- A volume inherited by one or more of the players from an adventuring uncle.
- An ancient book found in the dark corner of a library.
- An old hard disc from an abandoned space wreck.
- The log or diary of an explorer in a museum.
The point of an Uncle Andrew's Bestiary is that it should give out enough information to get the players interested, but not enough that it prevents them from wildly speculating and becoming worried. Of course, as a piece of realia, there are no stats, and the conceit - that this is actually a written account of a real person - rests on the assumption that the author did not get close enough to the creatures he wrote about to be attacked/killed by them. This means that their abilities will remain mysterious and unquantified for the players until there is an actual encounter.
Some example entries from an Uncle Andrew's Bestiary:
- "In the tunnels under the mountain lived a horrid, gaunt, grey creature, like a thing that had tried to become human but failed."
- "There were many eyes glimmering in the dark, and the impression of a huge writing body mass; I fled back the surface."
- "Something like a large feathered frog, with a maw of razor-sharp teeth and long legs made as if for jumping great distances. The jungle people told me not to go near."
- "It had a long body like a snake, but transluscent; inside I could see what I think were human bodies. Its head was like a man but with a loose, open jaw. The locals called it an Apotavee and told me it appeared once a year."
And so on. An optional extra would be to draw sketches to accompany the entries, to give it a Travels of Marco Polo sort of vibe.