Monster Manual II was the third and final monster supplement for the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, following the Monster Manual and Fiend Folio. Monster Manual II was published as a hardback book in 1983, and has the largest page count of the three, containing over 250 monsters, most with illustrations. As with the Monster Manual, this book was written primarily by Gary Gygax.
Many of the monsters were drawn from scenario modules, in particular from S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, and it included a dozen new devils that had been first published in the pages of Dragon magazine. Despite this, a significant amount of its contents had never been published previously, unlike the monsters in both the Monster Manual and Fiend Folio.
The book included random encounter tables for dungeon and wilderness settings built from the Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, and Monster Manual II. 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 several monsters, races, and places from Gary Gygax's Greyhawk campaign setting.
The book contains a preface on page 4, a section entitled "How To Use This Book" on pages 5-7, descriptions of the monsters on pages 8-132, random encounter tables on pages 133-155, and an index of all the monsters in the Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, and Monster Manual II on pages 156-160. Unlike the previous two books, this book does not contain an alphabetical listing of the monsters in the beginning of the book.
On publication of Monster Manual II, all subsequent reprints of other AD&D manuals were updated to match the design of Monster Manual II. This included, for example, a printing of the Monster Manual with a new cover by Jeff Easley (cover artist of the Monster Manual II).
Monster Manual II garnered positive reviews, receiving a score of 7 out of 10 in a review in White Dwarf magazine. 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.
Doug Cowie reviewed Monster Manual II quite favorably for Imagine magazine. 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". As for Monster Manual II, Cowie suggested: "If you like the AD&D game, go and buy it immediately." Although he found some monsters "to be just plain silly", they are all "well presented, properly thought out and adequately described".
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."
|Aspis||10-11||Described here are the drone, larva, cow|
|Bat||15-16||Described here are the mobat and ordinary bat|
|Bear, northern (polar bear)||16|
|Bee, giant||17||Described here are the worker honeybee, soldier honeybee, and bumblebee|
|Beetle, giant||17-18||Described here are the death watch beetle and slicer beetle|
|Cat||22||Described are the domestic and wild cat|
|Centipede||24-25||Described are the huge centipede and megalocentipede|
|Cooshee (elven dog)||26|
|Daemon||27-31||Described are the arcanadaemon (greater daemon), Charon (the Boatman of the Lower Planes), charonadaemon (lesser daemon), derghodaemon (lesser daemon), hydrodaemon (lesser daemon), Oinodaemon (Anthraxus), piscodaemon (lesser daemon), ultrodaemon (greater daemon), and yagnodaemon (lesser daemon)|
|Demodand||33-34||Described are the farastu (tarry) demodand, kelubar (slime) demodand, and shator (shaggy) demodand|
|-- Alu-demon (semi-demon)||35-36|
|-- Babau (minor demon)||36|
|-- Baphomet (demon lord)||36|
|-- Bar-lgura (minor demon)||37|
|-- Cambion (semi-demon)||37|
|-- Chasme (minor demon)||38|
|-- Dretch (minor demon)||38|
|-- Fraz-Urb'luu (Prince of Deception)||39|
|-- Graz'zt (demon prince)||39-40|
|-- Kostchtchie (demon lord)||40|
|-- Nabassu (major demon)||40-41|
|-- Pazuzu (Prince of the Lower Aerial Kingdoms)||41|
|-- Rutterkin (minor demon)||41-42|
|Deva||42-44||Described are the astral deva, monadic deva, and movanic deva|
|-- Abishai (lesser devil)||45|
|-- Amon (Duke of Hell)||45-46|
|-- Bael (Duke of Hell)||46|
|-- Bearded devil (lesser devil)||46|
|-- Belial (Arch-devil)||46|
|-- Glasya (Princess of Hell)||47|
|-- Hutijin (Duke of Hell)||47|
|-- Mammon (Arch-devil)||47|
|-- Mephistopheles (Arch-devil)||48|
|-- Moloch (Arch-devil)||48|
|-- Nupperibo (least devil)||49|
|-- Titivilus (Duke of Hell)||49|
|-- Spined devil (least devil)||49|
|Dinosaur||50-55||Described are the ankisaurus, camptosaurus, compsognathus, dacentrurus, deinonychus, dilophosaurus, dimetrodon, euparkeria, kentrosaurus, mamechisaurus, massopondylus, nothosaurus, ornitholestes, phororhacos, podokesaurus, giant pterosaur, struthiomimus, tanystropheus, and tennodontosaurus|
|-- Cloud dragon||56-57|
|-- Faerie dragon||57|
|-- Mist dragon||58|
|-- Shadow dragon||58-59|
|Drelb (haunting custodian)||60|
|Eel, electric (marine)||62|
|Elf||63||Described are the grugach and valley elf|
|Falcon (hawk)||64||Described are the small and large falcon|
|Firefriend (giant firefly)||65|
|Fly, giant||65||Described are the bluebottle and horsefly|
|Foo creatures||65-66||Described are the foo dog and foo lion|
|Forester's bane (snapper-saw)||66|
|Formian (centaur-ant)||66||Described are the myrmarch, warrior, and worker formian|
|Giant||68-69||Described are the fomorian, firbolg, and verbeeg|
|Grue, elemental||72-74||Described are the chagrin, harginn, ildriss, and verrdig|
|Hordling (hordes of Hades)||75-76|
|Lycanthrope||80-82||Described are the foxwoman, seawolf (greater), seawolf (lesser), and wereshark|
|Modron||86-91||Described are the monodrone (base modron), duodrone (base modron), tridrone (base modron), quadrone (base modron), pentadrone (base modron), decaton (hierarch modron), nonaton (hierarch modron), octon (hierarch modron), septon (hierarch modron), hexton (hierarch modron), quinton (hierarch modron), quarton (hierarch modron), tertian (hierarch modron), secundus (hierarch modron), and Primus (the One and the Prime)|
|Myconid (fungus man)||94-95|
|Obliviax (memory moss)||96|
|Ogre, aquatic (merrow)||96|
|Para-elemental||98-99||Described are the ice, smoke, magma, and ooze para-elemental|
|Pedipalp||100||Described are the large, huge, and giant pedipalp|
|Quickwood (spy tree)||104|
|Rat||105||Described are the ordinary rat and vapor rat|
|Raven (crow)||105||Described are the ordinary, huge, and giant raven|
|Scorpion||107||Described are the large and huge scorpion|
|Snake||111||Described are the constrictor and poisonous snake|
|Solifugid||112||Described are the large, huge, and giant solifugid|
|Spider, giant marine||113|
|Squirrel||114||Described are the giant black and ordinary squirrel|
|Squirrel, carnivorous flying||114|
|Termite, giant harvester||118-119|
|Thri-kreen (mantis warrior)||119|
|Troll, marine (scrag)||121-122||Described are the fresh water and salt water marine troll|
|Vulture||125||Described are the giant and ordinary vulture|
|Worm||127-128||Described are the tenebrous worm and the tunnel worm|
|Xag-ya and xeg-yi||128-129|
|Yochlol (handmaiden of Lolth)||130|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lawrence Schick (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games: 107. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-653-5
- ↑ "Later AD&D Manuals". The Acaeum. Retrieved 2020-02-29.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Megan C Evans (January 1984). "Open Box: Dungeon Modules". White Dwarf (49): 14. Games Workshop. ISSN 0265-8712
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Doug Cowie (March 1984). "Game Reviews". Imagine (12): 14. TSR Hobbies (UK), Ltd.
- Monster Manual II at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.