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Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology $19.99 $5.00
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Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology
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Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology
Publisher: Channel M Publishing
by Michael T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/26/2019 12:55:18

“The Hex Scouts Guide to Cryptozoology” is a supplement for the Witch Girls Adventures role-playing game that deals with a girl-scout like organization for the magical girl.

Anyone who liked the “Secret Saturdays” cartoon shouldn’t hesitate to pick this up immediately!

A great idea with a terrific backstory and organization. It makes it very easy to get into the structure of a game with “earning badges” consisting of very interesting and varied adventures.

It is a 98 page PDF, with most of the book (around 67 pages) consisting of a ‘monster manual’. The rest is detailing the nature and organization of the “Hex Scouts”.

The PDF has readable fonts but it is on the dark brown ‘parchment’ like background that is extremely unpleasant to read. Searching the PDF is especially difficulty because it’s almost impossible to tell the highlighted word from the background.

There is color art scattered throughout some of it appropriate to the text, some of it not. It mostly depicts Hex-scouts ‘day-in-the-life’ scenes. The style is ...unusual. Almost like stained glass with rich colors. A step up from the “Super Crusader” art if you’re familiar with that style.

I’m not sure why thematically a blood splat marks the page numbers, but it does the job.

Personally I don’t think it even comes close to the art in the “Witch Girls Adventures” core rulebook. It’s not out of place and better than nothing but I wouldn’t call it “playful” or “inspiring” either.

The art for the badges and chapter separators (mostly just badges) is very good and very inspiring for the material.

All in all it does what it says on the tin and gives enough material to easy creating an episodic game of the adventures of a troop of young witches.

What is there is excellent and will be perfect for setting up an easy to run game with a varied cast of characters who can come and go as the players schedules allow (something very much needed in today’s busy world). So if you’re looking to run a “open” game, I can’t think of a better way to organize it.

A great history and background, an explanation of the organization and specifics on meetings and events make it very gameable.

Earning “Badges” is done by accomplishing a certain number of missions, with the older girls getting the more complex missions. The missions are open-ended enough that getting them will be fun and not subject to the “leveling-up” mentality prevalent in a lot of RPGs. There are 12 badges described and all of them seem interesting to play.

For example, earning the “Mermaid” badge requires visiting a total of 12 oceans - including earth and other realms. The adventures practically write themselves.

The scouting activities are well described and inspire great ideas for wholesome adventure where combat isn’t necessary or expected (mostly).

Four new Cliques are added: A horse rider, an archer, a monster whisperer and totem spirit watcher.

Skills gives some new skills are added: Animal Training, including a list of the tricks the animals can be taught.

Crafts including example difficulties and time to craft. It mentions “Wealth” with no explanation as to what that is.

Fighting: Range Weapon is also given, along with a list of nine maneuvers its possible to do with this skill.

Herbalism skill and Languages along with a list of “exotic” languages.

Medicine is also given along with eight example difficulties and modifiers for the type of patient.

Riding skill and Survival skill along with seven example difficulties.

Track along with 5 different example difficulties and terrain modifiers.

Cryptozoology is considered a Magical skill and is a knowledge skill.

An absolutely excellent skill section that doesn’t skimp on the details.

New scout/nature oriented talents are also given: Capricious, Environmentalist, Flower-child, Naturalist, Relentless and Survivalist.

Heritages are also given: Moon Maiden, Monster (with monster examples), Summoner and Shape-shifter all with a good amount of details.

The Magic section gives examples of Summoning and Summoning spells and Totem Bonds with two pages of examples.

Another excellent and well-detailed section. It might be too many rules for some, but they are all well written, detailed and distinctly different from anything else, and well-suited to magical scouts.

The Equipment section is not and has not only a fine selection of camping equipment but “Add ons” which for a cost can add abilities to the weapons as well.

Finally there is the rest of the book - the Cryptids.

It first describes several pocket dimensions where cryptids are kept in a form of magical nature preserves.

Cryptids are given a sort of “Challenge Rating” that compares their difficulty to defeat with the equivalent “Stars” and “Groups of Stars”.

The Cryptid descriptions are pretty standard “monster manual” descriptions and all take up one or two pages.

They give some extra information in terms of the locations where they are likely to be found and their motivations and some “common traits” that can be chosen that mean that not every cryptid of the same type will behave the same way.

They also give some ‘hooks’ that are good for inspiring an adventure and ‘facts’ that can be used to for researching.

Also, every cryptid is illustrated and truthfully, while I’m not very fond of the ‘human’ depictions in this book I think the cryptid illustrations are excellent and evocative. Forget everything I said before! Go figure.

There are some ‘classic’ monsters and some entirely original ones (at least new to me). These descriptions are overflowing with plot ideas and this is something I WILL be using and WOULD be willing to get a printed copy of! Though please get a white background!

The variety is amazing and if you play games like “Monster of the Week”, “Meddling Kids” or “Cupcake Scouts” there is a lot to like here.

There’s even stats for normal animals as well.

Unfortunately it is marred by the worst editing I have seen in quite a long time - and I buy a LOT of PDFs.

Extra spaces in sentences are the smallest of the errors. Extra lines between paragraphs. Misspelled words (that won’t get caught by a spellchecker). Weirdly worded phrases and dropped words are most common. Hex-Scouts sometimes has a hyphen and sometimes doesn’t. Missing commas that make the sentence confusing. Words after semi-colons sometimes capitalized sometimes not. For example:

“Most Covens have three or more, meet twice a month...”. In the next paragraph it states that Covens have monthly meetings. So do they meet once a month or twice a month?

“If the creature isn’t to dangerous...”;

“Hex Scouts depending on their skill explore those places and even help map and them.”

“Hex Scouts competed on broom carpet and flying steed amongst a coven and other covens in various races...”

“...as members as long as the are of age and....”

“.This magical uniform provides +_1 bonuses to resist intense heat and cold, Changes to Standard uniform, Casual uniform and dress uniform for 1 Zap point and is resistant to dirt wear and tear” So if you spend at Zap point they are also resistant to dirt and wear and tear, but if you DON’T spend a Zap point they resist intense heat and cold? And what the heck IS a Standard, Casual and Dress uniform? They are never mentioned again.

“To show this Directors..”

“Basic Perks” What are the basic perks? I think they are the uniform(s) and skill bonuses, but it’s never made clear.

“...don’t have I easy...”

I could go on, but I think you get the drift. It’s mostly understandable but a frustrating and jarring read.

Especially considering the high production values of the other Witch Girls Adventure book, this is especially glaring.

As a supplement to mine for ideas and a campaign, I highly recommend it.

The information is so dense and useful I’d even buy a print copy.

(Like most Witch Girls Adventure products) This Is Good Stuff.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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