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Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual (Core Rulebook, D&D Roleplaying Game) Hardcover – Illustrated, September 30, 2014
"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
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From the Publisher
For a lot of Dungeons & Dragons players, the Monster Manual was the magical book that hooked them. It's traditionally a tome of magic and wonder for young players, filled with strange beasts that defy description and written to appeal to the kind of kid that obsessively categorizes dinosaurs and devours tomes of mythology. The Monster Manual for D&D's 5th Edition is a grand old book in that tradition, mixing game usefulness and a healthy respect for the mystery and purpose of its own contents. It's a bestiary in the grandest sense.
From the Designers
The Monster Manual is an illustrated bestiary that collects the most iconic monsters of the Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game and provides story hooks for each monster that can inspire adventures. Written for both novice and experienced Dungeon Masters, the book contains page after page of creatures to challenge heroes throughout their adventuring careers.
Each monster’s description is written to help you bring the monster to life, both in terms of roleplaying and combat, and to understand the monster’s place in the D&D multiverse.
The creatures described in this tome inhabit a wide variety of locations, from the deepest caverns of the Underdark to the far-flung Outer Planes.
About Dungeons & Dragons
An innovator in providing contemporary fantasy entertainment, Dungeons & Dragons is the wellspring for the entire modern game industry, digital as well as tabletop. Fifth edition D&D draws from every prior edition to create a universally compelling play experience, and exemplifies the true spirit of a game that holds captive the hearts and minds of millions of players worldwide.
- No Dungeons & Dragons adventure is complete without monsters to challenge the player characters!
- Contains game statistics and illustrations for creatures like the beholder and the mind flayer.
- Includes an appendix of nonplayer characters like assassins, druids, gladiators, and more!
With the Monster Manual, You Can:
Challenge Your Players
In D&D, players take on the role of an adventurer, and the Dungeon Master (the game’s narrator) takes on the role of the monsters they encounter.
In the Monster Manual, you’ll learn to play dozens of classic D&D beasts—from giants to demons to abberations and beyond.
Fill Your D&D Game With Monsters
Does the homonculus understand your adventurers when they speak? Will the cyclops spot them from across the moor?
The Monster Manual makes the answers easy. Every beast has a deep but scannable description, plus a quick reference table (called a “statblock”)—valuable tools to help you keep the game going smoothly.
Bring Stories to Life
D&D games are narratives, and great narrators do more than just tell the story. They create a picture of it in the minds of the audience—they show it to them.
Inside the Monster Manual are more than 150 illustrations to help you show your players how many tentacles hang from the Mind Flayer’s head, or how big the Faerie Dragon is. (Four tentacles and roughly the size of a cat, respectively.)
Immerse Players in the D&D World
The stories you create are unique to you and your friends, and the memories you make can last a lifetime.
|PLAYER’S HANDBOOK||MONSTER MANUAL||DUNGEON MASTER’S GUIDE||STARTER SET||ESSENTIALS KIT|
|Get this to:||Learn to play D&D, create characters, expand your skills||Create monsters, discover lore to inspire your adventures, get guidelines for using monsters in-game||Run and modify your adventures, encounters, and campaigns, discover lore to inspire your stories||Learn to play D&D, join your first adventure, get pregenerated characters||Take your first step into the world of Dungeons & Dragons or get a more in-depth D&D experience after playing the Starter Set|
|Audience:||New & experienced players, new & experienced Dungeon Masters||New & experienced Dungeon Masters||New & experienced Dungeon Masters||New players & Dungeon Masters||New and experienced players and Dungeon Masters|
|Contents:||Walkthrough of building D&D characters / Rules for roleplaying and combat / Directory of 350+ spells with descriptions and illustrations||Guidelines for populating your adventures with iconic D&D monsters / 150+ monsters illustrated in vivid color / 400+ tables with rules for each monster / History and lore to inspire your adventures||Rules and inspiration for running your adventures / Guidelines for non-player character creation / 240+ magic items with desciptions, lore, and illustrations / Dozens of tables to inspire in-game outcomes||Adventure book with everything the Dungeon Master needs to get started / rulebook for playing characters level 1–5 / 5 pregenerated characters, with character sheet / 6 dice||Rulebook, including character creation / Adventure book / Dungeon Master’s screen / Double-sided poster map / 6 blank character sheets / 11 dice / 81 cards with magic items, sidekicks, and more / Code to unlock content on D&D Beyond|
- Item Weight : 2.7 pounds
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0786966750
- ISBN-13 : 978-0786965618
- Product Dimensions : 8.52 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
- Publisher : Wizards of the Coast; 5th ed. Edition (September 30, 2014)
- Reading level : 12 and up
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0786965614
- Best Sellers Rank: #419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Now you could, like I, solely use apps like Fantasy Grounds (Steam client) and or free PDFs, But nothing replaces the feeling and ease of use of having physical copies of each guide in hand. Plus as a fun bonus they looks stunning in my bookshelf. Make you look even more professional as a DM in person. Lastly, all six together give you an extreme launching pad for designing, running and modifying premade or homemade campaigns!
For 20 a pop, what is normally a $300 purchase turns into a $120 steal, never will you ever get a better deal on these books brand new.
My only regret was getting the one book I did have before this sale but ce n'est pas grave.
Now onto the book itself, arguably the second most important core book. You see... I didn’t realize when I first went looking for which books to get that the Players Handbook is the single most important first purchase. So instead, wanting to DM, I bought the corespondent book. Makes sense on the surface until you realize what the Dungeon Master Guide vs the Player’s Handbook do. The DMG only lays out how campaigns work, chart after chart of rollable ideas (with dice, of course!) for what your campaign will and could become. But what it does not do, is actually teach you the core rule set of how to play the game. Only the Player’s Handbook does that. So, with literally 15+ campaign idea books out there (this is beyond the three core and the three core supplement books as seen above) you only really need the Player’s Handbook, a campaign guide (one you made yourself, got from someone else or bought partially premade) and finally the Monster Manual!
Here not only do you get the base games 150 premade creatures and beasties, but suggestions on rating levels of your parties composition so that you don’t make fights too hard or too easy based on what your trying to actually do here.
My favorite part though is all the lore on species types or curses and so on, plus a detailed breakdown of each one, their abilities and in places suggestion on how to play them. It is a mighty book that lives up to its name!
That said, I have to say that I love the "Monster Manual". The artwork is amazing and each monster pretty much gets its own page, with loads of details in an easy-to-read format. In the back of the book is a section of creatures that are not as much monster as wild animal or giant-sized animal and then a section of sample NPCs. In each case, the information presented is easily usable "as is" or in a modified form. I find the information throughout the book easy to reference and access.
From a nostalgic point of view, I still love the 1st editions of Monster Manual, Monster Manual II, and the Fiend Folio for their diverse artwork (some good and some not so good) and background information. The 5th edition is much more consistent in terms of information presented and quality of artwork. First edition had a lot more monsters, but the 5th edition ones are the ones you'd actually use frequently. In essence, this one book serves me just as well as those three volumes did.
Overall, my advice to older gamers who'd think they like to maybe get back into it - start here with the 5th edition. The three core books (PHB, MM, DMG) are superb in presentation and in content. New gamers? In my opinion, the 5th edition is very easy to jump into and have fun with. Start here!
Top reviews from other countries
It's the same old monsters you know. You're not going to be surprised by anything here. Wish there were more psionic things in here though, because int saves are really underused in 5E.
Lair action stuff is cool, as is the legendary stuff. Compared to ToB the "alternate versions" are used a lot more, stat blocks are better laid out, not over pages etc, the art is nicer and it feels like a superior product. But content wise, it's not.
If you can get a copy of Tome of Beasts, it has over 400 monsters and is like twice as thick as this with more unusual and original monsters that your players won't have seen before, deffs recommend picking that up. But this is, like, the core sanctioned on that you're probs supposed to have. Depends on what you like really. Honestly, I think dragons, undead, goblins, orcs and anthropomorphic animals are all super yawn inducing, very played out, tired concepts that we've seen for decades already, so I find the Tome of Beasts stuff more appealing. Low CR monsters all are generally very boring too so it's not that fun for low level players. So many super high CR monsters that it's kinda frustrating to leaf through knowing that you're years away from being able to actually unleash them on your players unless you're feeling very George R. R. Martin-ish and want to TPK your party.
I'm hoping Volo has some more interesting stuff, but let's be realistic, it's probably going to have more of the same. It's just not that interesting when all your best monsters are from Ancient Greek tales and Lovecraft, and your original monsters were invented because you had some cheap Chinese models and wanted to use them as minis (literally where purple worm, owlbear, bulette, rust monsters, umber hulk and a bunch of otehrs come from).
Like, given that these people can write half the DM's guide worth of platitudes on inventing monsters, worlds, dungeons, religions etc, you'd think they could come up with some original monsters that are more interesting than a stat block. I don't need one of each anthropomorphic animal, each of which has no special ability.
But, I digress, I've seen this all before a tonne, to a newbie this'd probably all be amazing and interesting so 5* it is.
I did not give this product five stars as some of the printing is not sharp on a number of pages (pretty poor really) whilst some pages have stuck together close to the spine. Should have printed in China! It would probably be best to buy this from your local games store rather than Amazon so that you can check you have a good copy.
I have never felt the need to replace my 1979 Gary Gygax authored Advanced D&D Monster Manual, with the infamous David Sutherland "Flying Red Cow" cover illustration and so it is this venerable tome that I compared this new book to. How does it compare ? Well, the first thing to say is that this is very close to an updated version of Gygax's original....about 75%of the creatures here (pure guess) were in the 1979 book,and the vast majority of the rest appeared in the Fiend Folio or Monster Manual 2, the AD&D follow ups to the MM. The illustrations in the Gygax version are all (well, apart from the cover|) excellent, here the production values are higher and the pictures are in colour, at the very least the 5th edition version matches the original in this important area. The updated stats for the monsters, the main point of the book, of course, are, as user friendly as the original, most entries are a page or less and a range of levels from very low to very high.
One area, where, I am afraid to admit,. this new Monster Manual does improve on Gary Gygax's is the texts on many of the creatures include short histories and ecologies which are absolutely perfect for inspiration for adventures, As one example the entries for " Centaur" both show great illustrations, have broadly similar game stats and, of course, are recognisably the same legendary figure from Greek myth. The new description though also has two adventure seeds within it, the centaur migration lasting generations coming into conflict with human cities built in their way and the old or lame centaur been left behind and having to be helped . Any DM worth their salt should be able to knock off an adventure...or even a campaign of adventures based on these hints. Lots of the descriptions include nuggets like these and as the point of game books like this is to spark players' imaginations this is a massively useful aspect of this work.
Every D&D player will have their own ideas of how these monsters should be portrayed, not all will agree with every interpretation here but the introduction sensibly points out players can amend or ignore any of the information given here .Having said that, some of the decisions...Pixies not being Chaotic ? Tarrasques not been evil ? seem a bit odd. Monsters omitted also seem unfortunate..although some (eg Phase Spider) appear in the appendix , giving slightly shorter descriptions of creatures. No Titan though (replaced by the Empyrean) and no room for the Vargoyle, one of my faves. Some monsters included could also have perhaps have been consigned to history...do we REALLY need the Modrons?Or the Flumph?!
My favourite enrty is the Kenku, brilliantly designed , again so that even an encounter with one will be an adventure in itself. Lead writer Chris Perkins has penned numerous adventures and it really shows.
Not absolutely all monsters are a triumph, the Genies seem uninspired, for example, but the majority...Demons, Devils, Golems, etc etc are inspired.
A shame a list of the original creators of the monsters couldn't be included somewhere in this lengthy tome...I recall many of these (Hook Horror, Giths. Kenku etc|) were designed by the fan community and it would have been nice for this to be acknowledged.
The front cover illo , is, perhaps, not as striking as some of the interior pictures (how awesome would the Barlgura or the Hobgobiln or Werewolf illustration look on the front of the book?) but the Beholder is THE definitive D&D critter and surely beats a flying cow !
Other than that, when I got a good one it was great. Nice pics.
This is more important for the GM/DM to create foes for the players but is potentially useful for the players, especially if they have pets, allies etc...
An essential book for the running of DnD games.