[Let's Read] AD&D 2e The Complete Book of Humanoids

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
The Complete Book of Humanoids

Welcome to my next Let’s Read! This time, well will go through AD&D 2nd Edition Complete Book of Humanoids. In case you are not familiar with this book, it was a supplement for AD&D 2e published during TSR’s twilight and part of a series were each book was focussing on a certain aspect of the game (e.g. a class or race). While Dragon and a good many campaign settings had already added quite a number of PC races, there still were only half a dozen core races.
Until the CBH came and banged down the door with an additional twenty-five humanoid races available for everybody. I really like this book. It is also terribly unbalanced.

Before we start with the first entry, I’ll give you a short introduction in case you are not familiar with the book or have successful banned it from your memory (till now, that is). The humanoids races presented here are all taken from the Monstrous Manual or other monster books, so they are re-designed to be PC races, but not completely new.

Mechanically, most races get boni and mali to their six main stats, a few extra proficiencies, some disadvantages (e.g. trouble coping with other races) and advantages (e.g. swimming or thick hide). Every race can only take a few classes and has a level cap which is mostly around levels 10 to 12. In this Let’s Read, a cap around those levels will be considered “regular” to avoid throwing numbers at you nobody cares about.
Special humanoid kits and proficiencies got their own section. Apart from that, there is also a section with an introduction, campaign ideas and some examples.

Here, I’ll focus on the races, but I will give some information on the kits and proficiencies as well. I hope you’ll enjoy this Let’s Read – comments, criticism and stories about you an your experience with or thoughts on this books are always welcome!
 

Flexi

The Solitary Knight
Validated User
I thought most of the handbooks were mediocre but I really liked Humanoids.
Nice colour plates, I especially like the ones of the lizardman and the wemic. Great choice of races to play as well. Loved the advanced bullywug!
 

Shingen

Pleased as Pie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I adore this book. I always wanted to play monsters, and the way it laid them out gave me some great ideas.
 

Peter K.

Used Droid Salesman
Much love!

Humanoids was one of my favorite couple Complete Book of... publications, along with ...Psionics (a staple) and ...Ninjas (a guilty pleasure).

Some of the races I might not have cared about much, but they had such folkloric standards as goblins, centaurs and ogres, as well as D&D standards like kobolds and full orcs. Things that seemed like maybe they should've been supported as PCs much earlier on.

Although I'd wanted to play oddball, monsterous characters before, short of pestering a DM to homebrew there wasn't any real established way to do so. But this book not only provided it, but provided the initial inspiration for about a quarter of the D&D characters I've played since.

It was the first place I became aware of the Witchdoctor and Shaman classes, which seemed like such obvious extensions of the cleric or wizard, that I was a little surprised something along these lines hadn't been a more core part of some earlier publication (or maybe it was?).
 

Lewd Beholder

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Hornhead saurial wizard's are sexy :cool:

Honestly this is another "yes it was broken, but it was fun" that made me bitterly disappointed with the 3rd edition equivelent (savage species was badly designed and kinda meh).

heck the humanoids handbook was my gateway book that got me into a regular gaming experience.
 

DMH

Master of Mutant Design
Validated User
It was the first place I became aware of the Witchdoctor and Shaman classes, which seemed like such obvious extensions of the cleric or wizard, that I was a little surprised something along these lines hadn't been a more core part of some earlier publication (or maybe it was?).
1e DMG. The extremely limited spell list (expanded in Dragon with those from UA) turned me off of both classes.

I will be reading this thread but not commenting much, at least for the races. I liked the kits more for some reason??
 

-Blackhawk-

Registered User
Validated User
Loved this book. Spawned a bunch of minotaurs in our group. I myself was a big fan of the Azure Bonds novels and played a saurial mage for a long time in my friends FR game.

Will be interesting to revisit the book through this thread. I have been rebuilding my 2e collection on and off but have not yet begun to repurchase the handbooks.
 
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