Deities & Demigods (1980-1) for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons is a well-known hardcover. Even folks who know very little about D&D history know the old DDGs have the Cthulhu and Melnibonean pantheons in them.
Well, not all DDGs have Cthulhu. I see a lot of mistaken eBay sellers who think all the Erol Otus art covers have C&M.
I’ll repeat the guide here:
Some online sellers confuse printings, and will claim C/M mythos when they’re not actually present. Asking for the page count is the quickest indicator:
144 pages = Cthulhu/Melnibonean
128 pages = both mythos gone
Quick breakdown of the printings:
1st – Has C/M mythos. No thanks to Chaosium.
2nd – Has C/M mythos. Thanks to Chaosium.
3rd – No C/M mythos. TSR Wizard logo on cover (as with the prior two printings). Thanks to Chaosium. Back cover still claims “seventeen pantheons”.
4th – No C/M mythos. Now has the TSR Face logo on cover. Thanks to Chaosium (still!). Back cover now correctly states “fifteen pantheons”.
Today, I’ve got photos of these features that separate the printings, and finish off with some photo highlights of the lost pantheons.
A look at the lost pantheons
Some RPG collectibles command higher prices based on esoteric or trivial differences. Not so with the Deities & Demigods that have the Cthulhu and Menibonean pantheons. The DDGs without them really are lesser books. Erol Otus and Jeff Dee contributed (in my opinion) some of their best work to these sections.
Zenopus Archives: The Cthulhu Mythos in D&D in the 1970s