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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.
Except this one.
Today’s post is one of a few that will discuss specific monsters that are important to me, though this one is different because it focuses on only one: the Kamadan (FF p. 55). This feline monstrosity didn’t make my cut as one of my top ten D&D cats. Maybe it would have if I hadn’t cheated on my #1, but only because there aren’t many cat-like monstrosities to choose from. Entries on my were chosen because they were either iconic or silly. The Kamadan is the wrong combination of both. It’s “clearly a relative of the displacer beast,” which makes it feel more like a rip off than a homage to of that creature, but it’s not so off the wall as to be funny. Besides, if a creature is born of magic, do the rules of evolution actually apply? Some of us enjoy overthinking these things.
The Kamadan is an oversized leopard with non-venomous (?!) snakes coming out of its shoulders. Combination creatures like this are hardly unusual, and they can work, but the Kamadan is given a sleep breath weapon that seems out of place. It appears this creature was built to be a different challenge for its own sake. And of course, the write up is sparse, so there’s no interesting history attached to the Kamadan to rope you in.
The Kamadan appears on the Monster Level IV table (p. 104; 2% chance of encounter) and the temperate/subtropical, uninhabited wilderness table (p. 118; scrub, forest, rough, and hills, each a 1% chance of encounter).
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