Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Dungeon Fantasy Monsters 2 Icky Goo

I miss the collage coves.
Why do these keep getting
more and more plain?
This book is surprisingly fun. The title turned me off of buying it for a very long time - a book about exactly one type of enemy. But I was wrong, the book actually includes a ton of variety by having a pick-and-choose build-a-bear type of theme. If build-a-bear was all about creating things that can kill stuff in really bad ways. Let's take a dive into this book and see what we got.


Very practical
table of contents
This is a 22 page book, subtracting the first three pages and the last two pages, that gives us 17 pages of stuff. The book is split into a 15 page chapter containing the slimes, and a 2 page guide to dealing with them in a campaign.
The book is mostly content, in the form of 7 categories of monsters which have several pseudo-lenses each, and a chapter on guidance, with a wee bit of fluff, but not much in the way of new rules. The book easily stands by itself without much need for any other Dungeon Fantasy books, though chances are, if you want this book it is because you already like the rest of the Dungeon Fantasy series. Nonetheless, it can easily be used in any other game where fighting blob monsters is appropriate.
The organization overall makes sense, the illustrations are not anachronistic, and the pull-quotes are, interestingly, often original and very entertaining.
I'm surprised by how interesting this book was, but the small issue for me, and this is subjective, is that it is hard to gauge the difficulties of slime monsters. That said, a lot of the most dangerous ones are easy to outrun, so if you aren't sure as a GM what to do, but you'd like to use these monsters, you can experiment with a lot of them a little more easily in wide open spaces.

The Goo

This chapter is the index of the monsters that make up the majority of the book. It starts with an explanation of the meta-traits that define the majority of the monsters and how that makes these apparently unimpressive monsters very dangerous indeed. We then go into the index proper.
The number 7 sounds unimpressive but most of the slimes come with a slew of customization options, custom built for a random roll by the way, that really stretch these numbers. For example, Fungi has 6 short range and long range options respectively, and each variety has at least one of each. This means that there are actually close to 4,000 (if my math is correct, exactly 3,969) combinations for the one monster. This number in practice is probably much lower, as when you have two equally awful abilities, like two high level afflictions that both effectively incapacitate a target for the remainder of the battle, then besides flavorful semantics, it doesn't make too much of a difference. That said, most of these options are interestingly unique.

Slimin' It

This chapter is GM guidance for how to incorporate slimes into the setting, like what skills identify slimes, how can you extract a profit from them, and what biomes they all inhabit. The section is disappointingly short, but that's because what little content there is- is enough to whet the appetite, but not enough to sate. To repeat, what is in those two pages is golden, but I wish it kept going on and on.

Other Thoughts

The monsters for the most part sound pretty challenging in comparison to most starting parties in a Dungeon Fantasy setting, so outside of Dungeon Fantasy, you'll need decent levels to handle most of these. I think one missing interesting remix factor that wasn't touched on is that a lot of the slime lenses could easily be associated with other monsters to horrifying effect. A Dire Wolf with the color coding powers of molds for example, could be interesting and frightening.
Overall, the book is surprisingly good, and if you are looking for more monsters I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

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