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Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& it's that time again, time to reach deep into the archives and look back on the books and games of yesteryear.

(If you'd like to see more there's an index here: https://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Kid_Kyoto_Retro_Review_Index)

Today (or tonight depending on when I finish this) we're going all the way back to the distant and forgotten year 1981! A Hollywood celebrity was in the White House and threats of nuclear war were in the air. A different time indeed.

And specifically we'll be looking at TSR long-awaited follow up to the 1977 Monster Manual, the Fiend Folio!



And that's a cover! Showing a Gith... hold on a second... a Githyanki warrior battling on the... Astral Plane? Ethereal Plane? Someplace like that, I remember one had silver chords the other one didn't.

Let's get back to them later. For now...



Come on in!

Unlike the original Monster Manual, which was largely Gary Gygax's word (though drawing heavily on myth and folklore) this book was crowd sourced (about 30 years before crowdsource became a word mind you) from submissions to an unnamed 'UK magazine'. Since the editor Don Turnbull declines to identify the magazine I'm going to assume it was Atropos: the journal for butterfly, moth and dragonfly enthusiasts.



No, I kid. It was White Dwarf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Turnbull_(game_designer)

Turnbull was an early partner in GW but stolen away by TSR (probably why the magazine was not named) and an early feature in WD was the Fiend Factory where fans mailed in their ideas for new monsters. From the few early WDs I have it was pretty basic, just a name and a few stats, no art, minimal fluff. So this book was really the first time these monsters were fleshed out.

Which raises two interesting questions.

First off, is it better to have one author working on a project like this coming up with 100+ monsters, or 100 authors sending in their 'best' ideas. It's not as cut and dried as you might think. Writing like everything else is a skill and gets better with practice. Authors learn as they go along and can see the work as a while, recognizing that besides the usual growling hulking beasts you need room for other stuff like allies, annoyances, puzzles. With a crowd sourced book will you get incredible diversity from all these different folks sending in submissions, or will you get 100 different evil skeletons?

The second is a rights issue. There's a list at the end of who created what



Recognize anyone?

Someone tell me if Jeremy Goodwin is Jes Goodwin? I mean it can't be that common a name! And that Ian Livingstone guy sounds familar too...

But did they really sign away their rights by sending in submissions? Some of these monsters are still being used, they've showed up in mini games, in video games etc and I wonder if TSR/WoC/Hasbro's claim can be challenged. But they probably have better lawyers than me so it's not too much of a worry.

Come back soon as we start an alphabetical examination of the Fiend Folio, created by the finest minds of English gaming (circa 1980).

 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& we're back with the As!

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&&D&D&D&D&D&D

It starts fairly normal with the Aarakocra (parenthesis helpfully explain that means bird man) a race obviously named so they'd get to be listed first. That is until the dawn of the Aaaaanteaters in 3rd edition.



Nice Jeff Dee art (he's my favorite of the early AD&D artists) and one of the few non-evil creatures in this. Not much unexpected in the fluff text, bird men, live in mountains poach animals from time to time, five of them can summon an air elemental by performing an 'an intricate aerial dance' so there's that.

Keeping with the bird theme we then have the Achaierai.



'Though the foul motives which caused these loathsome birds to be first summoned from the infornam regions is now lost from memory...' Now that's the way to start a description. 4 legged demon birds who spray black poison clouds, not a bad start.



Then an annoyance monster, the Adherer. Looks like a mummy, weapons stick to it (and only cause half damage) and for some odd reason is immune to 1st level magic user spells except magic missile which causes extra damage. Why? I dunno. Probably a DM looking to piss off his players. Unfortunately this book is just full of bizarre random weaknesses and powers for the monsters. Which has the effect of making D&D like a trivia game, with the DM pulling out obscure monsters to see if players would remember that the octo-poodle is vulnerable to cold.



"An Aleax is a physical manifestation of the vengeance of certain gods" Another great first sentence. And another 'the DM is pissed' type monster. Basically an exact duplicate of the offending character pops up, with duplicate equipment and starts wailing on the PC. It is also invisible and intangible to everyone else 'To an observer the victim appears to be in conflict with a totally invisible, totally invulnerable being'. Oh and it regenerates and does extra critical hits, just because.

The kicker is what happens next. If you lose, you die, the gods take all your equipment (because in D&D what matters most is what happens to your stuff) and then you're raised with half your experience points gone! It gets better. If you win (somehow, fighting your exact duplicate only more powerful) then the gods take you away to serve them for a year and a day. Either way the DM is free of an unbalancing, annoying character.

I should not I'm skipping a few here and there, if you really want to hear about the Algoid or the Assassin Bug let me know.



Unicorn Bunny, nothing else to say. Not even like a magical unicorn bunny that uses magic to multiply tribble-like an infest the whole town which would be kind of awesome in its shamelessness. Nope, just a bunny with a horn. Still kind of cute and apparently can be domesticated.



Evil skeleton! It's Ethereal (or possible Astral) and chokes you! It can't 'really' hurt you but can kill you with fright.

So far, so good for crowd sourcing. Some monsters that require you think, (Adherer, Apparition), some potential allies who you don't want to piss off (the Aaaarakocra) and a neat little bunny-corn. And of course an ultimate weapon to use on bad characters/players. A good start!

So how about the Bs?

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&&D&D&D&D&D&D

First of a creation of the affor-mentioned Jeffrey Goodwin...


Mutant lizard men, the name just refers to its confusing babbling speech 'which defies efforts at analysis and learning by humans'. Darn, I expected at least a confusion spell from it.



Yeah, sometimes you've just gotta return to the basics. It's a bat, it's big. 1% chance of giving you rabies!

I'd have thrown in an option for even larger ones people can ride, and a 1% chance of level-draining vampire giant bats, but that's just me.



It's a worm, it's giant, it sucks your blood. It's no four legged demon ostrich, but again, sometimes the standards just work.



Remember that time Eric in the D&D cartoon got turned into a Bullywug? Man that was awesome.

Anyway, evil frogs. Hopping, chameleon skins, swimming. A real annoyance for even a high level party in a swamp.

Again skipped some, an imp, a sprite, another evil frog, a dungon-dwelling seal who bites your legs, bloodhawks and bonesnappers. Still performing pretty well I think. Bullwogs are definitely the winners here.

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&&D&D&D&D&D&D



Caryatid Columns, there are lots of things you might expect in a book like this but an allusion to classical architecture wasn't on my list.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caryatid

So yeah statues that come to like to sword you to death thus restoring the balance. And of course they must be sculpted like needid wimmins, because of course.



CIFAL = Colonial Insect Formed Artificial Life should anyone jump out and ask you. So a mob of insects that comes together to form a monster and attacks you with a 'agglomeration of tiny bites' which is kind of neat. Not great art ('It's a pokka dot crab monster' says Kyoto Secunda), but neat inobvious idea.



Evil skeleton!

Kind of neat that it's immune to normal weapons but pretends to be hurt, then gets back up (causing fear in the PCs). OK, so what's next?



Evil skeleton!

I kind of like the Crypt Thing, it just sits around in its dungeon and if you bother it zaps you! It will tell you your buddies are disintegrated but really they're just teleported elsewhere. But 'there are rumored to be abarrant crypt things in existence which, instead of teleporting victims, paralyse them and simultaneously turn them invisible' which only works if you don't walk into the spot there they were. Seems it would be better to have Crypt Things either disintegrate or teleport depending on their (or the DM's) mood, but that's basically Darkseid's shtick.



Almost forgot the Crab Men! They're um... part crab, part men. Another basic monster with no real embellishments.

So that rounds out the Cs, I left out the telepathic armadillos, the wailing 'Caterwauls' (I do like the pun) and the other evil ostrichs, but I don't think anyone will complain.

Come back for next time when we delve into the Ds, home of the Dark Creepers, the Dark Stalkers, the Death Dogs and oh a little entry for Dragons...



 
   
Made in us
Battle-tested Knight Castellan Pilot





I'd heard of this book, but never knew I needed it. Thanks for enlightening me!
   
Made in us
VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander





Mississippi

While I always liked the Monster Manual 2 better, looking back this book had some truly unique and wonderous monsters = and some real losers (Pernicons, for example).

Oh, and just for the record, the GithYANKI are the one with the silver swords who hunt for their queen on the Astral plane, and the GithZERIA are the ones who smoke bongs and hang out in the ethereal. They really don't like one another for some reason.

And the poor Al'ma'rij. That entry does not do justice to real terror they represent in myth (think the bunny from the Holy Grail...).

It never ends well 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

 Stormonu wrote:


And the poor Al'ma'rij. That entry does not do justice to real terror they represent in myth (think the bunny from the Holy Grail...).


That's a 'real' monster from myth? Interesting, learn something everyday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-mi%27raj

And don't worry the eternal war between the Githsharks and the Githjets will be thoroughly covered when I get to the Gs in a day or so.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/08/14 05:55:41


 
   
Made in gb
Fully-charged Electropriest





Somewhere.

Yup, they're a mythological being. In the legends they effectively terrorized people, who were forced to go to a Witch able to soothe them and allow them to be removed. I'm not terribly familiar with the legend myself, but it does seem that even then, killing the little bastards wasn't an option.

...like most things with a giant horn, they're a bit of a dick.
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka







I do like these retro reviews you do, Kid - need to check if I have the Fiend Folio, though I do have Deities and Demigods on my shelf.

2021 Plog - Here we go again... - my fifth attempt at a Dakka PLOG

My [url=https://pileofpotential.com/dysartes]Pile of Potential[/url - updates ongoing...

Gamgee on Tau Players wrote:we all kill cats and sell our own families to the devil and eat live puppies.


 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
Made in us
[DCM]
[Jǫtunn]






.

The Field Folio was a very 'hit or miss' book for me, back in the day.

Mostly a 'miss'.

BUT!

I do love all things 1E AD&D, and there are more than a few gems in there too.

The Githyanki were pretty cool, and you could have a campaign based on them as enemies.

Their rivals, the Githzerai?

Not so much.

I think the idea behind the Revenant was nice and would make for a good foil for the party, depending on their actions that might lead to such a thing!

Spoiler:


The whole rainbow of Slaads were interesting - and terrifying as adversaries! (Some looked pretty tame though!)

And who could forget the horror that is the Penanggalan?

(Yes, I had to look up how to spell that!)

Flying head and guts only vampire?

Spoiler:


The non-Doors version of the Lizard King had a really nice art piece to go along with it too:

Spoiler:


Typing up this post has made me realize that I actually like a lot more things in the FF than I thought...

Kuo-Toa are in there too of course!

Diaper-wearing fish men!

EDIT!

You made me look!

According to here:

http://realmofzhu.blogspot.com/2016/06/fiend-folio-still-wrong-after-all-these.html

Yes, that is Jes Goodwin!

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/08/14 13:15:01


   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Colorado Springs

Remember that time Eric in the D&D cartoon got turned into a Bullywug? Man that was awesome.


Dungeon Master's head haunts my dreams.

Spoiler:


   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& we're back with the award-seeking Retro Review series!

yay.

Thanks to everyone who's chimed in so far, I definitely agree that the FF was one of the more optional books in the 1st edition AD&D list. I never even got it myself (and I had both the Wilderness and Dungeoneers Survival Guides!) but just borrowed it off a friend. Tonight's copy comes from a used book store in Virginia where I got a fairly complete set of 1st edition books for a short-lived retro campaign.

But what made this book unessential in the 80s makes it more interesting to review now. Unlike the Survival Guides where I can't remember enough to write a word about (well beyond these words here) this is chock full of weirdness. And the early GW connection, which I didn't know about till I started just makes it all the more interesting. So with that let's dive into the Ds!

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

What with Demons and Devils and Dinosaurs and of course the titular Dragons the D section of any D&D book is going to be pretty busy and this is no exception.

We kick off with a matched pair the Dark Creepers (who like to snatch women's under garments off of the clothes line when no one is looking) and their mentors the Dark Stalkers (who relentlessly download women's Instagram photos).



The Dark Creepers (a folk name since their language is incomprehensible to linguists) are short thieves armed with daggers (25% chance of them being magical) who rob PCs of their magic weapons as they climb through dungeons. In addition to hiding skills they can cast darkness and detect magic items (especially daggers!).



Their leaders the Dark Stalkers are much taller and have short swords (same 25% chance of them being magic) and can cast Wall of Fog once per day. If killed they explode in a fireball.

Great evocative art on them (both by Russ Nicholson? the Stalkers definitively) and a bit of mystery too. How are the two races linked, who created them? Why do the Stalkers explode? My theory is when they cast darkness they absorb light that wells up inside them only to explode when they can't contain it. It's not a great theory but these two monsters made me think a lot more than the Crab Men did so



"The Death Knight - and there are only 12 of these dreadful creatures known to exist - is a horrying form of Lich created by a demon prince (it is thought to be Demogorgon) from a fallen human paladin." Now that's how you introduce a monster!

Death Knights have a great name and through Lord Soth in Dragon Lance (heaven help me I remembered his name 20+ years since I looked at a DL book, why can't I remember Hindi I studied last week?) became iconic villains.

Geeze, whenever you see 'Special attacks: see below" run. A whole paragraph of what these guys can do: summon a Nightmare (flying fire horse), fear, wall of ice, detect invisible, gate in demons, power word blind, stun, pain AND kill, symbols of pain and fear, 20d6 fireball... Oh and it speaks 3-6 languages... Just y'know, because.

Surprisingly only demon in this book, but an especially memorable one...



Ah Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders the Washington Generals of D&D... Beside the homebrewed monsters in FF, they also threw in a few from modules, including Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders. If you don't know Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders was the ultimate villain in an epic series of modules Against the Giants, Descent into the Depths of the Earth and finally Queen of the Demonweb Pits (one guess who that is!). These adventures introduced a lot of classic D&D monsters and still fondly remembered today.

Queen of the Demonweb Pits was the first D&D adventure where you actually fought a god(dess). You find yourself in her personal level of the Abyss, fight through her guards, enter her giant mecha-spider-palace-demon-engine-thing and take her on right in her throne room! It was... AWESOME.

But here's the thing, Lolth, Queen of the Demonweb Pits is an evil demon spider goddess thing who can take the form of a beautiful Dark Elf or a horrifying demon-spider-centaur-women-monster-thing. Great iconic look for a villain. But...

66 hit points. Sixty Six. Yeah a great armor class and 70% magic resistance but any typical monty hall party can pound her pretty fast. Sure 'logically' you should never fight her, she should just send in 10^23 Dark Elves, Spiders and Demons till you are dead, dead, dead. But what's the point of playing a module if your players don't win? So I must have DM'ed her dead 6 or 7 times over the years.

That's what you get for being Goddess of the Dark Elves. It's like being the most successful Hot Topic manager in your district, it's like being president of the NIN fan club, it's like being the most sarcastic guy at your comic shop. Bottom line, probably not worth the trouble of getting the job.

She probably should have figured something was up when they literally put L-O-L in her name.



So yeah, skipping ahead a bit we get the Disenchanter, the most blunt and obvious 'I hate my players so now I will @#$5 them over' monster since the Rust Monster (qv).

Then the Dragons...






One thing that impressed me with Deities and Demigods and again here is the use of non-western mythology, especially in the late 70s/early 80s. While the Monster Manual had introduced the evil Color Dragons and the good Metallic Dragons, Fiend Folio introduced the neutral Oriental Dragons.

They're a neat lot but I really never used them so don't have much to add.

Among the skipped monsters, a talking ape, an evil 2 headed dog, that rock eating creature from Star Trek (TOS of course), a devil (created by Sir Ian Livingstone CBE), an evil one headed dog, a race of evil birdmen who can't fly which makes you wonder why they bothered making them birdmen, an evil bat (not to be confused with the evil bat we already had), a poison fish and a naked desert dude. You're not missing much.

No dinosaurs, just noticed that. How odd. The Monster Manual had like 10 pages of dinosaurs.

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

The Es kick off with another import from a classic module, the Elemental Princes of Evil. Remember how I was singing the praises of the Death Knight and Lolth as iconic villains?

These guys...



Not so much.

But they were followed by a somewhat more successful monster. The Elf-Drow (Dark Elf)!



Even I have to love these guys, with the blue/purple/black skin, white hair, crossbows, spider-themed lingerie wearing wimmins, the Elf-Dark Elf (Drow) are just iconic villains through and through. The Bill (hey I wrote Fables) Willingham art helps too! One neat tidbit, they all had magic armor and weapons, BUT any expose to sunlight made them crumble into dust! Another @#$% the players rule you just have to love for its shamelessness.



Wait. Didn't I already do Ogremoch (Prince of Evil Earth Creatures)? Oh OK, this is an Enveloper. I get them confused. This Evil Pillbury Dough Boy beats you to death, eats your body (leaving behind your magic items, this is important!) and absorbs your body to gain your skills. And then keeps going. So terrible art but a scary monster, especially since PCs can't be raised once it eats the body (so I guess we just have to keep Steve's stuff huh? Poor Steve, gonna think of him every time I use this Long Sword +2).



Evil Spider Men, totally not stolen from the Hobbit. Honest.



Evil Skeleton! first one this evening! It stalks you (much like a Dark Stalker (q.v.)) and tried to get you to do stuff. "The nature of the deeds will vary but they will be uniformly evil."

One eye is a red gem that shoots fireballs, the other is a black gem that causes fear. Alas they lose their powers when removed from the skull! But they are worth 1-2000 gold pieces.

Did anyone ever stop to think how odd it is to write a book about how much the different body parts of creatures are worth?

Skipping the rest of the Elemental Evil Guys and the evil bat (not to be confused with the two earlier evil bats (q.v.)).

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

Fs are surprisingly busy.



Flail Snails I am sure only exists due to the alliteration, well that and the fun of fighting an 8' tall snail. "The highly-colored shell affords the flail snail partial protection against magic, acting as a type of Robe of Scintillating Colors..."

Um yeah, OK. Moving on.



Evil leopard men. Lead packs of Gnolls (q.v) but dislike Trolls and will not cooperate with them. Damn Trolls.



OK, OK. If people remember or have heard of even one monster from this book it's Flumph, the sole Lawful Good creature in the book.

They're jellyfish. They fly by farting. They pee on you. They're helpless if turned over. They... I... you...

Someone was paid money to edit this. Think about that.




In contrast these guys are pure brilliance.

"These creatures are descendants of the offspring of a good nymph and the greater devil who enslaved her." That's a hentai comic just waiting to be written.

Not that I would know anything about hentai comics. But my friend said that. Yeah.

"They wander alone seeking vengeance on good and evil alive as they detest their own existence in a limbo." I really hope the creator was able to find counseling. We've all been there man.

Their attack is heat metal, basically they'll try and cook you in your own armor.

"As soon as it has killed one character the ambivalent nature of the Forlarren is revealed. It will show great remorse and will offer any survivors its services and powers..."

Like I said. Awesome. Just checked, another creation from the mind of Sir Ian Livingstone CBE!

I have a memory these might be based on 'real' myth as well. Something about the offspring of angels and demons? But I can't seem to find it now.



last one for tonight, the Frost Man, tell me he's not wearing ray-bans? Nah it's an eye patch, they can take off the patch and hit you with a cone of cold. Just kind of random.

Skipped a few here too, a 4' dragon, a race of desert lizardmen, a fire snake and a fire toad.

Getting late in Delhi, so see you all tomorrow with the epic saga of the Gith-somethings and the Gith-otherthings!


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/08/14 18:42:16


 
   
Made in us
5th God of Chaos! (Yea'rly!)




The Great State of Texas

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
& it's that time again, time to reach deep into the archives and look back on the books and games of yesteryear.

(If you'd like to see more there's an index here: https://www.dakkadakka.com/wiki/en/Kid_Kyoto_Retro_Review_Index)

Today (or tonight depending on when I finish this) we're going all the way back to the distant and forgotten year 1981! A Hollywood celebrity was in the White House and threats of nuclear war were in the air. A different time indeed.

And specifically we'll be looking at TSR long-awaited follow up to the 1977 Monster Manual, the Fiend Folio!



And that's a cover! Showing a Gith... hold on a second... a Githyanki warrior battling on the... Astral Plane? Ethereal Plane? Someplace like that, I remember one had silver chords the other one didn't.

Let's get back to them later. For now...



Come on in!

Unlike the original Monster Manual, which was largely Gary Gygax's word (though drawing heavily on myth and folklore) this book was crowd sourced (about 30 years before crowdsource became a word mind you) from submissions to an unnamed 'UK magazine'. Since the editor Don Turnbull declines to identify the magazine I'm going to assume it was Atropos: the journal for butterfly, moth and dragonfly enthusiasts.



No, I kid. It was White Dwarf.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Turnbull_(game_designer)

Turnbull was an early partner in GW but stolen away by TSR (probably why the magazine was not named) and an early feature in WD was the Fiend Factory where fans mailed in their ideas for new monsters. From the few early WDs I have it was pretty basic, just a name and a few stats, no art, minimal fluff. So this book was really the first time these monsters were fleshed out.

Which raises two interesting questions.

First off, is it better to have one author working on a project like this coming up with 100+ monsters, or 100 authors sending in their 'best' ideas. It's not as cut and dried as you might think. Writing like everything else is a skill and gets better with practice. Authors learn as they go along and can see the work as a while, recognizing that besides the usual growling hulking beasts you need room for other stuff like allies, annoyances, puzzles. With a crowd sourced book will you get incredible diversity from all these different folks sending in submissions, or will you get 100 different evil skeletons?

The second is a rights issue. There's a list at the end of who created what



Recognize anyone?

Someone tell me if Jeremy Goodwin is Jes Goodwin? I mean it can't be that common a name! And that Ian Livingstone guy sounds familar too...

But did they really sign away their rights by sending in submissions? Some of these monsters are still being used, they've showed up in mini games, in video games etc and I wonder if TSR/WoC/Hasbro's claim can be challenged. But they probably have better lawyers than me so it's not too much of a worry.

Come back soon as we start an alphabetical examination of the Fiend Folio, created by the finest minds of English gaming (circa 1980).


I remember when this came out. I liked the Monster Manual better but it was still nice.

-"Wait a minute.....who is that Frazz is talking to in the gallery? Hmmm something is going on here.....Oh.... it seems there is some dispute over video taping of some sort......Frazz is really upset now..........wait a minute......whats he go there.......is it? Can it be?....Frazz has just unleashed his hidden weiner dog from his mini bag, while quoting shakespeares "Let slip the dogs the war!!" GG
-"Don't mind Frazzled. He's just Dakka's crazy old dude locked in the attic. He's harmless. Mostly."
-TBone the Magnificent 1999-2014, Long Live the King!
 
   
Made in us
VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander





Mississippi

@Alpharius - the FF had some of the best art in the appendix section, hopefully that will get covered as well (pgs 96-111)

It never ends well 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

 Stormonu wrote:
@Alpharius - the FF had some of the best art in the appendix section, hopefully that will get covered as well (pgs 96-111)


It's a coming, there's a whole lotta evil skeletons between here and there though let me tell you...

 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




Colorado Springs

One neat tidbit, they all had magic armor and weapons, BUT any expose to sunlight made them crumble into dust!


My first exposure to D&D of any kind was playing Curse of the Azure Bonds on my dad's Amiga, and Drow gear still did this in the game (So annoying). Oh, and set those jiggly bits of troll on the sewer floor there on fire.
   
Made in us
Willing Inquisitorial Excruciator





Philadelphia

 Dysartes wrote:
I do like these retro reviews you do, Kid - need to check if I have the Fiend Folio, though I do have Deities and Demigods on my shelf.


But is it the Deities and Demigods with the Melnibonean and the Cthulhu Mythos in it?

Man, all of these bring back brilliant (rose-colored) memories. I started playing Adnd around 6th or 7th grade, and it was our game of choice for years and years. Sigh. (Man, and I old)

Legio Suturvora 2000 points (painted)
30k Word Bearers 2000 points (in progress)
Daemonhunters 1000 points (painted)
Flesh Tearers 2000+ points (painted) - Balt GT '02 52nd; Balt GT '05 16th
Kabal of the Tortured Soul 2000+ points (painted) - Balt GT '08 85th; Mechanicon '09 12th
Greenwing 1000 points (painted) - Adepticon Team Tourny 2013

"There is rational thought here. It's just swimming through a sea of stupid and is often concealed from view by the waves of irrational conclusions." - Railguns 
   
Made in gb
Fixture of Dakka







 Cruentus wrote:
 Dysartes wrote:
I do like these retro reviews you do, Kid - need to check if I have the Fiend Folio, though I do have Deities and Demigods on my shelf.


But is it the Deities and Demigods with the Melnibonean and the Cthulhu Mythos in it?


Unfortunately not - and neither is the copy at my LGS, though both have the paragraph thanking Choasium for letting them use the Cthulhu and Menibonean stuff in them...

2021 Plog - Here we go again... - my fifth attempt at a Dakka PLOG

My [url=https://pileofpotential.com/dysartes]Pile of Potential[/url - updates ongoing...

Gamgee on Tau Players wrote:we all kill cats and sell our own families to the devil and eat live puppies.


 Kanluwen wrote:
This is, emphatically, why I will continue suggesting nuking Guard and starting over again. It's a legacy army that needs to be rebooted with a new focal point.

Confirmation of why no-one should listen to Kanluwen when it comes to the IG - he doesn't want the IG, he want's Kan's New Model Army... 
   
Made in gb
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Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Love these reviews, always a good laugh to read.

Certainly some imagination back then.

Keep 'em coming!

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Made in us
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Beyond the Beltway

So, now I had to go dig out my Fiend Folio... never thought much of it. The pristine condition of the binding proves it.

A whole lot of filler monsters, and monster artwork by people who were not Trampier or Sutherland.

I apparently found it necessary to note that the male form of a caryatid column was either an atlas (plural: Atlantes) or a telamon.

I do have the Dieties & Demigods with all the Cthulu etc stuff. I probably bought it within a few weeks of its release. (Yes, I creak when I walk.) I never knew until a few years ago that subsequent printing had material removed. Ah, pre-internet days.

For the GW connections: TSR and GW planned to merge at one point, according to Gary Gygax. Apparently he had Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone out to Lake Geneva for a while. And made them do some yard work. One got poison Ivy, IIRC.

If you look at the credits for the British module B10- Night's Dark Terror, you'll see that a certain Tom Kirby receives thanks for his invaluable assistance.

IIRC, The license for D&D that GW held expired/was not renewed-- before the FF was scheduled to be published. So TSR created TSR UK and published the FF itself. Hence the delay between Don Turnbull's intro (dated August 1979) and the actual publishing date in late 1981.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/08/15 00:27:03


 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& we're back!

With the long promised, Gs!

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D



First off Evil Skeleton! (shock!)

Well OK actually a snake monster that wears a skull as a hat. But I think that counts. Jumps out of a pit, eats you, pretty normal really.

Among other things G is for Giant and we get 2 new ones.



Not quite sure why we need Mountain and Fog Giants to go with Hill, Stone, Cloud, Frost, Fire and Storm. Nice art though.



Gibberlings, naked crazy ape men attacking in packs of 40-400. Sometimes you just gotta go with the classics right?



"Millenia ago the Mind Flayers (q.v.) conquered a race of evil humans and bound them to service usually employing them as slaves but from time to time selecting particularly choice victims for food." Another great first sentence introducing our cover boys the Githyanki. Long story short, developed psy powers rebelled, moved to the Astral Plane and launch raids on humans and Mind Flayers alike.

I can't say I ever, ever used these, mainly since it would require learning both the Astral Plane rules and the psionics rules (please note they have ALL psionic defense modes EXCEPT J). Ruled by a lich queen, which is pretty cool, but somehow they can be Druids despite A) living in the Astral Plane and B) being evil. They carry Silver Swords, that have a 20% chance of severing an Astral traveler's silver cord (note this does not affect mind barred victims)... So despite the strong fluff and design you can kind of see why I always avoided them.



Nice design though.



Their arch enemies are the Limbo-dwelling Githzerai who sold them out and cut a deal with the #$%^ing Mind Flayers. Note that unlike the weak and unworthy Githyanki, the mighty Githzerai have FULL ACCESS to Psionic Defense Mode J!

Yeah, all the annoyance of the Githyanki without even the cool design.



Ah the Gorbel, basically suicide bomber monsters. Drop on you, bite you, if you hit them they explode. Not to be confused with Gas Spores the other suicide bomber monster!

Then we get my favorite from this book



The mighty Grell! A floating squid brain!

I mean look at it!



Now you would think these bad mamma-jammas would have access to all Psionic Attack and Defense modes (including the dreaded J) but no. No psy powers, no confusion spell, no mind control, just a brain squid. Personally I'd remake then as some kind of psychic lords with smaller hat sized brain squids that wrap around your head and control you. That would be awesome.

And they're immune to lighting, because of... reasons?



Grimlocks, blind subterranean cannibal mutants, because again, sometimes the basics just work. I like the fact that they're blind which raises some interesting tactical options for players, especially if they don't realize it at first.

I can see them in eternal war with the Gibberlings (q.v.). They seem at a disadvantage constantly outnumbered (Grimlocks only appear in bands of 20-200) and blind, but the Gibberlings constant gibbering makes it impossible for them to hide.

Skipping a few Gs, an imp, a giant bug, a lizard, a gorilla bear (cleverly called the Gorilla Bear), evil bird, evil spirit, evil cat, no great loss.

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

The Hs bring my second favorite monster from the book the Hook Horror.



By itself it's another undistinguished snarling hulk (though it does have a neat exoskeleton which it uses to communicate cricket style). And it's pretty obvious it only exists because of the alliteration much like the Flail Snail (q.v.) and the Sword Board (a malevolent sentient piece of wood with a sword sticking out of it which I just made up). But what makes it a favorite is this



When the D&D toys came out around 1983, 1984 they drew on a lot of the more original creatures from the FF rather than the iconic (and public domain) ones from the Monster Manual. I think the Grell had a bendy toy too. I had a Hook Horror toy and loved how it towered over my GI Joe and Star Wars figures, it looked like it could rip a HISS tank in half and dent a MOBAT. When the rubber band holding Stalker broke I decided it was canonically because the Hook Horror had torn him in half. So that little accident of marketing has made the Horror my (other) favorite monster from this book.



Now that's a heck of a monster! (Yes it's only there because of that pun...). And hey Evil Skeleton! Changes shape, gives you diseases. Otherwise unremarkable.

Skipping an evil cat (Hellcat!), frost breathing fox (is Hoar Fox against the language rules?), big bug, and evil dog (who is totally NOT the hound from Hound of the Baskervilles).

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D



"The invention of some great magic user or minor deity this segmented automaton is made from an unknown metal and shaped in imitation of a snake. It is believed there are only a dozen or so of these creatures in existence..."

That's a heck of a build up for a 3' long robo snake that manages to be LESS DEADLY than a normal cobra since its mecha-fangs only hold 3 doses of poison.

And I'd love to know what 'Minor Deity' is wasting time making these.

One day in the halls of Olympus...
"I am Altrax, creator of the heavens and earth, I laid the rivers with my mighty hands, I raised the mountains with the power in my arms , the forests grew at my command! And you are?"
"Hi... I'm Bob, god of mechanical squamata, I make these 3' long metal snakes, I call them Iron Cobras, want to see my Iron Cobra?"

Yeah, no.

Worth noting that Reaper made an Iron Cobra mini a while back... In case you're playing a campaign revolving around Bob and his Iron Cobra.

The Is also have an ice lizard (known as Ice Lizards) and some sort of shape changing blob with too many rules.



D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D




Finishing up the evening with the Jermlaine (Jinxkins), like the Grimlocks and Gibberlings and Ettercaps just another simple concept that works. Mole/Rat men, 1' high, specializing in ambushes.



Honestly I like all these variants on the whole morlock archetype. Any one of them is more interesting than orcs or goblins.

Skipping over a generic snake thing, already used my phallic jokes for the Iron Cobra.

I'll be back tomorrow or so with more of the same!






This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2017/08/15 16:45:47


 
   
Made in gb
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Battlefield Tourist





On an Express Elevator to Hell!!

Brilliant!

Damn that Grell is a thing from nightmare. Think the fact that it doesn't have psychic powers makes it all the more frightening for some reason!

And it says something that I thought 'Sword Board' may well have been a real thing until you pointed out that it was made up..

Epic 30K&40K! A new players guide, contributors welcome https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/751316.page
Small but perfectly formed! A Great Crusade Epic 6mm project: https://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/694411.page
 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

If only I'd sent the Sword Board into WD back in the day, I too might a Commander of the British Empire today.

 
   
Made in us
VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander





Mississippi

If I remeber correctly, you also needed a +2 weapon to hurt those damn Grell things. Some classic adventure has a high-roofed room with three of these things in it, who drop down and do the Batman thing on adventures, hauling them up to the ceiling to eat PCs or rip them apart and let the bloody bits fall to the floor.

I've also had great fun with jermlaine. These little pests and their dex-based poison darts gave a party hell, caught one of the (fleeing) PCs, shaved off every hair and dyed the PCs skin blue, then dumped them in the woods (hogtied, still under the effects of the dex poison) next to an Al'mal'rij lair. The rest of the party found him at negative hp, they never dared to go back and exterminate the jermalaine. These were 7th level PCs to boot...

It never ends well 
   
Made in us
Damsel of the Lady





drinking tea in the snow

I never even played dungeons or dragons but i loved these kinds of books. Monsters for everyone!

realism is a lie
 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& we're back!

So the Is and Js were pretty light, let's see what the Ks bring!

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

One of the odder monsters in the original Monster Manual was the Displacer Beast (q.v.) a black panther with octopus tentacles and a visual distortion power. They were the arch enemies of the teleporting Blink Dogs (q.v.) of course.

Point being...



Someone thought that was too tame! 4-7 neck snakes and breathes sleep spells at you.



It's the teng... I mean Kenku! Were they already worried about using public domain names? Bird men with thief skills, and magic. And can disquise themselves as humans (humans with beaks and talons and wings I assume). A neat concept but a while lotta random stuff thrown in.



The @#$%? OK fish from the Elemental Plane of Earth that can swim through rock and stone. Surprise you 7 times out of 8 by jumping out of the walls (I know I'd be surprised). They eat metal so again, it's pretty obviously a way for DMs to neuter a party over endowed with money or magic items.



Another classic TSR monster from the Underdark the Kuo-Toa. Fish men with diapers, scarier and more inhuman than a lot of the other humanoids races, not a bad addition.

Skipped a seaweed monsters and an imp, moving on...

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D



Cute! Another elemental monsters combining fire and earth with a random selection of magic powers and neat 'immunity to meal'. For them metal is as solid as a cloud. Giving us a neat bit of art and a lead into the next monster.



The mighty Jim Morris- I mean the Lizard King!



A chief for the Lizard Men, who I'm sure only exists for the Doors reference, with a magic trident that does a lot of damage (5-20 points, which in those days was a lot) but only works for them! Much like with the Drow, someone learned their lesson about giving away cool stuff.

Someone really liked them, they got another full page of art.



Really nice art at that.

Skipped a needkid snake chick. Y'see kids back in the day we didn't have internet porn, we had D&D books...

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The Ms are pretty big, but not all that interesting. So quickly.



Pretty generic morlocks but nice art no? Look like they could be cousins of the Githyanki.



Mephits, evil fiery fairies from hell. Come in Fire, Lava, Smoke and Steam varieties, 2 full pages and 4 pieces of art.



One neat idea from AD&D was the whole notion of Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic Evil which they reflected in their monsters. Devils were the lawful oppressive sorts, Demons the chaotic destructive sorts and with this book they introduced the Daemons, the neutral evil sort. As usual they had a random selection of magical powers but hey, nice art.

Skipping an evil living fire, evil flying manta ray, evil mole monster, and another #$%^ing imp.

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D



Hey evil skeleton! Well skull and spinal chord anyway. Can execute the 'dance of death' a hypnotic attack that paralyses so it can kill you. Requires the skull of a murderer to make one. Still more interesting than the Iron Cobra.



Remember when Jimmy Olsen got turned into a human porcupine, well it's kind of like that.



OK so I usually skip the monsters with no art but this one is right on that line between clever and trolling. A Nilbog (get it yet?) is a goblin (see it coming?) who "suffers from a curious spatio-temporal reversal" (see it now?). Hitting it with weapons gives it more hit points, healing spells cause damage, adventurers are compelled to load treasure into empty chests (no saving throw of course). So yeah, EPIC #$%^ing with the players.

So tempted to make a whole dungeon of Nilbogs, Rust Monsters, Disenchanters now...



Generic morlock/goblin "Far distant relatives of hobgoblins..." Nice art though.

And finally another Daemon



Funny that they weren't collected into a single category like other creatures, I think they got more codified in the MM2.

Skipped an evil panther (who can split into 9).

See y'all tomorrow with the Os and onward!

Including the single grossest monster in D&D history...

 
   
Made in us
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[Jǫtunn]






.

I feel like a lot of those jokes were already made, and I think we can guess what the grossest monster is but...

...enjoying the ride so far, so what the hell!

   
Made in us
VF-1S Valkyrie Squadron Commander





Mississippi

Spinal chord, (tap) dance of death - missed a Spinal Tap reference "by that much!" .

It never ends well 
   
Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

Hmm, I see someone else has the same odd love.

$2.50 on Hoard O Bits or $8 for the painted Grell...

[Thumb - s-l500.jpg]
Grell

[Thumb - s-l5001.jpg]
Grell


 
   
Made in us
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Colorado Springs

There's the old Deathknell Grell too if you want a pre-painted one without the goofy flying base.

Man, I want to dig through all my old D&D miniatures now.
   
Made in gb
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Moustache-twirling Princeps





Gone-to-ground in the craters of Coventry

 Kid_Kyoto wrote:
Including the single grossest monster in D&D history...
Is that a Neo-OhGod!!! I smell coming up?
Nope, wrong book.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2017/08/17 12:54:59


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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw (probably)
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Made in eg
[MOD]
Keeper of the Adeptus Arbites Flame






Cairo, Egypt

& we're back!

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

Skipping the Os, there's an evil rat monster and the mighty Ogrillon (half ogre, half orc, all redundant) and moving right to the Ps so we can get to...



Oh dear Lord what is that?!

(and how do you even pronounce it?)

The Pen-AN-gal-an (guessing here) is a female vampire whose head and internal organs detach and fly around biting people.

You put that in a book? And sold it to children? Sir have you no shame?

By day she's undetectable and may befriend the party but at night... Well at night you're pretty sure where she stands. Or not. On account of not having legs.

Years later I found out this is also a 'real' monster from Filipino folklore. And again kudos to the writers of these early D&D books for their broad use of myths. I don't really care if my cannibal mutants have proper ethnic representation but looking at other cultures gives us something different. And whatever you want to say about the Pen-AN-gal-an she sure is... different.

After that the rest of the Ps are pretty forgettable, evil blood sucking grasshopper, Phantom Stalker (why he only stalks phantoms I'll never know), poltergeist, and ANOTHER shape changing blob.

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D

Qs give us cannibal dog men, a 'rare species of cold water piranha' and these guys



"large seemingly insane humanoids which wear warpaint in a wide variety of clashing colors'. They radiate confusion and are so chaotic that any attempt to make them do anything kills them. Their swords have a +3 bonus which (of course) only they know how to make and maintain. And since you can't make them do anything the swords quickly become useless to the players.

D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D



Evil demon spiders (but not placed with the Demons (q.v.)?). I had a 2nd edition module where you got one and it turned good. It was a cool adventure.



Evil skeleton! Well zombie, but close enough. A person who met a violent death comes back for revenge, complete with rules for how this can happen (need 16 wisdom, 18 constitution and this and that and then you only have a 5% chance).



Hack off its limbs and they keep moving!

This is also a #$%^ with the players monster. It's pretty explicitly there so that NPC (or player) they betrayed and killed can come back for revenge.

Skipping the miniature oxen. Come back tomorrow for the Ss-Zs!

 
   
 
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