Prepare to be boarded! Here are still more new, inventive, dangerous, and entertaining creatures and races for your SPELLJAMMER campaign setting! There are giant undead insects, star gypsies, space plants, and much, much more awaiting your stellar travelers in these pages. Elven war-beasts, giant space turtles, orcish death-creatures, and other beings of the phlogiston, crystal spheres, and wildspace roam this volume. Some look nasty, and are; some look nasty, and aren’t. Which are which? Read the entries and find out for yourself! And of course, they are organized into five-hole-punched pages that fit right into your Monstrous Compenium binders.
MC9: “Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix” (1991), by Scott Davis, Newton Ewell, and John Terra, is the ninth of the looseleaf Monstrous Compendiums. It was published in April 1991.
Continuing the Monstrous Compendiums. By 1991, the Monstrous Compendiums were well along their path of producing setting-specific books of monsters. However, Spelljammer (1989) was the first setting to earn a second Monstrous Compendium, less than a year after the release of MC7: “Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix” (1990). This showed the originality of the setting and also its importance to AD&D at the time. The Forgotten Realms, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft would also chalk up two “Appendices” during the original run of the looseleaf Monstrous Compendiums.
Though this book is often called “Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II”, its proper name doesn’t include the “II”.
Continuing the Spelljammer Line. This Compendium includes a nice listing of all of the monsters for Spelljammer — including not just the beasts found in the two “MC” volumes, but also unique monsters from Dragon #159 (July 1990), Polyhedron #55 (September/October 1990), the originalSpelljammer box, and the various “SJA” adventures and “SJR” modules.
The “Monstrous Compendium” also integrates well with the Spelljammer line thanks to its several references to the First Unhuman Wars — setting up the return of an ancient enemy in SJS1: “Goblins’ Return” (1991) and SJQ1: “Heart of the Enemy” (1992), an event that began later in the year.
Monsters of Note. Like the previous Spelljammer Monstrous Compendium, the majority of monsters here are one-off monsters that never appeared again (except in in some of TSR’s trading card sets of the early ’90s).
However, a few core Spelljammer races also appeared for the first time. Most importantly, the scro make their debut, alongside the witchlight marauders. Both of these old foes would return in the SJS/SJQ adventure sequence. The xixchil, a “mantoid” race, were another interesting introduction, though they only reappeared in CGR1: The Complete Spacefarer’s Handbook (1992).
As is often the case with Monstrous Compendiums, this one includes a lot of fun variants of standard monster types, including the moon dragon, stellar dragon, sun dragon, firelich, and astrosphinx. The grell also get some expansion through grell patriarchs, philosophers, soldiers, and workers. These grell variants were among the few monsters to make it out of this Compendium; some would recur in later books like
the 2e Monstrous Manual (1993) and Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations (2005).
About the Creators. This was the first work on AD&D for Scott Davis and the only AD&D work for Newton Ewell. Meanwhile, John Terra was the busiest freelancer of the lot; he’d write over 40 RPGs for a variety of companies, primarily from 1988-1997. In 1991, he also wrote for the “DMGR” and Dragonlance lines.
About the Product Historian
The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons – a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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