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Monster Manual II (Dungeons & Dragons d20 3.0 Fantasy Roleplaying Supplement) Hardcover – September 1, 2002
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About the Author
Rich Redman has written the Dark-Matter (tm) Arms & Equipment Guide and the D&D guidebook Defenders of the Faith. He lives in Washington State.
Steve Winter has worked on numerous products as editor, designer, developer, and manager. He lives in Washington State.
Ed Bonny has had many articles published in Dragon (r) magazine, including his well-received AD&D (r) Planescape (r) and Skills & Powers articles. He lives in New Jersey.
Top customer reviews
So let's get into it.
First the good:
1) The whole first section of the book before we even get to the monsters is great. The authors explain the creature abilities, special abilities, attack routines, and monster advancement in a much more clear and concise way than MM 1. You understand exactly how improved grab works, right? And swallow whole does bite damage how many times? These things and more are now explained quite nicely.
2) If you're a big psionics fan as I am, MM 2 offers something new. They have rules for how to use the Psionics Handbook to make the MM 2 creatures with psionic powers (such as the thri-kreen) truly "psionic". They have spell to power conversions, what combat modes they'd get, etc. Very cool.
3) Monsters as playable classes. If a monster could potentially take class levels, there's information for ECL and preferred class. If the creature is psionic, it even further breaks down the information into psionic/non-psionic ECL.
4) High CR monsters. There's a lot of baddies in this book that will challenge mid-high level parties. I was a bit worried there would be nothing for lower level groups, but there's plenty of low CR mobs too.
5) Cool templates. You will like these... promise.
6) Old favorites from 1E and 2E done up with 3E stats. Welcome back the Myconids!
Now the bad:
1) Too many damn constructs. Yes I know it's hard to make a monster that challenges a high-level group, but it doesn't have to be a construct! Really the constructs are fine. They are neat. I just feel they could have diversified a bit more.
2) Recycled monsters. About 20% of the monsters are re-writes from other WotC products. If you already own the books from which the original creature came, these are not new to you. Still, it's nice to have them all in one source. No more looking through web enhancements for the gem dragons, and MotW for legendary animals.
If it wasn't for those 2 faults, MM2 would have gotten 5 stars, as it is, it gets a solid 4. Worth owning.