Content: An Herbmaster’s guide to 16 flora and fauna and their medicinal use.
Writing: Decoctions and their mechanics cleverly disguised as field observations.
Art/design: Weathered, hand-inked visual style achieves a found document aesthetic
Usability: Consistent and legible. Do not try these recipes at home.
Content: It’s a giant moth.
Writing: Sketches behavior and provides a concise stat block
Art/design: Embraces Mörk Borg’s penchant for public domain art and violent pinkness
Usability: Simple and easy to use
Content: Like goblins, but worse.
Writing: Just the mechanics. Let the name and depiction do most of the work.
Art/design: Top half art, bottom half text. Back half ant, front half goblin.
Usability: Practically begging for a goblant colony.
Content: A worker goblant.
Writing: Just mechanics. The name and depiction do all the work.
Art/design: Top half art, bottom half text. Back half ant, front half goblin. Ready to work.
Usability: It’s probably building the goblant colony.
Content: King of the goblants. Complete with tin crown and skull sceptre.
Writing: The origin of goblants revealed. Magic skull sceptre adds variety to the encounter.
Art/design: Top half art, bottom half text. Back half ant, front half goblin.
Usability: A goblant colony waiting to happen. All it takes is one.
Content: Includes all three phases of the monster’s lifecycle
Writing: Descriptive text serves as a legend and hook; mechanical text is simple and easy to use
Art/design: Some very cool, inspiring artwork
Usability: A big “yes” both mechanically and conceptually
Content: Three single-sheet pamphlet adventures, and one on a new sect of the One Trve Faith.
Writing: A plausibly disturbing take on Basilisk worship which ties the adventures together into a larger optional campaign.
Art/design: A consistent palette makes for a cohesive collection, while exploration of contrast differentiates each pamphlet.
Usability: Well designed for use as a physical prop at the table. Get them in print if you can.
Content: Worms that travel through books, figuratively.
Writing: A monster that encourages literacy. Laudable.
Art/design: I couldn’t spot the bookwörm in the backdrop.
Usability: Design that makes it easy to search for bookwörms.
Content: A ticking-clock adventure that encompasses the journey to the lighthouse and the hornet-infested lighthouse itself
Writing: Clearly written and punctuated with visceral imagery and details
Art/design: Red and yellow elements direct attention without hindering usability; hornets crawling around the page are a fun, immersive touch
Usability: Well-organized text and clever use of color to coordinate it with the maps
Content: “Six otherworldly abominable creatures to kill and maim your player's characters”
Writing: Stat blocks and copious descriptive text for entries
Art/design: Features full-page illustrations for each
Usability: Special abilities are a bit more elaborate than Mörk Borg’s baseline
Content: A bug-based class
Writing: Concise and straightforward without skimping on character
Art/design: Relatively conservative with typefaces and visual elements, but features a great illustration
Usability: Probably not for entomophobes
Content: A giant, gross fly commanding a bunch of regular-size, gross flies
Writing: Concise but effective in the flavor text and mechanics
Art/design: A strange but oddly endearing illustration
Usability: High HP + ability to bypass armor and ignore manipulation = potentially lethal
Content: Parasitic bees, their (in)toxic(ating) honey, and their keepers
Writing: A fair split of flavor and mechanics, both well conceived and written
Art/design: Subtle but effective representations of colonized humans
Usability: Honey mechanics are split, but not detrimental on a 1-page document
Content: Generators for cults and curses, feats, 2 classes, black-powder weapons, 2 long adventures, a pair of 1-page dungeons, and a quartet of monsters/NPCs
Writing: Varies by author but consistently emphasizes images and concepts that are grim, creepy, and/or outright weird
Art/design: Every entry’s layout, graphic design, and coloration are distinct, creating a lot of visual diversity and easy navigability; sweet foil printing on the cover and first page; fold-out covers just to cram as much content into this zine as possible
Usability: The only obstacle is deciding what to read first.
Content: Stats for bugs, gear for catching bugs, rules for selling bugs, an entothropic character class, and a sprawling bug-fighting-arena-slash-gambling-parlor
Writing: Clear and readable with Kelly’s characteristic wit
Art/design: Designed and laid out for readability with some buggy, Borgy flair
Usability: Laid out and designed for easy reading and reference
Content: A twisted, insect-themed dungeon
Writing: Highly descriptive with striking imagery and some clever rimshots
Art/design: Nice balance of color, text, and graphics that keeps it easily readable
Usability: Hollow and full of bugs, just like it should be
Content: An obsessive and
Writing: Mechanics which bind you devotionally to your Master.
Art/design: Intense visual elements in an exaggerated theatrical design.
Usability: Dependent on interaction with a Master figure.
Concept: “Fat swollen spider the size of a dog.”
Content: A fat swollen spider the size of a dog. Also poisonous.
Writing: Provides a paragraph-long scenario/hooks with stat block and infection conditions
Art/design: Psychedelic tarantula invasion
Usability: Unusual stat arrangement but not obstructive
Content: Features four different swarms with two optional “gifts” from each
Writing: A strong blend of information and attitude
Art/design: Text is arranged for easy reading with the empty space filled with images of aforementioned creepy-crawlies
Usability: A creative array of appropriate class features
Content: An escape dungeon, full of feathered “friends”.
Writing: Social elements add a dynamic element to the dungeon.
Art/design: Top-down map and creature illustrations highlight a compact two-page dungeon reference.
Usability: Compact and organized for easy reference of the entire dungeon during play.
Content: A location adventure featuring glass, destructible flooring, and plants that probably want to do dreadful things to you.
Writing: The Glass Herbarium’s concise efficient prose blooms into a brilliant, weird fantasy adventure.
Art/design: Consistently clean art and layout hint at a glass sanctuary protected from the scvm of the dying world.
Usability: Clean but not sterile. Strong stylistic hierarchy makes for easy navigation and reference during play.
Content: A malicious take on the mothman of Point Pleasant
Writing: Clear stat block with concise bits of flavor text
Art/design: Layout & aesthetic capture the dynamic of moths flitting around a flame
Usability: The functional mechanics are split on the page and not well differentiated from the descriptive text, but it’s a small concession to the overall excellence of the visual design
Content: Rabble-rousing and regicide in the kingdom of Hunningbury.
Writing: A hard timer lends urgency to the political intrigue. There are many options to prepare for the assault on Helvius in his keep, all of them viable.
Art/design: Quaint and idyllic imagery belies the unpleasant realities of Hunningbury.
Usability: Political intrigue that works for both talk and sword happy scvm.
Content: 13 more somber monsters with a few dashes of weird
Writing: Concise and easily readable/usable
Art/design: Creates striking spreads with text and public domain images presented in black, white, teal, and red; good use of color lets certain layouts breathe without feeling empty
Usability: Grab your d13 and go wild
Content: A pamphlet adventure with a village that practically vomits insects.
Writing: Tightly woven adventure text with many subplots and callbacks to distract Scvm from all the bugs they’ve probably swallowed.
Usability: A self-contained village adventure simply bursting with replay value.