RPGaDay – Day 23: Coolest looking RPG product / book
Short Answer: Monsternomicon, Privateer Press.
Long Answer: Even though I’ve used the image of the soon-to-be-released version of the book, my choice is actually the version released over a decade ago for the original iteration of the Iron Kingdoms RPG. The book wasn’t printed in full colour, just plain ol’ black and white. There’s one reason I picked it – the book exists within its own setting.
You may remember the name Monsternomicon from Day 10. The book is the creation of Professor Viktor Pendrake, Adventuring Scholar and former soldier; one part David Attenborough, one part Indiana Jones. During the course of his adventures he has encountered just about every monster the Iron Kingdoms has to offer and lived to tell the tale. He combined these tales into a tome titled ‘Monsternomicon.’ In Extraordinary Zoology, one of the characters carries a copy of the book with her, occasionally referring to it as they encounter increasingly extraordinary creatures.
The RPG book takes the concept of ‘real world monster manual’ and runs with it. Take out the rules material and you’re still left with a good read. Each entry is written from the perspective of Pendrake himself, with notes and asides where he forgot to mention something the first time around. It draws you into the setting and almost makes the book a must-read for players – something that isn’t often the case for this sort of book. Here’s hoping the new version of the book will continue this theme. It would be a shame if Viktor’s hard work were lost to future generations.