Review: Bird in the Hand – Scenario for Monster Island in Mythras

Bird in Hand is a must have scenario for Monster Island, the most useful sword and sorcery sandbox I have used in the past 40+ years of GM’ing (I have GM’d Monster Island since 2013). Monster Island setting and the scenario itself can be used almost anywhere and in many settings from sword & sorcery to pulp among others. In the Monster Island and in the scenario city people are humans and natives of the island are lizard people but that is easily changed to other kind of jungle dwelling natives. The scenario itself is easy to drop into any ongoing Monster Island campaign – adjusting or adding the hooks and NPCs accordingly. In my campaign it was sword and sorcery based setting, humans from the continent in the port city and headhunting human tribes in interior. We played with characters in mid level skills and long history of roleplaying.

The scenario starts in Grimsand – the only civilized town in Monster Island and the writing brings Grimsand to life. There are multiple interesting NPCs that you can interact with and get in trouble with. The actions your players can have an effect on the NPCs, plotlines on the scenario and also on your future in Grimsand. The first part of the scenario stays in the city and a session or two will be spent there with plenty of opportunities for roleplay, using variety of skills to figure out what is going on and dealing with the increasing number of forces interested in the maguffin. I liked that there were multiple options written out for the various paths players may take. As in great scenarios there are multiple paths thru the first part of the scenario. Eventually the party needs to brace themselves and head into the jungle for most likely a two or three session romp but it could be more. Monster Island interior is deadly so players better be prepared and they will be lost in the jungle if you push into the green interior without the right combination of skills and help. If you are quite lucky and resourceful you may be able to tackle the jungle part with one long session but I would not push it that way. 

Hex crawl rules at the end of the scenario are pure gold – making the island itself an adversary that needs to be tackled. They will be used extensively in my ongoing campaign on Monster Island and would be useful also in other jungle or difficult terrain based campaigns.

This is a scenario that melds with the tone and the spirit of Monster Island. It is a worthy addition to Monster Island, Mythras and a great sword and sorcery scenario – and that is high praise indeed.

Great work, John – highly impressed.

5 stars out of 5

You can find the scenario at least in DriveThruRPG and Amazon

The 300 – Mythras Combat Style Cards for Sword and Sorcery, Monster Island, Fioricetta and Mythic Constantinople

Created combat style cards for all (hopefully) the missing ones from RangerDan’s wonderful collection for a Hyborean campaign. There are now 90+ Combat Style cards for those. They are of course readily usable in most sword and sorcery campaigns.

There are also most if not all of Mythic Constantinople combat styles as cards, 40+ of them.

I added also the Brotherhood of Chromatic Doom as an example of sorcerous combat style in Monster Island.

The format has changed a bit in trying to keep the content in one page.

You can find the description for combat style cards here and the combat style cards themselves are here. Altogether there should now be more than 330 of them. All of the weapons (including firearms from Mythic Constantinople are included in the cards). If you find that something important is missing that has been published, please inform.

Here is the list of new combat styles:

Desert Nomad
Iranistani City Militia
Ghulistan Hillman
Kozaki Freerider 
Kushite Hunter
Kushite Impi Spearman
Kushite Champion
Darfari Cannibal
Pygmy Headshrinker
Kushite Witchdoctor
Whaler
Pirate
Hyborian Marine
Beggar
Guttersnipe
Shanker
Guardsman or Bodyguard
Judicial Champion
Marksman
Peasant or Herder
Bandit
Patrolman or Outrider
Bailiff or Magistrate
Borderer or Forester 
Beast Hunter
Slave-Catcher
Hyborian Archer
Hyborian Crossbowman
Hyborian Spearman
Hyborian Pikeman
Hyborian Halberdier
Hyborian Knight
Hyborian Siege Arbalister
Bossonian Long Bowman
Gunderland Pikeman 
Kothic Spahi
Hyperborean Gaunt
Hyperborean Knight of Poltain
Nemedian Adventurer
Turanian Soldier
Turanian Imperial Horseman
Mighty Archer of Turan
Turanian Miner
Hyrkanian Horse Archer
HyrkanianLancer,Cataphract
Stygian Conscript or Slave Army 
Stygian Skirmisher
Stygian Slinger
Stygian Scout
Stygian Mamluk Spearman
Stygian Mamluk Bowman
Stygian Charioteer
Stygian Mamluk Highborn
Nordheimr or Cimmerian Thrall
Nordheimr or Cimmerian Hunter
Nordheimr or Cimmerian Freeman
Nordheimr or Cimmerian Jarl or Jarlsguard
Vendhyan Kshatriya
Vendhyan Mahout
Vendhyan Rakhsha
Khitan Conscript Infantry
Khitan Archer
Khitan Crossbowman
Khitan Cavalry
Khitan Charioteers
Khitan Martial Artist
Khitan Alchemist-Engineer
Pictish Hunter
Pictish Brave
Pictish Woad Warrior
Hyperborean Assassin
Hyperborean Spy or Agent
Hyperborean Cultist
Brotherhood of the Chromatic Doom
Kataphraktos
Trapezites
Skoutatoi
Mourtatoi
Toxotes
Cavalier
Arquebusier 
Schiopettiere 
Mercenary Halberdier
Cretan Light Infantry
Tzangratoroi Crossbowmen
Gasmoulai
Phylakes Crossbowmen
Phylakes civilian watch
Byzantine shipboard combat
Apelatikiaros
Yeniseri
Topcu
Sipahi
Sipahi oglan
Cebelu
Timarli Andolou
Akinci
Basi-Bazouks
Turkish navy
Code Duello
Griffin Hunter
Acephaloi Hunter
Astomatoi Concealable Weapons
Barking Raider

As usual you can find the list of charts to help Mythras GMs available here.

Mythras Combat Traits Encyclopedia and Combat Style Cards updated – More than 90 traits and 220 Combat Styles

Mythras Combat Traits Encyclopedia has been updated to 2.0 with several more combat traits especially for Hyborean campaign. The sources for combat traits have also been mentioned among the new ones are.

  • Longshot
  • Crossbow Handling
  • Reload Drill

The original encyclopedia article with link is here

Combat style layout has been updated and comments added. Many new combat styles are included. Fioracitta styles and weapons have been added. Saxon styles from Logres are now included. A few additional Monster Island styles have been invented for the weapons that are not in use in any combat style.

Among the new ones are the below. You can find the description for combat style cards here and the combat style cards themselves are here

Fioracitta Brawling
Fioracitta Citizen Levy
Fioracitta Concealable Weapons
Fioracitta Fencing 
Fioracitta Fighting Mystic
Fioracitta Combat Illusionist
Pugilism
Fioracitta Shipboard Combat
Fioracitta Swashbuckling
Underwater Attack
Fioracitta Gentlemen’s Last Resort
Fioracitta Mylady’s Secret
Smilodon’s Teeth
Night’s Touch
Teeth of the Shark
Death Dealers
Brotherhood of Truths To Be Forgotten
Peasant Levy
Civilian Levy
Irregular Ronin
Brotherhood of  Silent Watch
Prize Fighter
Seahunter
Saxon Noble
Saxon Hunter
Saxon Fyrdman
Saxon Berserker

As usual you can find the list of charts to help Mythras GMs available here.