Apes of Nature, Myth, & the Imagination is a sourcebook from Betabunny Publishing. The zipped file is just over two and a half megabytes in size, and contains a single PDF file. The PDF is sixty-six pages long, with two pages for the covers, one for the credits/legal, and one for the OGL. The product has full bookmarks.
Apes is a book with quite a few pieces of artwork. While the only full color art is the cover (the small interior globe showing the location of Skull Island notwithstanding), black and white art is fairly replete, from illustrations of various apes to charts comparing height. The lack of a printer-friendly version shouldn't be too bad, as the only page borders are very thin lines around the top and sides of each page, but for some people it may be an issue.
Taking a slightly different turn from Betabunny's previous release, Apes deals with apes of, well?nature, and myth, and the imagination. To be slightly more clear, the book covers apes that still (or used to) exist in the real world, apes that people once thought existed but never did, and fictitious breeds of apes from various forms of media. Make no mistake though, this is far more than a mere book of monsters.
The first section covers mythological apes, which never existed but were believed to back in ancient times. Here is where we first note that Betabunny is still using the fantastic format laid down in The Bestiary: Predators, where they list various non-mechanical statistics, such as climate, lifespan, behavior, reproduction, and much more, all in addition to game stats. Numerous sidebars pop up immediately, with everything from quotes by Pliny the Elder to notations on the mythological satyr. All of this is in addition to the game stats given.
The second section covers apes that do (or once did) exist in the real world. A number of apes are covered in the same detail, and the sidebars continue to remain useful in unexpected ways (such as rules for powdered dragon bones).
The third section deals with fictitious apes. From dire apes to apes from Mars to sentient species of apes, quite a few crazy monkeys are given here. Many of them also have stats given for playing them as a PC race, since quite a few of these apes are sentient. A new ape deity, Nzumi, is also given. The detail presented for this new god is exemplary, as it gives the usual information you'd expect for a deity (divine rank, portfolio, alignment, etc.), plus notations on his dogma, herald and allies, afterlife, godly realm, and more. Full stats are given for the ape god, as well as a Challenge Rating (which is unusual for deities).
The fourth section is devoted to the most famous of all apes, King Kong. The phenomenon of King Kong is discussed first, before two different versions are given. The first is the twenty foot-tall version from the original story, while the second is the one hundred fifty-foot monstrosity that battled Godzilla to a standstill. A sidebar even covers miracle berries.
A number of appendices close out the book. Notes are given for using various apes as animal companions or familiars. A new clerical domain and two new spells are presented. New and revised skills, feats, and special abilities with animals in mind are presented, as well as the formatting for reading the various creature entries. An index for the product is given, along with a list of suggested further reading on ape-related matters. Finally, the book ends with an index of what apes are on what pages, and a list of apes by CR.
Even a casual perusal of this book shows that Betabunny Publishing went beyond the extra mile in writing it, which is what we've come to expect from them. The stats are solid, the extra information interesting, and the presentation is superb. While there are minor issues such as the lack of a printer-friendly version, this book is one that is put together so well that you can't help but forget about the very minor flaws. Whether you want to make a monkey out of your players, or just drive them ape, Apes of Nature, Myth, & the Imagination is the book for you.
<b>LIKED</b>: This product presented an overload of interesting information, from the real-world information of its apes (even for the fictitious and mythological ones) to the sidebars replete with bonus goodies.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: While this is a minor issue, a printer-friendly version of the product would have been slightly helpful.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>