7. I can only comment on the ones that have come out so far. So let's look at the original 12 real quick, I ordered them, roughly in order of my preference: Gorm: The humble Gorm is one of three that I'd suggest be in every campaign, potentially including your first. For the Gorm, the reason being that it provides a variety of early and mid-game weaponry for popular weapon types that either get no love, or not enough progression to be viable options. It even provides what is possibly the best sword in the game via a late-game pseudo quest. As a low difficulty monster, it can provide alternatives to the White Lion and Screaming Antelope that you are likely to already be sick of hunting by year 10. Its rewards also provide options earlier on, when pursuing other types of gear, especially since the fight gives a large number of organs, which alternatively difficult hunts do not provide as much of. Everything wonderful about the Gorm is balanced out by the difficulty of the hunt and the events based on it. Plus, it lets you innovate alchemy! Dung Beetle Knight: On the other end of the spectrum, the Dung Beetle Knight is a difficult, late-game hunt that provides a variety of late-game weaponry and armor options, some fantastic fighting arts, great innovations and a sub-system for farming. I'd also put this one in every campaign, even the first. Dung Beetle Knight (DBK) is legitimately one of the best monsters in the game and the only reason it isn't higher up, is due to how late in a campaign you'll encounter it (year 8 or 9 I think). It's still one of the better hunts and is very rewarding to fight, from the perspective of difficulty and success, as well as advancing your settlement. As a bonus, this is the only expansion monster with a Legendary variant, and it's considered the toughest fight in the game (the legendary Phoenix is high up there, too). Sunstalker: Quick rundown, great fighting arts, great gear, great hunt, great monster. It is a higher difficulty monster, like DBK, but it's a step or two easier in my experience. This expansion provides a late-game alternative bow, some fantastic late game armor, and most importantly, a fully fledged alternate campaign. People of the Sun is a great 3rd or 4th campaign to run through after you've gotten used to the core game's People of the Lantern, and want to spice things up a bit. You'll need to consider different tactics and gear choices, plus the overall purpose of the campaign is different. In Lantern, the focus is on improving the settlement, whereas in Sunstalker, you're trying to make low-tier superheroes. Dragon King: Almost exactly like the Sunstalker in terms of fighting arts, gear, hunt and fight, except that its weapon selection is worse. It seems that there were some balance decisions made at somepoint, due to how good the armor was, and the result was nerfing the weapons to the point of making them pretty pointless. Its faults are made up for however in having what is currently the best alternate campaign in the game so far. People of the Stars is a roller coaster to play through, with a fun sub-system for making "hero" characters, and an actual narrative with payoff. The Sunstalker ranks higher due to being a better hunt in other campaigns, but the two expansions actually work well together. People of the Sun with Dragon King hunts or People of the Stars with Sunstalker hunts both open up a large number of fun possibilities. Slenderman: A nemesis-type monster, who replaces the Kingsman from the core game. Which is good, because the Kingsman is only really fun, about twice. The moment you know Kingsman's tricks, it's never difficult, but always annoying. Slendy is a more difficult fight, but also more interesting, and it's the only nemesis in the game who has a crafting system based on them. It gives new options for katana weaponry, sorely needed, and gives a handful of fun fighting arts that can break the game in two if you're smart with them... so if you're into that sort of thing, then good news! Slenderman can be a breath of fresh air, but it's not something I'd suggest being in every campaign possible. Manhunter: A nemesis-type monster, with interesting lore, good rewards, a fun fight, and great themes. If you ever wanted to fight the Undertaker who is pretending to also be a cowboy, then this is a dream come true. The fighting arts it adds to the game are also very good, and properly strong while not being game-breaking good. Ditto for the gear and innovations. This is a nice, fun spice to add to your second campaign to just spring on your fellow players who don't see it coming. "Yes, of course a Frankenstein cowboy who does piledrivers is hunting our settlement for slaves, why wouldn't he?" Lion God: I think this is the toughest monster the game has produced so far. There are "legendary" variants of some monsters that are more powerful, but at each equivalent "level" the Lion God seems the most difficult to deal with, in a proper, fair manner. The hunt has some interesting lore implications, the fight tends to be challenging, and getting the rewards requires the right combination of luck and forethought. The "armor set" it gives provides an interesting build option, too. I'd put this higher, but in most campaigns, you'd hunt it twice, at maximum. Flower Knight: The Flower Knight is a lot of fun. The hunt is interesting, the fight is great, the gear and fighting arts it introduces to the campaign are all fantastic. The problem is that the fight is TOO easy, and the gear (the bow, specifically) is TOO amazing, and the fighting arts are TOO awesome. That said, I really enjoy the fight, and it's useful both as a sort of "saving throw" for a campaign, and to ease new players into things. It also has a half-ass alternate campaign, which... isn't great. Don't really consider that as a "pro" when you are buying expansions. Lion Knight: A nemesis-type monster, acts as a sort of counterpart to the core game's Kingsman and Hand. The fights are great, but challenging, however the "rewards" are punishing. Comes with the much beloved Hybrid Armor sets, and a few rather nice innovations (settlement upgrades). The Hybrid Armors are the key drawing point here, but it's a nice "story" that you follow through, as well. Lonely Tree: A unique monster to include that opens up a number of interesting builds and options for a campaign. All of its good points are mitigated by the apparent lack of an editor to look over to make sure the rule book and the cards say the same thing. It takes a bit to figure out exactly what the expansion is talking about due to this. From a gameplay perspective though? It's a lot of fun. It can be introduced into a campaign at random, and has a low enough chance for that, where I'd suggest just including it in every campaign. Spidicules: The hunt itself is fun, as is the fight. Unfortunately, the introduction event is a little weak, the after-fight event sucks, and the equipment is all over the place. I still have yet to ever feel a strong reason to build the armor set in-game, which is a shame because it's pretty cool looking. It does provide a nice upgrade/alternative to Whip progression, but that's an underused weapon type to begin with. Oh, and ignore the part where the book tells you to replace the Screaming Antelope entirely with the Spidicules. That's terrible advice, just include both of them. Green Knight: Basically just gives you a campaign wide goal to make some of the strongest gear in the game. It's nice in a sense, but it requires you to have a number of the other expansions to be playable, and the sort of power it gives you is overkill, for nearly everything in a campaign. In other words, this should be the last one you get.
8. Expect to either lose, or enter an obvious death spiral the first time you play. If you are playing with other people, then make sure you have a good read on their temperament. It's very common to lose characters early on, and this can sour people on the rest of the game if they don't see it coming or are upset that "their" character died. The game is largely about risk mitigation, and is much easier the second time through. Oh, and the first time you play a campaign? I'd only include Lonely Tree, Gorm and either Sunstalker or Dung Beetle Knight.
Don't innovate the first year or so. Choose Survival of the Fittest, Graves, Romantic and Collective Toil. Lion Armor is a trap. High speed weapons are a trap. Screaming Armor is amazing. Rawhide Armor is good for 2/3s of the game. Phoenix Armor is good but I either build it for offense with the set, or defense with a focus on the chest piece.