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 16, 2011 3:46 pm

This thread gives more detail on what each issue of White Dwarf contains: http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?389 ... -beginning.../

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Cthulhudrew » Tue May 17, 2011 2:07 am

This is a cool thread- I knew about many of the monsters that were essentially reskinned/renamed (and count me down as thinking the Winter Wolf and Ice Wolf are one and the same; I believe the shark-kin were based on the sahuagin, though they seem to have been changed enough to make them their own creature by now). I didn't realize quite how many there were, though!

Speaking of reskinning- and this is sort of beyond the scope of the thread (AC9 creatures)- but several of the monsters in the DA series of Blackmoor modules were renamed/reskinned from AC9 creatures. Offhand, I know the Xytar got reskinned as the Sandfolk's riding lizards (I can't think offhand what their name was in DA3).
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Tue May 17, 2011 4:18 am

ripvanwormer wrote:Havard's White Dwarf link is very useful! I see that White Dwarf #17 includes a "spice worm" and "green worm," which sound as if they might be the predecessors of the sand and sea leviathans, except their creators (Dave Tant and Ghee Bowman) aren't credited in Creature Catalogue. So evidently not.
I still need to check it out - but it wouldn't surprise me if some of the contributors got overlooked. After all DAVE ARNESON isn't listed - and a ton of the monsters are from his Blackmoor supplement!

Cthulhudrew wrote:Offhand, I know the Xytar got reskinned as the Sandfolk's riding lizards (I can't think offhand what their name was in DA3).
DA3&4 pulled in a lot of the AC9 creatures, especially those that had been published previously. I'll check out the Xytar reference...always loved those Sand Folk!

Incidentally, I couldn't resist checking out the White Ape and Driver Ant entries in White Dwarf - nothing like the creatures described in Moldvay's Basic rulebook.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Tue May 17, 2011 8:54 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:Speaking of reskinning- and this is sort of beyond the scope of the thread (AC9 creatures)- but several of the monsters in the DA series of Blackmoor modules were renamed/reskinned from AC9 creatures. Offhand, I know the Xytar got reskinned as the Sandfolk's riding lizards (I can't think offhand what their name was in DA3).
The Sandfolk mounts were called Camarilla. The other example you might be thinking of are the Quarg, which I think are basically Ice Wolves. I have compiled a list of the DA module monsters here. I dont know if any of the others appeared under other names in the DA modules? Not sure why they were renamed there. Perhaps Arneson had provided names and descriptions for some of the creatures and Ritchie picked the most similar AC9 monsters instead of making them up from scratch?

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Tue May 17, 2011 2:22 pm

The more I think of it, the more it seems that Kna are perhaps retooled Kuo Toa or Deep Ones - I need to do a side-by-side comparison of their stats.

The Xytar are actually linked to the Sis'Thik, or "Desert Scourge" entry. They are ridden by the Sis'Thik (which are pretty cool, actually) and so maybe the Camarilla is a different yet related species, ridden by the Sand Folk. It's neat to perhaps imagine that the Sis'Thik and the Sand Folk are hereditary enemies or something (very old school, I know).

A closer reading of some of the entries reveals other connections, as well. For instance, the Leveller is part of the ecology of the Purple Worm (it eats them!)

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed May 18, 2011 1:32 am

Havard wrote:I dont know if any of the others appeared under other names in the DA modules? Not sure why they were renamed there. Perhaps Arneson had provided names and descriptions for some of the creatures and Ritchie picked the most similar AC9 monsters instead of making them up from scratch?
Could be that they were renamed so they would seem "new" to players in the setting; rather than just having NPCs say "Beware the ice wolves in the Malfera Woods!" they could say "Yarr! Ye'd best be keeping yer eyes peeled fer the dreaded Quarg, matey!"

Either guess is as good as the other. Wish we'd have thought to ask that question when DA was still around to answer... :(
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Wed May 18, 2011 2:30 am

Well, I've been going through all of the old back issues of White Dwarf, and have already discovered some pretty nifty info:

White Dwarf #5 (Feb/March 1978) describes a version of the Gremlin that is clearly a precursor to the one introduced by Tom Moldvay in X2 (1981)

White Dwarf #9 (Oct/Nov 1978) introduces the Whipper (Bob Scurfield), which appears as the Whipweed in the Fiend Folio (p. 94) and is basically the same as the Whipweed in AC9.

White Dwarf #11 (Feb/March 1979) describes a creature named the Devil Dog (Louis Boschelli) which is pretty similar to the Ice Wolf in B10.

White Dwarf #16 (Dec 1979/Jan 1980) probably contains the original description of the Man Scorpion (Phil Masters) which was later used by Dave Cook in X4, and ultimately became a major race on Mystara.

White Dwarf #17 (Feb/March 1980) is really interesting. Not only is the Spice Worm (Dave Tant) clearly the original version of the Desert Leviathan (although the AC9 version has far more hit dice), but there's a creature called the Goom (Nigel Proudfoot) which sounds a lot like the Scamille...

(the Green Worm appearing in WD#17 is just a Green version of the Purple Worm, not a Marine Leviathan)

edit:

White Dwarf #18 (Apr/May 1980) missed it first time around, but the Hound of Kerenos (Graham Staplehurst) is clearly what the Ice Wolf is based upon. Similarities to hell hounds and devil dogs are acknowledged, and the stats and description really seem to line up
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Cthulhudrew » Wed May 18, 2011 4:42 am

Spice Worm, eh? Sounds like shades of Dune. :D
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Wed May 18, 2011 11:53 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:I dont know if any of the others appeared under other names in the DA modules? Not sure why they were renamed there. Perhaps Arneson had provided names and descriptions for some of the creatures and Ritchie picked the most similar AC9 monsters instead of making them up from scratch?
Could be that they were renamed so they would seem "new" to players in the setting; rather than just having NPCs say "Beware the ice wolves in the Malfera Woods!" they could say "Yarr! Ye'd best be keeping yer eyes peeled fer the dreaded Quarg, matey!"
Both are possible :)
Either guess is as good as the other. Wish we'd have thought to ask that question when DA was still around to answer... :(
:(

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Wed May 18, 2011 11:54 am

paleologos wrote:Well, I've been going through all of the old back issues of White Dwarf, and have already discovered some pretty nifty info:
Fantastic!
Now I want those old White Dwarf mags... :ugeek:

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Wed May 18, 2011 1:58 pm

Okay, I got through a few more old back issues of White Dwarf. More interesting stuff:

White Dwarf #19 (June/July 1980) is another really interesting one. The Stormbiter (Simon Eaton) is clearly a precursor of the Desert Ghost, and the Werefox (John R. White) is quite similar in a lot of ways to the one described by Tom Moldvay in B4 (1982). Tom must have been an avid subscriber to White Dwarf, back in the Day!

White Dwarf #20 (Aug/Sept 1980) contains a description of the Frog Folk (Phil Masters), which is pretty similar to what I remember from DA2...

White Dwarf #21 (Oct/Nov 1980) contains a description of a creature called the Grey Sqaarg (Graham Head), which seems pretty similar to the Reflector (even the picture is comparable)

White Dwarf #26 (Aug/Sept 1981) has an underwater creature called the Asrai (by none other than Roger E. Moore), which seems to be what Frank's "Undine" might have been based on...

White Dwarf #30 (April/May 1982) contains a Hsiao (Phil Masters), another one Frank might have lifted into BECMI

White Dwarf #32 (Aug 1982) has a Greater Raven

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Hugin » Wed May 18, 2011 2:38 pm

Excellent work, paleologos!
paleologos wrote:White Dwarf #21 (Oct/Nov 1980) contains a description of a creature called the Grey Sqaarg (Graham Head), which seems pretty similar to the Reflector (even the picture is comparable)
I wonder if the image of the Silver Surfer comic character had any influence on it's creation?
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Thu May 19, 2011 5:30 am

I've updated the lists again.

At this point, I'm left with 23 remaining creatures that might be totally new (I can find no previous reference to anything similar):

Baldandar
Cat, Great: Bekkah
Cryion
Dark-Hood (Rorphyr)
Dark Wing (similar to Deep Glaurant appearing subsequently in Gaz8)
Gargoyle, Iron
Golem: Rock and Silver
Grey Philosopher and Malice
Guardian Warrior & Horse
Leveller (Bodendruker), related to ecology of the Purple Worm (ie. eats them)
Magpie: Normal, Giant
Man, Isolated: Quariks
Pachydermion
Phygorax
Possession
Shark, Vamora
Sis'thik (desert scourge), similar to the Sand Folk subsequently appearing in DA3
Snake: Rock Rattler, Giant
Spider, Giant: Huge Wood Spider
Stalwart
Thunderhead
Wood Imp (appearing subsequently in PC1)
Xytar (similar to the Camarilla subsequently appearing in DA3)
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Thu May 19, 2011 10:05 am

paleologos wrote:I've updated the lists again.
Cool :cool:

Dark Wing (similar to Deep Glaurant appearing subsequently in Gaz8)
An interesting observation in itself!
Elder ghoul
Connected to the AD&D Ghast perhaps?

Leviathan: Marine
Isnt there an AD&D Leviathan?
Magpie: Normal, Giant
This sounds like a very Dave Arneson type creature, but I havent heard of him using this particular one.
Man, isolated: Quariks
It is surprising that no source is found for these since they really seem like they are taken from a module. RPGA perhaps?
Stalwart
No source, but Cthulhudrew has speculated that these are somehow connected to the later Goliath race in 3E/4E.
Wood Imp (appearing subsequently in CC1)
Nitpick: Should be PC1.


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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Hugin » Thu May 19, 2011 2:07 pm

paleologos wrote:At this point, I'm left with 27 remaining creatures that might be totally new (I can find no previous reference to anything similar):
I find this very interesting since in the AC9's introduction we read,
AC 9 Creature Catalogue wrote:The Creature Catalogue is the first major expansion to the range of D&D game creatures. Within its covers are well over 200 creatures of all kinds; 80 or more entirely new creatures, plus those which first appeared in the pages of official D&D game modules. Also included is a comprehensive listing of all D&D monsters from the Basic, Expert, Companion and Master sets.
I wonder which of the creatures they considered "entirely new". Perhaps they meant 'new to BECMI D&D', which would mean that AD&D creatures converted to BECMI are "entirely new". Thoughts?

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by ripvanwormer » Thu May 19, 2011 4:33 pm

Yes, I think they meant "new to BECMI D&D."

I was looking through OD&D's Gods, Demigods, and Heroes booklet, and came across the Ghouls of Yanaidar. Their description is simple: "As the ghouls of D&D, but twice the number usually appearing." But I wonder if there's a connection to AC9's elder ghouls.
Isnt there an AD&D Leviathan?
There is, but it's a whale. Also, I can't find a reference to it prior to the 2nd edition Monstrous Compendiums. If there was an earlier mention of it, it's possible that they thought something like, "Well, we've already decided to call the spice worm a 'sand leviathan,' so we could turn this giant whale into a worm and call it a 'sea leviathan.'"

It's possible that the AD&D leviathan originated in the 1987 Forgotten Realms sourcebook, Moonshae. That would be too late for it to have influenced the Creature Catalogue, except that we know the Moonshae Islands were originally intended to be a TSR UK setting independent of the Forgotten Realms, later incorporated into the Realms after TSR UK folded so that Douglas Niles would have a place to put his novels.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Fri May 20, 2011 1:26 am

Havard wrote:
Man, isolated: Quariks
It is surprising that no source is found for these since they really seem like they are taken from a module. RPGA perhaps?
I agree - they seem far too well fleshed out to have just been created for AC9
Havard wrote:
Stalwart
No source, but Cthulhudrew has speculated that these are somehow connected to the later Goliath race in 3E/4E.
Seems like many of the creatures in AC9 migrated over into 3E/4E...
Havard wrote:
Wood Imp (appearing subsequently in CC1)
Nitpick: Should be PC1.
oops - my bad!

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Cthulhudrew » Fri May 20, 2011 1:40 am

I'm not sure the Stalwarts were the inspiration/source for the Goliaths, though I think that the statistics and many aspects of the goliath's culture are very well suited to fleshing out the Stalwart.

As for the Pachydermions, I used to wonder if they were inspired by the Loxo of the Forgotten Realms, but I later learned that was not the case (the Loxo's first appearance was in 1994's Monstrous Compendium Annual #1, whereas the Pachydermion appeared much earlier in AC9). No idea where they might have come from.

I wouldn't be surprised, though, if a lot of the creatures in AC9 were original creatures made just for that accessory. AC11 features many contraptions/inventions/etc that were submitted by TSR fans (judging by the entries); it could be that the creatures in AC9 were similarly sourced (if not necessarily credited). Possibly they might have been culled from entries submitted to Dragon, or the like.
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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Fri May 20, 2011 2:09 am

Here's a breakdown of origin sources (AC9 contains 206 creatures):

122 creatures previously appearing in D&D modules:

Agarat (X8)
Amber Lotus Flower (X2, X9)
Amoeba, Giant (X2, X9)
Aranea (X1, X2)
Archer Bush (B3)
Ash Crawler (CM5)
Banshee, Lesser (B4)
Beetle, Earthquake (M2)
Bhut (X4)
Brain Collector (X2)
Cay-Man (B6, X9)
Chameleon Man (B8)
Chevall (B10)
Crone of Chaos (B8)
Death Demon (X2)
Death Leech (CM2)
Decapus, Land (B3) and Marine (X9)
Dinosaur: Allosaurus (X1), Ankylosaurus (X1), Brontosaurus (X1)
Dog: Normal (X9)
Dragonfly: White, Black, Green, Blue and Red Dragonfly (XL1)
Dragonne (originally appearing in the AD&D Monster Manual) XL1, X9
Dusanu (X5)
Eel: Electric (X7), Giant (X7)
Elk, Giant (X1)
Faedorne (O2)
Flitterling (O2)
Fundamental (X8)
Fungoid (AC8)
Fyrsnaca (XS2)
Gakarak (DA3, DA4)
Gargantua (X7, but possibly based upon the Giant Gar from the AD&D Monster Manual)
Garl (CM6, DA3)
Gator Man (DA4)
Geonid (X5, DA3)
Ghostly Horde (B8)
Grangeri (X1)
Gyerian (CM5)
Haunt, Lesser (B7)
Hephaeston (CM6)
Herex: Larval and Adult (DA3)
Hook Beast: Hook Horror (White Dwarf #12 (Apr/May 1979), AD&D Fiend Folio) and Hulker (a weaker form of the Umber Hulk from OD&D supplement I: Greyhawk, without ability to confuse) XL1, DA3
Hutaakan (B10)
Hypnosnake (X3)
Ice Wolf (B10) basically the hound of Kerenos (Graham Staplehurst) appearing in White Dwarf #18 (Apr/May 1980) even the picture is similar; a slightly weaker, earlier version of the Quarg appearing in DA3)
Jellyfish, Giant: Marauder and Man-O-War (originally appearing in OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor, subsequently in X7)
Juggernaut (X4, X10)
Kal-Muru (ship bane) X8
Kara-Kara (X8)
Killer Tree (X2, X6) also appearing as the Hangman Tree subsequent to X2 in the AD&D Monster Manual II
Kopru (X1)
Lava Lizard (B5, DA4)
Living Statue: Silver, Rock/Ooze, Jade and Steel (B10)
Lizard, Giant Foot-Pad (B10)
Lupin (X2, X9)
Magen (X2, B12)
Man, Isolated: Cynidicean (B4), Traldar (Warrior, Vocal and Other) B10
Man, Primitive: Native (X1), Wild Man (including Pagans, originally described in X2) and Barbarian (possibly inspired by the backstory for B1?)
Megatherium (X1)
Nagpa (X4)
Oard (CM6)
Oyster, Giant (X1, 1983 only)
Pegataur (M2)
Phantom, lesser (X2)
Phanaton (X1)
Phororhacos ("sword beak") (X1)
Piranha, Cold-Water (B10)
Piranha bird (lesser and greater) (B5, X6)
Pocket dragon (M2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur, X6)
Polymar (B4)
Rakasta (X1, X2)
Red worm (XS2, B11)
Rock Man (B8)
Roper (XL1, DA4)
Sabreclaw (CM3)
Sacrol (M2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur, X9)
Sea Horse (X7)
Sea Serpent (X7)
Serpentweed, Giant (X9)
Shargugh (O2)
Silver Warrior (O2)
Sirenflower (B6)
Slime Worm (X2)
Snake: Rock Rattler, Normal (B10)
Snapper (X9)
Sollux (sun brother) originally appearing in an article by Tom Moldvay in Dragon #42 (for AD&D), subsequently in X2, DA4
Soul Eater (X4, DA4)
Spider, Giant: Giant Hunting (M2 Maze of the Riddling Minotaur, X6, B11), Giant Sand (B8), Giant Shroud (B10)
Steam Weevil (B5)
Strangle Vine (originally appearing as the Choke Creeper in the AD&D Monster Manual II) X9
Tabi (X4, X10)
Topi (X8)
Tortle (X9)
Triton (originally appearing in OD&D supplement I: Greyhawk, subsequently in X7)
Vampire Rose (B3, X2)
Vapour Ghoul (XS2)
Velya (X7)
Water Weird (B7, B8)
Winged Warrior (B8)
Wyrd Normal and Greater (B10)

+9 creatures previously appearing in the Cook/Marsh Expert Rulebook:

Dinosaur: Titanothere (Expert rules, 1981)
Dragon, Sea (Expert Rules, 1981)
Fish, Giant (Expert rules, 1981, X6)
Hawk (Expert rules, 1981)
Octopus, Giant (Expert rules, 1981, X7)
Rhinoceros: Normal and Wooly (Expert rules 1981)
Scorpion (Expert rules, 1981)
Squid, Giant (Expert rules, 1981, X7)

+11 creatures previously appearing in OD&D sources/Blackmoor (8), Greyhawk (4), Strategic Review (1):

Dinosaur: Tylosaurus (a type of Mososaur, a larger version of the Mososaurus appearing in OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor)
Eel: Weed (OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor)
Elf, Aquatic (OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor, although subsequently appearing in PC3)
Homunculus (originally described in OD&D supplement I: Greyhawk): however, the types included (ie. Ulzaq, Gretch, and Fylgar) don't appear to have been described previously
Kna (clearly based on the Locathah from OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor, although with souped up stats)
Masher (OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor)
Mesmer (ie. Morkoth or Morlock from OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor)
Randara (ie. Rakshasa from SR#5)
Shark-Kin (ie. Sahuagin from OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor, although subsequently appearing in PC3)
Strangleweed (OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor)
Wychglow (ie. Will o' Wisp from OD&D supplement I: Greyhawk)

+23 creatures only previously appearing in AD&D sources/Monster Manual (13), Deities & Demigods (1), Fiend Folio (2), and Monster Manual II (7):

Beholder, Aquatic (ie. Eye of the Deep from the AD&D Monster Manual)
Cat, Great: Cheetah (AD&D Monster Manual II), Jaguar (AD&D Monster Manual), Lynx (AD&D Monster Manual), Spotted Lion (AD&D Monster Manual), Wildcat (AD&D Monster Manual II)
Dog: War (AD&D Monster Manual)
Eagle: Normal (AD&D Monster Manual II), Great (AD&D Monster Manual)
Elder Ghoul (mechanically similar to the Ghast from the AD&D Monster Manual)
Frog, Giant Poisonous (AD&D Monster Manual)
Ice Fang (possibly modeled after the AD&D Snow Serpent from Deities & Demigods)
Kraken (AD&D Monster Manual II)
Lamara (ie. characteristics of the Lamia from the AD&D Monster Manual, with the appearance of the Lamia Noble from the AD&D Fiend Folio)
Nightmare (AD&D Monster Manual)
Owl, Giant (AD&D Monster Manual)
Porcupine, Giant (AD&D Monster Manual)
Raven & Crow: Normal and Large (AD&D Monster Manual II)
Skunk: Normal and Giant (AD&D Monster Manual)
Whipweed (originally appearing in White Dwarf #9 (Oct/Nov 1978) as the Whipper (Bob Scurfield) and later as the Whipweed in the AD&D Fiend Folio)
Yowler (ie. Yeth Hound, originally appearing in the AD&D Monster Manual II)

+41 "new" creatures, 27 with no presently identifiable source:

Baldandar
Bargda (likely inspired by the Broo from Runequest/Glorantha)
Cat, Great: Bekkah
Cryion
Dark-Hood (Rorphyr)
Dark Wing (similar to Deep Glaurant appearing subsequently in Gaz8)
Desert Ghost (possibly based on the Stormbiter (Simon Eaton) from White Dwarf #19 (June/July 1980)
Dragon, Undead (similar to the Dracolich from "The Cult of the Dragon" by Ed Greenwood in Dragon #110 (June 1986) although somewhat less powerful)
Gargoyle, Iron
Golem: Rock and Silver
Grey Philosopher and Malice (subsequently appearing in "In Pursuit of the Slayer" by Carl Sargent in Dungeon #15 (Jan/Feb 1989)
Guardian Warrior & Horse (possibly similar to the Gaurdian Warrior used in "A Wizard's Fate" by Christopher Perkins in Dungeon #37 (Sept/Oct 1992)?
The Hivebrood: Broodling, Hivebrood, Hiveleader, Broodmother, and Hivemind (subsequently appearing in "Of Nests and Nations" by Randy Maxwell in Dungeon #13 (Sept/Oct 1988)
Huptzeen (likely based on the Gem Hylem from TSR UK's Imagine Magazine #19)
Leveller (Bodendruker), related to ecology of the Purple Worm (ie. eats them)
Leviathan: Desert (likely based on the Spice Worm (Dave Tant) appearing in White Dwarf #17 (Feb/March 1980) and Marine (with abilities based on the Afanc, from the AD&D Monster Manual II)
Magpie: Normal, Giant
Man, Isolated: Quariks
Pachydermion
Phygorax
Possession
Reflecter (possibly based on the Gray Sqaarg (Graham Head) from White Dwarf #21 (Oct/Nov 1980)
Scamille (possibly based on the Goom (Nigel Proudfoot) appearing in White Dwarf #17), subsequently appearing as the Phasm in AD&D
Shark, Vamora
Sis'thik (desert scourge), similar to the Sand Folk subsequently appearing in DA3
Snake: Rock Rattler, Giant
Spider, Giant: Huge Wood Spider
Stalwart
Surtaki (could this creature be based on the Minotaur Lizard from OD&D supplement II: Blackmoor?)
Thunderhead
Wood Imp (appearing subsequently in PC1)
Xytar (similar to the Camarilla subsequently appearing in DA3)

One of the major faults I have always perceived with AC9 is that the source of the various creatures was not identified. I guess it doesn't matter to most people, but I like to have an idea of a monster's "history"...
Last edited by paleologos on Tue Jun 14, 2011 1:10 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Sat May 21, 2011 12:48 pm

Could this thread about Polyhedron Magazine monsters be of help?

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by ripvanwormer » Sun May 22, 2011 3:44 am

Cthulhudrew wrote:As for the Pachydermions, I used to wonder if they were inspired by the Loxo of the Forgotten Realms, but I later learned that was not the case (the Loxo's first appearance was in 1994's Monstrous Compendium Annual #1, whereas the Pachydermion appeared much earlier in AC9). No idea where they might have come from.
The loxo was actually originally from MC11, the Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, which was published in 1991, still too late to be an influence on the pachydermion.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by Havard » Mon May 23, 2011 2:04 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:The loxo was actually originally from MC11, the Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, which was published in 1991, still too late to be an influence on the pachydermion.
Sounds like the inspiration went the other way. Are Loxos developed at all beyond the Monster Description in the FR?

I do like the discussions we have had about Indian style Pachydermions in Sind/Shajapur and perhaps Burmese Pachydermions near Myoshima. Perhaps also African-like Pachydermions on Davania or southern Skothar?

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by AuldDragon » Mon May 23, 2011 4:22 pm

Havard wrote:
ripvanwormer wrote:The loxo was actually originally from MC11, the Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendium Appendix II, which was published in 1991, still too late to be an influence on the pachydermion.
Sounds like the inspiration went the other way. Are Loxos developed at all beyond the Monster Description in the FR?
It doesn't take a genius to turn a normal animal into an anthropoid. :) They could all (there's a third humanoid elephant in the outer planes called the Maelephant, plus additional elephant-like creatures) have been developed independently, or even the result of reading too much Babar by the various authors. :) There might also be some African or Indian mythological origin to them.

Also, Loxo have two trunks, which neither of the others have. There was an adventure involving them in the 2nd Edition FR Book of Lairs, and there are some minor differences between the description in MC11 and MCA1 (removal of Spelljamming references I think). I don't know if they appeared in any of the various 1st ed/2nd ed books beyond those (but the Shining South was never really expanded on much at that time), but they are mentioned in the 3e Shining South book (and made into a playable race).

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by paleologos » Mon May 23, 2011 7:25 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Havard wrote:
Kna;
Could these be reskinned Locathah/Kuo Toa?
I used to wonder the same thing myself, especially since the Shark-kin seem to be very strongly inspired by the Sahuagin (even down to the stats), but IIRC the Kna stats didn't really mesh up with the locathah or kuo-toa. But it's been a while since I checked, and I don't even have ready access to 1E stats of those creatures, so I may be wrong.
I finally took a look at the entry in the AD&D Monster Manual on the Locathah, and realized that the Kna are definitely the D&D version of the Locathah, only much tougher (as per the stats).

Looks like the editors of AC9 wanted to include the Locathah, but make them different. The Kna are nomadic traders like their AD&D cousins, and ride Mashers instead of Eels (also serves to make them a bit more impressive).

ripvanwormer wrote:The white-fang is probably based on the snow serpent from 1st edition Deities & Demigods (based on a creature in a Fritz Leiber story).
Took a look at the Snow Serpent, and they're actually pretty different creatures...

ripvanwormer wrote:The lamia noble, like the lamara, appears as a human/snake hybrid. The common lamia from the MMI is a human/goat/lion hybrid. Also, the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix says on page 7, "The monster that Mystarans call the lamara would be considered a lamia noble elsewhere."
After comparing both entries, it looks as though the D&D Lamara has the stats and characteristics of the AD&D Lamia, but with the appearance of the Fiend Folio Lamia Noble.

Kind of makes sense, since the traditional Lamia is half-serpent.

ripvanwormer wrote:The umber hulk/hulker connection was made explicit in AC10, page 10, and in the Mystara MC, page 7.
I can't find the reference in AC10.

In taking a second look, the Hulker seems like a more primitive type of Umber Hulk (as the picture in AC9 seems to imply). It doesn't have the confusion ability of it's AD&D relative, for example...

Cthulhudrew wrote:Speaking of reskinning- and this is sort of beyond the scope of the thread (AC9 creatures)- but several of the monsters in the DA series of Blackmoor modules were renamed/reskinned from AC9 creatures. Offhand, I know the Xytar got reskinned as the Sandfolk's riding lizards (I can't think offhand what their name was in DA3).
In reviewing the entries for the Sis'thik and the Sand Folk, it seems to me that David Ritchie might have used the former for inspiration in creating the latter (DA3 came out a year or so after AC9).

In the same vein, the Camarilla is a tougher version of the Xytar, and the Quarg is a tougher version of the Ice Wolf.

Havard wrote:Could this thread about Polyhedron Magazine monsters be of help?
Took a look at the issues I had prior to 1986, and didn't get any good leads - but thanks for the tip!
Last edited by paleologos on Tue May 24, 2011 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Origins of Monsters in AC9 the Creature Catalog

Post by ripvanwormer » Mon May 23, 2011 11:31 pm

paleologos wrote:Took a look at the Snow Serpent, and they're actually pretty different creatures...
Well, they're both snakes covered in white fur. The snow serpent is more than four times as big, and uses constriction rather than venom, but they're very similar monsters nonetheless.

The version of the snow serpent in Lankhmar: City of Adventure (1985) is only thirty feet long, much closer to the white-fang in size.
Kind of makes sense, since the traditional Lamia is half-serpent.
The lion/goat woman lamia is found in old bestiaries, though (Edward Topsell's The History of Four-Footed Beasts, published in 1607, also probably the source of the D&D gorgon), so also qualifies as pretty traditional. It's not the original form of the creature, though.
I can't find the reference in AC10.
My apologies: it's on page 9, not page 7. I'm not sure how I screwed that up. See the Description section, third paragraph: "On the ends of these projections are shimmering globes of force, each containing a fearsome umber hulk (AD&D game system) or hulker (D&D game system)." They're close enough that the author, Ed Greenwood, felt that one could easily be substituted for the other, in any case.

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