Now that Bestiary 6 is making the rounds and folks have had a chance to get over the shock of seeing archdevils and kaiju and qlippoth lords and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse and empyreal lords and all sorts of other powerful creatures like the ones we spoke of last week, I'd like to thank humanity as a whole for being such an endless font of inspiration. We've been creating monsters to fill our stories and myths since we first started telling stories and weaving myths, and over the thousands and thousands of years humanity's been around, well, that's a lot of time to create a lot of monsters!
While there's always been a core collection of monsters drawn from mythology in fantasy RPGs, the ones that have appeared in print only scratch the surface. Whenever we start gearing up for a new Bestiary, one of the first places we go to is real-world myth and legend. Bestiary 6 is no exception. From the very first monster in the book, the blood-drinking alp, we drew from mythology to populate the book with a diverse array of critters. As the book came together, I was amused to see a few unintentional themes develop among these mythological monsters—I think my favorite is the "creepy monster with one eye." The ghole, the mapinguari, and the psoglav all come from myth or cryptozoology, and it was a fun challenge for me to make sure that, while all three are similar in theme (vaguely human-shaped one-eyed menaces), they all fit different roles in the game.
Another theme that I was delighted to finally explore in a Bestiary was no accident at all. The Wild Hunt was one of the initial monsters I had in mind for the book, and for some time was my go-to in house when folks would ask me "Are there any monsters in this book that I've heard of that aren't in print yet?" or its variant, "Are there any monsters in the book that I'll be surprised HAVEN'T been put in one of our products already?" The Wild Hunt, which expanded from a single entry into several, is a prime example—a well-known entire category of mythological monster that we've done nothing with, until now. I love what Linda Zayas-Palmer did with these things, and how the art ended up making them all look of a kind even when they include such diverse shapes as horse, hound, or humanoid.
Of course, not all of the monsters inspired by myth had one eye or were part of the Wild Hunt. Check out the following three examples as proof! And I'm eager to see if folks can pick out all of the other mythological monsters from the book in the comments below!