Friday 27 August 2021

The Twisted Menagerie Manual

The Twisted Menagerie Manual is a collection of creatures for the Umerica campaign setting. It was written by Reid San Filippo and Bob Brinkman, with additional content by Daniel J. Bishop, Gilbert Isla, and Tanner Yea. Illustration is by Nate Marcel (including cover), Aaron Robinson, Andrew Walter, Brad Morris, Clip art, David Coppoletti, Diogo Nogueira, Frank Turfler Jr., James V West, Karl Stjernberg, KJ O'Brien, Lee Anthony “Deadpoolrus” DeviantArt (CC BY SA3), Matt Hildebrand, Matt Jordan, and Richard Tingley. The publisher is Shield of Faith Studios, LLC.

Disclaimer: I have an "Additional Content" credit on this for use of the Doomriders from this blog post. This was an unpaid contribution.

What we have here is a hefty collection of creatures, not all of which are "combat-only" types. All of them are at home in the post-Apocalyptical setting of Umerica. Many would be at home in other settings as well, including Mutant Crawl Classics, Hubris, and more vanilla Dungeon Crawl Classics games. Definitely, many of these beings would fit into a Star Crawl or Galaxy Black milieu.

The Umerica setting, from The Umerican Survival Guide onward, does use different rules for armor than the core DCC rules. This book provides everything you need to convert monsters from the Umerica rules to standard rules and vice versa. 

It also contains a section on Boss Monsters, that gives the reader/judge some idea of how to utilize these beings to create the "Big Bad" for an adventure or campaign arc. Overall, it is an extremely impressive piece of work. 

The Twisted Menagerie Manual is brought tangentially as part of a wider Umerica discussion on the Order of the Shanna podcast here. Umerica is discussed on the Glowburn podcast here.

The wild and weird world of Umerica is a dangerous place filled with murderous creatures. It’s a good thing too since XP does not grow on trees! Within these pages dwell a cornucopia of crafty creatures to cram your campaign with consternation and paralyze your party with panic. Each one listed with adventure hooks to help drop them into your game.

Take a look at this selection of monster names from this tome

Apocalypse Ooze • Autogiest • Autovore • Beetle Apes • Blast Shades • Bowel Tyrant 
Can Crabs • Cake Horror • Clown Servants of Buddy O’Burger • Constrictor, Mutant
Corpsenado • Cryo-lurker • Cyber Ghoul • Cyber Saucer Simian • Demolishroom
Dinosaurs • Dinosaurs, Augmented • Dinosaurs, Mutant • Shroomers • Ox Beetles • Pigtipede
The Discarded • Doomrider • Dragon, Biohazard • Dragon, Cryo • Dragon, Forest
Dragon, Gearhead • Holographic Dragon • Robot Dragon • Xeno Dragon • eGhost
Elementals-Data • Elementals-Debris • Elementals-Gun • Falcon Wolf • Flying Laser Ursine
Frab • Fruiti-Slush Ooze • Game Devil • Golem, Junk • Golem, Mannequin • Golem, Plush
Golem, Vehicle • Greenman Swarm • Hippotaur • Iguanadillo • Insect, Mutant
Jack-O-rang-utan • Komo-doans • Linoleumoeba • Lion-Snake • Luck Eater • Menfish
Monitor Lizards • Muckraker • Mutitan • Newt, Aberration • Octowolf • Orbus • Power Wight
Puppetcubi • Quantum Ape • Railipede • Rail Wraith • Reindire • Rerun Wraiths • RoboDevil
Robo-Lich • Robots • Rocker • Rockin’ Wraith • Scorpionoid • Septicraken • Serpent Shrubs
Sharkhana • Shriek • Splice Fiend • Sporefangs • Techno-Mimic • Think Tank • Toycubim
Trapdoor Toadspider • Trashlodyte • Tru-Pet • Un Men • V.E.T.T. • Varrok • Vendibeast
Whalephant • Wraith Rider • Whaaar Mutts • Wheeler Demon • Wrath • Xeno-Locusts
Xenotaur • Xeno Mummy • Yowling Atrocity • Zilla • Blink Zombies • Chrono Zombies
Melting Zombies • Petrol Zombies • Rave Zombies • Silver Zombies
Zombie Monks of the Cyberhive

Besides over 100 brutal beasts, this book also contains a bevy of barbarous Bosses based on a few of the creatures within. Each one listed with a backstory, common followers, motivations, and more.

The icing on the irradiated cake is the Scenario Sketches, a bunch of rough encounter ideas incorporating one or more of the monsters from this tome, all ready to be polished a bit and dropped into your campaign on short notice.

Get It Here!

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