The second half of this book is devoted to unique monsters, individual examples of such things as a Ghast or undead Treant. Like many books from the previous edition much has already been updated and revised. Sadly, the latter, has been declared non-canon as it contradicts other entries on Nova Vassa. There are also some particularly useless characters such as Palik the Thrax from the Dark Sun oriented Kalidnay who simply seems odd and out of place. Salizar the Meazel is also unremarkable. And the items required to stake them or permanently destroy them seem unusually hard to obtain for generic monsters. There are a few creatures here that have yet to be updated.
This was handy for you could also customize the arrangement for experience given and monster toughness, region, etc. Some were obviously inspired by classic Gothic literature such as the Broken Ones for Markovia or the various Vampires. Despite being hastily made this book features a number of memorable foes and villains. These are not individual undead with salient strengths and specific vulnerabilities, every dwarf vampire requires a stalactite to slay. Most notable in this collection are the Living Brain, the aforementioned Romaine, Jacqueline Montarri, The Midnight Slasher, Chicken Bone, Althea, Styrix, and Ludzig although others have popped up here and there in future products. Currently I have to give both two and a half severed digits out of five because the books simply out of date. Do we really need to know the Frequency and No.
Inside are some of the classic monsters of the setting such as the Ermordenung, Goblyns and Vampyres with Ys , Reavers, Zombie Lords, Greater Mummies, New Golems and Elementals, Wereravens, Broken Ones and many more. There are some strange creatures whose inclusion seems odd, such as the many variants of undead such as the Bowlyn and the Bussengeist who are nothing more than standard undead with variants on cause of death. Romaine and Wagner have been mentioned in the Gazetteers but have not been detailed. Or you could take only the needed monsters with you to games. Also included at the end of each entry is a brief Adventure Ideas section that offers advice in adding the character into your campaign. It had the disadvantage that you could lose entire monsters and binders make the sheets easy to damage and bend.
For the most part this book is of little use for anyone running a game in Third Edition. . I was never really a fan of the racial vampires though. In fact they delayed publication of what became the third Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix to take advantage of the new format of softbound books as originally it was supposed to follow the first Appendix. They changed some of the art and updated them in a few places but mostly they identical. They eventually discontinued the products but only after the first two appendices for the Ravenloft line were published. Some of the entries, such as that of Nostalia Romaine and Desmond LaRouche give a small glimpse into the leader of their lands.
And their weakness and curses wary so wildly from the original any party, even a well prepared one, is likely to get slaughtered. Others, such as the Doppelganger Plant and the Reaver, take their inspiration from classic films. Additionally, both Senmet and Jahed appeared in previously in adventure modules Touch of Death and Web of Illusion respectively so their inclusion brings little new to the book. Other entries have errors in the game text such as the Impersonator that gives far, far too much experience for its death. Not the easiest of weapons to wield. Eventually they republished both essential loose-leaf Appendices in one bound edition. I never saw the point of making a dwarf undead so radically different from human undead.
This Appendix did lead the way for the excellent Children of the Night series so it is notable for that. These are definitely useful additions at times. . . . . .
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