Creature Catalog (1993)

Even though there is a standard selection of monsters in the Rules Cyclopedia, well, come on, there is always room for more monsters! This is the Creature Catalog (1993), the second, Challenger-branded iteration (we’ll look at the first later this year when I tackle the AC-series supplements). It’s…fine?

As a general rule, TSR did good monster books. Yea, there are always dumb monsters, or weird filler monsters (there are no shortage of daft beasties in the Monstrous Compendium annuals, books that I nevertheless adore), but in general, more monsters is always a good thing. What makes this book so damnably strange is not that it is boring, but rather that it manages to be kind of boring despite being mostly the same as the original. It is alphabetical, and therefore easier to use! There are more monsters, even! But I really do prefer the original.  

There is something about the presentation that bugs me. Most of the art is exactly the same (some of it is new, though, and not great), but something about them seems poorly reproduced. Maybe it is the paper stock and how it holds the ink? I really don’t know. I suspect that this is just be being a loon. It’s a monster book! Full of neat monsters! Why am I complaining about this? Maybe its just the cover, it isn’t one of my favorite Easleys.

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