Putting stats to Lovecraftian creatures is tricky. In Lovecraft’s own stories, monsters rarely featured as opponents, but rather as harbingers of the vast truths that revealed to Lovecraftian protagonists their own cosmic insignificance. In Dungeons & Dragons, however, monsters exist to be killed. The test of a Lovecraftian bestiary, then, is whether the creatures succeed at being terrifying without being utterly unbeatable. Aeryn Rudel has certainly made these creatures into stiff competition for D&D heroes, and he’s captured their flavor quite well. The artwork is very evocative, too. But where are the byakhee, the dark young, Nyarlathotep, and the rest? This volume’s greatest weakness is that it never had a sequel. (Parts of this book are, however, reprinted in Level Up #2.) Its other primary weakness is simply the publication date; it predates Monster Manual 3, so you may find it prudent to adjust the hit points and damage expressions to bring them in line with current standards—being sure to also inflate the heavy hitters accordingly.
[5 of 5 Stars!]