D&D 5E 5th edition Monster Manual: I think the really nice art detracts from the mediocre functionality of the book.


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Serendipity

Explorer
Whereas I have never and likely will never consult a monsters by CR table, so this is a non-issue for me.
That said, can any one give an idea how most monsters are presented as far as their ecology and such? My favorite monster manual was the hardbound Monsterous Manual for 2e so any steps in that direction would be a big plus for me.
 

Given that it seems that there is a decent amount of consensus that there won't be another MM for a while, therefore, WotC tried to put as many monsters in there is as possible, I think the art could have been smaller, to allow for more monsters, and perhaps more crunch options. Art is great and stuff, but its not like anyone (save for the dm perhaps) is looking at a picture of the said monster(s) as they fight them. I myself have always found a disconnect in the dnd community between people's love of the art and the seemingly distaste for minis, which is just 3-dimensional art. No biggy, but I think the art could have been smaller, especially, since in 5ed there is more emphasis on "theater of the mind" again. I just find the bigger art a bit superfluous.

I've played all the editions, but I have a bad memory, thus, embedded in my mind I am used to 4ed monsters, and them having a variety of attacks and variants (for better or for worse). Thus, its taking me some getting used to monsters in 5ed having a limited number of attacks, and the homogeneity of the monsters, in general. Of course the monsters aren't actually limited, and can do and have whatever you want, but I'm just not used to running monsters like how PCs are run, i.e., thinking of clever things to do. Consequently, whatever monster section (as well as the tactics section) in the DMs guide is going to be quite helpful to me and my players (what I hate about new editions is waiting for new material and having limited material in the meantime). In all, its going to take me a little bit of time for me to not see the 5ed monsters as kind of boring. But, ultimately, I think it will work out for the best.

As far as no CR list in the MM. No biggy, imo. That they have an on-line source for it also makes it less of an issue. And like somebody said, I'd rather have a master list that can be compiled as time goes on, instead of 5 lists from 5 different sources.

I don't have the MM. Thus, I really have no verdict. But I am going to be apt to find it good, given what I've seen and heard so far (I just wanted to see my beloved War Devil in there).
 
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I don't have the MM. Thus, I really have no verdict. But I am going to be apt to find it good, given what I've seen and heard so far (I just wanted to see my beloved War Devil) in there.
The War Devil is in there. It's just called the Horned Devil. The War Devil aka the Malebranche was originally known as the Horned Devil. After 2nd end the horned devil was called the Cornugon, but the Malebranche showed up again in the Fiendish Codex. In 4e they featured both of them and gave the Malebranche the title of War Devil. In 5e they gave the Malebranche back it's title of horned devil.
 

pemerton

Legend
Monsters in the MM can do whatever you as the DM wants them to do.
A GM can write up whatever monsters s/he wants to, too. How hard is it to write down "AC 12, +3 to hit for 5 damage"?

The point of the MM, presumably, is to add a bit more mechanical richness. And on this score I tend to agree with [MENTION=86857]Xyrlove Woodsoul[/MENTION] and [MENTION=64365]Fion[/MENTION].
 

Imaro

Legend
Your statement? I agree, pretty darn rediculous. Monsters in the MM can do whatever you as the DM wants them to do. Look at the kobold thread from a week or so ago. The flavor text tells you a ton of things about what kobolds like to do. Monsters are in no way limited to actions only specifically detailed in that part of the stat block.

I'm going to agree with this... I don't want to see a return to multiple powers defining what monsters can do in combat... because then we need to make sure they live long enough to whip out their cool powers (otherwise why even give them to the monsters), at which point we are back to hit point escalation (or a whiff factor increase) to ensure this... which in turn extends the time combat takes... and we're back to hour + set piece battles for every fight... something I'm beyond happy 5e got rid of. As a DM I'll decide if I want a monster to be special in some way or a fight to be extraordinary and adjust it accordingly... but I want that to be the exception, not the forced norm.
 

MintMMs

First Post
That said, can any one give an idea how most monsters are presented as far as their ecology and such? My favorite monster manual was the hardbound Monsterous Manual for 2e so any steps in that direction would be a big plus for me.

The monster previews here on ENWorld are pretty much consistent with the rest of the monster entries - stat block, artwork and 3-4 sections detailing a specific interesting thing about the monster. One thing these previews haven't shown is with regards to the legendary monsters, they get at least another page detailing the lair and environment effects.
 

I'm going to agree with this... I don't want to see a return to multiple powers defining what monsters can do in combat... because then we need to make sure they live long enough to whip out their cool powers (otherwise why even give them to the monsters)
Sorry to be blunt but it sounds absurd. Why would you feel like you need to use every power? Do you also feel compelled to make a reference to every single piece of information from the flavor text in every encounter? Shouldn't we think of all these things as tools? And isn't it better to have some tools at your disposal rather than none?
 

Serendipity

Explorer
The monster previews here on ENWorld are pretty much consistent with the rest of the monster entries - stat block, artwork and 3-4 sections detailing a specific interesting thing about the monster. One thing these previews haven't shown is with regards to the legendary monsters, they get at least another page detailing the lair and environment effects.

Such is what I've been hoping for but wasn't sure if the entries being previewed were representative. Environmental effects for legendary critters also sounds really interesting and right up my alley.
How detailed are the lair descriptions? I'm reminded of what Frog God Games did when they put together the last incarnation of the Tome of Horrors, though I doubt they are quite that detailed.
 

Imaro

Legend
Sorry to be blunt but it sounds absurd. Why would you feel like you need to use every power? Do you also feel compelled to make a reference to every single piece of information from the flavor text in every encounter? Shouldn't we think of all these things as tools? And isn't it better to have some tools at your disposal rather than none?

What's so absurd about it when this is exactly how combat powers for monsters were implemented in 4e? And that was what was used as a point of reference by other posters earlier in the thread.

As to your "tools" point... More tools are great but space in the book isn't infinite... So what am I loosing in order to get these lists of powers for each monster that you want?

Edit: we also know we'll be getting creation tools for monsters in the DMG... So do I really need lists of powers for each monster on top of that?
 
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