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Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 2:07 am
by Rhuvein
Who's got it and what do you think??

I'm sure to pick up a copy, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has one.

Many thanks,

Rhu. :)

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:44 pm
by mgtremaine
It's a nice looking book with a TON of creatures.

But slightly under powered like we said. Partial example.

DEMON, BALOR
NO. ENCOUNTERED: 1-4 SIZE: Large
HD: 9 (d10)
MOVE: 45 ft.
AC: 22
ATTACKS: 2 (Sword 2d6, Flaming whip 6d4)
SPECIAL: Abilities common to all demons, Darkness, Flame Strike, Spell-Like Abilities, SR 15

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:43 pm
by serleran
That may not be "weak." Certainly some of it is indeed powerful, especially that 6d4 whip.

Depends a great deal on "abilities common to all demons" and "spell-like abilities."

For example, immunity to all forms of energy attacks or half to most plus the power to gate, teleport, etc, etc is sort of important. And the fact that 1-4 of them show up at once.

Need to know more about the actual capabilities before I would say it's "weak."

I will say the AC is relatively low for a demon but it keeps it in the "can be hit." Whether it needs magic items to do so is not mentioned. And that makes a major difference. Something can have an AC of 0 but if only a +10 weapon can hurt it, the AC is sort of pointless.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:50 pm
by maximus
I think many of the creatures are under powered. The Balor should have higher hit dice, and a higher intelligence. Its +1 sword is weak, although the Flame Strike ability with its whip gives it a good punch. Belial has only 3 spell like abilities; weak. Many of the other Demon Lords / Arch Devils are similarly powered. All in all, I was disappointed. I would use creatures from 1E or even 2E rather than those from the Tome.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:51 am
by Rhuvein
Thanks for all the responses, I'm definitely going to pick up a copy. I'll be watching for any sales! :)

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:35 am
by Mediapig71
Is the book in color, or B&W?

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:54 am
by Telhawk
Really hoping the FLGS can get hold of this thing reasonably (i.e., before the end of the calendar year) soon, and can use it to fill out the list of C&C monsters (and that term is inclusive of pretty much all non-human/demi-human types, including all good and/or neutral aligned species). With how retro-compatible AD&D and C&C are, I suspect there'll be little we can't translate over from the first/second edition Monster Manuals, if needed. I as well am hoping the work is in colour, as this would really add an element of depth to the lower planes monstrosities (and yes, here the term is meant as stated); as wonderful as the original MM pictures are, it'd be great to see something that provides a slightly different perspective.

Edit: I clicked on to the TLG Castle Keeper's link and saw that the book has been listed as available for order (Yay!). However, the accompanying three book-interior shots on the left are all in black and white. Could be argued that these are first/second-draft pictures, or a couple of select items that just happen to be in black and white, but it looks as though, at the very least, that there will be some uncoloured images.

Final point - I really, really hope that Baalzebul is given the basic C&C-equivalent stats and condition he was given in the original Monster Manual; I thought that bit about turning him into some kind of giant slug(!?!) was one of the most anti-climactic steps that could have been taken, to say the least.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:32 am
by anvil242
It's black & white throughout

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:20 pm
by Rigon
I don't believe it reached the color level when they did the Kickstarter for it.

R-

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:41 pm
by Telhawk
Not in colour...? Well, that's what pencil-crayons are for. Hmm...give Orcus a kind of nice treebark tone...fits in nice with those ivory horns...

Well, colour, shmuller; I'm happy just to get something in print that provides a single documentary work for the C&C demons/devils/daemons. As stated before, sure, we can just do the scavenger-hunt bit and pick from various AD&D works and do a quick conversion - but it's always nice to have something collected and with the TLG/C&C stamp on it.

Also: Called the FLGS and they've got it on order for June 15. Six whole weeks, a painful time, yes...but I'll just picture Asmodeus and Demogorgon playing bridge the entire time till the book comes in, and cheating like hell (literally) to grand-slam their opponent into living up to their bet and becoming a manes/lemure for the next century. Game on, boys...

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 5:04 am
by Persimmon
Finally got mine last week. The t-shirt and color map of the Underworld were great bonuses that I didn't recall pledging for. Haven't had much time to go through it yet, but glad to see a good mix of new and classic AD&D baddies. We're mostly playing Advanced Labyrinth Lord & Astonishing Swordsmen & Sorcerers of Hyperborea now, but easy enough to convert these for those games. So despite the crazy long wait, I'm pretty pleased with this at first glance.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 3:50 pm
by Telhawk
Just mentioning: the FLGS had been talking about getting this in for retail sale on June 15, but there's been no word as yet. Any indications and/or issues with delays in printing, and so on? Really looking forward to getting this soon.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed Jun 19, 2019 4:41 am
by Telhawk
An addendum: Well, er, ah, um...never mind. :) The FLGS called this afternoon and the work is waiting for pick-up tomorrow. Looking forward to it, and batting around how the AD&D translations have come across - can't imagine there'd be too much difficulty; all that'd really need numeric alteration is the Armor Class - and if there are any new demons/devils/daemons and the like populating the work. Imagine there'd have to be more than a few; the combined number from the Monster Manual, Fiend Folio and various Dragon magazine articles are still not up to a full hardcover publication size. Perhaps there are some second edition - maybe even third/three-point-five/fourth/fifth, who knows - floating around there as well. In any case, looking forward to how Troll Lord Games has handled this too-long unaddressed part of the game.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:42 pm
by Omote
Curious to see Tellhawk's thoughts on the TOTU.

~O

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:10 am
by Telhawk
Omote, thank you very much for the invite concerning reactions to this work. First of all, the listing of the various Lower Planes monsters was nicely done, along with enough fill-in/extras text for a CK to use in constructing situations where the players meet up with either the Prime Material avatars or actually travel down to the Abyss/Hell/Hades for a face-to-face scrap. Giving a fairly thorough breakdown of the Nine Hells, the various planes' rulers and so on, can provide an excellent starting point; the Abyss, by its nature - of course - is completely up for grabs (literally). For the most part, I saw that the first-edition versions were maintained, although various demon Lords (ex-Princes) are somewhat jacked up over the AD&D first-edition listings; e.g., Demogorgon now has 250 hit points rather than 200. Not a huge change (if you're gonna be scrappin' Demogorgon - Demo-frickin'-gorgon - you better be prepared to label out that extra 50 points damage before you're declaring victory). Other entries, such as Asmodeus, stuck with 199, so there is a bit of cause to wonder as to why the alteration was made. Again, just more or less interested in the Devs' thought processes on this, rather than doing the big "No NO NO!" bit.

Another point that did strike me, a bit after I'd first gone through it: why was Lolth not included? The demon Queen of Spiders is pretty much an iconic AD&D villain/monster, and I thought that throwing her into this would have made perfect sense in terms of moving the AD&D monster population over to C&C. Sure, doing the Fiend Folio/TotU transfer is certainly not in the end-of-all-things category - largely a switch-over of AC -10 to 30 and we're more or less ready to go - but it would've been nice to see a new artistic interpretation. Other monsters, such as the bone devil, for example, were not included either. Perhaps this was due to copyright issues and the like, and doing the switch-over, again, is definitely not a back-breaker, but just wondering where they went.

Speaking of artistic, I felt that the black-and-white work carried across quite nicely. I honestly felt that WotC's publications on the same subject had illustrations that came across, in many cases, as a) too loud, and b) too busy. Keeping things to the black-and-white scheme allows for some imaginative interpretation to go on; just would've been nice to have a shot of, say, Demogorgon (just to pick a name) scrapping it out with some never-say-die adventurers on an Abyssal landscape.

Also, putting in a full list of the undead comes across as helpful - if you're gonna be working in those Lower Planes locations, most likely there're going to be some like-aligned undead serving as tormentors.

That's first reactions, at least; there may be some further thoughts later on.

Otherwise, was quite pleased by the work, and hoping that TLG can have some other material published over the balance of the year. To the TLG crew: If you're going to be stopping in Toronto for a game convention over the next while, please let us know.

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:49 pm
by spudeus
I'm pretty sure Lolth (along with the Drow) were retained as D&D IP; I figured I can always import her from my old Fiend Folio! I don't have my copy in front of me, but remember the various 'at will' powers increased the challenge level above and beyond mere HP and damage range. Seemed like that always should've been a huge advantage, except back in the day we kind of treated spell-casters as being semi-at-will. :oops:

The illustrations are good, but it is kind of a shame that we don't have color to go with the revised M&T this year. I wouldn't mind seeing other 'themed' monster books - say humanoids, or magical constructs, or weird hybrids pushing toward Dark Sun/Gamma World. . .

Re: Tome of the Unclean

Posted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:56 pm
by Omote
Thank you for the great breakdown Telhawk. I am also really digging the TOTU, and appreciate the additions added in by the author. I actually don't mind the new names, and the slightly-off descriptions of classic D&D demons and devils. The Unclean Foliage is really a cool idea. I wish there was a lot more to the "wilderness" and environmental aspects to the lower planes in this book. The foliage seems like a great start to that idea.

However, I can say that after talking to Troll Lord Steve at Origins a few weeks ago, it seems as if they have definitely moved into the real of a Planar Handbook as the next big C&C project. He gave no timetable, but from his conversation it seems that perhaps a lot of the ideas from TOTU and what I would like to see are already in the planning stages for the next big C&C book. But I got the distinct impression that such a book is a long way off.

~O