Friday, 5 September 2008

Bestiary Review: The Bestiary of Creatures from the Land of Golgorrth-Heckup

For fans of role playing games, the biggest thing to hit the shelves since the infinite-sided die and the metallic girdle is the new Bestiary of Creatures from the Land of Golgorrth-Heckup. The book lists an awe-inspiring number of new creatures for gamers to encounter on their adventures, with pictures, attack ratings and descriptions. I’ve never met a real dungeon master in my life, but with so much hype surrounding this new book, I set my EXP to ‘Fuck, Yeah!’ and donned my Cape of Intellectual Curiosity. It gives me +2 Literary Criticism Points!

The first thing that hits me as I glance through the Bestiary of Creatures from the Land of Golgorrth-Heckup is the sheer absurdity of the animals included within. The writers and artists must have been smoking something particularly potent when they came up with the wacky and awful beasts in the book. I know if I were an adventurer who came across them in my travels I’d need my Grey Sage’s Golden Pants of Poo Stain Prevention (+6 to clean underwear)!

Choosing a page at random, I find a truly ridiculous animal, undoubtedly the product of a fevered mind. With a grotesquely long neck and tiny head, this “Giraffe” supposedly feasts on the leaves of tall trees, but is surely anatomically impossible. I know we’re in fantasy worlds here, but surely the authors of the book should realise that having such a long neck would prevent the animal from standing up without falling. Having animals so far away from the realms of possibility is a definite shortcoming of the book, in my opinion.

Some people may commend the The Bestiary of Creatures from the Land of Golgorrth-Heckup for the level of astonishment it creates. But when I look at the picture of the “Kangaroo”, an animal that is said to hop along with its young in a pouch on its front, I can’t help but wonder at the sick minds that came up with it. And where do they get the names from? I mean, Kangaroo? Seriously?

I should also warn any parents who allow their children to play RPGs, they should definitely check this book to make sure it’s suitable for their young ones. I refer mostly to the pages dedicated to the “Koala” and the “Penguin”. These animals and their descriptions are so outlandish, so terrifying, why, just thinking about them afterwards gives me a cold sweat. I’m sure pre-teens would get nightmares from them.

I find few things to recommend about this book. Even someone playing Call of Cthulhu would be upset by the “Moose”, a creation so ugly and bizarre that I would not be surprised to discover that it inhabits the first circle of Hell, torturing adulterers. There was more scientific ignorance in this book than in an argument with a creationist. For example, take the utterly ridiculous “Canary”: according to the writers of the book it is able to utilise its long, flappy limbs to defy gravity! And don’t get me started on the section of the book entitled “Amphibians”…

I cannot see the allure of the Bestiary of Creatures from the Land of Golgorrth-Heckup, even for gamers who have exhausted their entire collection of Warhammer 40,000 books. If I were engaged in a quest to rid the world of Zordaxx the Disturbing and the Dungeon Master told me I had to roll a six or higher from two six-sided dice to avoid facing a “Kitten”, I’d laugh at the implausibility of the situation. No, the authors of this book would be well advised to keep their imaginations in check the next time they invent animals for fantasy gamers.

The Bestiary of Creatures from the Land of Golgorrth-Heckup is available now from all hobby stores and that creepy guy who hangs around the mall


Falwless said...

I've totally seen that creepy guy who hangs around the mall. He's always by that stupid hobby store or that video game place. Or the arcade. He looks like he hasn't washed in weeks.

I'm sort of attracted to him.

katrocket said...

RPGs are not my thing, but please let me know if a book ever comes out about those other creepy mall guys: the ones who carve wizard and dragon candle holders out of soapstone.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Falwless: He certainly has a kind of toothless charm about him, doesn't he?

Kat: Done.