Monster Manual 2.pdf

Monster Manual II was a 160-page hardcover book published in 1983, also credited solely to Gygax.[1] The book was a supplement describing over 250 monsters, most with illustrations. Many of the monsters were drawn from scenario modules.[1] The book included random encounter tables for dungeon and wilderness settings built from the Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, and Monster Manual II.[1]

Some of its contents were taken from various AD&D adventure modules, in particular quite a number from S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, and a dozen new devils that had been first published in the pages of Dragon magazine. Like the Fiend Folio before it, the monsters in Monster Manual II listed the experience point value for each monster within the entry. The Monster Manual II along with the First Edition Unearthed Arcana book featured quite a number of monsters, races, and places from Gary Gygax's home Greyhawk campaign world.


Monster Manual II garnered positive reviews, receiving a score of 7 out of 10 in a review in White Dwarf magazine.[2] The reviewer praised the book's standard of clear presentation, and felt that the artwork was of a higher quality than that in the previous monster books. However, the reviewer felt that there were too many high level and overly deadly monsters, and that most of the monsters in the book were inimical to adventures. The reviewer did make note of the fact that there were "many interesting ideas and several well-developed tribes and hierarchies", and felt that, overall, the book is "a good, well presented addition to the AD&D series, with some very useful creatures". The reviewer recommended the book to anyone who likes a wide range of monsters in the game.[2]

Doug Cowie reviewed Monster Manual II quite favorably for Imagine magazine.[3] He noted that the cover was good, and contrasted it with the first edition Monster Manual, whose cover was "universally held to be appalling" and whose "childish style" may have "seriously hampered the development of RPGs as adult games".[3] As for Monster Manual II, Cowie suggested: "If you like the AD&D game, go and buy it immediately."[3] Although he found some monsters "to be just plain silly", they are all "well presented, properly thought out and adequately described".[3]

Lawrence Schick also commented on the Monster Manual II in Heroic Worlds, stating "Some of the monsters are less than inspired, and some are quite silly; this author's favorites are the stegocentipede, a giant arthropod notable for its twin row of back plates (wow!), and the stench kow, a monstrous bison that smells real bad."[1]