Friday, March 20, 2015
AD&D Monster Manual part 56
TROGLODYTE: Once again I find myself surprised by a monster that is just now making its first appearance in D&D. Troglodytes are a race of subterranean, reptilian humanoids that are hostile to humans and "aim to slaughter all whom they encounter". They live in large cavern complexes, and a tribe will be 50/50 split between males and females, the females being about half as strong in battle.
The main weapon of the Troglodyte is its horrid stench, which it secretes when "aroused for battle". (Gary's words folks, not mine.) The stench is said to affect humans, dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves and halflings. Going strictly by the rules that means that half-orcs PCs should be unaffected, but it could simply be that half-orcs haven't been introduced as a PC race yet. Regardless, any of those races who fails a save vs. poison will lose 1 point of Strength every round for 1-6 rounds (i.e. if you roll a six, you will eventually drop by 6 points). No word on how it works when faced with multiple troglodytes, but I wouldn't penalise a character beyond the initial loss of Strength.
Beyond that ability, Troglodytes can change their skin colour like chameleons, which grants them a bonus to surprise (though they can't use this ability and their stench at the same time). They also have infravision, of course.
TROLL: I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that the Troll may very well be the most perfectly-designed monster in D&D history. It's barely changed here from its first appearance in D&D Vol. 2: Monsters & Treasure. Their regeneration ability remains mostly the same (3 hit points per round, beginning on the third round after being damaged), with but one change - instead of rising from death at 6 hit points, they rise whole and unharmed after 3-18 rounds, unless burned or immersed in acid. One new addition is that any severed body parts remain alive, and will continue to attack anything that comes within their reach. they've also been explicitly given infravision, but then again every monster in OD&D had that, so it's not really an alteration to the Troll so much as it is to all of the monsters who lack it in the Monster Manual.
Hit Dice: Old - 6+3, New - 6+6; Damage: Old - Claw 1-4, Bite 1-8; New - Claw 2-5, Bite 2-12
TURTLE: There are two varieties of turtle presented here: Giant Sea Turtle, and Giant Snapping Turtles. A generic Giant Turtle appeared in the Wilderness Encounter tables of Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry, but this is the first time that turtles of any kind get stats in D&D. The Sea Turtle has more hit points, and can capsize boats and small ships. The Snapping Turtle deals more damage, and likes to hide at the bottom of lakes and rivers before jumping out to surprise its prey. Both of them have separate Armour Class totals for their body and head, and can withdraw their heads for protection. There's not a lot else to say, to be honest. They're turtles, you know? They didn't even get their own illustration.