Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Adversaries and monsters - Layout concepts

So I've taken Rey's rough cut of the monster template (and sample beasts) and had a stab at the layout. Was really looking forward to designing the bestiary but so far it's proved more frustrating than rewarding. Results to date are satisfactory. Have posted work-in-progress for y'all.

The bestiary will most likely group monsters by environment and will be sorted from Ambient through to Minor, Major & Boss class (low to high challenge). The hope is that this organisation will make it easy for GMs to identify an appropriate adversary with minimal fuss. Clustering the creatures by play zone should also give a nice holistic view of each ecosystem.

Boss monsters will have the most complex layout. Maybe illustrated special attacks, strike points and additional forms/mutations. Will be a 3-4 page entry.

Minor & Major will be quite similar to each other in terms of presentation. Depending on the creature it may include a few of the boss layout elements. Prolly 1-2 page entry.

Ambient covers notable flora and fauna. May not even require a stat block and be 1/2 page (or less) entry.

1st spread of Psycho-Armour (boss) Note: Another page with additional info is needed

War Bruun (major)

Design thoughts

The War Bruun pages feels a little dull. Maybe a size chart and location map could add a little more visual interest (as well as being useful). Possibly my current typography system is too minimal.

The stat block needs more design love (introducing more of the icons I've developed elsewhere, making it visually distinctive, etc) It should be the main focus of the page, and I rather crudely achieved this by making it a black slab and thus introduced some serious legibility issues (small, light type reversed out of black?! that won't print well either)

The other design choice I'm struggling with is whether the main image should be more technical in nature (side/front elevation) or be more of a flavour/mood illustration. Hmmm.


Note: Drawings are not final representations and are still pretty rough/embryonic (though am quite pleased with chib saddle-helm)


  1. Oh Rey...

    1. I added a one line description for each monster under the title
    2. I moved tactics to after attacks (they are related)
    3. I split notes into abilities and weaknesses. Weakness can encompass strike points and abilities would include all non-attack based skills/powers (although I'm not 100% sure of the intention for notes)
    4. I explicitly listed aptitude values rather than force people to reference the calling charts

    1. I like these changes and will update my notes accordingly.

      These pages remind me of all the things I like about monster books. The little attack pictures are especially nice and the strike point diagram for the Psycho-Armor is exactly what I want it to be, visually at least. (I have to fix up my text, but it is rough after all)

      Really, seeing these is a big help - it let's me figure out exactly what I want to clean up and/or elaborate on as I go further along.

    2. Also...
      Added number in appearing and intellect too.
      Kind of want to add size tag (Will size have any effect on general rules?)

      One idea I'm having for the text (in the broader rule set) is to bullet out and demarcate mechanical rules. So attacks would fall into this type of content.

      I'll mock something up so you can see what I mean. It might bloat the design though, and imbedding the information in a paragraph as you have is very efficient and flexible so might not be a go-er.

    3. It's always going to be a contest between giving as much usable information as possible while keeping it all manageable, but I think it's possible.

      The bullet point rules are definitely good.