Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review and Commentary On CC1: Creature Compendium From New Big Dragon For Your Old School Campaigns

Do you need monsters fast for tonight's game or shall we say something unique to torment your adventurers? Something to slip in between the cracks of  your ruin or sci fi base? Well,the Creature Compendium has you covered. 

Grab It Right Over

There are monster books and then there are those monster catalogs that include stuff you wished you'd thought of as a DM. Well, the Creature Compendium is one of those. And if your thinking that this book can't be used with your AD&D 1st edition or OSRIC games then think again. According to the company's website: Creature Compendium for OD&D, AD&D, and B/X D&D. This 92 page supplement has a host of new creatures to harass your players with. This thing is wall to wall artwork by Richard Leblanc Jr.  And its very well done, this is a dual statted book and I know what your thinking, so what big deal? Well it means that you can use any of these critters right out of the gate upon your adventurers. Each monster is "dual" stated for 0e/1e and BX. Sometimes there is no difference. For example an AC of 3 in AD&D is roughly an AC 3 in BX and the monsters will either list 3 or some other close number. Movement rates are easy to convert of course and alignments are different systems& edition, but all in all it is still easy to convert. 
The Pdf clocks in at about 92 pages for two dollars and the monsters are well worth the pdf and man these things could easily be incorporated into a wide variety of games or campaigns. 

 And all of these monsters are perfectly suited for a wide variety of dungeon environs but that's not all. Many of these horrors are straight up generic enough yet weird enough to go right into a post apocalyptic wasteland or better yet your favorite space based dungeon. Seriously there is a ton of potential and I love the way that you get your money's worth out of this product. Using these with White Star or Swords and Wizardry would be a snap as these monsters have a very old world pulp quality to them. 
 Look this is exactly the sort of book that I need for tonight's game, monsters pulpy enough to fit into any environment but different enough to give the PC's pause and make them come up with a plan for the horror's demise.  And these monster's are not going to go down easily, they're capable of taking out an entire party of adventurers with relative easy if the party isn't careful. There's a lot of potential here for TPK's if the players' are not paying attention to the monster's patterns,behaviors, and attacks. These horrors don't follow the usual monster biology BS that so many writers slip into the background. The author knows his stuff and keeps things busy and interesting in the background of the design of the critter's. Several of these horrors could be mini adventures into themselves and here's where I mentioned White Star or one of the sci fi retroclones being very useful for a quick night's one shot using these things. 
 With the revive on the post apocalyptic front these horrors could easily be slipped into the back drop of an advanced Mutants and Maze's game of Mutant Future. Of particular use is Appendix A gives the DM  Treasure Types by Edition. 0e, 1e, HB and BX. There are subtle differences in each, but  it's easy to convert between each. Appendix B gives us the monster XP totals for various editions as well. 0e, S&W, BX/BEDMI, LL, 1e and OSRIC. These are essential elements that I wish, wish other retroclone systems would incorporate as well.  The bottom line is this grab the damn book right now and don't wait, for the price this is really a no brainer. Five out of five because its so well done and I can't find fault with it. 


  1. Yup, got me a hardcopy and I love it. Thanks for the Mutant Future reminder. The B/X stats will fit into my MF games without a hitch.

  2. Yeah, I've got to get myself a copy in the near future, oh this so easily fits into the Mutant Future setting quite easily. And with a bit of wiggle room in the back appendix tables it works with OSRIC and the like as well.


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