Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Got A Request!

Courtesy of Khyron1144:

"Is the Fiend Folio (1e) ridiculous, stupid, inadequate, or perfectly serviceable? I've been looking at my copy with an eye towards writing a review one of these days, but I was not part of the 1e generation to whom it was soemthing new at the time."

A lot from column A & B, a bit from column D.  It's easy to point to all the goofy stuff (very easy) and laugh the whole book off, but to do so is to ignore a lot of awesome material  Death Knights, the Githzerai and Githyanki (all created by SF author Charles Stross, btw), the first write-up of Lolth, Slaad, and the Drow.  Yeah, the Drow made their first non-module appearance in the FF.

As far as I can remember (bearing in mind it was over 30 years ago), a lot of the stuff in the FF just puzzled and confounded me.  I was familiar with White Dwarf, which was a generic gaming mag at the time, and knew a lot of the material in the book came from the magazine, so I just put it down to it being "British."  But even then, I knew it was a window into a different take on fantasy, one I really didn't grok from my middle-class American POV.

(Looking back on it, I think some of my confusion was due to the utter lack of overlap between D&D players and stoners in my teenaged years.  Classic '70s stereotypes be damned, all of the RPGers I knew were in ROTC and definitely not stoners.  Probably to our collective detriment.)


  1. ...and even the goofy stuff had its uses. Planar travel or alternate world trips were great times to use anything from FF.

    I loved it! It was different from the American POV, but that's what I loved about it. Expect the unexpected!


  2. The correct answer is:
    As in Esoteric, Eldritch, Exemplary, Excellent, etc...

    and of course, what Grendelwulf said!

    In all seriousness, this book is pure, unadulterated awesome; there was nothing like it then, and precious little now. Check it out, FF cf. Monster Manual 2, hardly any retread material, and fan-sourced from the UK, to boot! This was a revelation. As I jokingly stated in another blog: Fiend Folio should be in effect for all games everywhere, at any time, under each system! :-)

    Of course, Gygax wanted to omit it from his proposed Edition 2, and AD&D 2nd Editon used a fair amount, so it's controversial appeal is on record. I'm pro-FF, as you can guess. Seriously, it's the crazy cousin everyone has. Know it, and love it.

    'Stoners'? I don't think the bud has anything to do with enjoying the weirder aspects of the game. And I played with a few, some of whom were not that imaginative, actually....

  3. Thank you for using my request. That was nifty.