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MC10 Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix

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They lurk in the shadows. They linger in your dreams. They strike from the darkness.

They are foul and horrible creatures that dwell in the dark dimension of Ravenloft and they are waiting for you. Inside this book are elven vampires, the dreaded Dark Ones who have broken the trust of Vistani, and dozens of other creatures sure to add a taste of fear into every Ravenloft campaign.

But be warned, those who enter the Mists of Ravenloft are seldom heard from again...

Product History

MC10: "Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix" (1991), by William W. Connors, is the first monster manual for the Ravenloft line. It was published in April 1991.

Origins. Connors was asked to create the "Ravenloft Appendix" as one of his first projects for TSR. At first he assumed that writing a compendium full of new monsters would be dull. However, he came up with an ever-increasing set of ideas as he crafted new monsters … to the point that some of the overflow appeared years later in Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendix III: Creatures of Darkness (1994).

Expanding Ravenloft. The "Ravenloft Appendix" was the third supplement for Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1990) following a pair of adventures. It was the first of many, many sourcebooks and other resources that would expand the breadth of the line throughout the '90s.

Expanding the Monstrous Compendiums. Monstrous Compendiums were very popular during the early days of the AD&D 2e (1989-2000) line. Just two years after the line's inception, TSR had published ten of them! Though the first couple had featured generic monsters, later Monstrous Compendiums focused on TSR's many worlds. Then, MC7: "Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix" (1990) was the first Compendium to focus on one of the new campaign worlds of the 2e era; now the "Ravenloft Appendix" was following that same trend.

The Ravenloft Monstrous Compendiums would end up being the most popular in the line. TSR would publish three different Ravenloft Monstrous Compendiums, totaling 256 pages of critters, and would even reprint the first two Compendiums in their waning days.

Monsters of Note. There are surprisingly few repeated monsters in the "Ravenloft Appendix". The shadow fiend is the classic shadow demon from the Fiend Folio (1981), made famous in the D&D cartoon (1983-1985), while the goblyn and greater wolfwere originated in RA1: "Feast of Goblyns" (1990). However, the rest of the monsters in the "Ravenloft Appendix" seem to have come straight from Connors' mind.

Some of the new monsters highlight the uniqueness of the Ravenloft setting. New elementals were made of blood, grave, mist, and pyre, while new constructs included bone golems, doll golems, gargoyles, and glass golems.

Other entries expand traditional horror monster categories. The demihuman vampires were the best received, with their imagination of cursed dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, and kender — each of whom had unique disabilities. Werebats, wereravens, greater mummies, giant skeletons, and zombie lords offered up new variants of other horrific favorites.

Finally, there were many other monsters that broke new ground while staying true to the ideas of gothic horror — among them evil treants, mist horrors, and empty suits of armor.

Just as there are few repeated monsters in the "Ravenloft Appendix", few have escaped into the wider world of D&D monsterdom. A half dozen or so reappeared in the AD&D 2.5e Monstrous Manual (1993), but most never made it outside of the Ravenloft line.

Future History. After the original looseleaf Ravenloft Monstrous Compendiums fell out of print, TSR reprinted the entirety of this book alongside its sequel in Ravenloft Monstrous Compendium Appendices I & II (1996). White Wolf later featured a number of the monsters in this book in their 3e and 3.5e Ravenloft monster manuals: Denizens of Darkness (2002) and Denizens of Dread (2004).

About the Creators. Connors notes that Bruce Nesmith and Andria Hayday began work on Ravenloft: Realm of Terror (1989) on the day that he was hired by TSR. Now, he was joining the Ravenloft team. He'd go on to become a critical member of TSR's Kargat of developers: he'd be the core creator behind both of the line's later "Monstrous Compendiums" (1993, 1994), the co-designer of its first box, Forbidden Lore (1992), and that would just be the beginning.

About the Product Historian

This history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, 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

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on June 03, 2014.