ROTDOG Review: Fantasy Flight Games: Creatures Anaethema

Brace yourself ROTDOG fans because over the next few weeks Im going to be really going to town on the FFG range, and in particular, the Dark Heresy catalogue.

Its about time I gave this some love, and now I have my own little group of acolytes awaiting my cunning schemes to come to fruition the time seems just right!

Anyone who has read some of my previous reviews on this material will know I think it is superb quality and well worth the investment, and Creatures Anaethema is no different. I will get this started off the bat straight away – outside of the core rulebook, this is the one purchase I would consider absolutely essential for a GM.

Let me clarify that for a moment by saying you don’t need to run the game or be a GM because that isn’t the case at all. It is, however, such a huge resource that its use is potentially endless for a GM looking to craft their own adventures.

For those creative types who like to run purely original story lines for their acolytes, this is an investment that will keep on giving.

It goes without saying that the book is presented like all the FFG hardbacks in a lovely, collectible finish. My girlfriend enjoyed having a look through it just for the artwork – she has no idea about 40k at all, so that’s saying something in itself. It’s the content that really makes this stand out though.

You are getting approximately 143 pages here and they are packed with bits and bobs you will find useful.

The book is tidy, arranged into seven chapters covering the Forces of Chaos, Xenos, Death Worlds, Vermin+Predators and Forbidden Science. There are also additional chapters covering Mutation, with full rules on how to handle mutation in your games which is a nice expansion on what is covered in the core rule book.

The last chapter is a sort of Games Masters guide on handling aliens in your games, ramping up tension and some suggestions for plot hooks.

It’s the plot hooks that really impressed me. Lets take for example the entry covering Gretchin. Like 99% of the entries, it has a little box out on the page marked as Adventure Seed. It’s a paragraph or so of text that suggests a storyline you can use as GM to seamlessly introduce the creature into your game.

For some of the more recognisible enemies you might not need this, but FFG have used their creative licence to good effect in this book and created some completely unique monsters and baddies that fit perfectly in with the 40k lore.

Here, the adventure seeds allow you to get to grips with exactly the kind of beast you are dealing with and how best to use it as intended. Iv flicked through a couple of these adventure seeds and have found them to be extremely inspiring.

This little gribbly is a Fenksworld Pit Thing. You wont find him in any codex entries, but he fits perfectly into the 40k universe and is a great example of FFG bringing something new to the lore.

Look out fellas! Finally, there are full rules for using a variety of Xenos equipment should your acolytes have a more radical mindset, so if you fancy seeing what damage an orc choppa can do, or think you can get your head round the workings of a shuriken catapult then now is your chance.

Quite unusually for a FFG expansion there isn’t a pre printed adventure in this release. They even manage to squeeze one into the GM’s kit so it does seem odd not to find one here – however, with the dozens and dozens of adventure seeds scattered throughout I think there is enough here to stimulate any GM with a bit of writers block.

Well worth a purchase, even for the casual player out there.

Now, where was the page on genestealers?

Craven @ ROTDOG


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