Basic Fantasy Field Guide

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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Tue May 16, 2017 7:06 pm

Working my way through it now. I had made a few changes to my copy, and I'm incorporating them into yours. Also cleaning up the flow a bit.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:12 pm

Hey, I can't find any record... does anyone know who did the Plague Hound artwork? I want to use it in Strongholds of Sorcery but don't know who to give credit to.

EDIT: Never mind. Appears to be a nicely-cleaned-up public domain piece.
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SmootRK
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Fri Jul 28, 2017 2:41 pm

Solomoriah wrote:Hey, I can't find any record... does anyone know who did the Plague Hound artwork? I want to use it in Strongholds of Sorcery but don't know who to give credit to.

EDIT: Never mind. Appears to be a nicely-cleaned-up public domain piece.
Yes, very old image. Very clearly public domain. I actually found this one from an archive/library source of artwork. Some sort of engraved boxwood art.
jonathon
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Sun Jul 30, 2017 8:37 pm

Not sure of the status of the r30 ODT under Downloads, but a few possible things I've spotted:

p7#279 An orangutangs > An orangutang
p8#316 those bitten must save v.s Poison or die > those bitten must save vs. Poison or die
p8#329 commonly found in the open grassland > commonly found in open grassland
p9#363 It can walk on water, but cannot cross running water; it loses the ability to drain energy or to wail for 2d12 days if it does. > It can walk on water but cannot cross running water; if it does, it loses the ability to drain energy or to wail for 2d12 days.
p9#382 If a character’s saving throw succeeds, > If a character succeeds their saving throw,
p12#487 It speaks Common and elvish. > It speaks Common and Elvish.
p13#534 A Bone Horror is a large, vaguely humanoid creature animated > A Bone Horror is a large vaguely humanoid creature, animated
p15#625 A Bunyip is a large carnivorous, lake-dwelling creature. > A Bunyip is a large carnivorous lake-dwelling creature.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:22 am

I am presently working my way slowly through the Field Guide, rewriting awkward bits; I'll apply your revisions and add you as a proofer. Please let me know what name you'd like me to put in the credits for you.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Tue Aug 01, 2017 6:10 pm

I looked up all your revisions, jonathon; I didn't use them all as given, because I'm also fixing rough prose at the same time. In other words, I rewrote some parts more drastically than your changes called for.

I'm taking my time this time. I will read each and every monster description, and I will make the text nice, like it was supposed to be. There's so much good material in here that just needs a little presentation cleanup...
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:16 am

Can you elaborate on that? What things did both Smoot and myself miss? I will be trying to apply the same things once I start to do a massive dive into Field Guide 2.
I like to point out spelling mistakes and post GIFs.
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Solomoriah
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 7:42 am

You did fine on proofing, but the writing is painful to read in places, and the entries are not always organized logically. It's more an "art" thing than it is "science" if you get my meaning.

Here's an example from the Aboleth entry.
R30 wrote:The slime an aboleth secretes allows a creature (generally its slaves) to breathe underwater for the next 3 hours, but at the same time air is no longer breathable. An affected creature suffocates in 2d6 minutes if removed from water. Continuous and repeated exposure to the slime slowly transforms the creature into a Skum (see below). The transformation takes about a month, and once complete the creature is forever a slave to the aboleth.
The phrase "but at the same time air is no longer breathable" is awkward, and the following sentence doesn't flow nicely either. Choppy, you know? And the "(see below)" after the name of the Skum is kind of silly given that the very next paragraph is the "below" we are seeing. When it's right there, you don't give directions. I'm not entirely happy with the last sentence, but I recognize that is more of a personal thing; it's perfectly good English, so I left it alone.

Here's my version of the same paragraph from the R31 I'm working on right now:
R31 wrote:The slime an aboleth secretes allows a living creature (generally its slaves) to breathe underwater for the next 3 hours, but for the same duration the affected creature can no longer breathe air; such a creature suffocates in 2d6 minutes if removed from water. Continuous and repeated exposure to the slime slowly transforms the creature into a skum. The transformation takes about a month, and once complete the creature is forever a slave to the aboleth.
I'm still not 100% happy with it, but until I think of a better way to write it, this is how it stands. I don't just want good monsters in terms of game play, I want a book that's a pleasure to read and is efficient to use in play.
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:02 pm

Contact with an aboleth's magical slime secretions causes creatures such as its slaves to become aquatic for the next 3 hours. Aquatic creatures can breathe water, but suffocate in 2d6 minutes in air. Continuous and repeated exposure to this slime slowly transforms the creature into a skum. The transformation takes about a month, during which time it is reversible (i.e. after about an hour without touching the slime the creature begins to return to normal). If the transformation is completed, the creature becomes forever a slave to the aboleth.
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Re: Basic Fantasy Field Guide

Post Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:46 pm

Nice, Stuart, very nice!

I think a lot of my problem with the Aboleth specifically is how its specific combination of powers are explained. An Aboleth can turn ordinary characters into Skum, but only after application of three different powers for an extended period of time.

I think the monster's physical description needs to be first (as it is now), then the "affliction" caused by contact with it, followed next by its enslavement power, and then by its aquatic transformation power, ending with how those powers combine to make Skum. I don't feel like the existing text is systematic enough in presenting this.

SO here's my take on the whole description of the Aboleth, as it stands right now:
The Aboleth are an ancient race of fish-like amphibians, usually found lurking in subterranean waters. One resembles a huge, slimy fish, with three large eyes and four long, sticky tentacles arranged around its mouth. An aboleth secretes an oily, foul-smelling slime, polluting the water where the creature lurks.

Any living creature who touches an Aboleth, or is touched by one (including being hit in combat) must save vs. Paralysis or begin to transform over the next 1d4+1 turns. The skin gradually becomes a translucent, slimy membrane. An afflicted creature must remain moistened with fresh water or suffer 1d12 points of damage every turn. A cure disease or remove curse spell cast before the transformation is complete will restore an afflicted creature to normal. After this transformation is complete, only a heal spell can reverse it.

Up to three times per day, an aboleth can attempt to enslave any one living creature within 30 feet. The target must save vs. Spells or be utterly dominated by the aboleth's mental power. An enslaved creature will obey the telepathic commands of the aboleth. Such a creature can attempt a new save vs. Spells every 24 hours to break free, or can be freed by a remove curse spell. The control is also broken if the aboleth dies or is separated from its slave by more than a mile.

Contact with an aboleth's magical slime secretions (which surround the monster in a radius of up to a 30 feet in the water) causes a living creature to become aquatic for the next 3 hours. A successful saving throw vs. Poison is allowed to resist this change, but this save must be made each round the victim remains in the polluted water. Aquatic creatures can breathe water, but after 2d6 minutes out of the water they begin to suffocate, suffering 1d6 points of damage per round, until the creature dies or returns to the water. Continuous and repeated exposure to this slime slowly transforms the creature into a skum. The transformation takes 3d20 days (rolled in secret by the GM), during which time it is reversible (i.e. after being away from the slime for full 3 hour duration, the afflicted creature returns to normal). If this transformation is completed, the creature becomes forever a slave to the aboleth.

An aboleth can also cast ventriloquism, phantasmal force and hallucinatory terrain at will, as long as these illusions appear within a range of 60 feet of the creature.

Skum are hapless creatures transformed by aboleths as their servants. A skum resembles a horrific combination of fish and its original form; the statistics given above represent an ordinary human transformed into one, but any sort of living creature can become a skum. A skum has a slimy, scaly skin and a finned tail used for swimming. A skum attacks with its teeth and razor-sharp claws, or with any weapon provided by its master. Skum have darkvision with a range of 60'. They have undergone all the transformations described above, and thus have all the given abilities and limitations (suffocating out of water, requiring wet skin, and so on).

In general, any living creature transformed into a skum gains one hit die, in much the same way as when the dead are animated as zombies. They have at least as many attacks as those given, doing at least as much damage; more powerful creatures transformed into skum have the better of their original combat abilities and those given herein.

In the presence of its aboleth master, a skum becomes totally fearless, having a Morale of 12. If the aboleth master dies its skum enter a frenzied rage, attacking any creature in sight and seeking additional victims when those nearby have been vanquished.
How does this work for everyone? Clear enough? Some of the information needed to actually run an Aboleth/Skum encounter was missing (like the radius of the slime-polluted water, or how long exactly the Skum transformation required) so I made up numbers that seemed reasonable to me.
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