Tag Archives: monsters

AD&D Monster Manual part 31

Mammoth: Mammoths first appeared in the wilderness encounter tables in OD&D Vol. 2 , but they get stats here for the first time. They’re pretty much exactly the same as elephants, only with more Hit Dice, and the ability to dish out a lot more damage. Their tusks are worth 1½ times as much as an elephant’s, as well. There are two types of mammoth, woolly and imperial, and I’m shocked …

AD&D Monster Manual part 30

Lurker Above: This monster, sort of like a manta ray that clings to the roof of a dungeon and drops on the heads of adventurers, first appeared in The Strategic Review #3. Gary must have been very happy with this one, because the only change to it is that it is now better at gaining surprise. Lycanthropes: Lycanthropes first appeared in OD&D Vol. 2 , and…

AD&D Monster Manual part 29

Lizard: There are four types of lizards detailed here: Fire, Giant, Minotaur and Subterranean. Fire lizards first appeared in Supplement II . Their Armor Class has worsened from 2 to 3, and their Hit Dice has been lowered from 12 to 10. Their breath weapon has now been given a specific range and area of effect, and the damage has changed from 1-10 to 2-12. Somewhat uncharacteristically, Gary seems to have dropped a lot of…

AD&D Monster Manual part 28

Leopard: Leopards first appeared in the wilderness encounter tables in Supplement III , and they’re getting stats here for the first time. Their only remarkable feature is that they are more likely to gain surprise than other monsters, and they in turn are less likely to be surprised themselves. Leprechaun: These figures of Irish folklore and breakfast cereal mascots were first introduced in The Strategic Review #3,

AD&D Monster Manual part 27

Lamia: This is a new monster, a desert-dweller that has the torso of a woman and the lower body of some sort of beast. The illustration depicts the lower body as that of a lion, but it’s not specifically said in the text, so it could really be any animal. As is the way of things in D&D, the illustration shown here…

AD&D Monster Manual part 26

God bless the letter K, and the paltry number of monsters whose name begins with that letter.

AD&D Monster Manual part 25

Jackal: Jackals had first appeared in Supplement I , as one of the animals that can be summoned using a bag of tricks . Of the few stats that had been previously established, only Armor Class is changed (from 8 to 7). They’re quite weak, and said to be cowardly and not particularly fierce. The text outright states that they’re only here because of the bag of tricks . Gary actually sounds a little…

AD&D Monster Manual part 24

Imp: Imps are a new monster, a type of minor devil that often serves as the familiar to a lawful evil wizard or cleric. And as far as familiars go, these guys are just about the best. Their own abilities are formidable, including a poisonous tail, regeneration, invisibility and suggestion . They’re immune to normal weapons, can’t be harmed by fire, cold or electricity…

AD&D Monster Manual part 23

I said Wednesday, okay, I just didn’t say which Wednesday. Hippopotamus: The only previous mention of Hippos in D&D was in the Conjure Animals spell. With 8 Hit Dice and a damage range of 3-18, they’re a pretty tough monster, and they are said to be aggressive despite being herbivores. And in real life, they are responsible for a lot of human deaths. Any animal that can tear a low-level party …

AD&D Monster Manual part 22

Halfling: Yes, I think at this point we can safely declare the use of the term ‘hobbit’ in D&D to be dead and buried. Halflings first appeared in OD&D Vol. 1 , but they did not appear in Vol. 2 , making this the first time that they get their own monster entry (they didn’t even get one in the Holmes Basic Set ). They get the usual treatment for humanoids…

AD&D Monster Manual part 21

Gorgons: Gorgons, which first appeared in OD&D Vol. 2 , are still metal-skinned bulls with a petrifying breath weapon, and that makes them among my all-time favourite monsters. They haven’t changed at all statistically, although their breath weapon now has a more well-defined area of effect, and a limit on the number of times it can be used in a day. The entry here is actually quite sparse, …

AD&D Monster Manual part 19

Gnoll: Although these guys haven’t changed very much at all statistically, just about everything else in their entry is new. We learn that they live in loosely organised bands that occasionally form together to fight a common foe. They have leaders and chieftains with extra hit points, and also travel with their females and young (meaning that they procreate in the usual fashion). There’s no …

AD&D Monster Manual part 18

Giants: There are six types of giants detailed in the Monster Manual: Cloud Giants, Fire Giants, Frost Giants, Hill Giants, Stone Giants and Storm Giants. The first five debuted in OD&D, while Storm Giants were first seen in Supplement I. The first thing that leaps to my attention is that giants are said to have Strength scores ranging from 19 to 25. This is the first …

AD&D Monster Manual part 17

Giant Gar: Gar were first mentioned in

AD&D Monster Manual part 16

Flightless Bird: Honestly, I’m disappointed. Gary went to the trouble to differentiate Asian and African Elephants, but he’s lumped emus and ostriches together. Anyway, flightless birds first appeared in Supplement III on the wilderness encounter tables, but this is the first time they get stats. Actually, I was wrong about Gary above, because ostriches get 3 hit dice, emus get 2, and rheas get 1. They’re non-aggressive and will run away, but…

AD&D Monster Manual part 15

Elephants: Elephants first appeared in the wilderness encounter tables in Supplement III. These are the plain old Earth variety, though ever-thorough Gary provides different stats for Asian and African Elephants (which doesn’t amount to more than a hit dice of difference). These guys are brutal death machines, though. I don’t know what a real elephant does in a fight, but …

AD&D Monster Manual part 14

Giant Eagles: As far as I can tell, this is the first appearance of Giant Eagles in D&D. These are big buggers, with a 20’ wingspan. They live in the mountains, and get a whole lot of special abilities. They’re only surprised in their lairs or at night. They can make dive attacks with a bonus to hit and double claw damage. They even…

AD&D Monster Manual part 13

Dragonne: Hey, a new monster! These guys are a cross between a brass dragon and a lion. Their origins aren’t explained here, but I suppose a wizard did it. It’s a shame the dragon involved here isn’t the Bronze variety, because we’ve already established that they transform into other animals for a lark. Perhaps brass dragons do the same sometimes, …

AD&D Monster Manual part 12

Bronze Dragon: Also known as Draco Gerus Bronzo. We know from their first appearance in Supplement I that they live near the sea and can polymorph into animals. This book adds that they are beneficent, and take animal form to observe humans. They still get the same breath weapons: a lightning bolt and a cloud of repulsion gas that forces …

AD&D Monster Manual part 11

Dragons: I have to be honest here: I’ve been dreading this entry. It’s big. Part of what makes writing this blog so easy is that I can tackle it in fairly manageable chunks, but this entry is a daunting sucker. I’m going to try and get it out of the way in one go, but don’t be surprised if I bomb out halfway through. …