Friday, January 29, 2021

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - G.

E and F are back this way...

Galeb Duhr.

Think of the Galeb Duhr as something like treants, but rocks rather than trees. They're likely not unfriendly towards squashies, but probably also not that keen to hang out with/ be disturbed by them.

Remove most of their spells or make them group efforts (ponderous, earth-shaking dancing rituals), or the portfolio of a leader type. As well as being able to animate 1-2 boulders, I'd also gift them the ability to animate 2-12 rocks as Bowlers.

They definitely sing deep low droning songs in the mountain fastnesses and leave footprints to spark rumours of giants - I don't know if this is something I read in Dragon magazine or a later edition, but feels like a good fit. 


Fomorian Giant.

Evil ugly giants with not much to them than they can't be surprised due to their eyes, ears and noses being all over the place. Call them mutated, or possibly deformed.

Almost any other version of Fomorians is more interesting than this. I favour the mist-shrouded crude godlings of Michael Moorcock's Corum series.


Little people with great strength and tricksy giants shrinking down to human size are two of my favourite types of folkloric monster, so of course I like Firbolgs. For added tricksiness, they can cast fool's gold.

They also have the very giant-flavoured power of batting away/catching missiles launched at them, probably with a look of baffled irritation on their hairy faces.


Basically a variant on the Ogre/Giant theme, but I'm happy to see them in the mix, especially with 'notable verbeeg' such as Jimmy Squarefoot and Jack-in-Irons.

Note: I place Giants, Hags and Ogres on the same continuum - there's association and crossover, like with Elf/Goblin and Dwarf/Troll.

Gibbering Mouther.

Another off-brand Shoggoth - 'prefer[s] to inhabit cold and underground regions' - but I still think it's a cool monster, though I'd imagine plenty of consumers/creators/players have Gibbering Mouther Fatigue by now.

It has interesting abilities in this early iteration (I've noticed that some classic monsters lose distinctive characteristics and abilities as canon is reimagined): dazzling, exploding spittle; an overbearing attack subsystem (on 2d6! Yay!) and causing confusion by gibbering.

Its ability to control the density and consistency of the ground feels underdeveloped, but I'm sure there were plenty of rulings-not-rules to weaponise it.


A giant (but not Mothra territory) black-and-silver moth the patterned wings of which cause confusion, and which produces a strength-sapping pheromone. It has a larval form later in the book (Tenerbrous Worm).

This is a good solid monster, that manages to feel both mysterious and realistic, depending on what game you're trying to play - though that could just be because I like moth-monsters.


Stats for Goats so that you can fight Goats.


Sometimes Gorgons and Chimeras have sex, just like Basilisks and Dragons, and have little Gorgimera babies that grow up to breathe fire and petrification on adventurers.


Size M, but Ogre strong and tougher than plate armour; excellent mimics; keen senses; stealthy; selection of illusion-slanted spells.

'They often dress as peasants do', so the rest of the time they don't - nudity or finery or cosplay?


Oh no! The saddest story in the book.

'Small, intelligent, humanoid tree frogs... they have 700-year life spans and produce few offspring. Grippli are not warlike'. 

But you'll mistake them for Bullwugs and slaughter them.

1-2% chance of psionics; natural camouflage; tribe mother can produce a stinking cloud. A whiff of Gamma World about them.


Fairly traditional faerie folk on the Elf/Goblin spectrum. I'd reskin them to not have cricket/ grasshopper legs but keep their leaping ability (little magic boots or innate power).

They're the ones that can play music that'll make you dance to exhaustion - 'Grigs can play for hours'.


Normally, Good=boring but the Grim is an interesting monster. It's nocturnal and takes the form of a big black cat, dog or owl. As it does not communicate, its presence is unlikely to be reassuring. However, it has Cleric abilities (Turning, protection from evil, detect evil) and its habits are to ward off and warn of the presence of evil creatures. 

Very folkloric, with opportunity for hilarious/tragic misunderstandings.

Grue, Elemental.

There's no preamble for this, so I suppose we're all meant to know what a Grue is, either from Jack Vance or Zork. There don't seem to be any others in AD&D but the Elemental ones here.

Each has anti-magic tied to their element, preventing the casting/function of a list of spells - whether this was to try to cover or to create exceptions, I couldn't tell you. I'd definitely use them instead of the less interesting basic elementals.

My 'favourite' attack is that of the Vardigg, the fluid brute, which sticks a tube up your nose and drowns you. It and the Ildriss (wind terror) don't appear to have a folklore origin I can easily lay my hands on.

Once upon a time, I was doing my research and found mention of both the Chaggrin (soil beast) and the Harginn (flame horror) in The Imperial and Asiatic Quarterly Review 1893They seem to be pretty much the same thing (appearing as a yellow hedgehog) - though the Harginn is also described as a great serpent capable of swallowing a stag whole. 

(Incidentally, there was also mention of a Huecuvu - 'the wanderer without' - but that's Fiend Folio territory)

Onwards to H, J, K and L...

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - E to F.

Link back to a D post with Dragons in it...


Just an Eagle. 

It's got 1+3 HD, so it's tougher than a Goblin, Normal Human, Orc and Hobgoblin.


Eblis, but not from MM2.

The other weird humanoid/stork monster of MM2. They have Illusionist characters that dance to cast a limited number of spells.

Make 4 beak attacks per round (fast!), and have resistance to fire because they're so damp (they live in marshes/ swamps). 

Use instead of the Ogres you rolled when entering a swamp hex.

Eel, Electric (Marine).

Three sizes (6, 7 and 8 HD), up to 40' long. Their electric shock stuns as well as causing damage.

Use as intended, or as an otherwise relatively unaggressive giant cave worm/slug.


The grugach are a bit Ewok-y. They're angry little elves that set traps including deadfalls that hit hard as fireballs and pin the victim if they survive.

Valley Elves are 'World of Greyhawk'.  They're as tall as humans, are only friends with Gnomes, and are accompanied by Cooshee (Elven Dogs), but otherwise they don't really justify their own entry.

Elfin Cat.

With their ability to enlarge (doubling their attack power) and turn into a tree branch, there are strong faerie folklore vibes coming off this. 

The description puts them in association with all the jolly woodland folk, but I'd rather make their Neutrality chilly and have them keep to their own company when they're not frightening (but probably not preying on) church-going villagers.

Executioner's Hood.

This bag-with-eyeholes monster can be up to 3' in diameter, so can fit that size of head inside them without stretching.

They're just out to kill and eat you, and the best way to get one off without harming the victim is to douse it in brandy so it falls off, drunk.

I think this would be more interesting if it was looking for a host rather than a meal - maybe it wants to get drunk - otherwise just a size and attack form variant on the Lurker Above etc.

Falcon (Small & Large).

Just as edifying as the Eagle, though with the addition that it has a 25% chance of blinding you in 1 eye with a beak hit. One of those hidden mechanical reasons to wear a full helm.

Firefriend (Giant Firefly).

A friendly glowing intelligent bug that can shoot a beam of light from its bum for 5-20 hits and is immune to electricity and fire. They can speak Common and like to hang out with friendly folk to chat and tell stories.

Make them animals and take away that bum-beam. Keep their tolerance of humans and allow them to be used as light-sources. You probably have to find and exploit them in their home dungeon, rather than buy them from a dealer and take them with you.

Could also work reskinned as Mi Go.

Fly, Giant.

Big horrible flies, probably hairy and smelly. Can bite you and jump away (you can't strike back) if they have Initiative. Hit them with a torch to burn off their wings.

Horseflies suck your blood/fluids at a frightening rate. Bluebottles are attracted to sweet things, blood and open wounds. 

Shrink the bluebottle to about the same size as the Firefriend (S 1' long) or Webbird, and run it as a swarm monster, possibly one that lays eggs in your open wounds and backpacks, infesting both with maggots.

Foo Creatures.

Intelligent giant dogs and lions that oppose Lawful Evil.

Forester's Bane (Snapper-Saw).

Environmental hazard/ location monster, which will have grown back if you return this way within 2-8 weeks.

I'm guessing that it eats the meat it kills, because its berries are described as 'large, plump, and delicious, being very nutritious and rich in protein'.

Formian (Centaur-ant).

I've mentioned previously that apart from Bees I don't have much time for hive/insect monsters.

That Formians have a minimum Strength of 22 is quite interesting, and I suppose so is that they received an upgrade to Lawful Neutral monster exemplars in later editions.


'Huge and weird'.

It gets a page and I think it's worth it. Use this instead of a Dragon or Watcher in the Water. It has a Gamma World and a Call of Cthulhu vibe to it - I like it's peri/telescopic eyes and nostrils.

This is the kind of monster I'd like to put at the centre of an adventure location, but not be integral to the quest (if there is one) - it's a threat to everything in the area and it's not going anywhere, so the weaker denizens learn to live with it and get around it. The kind of level-inappropriate monster you encourage another monster to fight, rather than take on yourself.

Onward to G...

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - D Part 4 - Dracolisk to Dustdigger.

Link back to D Part 3...


Turns out, Basilisks and Dragons sometimes have sex. Dracolisks have a Black Dragon parent, but if they tried harder maybe we could have a monster type equally as expansive as the Dragon?

As a general rule, I prefer any dragon-alternative to an actual dragon, so the Dracolisk is already on steady ground. It can't fly for extended periods - which scratches a vague 'realism' itch. It has acid spit and a petrifying gaze.

It has 'hooded eyes with nictitating membranes' making it 90% resistant to having its gaze reflected at it. This is not specifically mentioned as a Black Dragon characteristic, AFAIK, but I'm going to rule that it is. There - canon.

Description includes a mod of the 'chance of meeting gaze' subsystem, adjusted to cover Large gazers.

No mention as to connection with Basilisk, Greater; only 'basilisk of largest size' is mentioned.


To quote myself, I prefer any dragon-alternative to an actual dragon - I prefer the dungeon game to the dragon game.

Dragonfear is described as an aura, but I prefer to think of it as a natural response to seeing such a thing, and you can bolt it onto any other big/powerful scary monster you like.

Cloud and Mist Dragons.

Slightly out of order, but there'scrossover between the two. If they weren't created by the same person, then they were at least in the same article/module once upon a time. They're wingless, serpentine - but think Oriental Adventures rather than Vikings Campaign Sourcebook.

Both 'assume a cohesive gaseous form', making them almost indistinguishable from cloud and/or mist, though they can't make physical attacks.

The Cloud Dragon gets a long paragraph on its breath weapon, a blast of air that can blow you away, and could be reused for a spell, trap or environmental hazard.

Mist Dragons breath a cloud of misty vapours causing air-breathers to take drowning damage each round. Maybe extend this to the cohesive gaseous form.

They also share some new spells: precipitation (light rain, hurts Salamanders), cloudburst (heavy rain, turns fireballs into less harmful steam), zephyr (gentle air movement with some useful applications). No particular reason these couldn't be shared with player characters.

Keep them in cohesive gaseous form as weird elementals of air and water. Give them their breath weapon even though RAW they wouldn't be able to use it.

Faerie Dragon.

I like their euphoria gas breath weapon.

Maybe as the familiar/companion of a particular type of villain or even player character.

Shadow Dragon.

Would reskin as elemental, undead or magical construct.

They prefer to walk and their breath weapon is an energy draining cloud of darkness.

Dragonfly, Giant.

Just another giant insect, yeah?

They could have been, but someone decided that they should be fearless, human-hunting carnivores. Which almost makes them sound noble.

Not only do they make saves as a 16th level Magic User, they have Low Intelligence - putting them on a similar cognitive level to a great swathe of the humanoid threat hierarchy. Because of their speed, they get an Initiative bonus and, as long as they have Initiative, they are much harder to hit.

I'd consider bringing down their HD, but otherwise I think these would make an unusual and satisfying alternative to just having your countryside ravaged/your village threatened by humanoids. If you really want, BECMI Creature Catalog pun-ishes incurious adventurers by giving them a draconic breath weapon based on their colour (also works as reskins for Mi Go with energy weapons).

Dragon Horse.

Some kind of magic horse, a bit like a Ki-Rin.


Sort of a confession: I usually lose interest when I see the words 'World of Greyhawk' - I don't know why.

I think the Dragonnel's colouring sounds nice.

Drelb (Haunting Custodian).

This is one of those monsters that is basically undead, but the description specifies is not. Looks just like a Wraith, if you use that kind of consistency.

There's a folklore quality to the magic summoning them only functioning from sunset to sunrise.

Drelb have 'their own strange language' and two unusual powers - any psionic power used nearby can be reflected or imitated to turn back on the psionicist, and they can advance while shrinking themselves so that they seem to be retreating. They do this when you try to Turn them.

The 'nether chill' of the Drelb's touch makes you fall to the ground shivering, unable to act until the chill passes. This is the kind of ability I like to swap out energy drain for - I'm not opposed to energy drain, but I like a flavoured ability that translates across systems, levelled or not. The entry doesn't say how long the chill lasts.

With its similarity to the Wraith, the advance-while-retreating and the slightly unexpected inclusion of psionic resistance, the Drelb is a Gotcha! monster by design but there's enough here to extrapolate from for your own canon.


Spidertaurs. They drink blood and hang out with Spiders. Because they're Drow, they have spells and might also be levelled Clerics or Magic Users.

I can't resist a spidertaur; they don't have to be Drow.


Classic wargame statblock and description - they're evil dwarves and this is how they're armed and armoured; here are the leader-types; here is the proportion of noncombatants for Paladins to prove how Lawful Good they are.

A bit less evocative than (say) the Derro entry, but there are Cleric/Assassin characters - one of my favourite multi-classes (in theory - never got to play one). They have psionics that easily convert to spell equivalents. 

Molecular attraction is apparently a mis-print, so either homebrew that, or decide on whether they meant molecular agitation (heat metal) or molecular rearrangement (turn lead to gold). According to 2e, they meant agitation.

Use directly as Dwarves/Trolls, or reskin slightly as Elves/Goblins.


Another monster with a Gamma World/ sci-fi flavour - a giant starfish that hides under the sand and drags you to a toothy death in its own sinkhole. 20% can create an illusion of a pool of bubbling water to draw you in. 

While this is a desert monster, because MM2 came out in 1983, I wonder if this 1981 John Saxon classic had any influence:

Finally, a new letter - onwards to E (& F)...

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - D Part 3 - Devil, Diakka & Dinosaur.

Link back to D Part 2...


The standard preamble for multitudinous extra-planars. 

Missed this the first time round, but -as with demons (and trolls)- devils are able to split their attacks between 2 or more opponents: multiple attacks are common; multiple opponents is a special ability. 

There's a list of devils (including Buer) with some detail of their position within Hell's hierarchy. There are several female devils, all with the position of Consort - though whether Bensozia consorts with both Asmodeus and Baalzebul or is the agent of one in the bed(?) of the other is not specified. There are several marked with an asterisk, and based on the use of some of these names in Planescape, I think this indicates that they're Pit Fiends (MM).

Most of the dukes and arch-devils suffer for not being anything like how they're depicted in the Dictionnaire Infernal - if you're not familiar already, they are worth checking out for comparison - and I've provided a pic where I can.  It might be hard to take some of them seriously, but there's plenty of creative room for them to be interestingly gruesome, compared to the array of horned, angry-faced blokes with wings.

There aren't any human/devil offspring -at least in this book, but Alu-demon and Cambion look suitably devilish to be used (with a slight modification of abilities and Alignment, if you want to play it that straight).


Scaly devils, 'most serve Tiamat' and coloured after the evil chromatic dragons - though without thematic special abilities.

An otherwise fairly unremarkable variable statblock monster, though it specifies they grapple - presumably using the rules from the DMG. Which is another kind of Hell.

Amon (Duke of Hell).

I like him because he's got a grinning wolf head and that pose projects personality, but he's otherwise just a hit point/ spell list sack. He has a winter wolf as a pet.

And this version was available and they didn't go with it.


Bael (Duke of Hell).

He wears 'bronze armour fashioned in the ancient style' and wields a telescopic morning star, but otherwise he's not much different to any other duke of Hell.

What might have been:


Bearded Devil.

I can work with these.

They have a signature weapon -saw-toothed glaive with a treble-hook- and their wiry beard gives you a Dexterity-sapping rash. Both of which make them more interesting than Belial.

Belial (Arch-devil).

Big guy, handsome, diabolic, basalt palace. Next.

Glasya (Princess of Hell).

She has 69 hit points. I never noticed before. FFS.

She is also 9' tall.

"Okay. So she's a dog" Dr. Peter Venkman.

Hutijin (Duke of Hell).

Uses his tone of voice to cause fear. He's a Pit Fiend, but with smaller head and wings.

Mammon (Arch-devil).

There's a bit of the Wild Hunt about this guy - riding a Nightmare and leading a pack of Hell Hounds. Otherwise, he's a big fat red devil who is worth fewer XP than his vassal, Bael. But he's got fool's gold as a spell-like power, because he's about love of money or something.


Mephistopheles (Arch-devil).

Another big snore.

Moloch (Arch-devil).

Has an electric whip and fear-causing breath.



'Nupperibo' and 'noppera-bo/ nopperabou' were dissimilar enough in the contexts they were being used that it took a while to realise that the AD&D name was from the Japanese.

The Nupperibo - the least of all devils - are not faceless ghosts, but 'blind, deaf and unable to speak', with no other clues as to what they look like, other than they march (so must have legs) and have hands.

Milling, silent hordes; instinctively gathering together (they can sense the presence of their own kind); waiting to respond to the thought commands of more powerful devils; regenerating the damage done to them as part of their eternal torment; the tiny prospect of being raised to devilhood.

To add a creepy cherry to top this cake, they may be semi- to exceptionally intelligent, but no one can tell because of their 'limited sensory capabilities' - leaving you to imagine what their interior lives are like and what they'd say if they could but speak.

Titivilus (Duke of Hell).

I was keen for this one, because the Tuttivillus Room (not that far off) was one of the locations in the horror-focused Fighting Fantasy gamebook, House of Hell.

And he doesn't disappoint (by my measure).

He has a silver sword of wounding, which could be reasonably reinterpreted as a silver sword of wounding with the additional effects of a Githyanki blade on astral travellers.

His spell-like abilities selection is dissimilar to those of the other dukes and arch-devils, with more non-combat application options. He can cast feeblemind, which I've always felt was more narratively frightening than (say) finger of death. His charm is the druidic version, rather than the MU.

And he has ruddy cheeks.

Spined Devil.

Not much more than an Imp, really - they're only 3' tall. With their 3+3 HD, I'd be happy to make them adult human-sized and treat them as the basic/standard devil - they're armed with forks.

They can also use their spines as flaming darts, bombarding opponents while airborne and setting them on fire. Much cooler than Hutijin.


With some foreknowledge, I was expecting the Diakka to be something like a possessing poltergeist rather than weird humanoid/stork monsters from the Glooms of Hades. 

Their special abilities (jump, audible glamer, weakness, enfeeblement) are integrated into their behaviour and tactics. The description gives some details of how they use their abilities and how they approach encounters with potential opponents of varying strength, which is miles away from the statblock-and-spell-list monsters that Daemons, Demons, Devas and Devils lavished on me.

The Diakka here and the Diakka I had in mind are very different beasts, but it turns out I do rather like a weird humanoid/stork monster (another one turns up later on).


There are nineteen dinosaur or dinosaur-adjacent entries here. While it's handy to have readymade statblocks for Compsognathus, Deinonychus and Dimetrodon, there really isn't the need for so many individual entries - particularly since almost none of them have any distinguishing special abilities or unusual mechanics/subsystems.

Ankisaurus has a Special Defence listed, but it is literally that it will climb to escape threats - no mechanics; not that special.

The BECMI Masters Dinosaurs are given as broad types and ranges of statistics, rather than Linnean hair-splitting with plus or minus AC/HD here and there.

I use dinosaur statblocks as starting points for Lizardfolk, and gave Tanystropheus caustic venom it could spit to make a non-draconic dragon. 

Once upon a time, I gave a necromantic society dinosaurs as their beasts of burden - the raising of the dead to do one's bidding was more a sacred rite than for practical purposes.

Friday, January 22, 2021

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - D Part 2 - Demons, Derro & Devas.

Backwards link to D Part 1 - Daemon to Demodand...

Moving swiftly on, to a different part of the Lower Planes; this section is mainly demons.


The preamble to this section is a diverting read, though it naturally reruns some of the information from MM and also follows the general content of all the Daemon/Demon/Devil intros. 

If a demon likes you (Reaction Roll?) it carries you off and makes you its slave, apparently favoured - so that's okay.

Nice list of who's-who in the Abyss, noting who's merely a Lord, and who's classed as female. Some names recognisable from IRL demonology and some from D&D, but also some that I wasn't able to track down in my pre-internet tomes of forbidden lore

Plus, some suggestions about inhabitants of various infamous layers, and mention of the Goristroi - which isn't otherwise featured in MM, FF, MM2 or DMG, AFAIK.


An ancient Babylonian (male?) demon, born of a human, but in D&D it's the female offspring of a Succubus (MM) and a human. Because she can be a levelled Magic User, she can easily end up more formidable than its mum - with which she shares a number of powers.

Personally, I don't think demonic ancestry should be as cut-and-dried as the Alu-demon and Cambion are presented, though they make obvious candidates for featured villains in a game.

'Some 20% are not totally devoted to Evil'.


An interesting outcome, especially if this was based on the Babau of folklore/mythology - basically a Bogeyman with regional variations of appearance, habit and name. Sometimes referred to as 'The Black Man', but I don't think it has anything in particular to do with witches (or Nyarlathotep).

The D&D version is a giant skeleton in all-over 'form-fitting black leather' with even bigger head, hands and feet, dripping with slippery red slime - which is a great look for any self-respecting monster, demon or bogey.

Nothing about its habits; the usual, mainly unremarkable, spell-like ability choices (though I always like heat metal). Glowing red eyes with a ray of enfeeblement gaze-attack.

The description puts me in mind of a kind of Rawhead-and-Bloody-Bones bugbear/ogre - so maybe they were trying for a Bogeyman vibe. I'd take it out of demon category and let it get back to its roots -scaring children and lurking under stairs while being much too big and powerful for this to make much sense.

Baphomet (Demon Lord).

Giant Minotaur, at war with Yeenoghu. I prefer mine with goat bits and ambiguous gender presentation.

His breath weapon being a gout/quart of unholy water and his attacks destroying equipment are really the only things that distinguish him from any other sack of hit points with a spell list.


Big scary demon orangutan that likes to spoil the plans of greater demons by manipulating their less intelligent minions. They 'shun most other types of demon', but no clues as to who the exceptions are.

In mythology, the Bar-lgura sits on the roof of your house, waiting to pounce when you come outside - so I don't know what, if anything, fed into the D&D version from the source material. 

Create water and plant growth are interesting additions to the usual suspects for spell-like abilities. Overall, I rather like the Bar-lgura (a lot of it is the impactful illo), but I'd love to know a little more about the source material and the decisions that led to this particular monster.


The male offspring of a human female and a demon. Famous cambions include Caliban and Merlin, and I'd be happy to go with demonic ancestry not just boiling down to Ability Score bonuses and special abilities.

The description specifies the ranks of Major Demon, Baron and Marquis - but the three monster manuals only identify the Nabassu as a Major Demon, and then several Princes and Lords. There's an interpretation of some text in the Monster Manual that suggests the Type VI/ Balor is on a different level to the other Typed demons, so they might also be included. 

I don't really know where all these demon daddies are meant to come from. 


Cross between a fly and a humanoid, with a blood-sucking nose. A description that doesn't capture my gut feeling that this is somehow more genuinely demonic than other entries under the demon umbrella. Or it could be that disgust is a commonplace reaction to flies (I bet it smells, too).

Has a hummadruz ability, so therefore I'm almost duty bound to like it, even if I didn't already.


Fairly unremarkable minor demon. I guess they're ultimately meant to be swarm monsters, and how creepy or threatening they are will depend on how you run them, rather than anything intrinsic to the monster.

Fraz-Urb'luu (Prince of Deception).

The home plane that shapes itself to his wishes is interesting, but otherwise this is a sack of hit points with a spell list.

He can trick other Princes into appearing when he opens a gate, which has potential.

Graz'zt (Demon Prince).

'The handsomest of demon rulers' hangs out with 'sexy lady' monsters - lamias, succubi and Type VI demons.

My favourite thing about this guy's entry is that it conjures the image of an army/nation composed of troglodytes, harpies and bar-lgura (Graz'zt was snatched from his victory over them), which gives me far more food for thought than anything else in this entry.

If he wasn't so powerful, being accompanied at all times by 1-3 lamias would also be interesting.

Kostchtchie (Demon Lord).

This comes up on the image search, and I think gives a good idea of where I think Kostchtchie should be coming from. I also used to have this edition and gave it all up for a little less baggage when I moved.

He's disliked by all other demons, except the minor ones.

'Dislike' feels very mild, and also conjures up the image of minor demons checking in on him to see if he's okay, or just coming over to hang out and shoot the breeze. Served by frost giants and has a white dragon as a mount/pet.

And he has a favourite - not favoured, not preferred, but favourite - weapon (huge hammer of cold iron, with nickel and silver inlays), which he looks like he's hugging, maybe even about to kiss, in the illo. I've read The Walking Dead so I know who Neagan is.

Kostchtchie by the book.

I was going to say Kossy is just another hp-and-spell-list, but there's potentially a lot more going on if you're prepared to take seriously not taking it seriously. There's also an air about the description, illo and special abilities that suggests a mythological/folkloric giant rather than a demon.


Their life-cycle means that they come to the Prime Material Plane to feed on humans and grow stronger (improve hit points and AC), in a similar manner to the Barghest. 

Signature ability is death stealing, which is a 'harmless' attack - there's no obvious effect until the character dies (and that could be right now or further down the line), when they immediately rise up as a ghoul or ghast. The stolen death can be used to instakill someone else (it specifies that used against the original owner, they still come back as ghast or ghoul), and they rise up as a shadow - 'doomed to serve the nabassu whenever called'.  Just this ability would make a good solid monster, demonic or otherwise - and it's also a delicious power for a necromantic staff or ritual knife.

Other special abilities are very necromancer/undead flavoured (energy drain, etherealness, paralyzation, regenerate, silence, vampiric attack). If your Vampires are corpses possessed by demons, then Nabassu are the demons that do that - in fact, reskin Nabassu as Vampires, because it will work.


Pazuzu (Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms).

At first glance, this is another sack of hit points etcetera etcetera entry, but there's quite a bit more to Pazuzu than this -  he has a personality.

For a start, he's able to travel the planes with much greater freedom than other Lower Planars - including being able to come to the Prime Material - and is 'on amicable terms with mighty daemons and the dukes of Hell'. 

He engages in what I consider to be traditional demonic behaviour, attempting to corrupt clerics and paladins by offering aid in exchange for services that cause 'chaos but not always direct evil'. He can grant a wish once per day.

He has 'a great sense of humor' and doesn't mind being defeat/outwitted, if the opponent is canny enough (Rule of Cool?).

Pazuzu's spell-like powers have a thematic harmony that those of many other demon lords/princes don't, and include statue - which I suppose could be a nod to him featuring in The Exorcist. His breath weapon is tri-fold - poison gas (effects undefined but size is equal to green dragon breath, so it could be save or die, or damage=current hp), creeping doom and insect plague - I'm getting strong visuals.

Even his bodyguard is interesting, being 6 Type VI demons but specified as 'not those listed in MONSTER MANUAL 1'. What does this mean?


Weak and low-ranking demons, but they have an arsenal of interesting weapons which I would not allow them to monopolise. They do hang with Chasmes, so they've also got that going for them.


These are an AD&D analogue of Shaver's Dero. Which means there's a whole body of literature (fiction or otherwise) to dip into and build with. Or someone just used the name, and let everyone else make the connections.

While this is a pretty standard wargame army entry - leader-types and weapon distribution - it does hint at other aspects of the culture: sunlight nauseates them; technology and materials (repeating crossbows, dragon hide armour); gargoyles and lamia as allies; the sage-like savants.

They're also probably humans, albeit short, subterranean and cannibalistic. As a monster, I think they're instantly likeable and I'd hope everyone has their own favourite extrapolation of the Derro.


Apologies - Devas as well as Daemons have substantial adds to their HD (from 28 - 32).

There are a few suggestive details scattered about - Astral Devas are unaffected by total vacuum; Movanic Devas will not be attacked by plant monsters -  but basically they're angels without saying they're angels, and Good=boring/ hp sack + spell list applies.

Coming up next, mainly Devils and Dinosaurs.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - D Part 1 - Daemons to Demodand.

Backward Link to C...

It's the Big One! Over thirty pages of the book, and taking in multiple entries under Daemon, Demodand, Demon, Deva, Devil, Dinosaur and -of course- Dragon.

I'm breaking it down into sections.


Filling in the Neutral Evil gap between Demons and Devils, and slightly cooler than both because they've got that saexy ae in their name. The usual info on slaying them, saying their name, common special abilities and damage resistance. 

I feel like the Daemons were a disparate bunch of Lower Planes monsters that someone thought would be better gathered into a group. There aren't any obvious connections between them, and the Arcanadaemon seems more like a Devil to me with its horns, humanoid body, red-iron forts and baronies. 

Based on formative Alignment studies, I decided Daemons were purer Evil than either Demons or Devils, because Evil was more important to them than Law or Chaos.

Became Yugoloths in 2nd edition, although 'daemon' did appear in the Monstrous Compendium prior to Planescape. This is still quite a cool name. And they were 'evened-out' a bit, presumably to make them a more coherent group.

Their Magic Resistance is different to the Magic Resistance for everything else - it starts from a more logical 1st level, rather than 11th. Most have significant Pluses to their HD (x1 to x4 their HD), to the extent that I wondered if some were typos and should be number ranges (3-9 rather than 39, for example) - they seem to be the only monsters across all three AD&D bestiaries (MM, FF, MM2) to have such high adds.


Horned, dog/jackal headed, wearing robes, and it's a spell-caster (11th to 18th level) with psionics.

Nice detail that they live in red-iron forts containing portals to the Prime Material Plane.


'Royal robes or ermine and silk'
Pretty fancy for a skeletal gondolier.

Big disappointment - my Charon is the Ray Harryhausen one from Clash of the Titans, and the one that accepts a couple of coins, none of this 'silk bag of 100pp' business. I guess I'll go and stat my own, then.

It's interesting that his attention can be attracted by casting certain apparently unrelated spells, and I like the idea of him turning up unannounced and asking "Where do you want to go?"


Little disappointment - nastier, lesser clones of Charon. 

Charge more reasonable rates than their boss. Use one as the Charon so lower-level adventurers can join in the fun.


Because there isn't much (any) detail on how they live, there's no real feeling for the Derghodaemon as a monster - they're a statblock with abilities and an illustration.

For some reason, I've always thought this would be better as a clockwork/mechanical monster, a construct rather than a daemon. That might be the multiple arms and 360 degree rotating head. 

Strip out the daemonic abilities and bring down AC & HD; maybe even fill it up with something dangerous (like for Golems and Living Statues). Any gems that were meant to be in the daemon's gizzard/stomach are now decorative inserts or eyes.


Supposedly the only creature that does not lose its memory when in contact with the River Styx - implying that everything else, including Charon and other unique powerful beings, would. In fact, it seems possible that Charon and the Charonadaemons would be losing their memories on a regular basis, maybe multiple times per day.

Low intelligence flying/gliding frog daemons.

Anthraxus the Decayed - the Oinodaemon.

I don't know what the title might mean - oinos apparently means 'wine' but I don't know how or why that would apply here.

He causes disease by touch, has a transfixing gaze, and wields a staff of office (which I imagine as a fancy walking stick) with the powers of beguilement, geas, mass charm and to grant another's wish. No mention of charges or daily limits, but it works on other daemons (and possibly other monsters immune to charm). He's got psionics, too, and uses them to turn lead into platinum - which has a nice occult, demon-y feel to it.

Undescribed are 'other unique daemonic beings' named Bubonis, Cholerix, Diptherius and Typhus - suggesting a theme.

My favourite thing about Anthraxus, however, is that he wears a 'rotting grey suit and cape', which I always see as being a modern suit with waistcoat, so he also wears a pocket square, tie, and watch-chain. I imagine him to be one of the few monsters capable of breaking the fourth wall, and might even carry a concealed revolver.


Cthulhuvian-looking fellows, these. Reskin slightly (they're not Daemons anymore) and put them to work for Mi Go or Mind Flayers.

They seem like a pretty solid choice for a guardian daemon. As Piscoloths, they get a significant upgrade in Planescape.


If you look into its huge eyes like fire-opals, you must save or stop fascinated. But even if you make your save, you 'will not see the ultrodaemon but someone loved or respected', getting the encounter off to an interesting and unusual start.

The Ultrodaemon statblock and description is fairly economical (three paragraphs). Its most ostentatious special abilities are wall of fire and blade barrier, but the rest are charms, illusions and detection, as well as symbols of persuasion, insanity and hopelessness. With magic jar and the possible ability to summon monsters/characters from the Prime Material Plane, you've got a nemesis around which you could spin an entire campaign.



It has a massive giant arm (Storm Giant) and a normal human arm.

It's got a signature weapon - the tol-kendar (body-wrecker) - through which it can direct its shocking grasp ability. 

And it can drain your XP, hp, psionic power points, and Ability Scores after it's knocked you out.


Limited wish-granting Evil Earth Genie.

About the only thing I find interesting is that they dwell in the Great Dismal Delve - which they've spoiled for me by dwelling there.

Death, Crimson.

There's no other 'Death, comma' monster in MM, FF or MM2 - I've checked the index - so why not call it Crimson Death and take some weight off D?

For a 13 Hit Dice Genius it doesn't seem to do much more than hang around in a bog waiting to drink adventurer blood. Even using the treasure of its past victims to bribe or lure new ones doesn't seem especially clever.

However, as a vampiric elemental or a Gamma World-esque hazard from the technological past or something called down from the stars on certain nights of the year it works quite well - I suppose don't try to overthink it.

Also, 100% Magic Resistance and 3-30 damage per hit.


I get it - the Demilich is a special part of D&D history and was made for a specific reason.

Not knowing that, on my first reading, it just seemed like an unreasonably tough and deadly monster that says a dozen different ways that it can kill you and you can't kill it. And mentions 'soul' more than any other bit of D&D text I can recall.

It's still a great basic concept - undead so dead that it's just bits and pieces but powerful.


All three share a number of common characteristics and abilities, but are otherwise another group of evil Lower Planars. 

I like that that the Shaggy Demodand isn't furry, but has baggy skin. 

And to a UKian, the Slime Demodands being 'the middle class of Tarterus' rings differently than it was intended.

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - C.

Backward Link to A-B...

Oh! This barely took me any time - is it because C isn't very long or are the monsters not very good?


Domestic and Wild. Cats. They're cats.

If you don't like cats, use them instead a Giant Rats in your tutorial dungeons.

Cat Lord.

The Cat Lord feels like a Mary-Sue.

Some people complained that Deities & Demigods giving hit points for the divine was just encouraging players to try and kill them. I'm not complaining in the case of the Cat Lord.

Catfish, Giant.

Big fish. Swallows you whole. Some potentially useful mechanics for cutting your way out.

Cave Cricket.

In the same territory as the Cave/Giant Locust, with a loud chirp that drowns out speech (and presumably verbal components of spells, unless their effectiveness relies on the mouth making them rather than the ear that hears). 


Cave Fisher.

This feels like an absolutely appropriate -even necessary- hazard/monster for subterranean adventures.

If Gygaxian species profusion bothers you, all the abilities and mechanics could be bolted onto a generic Spider or Worm, and it could do the same from a treetop.

Cave Moray.

Because you've only got a 5% chance of being able to attack one after its attacked you, this feels more like an environmental hazard or puzzle/trap than a monster threat - a gauntlet you have to run unless you're prepared to use a mass kill spell.


Big, hungry, venomous centipedes are a solid monster threat. Not much more to say.

Megalo-centipedes have contact venom that splashes on your skin.


Serviceable statblock and abilities if you need a Cheetah or a Cheetah-like monster - better than the Bear, Northern (Polar Bear).

Choke Creeper.

This kind of plant monster (like the Bloodthorn) feels like more of an environmental hazard than a monster - it's a location in itself.

For Monster Manual Top Trumps, it has 25 Hit Dice.


It's specified that they have weird, alien thought processes so only Magic Users can communicate with them. I assume they mean through spells, but why not make this a core ability of the class and then try to extrapolate why this is so?

The Cloaker's sound attack (subsonic moaning, blocked by stone) is comparable to a hummadruz, so they've also got that going for them. And they can manipulate shadows, which is always cool.

As much as I like the standard Cloaker, I'd probably reskin it as another off-brand Mind Flayer variant or a Mi Go. Or have them in underwater adventures, rather than the dungeon, as a nod to their roots in the Fafhrd/Mouser tales.

Cooshee (Elven Dog).

'Cooshee' seems like a brand-name toy, but it's just cu sith or cu sidhe for easy reading.

There's not much of the faerie about this. It's statblock and abilities could serve for lots of predator animals and monsters. Even makes a fair (Lovecraftian) Ghoul.

Crane, Giant.

Statistically not very far from the Axebeak and the Clubnek. It's a big bird. 

Not even an unexpected Alignment or surprisingly high Intelligence to catch your eye.


Crystal elemental, high to exceptional Intelligence, Neutral (evil) Alignment. Use them as an elemental as intended or as some kind of alien being - they've got a bit of a sci-fi flavour, and I like to think by 'sharp, rotating appendage' they mean 'drill'.

I'm starting to think that Neutral (evil) might mean something very specific that I've missed somewhere along the way.

Crystal Ooze.

Always room for Ooze.

It's 75% invisible when in the water - I'd not confine this ability to water. Maybe it becomes more visible as little streaks of dissolving paralysed victim spread throughout its clear and sloppy mass.


Where's the Cyclops, then, for them to be kin of?

Basically, Ogres with poor depth perception because of their single eye, and I'd make that a possible feature of any Ogre rather than a separate monster.

Note: Ogre as a broad monster type, rather than a species - they're mortal/mundane monsters, rather than supernatural beings. Their main features are being stronger (though not necessarily bigger) than humans and eating humans, while being humanoid themselves. Ogres can be stupid or clever, brutal or subtle, club-wielding or spell-casting - in any order and combination.

Onward Link to D Part 1 - Daemon to Demodand...

AD&D Monster Manual 2 - A to B.

I thought I'd have a go at reviewing the Monster Manual 2 monsters, and it's definitely because these folks are doing the Monster Manual and Fiend Folio:

Monster Manual 2 was the first AD&D product I bought, because Fiend Folio wasn't on the shop-shelf on the day and because I already had (or thought I had) all the basic/canon monsters via BECMI (or at least the BE part). 

A few preliminary points, because these are personal takes on the monster entries:

I don't know the TSR-adjacent history/origins of these monsters.

Dwarf, Elf, Goblin and Troll are all on the same continuum in my head/world, with Elf/Goblin and Dwarf/Troll being almost interchangeable. They're all faerie folk/ paramortals, rather than mortal/mundane humanoids, and I have folklore preconceptions of various named monsters. 

The D&D cosmology is not canon, neither is Alignment. Neither is AC and HD, but I'm not going to lean too much into that.

Generally, "Good=boring" but non-canon Alignment can change things. A lot of the Good extra-planars in MM2 are very powerful, with great lists of spell-like abilities. I never aspired to play at that kind of epic level, so I was never that interested.

I like transferrable mechanics and subsystems, so a mediocre monster might get praise for something that can be pulled out and reused (to better effect) elsewhere.

Okay. Here you go:


I mean, I'm sure you know what an Aboleth looks like by now

The abilities of this monster are much more inspiring than the monster itself, although I don't know if this because I've got Aboleth fatigue - I thought this monster was something of an outlier until I came off rpg hiatus. 

Based on statistics and abilities, nowadays I'm tempted to reskin it as an off-brand Mind Flayer. 

I've previously (a long time ago) bolted the skin transformation and forced water breathing special abilities onto a mindless living deity for some local Deep One stand-ins (now-aquatic elves with leather wetsuits, spear-guns and reverse-scuba gear) - the cult literally converts you.


It's just a really big fish. Whirlpool mechanic is okay, but otherwise this is an unremarkable stat-block - attach the mechanical subsystems to a more interesting leviathan.


First time round, I probably skipped past as 'Good=boring'. 

An 'agathodaemon' (good spirit) is the counterpart to the 'cacodaemon' (bad spirit) - presumably, someone didn't want to muddy the cosmological waters that already took in the Daemons-as-monster-type (extensively covered later in MM2), nor the MU spell cacodaemon.

It's basically a psionic Cleric from another plane.


Couldn't tell you why exactly, but I'm a big fan of Hags as a monster type. The Annis is a giant(ess) that can appear as a human or humanoid (though the description specifies 'large', so may not be as useful a disguise as it seems).

They're strong (19/ Hill Giant) and tough (skin counts as plate, and specifies AD&D 1e's weapon type vs. armour type rules here), with auto-damage if they grab hold of you. Top it off with the ability to create a fog cloud, and I think this is a pretty solid monster.

Ant Lion.

The Sarlacc Pit of the giant insects. I give it a thumbs-up for just being what it is.


Intelligence is 'Unratable' (which might just mean 'alien') and Alignment is 'Neutral (evil)' (which implies motive and/or identity). It's a big ball of fungus.

Can knock you down and poison you with spores, and your best bet is to stab it with a 6'+ spear.

No. Appearing is 1, but imagine a herd of these rolling over the (lunar) landscape.


Cow or larva - don't know why they used this illustration for this monster.

I always found it hard to care, because they're just a fairly vanilla hive/insect monster with not much to distinguish them from any of the others.

As 'the existence of larvae and cows is only rumor', they could have been left out completely and the Aspis would be a giant, Very Intelligent weevil that has a 5% chance of speaking Common and can comfortably wield 2 weapons and 2 shields at once - which I think stands on its own. 

They have no individual names and enjoy drinking blood - recreationally, rather than as an attack form.


'The smallest of sprites'. Elf/Goblin.


Its precious metal-eating habits are implied by its name, but aren't made explicit in the description (2e Monstrous Compendium and a Dragon magazine The Ecology of... article are what really piqued my interested in the 'golden gorger').

Being Size S and having 12 HD, as well as various immunities and resistances, means that it is the mongoose, or the rue-stuffed weasel, of D&D monsters - it is capable of going toe-to-toe with some of the big dogs of the MMs, including dragons.


'They appear much like dwarves with brass-colored skin and flames for hair'. 

Then I will use them as Dwarves and Trolls, probably living in volcanoes. The fact that 'the word of an azer is a solid bond' only reinforces this folkloric conviction. They're also little people with great strength, which is something I like in a monster.

The name of their 'legendary king' is Amaimon, a prince of Hell in IRL demonology (and not a hundred miles from Mammon), so they could also be the fiery devils of the underworld if you haven't yet populated that corner of your cosmology.


Not the Baku I was expecting.

Apologies for 'Good=boring', but my feeling is that the MM2 Baku is a more interesting monster if it's not constrained by its Neutral Good Alignment and it's 'timid and peace-loving nature' (except when smiting Evil - which seems a bit of a cop-out).

In 2nd edition AD&D, Baku kept the Neutral Alignment but dropped compulsory Good, and the one in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium is even wielding a mace in its trunk.


Big intelligent baboons that throw coconuts and retch plant globes. Nothing to see here.

The bandar-log are from Rudyard Kipling.


Like the Baku, this was not the monster I was expecting under this name.

Lots of interesting DM-facing information about their life-cycle and habits. Player-facing, they're extra-planar goblin were-dogs that normal goblins worship and fear - they're the big boss fight.

They put me in mind of the Nabassu (which will come up later), because of their life-cycle. I can see a cosmology where Barghest and Nabassu (reskinned or otherwise) represent the opposing forces of darkness (much like demon/devil, tanar'ri/baatezu).


This plant monster gets a whole page and it makes me tired just looking at it. Thinking of it as an elemental or nature spirit, around which to build a location or adventure, makes it less of a chore for me.

It's got an interesting ability, turning people into trees that then might transform into a Treant or a Druid. Doesn't say anything about memory retention.

The direburr variant is less tolerant than the base monster, but it's not exactly evil.


Unratable Intelligence and Neutral (evil) Alignment; see Ascomid above.

Great forests of these marching across the plains of the Moon, suitably coloured. Like.

Basilisk, Greater.

Bigger, tougher Basilisk that's harder to use its own gaze against it. So what - unless you have a lot of Basilisks in your campaign.

Bat (Mobat and Ordinary).

The Mobat is a logical progression of the Giant Bat monster-type with its sonic special attack, and it has Low Intelligence, so on a par with lots of the dungeon humanoids. They have a 12 to 16 foot wingspan.

Ordinary Bats are presented more as an environmental hazard than a monster threat. As a monster threat, the DM could be rolling 10 to 1000 Hit Rolls RAW.

Bat, Fire.

Hitch rides to the Prime Material with summoned fire elementals, where they lair in/near volcanoes and hot springs and then 'reproduce by fission after gorging on blood'. They 'especially prize rubies, jacinths, and carnelians' and include mechanics for burning you, drinking your blood and being doused in water. 

Quite a tidy little monster that is more interested in feeding than fighting you to the death.

Reskin as Lava Clones with unformed features that attempt to hug and suckle mortals for their blood so they can increase their number, but are otherwise not that interested in the mortal sphere. Lava clones can't fly.

Bear, Northern (Polar Bear).

Well, would you look at that? An actual bear for which I would suggest that you just use a Bear.

The illustration doesn't look like a polar bear.

Bee, Giant.

I like Bees.

They get to be vanilla hive/insect monsters because they're the ones that all the others are measured against.

There was a Dragon magazine article that suggested beefing up insects by scaling up their strength along with their size - a Giant Bee could carry off an armoured character on horseback without much trouble (based on IRL).

Beetle, Giant.

The Death Watch Beetle can camouflage itself by sticking debris to its back, and can disguise itself by 'wearing the carapaces of other giant beetles' - I'd like to know where this idea came from, because I don't know if they do it IRL. The distinctive noise of the DWB is also upgraded to a potentially fatal sonic attack.

I think a trick was missed by not incorporating some of the beetle's literary/folklore characteristics.

Slicer Beetles snip off your arms and legs, so the most important thing about this entry is that it gives details of what happens when you're wearing one or non-matching magic boots/gloves (with the implication that sometimes it works fine, and the explicit statement that non-matching pairs cannot be identified as such). 


It's just a massive hippo.


At the time, I didn't know this was from Scottich folklore (beithir/ loathly worm), but it's the kind of monster I'd serve up in preference to a vanilla dragon.

Lightning, multiple claws, crushing coils, swallowing whole, implication that scales could make good armour.


Vampiric plant. For me, the most interesting thing about it is that it can have up to 30 Hit Dice, so it could be a surprise winner if you're playing Monster Manual Top Trumps.


'Nearly identical to the constrictor snake' - so it's a Gotcha! monster.

Mechanics for meeting/avoiding its gaze, which causes disease like a standard Mummy.

Primary attack is its 'bill', which implies it has a beak and makes me think of ducks - the illustration is just of a snaky thing. I'd treat it as a magical creature - a treasure guardian in the mythic underworld or a spirit of disease - rather than a mundane animal.


2e Planescape Bodak.

A human who spent too long slinking around the Abyssal Planes and ended up as a kind of demonic undead. Cool!

I like that they are 90% likely to be carrying a weapon, but they won't use it - instead using their death-gaze. I wonder if this was so a magic weapon could be a quest goal with a deadly guardian, but not have it used against the party?

There's a weird disconnect between its Low Intelligence, its cunning (equal to INT 1-20, randomly determined - when? Every time it's used?) and an undefined ability to control a summoner ('Intelligence factor for control purposes can be as high as 20' - is this the same as 'cunning', is it separate, is the control ability based on magic jar or Intelligent swords?).

I compared the 1e Bodak with 2e Planescape to see if this got cleared up, but it was just dropped. Additionally, they became weapon-capable but rarely carried them, and would sometimes pause in combat, caught in a dim reverie of their past life.

Stray thought: maybe every magical weapon has a Bodak.


Canonically, 'a boggart is the immature form of a will-o-wisp'. 

It's an interesting and unusual monster that I think stands on its own - to me, it feels more demonic, faerie or undead than it does a baby wisp, and I'd run it as such. The spooky goblin wizard of Dragonwarriors is more like what I was expecting to see under this name.

It cannot hold the same form for longer than '10 or 12 rounds', swapping between wisp, humanoid and invisible. The text states that invisibility lasts 12 rounds, which implies that wisp and/or humanoid forms last 10. It's not clear whether it has to shift between the three types, or if it could continuously cycle through humanoid forms (gnome, halfling, goblin, xvart and norker are given as examples).

Boggarts have a poltergeist-flavoured confusion ability (which is more effective if others of their kind join in), an electric shock touch attack, and are immune to all spells except magic missile, maze and protection from evil. If they kill and eat you, you can't be raised.

They can 'understand and speak all languages', but aren't great conversationalists.


2e Boggles - look how creepy they are now.

A goblin with better Hit Dice than an Ogre, with some interesting abilities and sound cues that add richness to the description - I have a clearer idea of what a Boggle encounter would be like, or even the imagined private life of the things, than numerous other monsters in this book.

Their special abilities are logical and complementary, with the only weird one being the ability to dimension door 'through any complete frame, such as a hole, a door frame, grillwork, between a character's legs'. Range given is 3", but I think that actually means 30' in AD&D context. The text implies that the ability is only for them to reach through with their hands, rather than their whole body - but it equally does not specify they can't do this.

This is one I've been meaning to convert for Call of Cthulhu. 


Massive bird that's immune to poison, and apparently related to the Roc.

Not the Boobrie of folklore, but I hadn't heard of it back then.


Resource hazard/ MU threat monster. 

Not really my kind of thing, and this entry would benefit from the Old School Essentials treatment.


It never really registered that they had such low hit points (d4+1), and this makes me like them a lot more.

From the illustration, it looks like a people-pulper, but stats and description suggests more of a swarm monster. Possibly related to Mimics, but I'd say more like a Piercer if they're living creatures.

I think I'd lightly reskin them as minor earth elementals, or as animated rocks (by spell or monster special ability). If they feed, it's on your life-energy or your fear or something, or they could be vampire stones.


I particularly like this little wizened guy because he could be Gando Thurfoot from Dungeon Master.

Anyway: they've got a folkloric name and they're on the Elf/Goblin continuum. Like.

Onward Link to C...