Elemental Princes Of Evil
As it stands I find these lot to be rather lackluster in their personalities and aesthetics. The idea has potential (and Elemental Prince's sounds very cool, though 'of evil' makes it a bit silly). Mostly they feel like missed opportunities to get funky and weird and creative. The entries also lack a lot of information about personality, demeanor, tactics, allies, and the like. I think I'll be making my own Elemental Princelings in the future, just so I can see how much more creative with the subject I can be.
The best by far. The design makes no sense at all (a yeti with octopus arms???) but is fun and wacky. Thats about all Crynoax has going for themself however, as the rest of the text is... meh.
A pillar of flame who doesn't like ice and lives in a volcano, yawn. Also why a volcano? Isn't that a bit closer to the element of earth? See you could totally have done something cool there, like made Imix & Ogrémoch be in an alliance (or even be married!) but it's all rather staid and boring instead.
Gets an extra point for being a funky rough humanoid shape whereas everyone else but cryonax is literally just their element. Otherwise not much interesting here. No cool ideas about all the weird tectonics and chemistry stuff that happens in the earth, or any other kind of creative thinking concerning rocks and minerals.
Why is the water one a princess while the rest are prince's (I mean, why are these gendered at all) but seriously, really? Why can't fire be feminine too? Missed oppurtunities here especially given how cool and interesting water and the oceans are. Here's an idea, maybe Olhydra has something going on with the princeling of air, 'cause of y'know, the whole water cycle. Why not do something cool there?
Oh noes. It's an evil gust of wind. Whats really sad about this is that I've seen people actually do cool stuff with winds and give them unique and interesting personalities. This though. This has nothing that makes it compelling.
Elf, Drow (dark elf)
Boy, what hasn't been said about the drow at this point. These one's are a bit mediocre at best. Basically just evil underground elves. There's some nuggets of neatness about their strange cities and the strange radiations that affect them. I'll give 'em three stars because some people have been able to turn the drow into pretty cool stuff (honestly the fiend folio drow are pretty boring though).
I rather like this being. A blobby humanoid that absorbs people and thus absorbs their skills and powers. It needs some minor tweaking though. Like people's personality's should totally also get absorbed and fight each other within the creature, same goes for powers and skills (instead of the dumb, eject them until none of the absorbed traits conflict >:/ ) ideally the more the beast absorbs the more crazy and unstable it gets until it literally explodes or somethin' (and when that happens the left over bits should totally reform into new people/beings based on whatever disparate personalities and skills/powers get mashed together in the explosion). If you just add that then the Enveloper easily becomes a full five star awesome tier creature!
Love it. There's just something delightful about the juxtaposition in this hairy mammalian creature that produces silk and cozies up with spiders. Later editions really wreck the poor beastie by making it some generic spider dude. The silk it spins into careful traps and tools like nets and garrotes is just an excellent addition and keeps the beastie from just being a generic goon to fight. I imagine Ettercaps talking to spiders and keeping lil pets. Maybe they even trade their silk tools with humans and others.
It's an f-ing bizarre bat snake thing with laser eyes. I love it. The details of its behavior are excellent, with it reacting differently to different light conditions (though it is a pity it seems to be always hostile) and using the party's own light sources against them (by reflecting them into LAZORS!). Excellent funky little fella. Pretty sure a clever party could weaponize on of these somehow (oh, and what's with the 'once a day thing'? It seems bizarre given that the eye lazors are the creatures whole shtick).
Eye Of Fear And Flame
As much as I love skeletons I've gotta admit this entry's a weird one. It's a weird skeleton man who tells you to do evil stuff and if you don't it shoots fireballs at you??? Very unclear how exactly it would fit into a world or why it exists. A very perplexing creature.
It's a fire dragon :/ The details about its blood are really cool (it essentially just burns on contact with air like liquid white phosphorus) (oh and its 'fire breath' just being a jet of blood is fantastic) and would be a great reason to hunt one down. But I'd just give those details to a normal dragon (and its text literally references normal d&d dragons so I can't just pretend those don't exist). Not a bad creature though, so four out of five.
Hell yeah! What's better than a newt? A firenewt that's what! They live in volcanos and they've got priests who do cool fire magic. They ride other lizards! And they breathe fire and wanna roast you up and eat you! What more is there to be said really? They're great.
It's a snake... a snake that's on fire... ehhhh? Pretty lackluster, though there's a glimmer of a cool idea in the fact that they live in fires, any fires (I personally would have made them like weird, half real worms that look like solid burning oil. Kind of like the worms on the demon boar in Princess Mononoke but if they were orange and hung out in your oil lamp or campfire. And you should totally be able to talk to them).
I'm starting to sense a pattern here. Well, it's a toad, and toads are always great. But otherwise... ehhh.
So ridiculous you can't help but love it. It's dangerous. It's got defined behaviors. There's a good reason to try and hunt it (its crazy shell). Pretty solid creature all around and perfect for any gonzo setting (or perhaps a medieval marginalia funfest, it certainly feels like a critter a monk would draw).
Okay, I irrationally love the Flind. Theres very little there in the actual text besides the flindbar and it basically serves as a tougher 'boss' gnoll, but gosh darn I can't help but love 'em. I even rewrote them to add some meat to their bones!
Its a sky jellyfish whose purpose even I the great Cosmic Orrery couldn't divine.
My first gut reaction to these creatures was 'yikes!' but with further thought put to them I've softened a little and can see a good deal of potential in them. They feel very folkloric in nature, and their ambivalent personalities and complicated (rather traumatic) existence could make them a well for interesting roleplay. Though they feel a good deal more serious when compared to, say, the flailsnail and flumpth they're placed right next to.
I actually rather like the Frostman. The name's not the greatest, but there's just something about them that catches my imagination. I've always had a soft spot for ' human people but with an odd quirk' and there's something delightfully folkloric about a big hulking fur wearing fellow who creates a whirlwind of cold when they lift up their eyepatch. Could use a bit more development, culture, desires, etc...
G-H coming sometime whenever.