Monday, December 30, 2013
My first exposure to the world of Arduin was through a copy of The Runes Of Doom that I picked up one summer when visiting some older, college-aged friends in Pasadena. I think it was the art of Greg Espinoza that first captured my attention and triggered my buying decision, but after reading the book, my mind was reeling. The overpowered character classes, over-the-top magic items, crazy monsters, and all of the little snippets of information laced throughout the book became fuel for my imagination.
Over time, I purchased all of the digest-sized booklets, and even though we never played a game of Arduin Grimoire, monsters, magic items, and background found in the books would make appearances in my campaign.
Not too long ago, I picked up a copy of Arduin Eternal Bestiary & Treasures, as I was interested to see if there were any changes made to the monsters that I remembered so fondly. Whereas the old books described each monsters in about 6-8 lines, the new book presents a page of information for each monster. About half of the space is devoted to stats, followed by a section on combat style, and some additional information on monster physiology.
To tell the truth, I was a bit disappointed with the book, but this is mainly due to the fact that I had no interest in the actual mechanics of the current version of the game. My major issues are that the book does not catalog of all of the Arduin monsters from the original volumes (where are the Ghost Crab and Hell Maiden?). Secondly, despite the expanded text, I did not feel that the description for each monster was any more in depth than what was presented in the classic digests. But like I said before, this is because my interest is more in the Arduin fluff.
Anyway, on to my monster miniatures. All of them were produced by Archive and are now OOP, except for the vroat which is still being sold by Center Stage Miniatures.
Doom Guard: "Dull black plate armor... They must litterally [sic] be dismembered to stop."
Hell Maiden: "Voluptous bodies valkyrie like warrior women with bare skull heads."
Octorilla: For some reason I couldn't find the stats or description for the Octorilla in the original books.
Shadow Golem: "Looks are also obious [sic] and so also omitted."
Vroat: "Mutational cross between giant toads and crocodiles, thus earning the nickname "Jumping Jaws"!"
Wobra: "Emerald green winged cobra with ruby red eyes."
The miniatures are relatively large with respect to 1/72 figures, but I think they could all be used without a problem, although the Doom Guard and Hell Maiden would probably have to represent exceptionally large specimens.
Emperor's Choice currently makes some monsters for Arduin, but I'm not fond of the sculpts in that they have a 3D modeled regularity and smoothness that make them too artificial in appearance for my tastes.