Rogues’ Gallery (1992)

Man, I stick up for 2E and I can usually find a positive in most of the 2E products, but I am hard pressed with Rogues’ Gallery (1992).

A little background — I remember buying this in 1993 or ‘94 and it was one of those rare times in high school that I had an extra couple bucks in my pocket but none of the local shops had any cool RPG books, so I settled for what was available. New D&D thing can’t be that bad, right? Nope. Instant disappoint me. I lost it in the flood that killed a lot of my other D&D books, but unlike those, it passed into oblivion unmourned. I completely forgot about it until I was thinking about doing a week on the REF books. Lo, REF6 is an NPC book, lemme get that and oh no, now I have paid money for this stupid book TWICE.

So, this is a book of NPCs. They’re laid out in the style of the Monstrous Compendium, on loose leaf sheets. I love that for monsters; I hate it for NPCs. The art is terrible throughout. Even the stuff by Ken Frank, who I usually enjoy. All of it is color paintings reproduced in black and white, which I hate. A lot of it is by the artist who did the filler art for the official AD&D trading cards. I mostly can’t get past the art to read about the NPCs, but none of them seem particularly interesting. One of them is an old lady with a tray of brownies who is apparently a neutral evil master of disguise. Another is named Rockhead without a hint of irony. There are an unusual number of men in loin clothes. Even the Caldwell cover is underwhelming.

Don’t buy this book.

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