Ken Hite Reviews the Monster Burner
From Burning Wiki
Big Wheels Keep On Burnin'
The Burning Wheel Monster Burner (400 black-and-white digest-sized pages, softcover, $20) is the first supplement for Luke Crane's tremendously interesting, original, and Outie-Award-winning fantasy RPG Burning Wheel. It is not just a monster manual, although there's a couple of dozen monsters statted out in it, along with four new races (rat-people, giant spiders, trolls, and wolves) with full lifepaths, traits, and so forth. (The races, by the way, all show Crane's almost scary capacity for visualizing the lifeways and innate nature of inhuman beings.) Primarily, this is the owner's manual for Burning Wheel. It gives breakdowns of what the stats mean, how to jink them around in play, and the nitty-gritty of design questions (and answers) for monsters and inhuman races alike. Reading this book is an education in game design and monster design alike; anyone who intends to run Burning Wheel will get a whole heaping amount of good from this book. Although there are only 24 monsters, they are superbly chosen to show off the possibilities of the system and for general fantasy game utility, and the actual "monster design" section (100 questions in 30 pages) makes burning your own monsters easier -- and more understandable -- than almost any other monster book out there. Crane's voice has settled down somewhat from the core book, but remains appealingly personal; the art (which includes Peter Bergting), production values, and layout remain amazingly good for garage work. Burn, baby, burn.