Of Dungeons and, Subsequently, Dragons!

The ongoing saga of Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition continues! The fat man has invested in not only the Player’s Handbook and Monster Manual but the revered Dungeon Master’s Guide as well. As far as the Monster Manual goes, here are my thoughts.

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The Monster Manual is packed with deliciously gorgeous artwork and horribly vile creatures of all types. Every page has something to say and most of it says “Look at me, I look like the 2nd edition Monster Manual!” That’s the feeling I got from reading this book. It feels like a trip down nostalgia road on the RPG fairy’s personal jet. The introduction and basics set a framework down for Dungeon Masters. The little bits of information it gives are worded well and not long-winded. It provides just the amount of information you need to get your monster on.

Gone are the strangely structured stat blocks with tons of confusing information crammed in to a small space. Everything is framed and organized in a very friendly-to-combat manner. Referencing a given monster’s statistics and abilities is a lot easier in this format (of course that could be my opinion!). The pertinent information even has its own section from names to types to base stats. Honestly the only thing I miss from these entries is the history and detail that went in to the origins and life of the creatures. The 2nd edition MM had so much detail that you could spend hours just pouring over each entry crafting elaborate scenarios based on behaviors, histories and habits. While I do miss that, I am very pleased with the MM’s organization and details otherwise. Pertinent information such as the green text box under the ‘Death Knight’ entry adds a splash of those formerly glorious bits of lost information.

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The artwork, as I said before, is fantastic much like the artwork from the PHB (Player’s Handbook). The new direction of the art makes the creatures seem more real and believable. For those of you who don’t enjoy describing the monsters to let your players figure out what the hell they’re beating up, this book has you covered. Every entry evokes a sense of wonder or horror depending on the monster you pick and it never feels cartoony or contrived, every piece flows with the information given. All-in-all I have no complaints about the artwork, only praise.

I can’t say enough about 5th edition! It continues to impress.

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~ by lordnightwinter on February 9, 2015.

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