Book Review: S. Petersen’s Field Guide to Creatures of the Dreamlands

The Dreamlands are a weird beast within the Call of Cthulhu tabletop RPG.  Though often (occasionally) the Dreamlands are woven into published scenarios to add a bit of fanciful weirdness, their place within the overall setting of the Cosmic Horror world of Call of Cthulhu seems awkward.  Though I’ve used the Dreamlands in some games I’ve run (and they feature in a campaign I’m planning to run soon), I think they actually work better as a separate world, unfettered by the demand for dread and ultimate dissolution presented in the main-line setting.

OK, with that statement aside, this guide is much like the other.  It too is presented as an in-world book about creatures, written as though by a person who has studied or aggregated others’ studies to produce a helpful guide.  The art, this time primarily by Mark J. Ferrari, is top notch.  Like the other guide, these versions of the various creatures are usually the version my mind’s eye jumps to when I think about them.

Sadly, also like the other guide, the actual physical product is not good.  Constructed in the same way, it too feels both stiff and flimsy at the same time.  It too feels like it’s going to fall to pieces at the slightest instigation.  And though now more than 30 years old, they felt like that when I first flipped through them all those years ago.

The art is excellent, but as with the other S. Petersen Field Guide, I wish it was hardcover and I wish it was more useful as an in-world, player hand-out type of book.

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