All 20 monster chapters of the Monster Overhaul are complete!
In their revised order:
|People||Dungeon||Dragon||Thinking Beasts||Heraldic Beasts|
|Lucas Roussel||Robin Carpenter
|Adventurer||Giant Spider||Ancient Dragon||Harpy||Basilisk|
|Mercenary||Monstrous Vermin||Ethereal Dragon||Manticore||Griffon|
|Townsfolk||Orc||Young Dragon||Peryton||Strong Toad|
|Primeval||Elemental||Divine||Dark and Malign||A Wizard Did It|
|Logan||Ashlyn Rudolph||Robin Carpenter
|Herd Lizard||Elemental Spirit||Beast of Creation||Ghoul||Animated Item|
|Swift Lizard||Elemental Tyrant||Cherub||Necromancer||Elsewhere Creature|
|Thunder Lizard||Firebat||Demigod||Night Hag||Eye Tyrant|
|Tyrant Lizard||Gargoyle||Devil||Nightmare Beast||Golem|
|Collossal Ape||Living Gem||Hell Hound||Vampire||Mind Eater|
|Predatory Plant||Spitling||Scapegoat||Wight||Rust Monster|
|Ashlyn Rudolph||Naf||Luka Rejec
|Centaur||Chaos Frog||Dark Fair||Biscuit Golem||Bear|
|Flower Nymph||Froghemoth||Harvest Avatar||Grey Horse||Dryad|
|Hatchling||Mandrake||Iron Fulmination||Ice Hag||Fairy|
|Hateful Goose||Pyromancer||Leafling||Kamaitachi||Giant Snake|
|Shambler||Sun Dog||Scarecrow||Snow Fungus||Troll|
|Sigbin||Thriae||Shofar Ram||Snow Golem||Unicorn|
|Wicker Walker||Tunnel Hulk||Tempest Hag||Tortoise Tsar||Wolf|
|Hot Plains||Mysterious Mountains||Stormy Seas||Strange Water||Sci-Fi|
|Baboon||Alicanto||Giant Crab||Abyssal Fish||Alien Invader|
|Crocodile||Alpine Specter||Kraken||Ancient Arthropod||Alien Visitor|
|Elephant||Ape||Merfolk||Leech of Paradise||Alpha Brain|
|Flightless Bird||Couatl||Pirate||Mantis Shrimp||Doppelganger|
|Hive Insect||Giant||Remora||Marine Worm||Giant Insect|
|Hippopotamus||Noble Giant||Sea Hag||Predatory Snail||Perfect Predator|
|Hyena||Kirin||Sea Serpent||Rotifer||Robot Hound|
||Panther||Seal||Sea Slug||Robot Servant|
|Lion||Roperite||Shark||Sea Star||Robot Titan|
All completed chapters are available on Patreon. 300 A4 pages of content (so far!). I sometimes post WIP tables and tools on twitter, mostly to instantly locate spelling errors. It's funny how hitting the "publish" button does that.
The plan from the last update post hasn't changed.
- Do an editing pass, focusing on numerical consistency. Some of the values (particularly treasure values) are placeholders.
- Sort out the Phylogenetic Tree (the HD(NA) bit), the tactics section, and the alternative sorting methods.
- More editing and testing.
- Even more editing and testing.
Back in 2014, SBLaxman created an extremely useful spreadsheet listing all monsters (including really obscure ones) for AD&D (1E and 2E), 0E, and Basic. It's got everything a collator might need. (Note: the AD&D tab starts with 2E selected and 1E hidden by default. Check the "edition" column).
The problem is that D&D writers never really had a consistent idea of what a HD meant, or how to format statblocks. Sure, the basic framework stayed the same, but some authors list HD as a range (3-10), some as a flat number (4), some as a number plus a fixed value (5+2), some as a number minus a fixed value (1-1), some as a fraction (1/2), some as a dice substitution (4 HD, but using d6s instead of d8s), and some as a HP value only (128 HP).
Yes, there are reasons for all these variations. It doesn't necessarily mean they're good reasons. At low HD, a flat fixed value addition or subtraction is a significant change, but at higher HD it stops meaning much. Is 8+3 HD really different from 8 HD? This issue extends to virtually every aspect of the statblock.
For the Monster Overhaul, I've mostly stuck to a a single listed HD value followed by an average HP value (HDx4. Yes, 4.5 is more accurate, but that requires extra math and, in testing, it's rarely if ever relevant). Creatures with 0 or 1 HD may have non-average HP values listed instead.
The chaotic nature of AD&D stat writing makes any sort of trend analysis difficult. Noisy garbage in, noisy garbage out.
Still, it's an extremely handy list. If I can't assign a matching Monster Overhaul monster to something on the list, I'll need to consider if a) I need to revise a chapter or b) if that monster is worth including. Some monsters are too specific or too boring to include. I did one pass while writing the chapters; this second pass will help write the indices.
I'll also be indexing results against relevant creatures that have never received D&D stats. A Book of Creatures will be helpful.
Revised HD(NA) Section
|Page 1 of 6 of the Monster Overhaul HD(NA) chart.|
In a book of monsters, indexing is critical. Listing monsters by HD is one practical method, but what if, instead of a simple list, we used a phylogenetic tree? You can read about the original HD(NA) concept in this post, as well as looking at the sprawling chart for the AD&D MM, MMII, and Fiend Folio.
The HD(NA) chart for the Monster Overhaul is more compact. Part of the pruning process is eliminating low HD entries that aren't interesting (Squirrel - Ordinary, etc.) and condensing other entries into general types (Mammoth, Mastodon, etc. -> Elephant). Still, it's an... interesting chart. Did you know that Druids go through a Baboon stage? It's true!
The pages are designed to bleed into the gutter of the book, so it might look a bit odd on your screens.
Duplicate entries in the same column are creatures with variable or tiered HD.
Thanks to everyone who suggested monsters to round out each chapter, found issues with draft content, or provided other kinds of useful feedback.
If you spot any creatures that should be listed and aren't, let me know in the comments. Chances are it's covered by one entry or another, but it can't hurt to check.