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Monstrous Manual Annual, Volume Four (1998)

TSR learned from one of their mistakes (well, actually they didn’t, because at this point they’d been bought by Wizards of the Coast). No more collage covers. Jeff Easley is back for Monstrous Compendium Annual, Volume Four (published in 1998, but containing monsters that appeared over the course of I guess 1996 and 1997, which isn’t very “annual”). This is the last one. This is a good thing.

There’s lots of good art here, but the monster selection is bad. It mostly ranges from eye-rollingly awful (Squark) to critters that seem familiar, a different kind of skeleton, a different kind of dragon, cosmetically new but with doubtful mechanical justification.  

I kind of feel like the Squark (a cross between a squid and a shark) is a nice visual summation of how low 2E D&D had suck by 1998.  

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