" He packed up his monster bags and moved to Hollywood, where he became a star of low-grade porn and bad hentai anime (oh yes, he was that kind of monster). "
Title: The Tome of Horrors by Necromancer Games
Format: Monster Book for D20
Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A
The Hype: If you're like me, and have a crap ton of old school monster books lying around, you've probably toyed with the idea of converting the critters up to third edition. And why not? Some of those old coots were fun, and not every monster has been plundered yet…or at least they hadn't. Enter Necromancer Games, doing what you're far too lazy to take care of yourself. Collecting a bunch of old first edition critters and presenting them in third edition format, we have a plethora of memory jarring beasties at your behest. Couldn't of done better with a 20th level resurrect spell... Okay, enough of my nerd humor, review time.
What This Monkey Thought...
Story and Drama: Once upon a time, Billy the monster (who was a kind and gentle monster) decided that he needed a break from all of this kind and gentle monstering, especially since it wasn't paying very well. He packed up his monster bags and moved to Hollywood, where he became a star of low-grade porn and bad hentai anime (oh yes, he was that kind of monster). Here we hear his sordid story, and lament the downfall of a poor nice monster… Or that could all be false, and this could just be a straight up list of monsters. Most of these monsters don't have the history of my last bowel movement, but who cares? After all, it's the DM's job to put the story in place. This book just gives you crap to kill. After all, if it's got hit points- it can die! And probably in a most satisfying and squishy manner. 1 out of 5 (because it's not there. Sorry, no freebies)
Layout and Presentation: Well, it's an alphabetical listing of monsters. It doesn't get much simpler than that. Each of the monsters displays the requisite third edition stats. A very nice addition (which may have been inspired by certain legalities) is that of the credit section of each monster. When a monster is cropped from an old book, credit is given to the monsters original publication. They missed several, or those several were original monsters, I couldn't say. The artwork is good enough, though nothing spectacular leaps into view. There are a couple of neat looking pictures (The picture of the Leprechaun is particularly amusing in a Mike Meyers as Wayne Campbell- "I'm the Leeeeprechaaaaun" kind of way). 3.5 out of 5
Playability: Well, they're all third edition monsters cropped from original first edition generic monster manuals. They don't belong in any one particular region or game type and so fit into any. Obviously desert creatures aren't found in lush swamplands, but you get the picture. They've all been given challenge ratings so that you know what kind of party to pit them up against. For the most part, those challenge ratings appear to be accurate. Taking a cue from some of the upcoming D&D supplements, this book also includes character notes on many of the humanoid monsters- including favored classes, stat bonuses, and ECLs. All of which makes this a great resource for those players who are looking for something a little off kilter to be. 4 out of 5
Desired Content: At 320 pages long, this thing is about the size of most core books. The hardcover makes up the rest of the 30 buck cost. Still, if you're jonesin' for some of that first edition flava' this book has got it. It's got one of my favorite all time bastard species (which I can't name, as my group will discover my hideous plans for them). It's got Flinds, which I know will make Ghengis Kong all giddy like a school girl (he's got a thing for the Flindbar, and not a wholesome thing either). Basically if you've got a pet race from first edition that hasn't made it to a monster manual yet, chances are good that it's in here. 5 out of 5
|I think the poor Fiend Folio has been completely ravaged at this point. It's got no more left to give, man. What Wizard's Monster Manual 2 didn't take, this book did. Plus a ton of missed monsters from the original Monster Manual. The addition of credits and character generation information make this book a great resource. If they could just knock five bucks off the price, it would be the perfect monster book.|
The Good: A recapturing of any missed monsters from the first edition of D&D
The Bad: A little on the pricey side for what is purely a listing of monsters.
The Overall Ugly: They have a Therianthrope template. Now you to can be an Asswere. A shape changing donkey.
What it's Worth: About 5 bucks less than they're market price.