Fantasy Safari: Fiend Folio (AD&D 1st Edition), Part 3

Enveloper
Enveloper

The Enveloper is some kind of gooey creature that has the ability to absorb people it killed and gain its abilities and knowledge. Which each new victim it simply adds its abilities to those it already has and gets tougher and stronger. It may look like the Michelin Man, but otherwise has more similarities with The Thing. It doesn’t seem to be able to change its appearance to that of a person it absorbed, though.

Ettercap
Ettercap

Ettercaps are primitive humanoids with a poisonous bite and the ability to create webs like spiders. They use the substance as building material for all kinds of traps. Their nature also makes them go along well with spiders. Ettercaps did show up in all following editions of D&D, as far as I am aware, later on becoming quite spider-like themselves, but there isn’t anything of that in this original version. The bug eyes started in AD&D 2nd edition and this aspect was build up increasingly ever since.

Eye of Fear and Flame
Eye of Fear and Flame

The Eye of Fear and Flame is another skeleton wrapped in a robe and stalks the underworld to do evil deeds to lawful characters. No real reason why, but it just does. In it’s natural state, the face is hidden inside the hood by supernatural darkness, but if anyone tries to resist its commands, it will remove its hood, revealing its bare skull with two gems as eyes. One red and one black. The red eye can cast a fireball spell every three rounds. And the black eye, you guessed it, casts a fear spell. Trying to cast spells to blind it at the creature will simply reflect them at the person who cast them. It can’t really fight in other ways and when it’s starting to lose it will try to escape to the ethereal plane, though that takes it two rounds to do so, which can be quite plenty of time to destroy it. At 12 hit dice and armor class 2, it’s pretty tough, though. This is another creature that sounds like it was really cool when it was originally used by the person who created it, but without knowing that story, it seems a bit random. And I guess the name is pretty cool, too.

Firedrake
Firedrake

The Firedrake is a small dragon with a 2d8 damage fire breath. It’s blood is also on fire and damages every weapon that injures it. They might attack at the slightest disturbance. Trogdor!!! Trogdor!!! Burnininating the countryside, burninating the peasants. Burninating all the people, in their thatched-roof cottages!!!

Firenewt
Firenewts

Firenewts are a race of lizardmen who are at home in the desert and like to live near volcanoes, as they have a high resistance to heat and fire. They are cruel marauders who like to kill prisoners by roasting them alive before eating them. A third of all encountered warriors are riding on large bipedal lizards, which are also attacking by themselves. These really sound like they could be very interesting and terrifying enemies. Being hunted by firenewt riders out in the desert really doesn’t sound pleasant at all. But seriously, what’s with the art? The don’t have just one picture in this book, every one as ridiculous as the others. Also, newts are amphibians and not reptiles, which makes them only slightly more capable to survive in hot and dry environments than fish.

Firetoad
Firetoad

Same problem with the Firetoad. An amphibian that absolutely hates and can’t stand water. As the early stages of the life cycle of toads is fully aquatic, I see some kind of problem here. Firetoads are huge red toads about the size of a very fat sheep and attack by spitting balls of fire. As it gets injured, the amount of damage the fireballs deal goes down the same way. Early D&D had a strange thing with frogs, they are all over the place.

Flail Snail
Flail Snail

And here we are again at the reason why the Fiend Folio has a reputation as being an unbelievably dumb monster book by people who only gave it a first look. The Flail Snail. A huge snail with multiple tentacles on its head that end in morningstars. And it probably only exist for the sole reason that its name rhymes.

Flumph
Flumph

Behold! Kneel in reverence before the divine weirdness that is the Flumph! The poster boy …thing … whatever for the weird shit insanity that is monsters in early D&D. It’s basically an intelligent, floating jellyfish that happens to be Lawful Good. Their first attempt to defend themselves is to shot a stinking liquid at attackers like a skunk. Haha! If they keep attacking, it fights back but is very weak. And that’s really all there is to the flumph.

Frost Man
Frost Man

The Frost Man is pretty cool. (Ha!) They look pretty much like humans dressed in furs and wandering alone through the wild. While it doesn’t actually say that, it seems to be implied that they are encountered in snowy mountains and hills, where presumably they have their lairs and hidden villages. They radiate an unnatural cold and wear an eyepatch, which they can lift to shot a ray of magic ice from their eye.

Gibberlings
Gibberlings

I love Gibberlings, though mostly from Baldur’s Gate, where they are pretty different from the creature described here. They are little humanoids and very weak on their own, but tend to attack in huge numbers and are absolutely fearless. They are somewhat intelligent but don’t seem to have any language or any kind of leader. They just try to bury anyone under a huge mass of bodies, slashing with their swords. Which presumably they found somewhere.

And Trogdor comes in the night!!!

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