Tuesday, January 11, 2011

MyD20 Lite Bestiary: Looking Ahead...

Good Evening, All:

Today, I'm just taking a few moments to look ahead at the third book of the MyD20 Lite product line, the Bestiary. While it would be pretty easy for me to simply redo the SRD monsters for MyD20 Lite, I think that this is an opportunity to create the kind of bestiary that I'd really like to have for my campaigns. I've always been a big fan of having many, many monsters at my disposal, so that I have options in the adventures that I run. The more monsters I have, though, the longer it will take to compile and finalize the book's content.

In 1st Edition, Monster Manual had over 350 monsters, while Monster Manual 2 added 250 more to the list. (I don't know how many Fiend Folio had.) This implies about 600 monsters to have some good selections.

I don't have an accurate count of 2nd Edition monsters, so I'll have to guess. Based on Echohawk's incredible spreadsheet of monsters, 2nd Edition appears to tag about 7901 monsters, but that includes EVERYTHING, not just the core monsters (and may include duplicates). Using just the Monstrous Compendium Volumes One and Two, it comes up to around 580, while the compiled Monstrous Manual that came out later to replace the monstrous compendia offers 779 monsters.

3E jumps up the offering yet again. Between the five 3E/v3.5 Monster Manuals and the 3E Fiend Folio, there are over 2200 monsters available for selection, which averages out to about 370 monsters a book. Not every monster manual contained that many entries, of course, particularly toward the end of the series. However, if I recall correctly, there are more than 600 monsters in the first Monster Manual alone.

With these figures in mind, I'd venture to guess that, at a minimum, a good, solid core Bestiary should contain at least 600 monsters, and possibly offering up to 800 monsters or even more. Other third-party bestiaries brag in their advertisements when they have 200 or more monsters, but they aren't replacing the core monster manuals. Instead, they are supplementing the core with additional monsters. At a minimum, the 550+ monsters found in the SRD are likely to be the least I could reasonably offer and still provide enough diversity to meet my own gaming needs, much less the needs of others.

What do you think? What's a good target number of monsters for the MyD20 Lite Bestiary to cover? What would you want to see in a monster book of this ilk?

With Regards,

1 comment:

James said...

I think that as long as you cover what was in the 3.5 SRD for MMI and anything from the AD&D MMI then it'll be fine.

Anything else you can cover is a bonus, and the "more the merrier"!