Beggars Review: Field Guide to Encounters Vol.'s 1 and 2
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 10:26 am 
 

Tired of the same old monsters from the Monster Manuals offered in D&D and AD&D?
Want to see some monsters that will shock and awe your players?
Or even make them laugh?
Do you know the stats for Toast?
What about Burnt Toast?
How about the Tinkler? (Pees Un-Holy Water as an attack vs good PCs; a 1/2 hit dice creature)
OK, All fun aside, FWIW: Not all the entries are like the examples listed above...
Although there are a few silly critters, for the most part the creatures in the two books are quite serious and challenging encounters.
Get these books and spice up your table top or on-line fantasy game.

The two books combined list over 780 creatures!

Field Guide to Encounters: By Dragon's Byte.
Judges Guild's answer to the D&D Monster manual and so much more.

Vol. 1: 110 numbered pages.
Starts with 12 pages on Character Creation, Poison Resistance, Power Points and Manitou Combat, Lycanthropes (3 pages) and Magic.

33 pages of Occupations with descriptions for NPCs (And/Or PC Secondary skills, prior to becoming adventurers).

174 Humanoid Intelligent and Semi-Intelligent Monsters (NPCs, or Character Monsters).
Each creature includes a detailed stats chart, and sketch.

15 pages on Godhood and mutations.
Crossbreeding table. (IE. Bear and Troll)
Blank Character sheet at back inside page.

Image

Vol. 2:  94 numbered pages.
Over 600 additional monsters and humanoid creatures (encounters).
Each creature includes a detailed stats chart, and sketch.
Psionics data with attack and damage charts.

Image

Within these two volumes are so many new and old monsters and NPC types, that as a Judge (DM/GM) you should be set for encounters for a long time.
The Players might know most or even all the monsters in the PHB (Whatever edition you play), or the Monsters and treasure Book (Castle & Crusades) or whatever monster manual for whatever system you play in, but I bet they wont know even half the monsters offered in these two books.
Even though they were intended to be sold as a set, You do not need either of them to use the other book.
Taken as a single book, or as a set they are quite useful.

These books can often be obtained through E-Bay for less than $10 each (Likely less).
Or if you have only a little patience, BINs for them are common at higher prices.
(I have seen them with BINs as low as $4.00 and as high as $35.00 for Volume 1 alone)
However, I just purchased like new copies of both volumes through seperate auctions on E-Bay.
I was the only bidder on the two books so I won both auctions at the starting price of $2.88 each from the same seller.
Combined shipping was $3.50.
So for $9.26 total, I will soon have like new copies of both books.

For the entertainment value alone these books are easily worth that much and more... (Around $10 total, not $35 for one of them 8O )


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Stated by me as a PC during a run of Tegel Manor DMed by killjoy at NTRPGCon 2010

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Post Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:10 pm 
 

Bump for Plaag to post link in stikie...


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Post Posted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:27 pm 
 

Done 8)

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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:18 am 
 

This two-booklet set used to go unsold for 99 cents!  It is a nice example of the qirky Judges Guild publishing history.

These booklets were the special monster manual for some group's house role-playing game.  Bob Bledsaw decided to print them....which would never have happened anywhere but Judges Guild.


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Post Posted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:07 am 
 

Quirky is an understatement. Of all the demons, acts of violence or perversity depicted in RPGs, I find the illustrations in these books to be the most disturbing of all.

  

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Post Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:27 am 
 

I need to get those out again and remember what you're talking about.  8O

I found most of Field Guide to Encounters to be either redundant or completely silly...starting with the cover illustration.

Also - I was a little bit narked that this very large two book publication wasn't really a D&D book.

Wait - Have you seen Carcosa?


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Post Posted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:14 am 
 

Hmm, I think I have these somewhere. If not, I will have to get them. I may have not picked them up due to the covers alone, but that is simple foolishness...


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Post Posted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:36 am 
 

FormCritic wrote:I need to get those out again and remember what you're talking about.  8O

I found most of Field Guide to Encounters to be either redundant or completely silly...starting with the cover illustration.

Also - I was a little bit narked that this very large two book publication wasn't really a D&D book.

Wait - Have you seen Carcosa?


I'm thinking of the Puppetmaster (monsters in vol. II), his associated minions the Tinkles, & the cover.

I haven't seen Carcosa, but I imagine the depravity is explicitly evil? With Field Guide to Encounters, the demons are hiding within the realm of human vice, & the vice itself is implicit. Just like real demons. Viewers must reach the conclusion of depravity on their own, thus identifying it as their own. So the seeds of corruption are sewn.

That gorilla is an ancient evil, something thrown down from heaven long ago & scheming for revenge ever since. It wants to take everything good of human existence, & warp it into something as horrible as its own heart.

I found these volumes too unsettling to keep in my own library & disposed of them some time ago. Give me the pretend evil from adventure stories, where the demons are clearly identified with horns or cloven feet, & good is possible. The spirits within Field Guide to Encounters are whispering to us - there is no hope, the world is a dung heap, no soul is worth saving.

Read these volumes if you must for your studies, but guard yourself against the darkness.

  

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Post Posted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:57 pm 
 

Once one gets past the completely inane monster listings, there is actually a treasure trove of awesomeness within these pages.  I have formulated many adventure ideas off the brief monster descriptions therein.  One must look pretty close at this product, to make it useful, though.  One of my favorite monsters is the Collector of Eyes.  Imagine your adventuring party stumbling upon a remote village, where many of the inhabitants stumble around with vacant eye sockets, and the rest are completely demoralized and listless...

  


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Post Posted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:12 pm 
 

I believe I found the source of the ape on the cover: a b/w promo photo on p.10 of Famous Monsters of Filmland #156 (Aug/79). The JG cover looks like it was copied as exactly as possible from the photo. It's for a movie called Vortex in the magazine, but which was released in 1980 with the title THE DAY TIME ENDED / Vortex Productions. Described here along with stills of the relevant monster mid-way down the page:
13: THE DAY TIME ENDED / Vortex Productions - 1980

  
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