Fantasy Safari: Fiend Folio (AD&D 1st Edition), Part 2

Yes, it’s been a while. Quite a while.

But I recently got a couple of monster books I want to share with people, and instead of going straight to those, I first want to complet this run of the Fiend Folio.

So, here we go, picking up where we last left:

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Cifal

The Cifal is a form of “colonial insect-formed artificial life”. Yeah, this one pretty certainly is one of the submissions to White Dwarf magazine. It’s a swarm of insects that has combined into a single humanoid form. When damaged, the creature will burst apart and transform into a swarm of flying insects which do not attack, but reassemble into a new form after a short time. By hitting it quickly it can immediately be dispersed again, but with every round it regenerates 2 hit points. Repeating that process long enough will eventually kill it, as it can’t regenerate indefinitly, but it seems a much better idea to try to kill the swarm with fireballs or something like that.

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Coffer Corpse

The Coffer Corpse looks like a zombie and is always found in some kind of coffin. If the coffin is opened, it will immediately wake up and try to strange the person who opened the lid and will not let go until destroyed. If it takes 6 points of damage in a single round, it collapses as if dead, but will get back up on its feet the next round (which I believe is 1 minute in this game), which causes anyone nearby to make a saving throw or flee in terror. The coffer corpse does not actually regenerate any damage, though.

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Crab People

Crab People, Crab people! Tastes like crab, talk like people!

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Crypt Thing

A Crypt Thing looks like a skeleton dressed in a dark robe with a hood. When someone disturbes it (or, as I assume, it’s lair), it casts a spell on the intruders that teleports everyone who doesn’t make a saving throw to a random point 1,000 miles away. If questioned, it will claim it has disintegrated the vanished people. Other than that, the only thing it can do is to attack with its claws, which don’t do a lot of damage. Who made this creature and for what purpose? It doesn’t do anything except splitting the party and sending half of them on a journey of a thousand miles back home while the others wait for them. Why would a GM do that?!

Then we get the Dakon. It’s a big intelligent ape that can talk and is pretty much universally peaceful. Let’s continue the tradition from the Conan Bestiary and mention every generic smart ape, ghoul, and evil wolf I come across.

Dark Creeper
Dark Creeper
Dark Stalker
Dark Stalker

The Dark Creeper and Dark Stalker are probably my favorite creatures from this book, and among my favorite fantasy creatures in general. They are two humanoid races who live deep beneath the earth and usually live together even though they appear to be different but somehow related creatures. The majority of the population are the dark creepers, who resemble gnomes or dwarves wrapped in dark cloaks and rags with an uncanny ability to be sneaky. They appear to be led by the dark stalkers, who resemble humans or elves in stature and are more powerful. Both creatures have the ability to extinguish all light sources within an area and surpress any attempts to light flames while it is active. Then they sneak up on you in the dark to steal your shit. When killed, they spontaneously start to burn to ash.

They both look really cool and their abilities are quite interesting, but unfortunately the book doesn’t really tell us what to do with them. They are not evil and other than hating light don’t really seem to have any motivation to interact with player characters at all. They have made more appearances in the 3rd edition Fiend Folio and the Pathfinder Bestiaries, but neither of those really had any idea what to do with them either. Which is a shame, because they are still really pretty cool.

The Death Dog is an evil dog. With two heads! Its bites also transmit a disease, which is an actual special ability.

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Death Knight

The Death Knight probably predates this book by a good deal of time, but here it is again. In this version, there is only a total of 12 death knights, who are created from fallen paladins as a creature described similar to a lich, presumedly by the archdemon Demogorgon. Though their armor seems quite light, it provides extremely high protection and they have an incredible Strength score. They can control other undead like clerics, have 75% magic resistance, and an 11% chance to reflect spells cast at them back at the caster. They are also usually riding a nightmare, which is D&Ds horse from hell. And to make things worse they also know a couple of magic spells themselves, including a 20d6 damage fireball. Which in this game is absolutely devastating, as even high level mages have only 40 or so hit points. Which is significantly less than the 60 damage this spell does on average. But it isn’t called the Pain Knight or the Minor Inconvenience Knight.

And the Devil Dog: An evil dog that can cause fear with its barking. It also can bite people in the neck, which makes them fall unconscious and requires a healing spell, or the target dies in 2d4 rounds.

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Dire Corby

The Dire Corby is weird. As in, why is such a completely bland thing in this book of really weird monsters? They are humanoids with the heads and feet of birds and live underground. Well, they have one special ability, which is that they never panic. So Zerg Rush, kekeke?

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Disenchanter

Now the Disenchanter is the kind of weird we’re expecting from this book. It’s a blue camel with an elephants trunk that feeds on magic. They can sense all magic items and their power and will attack adventurers by grasping at the most powerful magic item within easy reach with its long trunk. If it hits, the disenchanter drains all the magic from the items. I would assume that players who never encountered these creatures before or read of them won’t have any idea what they are dealing with. If they don’t try to kill the disenchanter on sight, it might simply walk up to them, destroy their magic armor and weapons, and walk away with nobody being the wiser until the GM tells them much later their stuff no longer works. It might be a pretty fun creature to fight if the players know in advance what it does. Then I imagine things getting quite funny as they try to hit it with the necessary enchanted weapons while trying anything they can to not get them drained.

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Dune Stalker

The Dune Stalker is a cousin of the Invisible Stalker. It’s a humanoid creature that can be summoned by evil mages to hunt people, but only good ones, and it will always find its target. It attacks unusually by causing powerful sonic vibratins directed at a single target which cause 2d6 points of damage. If it gets close enough to touch a creatures body with its mouth, the attack will be instantly lethal unless a saving throw is made. This creature could be either quite spooky, or very goofy.

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