Sunday, May 30, 2021

Fiend Folio Review M-Q

Phew this book is longer than I remember.

Magnesium Spirit
Seems extremely overpowered, pretty much no means of interaction besides fighting (and tbh it doesn't sound like it make for a good fight) could be much improved if perhaps the spirit still did its whole 'fight to take over a host body' shtick but then has to take time preparing its complex ritual to return it home. Giving players options to disrupt, negotiate, etc...

Its a flying manta ray that murders people... well its not the worst... not very interesting either.

RETRO REVIEW-AD&D Fiend Folio (1981) - Forum - DakkaDakka | Roll the dice  to see if I'm getting drunk.

Solid. A tricksy foe, signposting via 'sacks full of bones' near their lairs, a unique attack (garroting, which suits its sneaky ambush demeanor well). Could use one or two more bits. Maybe a specific item that they go after/want to steal? Or some interaction with another creature/people (besides just 'they want to kill it').

Creatures which transform (or try to anyway) characters are always great, and this one's got a strong location to go with it, neat tactics (paralyzation + trying to extinguish light), the hunting is good. Biggest flaws is that 1) why would adventurers go to shaft (besides curiosity) 2) the transformation into meenlock should have more intractability, perhaps proceeding slowly in stages so it could be stopped?

I love mephitis, their serve excellently as like 'elemental imps' and their cheerfully vulgar demeanor is wonderful, they'd make a good greek chorus to throw into a game. I particularly love this bit "if they can obtain them... they will wear clothes of the most garish design and colour possible." Oh and of course this "They are often seen puffing upon smoking rolls of exceedingly foul-smelling dried vegetation" (mephit's smoke weed y'all)

I like Mezzodaemons their a bit messy and lack a strong identity but a kernel of excellence is there, and the bug fella illustration is amazing. Mostly the entry needs focus, I've rewritten it a few times myself choosing to play various abilities. 

This is just another Meazel but with more traps? The two should just be rolled together.

The Necrophidius from Fiend Folio - by Alan Hunter | Advanced dungeons and  dragons, Dungeons and dragons, Fantasy art

Magical dancing skeleton snake that dances you to death love it. Silly and awesome.

💯 {Staff Pick} - [Let's Read] AD&D 1e Fiend Folio | Page 232 | RPGnet  Forums

Excellent, pulpy creature that's not what you'd expect. I'd run this thing so players assume its some ghoulish zombie thing stumbling through the woods then NEEDLES. Very fun. 

Could be fun to make players carefully think out their actions to get rid of this nuisance, or couple it with some 'normal' goblins who're using this one's abilities to their advantage. Though I would make it so the actions players take are reversed, rather than them being compelled to do things so they retain their agency. Feels very goblin all around. I like it.

Solid beastie if only a combat encounter mostly, you should be able skin it and use its fur to mimic the duplication ability.

??? Its just an aesthetically different kind of tough hobgoblin ???

They don't really have anything unique to them. Just a kind of generic higher level demon/devil.

What if an ogre but with next to no of an ogres unique traits.

These things are grotesque and I love them. Could use some more interactive bits though. Maybe people train them as attack animals. Maybe they hold vendettas. Something to add some more interaction.

Wayyyyy to much text >:P great otherwise, classic monster (seriously though why is there so much text for this one?????).

Love insects, water finding antenna, pincer attack that sticks fast even when they're dead. All solid.

💯 {Staff Pick} - [Let's Read] AD&D 1e Fiend Folio | Page 251 | RPGnet  Forums

Phantom Stalker
The illustration is a bit at odds with the text, looks more like some kind of pulp biotech spaceman rather than an elemental spirit. I'd flavor things more ifrit like (and steal the illustration for other purposes) but otherwise this one's pretty neat. Bound spirit to a wizard, clause that makes it hunt the party down after its masters death. Could use a clear way to communicate this to the players however, maybe the wizard and the spirit have a big glowing sigil on their heads that any wizardly sort could tell is a 'revenge' charm or something like that.

Ghosts always have lots of potential though the passage squanders it a bit by just having the ghost 'attack' and drive away any who comes near its haunt. Needs more interactivity.

Protein Polymorph
This is just a more shoggoth-y mimic.

Hairy ape people? Theres really not anything unique here that distinguishes them from any other pulp style hairy ape person. The illustration and name are nice enough I guess.

💯 {Staff Pick} - [Let's Read] AD&D 1e Fiend Folio | Page 255 | RPGnet  Forums

I kinda like these things for some reason, they have a good name. But otherwise they're pretty bland, bitey fish. Meh. 

Insane naked savages (implied to be inhuman as well by the text) who do nothing but attack on sight are... not great to put it lightly :I The confusion ability is kinda of neat, might steal that and build some kind of special magically cursed warrior out of it. Otherwise I'll pass on this one.

Slowly, we are inching towards the end.


  1. So pleased to see this back on My Blog List.

    There's a 1942 Hugh B. Cave story called 'The Whisperers' that sounds like it might have been the inspiration for Meenlocks, though I've also read 1973 movie Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark being put forward, too.