20 February, 2021

2nd Edition Monstrous Compendium Template

I want to do some more research for the next OSR History installment, so the series is on hold for a week or three until I acquire some materials I need.

In the meantime, a while back I thought of making a sort of Monster Manual III for private use comprised of all the creatures from the kajillion Monstrous Compendium releases that weren't already in 1st ed and were salvageable for a broadly vanilla campaign (i.e. no giant space hamsters, as cuddly as they are).  As part of that, I decided to follow the 2nd edition formatting, as I like what they did there.  But since there was no template for that existing, I had to make my own.

Some notes on its composition: 

  • The blue creature name font is Fritz Quadrata Bold EXCEPT for any punctuation in that name, which is Copperplate Gothic Bold because the FQ punctuation doesn't match up to what TSR used, somehow.
  • Body text is Zapf Calligraphic 801.  Note that while it's available to download for free, many of the fonts labelled "Zapf Calligraphic 801" online are actually Zapf Calligraphic BT; this is similar, but not identical.  I can't embed them in the Word document because their licensing forbids it, but I've collected the proper ones together and you can download them here.
  • In case you can't find this in the document, the blue is RGB 40/100/165.  You may want to print a sample out and compare it to a real MC page to see how accurate it is: I don't have a colour printer at home so I just eyeballed it on the screen.  Even then, there's at least two different core blues (a lighter shade in earlier prints, and a deeper one in later reprints of the same), plus an alternate one seen in the City of Splendors box set sheets.
  • There is no universal shading and layout format for the initial statblock in the official Compendiums (compare the statblock shading on MC1 vs MC3, or look at how MC7 tosses shading altogether and adds more subdivider lines instead).  What I've made is a compromise between variations.
  • I know the text and creature title don't match up in the sample.  The title is there so you can see punctuation in effect, while the body text shows how subsections are done (Noble Asperii).

For paper, I'd recommend skipping the tedious and ugly punch-reinforcement stage and getting this:


It's slightly thicker than standard 20 lb paper, and the entire ring edge comes pre-reinforced as well, so tearing is minimal.

EDIT: Updated Nov 2022 to adjust some header font, colour, and spacing issues.  I still need to get a colour printer to check that blue though, so once I do I'll almost certainly be updating it again.

Have fun.

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