Sunday, April 12, 2015

Review: CC1 Creature Compendium

I love monster books.  The Monster Manual for 1st Ed AD&D was my gateway drug to D&D addiction.  I can still just sit there and read and reread monsters.  So when a new monster book comes along and promises the same level of thrill and excitement as that first time. Well I pay attention.
New Big Dragon Games Unlimited is saying just that.

CC1 Creature Compendium
"Remember those flashes of inspiration that electrified your brain when you first picked up that hardback volume of monsters all those years ago?" Richard LeBlanc begins this new monster book right where I need to, reminding me of the absolute JOY I had holding the 1st Ed. Monster Manual in my hands for the first time.

This book doesn't quite fill me with that joy (that is a TOUGH act to follow) but it does come close and for the price it is a damn fine book.

So what does this book have?  Well it is 94 pages total and over 200 new monster for your Old-School game.  Which system?  All of them, or nearly enough.    Each monster is "dual" stated for 0e/1e and BX.   Simply read the stats that work the best for you and take what you need from the other.  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, but all in all it is still nice to have.

There are a lot of fun monsters here too.  A mix that reminds me of the old Fiend Folio to be honest.  Even the art, which is good, reminds me of the FF a lot.   Every monster is illustrated, or if they are not I didn't see it.  So a lot of art.

Of particular use are the two appendices.
Appendix A gives us Treasure Types by Edition. 0e, 1e, HB and BX.  Subtle differences in each, but best to line up what you are doing.
Appendix B gives us the monster XP totals for various editions as well. 0e, S&W, BX/BEDMI, LL, 1e and OSRIC.  Great to have.

If they wanted to capture the feel of reading the old MM then they were successful.  If you love old school games and monsters then this really is a must buy.

I am curious to know what people think of the dual stating.


Tim Knight said...

Ordered on the strength of your review and Tenkar's. Already slotted one of the book's monsters into my next 'dungeon'.

Dr. Theda said...

Still have (and use ) my first monster manual... (a strip of duct tape runs down its spine)... book has seen a Lot of use...
A great Monday to you good Sir..