D&D 2E Looking back at the Monstrous Compendia: the MC appendices, Monstrous Manual, and more!

Milieu

Explorer
Still asking for less material with no promise to replace it with anything. Also, just because you (the general you) don't like something doesn't mean it shouldn't exist.
The "promise" is to replace it with
a) free time not spent sifting through low-quality monsters, and
b) some of your money back because you're buying 1 supplement instead of 2.

Sometimes less really is more. It's not something to act incredulous about, even if reasonable people may disagree about which specific monsters are high enough quality.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
The "promise" is to replace it with
a) free time not spent sifting through low-quality monsters, and
b) some of your money back because you're buying 1 supplement instead of 2.

Sometimes less really is more. It's not something to act incredulous about, even if reasonable people may disagree about which specific monsters are high enough quality.
What if I don't agree as to the quality of the monsters? What if I want both books? There's a lot of great worldbuilding in both Spelljammer compendia, and I'm happy both exist in my collection.
 

AuldDragon

Explorer
The "promise" is to replace it with
a) free time not spent sifting through low-quality monsters, and
b) some of your money back because you're buying 1 supplement instead of 2.

Sometimes less really is more. It's not something to act incredulous about, even if reasonable people may disagree about which specific monsters are high enough quality.
SJ Appendix II wasn't written in tandem with SJ Appendix I. It's not a question of removing (subjective) chaff from the two and combining them into one product, since that wasn't how they were designed. Both of them have a ton of great monsters for a Spelljammer campaign. Can they all be used for, say, a Forgotten Realms or Greyhawk or Birthright campaign? No, but that's fine. You can't use a lot of monsters from each setting-specific MC in other campaigns. The lack of them having been converted to other editions is more related to the setting having not been brought into other editions until recently and once it was, half the monsters were actually from Dark Sun. There are certainly some issues with MC9; editing for the release is terrible, but that's not a reflection on the quality of the monsters. As a Spelljammer DM, if I had to only have one of the two sets, I genuinely wouldn't be able to decide which one I'd give up.
 

Milieu

Explorer
What if I don't agree as to the quality of the monsters? What if I want both books? There's a lot of great worldbuilding in both Spelljammer compendia, and I'm happy both exist in my collection.
Then you could have said that in the first place, instead of
Some people are always looking for a reason to have less content.
which is not at all the same thing.
 


The "promise" is to replace it with
a) free time not spent sifting through low-quality monsters, and
b) some of your money back because you're buying 1 supplement instead of 2.

Sometimes less really is more. It's not something to act incredulous about, even if reasonable people may disagree about which specific monsters are high enough quality.
Who defines "low quality monsters"?

I might define much of the current 5e content as low quality, others may differ.
 

Milieu

Explorer
Who defines "low quality monsters"?

I might define much of the current 5e content as low quality, others may differ.
That is not really my point. I don't want to continue side-tracking this thread, but just to clarify: I am not expressing an opinion on the quality nor attempting to define it. I am only pointing out the ways "more content" is not inherently better, assuming you agree with Orius's premise that a lot of it is chaff.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Still asking for less material with no promise to replace it with anything. Also, just because you (the general you) don't like something doesn't mean it shouldn't exist.
IMO, if it's in a game book, there should be a reason for it:

It provides setting background or plot hooks for the GM.
It provides useful knowledge for players.
It provides flavor for the setting, which is helpful for the GM to make the setting come alive.
It's actual mechanics.

If it doesn't fill one of these requirements--if it feels more like its there to pad the page count--then removing it wouldn't actually do anything harmful and will allow room for useful material.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Who defines "low quality monsters"?

I might define much of the current 5e content as low quality, others may differ.
I will!

There are many low-quality monsters in D&D, even in 5e. Every time you look at a statblock and think, "that's it?" or "we already have a monster like this; why do we need this one?", or "why the heck would I ever use it," you have a low-quality monster. Take Spelljammer, since we're here. The Constellate is one. It's basically unkillable and will likely instantly kill any party who comes across it--it would likely kill a tarrasque--and it's so large that you can't even really sneak around it, and that makes it unusable as anything other than a plot device. Why is it a monster?

Or in 5e Spelljammer, the Cosmic Horror is, IMO, an incredibly useless monster. It doesn't feel either cosmic or horrific. It barely even feels like discount Cthulhu. It feels like it should have had an entry of far more than two paragraphs--it needed a section on cults, on the madness it spreads when it draws near, and things like that. It doesn't even have the mechanics needed to support what little flavor text it has; it feeds on minds, but how? It probably needs several more traits and attacks--for a CR 18 monster, it's terribly bland.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
IMO, if it's in a game book, there should be a reason for it:

It provides setting background or plot hooks for the GM.
It provides useful knowledge for players.
It provides flavor for the setting, which is helpful for the GM to make the setting come alive.
It's actual mechanics.

If it doesn't fill one of these requirements--if it feels more like its there to pad the page count--then removing it wouldn't actually do anything harmful and will allow room for useful material.
No books named here have fallen outside of that criteria IMO.
 

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