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D&D 5E Monster Manual Alphabetization

What form of Monster Manual organization would you prefer?

  • Fully Alphabetical

    Votes: 13 23.6%
  • Mostly Alphabetical (as in current printings)

    Votes: 25 45.5%
  • Fully Categorical

    Votes: 16 29.1%
  • Other (describe below)

    Votes: 1 1.8%

  • Total voters


One of the quality of life improvements mentioned in the Future of D&D panel is adjusting the alphabetical organization of the monster manual. A Goristro, for instance, would be listed under G for Goristro rather than under D for Demon. This might also mean interspersing beast and NPC statblocks with the rest of the book, though that wasn't specified. Personally, though, I'd prefer to go in the opposite direction and organize the whole book by creature categories rather than alphabetically (ie. a section with all the abberations, a section with all the elementals etc.). Such a format would feel more cohesive when browsing for inspiration, and if I have a statblock I need to refer to during play, I can write down a page number just as easily as I name. Not everyone uses the monster manual in the same way though, so I'm curious if there's any sort of consensus here as to preferred organization.

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I chose Mostly Alphabetical, but with a caveat.

I have no issue with the general categories used in the last few Monster Manuals. The Demon, Devil and Dragon groupings especially work with how my brain categorizes things.

I think the animal/beast/creature appendix in the 5E MM should have been included in the full text. Kind of a throwback to the 1E MM format.

Plus, as an added note, alphabetical generally works for me, but for variants (Dire, Elder, Greater, etc.) I think the format should be Bear, Dire or Bear, Greater rather than having those monsters appear in D and G rather than under B with the rest of the bears.

Cheers :)


I buy most of my books on D&D Beyond these days, so it makes little difference to me - they're only a Search function away.

But it does feel a little inconsistent. Why are all Dinosaurs put together (and separate from other Beasts) but not all Humanoids, or all Undead?


I half-expect we'd see Giant, Hill, and Giant, Frost. But we'd see Fomorian, Troll, and Ogre under F, T, and O, and not under Giant.
You are likely correct @Umbran as it seems to track on how people would look for the creature, they know it is a giant if it is Hill or Frost, so the G category seems to track. The others not so much if you are not familiar with the lore.

Again, time will tell.

Cheers :)


Elder Thing
A better, more comprehesive, cross-referenced index would be extremely helpful no matter which decision they make regarding this.
I firmly believe that the current PHB index exists the way it does entirely to make the THAC0 joke. Which isn't worth it at all.

And honestly, the existing index would work fine (or at least be useable) if they put page numbers for each entry in addition to saying "see XXXXX."


New Publisher
I would prefer demons and devils be grouped, but I can understand the change........though, frankly, as much as I LOVE physical books, I almost always use DnDBeyond for WotC material anyway......so it likely doesn't matter.


I prefer Categories for a Table of Contents and book order: alphabetical order is for the index. When I am choosing a kind of demon, dragon etc, I want to find them all in one place for easy browsing and preparation.

Flapping Turtles and Eagle Sharks belong together.

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(From my D&D webcomic Tales from the Gnomish Tarot )

Li Shenron

I would be more amused by a monsters book organized in chapters by type, theme or terrain.

But I think this is because my own habit of READING the monsters books first, and using them later. Or rather, not liking to use them at all at the table, where I just use copies of the stats.

Because of that, I don't need an alphabetical order, the index is enough.

I mostly like the current organization. But with all the Demons, Devils, and Dragons, D's take up 20-some percent of the book, which is not inapproprate to a game called "D&D", but while flipping through I do tend to get thrown off of where I am in the alphabet by having so many major categories packed right next to each other.

Just having more prominent markings on the individual pages of larger categories would help.


I'd prefer them to be arranged by environment personally. Easy enough to have an alphabetized index. Don't need the entries to be alphabetized.

I like the traditional format. Primarily alphabetical, but with groups of closely related creatures of a shared type (Dragons, Devils, Demons, and Giants, for example) grouped together under that shared type.

The appendices of the 5E monster manual annoys me a good deal because quite a few of those monsters should have proper alphabetical entries; if there were one strictly comprised of nonmagical animals and one of NPCs, that would make more sense.

And yes, a fully alphabetical index should also be included.

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