Thursday, June 1, 2023

OSR Review & Commentary On Creature Classes - A Shadowdark Supplement By James Mishler Games

 "Creature Classes is a new set of ancestry classes designed for use with the Shadowdark RPG. While they can be used as player classes, these classes can also be used to create monstrous enemies of various levels and abilities."

"Ancestry classes are both ancestry and class; the creatures in this booklet advance in level in their ancestry, not in separate classes.

The creature classes has different hit points per level and includes the following ancestry classes:

  • Catkin (d6 hit points per level) are intelligent feline beings who often ally with sylvan creatures.
  • Equizards (d6 hit points per level) are equines descended from normal horses, pegasi, and unicorns.
  • Mind Mice (d4 hit points per level) are strange mutants most often encountered around brain eater lairs.
  • Petty Dragons (d8 hit points per level) are thought to result from incompletely fertilized dragon eggs, and can be found wherever dragons lair.
  • Shimmercats (d8 hit points per level) are strange tentacled felines who possess the magical ability to be elsewhere other than their apparent location.
  • Spirit Foxes (d4 hit points per level) are intelligent magical foxes who can shapeshift into human form.
  • Sternulfs (d6 hit points per level) are intelligent wolves with a special relationship with the gods.
  • Wink Dogs (d6 hit points per level) are intelligent dogs who have the ability to step between spaces.
  • A special Creature Class Background Table is provided for these unusual ancestries.

12 pages (9 pages of content)" 

James Mishler Games & I go way back together. And over the years I've covered a ton of his company's material. So what I'm going to do today is not going to surprise anyone and that's gut Creature Classes - A Shadowdark Supplement From James Mishler Games like a fish. So this supplement clocks in at about twelve pages. These twelve pages are for allowing a player to play animal companion as a PC. This has been very common in Fifth edition and Shadowdark. I personally don't play Shadowdark & that's not because I don't like the game.
So what is the point & use of  Creature Classes - A Shadowdark Supplement From James Mishler Games for our own campaigns? Two words & that's Castles & Crusades. Now I can already hear the flap in the back of my head from the OSR or C&C crowd. We've already got the Mystic Companions for Castles & Crusades book. And my response is exactly! So we've got Catkin,Equizards, Mind Mice, .Petty Dragons,Shimmercats,Spirit Foxes,Sternulfs, & Wink Dogs. Now all of these make excellent NPC's but what I wanna do is bring them into C&C as familars for PC's. And when your playing with husband & wives or other couples. This is a great way for them to adventure together as a couple. And no I'm not making that up I've encountered couples who play together as wizard and familar. 

Or if a PC is killed which they often are in C&C, someone can step into an NPC role as a non human PC. Don't want an elaborate backstory and what not for the familar role on the background table in Creature Classes. You can then really flesh out the animal PC with much more from the table in Mystic Companions. Or and this is the way I would do it through actual play. 
But is 
Creature Classes - A Shadowdark Supplement actually worth it's two dollar price tag? I think so because it expands the options for players at the table top level without the cumbersome need for yet another player's manual that we've seen a glut of in the fifth edition books. And this makes  Creature Classes - A Shadowdark Supplement exceptionally useful because it presents itself in only 12 pages of solid material. 

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