Progress on the Ascalon location encounters is going fairly well today. My mind has come and gone a little bit between writing sessions, but I’m approaching the point where I should really think about monsters and their stats, and how the characters will be expected to track them to their respective lairs and kill them.

First things first. I really like my pared-down list of monsters for Arkham Horror. I like having the entire Mythos at my fingertips, but I also like to have a reasonable chance of fighting and beating whatever comes flying at my face. Whenever I settle down to write out monster stats, I’m starting with this list as a basis.

Next, there’s a question of what Pre-Searing monsters will actually appear in what amounts to the “basic game” of The Ascalon Horror. Of course, I’ve already narrowed down the list of the basic monster types that will be included as “wandering monsters,” but I’m trying to build up tension before I just tell you what I chose.

Charr won’t appear as wandering monsters in the basic game. They’re going to be saved for a hypothetical “Northlands” expansion. You know, hypothetically in the sense that if I should complete The Ascalon Horror, it’s an expansion I’d like to add if I’m not already sick of the project by then (which I might be, you can never be too sure).

Primary antagonists are Royalists. They’re a stand-in for Cultists and will pretty well match them for power and prevalence. Depending on the current scenario, they’ll have special powers, but otherwise, they’re your basic cannon fodder. They lack a distinct lair, so you’ll have to find them through location encounters. Happy hunting!

Remaining antagonists are divided into two main groups: creatures with bestial intelligence, whose tactics are pretty much “attack, attack, attack,” and those with limited sentience, whose tactics enable a bit more in the way of planning.

Monsters with bestial intelligence include spiders, devourers, elementals, while monsters with limited sentience include grawl, skale, and gargoyles. Undead are a little more difficult to place in one camp or the other, and so are judged on a case-by-case basis. Minions and spontaneous-arising undead typically have bestial intelligence.

Other monsters, such as the plants, worms, and naturally-occurring fauna (such as bears, birds, boars, Melandru’s stalkers, and wolves), will be treated as special-case creatures, particularly because some of them may be caught and trained as Beast Companions by heroes of the Ranger profession.