So I've been looking for a Dreamlands inspired monsters & stumbled across a 'free resource' for Original Dungeons & Dragons. That's when I stumbled upon Ford's Faeries: A Bestiary Inspired by Henry Justice Ford! This is a free Pdf of a hundred & ten pages of old school monster induced goodness. Perfectly suited to get the vibe of HP Lovecraft, Edgar Allen Poe, Lord Dunsany, or even Jack Vance into the ruins & dungeons!
Clocking in at about a hundred & ten pages this book is a perfect addition to any old school game adventure where creatures that the players are not familiar are needed. The addition of the high fantasy & fairy tale element is the icing on the cake for this book. Here's a sample creature called the Aurora child
Armour class: as leather
Hit dice: 1-1 Move: fast on snow and ice, normal otherwise
Attacks: knife (d4) or bow (d6)
No. Appearing: see below
Treasure: stolen goods 800 GP
Special: speak with animals
In the dead of winter, the children of the frozen taigas escape their kingdom of ice and darkness through the emerald gates that sometimes appear with aurora borealis. They venture into the woods to hunt and find supplies, often resorting to rob travelers and plunder isolated settlements. Many stories are told about unpleasant encounters with beautifully dressed, innocent looking children who act like thieves and murderers. Aurora Children do not care for valuables unless they can be worn or sewn into their clothing; they take food and supplies over gold and even magical items. Aurora children can speak with animals, asking them for favours in exchange for food and shelter. They are cunning adversaries, setting traps, using every ruse to avoid life loss on their side, though they have no qualms about killing, or abandoning travellers naked in the snow. Children under eleven are always spared, and sometimes asked to join the Aurora tribe.
When Aurora Children are encountered, roll d6:
- 2d6 children traveling, mounted on reindeers
- 2d10 children setting up an ambush
- 1d10 children and a pack polar bear, looking for supplies
- 3d10 children going on a raid, d6 mounted on giant snowy owls
- 1d10x1d10 children making camp, with assorted helping beasts
- 1 child, intent on leading adventurers into a trap (roll again)
So very close to Original Dungeons & Dragons rules & territory here with a very close to both the Sword & Sorcery aspect of the original books as well as the high fantasy found in fairy tales of yesteryear. Yes this book is done with public domain fairy tale artwork from the works of Henry Justice Ford but its very well done. The monsters here are exciting enough to generate adventures in the dungeon master's imagination.
While the Pdf is free the book of Ford's Faeries: A Bestiary Inspired by Henry Justice Ford is around six dollars US from Drivethrurpg. This is going to be one of my next purchases from Drivethrupg coming up!
The layout is clean, the monsters well done, & the execution very well presented. This is a must have for any old school dungeon master who wants a pack of monsters that are a bit weird, different but actually useful. I dare say that these monsters are perfect for fitting into any old school adventure where a bridge gap is needed between fairy tales & mythology. The dungeon master is given just enough of a thumb nail sketch for them to add these monsters into an existing campaign & not have to look back. Solidly done & very nicely handled I can see using these monsters in just about any campaign. A very well done four out of five because I wish there had been a few more!
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