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Monster Menagerie: Threats From Beyond $3.99
Publisher: Rogue Genius Games
by Joshua G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/02/2012 05:36:44

Threats From Beyond, the latest addition to the Mythic Menagerie series from Super Genius Games brings us 8 new threats for the outsider classification. Very good artwork for each creature is always a plus, although I really wish a few more of them had been done in color as opposed to grayscale. Formatting follows the 2 column layout, with a few editing glitches here and there (spell lists not lining up in one of the statblocks, an errant letter left behind from a deleted sentence, and the word bite not having its “e” in the special abilities for Black Dog).

First creature up is the Black Dog, a creature a great deal of us should be familiar with, and I have to say I like the treatment of it here. It's simple, straight forward and true to what the legends of this creature are at their core. And it certainly doesn't hurt that the art conveys the ferocity and overall odd darkness of this particular creature.

The Prismatic Couatl offers up a more chaotic variant to the stricter standard Couatl, and earns my knock for wishing to have seen a color piece of art. The art is fantastic, I just really would have loved to have seen this beast in its full glory. A very cool special ability in the shedding of scales to form a cloud that brings on confusion and glitterdust. The Prismatic Couatl also caused me a moment of confusion in that it covers a page and a half, but following the 2 column layout of reading it is not entirely apparent at first where the entry ends and the next begins. Once you realize how the layout handles this, it ceases to be a problem.

Next up is the Daemon Shax, visually answering that age old question of just what would the child of a goblin and a chimp look like? Lol. The Shax Daemon gets its jollies leading folks to ruin and death at their own hands, helped along by the wickedly cool Suicide gaze special ability that causes those who fail Will save after meeting its gaze to attempt to end their lives. Followed by the Demon, Karkinide, or Crab Demon. A monstrous crablike nightmare of four legs, two humanoid arms and a giant set of pincers, averaging around 7 feet in height, 5 foot in width...and continuing to grow as they age. Very efficient in combat when it comes to utilizing the numbers game against their foes, these demons stack bonuses with each other the more they can get involved in a conflict. Do not get yourself cornered by these things.

The Black Charger can best be described as what a centaur would have been if born in hell. Sadistic and aggressive, these creatures relish the opportunity to challenge new foes, and are at home on the battlefield. Hate Spirits offer up possibly the coolest origin story out of the collection, as they are formed when a powerful being of worship is destroyed while feeling hatred. The immense emotional survives the death of the being, forming into a Hate Spirit, who has an interesting attack form. Its claws and bite do no physical damage, but rather inflict a random curse (small random list supplied).

Hounds of Abaddon are one disturbing looking creature, with the body of a powerful dog roughly the size of a bear, missing its head. In place of a head floats a skeletal powerful jaw. They hunt like wolves, utilizing the pack mentality to formulate attacks upon stronger foes, or drawing out the fear and hopelessness in weaker targets.

We end with the odd creature that I am not sure is properly represented by the artwork depicting it. I can't lie here, I took one look at the artwork and thought tapeworm, instantly. After reading through its entry my thoughts changed, somewhat. The Traveler is a Huge outsider that is basically a long super thin ribbon shaped life form with tiny (in proportion to its main body) hands and eye stalks covering it. It has the capacity to do exactly what you are thinking from its name, travel. Between planes specifically, unerringly, and yes, it can take passengers, if they are willing to pay the cost.

So, wrapping up, some really cool designs, with the occasional editing mishap. Art for every creature, some better than others. Am thinking along the lines of a 4 star for this collection, as there were a few cool creatures here, but also a few not so thrilling (I'm looking at you Black Charger and Traveler)..add to that the occasional editing hiccup and yeah, I'm settling at 4 stars. If Outsiders are your cup of tea however, this just might be a 5 star for you folks, so pick it up and check it out.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Monster Menagerie: Threats From Beyond
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