So I recently stumbled across this curious title on rpgnow.com: http://www.rpgnow.com/product/134672/Grandpappy-Cromdars-Whizbang-Zoo
...and I decided what the heck, why not check it out, it's by my friend D.L. Johnson and I've always loved his artwork (plus I'm really excited for his upcoming release from DIY Productions, "Gathox Vertical Slum", which you can find out more about here: http://mutantsofgathox.blogspot.com/).
I was NOT disappointed.
GC's Whizbang Zoo! is 50 pages full of weird, original monsters, a sprawling, 3 level zoo complex, and tons of wild things to engage your players with, including ziplines, volcano incinerators, submersible pods...there's a lot packed into this product to make use of.
Of course, my favorite elements are the monsters and their artwork. Here are two creatures pulled from the book (reprinted with permission):
Attack: 1 blade or 1 bite
Dmg: 1d8 or 1d6+1
MV: 45' walk /90' swim
As Big As: Andre the Giant.
Smells Like: Dried manure sprinkled with fish sauce and served on a tarnished brass plate.
Sounds Like: A conniving 3rd Reich pseudoscientist.
Favorite Pastime: A toss-up between vivisection and testing new mixtures of herbal remedies.
Turnoffs: Heat waves, being proven wrong.
Gongwarped Fishermen are said to be the unholy bi-product of scientific hubris and deep sea terrors. They have developed a culture of pseudo-scientific pursuits, and love the challenge of stitching together the parts of disparate species into unwholesome new creatures. They are also particularly skilled at breeding, raising, and tending to aquatic fauna, and occasionally receive gainful employment to those ends. A typical clatch of Fisherman will be attended by 2d6 mutant freaks, ready to do the bidding of their masters. Fishermen are utterly immune to mind-altering magic, psionics, and chemicals.
Attack: 2 kicks
As Big As: A healthy mule.
Smells Like: Grandma's favorite perennials.
Sounds Like: The pitter-patter of too many little feet.
Favorite Pastime: Photosynthesis for breakfast and lunch, some sensible carnivory for dinner.
Turnoffs: Swathers, scythes, pressed flower collections.
Fleet Petals spend the majority of their days standing utterly still (surprise on a rol l of 1-2 on 1d6) amidst other flora, soaking up sunlight and absorbing nutrients from the earth through their many toes. In the evening, however, their attention turns to pumping blood, seeking out easy mammalian prey. A well l hidden proboscis can extrude from the center of their flower heads, ready to suck up the tasty juices of a trampled foe. Larger varieties have been known to target humanoids. Small l bands of 2 to 6 Fleet Petals have been known to migrate together up to a mile a day.
And that's not all you'll find! The Whizbang Zoo promises:
4 new minigames, from base-jumping to alien lacrosse.
22 new beasties, from readily edible Sleemaks to 3rd Reich Gongwarped Fishermen.
126 dungeon rooms, from septic tanks to animatronic museums.
I'm very happy with my acquisition of this book and look forward to springing some of these elements on my players. I might even run them through the full, zany dungeon!