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Baby Bestiary» Forums » Reviews

Subject: System Neutral & Gorgeously Cute! rss

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john Whyte
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Whoever the five of you are who nominated me for Citizen Recognition I am truly touched
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At long last I have my physical copy of this book. I backed the kickstarter for the third printing, and my overseas address was a hassle. But still I have my book! And it is a title that I really wanted to review the physical copy.

The book is 76 pages. It is system neutral. It covers the baby (or young) forms of 32 monsters. Most of these monsters are classic fantasy ones, so we have owlbears, griffons, dragons, and a totally-not-a-beholder-no-sire! Each monster has a full page of text about its behavior as a young animal, and a full page picture of a young animal.

The drawings are gorgeous. Like absolutely stunning. They almost universally are cute, they have a strong aspect of whimsy, and they catch the creature doing something. Like the picture example of the phase kitten, it's stalking a bug, and it has its parent in the background, its a full complete picture, not just a static looking monster that a number of monster books often have. The result is art that is awesome. The art is all in a consistant style. I'm not an artist (or an art critic) but I'd call it 'sort of CGI realism'. There is a lot of detail. A lot of perfect colour that to me feels CGI. There is also a lot of detail. It's also awesome. My only other comment is that in the pictures where a humanoid is shown in the art all of the humanoids are Caucasian. There is a good gender balance. I'm not sure if stretch goals of the original kickstarter has a space for backer inclusion.

The text is good, but not quite as standout as the art. You can tell that Andreas (and his team) had a good background around animals and their training. For example the Phase Kitten becomes restless and destructive if not allowed to hunt every day. Each animal has a section of how they are whilst young, then a section on general care, then some general training comments. The comments are usually evocative and focus on the extraordinary. No routine comments on toilet training, stool inspection, and obedience training here. We have short snippets of training going bad (usually involving the animal eating the trainer), references to magical training devices (special leashes for blink dogs), and cool facts (Dragon eggs need to be breathed upon by many different dragons or their own breath weapons do not develop their full potential). One minor point i appreciate in the writing is that all weights and measurements are given twice, once in imperial, and once in metric. The writing isn't perfect, some of the information is a bit generic such as Raksasha kittens need lots of hugs and attention in their first months or they find it difficult to bond with others later. My other point is the book deals with Beast training but includes several sentient beasts (Kobolds & Gnolls admit others). There is an argument that raising these is slavery. It's one the book sidesteps which is a disservice to the topic. The beginning of the book has some general text on beast raising and training, and I think just a paragraph of discussion giving a reason would have been good. It's a hard rough topic, but if the book has Gnoll cubs.

The book itself has fantastic production values. This is an A4 sized book. Andreas made exactly the right decision not to print on demand. The paper is thick and holds the colour splendidly. The cover is thick with sections embossed. It reminds me of my Warhammer 40K codexes. I would have liked a bookmark ribbon, but that is a minor wish.

In short the book is amazing. I think that my comments seem harsh, and don't convey how cool this is. A lot of RPG stuff (and to be fair stuff in life) is 'cool idea, let down by implementation'. This is fantastic idea, terrific implementation. It's in my pile of "stuff I would rebuy if it were damaged". It's well worth checking out.
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Andreas Walters
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Thanks for the review! I really appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

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john Whyte
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Whoever the five of you are who nominated me for Citizen Recognition I am truly touched
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DesignerAndreyus wrote:
Thanks for the review! I really appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed the book.



You're welcome. It's a great book. Bestiary 2 is pretty cool too but I haven't finished reading that one yet.

Also I find it amazing how many authors there are that respond to my reviews on the geek. It makes it awesome.
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John Constantius
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Let me add my love for this book and for Baby Bestiary 2. A great concept that was exceptionally well executed! Great job.
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Andreas Walters
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Im not really active on BoardGameGeek...but I'm happy to see a full review of my books and happy to know that people enjoyed it.
*special thanks for Google Alerts for picking up the review and notifying me of it
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