Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix (1990)

If I didn’t use the Forgotten Realms Appendix very much, Kara-Tur (1990) made it to the table never. Was never really my thing, generally. In the year of our lord 2024, I am not sure I would put a vampire with yellow skin, a yellow dragon and yellow text on the book of Asian-inspired monsters, but maybe that’s just me (it isn’t just me, this is pretty thoughtless). There is a lot of “this is an Eastern variety of X” in the text, too, which ain’t great either.

I’m not a fan of Kara-Tur, but looking through this now, there are still some good monsters here I might use. Kappa are always fun (and the entry mentions cucumbers, which is rad) but the tengu are underwhelming. I like the race of intelligent octopuses, but am legit not sure if I love or hate the fact that they’re called tako, the Japanese word for regular octopuses. I did the Krakentua, too, and the spirit centipedes are fucked up (I hate centipedes).

Baxa does all the interior art and does a pretty solid job with it, but is again undermined by the designs of the monsters.

2 thoughts on “Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix (1990)

  1. If you want great Japanese creature designs, I’d recommend Shigeru Mizuki’s Yokai books. Outside of his manga, there are some superb art books published by French publisher Editions Cornelius such as Yokai and Mononoke (both of which are just full page illustrations of all manner of beasties), Yokaido (redrawings of classic Utagawa Hiroshige art with Yokai inserted), and the most fun, À L’intérieur Des Yokai, which is like a Yokai anatomy cross-section book. They’re fantastic if you can source them. Drawn & Quarterly are doing an English edition of Yokai in October, so hopefully they’ll get to the others if that does well.
    Really enjoying having the website, btw!

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