when deciding monster hit percentages and saving throw percentages. It’s much easier than just doing it in your head.

Appendix II: Editing Checklist— Every monster should face the checklist! A short outline-format editing checklist that covers the most common dangers/errors of d20 monster creation.

Appendix III: Random(ish) Monster Generator— And last but not least, a random(ish) monster generator is provided for when inspiration has simply gone dry. Don’t expect the most sensible results, but anything can happen! This is particularly useful if you want to make creatures for the hordes of chaos.

 
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Reviews
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July 31st, 2010
As a DM I found this book to be incredibly useful. The book's goal is to provide you with all the tools needed to not just build your own monsters but to build them well. It succeeds in this goal marvelously. If you want to build monsters for 3.5 that [...]
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December 28th, 2006
This is an amazing book. It's awesome, want to work up soem new monsters for your game and not be too far out of whack ...this book will help you immensely. Want a new monster but don't want to put a ton of work into it?...pick a few special abilities [...]
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June 28th, 2006
Going into this book I was wondering if it had what I, as a 30 vet of D&D, would want in a monster creation type tome. Well, I was happliy suprised by how indepth it really goes. Mind you if your not into learning game mechanics your going to find [...]
Andrew B. [Featured Reviewer]
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June 28th, 2006
A Magical Society: Beast Builder is one of my favorite d20 books. It?s easily one of the three or so best PDF products that I own. While it might not be for everyone, it does what it sets out to do with absolutely flying colors. Never in the history [...]
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February 27th, 2006
This seems like a great tool-set, but it is not something you can go into lightly. So be prepared to read a lot of the material before you can use it. LIKED: It's powerful utility in the creation of monsters DISLIKED: It has [...]
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Product Information
Electrum seller
Pages
224
ISBN
0-9729376-6-8
Publisher Stock #
XRP1004
File Size:
3.28 MB
Format
Original electronic
Scanned image
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Original electronic format
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File Last Updated:
November 07, 2008
This title was added to our catalog on March 23, 2005.
Publisher Info
Expeditious Retreat Press
Expeditious Retreat Press
Publisher Average Rating