5E Just What Is Available For Free

Iosue

Community Supporter
As a lazy way to spend a Saturday, I decided to look at just how much content was available to a DM who didn't buy any of the Core Books. This first look is at Monsters, which take up the most of the free available PDFs.

Just to provide a baseline, the Monster Manual provides 429(!) distinct statblocks, including the miscellaneous creatures and NPC appendices. For reference, they are as follows (warning: this is huge and not especially readable):
[sblock=Monster Manual]Aarakocra
Aboleth
Acolyte
Angel, Deva
Angel, Planetar
Angel, Solar
Animated Object, Animated Armor
Animated Object, Flying Sword
Animated Object, Rug of Smothering
Ankheg
Ape
Ape, Giant
Archmage
Assassin
Awakened Shrub
Awakened Tree
Axe Beak
Azer
Baboon
Badger
Badger, Giant
Bandit
Bandit Captain
Banshee
Basilisk
Bat
Bat, Giant
Bat, Swarm
Bear, Black
Bear, Brown
Bear, Polar
Beetle, Giant Fire
Behir
Beholder
Beholder, Death Tyrant
Beholder, Spectator
Berserker
Blight, Needle
Blight, Twig
Blight, Vine
Blink Dog
Blood Hawk
Boar
Boar, Giant
Bugbear
Bugbear Chief
Bulette
Bullywug
Cambion
Camel
Carrion Crawler
Cat
Centaur
Centipede, Giant
Chimera
Chuul
Cloaker
Cockatrice
Commoner
Couatl
Crab
Crab, Giant
Crawling Crawl
Crocodile
Crocodile, Giant
Cult Fanatic
Cultist
Cyclops
Darkmantle
Death Dog
Death Knight
Deer
Demilich
Demon, Balor
Demon, Barlgura
Demon, Chasme
Demon, Dretch
Demon, Glabrezu
Demon, Goristro
Demon, Hezrou
Demon, Manes
Demon, Marilith
Demon, Nalfeshnee
Demon, Quasit
Demon, Shadow
Demon, Vrock
Demon, Yochol
Devil, Barbed
Devil, Bearded
Devil, Bone
Devil, Chain
Devil, Erinyes
Devil, Horned
Devil, Ice
Devil, Imp
Devil, Lemure
Devil, Pit Fiend
Devil, Spined
Dinosaur, Allosaurus
Dinosaur, Ankylosaurus
Dinosaur, Plesiosaurus
Dinosaur, Pteranodon
Dinosaur, Triceratops
Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex
Displacer Beast
Dog, Mastiff
Doppelganger
Dracolich, Adult Blue
Dragon Turtle
Dragon, Adult Black
Dragon, Adult Blue
Dragon, Adult Brass
Dragon, Adult Bronze
Dragon, Adult Copper
Dragon, Adult Gold
Dragon, Adult Green
Dragon, Adult Red
Dragon, Adult Silver
Dragon, Adult White
Dragon, Ancient Black
Dragon, Ancient Blue
Dragon, Ancient Brass
Dragon, Ancient Bronze
Dragon, Ancient Copper
Dragon, Ancient Gold
Dragon, Ancient Green
Dragon, Ancient Red
Dragon, Ancient Silver
Dragon, Ancient White
Dragon, Wyrmling Black
Dragon, Wyrmling Blue
Dragon, Wyrmling Brass
Dragon, Wyrmling Bronze
Dragon, Wyrmling Copper
Dragon, Wyrmling Gold
Dragon, Wyrmling Green
Dragon, Wyrmling Red
Dragon, Wyrmling Silver
Dragon, Wyrmling White
Dragon, Young Black
Dragon, Young Blue
Dragon, Young Brass
Dragon, Young Bronze
Dragon, Young Copper
Dragon, Young Gold
Dragon, Young Green
Dragon, Young Red
Dragon, Young Red Shadow
Dragon, Young Silver
Dragon, Young White
Drider
Druid
Dryad
Duergar
Eagle
Eagle, Giant
Elemental, Air
Elemental, Earth
Elemental, Fire
Elemental, Water
Elephant
Elf, Drow
Elf, Drow Elite Warrior
Elf, Drow Mage
Elf, Drow Priestess of Lolth
Elk
Elk, Giant
Empyrean
Ettercap
Ettin
Fairie Dragon
Flameskull
Flumph
Fomorian
Frog
Frog, Giant
Fungi, Gas Spore
Fungi, Shrieker
Fungi, Violet
Galeb Duhr
Gargoyle
Genie, Dao
Genie, Djinni
Genie, Efreeti
Genie, Marid
Ghost
Ghost, Ghast
Ghoul
Giant, Cloud
Giant, Fire
Giant, Frost
Giant, Hill
Giant, Stone
Giant, Storm
Gibbering Mouther
Githyank Knight
Githyanki Warrior
Githzerai Monk
Githzerai Zerth
Gladiator
Gnoll
Gnoll Fang of Yeenoghu
Gnoll Pack Lord
Gnome, Deep
Goat
Goat, Giant
Goblin
Goblin Boss
Golem, Clay
Golem, Flesh
Golem, Iron
Golem, Stone
Gorgon
Grell
Grick
Grick Alpha
Griffon
Grimlock
Guard
Hag, Green
Hag, Night
Hag, Sea
Half-Dragon
Half-Ogre
Harpy
Hawk
Hell Hound
Helmed Horror
Hippogriff
Hobgoblin
Hobgoblin Captain
Hobgoblin Warlord
Homunculus
Hook Horror
Horse, Draft
Horse, Pony
Horse, Riding
Horse, War
Hydra
Hyena
Hyena, Giant
Insect, Swarm
Intellect Devourer
Invisible Stalker
Jackal
Jackalwere
Kenku
Knight
Kobold
Kobold, Winged
Kraken
Kuo-toa
Kuo-toa Archpriest
Kuo-toa Whip
Lamia
Lich
Lion
Lizard
Lizard, Giant
Lizardfolk
Lizardfolk King/Queen
Lizardfolk Shaman
Lycanthrope, Werebear
Lycanthrope, Wereboar
Lycanthrope, Wererat
Lycanthrope, Weretiger
Lycanthrope, Werewolf
Mage
Magmin
Mammoth
Manticore
Medusa
Mephin, Mud
Mephint, Smoke
Mephit, Dust
Mephit, Ice
Mephit, Magma
Mephit, Steam
Merfolk
Merrow
Mimi
Mind Flayer
Minotaur
Modron, Duodrone
Modron, Monodrone
Modron, Pentadrone
Modron, Quadrone
Modron, Tridrone
Mule
Mummy
Mummy Lord
Myconid Adult
Myconid Sovereign
Myconid Sprout
Myconid, Quaggoth Spore Servant
Naga, Bone
Naga, Guardian
Naga, Spirit
Nightmare
Noble
Nothic
Octopus
Octopus, Giant
Ogre
Oni
Ooze, Black Pudding
Ooze, Gelatinous Cube
Ooze, Gray
Ooze, Ochre Jelly
Orc
Orc Eye of Gruumsh
Orc War Chief
Orog
Otyugh
Owl
Owl, Giant
Owlbear
Panther
Pegasus
Peryton
Piercer
Pixie
Priest
Pseudodragon
Purple Worm
Quaggoth
Quipper
Quipper, Swarm
Rakshasa
Rat
Rat, Giant
Rat, Swarm
Raven
Raven, Swarm
Remorhaz
Remorhaz, Young
Revenant
Rhinoceros
Roc
Roper
Rust Monster
Sahuagin
Sahuagin Baron
Sahuagin Priestess
Salamander
Salamander, Fire Snake
Satyr
Scarecrow
Scorpion
Scorpion, Giant
Scout
Sea Horse
Sea Horse, Giant
Shadow
Shambling Mound
Shark, Giant
Shark, Hunter
Shark, Reef
Shield Guardian
Skeleton
Skeleton, Minotaur
Skeleton, Warhorse
Slaad, Blue
Slaad, Death
Slaad, Gray
Slaad, Green
Slaad, Red
Slaad, Tadpole
Snake, Constrictor
Snake, Flying
Snake, Giant Constrictor
Snake, Giant Poisonous
Snake, Poisonous
Snake, Poisonous Swarm
Specter
Sphinx, Androsphinx
Sphinx, Gynosphinx
Spider
Spider, Giant
Spider, Giant Wolf
Spider, Phase
Sprite
Spy
Stirge
Succubus/Incubus
Tarrasque
Thri-keen
Thug
Tiger
Tiger, Saber-toothed
Toad, Giant
Treant
Tribal Warrior
Troglodyte
Troll
Umber Hulk
Unicorn
Vampire
Vampire Spawn
Veteran
Vulture
Vulture, Giant
Wasp, Giant
Water Weird
Weasel
Weasel, Giant
Whale, Killer
Wight
Will-o'-Wisp
Wolf
Wolf
Wolf, Dire
Wolf, Winter
Wolf, Worg
Wraith
Wyvern
Xorn
Yeti
Yeti, Abominable
Yuan-ti, Abomination
Yuan-ti, Malison
Yuan-ti, Pureblood
Yugoloth, Arcanaloth
Yugoloth, Mezzoloth
Yugoloth, Nycaloth
Yugoloth, Ultroloth
Zombie
Zombie Beholder
Zombie Ogre[/sblock]

So, starting with the Basic rules, it contains 169 statblocks, or about 40% of the Monster Manual. It lacks some of the more obscure (aboleth, galeb duhr) and also some of the more well-known (beholder, mindflayer). Spectators do show up as a kind of poor man's Beholder. Angels, Devils, and Demons are entirely absent, as are metallic dragons. Only an adult red and a young green represent chromatic dragons. Just about any monster that has multiple versions or statblocks in the MM finds itself stripped down to basics in the Basic Rules. What it lacks in Devils and Demons it makes up with Dinosaurs (fully represented) and Giant animals. It feels plain to me that they really looked to B/X when choosing their selection. You could practically play B2 and X1 with these rules. Here's the list for reference:

[sblock=Basic Rules]Acolyte
Animated Object, Animated Armor
Ape
Ape, Giant
Awakened Shrub
Awakened Tree
Axe Beak
Baboon
Badger
Badger, Giant
Bandit
Banshee
Basilisk
Bat
Bat, Giant
Bat, Swarm
Bear, Black
Bear, Brown
Bear, Polar
Beetle, Giant Fire
Beholder, Spectator
Berserker
Blight, Twig
Blink Dog
Blood Hawk
Boar
Boar, Giant
Bugbear
Camel
Cat
Centaur
Centipede, Giant
Chimera
Cockatrice
Commoner
Crab
Crab, Giant
Crocodile
Crocodile, Giant
Cultist
Cyclops
Death Dog
Deer
Dinosaur, Allosaurus
Dinosaur, Ankylosaurus
Dinosaur, Plesiosaurus
Dinosaur, Pteranodon
Dinosaur, Triceratops
Dinosaur, Tyrannosaurus Rex
Dog, Mastiff
Doppelganger
Dragon, Adult Red
Dragon, Young Green
Eagle
Eagle, Giant
Elemental, Air
Elemental, Earth
Elemental, Fire
Elemental, Water
Elephant
Elk
Elk, Giant
Fire Giant
Flameskull
Flying Sword
Frog
Frog, Giant
Gargoyle
Ghost
Ghoul
Giant, Frost
Giant, Hill
Gnoll
Goat
Goat, Giant
Goblin
Golem, Flesh
Golem, Stone
Grick
Griffon
Guard
Harpy
Hawk
Hell Hound
Hippogriff
Hobgoblin
Horse, Draft
Horse, Pony
Horse, Riding
Horse, War
Hydra
Hyena
Hyena, Giant
Insect, Swarm
Jackal
Knight
Kobold
Lion
Lizard
Lizard, Giant
Lizardfolk
Lycanthrope, Werewolf
Mage
Mammoth
Manticore
Medusa
Merfolk
Minotaur
Mule
Mummy
Nothic
Octopus
Octopus, Giant
Ogre
Ooze, Ochre Jelly
Orc
Owl
Owl, Giant
Owlbear
Panther
Pegasus
Priest
Quipper
Quipper, Swarm
Rat
Rat, Giant
Rat, Swarm
Raven
Raven, Swarm
Rhinoceros
Satyr
Scorpion
Scorpion, Giant
Sea Horse
Sea Horse, Giant
Shark, Giant
Shark, Hunter
Shark, Reef
Skeleton
Snake, Constrictor
Snake, Flying
Snake, Giant Constrictor
Snake, Giant Poisonous
Snake, Poisonous
Snake, Poisonous Swarm
Spider
Spider, Giant
Spider, Giant Wolf
Spider, Phase
Stirge
Thug
Tiger
Tiger, Saber-toothed
Toad, Giant
Troll
Vulture
Vulture, Giant
Wasp, Giant
Weasel
Weasel, Giant
Whale, Killer
Wight
Wolf
Wolf, Dire
Wolf, Winter
Wolf, Worg
Wyvern
Yeti
Zombie[/sblock]

Hoard of the Dragon Queen has 25 monsters new to the Basic Rules and Rise of Tiamat has 22, for a total of 47. Each has an almost equal number of monsters that are already included in the Basic Rules. The supplements are geared not simply for those using the Basic Rules, but for those running the game with, say, just PHBs. Basically, if you have the adventure book and the PDF, all you need is a source for characters, be that the Basic Rules or the PHB. The DM himself needs nothing else. I find this a fascinating strategy.

Between Hoard and Rise, a DM armed with only the Basic Rules now has Adult versions of Red, Blue, White, and Green Dragons, and Hill, Frost, and Stone Giants. Devils make an appearance, with the Barbed, Bearded, and Bone Devils showing up in Rise of Tiamat. Some of the B/X classics, like Vampires, Specters, and Wraiths are now available. However, much of the Dungeon Cleaning Crew are still unaccounted for, with only Gray Ooze and Ochre Jelly available. Hobgoblins get their Captains, and all versions of the Yuan-ti appear.

[sblock=Tyranny of Dragons]Hoard
Animated Object, Rug of Smothering
Assassin
Bullywug
Dragon, Adult Blue
Dragon, Adult White
Ettercap
Fungi, Violet
Giant, Stone
Helmed Horror
Hobgoblin Captain
Kobold, Winged
Ooze, Gray
Otyugh
Peryton
Roper
Shambling Mound
Specter
Spy
Troglodyte
Vampire
Vampire Spawn
Veteran
Will-o'-Wisp
Yuan-ti Malison
Yuan-ti, Pureblood

Rise
Chuul
Cult Fantatic
Cyclops
Devil, Barbed
Devil, Bearded
Devil, Bone
Dragon, Adult Green
Druid
Ettin
Genie, Dao
Genie, Efreeti
Gladiator
Golem, Clay
Gorgon
Half-Red Dragon Veteran
Merrow
Mummy Lord
Pseudodragon
Succubus
Tribal Warrior
Wraith
Yuan-ti Abomination[/sblock]

Princes of the Apocalypse is huge. It has 64 monsters new to the Basic Rules. Now the Basic DM has Adult versions of all the Chromatic Dragons, and one metallic dragon: the Adult Bronze. As Tyranny of Dragons introduced Devils, Princes introduced Demons: Barlgura, Shadow, and Vrock. Black Pudding joins the DCC. Some variant Orcs also appear, as do Umber Hulks. A selection of Kuo-toa show up, as well as numerous elemental-themed monsters.

[sblock=Princes of the Apocalypse]Aarakocra
Aboleth
Ankheg
Azer
Bandit Captain
Bulette
Cloaker
Crawling Claw
Darkmantle
Demon, Barlgura
Demon, Shadow
Demon, Vrock
Dragon Turtle
Dragon, Adult Black
Dragon, Adult Bronze
Dragon, Young Red
Drow Mage
Duergar
Galeb Duhr
Genie, Djinni
Ghost, Ghast
Giant, Cloud
Gnoll Pack Lord
Gnome, Deep
Grell
Hag, Sea
Half-Ogre
Hezrou
Hook Horror
Invisible Stalker
Jackalwere
Kenku
Kuo-toa
Kuo-toa, Archpriest
Kuo-toa, Whip
Lich
Lizardfolk King/Queen
Lizardfolk Shaman
Lycanthrope, Wereboar
Magmin
Mephit, Dust
Mephit, Ice
Mephit, Magma
Mephit, Mud
Mephit, Smoke
Mephit, Steam
Oni
Ooze, Black Pudding
Orc Eye of Gruumsh
Orog
Piercer
Purple Worm
Revenant
Rust Monster
Salamander
Salamander, Fire Snake
Shadow
Shield Guardian
Sprite
Umber Hulk
Water Weird
Xorn
Yugoloth, Mezzoloth
Yugoloth, Nycaloth[/sblock]

Altogether, this means that even without the Monster Manual, Basic Rules DMs have access to a total of 281 monster statblocks, about 65% of the Monster Manual! No doubt this is no big shakes to those used to (and desiring) a 3e-like OGL and SRD, which contained 419 monsters, but I was hardly expecting any free-of-cost and freely-available material in the first place, so this much being available seems tremendous. Not to mention that this list will grow as more adventures come out. Given that they seem happy to let 3rd party character generators use Basic Rules material, it almost seems like a backdoor SRD, although how much that applies to adventure supplement material is up in the air.
 

Advertisement

Top