As advertised, I've been working on Glimpse of the Abyss, and have now made it through pretty much all of the existing text, revising and editing as I go.
As expected, with this done, the book is going to need some more stuff to fill it up, which I'll be writing. Does anyone have any requests about the kinds of creatures they'd like to see? Either by type ("Feng Shui needs beholders and dragons") or narrative function ("In my campaign, I've run out of ally-monsters who can visually fit into normal contemporary society when they need to") or juncture or whatever.
Please do not post detailed specifics of some creature you want to see, and definitely don't post full creature write-ups to this thread. I can't use 'em, for obvious reasons. Also, keep in mind that you won't necessarily see everything you ask for.
Dragons. I wrote some up for a campaign and they work a treat. Everyone knows they're big, hard and evil.
Make them similar in power to the Oriental dragons in Thorns, maybe even call 'em 'Wyrms' and write up a Transformed Wyrm package. Of course, they die easily when there isn't enough magic around, but tricking them into a low magic place would make an excellent goal for a party that couldn't take it ordinarily.
Other than that, plunder the annals of cryptozoology. Mokole Mbembe, Bigfoot, Nessie, Orang Pendek, Chupacabra, that kind of thing.
Maybe stuff you might encounter in an urban environment, or the slums of Victorian London if there aren't already such things in there.
First, is the book made for the general "action movie role playing game"-genre (like "Friends of the dragon") or is it made for the Feng Shui background?
I would prefer the last one. This means, not only dragons, but specific dragons in the Netherworld or 69 juncture, specific kung fu cybermonsters designed by the buro, infiltrating demons on the run from section 44 of the HKPD, ghost allies of the silver dragons, new demon assassins for the lotus etc. So yes, sorted by juncture / narrative function / faction would be nice.
Make the new creatures, interesting and unusual combinations of already existing FS-monsters and of course, since this game is an eastern martial arts action movie role playing game: research and describe asian monsters from the mythology of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Tibet etc. I have enough DnD MMs and resources (or internet links) about western monsters (or monsters inspired by western mythology) but my knowledge (and my creativity) about eastern fantasy creatures is not really great.
The describtion could include a picture (or better: a picture showing them in action), a description of their lifestyle/living habits, daily life, area of origin, their strength and weaknesses in combat, their special schticks and tricks, which set them apart from other monsters, their use and importance in the secret war, their numbers (are ogres common monsters in 69? Are black lotus assassin avengers common knowlege in the netherworld or are they the secret weapon of the ice queen?), some quick adventure hooks and stats for named and unnamed versions.
The biggest thing on my wishlist for Glimpse, is to "Blow it up" a little. Show us some of the neat nooks and crannies. Show us who's really in charge down there. Show us how Sites work in the Underworld.
I'd sure like to have the opportunity to put more info into the hands of my players too. New schticks, new abilities, new hooks, new enemies, new mooks.
An answer to the question: How exactly does -time- work in the Underworld?
Secondary question: Who knows what about the Secret War in the Underworld?
Tertiary question: What are they doing about it?
There's a lot of untouched ground that the Creatures need filled in. When it is released, I will be a happy person.
What about some kind of animal/monster handler? Either a lone cook that has mastered walking the underworld and has a knack with monsters or maybe a dog catcher like group.
I'm not looking for another society, there are plenty of those. But somekind of mortal vet that's sort of neutral in the secret war. Depending on how players treat him, he could be a handy ally or constant thorn in their side.
Earlier in this thread someone mentioned Chupacabra. While Feng Shui is clearly an Asian inspired game, it would be nice to see some monsters from myth and lore from other cultures.
Given that European lore is the easiest to do, I'd avoid it. Feng Shui has a worldly feel to it. Creatures from North and South America would be nice, maybe India and the Phillipines.
Another possiblity, what if creatures from different cultures interbreed? So what happens when a Chinese serpent from the 69 juncture interbreeds with Chupacabra from the 1800's juncture? What if the "baby" is altered by the future juncture?
I think there's a lot of potential just by tapping into the 'world market' of monsters. Such an act may also make the game slightly more accesible to those not interested in Asian setting the game possesses.
[color=darkblue]PLEASE keep Glimpse as generic as possible.
I want Unnamed, unspecific mook beasties that I can slap into an adventure scenario. But I hate it when supplements and sourcebooks take up valuable space to design some goofy-ass Named dude that I'm not gonna use in a million years in my own campaign. I guess I'm just egomaniacal, but I enjoy the guys I create soooo much more.
Save the specific Named people for faction sourcebooks.
So give me stats and a description for Babbling Underworld Devil Pygmies, yes yes yes! But please do not give me two pages of info on Mr. Squiggles, THE Babbling Underworld Devil Pygmy, with extensive notes on his preferred fu schticks, where he lives, what he eats, his favorite color, his plans for this weekend, etc etc.
I can make my own Named dudes in about 3.6 seconds. I don't need a sourcebook for that. I do enjoy sourcebooks for ideas, though. So let's keep it generic.
[color=green][PS: Jeff... if you actually need anyone to help you stat out a Babbling Underworld Devil Pygmy, just let me know. I'm all over that.]
Maybe it's just me, but when I heard of the book I thought it was going to be all about demons and evil monsters in Feng Shui. The stuff that the Lotus summons and traffic with, and the Buro chops up for troops. That's what I'd like to see. A global feel sounds nice and all, but I doubt the Lotus has much dealings with Irish redcaps and Native American giant cannibal women. On the other hand, the Buro -does- get around, what with their global dominance and all. As far as quasi-specific ideas go, what about "non-humans" like the warrior villains in the films "The Heroic Trio" and "Black Mask"? Big, inhuman fighters who look human, but we have no idea -what- they really are.
But I'd also like to suggest/request that it has more info on PC Creatures, Abominations, Ghosts, and so forth. New character shticks. New Archetypes (Abomination Ghosts sound like lots of fun!). And maybe notes on how to turn the creatures in the book into PC versions? Or how to turn Archetypes into monsters? Players think they've seen ever kind of Hopping Vampire? Throw a Hopping Kung-Fu Master at them!
So my initial reaction was as a book that's suppose to focus on monsters, maybe the material mentioned above isn't appropriate. However I got to thinking about it, and the fact is this may be the last Feng Shui book, ever. With that in mind, it might be nice to include some crunchy bits that the long term fans have always dreamed about/for.
It may be too late already, but some things I would like to see:
-a discussion on the possible types: the unstoppable monster, the monster hordes, the dumb brute, the combat master, the smart monster...
-unnamed monsters to serve as summonned mooks to the big bad sorcerer.
-examples of named monsters which can be the center of a cult or organisation because: they can reproduce (insect queen type), they can transform or dominate humans (vampire types), or they can blend in and provide power or money. They interest me because they can esaily become the center of a story. Otherwise, I am moderately interested by random named monsters I can create myself as needed.
-summoning monsters: some examples of how to go about it, including how to handle a pact (a spell for multiple summoning of unnamed monsters would be nice too). How to deal with the summoning magic schtick which can completely rout opposing monsters.
-some discussion of human turned to monsters (from arcanotech use, or from the monster power for instance): psychology, role in society, cures... Other sources of transformation or enhancement?
-Although I don't think I will ever use it in a campaign, I enjoyed the few pages on possible critical shifts at the end of the guiding hand sourcebook. So something similar but monster centered.
-Clarifications of some monster powers, especially limits on the powers which allow to boost caracteristics and skill AVs.
The majority of entries have full stats for both named and unnamed versions, so both types needs should be met. (Though the named versions are generally not exhaustively profiled; most remain generaically useful.)
I'd be interested in the hellish forms of real world creatues - hell hounds, black cats, Poe's raven, night mares, etc. (with maybe some hellish dragons to tie in better with an Asian flair).
And then maybe some infamously damned individuals/stereotypes kicking back in the Underworld - knights/crusaders, inquisitors, Mongols, Huns (Attila's not the Kaiser's), lost Japanese battalions, Flight 19 (? - the one that "disappeared" in the Bermuda Triangle - possessed Avengers strafing downtown Hong Kong!).