• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

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

Thank Dog

Banned
Banned
My only quibble is that I still miss the three ring binder form factor of the 2e Monstrous Compendium. It was modular, customizable, expandable, and laid flat on the table during the game. It's a nitpick though, I really love this book.

I loved the Monstrous Compendium. It's my second favourite D&D thing ever. But yes, it had it's issues with the alphabetising one being the most prominent. I would love to see MM pages that were designed with alphabetisation in mind brought out for a Monstrous Compendium folder. I think I would geek-gasm over that. Alas, I doubt it will ever happen :(
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Xenu

First Post
One thing I prefer with the 2E Monstrous Manual vs the 5E Monster Manual is the overall consistency of the entries. Stat blocks in 2E are pretty much in the same place across pages. There's monster artwork typically just to the right of the stat block. It was encyclopedic in nature.

5E Monster Manual has stat blocks all over the place. Placement is not consistent across the pages. It seems to be a more of a picture-book than an encyclopedic reference. I'm also not a big fan of the last pages that are just stuffed with stat blocks and no descriptions. Seems kind of rushed. Swarm of Quippers? I had no idea what those were until I read up the DM Basic Rules where Quippers were listed. Yeah, that was a lame stat block too, but at least it had a single line indicating Quippers were piranha-like fish.

Presentation nitpicking aside, I do like the special monster abilities in 5E. They add neat twists that you don't find in 2E.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
There is no proof the playtest consisted of the majority of players.

Surveys and polls don't need a majority input for them to be roughly accurate. In fact they don't even need 1/10th of the total group t be roughly accurate, particularly for trend data where an overwhelming majority of the large body of respondents responds one particular way.

And you can see the results in practice right now. The overwhelming majority response to the Monster Manual is positive, by any measure I can think of off-hand.

Also, I don't remember a section in the survey about the monster manual and custom creation.

I do.
 

Iosue

Legend
I prefer the terseness of the B/X monster descriptions and the 1e Monster Manual, and I was extremely pleased to see the Monstrous Manual, which is what I got when rebuilding my collection. That said, whenever I see a Monstrous Compendium binder it hits me right in the nostalgias.
 

Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
Surveys and polls don't need a majority input for them to be roughly accurate. In fact they don't even need 1/10th of the total group t be roughly accurate, particularly for trend data where an overwhelming majority of the large body of respondents responds one particular way.

And you can see the results in practice right now. The overwhelming majority response to the Monster Manual is positive, by any measure I can think of off-hand.



I do.
Actually there wasn't one.

Now what?
 

R

RevTurkey

Guest
Hello Sailor :)

I think you are being too critical and should just enjoy the book for what it is rather than what it isn't.

In a 'Monster Manual' I expect lots of monsters...yep it does that.

It describes them well and hints at hooks and ideas to help use them.

The art is on the whole....fantastic. Some excellent pictures.

I agree that requiring the Internet to find CR levels is poor but they have said they are in the DMG so that is okay by me to be honest.

Maybe just play some D&D and try not to let the things that niggle take over.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
It's interesting to me that innate spellcasting is a variant for dragons.

Yeah, that was a bit weird.

A game called Dungeons and Dragons where the default dragons are wimpier. And even the number of variant spells are very limited (I suspect our DM will double or triple it).
 

pemerton

Legend
Ok if these are the type of abilities (as opposed to 4e-esque powers as I assumed earlier) people are clamoring for... then what's the issue?
I don't see any dramatic contrast between "these types of abilities" and "4e-esque powers".

looking over the previews of the monsters so far most if not all seem to have at least one or two of these types of abilities
The manticore doesn't. The bone devil doesn't. The cambion has spell casting and a charm ability - nothing within cooee of the Chained Cambion of 4e's MM3.

The umber hulk has one interesting ability: its gaze. And the bulette has its leap. And at least of the pre-released non-legendary creatures that I've seen, these seem to be at the more complex end. (Putting to one side the heavy reliance on spellcasting to give creatures interesting abilities, which has its own issues that have already been well-articuated across multiple threads.)

Part of what is interesting about the kobold abilities, which I think has the potential to make them more interesting than the umber hulk or bulette, is that they interact. So (for instance) players have an incentive to have their PCs bring the fight with the kobolds into the sunlight so as to negate their advantage for pack combat. And, conversely, kobolds fighting in the sunlight will be trying to bring their pack tactics to bear so as to negate their disadvantage.
 

Imaro

Legend
I don't see any dramatic contrast between "these types of abilities" and "4e-esque powers".

I'll just leave this at you have your opinion and I have mine...

The manticore doesn't. The bone devil doesn't. The cambion has spell casting and a charm ability - nothing within cooee of the Chained Cambion of 4e's MM3.

The Manticore in 4e has a claw attack, spike attack and multi-attack... and can shift between attacks. The 5e manticore has a claw attack, a ranged attack and a multi-attack, and can already move between attacks because of 5e's rules.. it can do everything the 4e one can with less verbage.

The Bone Devil of 5e has Telepathy, Devil's Sight, Magic Resistance, immunity to non-silvered weapons, a sting which uses poison, multi-attack and has the option of attacking and grappling with the hooked polearm.

The 4e Bone Devil can attack with claws, poison sting, multi-attack, has an aura of fear, impose -5 to hit as a minor action and an aura of obedience...

Again not seeing a big difference in number of interesting abilities...

Wait so you're comparing a MM 3 monster (after years of development experience) with the base cambion of 5e... come on now let's compare like and like... Cambion Hellsword from MM1 to the Cambion in 5e's MM1...

4e: Hellsword, Whirlwind Charge and Triumphant Surge
5e: innate spellcasting, fiendish charm, multi-attack, fire ray, and spear.

5e seems like a way more intersting monster to run.



The umber hulk has one interesting ability: its gaze. And the bulette has its leap. And at least of the pre-released non-legendary creatures that I've seen, these seem to be at the more complex end.

The Umber Hulk in 4e has one interesting attack... it's gaze. And the bulette in 4e is about the only one I see where it has more interesting options (and is more complicated) than the 5e version and that's only by a small margin.


(Putting to one side the heavy reliance on spellcasting to give creatures interesting abilities, which has its own issues that have already been well-articuated across multiple threads.)

What does this matter? If an ability that makes the creature interesting and fun to run exists why does it matter if it's a spell... see this rings of "It's not 4e"... as opposed to "the monster is boring".

Part of what is interesting about the kobold abilities, which I think has the potential to make them more interesting than the umber hulk or bulette, is that they interact. So (for instance) players have an incentive to have their PCs bring the fight with the kobolds into the sunlight so as to negate their advantage for pack combat. And, conversely, kobolds fighting in the sunlight will be trying to bring their pack tactics to bear so as to negate their disadvantage.

So PC's trying to avert their gaze in the case of the Umber Hulk... or find something reflective to view him in, or... well you get the picture isn't interacting? Making sure you don't clump too many in your party together but also trying to work together so the bulette in 5e can't use deadly leap isn't interacting? I guess we just have very different ideas of what interacting with something is then.
 


Remove ads

Top