Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2ndEd
In AD&D 2ndEd a new format was introduced with the Monstrous Compendium series, where each monster would get at least a full page on its own, although, they sometimes they would have to share it with another member of its kin.
This would result in a more rigid layout with plenty of space for information that wasn't necessarily combat-related.
▪ Stat block: This format has gotten alot better in later editions, but I do prefer when a creature's size include meassurements like height or length, rather than simply being it's category, like "M" or "H".
▪ Description: A brief introduction to the monster.
▪ Combat: Explains what wasn't clear from the stat block, and sometimes mention variants of the critter.
▪ Habitat/Society: Where the creature is found, and how they interact with their kin or different beings.
▪ Ecology: General behaviour, where they fit into the the world, and what effect they have on it.
These last two paragraphs does alot to spark ideas for encounters, and plot hooks, even if they often are quite short.
The 2ndEd Monstrous Manual isn't perfect — and being the result of two first "base" Monstrous Compendiums fused together with select monsters added from the ones that came after — some text had been severed.
But as a single tome it has yet to be bested, and what info you miss from your other edition game, you are likely to find here.
If you haven't got it, or got rid of your old copy, do consider picking up this wonderful book ASAP.
The Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2ndEd Monstrous Manual saw a re-release in 2013, and is also available as a PDF on dmsguild.com.
[Shelf Life Sunday feature things curious or cool that I may not interact with on a daily basis, but wouldn't want to be without]
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