Well, here I am, somewhere over the central Australian Desert travelling at 36000 ft (according to the screen in front of me) and I have another four hours to sit in this flying coffin before I reach my destination. At this point my brain is a bit frazzled from having been reading for the last three hours (punctuated by some sleep, as well as a meal that the stewards seemed to take ages to get around to removing the tray – but then again I am in economy class so I guess us plebs have to wait while all of the important people up the front are being pamper, including the guy and his four kids sitting in business class seats which I must admit simply looked weird). Anyway, I probably shouldn't spend all of this time rabbiting on about my adventures at 36000 ft (though I have yet to join the mile high club, and if I had I probably wouldn't tell you either) but rather get on with writing my commentary on the Fiend Folio. However, before I do I sort of wander why they make us plebs walk through business class to get to our economy class cabins – maybe it has something to do with us being showed the luxury that we can't afford while reminding the people who actually paid for business class that they aren't rich enough to sit where the plebs don't wander through their cabin.
Anyway, as I suggested, this is supposed to be a review of the Fiend Folio (first edition) and not some discussion on the particularities of air travel. The problem with writing a review on this book is that <a href=”http://jasonkoivu.booklikes.com/post/902965/advanced-dungeons-and-dragons-fiend-folio”>Jason Koivu</a> has already done such an excellent job that anything that I would write would either pale in comparison, or simply be little more than plagerism (though I suspect the definition of plagerism is a lot narrower than simply being inspired by the writings of a great author). Anyway, I probably should say a few words about this book despite the bar being raised to such a height.
Anyway, this is basically a collection of monsters, but not just any old monsters, but strange and weird monsters that appear to have pretty much come directly from the imagination of the AD&D creators. Okay, not all of these creatures are strange and/or weird – you do find the drow in here which has gone on to become one of the staples of the AD&D world. However you do find the flail snail:
Anyway, the less said about that particular creature the better (and here have been some huge debates as to whether the flail snail is actually cool or not – unfortunately I've never actually used one in an adventure so I can't really say all that much about this particular creature, though I'm sure it would be fund to send this creature in to give the players a good old pummelling (that is if they don't end up killing it with a couple of blows of their swords).
Actually, come to think of it the collection of this book wasn't actually all that weird since it did contain a collection of Daemons, which were not quite devils, and not quite demons, but something that sort of floated in between (in the original Dungeons & Dragons world the devils inhabited the nine hells and were considered lawful evils, while the demons inhabited the abyss and were considered chaotic evil – and if you have no idea what I am talking about, don't worry because not many people outside of the secret world of Dungeons and Dragons players would either).
It did have some pretty cools deamons, but one of my favourites would have to be the Githyanki – I'm not sure why I just thought that they were really cool. I'm not sure exactly where they originally came from, but they are plastered across the cover of this book and they run around with these awesome swords. In any case their names were pretty cool, and I must admit that it sounds much better than their cousins the Githzerai. What I do know about them is that they are also dwellers in the outer planes (meaning that they are not of this world making them incredibly powerful creatures) and I suspect that they were quite chaotic as well (but since I do not have access to the book I am unable to actually say all that much more about them).
Look, in the end this wasn't a bad book, and I did like it better than the Monster Manual Two (in fact the MM2 had some even weirder monsters in them than this one, such as the Mondrons – I will like you go and work out what they are – I'm sure the internet will tell you) but did I really need it to play the game? Probably not, but still, I really liked checking out the monsters, especially when I was a snotty nosed teenager, and anyway, since nobody really plays first edition anymore (actually they do, but only a handfull) this book is problem only good for some sentimental value.
Oh, and now I'm back on solid ground (in Singapore – I wasn't able to upload that post to the internet while sitting in that flying coffin, even though to go get wifi on planes these days) I have actually found my digitised copy of the Fiend Folio and as it turns out the don't had the daemons (I thought they did), but what they do have is only of my all time favourite creatures of darkness – The Death Knight.