The Monster Manual for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons released at the very end of 1977. Chaosium’s All The Worlds’ Monsters beat the MM to press by a few months.
All the Worlds Monsters featured over 250 monsters written by over two dozen authors. The Chaosium thought it prudent to sell it as loose-leaf sheets of three-hole punched paper, ready to go into a standard three-ring binder.
They were indeed wise to do so, because a few months later in 1977 the 124-page All the Worlds’ Monsters Volume Two was published. Collectively, these two works provided the stats for over 500 monsters, ranging from D&D level 1 to level 14. For added versatility, the second volume also included four pages of conversion notes for using the stats with Tunnels & Trolls by Ken St. Andre. A third volume of All the Worlds’ Monsters appeared in 1980.Rick Meints, Out of the Suitcase #21: The first Manual of Monsters
Initially, there were big ambitions for this project. But it soon became clear to Steve Perrin and Jeff Pimper that they’d have to reduce the scale of the project.
This is an endless book. When we conceived it, our plan was to include every monster anyone had made up to add to the basics provided by the creators of such games as DUNGEONS & DRAGONS, TUNNELS & TROLLS , and THE ARDUIN GRIMOIRE.
We rapidly realized we couldn’t do it.
Based on the constant increase in new customers for these games, as observed in the hobby shops we frequent, there may be over 150,000 people now playing these games. At least 15,000 of these players are Dungeon Masters. Every one of these Dungeon Masters has invented at least one new monster to scare the gold-lust out of their players’ characters. There is no way we can publish one catalog with 15,000 new monsters. Instead, we have compiled all the monsters we could find among those players we play with or correspond with. Even then, we have had to cut and, in some cases, combine entries. But limited as we are in this volume, this is still an endless book. We have another book’s worth of monsters already.from the introduction to ATWM1
I have the ATWM volumes in the shop, all three 1st editions (see the cover photo). Today I’ll record printing data for each. My photo records are imperfect, so some printings may be missing (I’ll return to this post to update as new volumes come through the shop).
All The Worlds’ Monsters
ATWM 1st Edition is loose-leaf, three hole punched, with sheets alternating colors. The font appears (to me) to be computer print.
ATWM1 Subsequent printings
2nd Printing, April 1978: I believe 2nd printing is the same as the 1st, save for the notation on the title page. Color paper is retained.
3rd printing, November 1979: Now bound into a book. Front cover art is the same, with red background. Back cover is completely different, with the addition of promo text. Introduction is re-typeset into the more familiar Chaosium italics. Pages continue with the old computer font. White paper.
2nd Edition, 1981: From the photos I have on file, 2nd ed appears the same as the 3rd printing, save for the notation on title page.
All The Worlds’ Monsters, Volume Two
The ATWM2 1st edition that I have is in original shrinkwrap, so no interior shots. Light blue cover. From pics I’ve seen online, it has much the same format as the red book: Loose-leaf, 3-hole-punched, etc.
ATWM2 Subsequent printings
2nd Printing, March 1979: Staple-bound, with a cover in a lighter shade of blue. I believe it has the same interior as the 1st edition, with white paper. Front/back covers remain the same.
3rd printing, April 1980: I believe this one is glue-bound. Dark blue cover. Now re-typeset, like the 3rd print of ATWM1. Likewise, the back cover is different, with promo text. White pages.
All The Worlds’ Monsters, Volume III
ATWM3 arrived several years after the first two volumes (1980). It has a bright yellow cover, and is in the same format as the later printings of the previous books.
ATWM3 Subsequent printings
I’m not aware of any later prints of ATWM3.