Monday, June 10, 2024

Monstrous Monday: Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendiums

Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendium
It's June! As an academic there is still something not wholly tangible in me when June hits; it is just something I feel. Starting in the 1980s, June also meant days at the library, riding my bike, rolling skating (yes, I used to be really, really good), and nights playing D&D. For seven years straight that meant Basic and Advanced D&D.  So these days I try to focus on Basic D&D in June, but this year is different. 

I am celebrating 50 years of Dungeons & Dragons AND I am also doing my deep dive into the Forgotten Realmsthe Forgotten Realms. Plus in addition to the weekly 5e games, my oldest son and I are starting a new 2nd edition AD&D game set in the Forgotten Realms. This works very well for me since I am already shifting my Realms focus to AD&D 2nd Edition.  

To this end I have been buying a lot of Forgotten Realms PDFs from DriveThruRPG. This has also given me many new monsters from the AD&D 2nd ed era in "ready to print" Monstrous Compendium format. 

Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendiums

I have talked about the AD&D 2nd Monstrous Compendiums at length before. I have even talked about the Forgotten Realms ones in detail.  So when I began printing out the various Monstrous Compendium sheets from the various PDFs I have bought it became very obvious to me I would need a binder just for them.

This was sealed for me when I remembered that the Forgotten Realms MC Appendix had been labeled "Vol. 3" on the cover. My choice had been made for me. Turns out is was a good choice, because there are TONS of Forgotten Realms Monsters.

Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendium Vol. 3

I grabbed some alphabetical tabs and began loading this up. I concentrated on monsters from the MCs I already had that were Realm-Specific. Then, I went through the pages of monsters I rescued from my This Old Dragon copies, unless they were too far gone due to water or mold. In these cases, I printed them out from my Dragon Magazine CD-ROM. But my "rule" was I had to have had a physical copy first. There is some 1st Ed monster material here, but that is fine, really.

Monstrous Compendiums

Then, every time I bought a Forgotten Realms PDF, I printed the monsters.

Monster pages from the Forgotten Realms
Campaign Setting boxed set

Monster pages from the Forgotten Realms

Monster pages from the Forgotten Realms
Dragon Mountain

Monster pages from the Forgotten Realms
Oh, look at that. Lawful Good orcs from 1995.

In the cases where I had loose Forgotten Realms pages, like from the AD&D 2nd Ed Campaign Setting boxed set, I made copies to keep the set intact. 

It has been a great experience to discover all the unique creatures I have found in the Realms versus Greyhawk or other worlds.

Currently, I do not have monsters for I, J, and Y. I could mine my other compendium for these, but I am also waiting to see what creatures I might find in other PDFs of Realms material. I still have a few I bought before I started this project, and they might have a few treasures for me. There are also more monsters in my Dragon magazines. Ones written by Ed Greenwood go to the top of the list. 

Right now my Forgotten Realms campaign has no focus. This is on purpose. I have so many campaigns with Big IdeasTM and Lofty GoalsTM. I don't need another one. Maybe I'll just do an old-fashioned monster hunt to mirror my real-life monster hunt.

This has, though, given me another realization. I had planned to get through all of my Realms books this year, but that was before I started buying more. Now, I think this year will just be about AD&D 2nd Edition. Who knows, really? 

BUT I will say this. I am having a lot of fun with this.

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