D&D 5E Monsters of the Multiverse Releases a Day Early

Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse is now available to buy, a day earlier than scheduled. While it releases most places tomorrow, you can grab it from D&D Beyond today.

981ED60C-C0AF-41EC-9791-E2F4A3682384.jpeg


 

log in or register to remove this ad

Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


log in or register to remove this ad

It's literally the exact essence of DnD. Catfolk, lizardfolk, mantisfolk, minotaurs, frog people, etc, etc. Fairies and animal people have been a basic part of the game for over 40 years.
The only hesitancy I have about all the animal races (and their increased prominence as PCs in recent years) is that i prefer human-centric worlds usually. And I can always curate that at my own table, so no big deal.

I will say I don't personally care for the new minotaur art either.
 

With all of the new races (species, really), I'm surprised that they didn't include mixed races.

We've had half elves and half orcs for a long time. Why not other combos such as a half tortle/half aarakocra?

That would be one bad ass PC... :)

I mean, why should humans, orcs and elves be the only ones who've overcome racial barriers?:)

I believe the jury's still out regarding whether or not mixed races are still allowed in fantasy now. Half-elves will probably be grandfathered in, but that might be it.
 

It’s Volume 1 they intend to do many.
They intend to do many as in this is the format for campaign settings going forward for the near future to include its own MC, or theyre also planning on releasing more standalone MCs? IDR reading or watching it and if I did I dont recall. Sorry my memory isnt so good anymore.
 

@beancounter
With all of the new races (species, really), I'm surprised that they didn't include mixed races.

We've had half elves and half orcs for a long time. Why not other combos such as a half tortle/half aarakocra?

That would be one bad ass PC... :)

I mean, why should humans, orcs and elves be the only ones who've overcome racial barriers?:)
I believe the jury's still out regarding whether or not mixed races are still allowed in fantasy now. Half-elves will probably be grandfathered in, but that might be it.
Biracial and mixed race people exist in the real world, albeit not in the "part elf" sense, so while there certainly could be improvements to how they are portrayed and talked about, particularly on the half-orc side, I don't really see any reason why half-elves or half-orcs should necessarily be removed.

"Race" in D&D is more analogous to "species", but for better or worse, half-elves and half-orcs have a lengthy history in the game, as do other race options that were generally treated in past editions as being the result of mixed bloodlines, namely the "planetouched" races (tieflings, aasimar, genasi, etc.), where the assumed origin in 2-3.5e was that one of their mortal ancestors had relations with an outsider of some sort.

Beyond that, some settings (notably Eberron) have allowed half-elves and half-orcs to carve out unique, in-setting cultural identities for themselves distinct from those of their ancestors on both sides, so I don't really see them going anywhere.

Ultimately, I think it just comes down to the fact that they would never be able to manage the sheer number of possible permutations, so they have to draw a line somewhere. If you want a half-tabaxi/half-aarakocra and don't want to homebrew, that's probably what Custom Lineage is for...

EDIT: Meant to quote the @beancounter post you were quoting as well...
 
Last edited:


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I still don't see why they took the orc statblocks out, or why they didn't replace them with anything. And there are plenty of other humanoid statblocks they should have removed too, if their reasoning was consistent. Seems like they didn't commit either way.
The idea was to create a more radically Setting-neutral supplement. Volo's and Mordenkainen's were fairly generic, in a sort of triangulation Greyhawk/Forgotten Realms space. But the Orc star blocks were very closely tied to the Orc gods.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
They intend to do many as in this is the format for campaign settings going forward for the near future to include its own MC, or theyre also planning on releasing more standalone MCs? IDR reading or watching it and if I did I dont recall. Sorry my memory isnt so good anymore.
Both, actually. But they specifically teased, without much detail, that Monstrous Compendium would be an ongoing series of free monster supplements distributed online.
 

The idea was to create a more radically Setting-neutral supplement. Volo's and Mordenkainen's were fairly generic, in a sort of triangulation Greyhawk/Forgotten Realms space. But the Orc star blocks were very closely tied to the Orc gods.
They could always have changed the names of the monsters. They did it with other monsters to force alphabetical order.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
Biracial and mixed race people exist in the real world, albeit not in the "part elf" sense, so while there certainly could be improvements to how they are portrayed and talked about, particularly on the half-orc side, I don't really see any reason why half-elves or half-orcs should necessarily be removed.

"Race" in D&D is more analogous to "species", but for better or worse, half-elves and half-orcs have a lengthy history in the game, as do other race options that were generally treated in past editions as being the result of mixed bloodlines, namely the "planetouched" races (tieflings, aasimar, genasi, etc.), where the assumed origin in 2-3.5e was that one of their mortal ancestors had relations with an outsider of some sort.

Beyond that, some settings (notably Eberron) have allowed half-elves and half-orcs to carve out unique, in-setting cultural identities for themselves distinct from those of their ancestors on both sides, so I don't really see them going anywhere.

Ultimately, I think it just comes down to the fact that they would never be able to manage the sheer number of possible permutations, so they have to draw a line somewhere. If you want a half-tabaxi/half-aarakocra and don't want to homebrew, that's probably what Custom Lineage is for...

EDIT: Meant to quote the @beancounter post you were quoting as well...
I can see them coming up with a way to have hybrids in general. Make Orcs a core Race, and mention that a given Orc might have Human or Dwarven parentage as well, grandfather in Half-Orcs as just Orcs. Make Half-Elf part of a custom Lineage, or something, maybe.
 


GreyLord

Legend
There are reasons to be offended by this book, but it never hid the fact that it's a reprint. Seems a poor reason to complain.

I'm not sure if that's the only reason it is getting those reviews. I think it is an excuse to give it one star, but I think that this may be a response to some of the "official" changes that WotC has been making and seem to be implying are official with this book.

Another option may be that people may FEEL that these are official changes from a review I read where it said that Volo's and the old Mordekainen's were no longer allowed in official play and only this one would be allowed, thus enforcing people who play that way the need to buy this book, even if they own the previous books.

I'm not sure though.

If it is, it could spell trouble on the horizon.

If I recall, during the playtest WotC wanted to implement some items which were resoundly disliked by those playtesting, so they took them out.

Now, as time has passed, once again, they want to put those items back in that they wanted to originally. Instead of asking around or getting massive feedback as they did with the playtesters, they are simply saying they know better than the players (though the players may have constructive feedback if asked en masse that would have broader appeal).

This is relatively new though, and the reviews are still few in number. It could bounce back in it's rating.

If it does NOT though, it could be a reflection more on WotC's slant on things (the idea that there is no backwards compatibility with older books and thus one must buy the new one, feelings about other changes) regarding the ideas for the Anniversary edition, and it is NOT good.

I'd give it 3 months. If it bounces back, it's all good.

If it doesn't, and these things reflect what WotC is planning for the anniversary edition (the idea of planned obsolescence of all older material, changes they made without a massive playtest that were rejected once before, but they are now going ahead and including it anyways as the default), I think it might be wise to quickly go back to the drawing board and reassess what they are doing rather than push forward. This is just one release and easily gotten over, but if this is the true reaction to MotM, then the Anniversary edition is going to be HIGHLY controversial possibly, and could cause a decline in D&D sales and enthusiasm when it comes out. That SHOULD be troubling...BUT (that but is always there)...

Once again, this could just be a few naysayers who got onto Amazon reviews early on and are causing trouble. It could be that once more people have the book and review it for what it is, that review rating could go back to what is expected.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I'm not sure if that's the only reason it is getting those reviews. I think it is an excuse to give it one star, but I think that this may be a response to some of the "official" changes that WotC has been making and seem to be implying are official with this book.

Another option may be that people may FEEL that these are official changes from a review I read where it said that Volo's and the old Mordekainen's were no longer allowed in official play and only this one would be allowed, thus enforcing people who play that way the need to buy this book, even if they own the previous books.

I'm not sure though.

If it is, it could spell trouble on the horizon.

If I recall, during the playtest WotC wanted to implement some items which were resoundly disliked by those playtesting, so they took them out.

Now, as time has passed, once again, they want to put those items back in that they wanted to originally. Instead of asking around or getting massive feedback as they did with the playtesters, they are simply saying they know better than the players (though the players may have constructive feedback if asked en masse that would have broader appeal).

This is relatively new though, and the reviews are still few in number. It could bounce back in it's rating.

If it does NOT though, it could be a reflection more on WotC's slant on things (the idea that there is no backwards compatibility with older books and thus one must buy the new one, feelings about other changes) regarding the ideas for the Anniversary edition, and it is NOT good.

I'd give it 3 months. If it bounces back, it's all good.

If it doesn't, and these things reflect what WotC is planning for the anniversary edition (the idea of planned obsolescence of all older material, changes they made without a massive playtest that were rejected once before, but they are now going ahead and including it anyways as the default), I think it might be wise to quickly go back to the drawing board and reassess what they are doing rather than push forward. This is just one release and easily gotten over, but if this is the true reaction to MotM, then the Anniversary edition is going to be HIGHLY controversial possibly, and could cause a decline in D&D sales and enthusiasm when it comes out. That SHOULD be troubling...BUT (that but is always there)...

Once again, this could just be a few naysayers who got onto Amazon reviews early on and are causing trouble. It could be that once more people have the book and review it for what it is, that review rating could go back to what is expected.
We are talking about half of 33 total reviews being negative here, out of a customer base of 50 million potential customers. This is pretty small even by review bomb standards.

WotC has huge surveys on a regular basis: I am sure they have an idea about how the majority of people will react to a given change.
 


GreyLord

Legend
We are talking about half of 33 total reviews being negative here, out of a customer base of 50 million potential customers. This is pretty small even by review bomb standards.

WotC has huge surveys on a regular basis: I am sure they have an idea about how the majority of people will react to a given change.

That's why I said, let's give it 3 months. If the review rating bounces back, it's all good.

If not, that's when I think WotC MIGHT want to start reconsidering their approach to the Anniversary edition, because where there is smoke, there is normally fire. If it indicates that there is a problem and no one is countering it...well...that's a good sign smoke is starting to appear somewhere...especially on a site with Amazon's reach and how many users it has.
 


I believe the jury's still out regarding whether or not mixed races are still allowed in fantasy now. Half-elves will probably be grandfathered in, but that might be it.
I don't think it is still out. The question is more how they'll be implemented.

For example, Pathfinder 2E is probably "to the left" of WotC in terms of being more progressive, more diverse, and so on (the Mwangi Expanse book alone gives it a huge lead if that's a competition - and it's a good setting book by any account too!), and it certainly has mixed races, but it's found a clever way to do them. Every race has a "heritage" slot. For races that a mix, like Tiefling, their ability package slots into the heritage slot for any race they want. So you can have an Orc Tiefling or an Elf Tiefling or whatever. Otherwise the heritage slot would be used a specific kind of Orc or Elf or whatever.

All that said, I think we know how DND2024/5.5E/6E will do it from MoM - that's how they're going to do it, as separate races.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
The c
Ooh, boy - that's 5E PHB Halfling bad. What's with the haircut? You'd think minotaur fashions wouldn't be so modern human.
The context in the full image shows the Minotaur in Sigil, which matches the new flavor connecting Minotaurs to the Lady of Pain as their creator.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Biracial and mixed race people exist in the real world...
IMO, a lot of unnecessary problems stem from this idea - that D&D has to or should model the real world. Last time I checked, there are no elves and dragons and orcs in the real world (or at least not in historical memory!). If WotC would only clarify and double-down on the idea that D&D is a game of fantasy and imagination, and any connections made to the real world are unintentional and subject to, well, the interpretation of the consumer - and not made by the author or company.

This is not to say that there aren't instances in the past in which stuff slipped in - but the vast majority of them were not dogwhistles, but simply expressions of the time that some today find objectionable, whether reasonably or not (and that, again, is subject to interpretation - there is no fixed, absolute and right way to interpret everything). But part of this objection is based upon the idea that D&D must model the real world, so around and around we go. Endless conflict and accusations.

To be clear, I'm not saying that WotC should go back to "classic D&D" and not, for instance, have a greater range of player options. But I also see nothing wrong with including classic versions of things and emphasizing that each campaign is different, and there's nothing inherently wrong or bad about having an "all-evil" fantasy race in a fantasy world because...well, D&D is not the real world, and evil things are cool in D&D.
 

We are talking about half of 33 total reviews being negative here, out of a customer base of 50 million potential customers. This is pretty small even by review bomb standards.

WotC has huge surveys on a regular basis: I am sure they have an idea about how the majority of people will react to a given change.
Whilst I'm pretty offended WotC want another $30 out of me merely so my stats aren't outdated on the books I already paid $60 for on DNDBeyond, I have to agree.

Some review bombing is to be expected, because MoM offends a whole bunch of different people. Like, I'm really excited/pleased about most of the changes, horribly offended I'm expected to pay full price for them digital even though it literally is replacing my current stuff. Whereas other people are just offended by the changes. The bitterness on the 5E D&D reddit is just extremely funny, you can tell most of these people have never seen an edition-change or the preamble to one before, and wow, we're going to see a whole new generation of young angry scowling edition-warriors out there. There's some amazing backslapping going on with them all congratulating each other on how they "didn't need" simplified stat blocks or fewer spells, and it's terrible for the game and they have no idea that they're just replicating an ancient blood ritual to summon the Edition Demon.
 

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Dungeon Delver's Guide

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top