The Erol Otus Shrine:

AD&D Monster Cards

(Not an Otus illustration.)


Erol Otus created several full-color pieces for the AD&D Monster Cards, game supplement consisting of full color cards with AD&D monster statistics on the back.  The idea would be that the DM could show the picture to the players while not revealing any of the game information.  The Monster Cards probably would have been a more successful product had they included more new monsters.  Not many players needed to be shown a picture of a kobold or lizard man.




Umber Hulk
(I originally had this monster labeled as an Otyugh. Thanks to Otus fan Jym Hunnicutt for the correction!)






Giant Slug

Giant Constrictor Snake




Grey Elf (Faerie)




Wind Walker


Wind Walkers are naturally invisible, so their inclusion in the Monster Cards set is rather strange.  When charged with the task of producing a picture of an invisible monster Otus creates a unique vision combining elements from a grey alien, an Old Testament angel, and a Playboy centerfold!




In my opinion this ghoul is one of the great Erol Otus artworks, ranking right up there with the ’81 D&D Basic cover art, Count Dracula as depicted on the cover of Vampyre, or his fantastic Cthulhu Mythos work in the Deities & Demigods cyclopedia.  Otus takes a stock undead type that is usually depict simply as an ‘attack corpse’ and makes something unique of it.  Unlike most of the other Monster Cards, here is an overused critter that you might be able to spook your players with once again.


View Erol Otus illustrations from 1981 Dungeons & Dragon Basic Set | ’81 D&D Expert Set | Dragon magazine

Keep on the Borderlands | Deities & Demigods | Minigames | The Rogues Gallery | Legion of Gold

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