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Monster Manual: Core Rulebook III v. 3.5 (Dungeons & Dragons d20 System) Hardcover – July 1, 2003

4.5 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 319 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 1st edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078692893X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786928934
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #55,641 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Roberts VINE VOICE on July 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I'm not going to talk about the controversy over the release of these books and will only be reviewing the information as it's written, and commenting on improvements or setbacks since the last edition.
The previous Monster Manual was a good guide to the basic monsters necessary for a DM to attempt to kill his PCs. The problem is, at that time the rules for 3rd edition were still fairly skeletal, and as time passed and rules were published enabling players and DMs alike to use monsters as PCs, these rules were not in the Monster Manual. Also, some terms were redefined, and even the manner in which the stats of a monster are to be determined changed. Adding to the confusion, the book was designed a little haphazardly, making it difficult to tell just where you're supposed to look for the information you need.
All these rules changes and additions have been incorporated into the new Monster Manual, and this book is now a complete, up-to-date, bound volume of WoTC's holy writ. The problem is, a lot of the organizational problems still exist or were expanded on.
The book boasts a few nice new illustrations, and they're more closely linked to the appropriate monster entry, but there are still some times where there'll be only a portion of a paragraph about a monster on the page that carries that monster's illustration.
Also, the templates have been shuffled in with all the monsters. I have no idea why they did this. There are monsters, and then there are templates to add to monsters. It makes perfect sense to separate the two. I must admit, though, making zombies and skeletons into templates, rather than monsters of dubious usefulness, was a great idea.
Some additions were simply wonderful, though.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really like this version of the Monster Manual. Primarily because the monsters, my friends, have had the major upgrade they have always needed. Any monster, from the lowly kobold to the most powerful dragon, can become more powerful. You can create a 28th level goblin rogue, a 48 hit dice ogre barbarian, an enormous 30 hit dice dire bear, etc. Any monster can be upgraded to match the skill level of your campaign. Each monster is basically a template from which you begin. Party having a little too easy of a time with the orcs? Have a squad of 10, 4th level orc fighters run out of the cave. This book tells you how to upgrade all of the monsters.

Damage reduction has had a huge change. An iron golem, for example, has DR 15/adamantine. This means if you hit it with any weapon that is not adamantine (including a +5 Holy Avenger), you have to subtract 15 points from the damage before it affects the golem. This makes them many times more difficult to destroy. Monsters such as lycanthropes have DR 10/silver (only silver weapons do full damage. No more killing everything with your longsword +3).

In one of our adventures, our dungeonmaster had our 4th level party encounter a group of ogres. I was thinking, "easy fight." What I didn't know was that they were also 4th level barbarians. Our party barely survived, two party members died, and it was the greatest battle in the entire 25 years I have been playing D&D!

The game has shifted from an easy monster kill to more of a survival game, where any monster is a potentially lethal threat. It makes you pay a lot closer attention to the description as the DM reads it out to you. In a word, it has made the game exciting.

Now when an ancient red dragon comes charging out of its cave, you seriously consider having your 12th level barbarian run away at full speed, while hoping the rest of your party can keep it busy for a while (because you know there is no way your group can defeat it).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Out of the three re-released core D&D rulebooks, the Monster Manual has the most outstanding changes. The differences between the 3E and 3.5E versions are vast, and the changes made in 3.5E are almost all for the better.
Monster statistics now come equipped with base attack bonuses, grapple bonuses, and level adjustments (if you want to build your own monstrous character, either as a player or DM).
The book now includes rules and guidelines, both new and improved, for creating your own monsters, as well as increasing the power of those already provided. Monster skills and feats have been addressed in far greater detail, as well.
More importantly, the book includes both monsters from other books and new monsters, though the new monsters are often simply enhanced versions of older ones.
Lastly, the book includes a lot of new and very cool artwork.
The only thing that disappointed me was how they changed damage reduction. Enhancement bonuses to weapons are no longer relevant for purposes of damage reduction--now it has a lot more to do with the alignment of your weapon and what it's made out of. To me, this seems like an unnecessary change, one that makes it difficult to bring 3E monsters that feature damage reduction up to date with 3.5E.
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Format: Hardcover
While 3rd edition brought balance to a previously unbalanced game, the 3rd edition Monster Manual wasn't supposed to be a lot better than its older counterparts. See, its older counterparts even had more monsters to look at. Of course, by balancing the monsters and creating a bunch of universal definitions, they turned it into a much more organized experience, but a lot was still to come.
In my opinion, 3.5e Monster Manual answers to most of our prayers. Not only it revises the already balanced previous version, but now you can even use it as a source for new core races and monsters. Wanna roleplay an ogre? Here you got it. Don't like the tree-hugging regular elves? Throw a dark and twisted drow PC at them. You're a DM? Maybe you'll want to create your own monsters, and here you got the rules.
The templates are also a new good step for this great game. Why all skeletons look alike? Killing a Troll skeleton was a lot more fun, it even rended my war horse to pieces!
Also, let me point out that the illustrations are beautiful and now, finally, ALL monsters are there and well identified. In 3e Monster Manual you still had to guess which picture had the right slaad you were trying to describe.
Monster feats are now better than ever, and the monsters look real smart and deadly.
Monster attributes are also better distributed. Orcs are not only stronger than humans in average anymore, they also favor a higher strength attribute overall, which makes them spend most of their points there! 3e had monsters with all attributes close to 10, too easy to fool or kill.
Seriously, in my opinion, all new monster books should look like this one, bringing rules to use them as player characters, templates and such. Thumbs up!
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