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Todays Date
26 February 2018

D&D 5E Monster Manual

The core of Dungeons and Dragons has always been three books, The first and most important is the Player’s Handbook (Dungeons & Dragons). The other two are the Dungeon Master’s Guide (D&D Core Rulebook) and the Monster Manual (D&D Core Rulebook). Today we shall take a look at the Monster Manual.

We have already looked at the Player’s Handbook and were pleasantly surprised by the quality and depth of the book but will the Monster Manual hold up and be a major supplement for our collection? The appearance of the book is nice and the binding looks to be hardcore. I expect this book will hold up to tons of handling and not have to worry about page slippage. The art is beautiful and perhaps the best that has made the pages of a dungeons and dragons core book. My grand-kids got a hold of the book and stood in awe at some of the images. This is a great sign for things to come. Some of the art was genius. For example, the Eye Tyrant captured my attention for at least ten minutes as I looked at all of the exquisite details. The Mind Flayer is one of the best renditions to date and the Beholder was amazing to say the least. If you are looking for scary vampires, look somewhere else. The Strahd that they chose sucked but beyond that the book is a 10 out of 10 for greatness.

Next I dove into the stat blocks and checked out the minutia of the various monsters. I started with the Kobold as that was the page the kids had open. For one, it appears that they have gone back to an earlier age. I recognized everything about the monster and yet it was all new and fresh. I can say that as a first level character, I would be terrified of the kobolds presented in this book. This is a good thing. I like to be terrified. This Monster Manual takes the lead for best monster book ever. It even tops out the wonderful 2E AD&D Monstrous Manual which to date had been my favorite. As a GM I found hundreds of new and innovative ideas for killing my PC’s.

What the book lack is some of the classic favorites but that is ok as I am sure they will come in a later book. This book is huge and you can only fit in so many things. You will find all of the old standards like Umber Hulks, and Carrion Crawlers but you will also find some amazing variants of those standards that shall give you adventures a newness that has been missing for some time in Dungeons and Dragons. Add in all of the ecology notes and you have a true understanding of many for the world’s greatest monsters.

Perhaps my favorite thing with this book is that it seems to pay homage to an earlier era. The book feels like 1st ed AD&D but is better put together and very fun. If this book is a sign of things to come, I shall have to revisit Dungeons and Dragons as a serious contender for my gaming time. I truly cannot wait to see the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

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