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MC12 Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert (2e)Click to magnify
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MC12 Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert (2e)


Beneath the blistering rays of the Athasian sun live creatures more horrible than anything yet found in the AD&D game. In this harsh world, only the strongest can survive. Even the most timid looking creatures must be ready to kill or be killed at any time.

The Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium contains 96 pages of new monsters specially designed for use in the Dark Dun campaign setting. Within these pages you'll find a variety of monsters, many with unbelievable psionic powers. This compendium includes details on the massive creatures that lurk beneath the Great Silt, powerful elemental beings unlike those found anywhere else, and golems of ash, chitin, and obsidian.

Face the terrors of the Desert?if you dare.

Product History

MC12: "Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert" (1992), by Tom Prusa, Louis J. Prosperi and Walter M. Baas, is the twelfth of the looseleaf Monstrous Compendiums. It was published in February 1992.

Continuing the Dark Sun Line. As TSR pumped out settings in the early '90s, they decided that it was important to pair outré settings with monster books as soon as possible, so the "Dark Sun Appendix" to the Monstrous Compendium line followed the release of the Dark Sun (1991) box by just six months. It was the fourth product in the line, following DS1: "Freedom" (1991) and DSR1: "Slave Tribes" (1992).

Continuing the Monstrous Compendiums. Dark Sun was the third of TSR's new settings to get its own Monstrous Compendium, following monster books for Spelljammer and Ravenloft.

It was however the first Monstrous Compendium to bear a subtitle: "Terrors of the Desert". This was probably an attempt to generate interest in the book beyond just players of the Dark Sun setting.

Monsters of Note. "Terrors of the Desert" is full of unique Athasian creatures. The giants, including the beasthead giant, the desert giant, and the plains giant are some of the setting's most iconic critters, while the Athasian Roc shows that the setting's designers were willing to reimagine monsters of all sorts. The mysterious pyreen race of "peace-bringers" were another major addition to Dark Sun lore, though one that wasn't used much in later supplements.

A wide variety of elemental critters also appear in this book, solidifying the setting's connections to the elemental planes. Greater elementals make their first appearance, as do Athasian drakes that are related to the elements. These were some of the book's most influential creatures, as greater elementals became a core part of D&D with 3e (2000), while elemental drakes reappeared in Draconomicon: The Book of Dragons (2003).

Finally, "Terrors of the Desert" marks the first appearance of silt horrors and silt runners. Though the former are said to "dwell in the sea of sand", both creatures actually hint at the exploration of the Sea of Silt as a major new frontier for Dark Sun, which began late in the year with DSR4: "Valley of Dust and Fire" (1992).

Future History. A second Athasian monster book appeared a few years later: Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors beyond Tyr (1995). Some of this Appendix's creatures also returned for a 3e PDF fan project called "Terrors of Athas" (2004) and for the official Dark Sun Creature Catalog (2010) for 4e.

About the Creators. This was the first TSR work for all three authors. Both Baas and Prusa would return for other Dark Sun work in the next few years.

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

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Please create print version
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Pretty please make a POD version of this, I'll just throw the cash at your feet and you can scoop it up.
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Print On Demand !!!!
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please male a hard back premium print option plz
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This title was added to our catalog on November 18, 2014.