Dragonbane Bestiary Release Date Announced

60+ new monsters coming later this month

Free League announced the release date for the Dragonbane Bestiary: February 24, 2024

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From the press release:

Oh, will no good deed go unpunished? I suppose time will tell, but right now things are looking bleak indeed. I have wandered, ridden, climbed, crawled, and swum all over this earth; I have spoken with all manners of creatures, observed, analyzed, and recorded almost everything worth knowing about the people and beings of the world. And yet here I am, unthanked and crouched in a godforsaken crevice, hunted by several of the creatures that I’ve graciously included in my catalog. How astoundingly rude!
– Theodora Sneezewort, one of a kind

From cat people to chimeras, fairies to frog people, hippogriffs to hydras, and many more – creatures both wondrous and horrifying are crawling, slithering, climbing and flying closer towards us all! We are happy to announce that our upcoming Bestiary for our critically acclaimed fantasy RPG Dragonbane is set to release on February 27.

The Dragonbane Bestiary includes no less than 63 creatures, each brought to life in text and art, as well as a random encounter and a seed for a complete adventure. Among these fantastic beings, there are nine new playable kin included, each with their own unique ability.

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The hardcover is available for pre-order for 483.00 kr (about US$46.58) and the collector’s edition for 768.00 kr (about US$74.06). Both pre-orders will give immediate access to a PDF of the book provided through DriveThruRPG. A set of 64 cardboard standee pawns is also available for pre-order for 258.00 kr (US$24.87).
 

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

Staffan

Legend
So between the core rule book having 15 individual creatures and another entry for common animals, then this having 63 more entries, is the game more about humanoids heroes versus humanoid villains and less about monsters being the more common challenge heroes face or can face in D&D game? Will there be more bestiaries for the game or was the original similar? Also thanks in advance for people taking the time to reply with their experience from the new game as well as the original DB.
The version most Swedish gamers think of when they think of "the original" Drakar och Demoner is more properly version 2. Version 1 was more or less a straight translation of BRP + Magic World (with some changes), while version 2 was reworked into being a bit more of its own thing and was the first version to have the classical Elric painting on the cover. This edition consisted of a 64-page book in G5 format (somewhere between A4 and A5) plus assorted paraphernalia (dice, adventure, etc.), and the monster chapter took up 13 pages in said book with most monsters getting about half a page. As I recall, the core book was light on regular animals. Then you had the bestiary, Monsterboken, which I think also had 64 pages and about a hundred creatures split between regular animals, humanoids, magical beasts, and undead. There's a content list here, but it's in Swedish so I don't know how much good it will do you. Later, a Monsterboken II was released with a similar split but also having a chapter about dinosaurs and one about elemental creatures.

One of the best features of Monsterboken and Monsterboken II were the illustrations. Pretty much all the monsters were drawn by Nils Gulliksson, looking like this:
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If you're a Free League aficionado, you may have run across these before – they got the rights to reuse these rather heavily in Forbidden Lands (because Forbidden Lands started out as a stretch goal when they were making an art book collecting Gulliksson's art). To my eye, Gulliksson's B/W art is among the best RPG art I've seen, and it compares favorably to any 80s TSR B/W art I've seen.

Even later, in 1990, a boxed set bestiary (Drakar och Demoner Monster, known as "Monsterboxen" or "The Monster box") was released, with more of a focus on fantastical creatures and most mundane ones relegated to a number of templates. This box also provided a preview of the new rules that would be released in 1991, including giving creatures not intended for being PCs fixed stats instead of dice. Unfortunately, they made heavy use of non-Gulliksson art.
 

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S'mon

Legend
So between the core rule book having 15 individual creatures and another entry for common animals, then this having 63 more entries, is the game more about humanoids heroes versus humanoid villains and less about monsters being the more common challenge heroes face or can face in D&D game? Will there be more bestiaries for the game or was the original similar? Also thanks in advance for people taking the time to reply with their experience from the new game as well as the original DB.

Looking at the Secret of the Dragon Emperor adventures, it's roughly 50-50 whether the PCs fight true Monsters or NPCs, with NPC including orcs, goblins, skeletons et al.
 

S'mon

Legend
The biggest difference from modern D&D is that there is much more emphasis on non-violent encounter resolution. Violence can easily get you killed or maimed. Many creatures are happy to talk, even many undead, and you get an XP check for resolving at least one encounter peacefully each session.
 

aramis erak

Legend
So between the core rule book having 15 individual creatures and another entry for common animals, then this having 63 more entries, is the game more about humanoids heroes versus humanoid villains and less about monsters being the more common challenge heroes face or can face in D&D game? Will there be more bestiaries for the game or was the original similar? Also thanks in advance for people taking the time to reply with their experience from the new game as well as the original DB.

Here's a list, not counting the ones in the adventure, most of which are close variants. C is Core, B is Bestiary

The list of PC Races: Human (C), Halfling (C), Dwarf (C), Elf (C), Mallard (C), Wolfkin (C), Orc (B), Ogre (B), Goblin (B), Hobgoblin (B), Frog People (B), Karkion (B), Cat People (B), Lizard People (B), Satyr (B)
(order is that used on the random race table)
There are also a number of NPC templates that are not race specific.
TypeNPC/Monster Data atPC?
Ant PeopleB. 44
BasiliskB. 70
Beetle KinB. 46
Brook HorseB. 72
CalydonB. 74
Cat PeopleB. 16P
CentaurB. 18
ChimeraB. 76
Common AnimalsC. 99
DemonC. 85
Demon, BloodB. 136
Demon, ChaosB. 138
Demon, FireB. 140
Demon, GuardianB. 144
Demon, ShadowB. 146
DragonC. 86
Dragon, AdultB. 128
Dragon, AncientB. 130
Dragon, HatchlingB. 124
Dragon, YoungB. 126
FairyB. 20
Frog PeopleB. 22P
GhostC. 87
GhostB. 106
GhoulB. 108
GiantC. 88
Giant AmoebaB. 78
Giant OctopusB. 80
Giant SpiderC. 89, B. 82
Giant, ForestB. 60
Giant, MountainB. 62
GoblinC. 90, B. 6P
GolemB. 142
GriffonC. 91, B. 84
HarpyC. 92, B. 24
HippogriffB. 86
HobgoblinB. 8P
HydraB. 88
KarkionB. 26P
LindwormB. 132
Living DeadB. 110
Lizard PeopleB. 28P
ManticoreC. 93, B. 90
MedusaB. 92
MermaidB. 30
MinotaurC. 94, B. 32
MummyB. 112
NaiadB. 34
OgreB. 10P
OrcC. 95, B. 12P
PegasusB. 94
RocB. 96
SatyrB. 36P
Sea GiantB. 64
Sea SerpentB. 98
SkeletonC. 96, B. 114
Spider KinB. 48
Swan MaidenB. 38
TitanB. 66
Tree KinB. 40
TrollC. 97
Troll, CaveB. 52
Troll, ForestB. 54
Troll, MountainB. 56
VampireB. 116
Vampiric BatsC. 99
WerewolfB. 100
WightC. 98, B. 118
Will-o’-the-WispB. 120
WorgB. 102

I'll note as well - 3 sessions in, 5 PCs died. Only one player is not on character #2. Don't try to run it like D&D - the random monster mechanic coupled with monsters hit automatically... it's BRUTAL.
 


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