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Monster Manual: Core Rulebook III (Dungeons & Dragons) Hardcover – October 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 1st Printing edition (October 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786915528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786915521
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,812 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

173 of 175 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Hershberger on October 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The third of the core rulebooks is finally out, and DMs can at last fill their D&D campaigns with critters and start gaming in earnest.
Reviewing the Monster Manual is a bit of a moot point, if you plan on DMing for 3rd edition you simply need to own this book. Like all previous monster books, it reads like an encyclopedia - but there are some aspects of the new Monster Manual that are significant departures from the old way of doing things.
First off, the rulebook is thin. Surprisingly thin. "500 fearsome foes" it boasts on the back cover yet it's a third thinner than the Monstrous Compendium of 2nd edition. The alphabetical listing of monsters in the front only has 384 entries... Wha..?
Here's what's going on - each monster doesn't get their own page, they are jammed in this book with a shoehorn. In addition to the usual sub-grouping of monsters (the monstrous spider has only one entry in the front listing, yet the entry lists stats for seven types of nasty arachnid - so it's really eight monsters), there are Monster Templates. Templates are to monsters what prestige classes are to characters, additional abilities and powers that can be grafted onto any existing monster, allowing the DM to multiply their options in monster selection. The existing templates are Celestial Creature, Fiendish Creature, Ghost, Half-Celestial, Half-Dragon, Half-Fiend, Lich, Lycanthrope, and Vampire.
Templates can be sprinkled liberally into a campaign to ensure that player characters never take any monster for granted. Ghostly goblins...vampiric trolls...now nothing is certain, and no character is safe. The rules on lycanthropy are downright inspiring. In the old rules lycanthropy was something that affected a player once, and they immediately went to a cleric to get the cure.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Kent David Kelly on November 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Welcome to the outstanding 3rd Edition of the Monster Manual! Considering that all the way back in 1977, the MM was the first hardcover book ever printed for any RPG, being able to shine in that colossal shadow is an impressive thing. So what is it, exactly, that makes this tome a worthy predecessor to Gary Gygax's first groundbreaking book?
By far the most beautiful and distracting them about this edition is that the entire thing is in full color. Virtually every page is graced with a glorious new illustration, which shows the classic monsters of the game in all their glory. A few have been drastically re-worked (such as the Displacer Beast, Stirge, Chimera, Troll, and Bulette), and may not be to everyone's taste. The tone of the artwork is very similar to that found in the 3rd Edition DMG and PHB, and, if you play Magic: The Gathering, will be undoubtedly familiar. Some people will probably be overly distracted by the hyper-stylized, dramatic new renditions; those who have played for decades will likely miss the abstract detail of David Trampier, or the idealized heroic glory of Larry Elmore. (But Elmore does provide a gorgeous illustration of the Nymph.) Most newer players, however, will be overjoyed. Finally, you'll have incomparable artwork that you'll be proud to show to your players in the midst of an encounter! The one caveat I personally have with the art is that many of the creatures are displayed in "composites" - for example, the Djinn and Efreeti are shown together, as are three of the Giants. This looks fabulous, but reveals a bit too much if you want to use the artwork as descriptive color. The best thing about the art? Each dragon has its own unique, distinctive look, and they all virtually seethe with ancient gracility and power. Nicely, nicely done.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 14, 2000
Format: Hardcover
It took quite a while to get all three third edition rulebooks, but now they're out. DMs and players alike will enjoy this new spin on the monster manual. It has many many many encounter charts and they have taken a whole new approach by giving PC stats on all of the creatures. I always thought that they should have done this long ago; it really helps when trying to decide, say, if an Ogrillon could bash through the locked door protecting our brave and intrepid heroes. Plus it lists standard feats and skills that certain creatures always have. This is a new move for the D&D game...it breaks down the barriers between "player" races and "monsters." Wanna be a Black Pudding fighter, go for it! But you'll really need this book to get all of the necessary information. Like the other two books, the illustrations are just great. They really help you visualize the creatures, and the artwork is a little more edgy than previous editions. Another thing that I was quite glad to see was the revival of the Demons and Devils. I mean obviously in second edition they just called them Baatezu and whatnot, but now they are back and unapologetic about it. In fact they go into quite a lot of detail as to the fauna of the lower planes, which should really make for some interesting adventures. They also have added some new spins to old creatures, the celestial hound for instance. Also a whole new subtype of creature: the dire animal. Since these are listed in the summoning tables in the Player's handbook, it is really essential that anyone playing a spellcaster get this book to find out the details....all I can say is you WON'T be disappointed.
If you have purchased the other two books and, like me, have been frustrated with the lack of good monster descriptions in the DM guide, then you really MUST buy this book.
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