Tuesday, March 26, 2013

AD&D Monster Manual Part 43

SALAMANDER:

Salamanders were first rumoured to exist in OD&D Vol. 2, and made their first actual appearance in Supplement I: Greyhawk.  They were originally described as a type of 'free-willed fire elemental', and here it is confirmed that they originate from the Elemental Plane of Fire.  Their offensive capabilities are much the same, but they have gained a bunch of new defenses: they are now immune to all but magical weapons, and cannot be affected by sleep, charm or hold spells. Cold-based attacks do a little more damage to them now.  But basically they are the same monster with some minor cosmetic changes.

Stat Changes:

Hit Dice: Old - 7+3; New - 7+7
Tail Damage: Old - 2-16; New - 2-12

SATYR:

For such a classic mythological creature, satyrs have been mentioned little in D&D before this.  They show up in the Wilderness Encounter tables in Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry, and a more powerful version of them appears in Supplement IV: Gods, Demigods and Heroes.  The info in Supplement IV is sparse, and bears little resemblance to what's shown here, so I'm not going to try and connect the two (or perhaps I can keep that version as a mythological demi-god, or extra-planar satyr).  Satyrs appear as dudes with goat-legs, and they spend all of their time frolicking or 'chasing wood-nymphs'.  They don't like being disturbed, but they can be bribed with superior wine.  If they do get hostile, one of them will usually play its magic pipes, which can charm, cause sleep, or instill fear.  Unsurprisingly, if their are comely females in the group, the satyrs try to charm them.  The fey-folk are pretty much all creepy rapists.

SCORPION, GIANT:

Giant scorpions first appeared in the random dungeon encounter tables in OD&D Vol. 3, then they showed up in Supplement I: Greyhawk on the Monster Attack Damage table, and then again in the Wilderness Encounter tables in Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry.  But this is the first time they get complete stats.  They're exactly what you expect: big bastards, pincers, poisonous tail.  Although this is interesting: "Note that the scorpion's poison kills it if it accidentally stings itself".  At first I wondered if this has ever happened in the entire history of D&D, but then I remembered how often in the old days people used to graft critical hit and fumble tables to the game.  Yeah, it's happened.

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