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
Does anyone remember awhile ago when Mearls wrote about how they couldn't find space in the MM to fit all the stuff they wanted to put in it and so they added an extra 30 pages? Everyone was pretty happy back then. What happened to all that praise? Obviously even if they wanted to put monster creation rules and a monster index by CR into it, they decided that more monsters would be cooler than more mechanics. Since I use the MM as a monster catalogue, I'm ok with this trade-off.

The only thing that really upsets me about the Monster Manual is the fact that being in Australia I have wait another bloody two weeks for it :(
 

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Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
So they couldn't have made the MM the flagship manual of the monster series by giving it the tools to do custom monster creation along with monsters and just extended the monster lineup in the MM II and III?

I'm sure people wouldn't be too, pardon the term I'm going to borrow, butthurt if monsters like the Flumph and a few others didn't make it in the manual I and saved for the manual II or maybe III.
 

Imaro

Legend
So they couldn't have made the MM the flagship manual of the monster series by giving it the tools to do custom monster creation along with monsters and just extended the monster lineup in the MM II and III?

Why do this when they could still put it in one of, an arguably more appropriate, corebook. You've not give a compelling reason for why this should have been in the MM as opposed to in the DMG with the DM tools... the way you would have chosen to do it I get less monsters and have to buy outside of the core 3 in order to get those that were cut... in the way WotC has chosen to do it I get all the monsters and the monster creation rules in the core 3... what exactly is the advantage to your proposed way of organizing it again?

I'm sure people wouldn't be too, pardon the term I'm going to borrow, butthurt if monsters like the Flumph and a few others didn't make it in the manual I and saved for the manual II or maybe III.

Well again, right now I get all of it... why would I want to loose monsters and have to buy another book outside the core 3 to get them?
 

The only legit beef about the MM is that there isn't a PDF version so you can cut and paste statblocks.

A list by CR would be immediately invalidated with the first expansion -- not just print, but anything they post online. And having the list online *reduces* page flipping -- you can have the list on the screen while you're reading the book instead of flipping back and forth.

Monster creation rules in the DMG makes perfect sense and is just as 'correct' as putting them in the Monster Manual. Put them in the MM and you have to put them in every MM; put them in the DMG once and you're set.

I think they for the most part hit the right mix of fluff and crunch with the monsters. I have some minor quibbles with inclusion of things that aren't likely to see much use at most tables (eg modrons) but even if I won't use them, they were well done. Most critters seem to have the proper amount of spells/etc, for something that's not likely to live past the encounter, and the potential big-bads have enough options (even without the DMG) to be interesting. I'd much rather have special abilities that can be emulated by spells than a hodge-podge of spells, spell-like abilities, etc., that each have their own rules and interactions.
 

Sailor Moon

Banned
Banned
Again I will repeat. How thick do you think the DMG os going to be? If they are complaining about page count with the PHB and MM, they are going ro do the same with the DMG. This would probably mean they are either going to leave out a lot of what people want, or give bits and pieces of everything to the point where you feel like there os so much missing. I remember NPC creation being in the DMG but not monsters.
 

Imaro

Legend
Again I will repeat. How thick do you think the DMG os going to be? If they are complaining about page count with the PHB and MM, they are going ro do the same with the DMG. This would probably mean they are either going to leave out a lot of what people want, or give bits and pieces of everything to the point where you feel like there os so much missing.

So you're compelling reason is... conjecture that some hypothetical unknown will be left out of the DMG because they put monster creation in?


I remember NPC creation being in the DMG but not monsters.

Are you claiming this for every edition?
 


As I've hinted in my other thread, I am about functionality first amd foremost. While most of the art in the new MM is good, the functionality of the book leaves much to be desired.

There is no index by CR so I am left skimming through the book having to look at each monster to see their CR and now what I have to work with a certain levels. I find this really annoying.

2 things about this. One as many people have already pointed out, there is already a CR list online, so if you really want it, it's there. Secondly, I have found myself needing a CR less and less over the course of designing adventures for my players. CR is and has always been a guideline, but it means even less in this edition because monsters can be viable over the course of most levels. So with this edition instead of going "Ok, what monsters are exactly 10 CR so I can use them against my PCs?" I say "Huh, what monster would be really cool to fight? Ok they're challenge rating 5, so I'll just through 5 or 6 at them to make it challenging and maybe throw in this monster that happens to be CR 8. Looks good."

I am a fan of custom monsters and the book really falls short in this deparment. It does have a section on it but it's sparse. I really like building my own monsters because my group has a habit of buying MM's and memorizing their stats so I like to keep em guessing.

As others have stated, the monster manual has almost never been a place for monster creation, and it's been known for months that this one wont be either. Why you expected it to be is beyond me. Furthermore, remember that the monster manual has always been a compendium of monsters to look up when you're either running a written adventure, or want some interesting ideas for things to throw at people. Not everybody is as deeply creative as some of the DMs on these boards, so it's nice to have something there. IT's also good to note that this time around they are really serious about the DM's Guide being the ultimate adventure creator. With a CR list, traps, monster creation, magic items, etc, you won't have to flip back and forth in the monster manual and player's handbook to create anything. It'll all be right there at your disposal.

I'm finding the actual stat blocks to be a bit lacking and they are really overusing giving monsters spellcasting. I don't always want to give everything spellcasting, sometimes I want to give them some unique ability or abilities and this book just doesn't provide that.

Ok, I had to do a quick glance through the monsters to see which ones had spell casting, because I seriously didn't remember that many. Turns out there are about 45/300+ monsters that have innate spell casting. A little bit more than I thought, but still only 15%. The surprising thing to me was how few spells these monsters had. Heck, a Mind Flayer, something I've always associated with spell casting, only has four spells total! Many have even less, and only a very few have more than six. The vast majority of creatures have some different little ability that isn't spell casting, so now you're just spewing hyperbole.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him) 🇺🇦🇵🇸🏳️‍⚧️
I'm going to agree that a CR index in each Monster Manual would be a nice feature that would enhance the book's usability. An online one is nice, partly because it can incorporate updates, but it's really of secondary utility. I may not be online when I'm working up a few encounters. Having that index in each MM for the creatures in that volume was a capital idea in 3e and 4e, it would continue to be one in 5e. Why drop it?!?

C'mon, Wizards. Don't backslide in usability features!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I would have liked to see a CR list in the manual itself, but that's about my only gripe. The art is great overall, and I like the lore fluff. It really sparks ideas for campaign use.

As for monster creation rules, what do you really need? Creating custom monsters is easy. You already know XP values for CR levels, and that's about all you need to know. Everything else you can get a good idea by looking at monsters there. Lots of people have been, and are, creating custom monsters easily without a dedicated ruleset for it. All you need is some imagination.
 

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