Field Guide to Encounters

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Item Code:  550

Title:  Field Guide to Encounters

Type:  Scenario

System:  Universal Fantasy

Author(s):  Dragon's Byte

Date Published:  1982

Format:  112-page book, 96-page book

Original Price:  $12.00

A new set of rules for fantasy role-playing, Character statistics, classes, and abilities are included in the first volume, along with melee and psionic combat tables and provisions for godhood.  Add to all this are 612 familiar and not-so-familiar Monsters, complete with statistics for them and their environments.

Printing Information

Note: This was originally announced as the Marvelous Mystic Missive of Mighty Meek and Magical Monsters.  Product list is titled "Treasure Vault" with the highest number being 940.

Bob Bledsaw Musings

(From an interview by James Mishler)

"The Dragon's Byte people, a group from Detroit (not related to anything with Kevin Siembieda, also from Detroit, who did some line art for me in í77 and Ď78), contacted me and told me they had around 600 neat monsters that they had developed, based on history, and novels, and their own campaign.  They wanted to know if Iíd be willing to publish it.  I always figured if a Judge wants to include more historical oriented stuff, or odd surprises in his campaign, more power to him.

They also had some high-level rules called the "God Game,' and other system stuff that came with the monsters.  The monsters rules were meant to be added to any system, like Dungeons & Dragons, or Chivalry & Sorcery, and so forth.  It was a universal system, though it wasnít related to the Judges Guild Universal System that was being developed otherwise at the time.

Dragonís Byte had secured permission from the authors such as Lin Carter to use the monsters from the various books used in the Field Guide.  When they told me how many monsters they had I knew I could only have a small description and a single picture each.  Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication with my art director (I think he was on vacation when it was scheduled for production) and none of the artists realized that the pictures were supposed to fit exact descriptions from Dragonís Byte, especially the monsters from the novels.  I didnít see it before it left for printing, and when the Dragonís Byte guys got it they were quite unhappy.

To make a long story short, the choice came down to whether I should let things stand or eat the costs, redo it and pay for another run, and have to lay somebody off.  I just let things stand, apologized the best I could, and told them if it came up for re-print Iíd have the art redone.

I printed 5,000 units.  Our pre-order auto-ships were usually ~3,000 for fantasy-based items and ~1,500 for science-fiction items, so I was confident in publishing 5,000 the first round.  If you sold 3,000 on pre-order, you might sell 500 in the following year, and a few more in subsequent years.

The Field Guide sold well enough, but not enough to do a second printing.  I sold about 3,000 on the auto-ship and got some returns, but not too many, and eventually I sold some more.  In the end I stored ~1,600 in the warehouse, so thatís probably why it is still available in the shrink wrap.

I always liked the cover for that book, with the gorilla in the bed and the giant womanís hand coming through the window.  Didnít like the coloring on that, but it was a fun cover."


by Jeff Rients found here.

Field Guide to Encounters (Book 1)
Field Guide to Encounters (Book 2)