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[Let's Read] AD&D 2e Monstrous Compendium Appendix Vol. I

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
The 3rd edition wraith looks more like those things from Harry Potter.

As for wisps, I never got their magic immunity, even after reading their ecology. Why just those spells and not more poweful versions as well (like Dispel Evil or Holy Word). And does their immunity allow them to pass through Walls of Force?
 

MacBalance

Registered User
Validated User
I remember running an adventure with a Wight in it sometime in the late 80s. (They were actually reasonably common mid-level undead in published material, I think. They're happy to spend a few centuries waiting for adventurers to make it to Level 3 of the ancient mega-tomb they're in instead of wandering the countryside to look for life-energy to feed in which makes them more useful than vampires which re often portrayed as needing to feed regularly.) Don't remember the adventure other than an orange or red cover, set in a dungeon with lots of sand. Probably a Basic adventure someone gave $FriendWithGamingStuff which we ran with mostly 1st edition AD&D rules.

Anyway, I'm DMing, and the group (Maybe 2 other kids, all of us being in the 12-15 range at the time) encounters a Wight. No Monster Manual handy (someone probably left it at home...) and something in my brain misfires and for some reason the Wight is recast as some sort of undead fairy-type creature. No clue why: You'd think the barrow-wights from the Lord of the Rings would be a more dominant reference, and I know I would have read those at least twice by this point. So the group encounters some sort of weird fairy-thing, and I decide i's not hostile.

I think it could have been a sort of predecessor to Morte from Planescape: Torment: A sarcastic ally of minimal value that knew just enough to get the party in deeper trouble in this dungeon. I don't remember much, but I think he must have negotiated a deal to help on his level int return for not being destroyed like the other undead the party encountered...

Not the most accurate wight, but we all enjoyed it. :)
 

Spatula

More Ideas Than Time
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The 3rd edition wraith looks more like those things from Harry Potter.

As for wisps, I never got their magic immunity, even after reading their ecology. Why just those spells and not more poweful versions as well (like Dispel Evil or Holy Word). And does their immunity allow them to pass through Walls of Force?
The immunity itself is just one of those weird traits that monsters sometimes have. It makes them into a sort of low-level golem, where the spellcasters have to let the martial types deal with the threat, unless they can figure out which spells to use.

The protection from evil exception, though, is odd for all sorts of reasons. As you say, does it apply to protection from evil, 10' radius, or other spells that have similar effects? But what does it even do? You wouldn't cast PFE on a wisp, you cast it on yourself. But PFE protects against contact with summoned creatures (the wisp is not summoned), mind control (the wisp has no mind control abilities), and gives some defensive bonuses vs. evil creatures. So from that can we infer that having magic immunity means that defensive buffs don't normally function against the immune creature? If you cast shield, does the wisp ignore it when attacking you? That doesn't really seem to follow from the description of magic resistance in 2e, IIRC.

I'm guessing that's why it was dropped in 3e/PF, where magic resistance is more codified.
 
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Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Wolf



Together with the bear and the boar, the wolf is one of D&D's staple dangerous wild animals. Provided this is a wolf and not some abominable crossbreed between fox and horse. The illustration is terrible. Come one, it's a wolf. How hard can it be to draw a bloody wolf?

In many respects, wolves greatly resemble domesticated dogs.
Or... not.

We get four wolves here: The common wolf, dire wolf, worg and winter wolf. For some reason, the dire wolf/worg stats block is just one stats block with a lot of slashes. Why isn't it just two stats blocks?

Dire wolves are just prehistorical wolves. I'm not sure why all those Pleistocene species are always described as such. It's not like D&D is too realistic for them to be just there.

Worgs evolved from dire wolves and have low INT. They are Neutral (Evil) and serve goblins as mounts. I wonder why, considering that the worgs are as smart as the goblins. Why not just east them?

Lastly, we get the winter wolf, well-know for its icy breath. Also, it's pelt is worth 5,000 Gp. Not bad.

Bottom line: Wolves are solid monsters, but get the illustration right, damn it.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
Going back to treants for a moment- two spells that I think work well as mundane powers for them are Insect Plague and Insect Swarm. Keeping a wasp nest on hand shouldn't be a bother to a treant at all and in fact might be desired (the wasps would eat caterpillars and other pests that feed on the treant). They may even have giant bees or wasps nearby.

Edit- winter wolves are intelligent creatures. In one source, Paths of Power II from Distant Horizon, winter wolves got a few spells of their own. One that was quite interesting transforms humans so that they can survive the cold and be added to the wolf pack as servants with hands. And, like most canine, they protect their own, so the humans are not future meals.
 
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Crinos

Next to me you're all number two!
Validated User
Maybe that picture is meant to be a Worg, since they're supposed to be bigger, uglier wolves.

Anyways, I think Worgs are another Tolkien creation: Those giants wolves that Goblins ride. Maybe with some of the giant monster wolf from Neverending story sprinkled in.

As for Winter Wolves.... not sure the mythological context for them. I do know that in Pathfinder there are areas of Irrisen where they can assume human form.
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
Wolfwere



The wolfwere is a werewolf-like shapeshifter. It's stronger, though and not dependent on any moon phases or curses. The illustration is alright. Certainly better than 90% of the lycanthrope and wild animal illustrations. I don't like the name, though. Manwolf sounds much better.

What I complete for got is that wolfweres are musicians. They like to appear as a "pilgrim, minstrel, or similar wanderer" with a stringed instrument. The sound of the instrument works as Slow and can't be countered for the 1d4+4 rounds it lasts. That's pretty severe. It can be avoided with a save, but it's a save vs, spell (of course).

Other than that, wolfweres aren't mechanically remarkable. If encountered, there is a 75% chance that a wolfwere is running with a wolf pack and a 70% chance that said wolves are worgs and a 30% chance that they are normal wolves. So there a 52.5% chance that the travelling bard you just met happens to be accompanied by a pack of giant wolves that want to eat your face.

Bottom line: Just change the name. Please.
 

Dweller in Darkness

Excelsior
Validated User
As for Winter Wolves.... not sure the mythological context for them. I do know that in Pathfinder there are areas of Irrisen where they can assume human form.
I remember reading a Nordic legend about a monstrous wolf whose breath could freeze a man in place. In context, I thought it was freezing the person with fear, but perhaps the legend was rather more literal.
 

Crinos

Next to me you're all number two!
Validated User
Yeah, Wolfwere was something that kinda got left on the wayside. Although the Jackalwere remains a standard even to this day for reasons that will forever baffle me.

I think the main problem is they don't really specify what a Wolfwere is in relation to a werwolf. I mean, the implication is that its a wolf who can turn into a man, but its never made as clear as it could be.

Anyways, in Ravenloft, one of the major Darklords is Harkon Lucas, a wolfwere bard. Harkon has a neat trick where he has one of those cursed berserker swords that instantly teleport to your hands when you get in a fight. So if he wants to kill someone, he will suggest they leave their weapons behind and go talk somewhere privately, then when he attacks them his sword will come right to him.

As I said, only the Jackalwere officially made it to third edition, Pathfinder and even fourth edition. In the Tome of Horror book there was a template that allowed you to make Wolfwere like animals (Such as an Owlwere and an Asswere). But as far as I know the story of the Wolfwere ends here.
 
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