Friday, June 18, 2010

A Fiend Folio Friday

Sure, we all laugh about the Fiend Folio's Flumph, perhaps one of the most ineffectual monsters ever to grace the pages of a D&D product. But did you know that reaction against the Flumph and some of the other monsters (as part of the general mixed reaction to the Fiend Folio, including a fairly harsh review by Ed Greenwood) was so severe that Don Turnbull, the creator, actually published a rebuttal to a couple of reviews in Dragon Magazine #55? Here it is below, for your reading entertainment (click to enlarge). I see nothing in regards to the Flumph, sadly:

7 comments:

Stuart said...

My entry to the 2010 one-page dungeon contest (which won "best genre mixing") used the Flumph as the signature monster. When my players encountered them, they ran. They're not bad monsters... They're just misunderstood. :)

Siskoid said...

The trick to making the Flumph work: Don't give the PCs anything to compare them to!

rainswept said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
morrisonmp said...

@rainswept

I completely agree. I love the FF even today and it was my favorite of the first ed. monster books.

drnuncheon said...

Fiend Folio was actually my first AD&D book - purchased at a big box store (Murphy's Mart, maybe, or Sears), back in the days when such stores actually carried D&D books.

Many of the monsters were eminently forgettable, but some definitely carved a place in D&D history - the Gith are as iconic a D&D race for many players as mind flayers or rust monsters. Bullywug and slaadi make their appearances there alongside the fearsome death knight. Daemons, too (or whatever they were relabeled as for 2nd edition) filling the oddly empty neutral spot on the cosmology of evil.

I remember being horrified by the involuntary transformations wrought by the yellow musk creeper and the meenlock, and wondered if a favorite character would ever partner with a tween or die and return as a revenant.

Years later I got ahold of some back issues of Dragon, #55 among them, and I can honestly say that most of the criticisms leveled at the book never entered my ten-year-old mind. Thanks for an interesting look back at an early ancestor of the D&D flamewar!

drnuncheon said...

…and I just came across this interview with SF author Charles Stross, who actually created the Gith, Slaadi, and death knights…

…before leaving the hobby and apparently forgetting all about them. What a shame! At least he finally got published.

Jon H said...

"At least he finally got published."

Hell, at a recent SF convention he had an on-stage discussion with Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman..