Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Mon May 30, 2011 7:32 pm

I was going through the AD&D1E version of Deities & Demigods and found:

Leviathan, Nehwon Mythology: Related to the Marine Leviathan of AC9? The Nehwon version appears more like a squid, but still...?

Cold Woman, Nehwon Mythology: Seems similar to the Scamille?

Not in AC9, but still...:

Astral Wolf, Nehwon Mythology: Remarkably similar to the BECMI Spectral Wolf

Devourer, Nehwon Mythology: Description reminiscent of Planar Spiders, even if no physical description is given.

Vampire Tree, Elric Mythology: reminiscent of Druj from the Companion Rules. (from OD&D Deities & Demigods)

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Birchbeer » Tue May 31, 2011 12:59 am

Is the edition of deities and demigods you are using the one with the Cthulhu and Melnibonean information or without? I never had that one and was wondering if any of those creatures inspired some monsters (I usually derive Mind Flayers as Cthulhu inspired). I'd be curious if any creatures derive from there in BECMI.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by ripvanwormer » Tue May 31, 2011 2:03 pm

Birchbeer wrote:Is the edition of deities and demigods you are using the one with the Cthulhu and Melnibonean information or without? I never had that one and was wondering if any of those creatures inspired some monsters (I usually derive Mind Flayers as Cthulhu inspired). I'd be curious if any creatures derive from there in BECMI.
According to Gary Gygax, Mind flayers were inspired by the cover of Brian Lumney's novel, The Burrowers Beneath (which was itself Lovecraft-inspired).

Charles Stross, who invented the githzerai and githyanki, noted the extreme similarity between the mind flayers and the thrint, a race of tentacle-faced psionic slavers from Larry Niven's novel World of Ptavvs, and basically used the thrint backstory to create the story of an ancient mind flayer empire and subsequent rebellion. The name "githyanki" was stolen from a George R.R. Martin novel.

As for Havard's post, I agree that the astral wolf is probably the inspiration to the spectral wolf. Apart from being planar traders, I don't see much similarity between devourers and planar spiders; devourers look like humanoids in suits of armor in the original story and subsequent AD&D depictions. The cold woman is a blob like the scamille, but it has no shapeshifting powers.

One vaguely Mystaran character was definitely inspired by the Melnibonean mythos in 1st edition Deities & Demigods, though: Mandoom, who is a Kelmain (but Mandoom doesn't appear in either Quest for the Heartstone or Shady Dragon Inn, so his Mystaraness is slight). However, Shady Dragon Inn does note that Strongheart rides a nihrain horse. Nihrain horses are from the Melnibonean mythos, and described in Deities & Demigods.

The elemental rulers of AD&D - Istishia, Kossuth, Grumbar, and Akadi - are based on the elemental rulers of the Melnibonean mythos: Straasha, Kakatal, Grome, and Misha. The elemasters of the Immortals Set cosmology probably owe a debt to them, too.

Also see the oonai shapeshifters from the Melnibonean mythos, and compare them to the polymar. Same number of hit dice, similar ability to change into any creature of less than 10 hit dice.

The brain collector is based on Lovecraft's mi-go, which is in Deities & Demigods as well. The shoggoth is the inspiration for the gibbering mouther.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Chimpman » Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:44 pm

[quote="ripvanwormer"Charles Stross, who invented the githzerai and githyanki, noted the extreme similarity between the mind flayers and the thrint, a race of tentacle-faced psionic slavers from Larry Niven's novel World of Ptavvs, and basically used the thrint backstory to create the story of an ancient mind flayer empire and subsequent rebellion. The name "githyanki" was stolen from a George R.R. Martin novel.[/quote]
Very interesting rip. I'm a big GRRM fan, so I'll have to dig around and try to find the githyanki in one of his stories. Do you happen to know which it was?
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:50 pm

According to Wikipedia, githyanki are in Martin's 1977 novel, Dying of the Light.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Wed Jun 08, 2011 3:06 am

Now that you guys have done all the hard work, I've cross-posted a summary of my findings on a related thread over on DF.

Let's see what else turns up...

edit:

Apologies to Havard (who pointed this out, earlier) but the mechanical similarities between the Elder ghoul and the AD&D Ghast are becoming pretty clear after taking a second look!

Also, I've recently noticed that the Ice Wolf is pretty much the same creature as the Hound of Kerenos from White Dwarf #18 (don't know how I missed it, the first time around).

Incidentally, another little tidbit about the Ice Wolf is that they are apparently ridden by those enigmatic Quariks (mentioned in the entry). I'm starting to wonder whether those folks were just created as an example of a lost civilization for the sole purposes of the Creature Catalogue. (Has anyone ever done anything with them?)

So at this point, the creatures I'm still the most curious about are:

Baldandar
Cat, Great: Bekkah
Cryion
Dark-Hood (Rorphyr)
Dark Wing
Gargoyle, Iron
Golem: Rock and Silver
Guardian Warrior & Horse (possibly similar to the Gaurdian Warrior used in "A Wizard's Fate" by Christopher Perkins in Dungeon #37 (Sept/Oct 1992)?
Leveller (Bodendruker)
Magpie: Normal, Giant
Pachydermion
Phygorax
Possession
Shark, Vamora
Stalwart
Thunderhead

With the possible exception of the Guardian Statue, all of these creatures only ever appeared in the Creature Catalogue, and were never used in any other official publications (and many from this list were even dropped from the DMGR2 Creature Catalog)
Last edited by paleologos on Sun Jun 12, 2011 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:59 pm

Check out the Hivebrood in this thread...

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Fri Jun 10, 2011 1:26 am

Havard wrote:Check out the Hivebrood in this thread...
Wow - great find!

I'll bet that a few more of our elusive critters might be found within those publications...

edit:

P.S. thanks Havard! your link led me to this en world thread from 2007 which lists new monsters published in TSR UK's Imagine Magazine between 1983 and 1985:

5 - Mountain Hag
11 - Full Warhorse
12 - Canopic Shade
15 - Marsh Dragon (Draco Fatalus Plagues)
15 - Wrigglies
17 - Weremice, Giant Partridge, Aughisky (Water-horse), Birch Tree Spirit, Faerie
19 - Gem Hylem, Rock Totem, Black Widow Totem, Bone Golem, Bronze Golem, Rag Golem, Sand Golem, Wood Golem
21 - China Dolls
22 - Greater Vampires: Lord, Arch-Lord, Princeling, Prince, Arch-Prince
23 - Headless Horseman (Rider and Mount), Revenant-Magna, The Gebbeth
25 - Agta (Demon), Batibat (Demon), Tikbalang (Demon), Aswang, Mansalauan, Segben, Mantabungal
26 - Undead Parrot
29 - Taumet

The Gem Hylem from issue #19, for example, seems a definite precursor to the Huptzeen!

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Fri Jun 10, 2011 8:37 am

paleologos wrote:
Havard wrote:Check out the Hivebrood in this thread...
Wow - great find!

I'll bet that a few more of our elusive critters might be found within those publications...
This thread has covered alot of unknow ground in a short time. I am sure the rest could be found as well? :)

edit:

P.S. thanks Havard! your link led me to this en world thread from 2007 which lists new monsters published in TSR UK's Imagine Magazine between 1983 and 1985:
Do you know which of the creatures were made for Classic and which were for 1E? IIRC Imagine Magazine supported both versions of D&D.

5 - Mountain Hag
Any connection to other Hags?
Aughisky (Water-horse),
Original Sea Horse/Hippocampus?
Birch Tree Spirit,
Connection to the Odic?
Faerie
Is this the Faerie from the Master Set?
26 - Undead Parrot
Trust a UK magazine to include this one! This Parrot has ceased to be! :lol:
The Gem Hylem from issue #19, for example, seems a definite precursor to the Huptzeen!
Very cool :)


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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:03 am

I few interesting updates from cross-posting over at Dragonsfoot:

The Guardian Warrior is likely based upon the "Terracotta Guardian" from GameMaster Publications #1 (thanks to Corathon for the find).

Also courtesy of Corathon is the very probable inspiration for the Cryion from creatures named the Tran in Alan Dean Foster's 1974 novel "Icerigger". Details for the Tran were published in "GURPS Humanx: Roleplaying in Alan Dean Foster's "Humanx Commonwealth" by Steve Jackson Games in 1987.

Finally, cwslyclgh pointed out similarities between the AD&D Stone Golem and the AC9 Rock Golem (one of the differences is the latter has the abilities of the Caryatid Column thrown in). This made me realize the similarities between the AD&D Iron Golem and the AC9 Silver Golem (both attack with fists, are aided by fire-based attacks). In fact, I think it's reasonable to suspect that the AC9 Rock and Silver Golems might have been conceptualized as tougher versions of the AD&D Stone and Iron Golems...

(And along the same lines, I wonder if AC9's "Iron Gargoyle" was envisioned as a much tougher version of the AD&D Margoyle?)

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Tom Bulls Eye » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:29 am

paleologos wrote:
Havard wrote:Check out the Hivebrood in this thread...
Wow - great find!

I'll bet that a few more of our elusive critters might be found within those publications...

edit:

P.S. thanks Havard! your link led me to this en world thread from 2007 which lists new monsters published in TSR UK's Imagine Magazine between 1983 and 1985:

5 - Mountain Hag
11 - Full Warhorse
12 - Canopic Shade
15 - Marsh Dragon (Draco Fatalus Plagues)
15 - Wrigglies
17 - Weremice, Giant Partridge, Aughisky (Water-horse), Birch Tree Spirit, Faerie
19 - Gem Hylem, Rock Totem, Black Widow Totem, Bone Golem, Bronze Golem, Rag Golem, Sand Golem, Wood Golem
21 - China Dolls
22 - Greater Vampires: Lord, Arch-Lord, Princeling, Prince, Arch-Prince
23 - Headless Horseman (Rider and Mount), Revenant-Magna, The Gebbeth
25 - Agta (Demon), Batibat (Demon), Tikbalang (Demon), Aswang, Mansalauan, Segben, Mantabungal
26 - Undead Parrot
29 - Taumet

The Gem Hylem from issue #19, for example, seems a definite precursor to the Huptzeen!

The marsh dragon seems to be a paraphrase over Terry Pratchetts swamp dragon from the 1983 novel Colour of Magic. The marsh dragon like the swamp dragon is a small dragon plagued by flatulence.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Bouv » Sun Dec 18, 2011 8:44 pm

Good thing I found this thread, I was almost going to make a similar one to it.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by hyrieus » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:56 pm

The Baldander is based on a character in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Thu Apr 14, 2016 3:03 pm

hyrieus wrote:The Baldander is based on a character in Gene Wolfe's Book of the New Sun
Great find! :)

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:02 am

Great Cat: Bekkah

Any clue to this one yet? It does not seem to be the name of an existing or prehistoric animal?

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:25 am

Havard wrote:Great Cat: Bekkah
At a guess, I'd say the Bekkah was inspired by Bagheera of Kipling's Jungle Book.
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:24 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:Great Cat: Bekkah
At a guess, I'd say the Bekkah was inspired by Bagheera of Kipling's Jungle Book.
Not a bad theory. They are large black panthers with a roaring ability.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by LimeOdyssey » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:03 am

Hook horror - as the Thresher that appeared in Booty and the Beasts by Errol Otus et al, in 1979, not sure of publication month.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by LimeOdyssey » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:07 am

Also Adventures in Fantasy went down the Earth mythology route pretty hard, so that might be another source for some of the critters. All The World's Monsters - there's a profusion of similar monsters in that one too.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Sun May 27, 2018 5:55 pm

Just wondering whether anyone has gained any insights regarding the last few entries? I'd like to clean up the list and create a master document for download...

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Sun May 27, 2018 6:09 pm

paleologos wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:55 pm
Just wondering whether anyone has gained any insights regarding the last few entries? I'd like to clean up the list and create a master document for download...
The Guardian Warrior and Horse do seem likely to be inspired by the Chinese Terracotta Army. The art definitely suggests this.

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