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The Teratologue is here!

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I just downloaded my copy of the Trailblazer Teratologue, and am devouring it now. First impression: this is great!

One quick question to the developers though, just to make sure I'm understanding it correctly: Spine Ratio is the ratio between a monster's CR and Spine CR, right? So, for example, an astral deva (CR 14, Spine CR 5.75) has a Spine Ratio of 0.41 (meaning that it's a "swingy" monster)?

On a side note, I guess that with this, the line of Trailblazer products come to an end. That's really a shame, as I really enjoy these books; they give both insight and overhaul to my favorite game system.
 
I hope it isn't the last. I still hold hope to see a Trailblazer spells and magic book someday. ;)

But I can see how a book this scale can suck one dry. I only helped a little bit to try and catch errors of design, formatting, and some stat block math but the work Chris and Ben did was epic.
 
Is a low Spine Ratio indicative it could be swingy? Here is a relevant quote...

"On the other hand; if the Spine Ratio is less than 1.0, the creature will be less resilient than expected for its CR. Most monsters will naturally fall somewhere between 1.0 and 0.6. If the ratio is much lower—in the range of 0.3 to 0.6— you may be dealing with a “glass cannon.” Such creatures may have special abilities that can be particularly unpredictable, dangerous, or difficult for adventurers to deal with: spells, spell-like abilities, poison, breath weapons, damage reduction, energy drain, special movement modes such as flight, and so forth. A failed saving throw one way or another can swing the entire fight."​
 

Wulf Ratbane

Villager
1) My first child is due in about 4 weeks. So my time will be limited like never before.

2) I know that Chris is frazzled, and yet... He still has stuff he wants to release. Some stuff I cut, and some new stuff he wants to do.

3) Notwithstanding #1, I'd still like to re-release TB in 8.5x11 format (which CreateSpace did not offer when it was first published). At that time I might try to roll in Spells and Magic Items so the SRD would be complete.

4) Yes, the astral deva could be swingy. More than half his CR is invested in non-HD, non-BAB, non-Save abilities. ;)
 
Ooo dear, expecting a kid? Congrats!

I was able to make my edits while my daughter, now 2, was napping or sleeping. I caught some evil glares from my wife if I tried while my baby girl was awake. ;) I could squeeze in some time better when she was stuck in her bouncy seat, but as soon as she went mobile my options were limited to naptime.

Good luck!

Are a Teratologue-format of the Lethids on the distant horizon?
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
I just downloaded my copy of the Trailblazer Teratologue, and am devouring it now. First impression: this is great!
Thanks Alzrius! That really means a lot.

One quick question to the developers though, just to make sure I'm understanding it correctly: Spine Ratio is the ratio between a monster's CR and Spine CR, right? So, for example, an astral deva (CR 14, Spine CR 5.75) has a Spine Ratio of 0.41 (meaning that it's a "swingy" monster)?
Correct. That means the deva's "physical" combat capability and staying power is roughly equivalent to a Dire Bear or a Stone Giant. The bulk of the rest of its CR is invested in its spell-like abilities. The trick with using creatures like this is whether or not it will be able to bring to bear all of its special abilities. You (and the party) know exactly what a dire bear is going to be doing every turn. The more of its special abilities the deva is able to use over the course of combat, the more return on investment it gets from its CR.

And this is where action points provide you with another "drainable" resource: if you want to drain the party's hit points and healing ability, throw a creature with a CR:Spine ratio close to 1:1. If you want to drain their APs, use a creature with a ratio of 2:1 or more.

On a side note, I guess that with this, the line of Trailblazer products come to an end. That's really a shame, as I really enjoy these books; they give both insight and overhaul to my favorite game system.
Never say never. :p Ben and I have a lot of ideas strewn about that we would certainly like to release. I suspect if we do something again, it probably won't be on Kickstarter, or at least not without making sure we have a good chunk of the work done.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
I know that Chris is frazzled, and yet... He still has stuff he wants to release. Some stuff I cut, and some new stuff he wants to do.
Are a Teratologue-format of the Lethids on the distant horizon?
:cool:

I'm pushing hard for a Teratologue cutting-room-floor addendum PDF (which would be free), although it would require some layout work from Ben. I'll def post an update once we have a timeline on when that might happen. I'd like to get it done "soon".
 
I'm pushing hard for a Teratologue cutting-room-floor addendum PDF (which would be free), although it would require some layout work from Ben. I'll def post an update once we have a timeline on when that might happen. I'd like to get it done "soon".
You know I'm here to give another set of eyeballs to catch things if any plan moves forward.
 
Maybe with the rebuild this will come back?

I've seen the download show up in RPGNow. Will other sites that sell .pdfs get this? Is there a link yet to purchase the dead-tree version for those who weren't Kickstarter supporters?

FWIW, while working on the edits for you guys I tried keeping a running document of simply a terse summary of the changes to each creature. Ended up 25 pages long! So to those who say it's just a redo of the free SRD, pshaw!
 

Wulf Ratbane

Villager
So to those who say it's just a redo of the free SRD, pshaw!
Wow, who's saying that?

Chris did a TON of work rebuilding all of the statblocks, especially standardizing all of the abilities to a consistent format.

The dead-tree version is available at Amazon-- but I consider this a "nice to have" and not nearly the "must have" of the PDF.
 
Wow, who's saying that?
Some of the gamers I game with when I'm a player (not the group I DM for). They open it up and see "the same monsters" "just cleaned up".

SMH.

It does open up an opportunity to have a dialog on what changed and why. Most still really appreciate that the blocks are cleaned up immensely.
 

Alzrius

The EN World kitten
I just wanted to mention that I got my print copy in the mail. Yay!

Of course, now I need to pick up a print copy of the main Trailblazer book too. Is it available at Lulu? I don't see a POD option on DTRPG/RPGNow.
 

GlassJaw

Explorer
Some of the gamers I game with when I'm a player (not the group I DM for). They open it up and see "the same monsters" "just cleaned up".
I can't say that I'm surprised. Trailblazer and the Teratologue (and Grim Tales to some extent) are like source code or math textbook. You aren't going to get much out of them with just a cursory glance. However, they will certainly reward the reader that pays close attention to detail and understands the inner workings of the system.

That said, the new special attack format should be immediately noticeable and useful.
 

Wulf Ratbane

Villager
Well, if you want the PDF, you can order it at RPGNow, while the print book is for sale at Amazon.
Thanks, Alzrius!

Also of note, last week I had an international customer inform me that the original Trailblazer was not for sale through Amazon's local print-on-demand service. (And yet, the Teratologue was available...)

This was certainly not by design.

My deduction was simply that the local print-on-demand service was not available to me when Trailblazer launched, so the fix was as simple as going to my publisher dashboard and checking a box.

It should be available soon, if it's not already. There's something Trailblazery-lookin' available at amazon.de but I confess my German isn't what it used to be. (As in, unused since about 8th grade.)
 

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