In addition to the peasant killing machine known as the domestic cat, the MM2 also had a ton of almost as fearsome critters, like lots of new regular and unique demons, devils, and daemons plus the demodands, planetars, solars, the phoenix, and the tarrasque.
in reading the thread, however, i'm struck by how many sections of the book i would never consider using: nonlethal combat, taxes, leveling costs... then i wonder why this has always been my favorite d&d book.
oh, yeah. it's because of writing like this:
For each factor of intelligence above 12 the creature has an additional arithmetically ascending cumulative chance beginning at 1%
Talisman of Zagy: I assume the name is a variation of Gygax spelled backwards, a la Castle Zygag. While this looks like a Stone of Controlling Earth Elementals, the effects actually depend on how the rock feels about you. When you pick it up, make a reaction check. If hostile, it acts like a Loadstone, though you can get rid of it by discarding/destroying it and taking 5d6 damage. If neutral, it will grant a wish if made within 5d6 hours. If the talisman if friendly, it will grant one wish for every six points of charisma you have, and when held, “grow warm and throb” when you’re within 20 feet of a trap. (Sadly, like many cell phones, this vibrate feature is too weak to be felt in a pocket or purse.) It will stay with you one month per point of charisma. When the gem does vanish, it leaves behind a 10,000 gp diamond.
that seems like a random collection of unrelated effects: depending on the impression you make on the stone it either slows you down and if you get rid of it you take damage, you get a wish, or you get multiple wishes, and when the wishes are used it turns into a diamond.
what's the origin of this item? or is it simply an original creation by gary?