• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Monstrous Compendium Annual Vol. II

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
It is one of two or three Gamma World monsters converted in this book. In this case, it is the obb, a flying fungal creature that fires radiation from its eye and releases spores into the corpses of its kills (as well as eating some of the flesh).
Now that's interesting. The monster it reminded me of first was the devil bat from Phantasy Star. Which is called owl bear in the English version, which is a D&D monster. That's so meta, I'm going to stop here before my head explodes.
 

demiurge1138

Registered User
Validated User
In 3rd Edition, sporebats were converted in the 3.25 book Fiend Folio. I used those sporebats all the time. In my game there were the vin, a race of humanoid carnivorous plants, who used the sporebats as mounts. I think that conversion changed their poisonous ray into enervation, which was delightfully scary.
 

Blizzardborn

Hiding in a snowdrift
Validated User
I wonder if a bad autocorrect kicked in, as there are the Trobriand Islands somewhere in the Southwest Pacific.
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Dragon Beetle



We start the week with the dragon beetle, apparently a Dark Sun monster. It is about thirty centimetres long (pretty small for a D&D bug) and has no wings. The dragon beetle's main senses for orientation are "taste and touch".

The dragon beetle has standard mandible attack and a poisonous sting. The poisonous sting special: It does little to no physical damage and is not dangerous to anyone but " drakes, dragons, and dray". Drakes are minor dragons, dray are draconic humanoids made by an undead dragon god-king I'm not familiar with.

The poison hits hard for 2d10 damage (save for half) if you are dragon-like. Considering 2d8 dragon beetles appear at the same time, that can end up bad for smaller dragons. Also, lone dragon beetles refuse to fight for some reason and only get aggressive if in groups. They live in "Groaning City, Kragmorta, and even New Giustenal", apparently dray territory (I'm only roughly familiar with Dark Sun geography).

Bottom line: This monster is highly setting specific. I would probably not use it outside a special adventure, as it feels a bit like pulled out of nowhere if used otherwise.
 

demiurge1138

Registered User
Validated User
I dunno... late 3.x games can have tons of dragon-like PCs in them, as can 4e with its dragonborn. At about a foot long, size Tiny, it could make a swarm pretty easily.
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Bi-Nou



Here is the next monster from The Ruins of Undermountain II - The Deep Levels: The bi-nou; humanoid stalagmite. True D&D tradition, I would say. No edtion is complete without Dire Everything and Everything-kin. According to the text, they are "practically invisible in a cavern filled with natural rocky outcroppings, stalactites, and stalagmites". Among the other Chaotic Evil stalagmites with eyes and hands?

Anyway, there are three types of bi.nou: Standard bi-nou, rockworm and rocklord. They generally get stronger in that order, but also less intelligent. Bi-nou can inherently distinguish living and non-living matter and are thus not limited by any blinding spells. They can use some spell at will, but are in turn also weak to some stone-related spells. Sometimes bi-nou ally with dark elf groups (stronger than them).

Bi-nou eggs are like gems, which causes all bi-nou to hate warm-blooders, as many of them try to steal said eggs all the time. Hey, why are they Chaotic Evil then? We have a monster with a halfway plausible reason to attack the PCs for once, so why give them the Hostile by Default alignment?

And again, they like to eat sentient creatures. And have possibly been created by evil dark elf experiments? Is there a roll-up table for D&D monster clichés I don't know about? Whatever, on to the sub-types.

Rockworm:
Turns out the rock worm is not a bi-nou sub-type, but a completely different monster: A large stone snake with arms. It shares the gem egg strait with the bi-nou and kills everything on sight. The "rockworms and bi-nou were created simultaneously from different experiments". Okay, so I guess they really were created artificially?

Rocklord:
The rocklord is probably an ancient solitary rockworm. It is only semi-intelligent and True Neutral. Rocklords are sometimes hunted by trophy hunters and can be turned into magical maces.

Bottom line: I like the illustration, but I wish the entry would uses less clichés. Here we have Created by Experiment, Super-Stealthy, Always Chaotic Evil and more. Come one, be creative!
 

JRM

Registered User
Validated User
Scaladar

There is an advanced version of the scaladar, the squch. It's sentient, super-smart and Neutral Evil. The squch (how is that supposed to be pronounced?) can also taker over other automatons. Squch works hard on finding a way to break the effect of the Master Ring.
How do you pronounce it? Imagine that your PC has just been stepped on by a giant robot scorpion. That's what "squch" sounds like. ;)

Thanatar
This is version 2.0 of the scaladar. And holy cow, are this guy hits hard! It has eleven attack. Why always eleven? The colonial grell also had elven. Why not just ten? Anyway, the thanatar (fitting name) strikes for 1d20/1d20/1d12 points of damage. This guy can kill titans in one round if it rolls well. Or those whimsical gnome gods from Unearthed Arcana in a few rounds. Bad news, I tell you.
Little known fact. Trobriand also made amps for Spinal Tap. :p
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Boggle



Next is the boggle, a greasy monkey-like humanoid with a hydrocephalus. The boggles are clearly another natural thieves race: Small, good climbers, low intelligence.

The boggles can also stretch their limbs to twice the usual length. Unfortunately, no explanation how their body physiology handles that is given. Boggle also have a damage-absorbing hide and natural fire resistance. They produce non-flammable slippery oil and, most importantly, can use Dimension Portal at will. Wow, the boggles have traded their intelligence for some neat abilities, I would say.

Boggles live in family unites. They are cowards and try to avoid violence. That's a bit odd, as the boggle has three attacks all doing 1d4 points of damage, so it could completely mob the floor with most predators or commoners.

Anyway, boggles can be "tempted with food and sweets". Now cute. Goblinoids like to keep them as watchdogs because of their sharp senses.

Bottom line: I have the felling I read all of this before. Nevertheless, the boggle is a nice monster to throw in and spice up an encounter/adventure/location.
 
Top Bottom