Saturday, September 18, 2021

Reviews & Commentary A Groats-worth of Grotesques From The Skull as a Complete Gentleman Co By G. Edward Patterson III For Your Old School Campaigns

Being a SYSTEM-AGNOSTIC Role Playing supplemental treatise ON MONSTERS; which is to say a BESTIARY for your Tabletop Games of Fantasy. Styled in the manner of the Baroque Period; a Curiosity Cabinet of Creatures for enlivening the table!"

"The over 100 entries were gathered out of sundy authors, philosophers, physicians, and poets; sacred and profane. The illustrations are collages of diverse prints and emblems. From the lowly ant to the earth shattering Behemoth, the mundane dog to the alien Ch M G, this collection is a rollicking gambol through history and myth"

A Groats-worth of Grotesques* from G. Edward Patterson III, came in the mail today. This is so very cool, what A Groats-worth of Grotesques is actually is an in universe 'Monster Manual'. A Groats-worth of Grotesques is made up of creatures, monsters, & nasties done with public domain artwork. But done so in such a way as to take many Middle Ages creatures & animals with a brand new OSR spin. 

A Groats-worth of Grotesques takes these familar animals & turns them on their ears! We get ants with alien 'in universe' qualities that takes the ant in a completely new direction. There's two hundred and fifty one pages of monsters & creatures. These are done in a complete OSR fashion. This means that the OSR retroclone of your choice can now feature a familiar animal with completely different spin. So you can get the drop on your players with some really nasty or normal creatures. 

Ants for example make friends & enemies of other insects. These can be vary dangerous for farmers or other food stuff producers in OSR & D&D style games! This is only the start of this. 

G. Edward Patterson III does an excellent job of taking these monsters in weird & different directions. This means that you can get maxium adventure or encounter utility out of the monster or creature from A Groats-worth of Grotesques.The set up is familiar & yet weird for your OSR adventures. 
The idea that another world or campaign setting is actually different from a creature or biological standpoint is going to keep players on their toes. The illustrations while public domain are put to excellent use. The monsters are colourful & engaging. There's a ton of stuff going on in A Groats-worth of Grotesques
These are all push overs and there's a touch of the alien about many of these familiar creatures of myth & legend. 

Many of these creatures & monsters looks like they would feel right at home in a wide variety of OSR systems. Some these in my mind include Lamentations of the Flame Princess, Lion & Dragon, & even B/X Dungeons & Dragons. A Groats-worth of Grotesques is also perfect for a mythic or Middle Ages Castles & Crusades game! 

 So what can you actually do 
A Groats-worth of Grotesques?! The monsters & creatures of 'A Groats-worth of Grotesques' is perfect for setting up a Fairytale land or plane. These monsters could also be used nicely as a Jim Henson 'Labyrinth' style game setting dressing or adventure potential! Other uses spring to mind include the following. 

Many of these creatures & monsters could well be used as unusual & rare monsters as magical or Fey disease vectors within old school or OSR campaigns. The idea that the monsters from 'A Groats-worth of Grotesques' could serve as the basis for a magical or Fairyland related plague for an OSR game isn't far fetched at all. 
So is 
A Groats-worth of Grotesques worth getting?! In my humble opinion, 'oh Hell yes it is!' And its only recently that we discovered that the Keep Off The Borderlands podcast back in May had covered A Groats-worth of Grotesques

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