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.

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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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.
See, now THOSE are good reasons for a negative review!
 

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.
That's a good point. I could definitely see people seeing this book as a sign of WotC's arrogance that they would push these changes through without discussing them with the community. It has a ring to 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.
The difference is, WotC has never been particularly clever, and often resorts to sledgehammer solutions to perceived problems.
 

GreyLord

Legend
See, now THOSE are good reasons for a negative review!

I don't really think so, but I know there are many that do!

The BIGGER problem I see if this rating stands (and good chance it doesn't, it's early still) is that this is could be compared to a mini-anniversary edition release (or a test case).

The Anniversary edition is doing a LOT of what MotM is doing. It is release what is perceived to be previously released material in a revised manner.

If the reaction is bad to MotM, they either need to change what they are doing with the AE, or change how they will market it because people thinking that they are being forced to buy something they already have and griping about it, or disliking forced changes and telling the world about it can be troublesome to the product...

IMO...of course.
 


The difference is, WotC has never been particularly clever, and often resorts to sledgehammer solutions to perceived problems.
I want to argue with this but then I look back at the evidence, from 3E itself onwards, and, yeah, that's a lot of sledgehammers. Even 5E was a sledgehammer of an apology edition. But I think in this case sheer popularity/inertia will keep Half-Elves and Half-Orcs in, at the very least as sub-types of Elf and Orc respectively. Half-Elves are significantly popular.

And of course we can both giggle that this wouldn't be the first edition of D&D to ditch Half-Orcs if they do!
The brief lore blurb states that playable Minotaurs are believed to have been created by the Lady of Pain to guard her Labyrinth, amd have spread out from Sigil. No more Demonic angle for the PC version, at any rate.
Well well wellity well well wellening.

Hmmm. That does up the odds of Sigil/Planescape reappearing somewhat, I'd say. Albeit likely with different lore it seems.
 

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.
You raise an important point though. Since most of this huge fan base WotC is courting are new players, they are likely not familiar with edition shifts and we don't know what their reaction will be.
 

Jer

Legend
Supporter
The brief lore blurb states that playable Minotaurs are believed to have been created by the Lady of Pain to guard her Labyrinth, amd have spread out from Sigil. No more Demonic angle for the PC version, at any rate.
Heh - that's a funny bit of lore change.

I will, of course, be ignoring it. As every minotaur know, all minotaurs are descended from the minotaur hero-god Asterios, the son of Zeus and the goddess Pasiphae. All stories of them being "demonspawn" were just bits of slander aimed at them by humans, who are still angry that Asterios slaughtered their hero-king Theseus (so much that they won't stop lying about that either).
 

You raise an important point though. Since most of this huge fan base WotC is courting are new players, they are likely not familiar with edition shifts and we don't know what their reaction will be.
We don't, yeah, except from the reactions to stuff so far.

If you look at the reddit, it's mostly younger players a lot of whom started with 5E (some 3E or 4E, but usually when they were fairly young with the 3E ones), mostly 20s-30s, and they had extremely positive reactions to all the race stuff, like all of it, in Tashas, and in MoM. That all made complete sense to them and you can see in discussions of MoM it's just taken for granted that that's fine.

But the monsters in MoM? They're mad about them - not because they're "not evil" or something, they don't mind that sort of thing - no they're made because the the monsters are:

A) Being "simplified"

and

B) Being "nerfed"

And that's what their annoyance centers around - stuff being "dumbed down". Which like, to an RPG vet like us, that's not what's happening, we can see that there's a specific goal, this isn't mindless dumbing down, and I suspect we're probably less prone to being annoyed by stuff like monsters having fewer spells.

But these peeps? They mad! Be interesting to see how they'll react to class changes, if they happen. They were very pro-Tashas, generally, so there's that bit of evidence, but major changes may be more or less popular.
 

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.
I am not saying D&D has to "model the real world".

I'm saying there are people who look at PC character races that represent people of mixed ancestry and see a reflection of themselves and their own lived experiences in them, so maybe "toss out all the 'half-X' options" isn't the approach to take, even if people are more comfortable allowing full-on orcs as PCs now.

I know you're trying to make a broader point, which I don't want to get into right now, but that's all I was trying to say on the matter.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
Heh - that's a funny bit of lore change.

I will, of course, be ignoring it. As every minotaur know, all minotaurs are descended from the minotaur hero-god Asterios, the son of Zeus and the goddess Pasiphae. All stories of them being "demonspawn" were just bits of slander aimed at them by humans, who are still angry that Asterios slaughtered their hero-king Theseus (so much that they won't stop lying about that either).
I mean, it's in there with a light touch. D&D Platonism is still strong in this book, with refeto Orcs tied to gruumsh whether they know it nor not, or Elves to Correlleon...
 

maceochaid

Explorer
Heh - that's a funny bit of lore change.

I will, of course, be ignoring it. As every minotaur know, all minotaurs are descended from the minotaur hero-god Asterios, the son of Zeus and the goddess Pasiphae. All stories of them being "demonspawn" were just bits of slander aimed at them by humans, who are still angry that Asterios slaughtered their hero-king Theseus (so much that they won't stop lying about that either).
It's always bothered me that Minotaurs have labyrinthine recall. It's obviously supposed to point out that the creators of the original DnD minotaurs are very smart little boys who know that the minotaur lived in a labyrinth, but just went to show that they ignored/forgot that it lived in the labyrinth because it COULDN'T find it's way out
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
We don't, yeah, except from the reactions to stuff so far.

If you look at the reddit, it's mostly younger players a lot of whom started with 5E (some 3E or 4E, but usually when they were fairly young with the 3E ones), mostly 20s-30s, and they had extremely positive reactions to all the race stuff, like all of it, in Tashas, and in MoM. That all made complete sense to them and you can see in discussions of MoM it's just taken for granted that that's fine.

But the monsters in MoM? They're mad about them - not because they're "not evil" or something, they don't mind that sort of thing - no they're made because the the monsters are:

A) Being "simplified"

and

B) Being "nerfed"

And that's what their annoyance centers around - stuff being "dumbed down". Which like, to an RPG vet like us, that's not what's happening, we can see that there's a specific goal, this isn't mindless dumbing down, and I suspect we're probably less prone to being annoyed by stuff like monsters having fewer spells.

But these peeps? They mad! Be interesting to see how they'll react to class changes, if they happen. They were very pro-Tashas, generally, so there's that bit of evidence, but major changes may be more or less popular.
It's funny, because the Monsters are slightly buffed.
 

Mercurius

Legend
I am not saying D&D has to "model the real world".

I'm saying there are people who look at PC character races that represent people of mixed ancestry and see a reflection of themselves and their own lived experiences in them, so maybe "toss out all the 'half-X' options" isn't the approach to take, even if people are more comfortable allowing full-on orcs as PCs now.

I know you're trying to make a broader point, which I don't want to get into right now, but that's all I was trying to say on the matter.
OK, fair enough. I was more riffing off of that phrase - not directing my riff to you; my apologies for not making that more clear.

And what you say makes sense - and I agree that half-elves and half-orcs shouldn't be "tossed out." I didn't realize there was talk of that until this thread.
 

OK, fair enough. I was more riffing off of that phrase - not directing my riff to you; my apologies for not making that more clear.

And what you say makes sense - and I agree that half-elves and half-orcs shouldn't be "tossed out." I didn't realize there was talk of that until this thread.
No worries. Just seen people assuming things like players only playing half-orcs because full-orcs were limited to NPCs and monsters in the past, so if full orcs can now be PCs, there's no reason for half-orcs to exist as an option anymore, which I think misses at least some of the point.
 

It's funny, because the Monsters are slightly buffed.
Yeah I kind of assumed that. There was a lot of talking down the fact that many/most spellcaster monsters now have ranged high-damage multiattacks (hello Warlocks!), and I'm like "That sounds like an awful lot of highly-reliable damage to me...". Pretty sure that's more threatening than a bunch of obscure combat/utility spells.

There was even a guy with like a zillion upvotes moaning because caster monsters apparently used to be some of the rare occasions some of the more obscure/crap spells in 5E were actually used. And like, yeah that's true, running a higher-level campaign I often found a caster monsters had some real dubious spells available, but how is that a good thing? The 5E reddit apparently thought it was a very good thing so who am I to disagree lol? It was a disrepectful and terrible nerf to remove these spells and just make the cast able to actually blast away effectively.

Of course I am kind of the "sickos" guy because this is distinctly more 4E-like

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Yeah I kind of assumed that. There was a lot of talking down the fact that many/most spellcaster monsters now have ranged high-damage multiattacks (hello Warlocks!), and I'm like "That sounds like an awful lot of highly-reliable damage to me...". Pretty sure that's more threatening than a bunch of obscure combat/utility spells.

There was even a guy with like a zillion upvotes moaning because caster monsters apparently used to be some of the rare occasions some of the more obscure/crap spells in 5E were actually used. And like, yeah that's true, running a higher-level campaign I often found a caster monsters had some real dubious spells available, but how is that a good thing? The 5E reddit apparently thought it was a very good thing so who am I to disagree lol? It was a disrepectful and terrible nerf to remove these spells and just make the cast able to actually blast away effectively.

Of course I am kind of the "sickos" guy because this is distinctly more 4E-like

View attachment 223369
While I pretty much entirely agree, I will say this. I wish every "caster" stat block had alongside its description a listing of flavorful spells the creature could have to cast. I think that is a small amount of effort, but it would take up page space, which is exactly why they didn't do it; the book is very "snug" in how brisk its layout is.
 

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