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Deities & Demigods: Cyclopedia of Gods and Heroes from Myth and Legend (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons)

(Part of the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Series and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1th Edition Series)

The rare unauthorized 2nd print containing the Cthulhu & Melnibonean mythologies. with Special thanks to Chaosium on page 4. Only true 1st Prints lacked the "thanks". Subsequent prints lacked the... This description may be from another edition of this product.


Format: Hardcover

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Customer Reviews

7 ratings

Not a first edition!!!

This is actually the reprint with the Cthulu and Elric of Melnibone mythos removed. If the the title were accurately describing the version I would have been far less disappointed and may have passed it by.

Not the version stated in the description.

I was excited to have found the version with the Cthulhu mythos included. I was severely disappointed to find out that it is the same version I find on every other site. Extremely unsatisfied with this book due to it not being the product advertised.

Brings Back Memories

We all loved this book as kids. Yes, we would "take on" gods so we could get their fabulous weapons. I was never a huge D & D player, but I always thought this book was great. I know it got me and many of my friends interested in (and reading about) mythology and other cultures (the Ancient Egyptians, King Arthur, etc.), and that (as Martha would say) is a good thing!

Pretty good reference

This is a good addition to any 1st Edition AD & D library, particularly any one that is going to be set on a fantasy Earth. The book presents a number of well-known real mythoi (even if they are somewhat changed from their historical underpinnings for ease of gameplay -- but Schick and Kuntz do provide an extensive bibliography for the source material) including lesser-known pantheons such as the Native American and Finnish gods. There is even a section for King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table (following Mallory's Morte d'Arthur, and not the post-Roman noble he probably was, but that's just a nitpick). Monsters and other heroes conected with the deities are also included. But the most legendary point of the book is, of course, official AD & D stats for Cthulhu and others in the Lovecraft mythos -- and they are bruisers. Don't let the deities' stat blocks fool you into thinking the gods are there like other monsters -- for the purpose of "kill it and take its stuff." These gods are GODS -- they have stats only to be used "if absolutely necessary." Any of these deities could reasonably be expected to kill a PC of almost any level within a round or two (and some, like Cthulhu, could even make short work of some of the toughest critters from the Monster Manual such as Demogorgon or Orcus). Use them sparingly as direct combat opponents (although sending Cthulhu [400 HP, 30 attacks (you read that right) of a damage level I don't recall, but obscenely high] against a "full of itself, 'let's rip the moustache off the king and raid his treasury'" party might just knock some sense into them ), instead trying to use them as either patrons or prime movers -- The PCs probably would never face Loki or Izumo, but might be fighting fire giants or Ogre Magi/Oni that the gods are directing. One thing -- make sure to look carefully at the product description. If you want just any copy, any edition of this book (or the identical-but-for-a-different-cover-and-title Legends and Lore) are extremely serviciable. But if you're a collector, or are looking to use the 1st Edition stats for the Cthulhu or Melinebone (sp?) mythoi, be sure the product description states that it is the first edition -- after that (and perhaps a second printing), TSR decided to take the stats out rather than have to give a "thank you" credit to Chaosium. However, some later printings have the "thank you" note without the stats (they hadn't gotten around to changing the plates) -- therefore get the first printing and you're assured of Lovecraftian goodness.

This review was written by someone who knows what Avatars are for

Reading through the one- and two-star reviews for this product, I find that a lot of people don't seem to understand how the AD & D system incorporates avatars. These people should have their reviews discarded. I must confess, first off, that I have not as yet read Deities and Demigods. I've ordered it, however, and expect it to arrive in the next day or so. I was lead to purchase it because the Planescape campaign supplement "On Hallowed Ground" referenced the Finnish, Sumerian and Babylonian pantheons, and those gods and characters originally appeared in Deities and Demigods and NO PLACE ELSE. I already own and use other books similar to Deities and Demigods -- including Legends and Lore, Monster Mythology, and the Forgotten Realms campaign setting's "Faiths and Avatars" series of books. I own and use these books because I know why they include avatar statistics. The few reviewers who gave this book unflattering star-ratings, however, clearly do not understand this concept. And therefore, this book is not for them and they likely wasted their money aquiring it. If you understand that sometimes the AD & D game requires stat blocks for the creatures and characters that appear in it, and if you also understand that a deity's avatar is NOT the deity itself (but rather an incarnation that probably requires game stats), then you should probably pick up a copy of this book.

This is a good book

While some might insist that it is somewhat insulting to faiths of the world, one should look at it not for the statistics that it gives, but what the D & D world/campaign was trying to do. The people at TSR, when they were fun and enjoyable under the guidance of Gary Gygax one of the best writers in the world of show what deities were like in this world and how they might interact with the fantasy world of gaming, giving examples of how war gods, love goddesses, and those like can mean for the player characters. THIS IS NOT suppose to be a tell all on all the cultures and religions of the world. Hardly. If you want that, I would suggest you read the works of Joseph Campbell. If you want to look for something real quick to see how it might fit in to your campaign, this is for you. I love it myself.

A classic AD & D book that is a must for AD & D players

For all who played Dungeons & Dragons in the 80s, one book that should bring back memories is the Deities and Demigods Cyclopedia. Being a big fan of Michael Moorcock, I knew that I had to find a copy of this book (1st version with the Melnibonean and Cthulhu Mythos included) but alas, it will be a long search as these books have become collectors' items. However, once in my hands, I know reliving memories of all the fun nights spent with close friends exploring D & D modules will be worth it
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