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MC4 Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix (2e)


This volume of the exciting Monstrous Compendium series brings you the unique creatures of Krynn: astral dragons, Krynn minotaurs, the various races and tribes of dwarves and elves, knights of Solamnia, kender, and dozens of other creatures and monsters from both Ansalon and the new continent of Taladas.

Product History

MC4: "Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix" (1990) is the fourth monster manual for AD&D 2e. It was published in February 1990.

About the Title. The "Dragonlance Appendix" probably has the most confusing name of all the Monstrous Compendiums. The cover sheet says "Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix" while the insides say "Monstrous Compendium 4". However, this Compendium also comes with the second official binder for the line and the cover of that reads "Monstrous Compendium Volume Two". So, not only is it easy to confuse this Compendium with MC2: "Monstrous Compendium Volume Two" (1989), but alternatively, some people incorrectly call it "Monstrous Compendium Dragonlance Appendix Volume Two".

Origins (I): Binders of Monsters. In 1989, TSR debuted their new looseleaf Monstrous Compendiums. MC1: "Monstrous Compendium Volume One" (1989) came with a binder for the looseleaf sheets that was designed to also contain MC2: "Monstrous Compendium Volume Two" and MC3 :"Monstrous Compendium Volume Three: Forgotten Realms Appendix" (1989). That meant that with the publication of a fourth Monstrous Compendium, it was time for TSR to produce a new binder, to fit three more volumes of the series. That's exactly what they did, using the confusing "Volume Two" label. It would also be the last Monstrous Compendium binder that TSR produced; afterward, D&D players were expected to supply their own binders!

With the publication of the "Forgotten Realms Appendix", TSR had turned from collecting the core monsters of the D&D game to collecting monsters associated with specific worlds. This trend continued with the "Dragonlance Appendix", which reprinted monsters published in various Dragonlance publications from 1984 to 1989.

Origins (II): Dragonlance Rising. After hobbling through the last few years of AD&D 1e (1977-1989), Dragonlance enjoyed a strong resurgence following the advent of AD&D 2e (1989). This had already been seen in the "DLE" trilogy of adventures (1989) and the boxed Time of the Dragon set (1989); TSR choosing to have their second setting-specific Monstrous Compendium focus on the world confirmed the rebirth of the line.

Unfortunately, the "Dragonlance Appendix" would be the only book of Dragonlance monsters published during the 2e era, heralding the future problems of the brand.

Monsters of Note. The whole idea of setting-specific tomes of monsters was still pretty new in 1990, so it's no surprise that Dragonlance had never had its own creature book before. However, two AD&D 1e books had partially satisfied the need. DL14: "Dragons of Triumph" (1986), the last of the Dragonlance Chronicles adventures, included a small sourcebook that collected together 20 unique Dragonlance monsters, then Dragonlance Adventures (1987) repeated most of those beasties. In contrast, the new "Dragonlance Appendix" has more than twice as many monsters, all described at much more length using the AD&D 2e format. It includes classics from the Dragonlance Chronicles and newer monsters from Time of the Dragon alike.

Not only do the five classic draconians show up, but so do the Taladasian Traag. Five different dragons appear: the amphi dragon (from DL12), the kodragon (from DLE2 and DLE3), the othlorx variants (from Time of the Dragon), and the sea dragon (also from DL12). Finally, the astral dragon makes its stat debut (and its only appearance other than a 1992 trading card set!) after appearing as part of the backstory of the "DLE" adventures.

Other Krynn favorites found in the "Dragonlance Appendix" include ice bears, dreamshadows, dreamwraiths, fireshadows, spectral minions/I>, thanoi, and the primitive flayer-esque yaggol.

The Krynnish races are also well represented in the "Dragonlance Appendix", with a variety of dwarves and elves, tinker gnomes, kender, lizard men, minotaurs, Irda, and several others.

About the Creators. Work on tbe "Dragonlance Appendix" was coordinated by Bruce A. Heard with Rick Swan acting as head designer, receiving help from Bill Connors, Troy Denning, Bruce Nesmith, James M. Ward, and Steve Winter.

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

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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Benjamin A March 24, 2024 6:43 pm UTC
Front and back covers are wrong - they're the covers for Monstrous Compendium Volume 2, but all the contents are indeed the Dragonlance MC4.
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This title was added to our catalog on July 12, 2016.