Pinned Post: Looking at My Stats and Revisiting My #RPG #Copyright Posts

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The quarantine has me doing a bit of blogging lately, which means I’m also looking at my stats. With respect to my posts regarding copyright and RPGs:

The posts are broken into two separate issues. Part 1 and part 2 are about the copyrightability of RPG stat blocks, and part 3 (not relevant here) is about the OGL. As to the first issue, to date, part 1 represents ~30% of text by page count and has 17,037 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 17,667 hits), whereas part 2 (70%) has only 704 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 802 hits). Moreover, part 1 spends much of its text on going over basic copyright principles that don’t represent the actual argument. It’s clear by the stats and the basis of the criticism itself (often peppered with personal insults) that the vast majority of (non-lawyer) criticism I’ve received is from people that have read only 30% (at most) of that argument. I know it’s long, convoluted, and at times poorly written (mostly because it targets two very different audiences); and you’re under no obligation to read it (or even care about it). However, it’s all connected, and if you’re going to criticize it, you should probably understand it first.

Or not. Free speech and all that.

Endnotes:

  • Part 3 has only 703 hits (edit 10/20/2020: 849 hits), which is surprising. I thought it would be the most read post.
  • Part 3.5 provides necessary clarification and correction to Part 3.
  • Part 4 answers frequently ask questions and addresses frequently raised issues.
  • Over on a lawyers-only subreddit, the attorneys seemed to want to discuss only my side note on patentability of the Shadow of the Demon Lord initiative system. I guess it’s great that they all agree that my argument is trivially correct, but Rob Schwalb has seriously hijacked my glory. I let him have it when I saw him last February.

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Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: Dragons #DnD #RPG #ADnD

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

I mentioned in the My Favorites post how I love categories of monsters. That was true in 1977 and holds true today. The FF gave us new creatures within existing categories. I’ve already discussed demons, devils, and giants in prior posts. Today, it’s dragons. And how could it not be? The game is Dungeons and Dragons, right? They were originally called oriental dragons, then lung dragons, and while they aren’t in 5e as far as I know, they’re generally called eastern dragons now as far as I can tell.

Whereas the chromatic dragons were all evil, and the metallic dragons were all good, the eastern dragons are neutral along the moral axis. That is, they were chaotic neutral, true neutral, or lawful neutral. (Do you notice what I did there? Probably not.) The Yu Lung live a larva-like existence, morphing into one of the other types after reaching the “old” age (101 years). The others fly despite all but the Li Lung being wingless. Only two of the six have breath weapons. In short, these aren’t your Monster Manual‘s dragons, which gives you new material when providing a familiar context. I could have stood for an eastern equivalent to Tiamat or Bahamut for them, but if that has no basis in the legends, then its absence is understandable.

Wizards of the Coast has a lot on their hands. To my knowledge, they haven’t recreated these dragons for 5e, but if they get the chance, they should. These dragons, among other creatures, could provide a cultural backdrop in which the many, good, non-western stories could be told, and it’d be a shame if the current generation of gamers weren’t able to have some fun with them.

Whatever their reasons.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Is First Edition AD&D Really Rules Light? #ADnD #DnD #RPG

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Maybe. Sort of.

A friend shared a video with me reviewing First Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (“1e”). It’s one of many out there, so watching this particular video isn’t what’s important here. Something the speaker said struck me as odd. He referred to 1e as “rules light.” I know this isn’t a popular position, but I disagree.

In game design, there’s always a push and pull between abstraction and reification. Is what happens governed by rolling dice or describing the setting and negotiating what makes sense? In this respect, the differences between games are twofold: 1) Which rules are abstracted v. reified; and 2) in what proportion (i.e., how often is abstraction chosen over reification)? That is, with respect to #1, one game may abstract initiative to a die roll, whereas another game may base initiative on how the encounter and character actions were described. With respect to #2, if a game has 10 rules, what percentage of those rules are abstracted?

I suspect that the reason 1e players see 1e as rules light is based on what they take for granted about the system. They see the complicated rules governing combat and spellcasting and say, “Well, of course those rules exist, but that’s it. Everything else is negotiated.” However, those rules, deeply layered with intricacies, are what make 1e as rules heavy as any others, just in a different way. You can pore over my posts from the past several weeks to see what I’m talking about, but as an example, the distance between the parties at the instant combat begins is largely determined not by a negotiation between the players and DM, but by a die roll. That’s a rule that’s been abstracted by every other game I can name, but in 1e, roll an X on a 1d6, and you start Y feet apart. That doesn’t sound “rules light” to me. Here’s a new one: Sure, on the surface, 1e doesn’t seem to have a system of skills to govern how well a fighter can pick a pocket, but in fact it does have such a rule. They can’t do it. You have to be a thief, assassin, monk, or thief acrobat (I think) to do that. The rules on class abilities define that. Just because the rule isn’t stated expressly in the fighter section doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. No one has ever credited 1e’s rules as “well-organized.”

I don’t mean to overstate the argument. Overall, 1e may be rules lighter than, for example, 5e, but I’m not sure the difference is as great as many may think. If 1e is truly “rules light,” it may be because players are choosing to play it that way through house rules and ignoring rules they don’t like (I’m looking right at you, armor type adjustments). That’s fine of course, but the point is that players can do that with any system. That doesn’t make the system rules light per se.

Whether a game is “rules light” is defined by what’s in the sourcebooks, not by how you choose to play it.

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Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: Giants #DnD #RPG #ADnD

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

I mentioned in My Favorites post how I love categories of monsters. That was true in 1977 and holds true today. The FF gave us new creatures within the main categories. I’ve already discussed demons and devils in that prior post. I’m moving on to another.

Serious question: Does anyone not like giants (p. 42)? Besides the fact the Norse pantheon was my favorite pantheon of ancient religions, they’re just cool concepts. The test screenings for the first Blade movie illustrate an already-proven point: People prefer anthropomorphic enemies, but with some sort of twist. A towering human with an axe or sword larger than you are is certainly some sort of twist. Combined with the fact that some people are exceptionally tall due to a medical condition, and perhaps even that ancient cultures discovered dinosaur bones that looked human enough, giants are pretty popular in folklore.

Fog Giants (Level VIII)

The FF gave us two new giants. I’ve mentioned that cloud giants were my favorite giants. Why? It’s a combination of their relative power (in the Monster Manual, 2nd only to the storm giants) and their lairs. A castle on a magical cloud would be a cool place to visit, both exotic and regal. The FF gave us more primal cousins to the cloud giants, the fog giants (level VIII, 2% chance of encounter). What if cloud giants never took to the sky? Even if they were acrophobic, their inherent nature would still draw them to “tiny liquid water droplets that hang in the air.” Thus, if you wanted a cloud giant but with a slightly more primal feel to it, the less sophisticated fog giant could work for you. (Side note: I recall liking their treatment in 3e.)

Mountain Giants (Level VII)

Mountain giants (level VII, 1% chance of encounter) are closely related to hill giants. In fact, they’re too closely related. I don’t see why they exist. To give us a sense of consistency, giants in every edition have a ton of similarity. The differences are in culture/theme, weaponry, the elements they control, their specific use of magic, alignment, and their servants. The last two are the only differences between hill and mountain giants, and they’re still pretty close. Chaotic evil v. chaotic neutral? Meh. Hill giants sometimes were accompanied by dire wolves, lizards, and ogres, whereas mountain giants were accompanied by ogres, trolls, or hill giants. That’s not thematically distinct. They’re also both level VII monsters. I just never saw what mountain giants added to the mix. If you want mountain giants to stand out, you have some work to do.

Giants have a chance of appearing in temperate and subtropical climates, which is based on the predominant terrain (1% or 2%, but 10% for mountains). In such an encounter, the chances of it being a fog giant are 2% for plains, scrub, rough, hills, or mountains; but 9% for forest, and 35% for marshes. They also have a 4% chance of appearing in tropical or near tropical environments on the shore or a small island. For mountain giants, there’s a 2% chance of appearing in temperate or subtropical plains, scrub, forest or rough terrain, but 3% in similar hills, and 11% in similar mountains.

Giants >> amorphous blobs of blood.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Gods of Luck @drgnfly06 #MythologyMonday #MythologyMonandæg #Vegas

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This week, I’m taking my annual trip to Vegas. With the pandemic, I didn’t go last year, so both my comps and my anticipation are at an all-time high. Accordingly, I’m linking to a listing of several gods and goddesses of luck from ancient religions across the globe. Maybe one of them is really out there and will appreciate the shout out.

The Best and worst blackjack hands and how to play them | The TwinSpires  Edge

The link comes from Carla Huffman, whose Twitter handle often posts mythology-related matters. She holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, which makes a lot of sense. Mythology is clearly a window into how the people in a given culture thinks. Maybe she’ll have something to say about my request to the gods, and maybe she has more credibility with them.

Probably, “This is superstitious nonsense, dipshit.”

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Follow Carla Huffman @drgnfly06


Midlife Crisis, Star Trek Style @StarTrek #StarTrek

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Sundays now are lazy days for me. I either post something silly or other people’s work. Usually both. Today, it’s work-related. Once per week, my office highlights an employee, sending his or her picture to the office with a short autobiography. This week, it was a 30-something who ended her bio with “Live long and prosper.” I was going to respond, but then I’d know I’d have looked like this.

I’m old.

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Follow Star Trek @StarTrek

Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: More Cats #DnD #RPG #ADnD #Caturday

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

As you read this, I’m getting ready to check in to my hotel in Vegas. This is my annual blackjack trip, and it’s been a long time coming. Anywho, it’s Caturday, but I don’t want to spend the next several Saturdays talking about a single feline monster in the FF as I did last week. Instead, I’m going through all of them very briefly.

Caterwaul (p. 18)

Interesting because its AC and number of attacks per round vary from caterwaul to caterwaul. You determine both stats by a percentage die roll. It also has a sonic weapon, which, in a world of magic, is a reasonable extension of the fact that felines are generally known for purring.

Level IV, 2% chance of dungeon encounter. In tropical or near-tropical conditions, 1% in plains or hills, or 2 % in scrub, forest, or rough.

Guardian Familiar (p. 49)

Why are cats said to have nine lives? Because the guardian familiar has nine lives. Yep, D&D stole the legend’s origin. The guardian familiar takes the form of a housecat. It loyally and reliably sits atop a treasure chest or other container to guard it. It’s not aggressive. If everybody’s cool, no one need die. If attacked, it progressively grows to the size of a bobcat. If killed, it returns even more powerful as long as it has lives left. Kind of funny.

Level VII, 1% chance of dungeon encounter.

Hellcat (p. 50)

I could talk a lot about the hellcat, but I promised these would be very brief. Long story short, hellcats serve as familiars to devils, but occasionally travel to the Prime Material Plane to serve lawful evil mortals. There’s a nice backstory here, but unless someone in your party is lawful evil, the hellcat is nothing more than another monster with level-appropriate magical resistances. Most likely, meh.

Level VI, 3% chance of dungeon encounter.

Tabaxi (p. 86)

In 5e, the tabaxi as arrived, but these are its humble origins. They’re a low-level threat that can break up the monotony of encounters with plants, gnolls, giant animals, and anthropomorphic animals . . . with another anthropomorphic animal. That’s not as bad as it sounds. Low-level threats should leave the game somewhere different to go as PCs level up.

Level II, not found randomly in dungeons. There’s a 2% chance of randomly encountering a “tabazi” (sic) in a tropical or near tropical forest. That’s where they live, and seldom leave the area.

Caturwauls >> blink dogs.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

d4s: The Black Sheep of the Dice Set #ADnD #DnD #RPG

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I really hate d4s, and just searching for “I hate d4s” on Google shows that I’m not alone.

They’re clumsy to roll, and they’re as dangerous as Legos if you lose one in the shag carpet. Unfortunately, one thing that is certain to drive me nuts when I return to 1st Edition AD&D: It seems like d4s are the most common dice rolled for spellcasting. How long are targets blinded by Power Word Blind? Depending on their hit dice, either 1d4+1 turns or 1d4+1 rounds. How long do clerics charm snakes with Snake Charm? Depending on their mood, 1d4+2 turns, 1d3 turns, or 1d4+4 turns. Maze lasts either 1d4 turns, 5d4 rounds, 4d4 rounds, 3d4 rounds, 2d4 rounds, or 1d4 rounds depending on the target’s intelligence. Animate Object, Animate Rock, Regenerate, Symbol, Wall of Thorns … the list goes on. So far, I’ve entered over 300 spells into my database, so a complete list would be impossible here.

Not only are you rolling d4s, but sometimes you’re rolling a ton of them. Flame Strike does 6d4 points of damage. For Enchant an Item, the casting time is 16+8d4 hours. Aerial Servant summons an Aerial Servant (duh), which does 8d4 damage on their attacks. How much damage does a Meteor Swarm spell do? Depending on the type, either 5d4 or 10d4. Who the hell has 10 d4s?

Okay, maybe a lot of you, but that’s your burden.

Freaking caltrops in disguise.

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Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: Elemental Princes #DnD #RPG #ADnD

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

As a 13-year-old, the elemental princes (FF, p. 31) blew me away. In the 1e Monster Manual, there were hints as to who ruled over the the elementals (p. 37). The FF gave us the details, stating out each of the suggested princes (and one princess). They’re all level X, but even the weakest among them, Olhydra, attacks as a 20 HD creature, so she’s still exceptionally dangerous. But wait! There’s more! In addition to the four elements, we got a fifth elemental prince of evil, Cryonax (cold). (My original user name on the WotC boards was Cryonax until they required us to create new accounts, and the people without jobs snatched up all the good ones while I toiled away.) 🙂 I don’t how he made tools with those octopus arms, but my characters weren’t about to ask. One thing that bugged me was the Ogremoch (earth) was only 10′ tall. This is hardly the “astounding size” we were promised, but hey, rumors aren’t always true, and he is probably the toughest of the elemental princes.

The last thing I’ll mention was a nice, artistic touch by Alan Hunter (R.I.P.): In addition to their stat block drawings, each of the princess has another drawing showing them commanding one or two elemental monsters, not all of whom are actual elementals. For example, Yan-C-Bin (air) is accompanied by a djinni and my favorite giant (foreshadowing!), a cloud giant. Imix (fire) was hanging with an efreeti, Crynoax with a white dragon (?!), Olhydra (water) with a sahuagin making easy work of a party of PCs, and Ogremoch with an earth elemental and what I think is supposed to be a purple worm. This gave you a sense of their power, and I loved that.

Elemental royalty was not meant to be taken lightly.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)

Early v. Modern Gaming: Conversation Logistics #ADnD #DnD #RPG

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Yeah, when I read the title of this post out loud, I hear it. Sounds weird.

I’ve talked quite a bit about immersion in the game world, and how the lack thereof has resulted in my loss of interest in RPGs. 1e AD&D has obviously rekindled that, but that’s not today’s point. While working on my 1e database, I came across a spell from 1e Unearthed Arcana called Withdraw. Here’s a summary.

So, the spell places the cleric in a temporal bubble such that time moves at 1/10th the speed experienced by the other characters. During that time, the cleric can cast only Augury, cure spells, and information-gathering spells, and those spells must be cast only on the caster. The caster can’t even move. You see, in 1e, sometimes decisions must be made in real time. That is, the player, not the character, must think on his or her feet. If the player takes too long, the NPCs will act instead. This spell slows down time for the player, giving the player time to ponder how the character should act. That can be quite useful at times, especially at high levels. However, the key point here is this: Because the other characters are not in the temporal bubble, their controlling players can’t help. Everyone needs to shut up and let the caster’s player think it through for themselves.

This led me to something related that’s been lost on the modern gamers with whom I’ve played. Because players don’t immerse themselves in the game world, you often have characters engaging in conversation, diplomacy, puzzle solving, etc. as if they’re sitting around the same table (as the players actually are). Then, the moment combat breaks out, the archers and spellcasters (a.k.a., the cowards of the party) claim that they were standing hundreds of feet away when initiative was rolled.

run away - GIF on Imgur

How is that possible? During that parley, were you shouting from 200-300 feet away? Why weren’t the other characters ignoring yours? Why aren’t the other players on my side?!?! As you can probably sense, this is very frustrating for me. Players want their cake and to eat it too, being able to address matters requiring close proximity, but then miraculously shifting their location (without an available teleport power) to where they want to be for combat. Players should have to pick one and accept the consequences of that, and they shouldn’t be arguing with me for enforcing those consequences. I stepped away from the game because I didn’t like that my frustration sometimes got the better of me in such situations. Games should be fun, not frustrating. Except puzzles and riddles. Those should be frustrating, but that kind of frustrating is fun. Watching players essentially cheat by breaking character and ignoring simple logistics is not fun frustration.

As always, play as you want, but I think you’re removing something fun about the game if you break the fourth wall like this, and just because there’s nothing in, for example, 5e as far as I know that pushes you in that direction, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t play other editions that way.

This is why, in large part, I’m looking forward to going backwards.

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Dungeons & Dragons and Forgotten Realms are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)


Visiting an Old Friend, the 1st Edition Fiend Folio: My Favorites #DnD #RPG #ADnD

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My review and discussions of 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (“1e“) has me visiting an old friend, the Fiend Folio (“FF“). My impression, which is anecdotal and thus suspect, is that the FF wasn’t very popular. Oddly enough, it was the only compendium of monsters I owned as a kid other than the small collection in the AD&D Blue Box and the monsters contained in the mods I ran. Plus, none of my friends owned it, so I had something on them. Needless to say, it holds a special place in my heart. I’m not making even more “dumbest monsters of D&D” posts. We’ve all had enough of those. These are about things I like.

| Kamadan | My Favorites | Elemental Princes | More Cats | Giants | Dragons |

I have four favorite creature types, which has remained unchanged since I initially stopped playing D&D in 1982: demons, devils, drow, and slaadi. Sure, I should have said dragons instead of slaadi just for the alliteration, but it wouldn’t be true, and I’m a horrible liar. (Never hire me to litigate. Or negotiate. Or practice law at all.)

Demons and Devils (FF p. 24-25)

As a victim of the Satanic Panic, I have plenty of reason to love demons and devils, but that love preceded all of that. They’re just a fascinating concept to me, representing two sides of the same evil coin. On the one hand, you had the ultimate lawyers, creatures that dealt in twisting words around to surprise parties to their contracts with unexpected loopholes. One the other side, you had ferocious brutes that followed no rules. There’s a place for both, but these were the extremes, and they made for great villains. The FF gave us only one of each, but the more I got, the better. Besides, Lolth scratched more than one itch, being the demon goddess of the drow, and I always loved seeing new additions to categories of monsters. Categories such as dragons and giants (foreshadowing!) can give you reasonable set of common characteristics among its members, while giving you enough of a difference to make them worthwhile. This also makes members of the group good for reskinning as other members of the group. (Side note: The 5e Monster Manual is my favorite RPG bestiary because the entire book reads that way.)

The only thing that bugged me about demons was that they had consistent forms per type. Truly chaotic creatures shouldn’t have any regularity in their design. Hordes of the Abyss addressed this fairly well. To the best of my recollection, it claimed that function influenced form, so demons with the same purposes, roles, functions, or whatever all had to be similar. That’s reasonable, but not quite good enough. There should still be lots of variation. Of course, how do you pull that off in a game played by real-world humans in need of regularity? It’s certainly forgivable.

Slaadi (FF p. 80)

Speaking of chaotic creatures, despite the concern above, I always loved the slaadi. I’m not a fan of frogs and toads, but I have an even greater, and irrational, hatred of bugs, so go Team Anura! Slaadi are the ultimate expression of chaos. (If I had ever read the Monster Manual II before the past couple of weeks, I may have had similar love of the modrons for the opposite reason.) That can be a lot of fun to run. The blindheim? Not so much. Then you’re given Ssendam and Ygorl, slaad lords of insanity and entropy. Each are level X monsters, which seems underpowered considering that the death slaad is also of the same level. Despite there being only four death slaads, I don’t think they should represent the same threat as their lords. I get that these levels aren’t hard and fast measures of powers, but they vaguely tell you what league a monster is in.

And yes, I get a smug satisfaction out of knowing the correct pluralization of “slaad.” That comes from my love of the FF.

Drow (FF p. 33)

Okay, okay, I get it; this is trite. But who doesn’t love Bill Willingham’s drawing of the drow? Certainly not 12-year-old Rob. Or 53-year-old Rob. Its anthropomorphism made it relatable, and it was accompanied by two full pages of background and culture. Great stuff. The only reason it’s fashionable to hate on Drow is because its popularity resulted in a saturation of the market. Give people too much of a good thing, and it can grow stale (c.f., tribbles), but it shouldn’t surprise you that an old man loves them. I still enjoy adventures with Drow.

Unlike my arrogance with “slaadi,” I’ve always had trouble deciding whether it was appropriate to capitalize, “Drow.” I mean, “drow.” Whatever.

Creatures Mentioned

Level and likelihood of encounter per FF:
Demon, Lolth, level X, resides in the Abyss.
Devil, Styx, level VII (1% chance of dungeon encounter)
Elf, Drow, level II+ (as III, 1% chance of dungeon encounter; as V, 1%)
Slaad, blue, level VII (1% chance of dungeon encounter)
Slaad, death, level X (2% chance of dungeon encounter)
Slaad, green, level VIII (1% chance of dungeon encounter)
Slaad, grey, level IX (2% chance of dungeon encounter)
Slaad, red, level VI (1% chance of dungeon encounter)
Slaad lord, level X (1% chance of dungeon encounter, randomly choosing either one)

Those are my favorites, but there are some other iconic monsters worth mentioning. I’ll do so all week.

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Dungeons & Dragons is a trademark of Wizards of the Coast, LLC, who neither contributed to nor endorsed the contents of this post. (Okay, jackasses?)