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

Parmandur

Book-Friend
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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Well, 5E has always had 4E Monster design at heart, and even these new streamlined rules are pretty far from going full 4E in style.
 

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Yeah, little references to Planescape and Spelljammer throughout...and this book was released months before Spelljammer was Confirmed. Planescape next year seem probable.
Yeah, there were several references to Wildspace that apparently were looked over upon the original box set release - those would have been huge Spelljammer clues had they been caught.
 


AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
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.
My guess is because they're not very "setting agnostic". All of them are connected to the Orcish Pantheon from the Forgotten Realms/Greyhawk.

However, that doesn't explain why they'd keep the Drow Matron Mother when it's as setting-specific as the Orc stat blocks. Maybe they just ran out of room for the amount of pages they wanted to include in the book.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
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.
The thing is, on D&D Beyond when this book was first announced, the number one question that everyone had about it was whether it would function as an errata or if you would have to buy its content separate from Volo's and Mordenkainen's original versions. Because, typically on D&D Beyond, if you bought the previous version of the race/monster/subclass and it was reprinted with changes in a future book, it would automatically update to replace the previous version. It happened with the new version of the Goliath in Rime of the Frostmaiden for everyone that had already bought the race from Volo's and Wildemount. It happened with the Theros's updated Triton for everyone that owned Volo's Guide to Monsters. It, most comparatively, happened with the updated, official versions of the Eberron races and magic items when Eberron: Rising from the Last War was released for everyone that had bought Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron. Everyone was asking if the same would happen to the people that owned Volo's and/or Mordenkainen's, and people were angry. And D&D Beyond didn't give an answer for several weeks, the staff testifying that they themselves didn't know the answer and wouldn't until WotC told them what to do.

You know all of those people that absolutely hate the direction that D&D 5e has taken since Tasha's Cauldron of Everything? The people that have boycotted every book since that included the updated formats of races/lineages? There's not many of them, but they sure are loud. And they made a big fuss on D&D Beyond's forums, a lot of them saying that if Monsters of the Multiverse's updated monsters and races from Volo's and Mordenkainen's were treated as errata, they would demand a refund for those books on the site.

So, eventually, D&D Beyond's staff got an answer and told the people of the forums that the book would not be treated as errata (even though all evidence from previous examples suggested that it should have been). It's unclear whether or not this was WotC's plan since the beginning, or if they saw/heard of the blowback on the site's community when they were thinking that it would be treated as errata. Or they just wanted to squeeze more money out of the fans that already owned this content and still wanted the updated versions.

I agree that it sucks that it's not treated as errata, IMO it really should have been. But they were getting a lot of backlash from the community and that probably influenced how they approached the book on the site.
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
(Sorry for the triple post.)
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.
My guess is that Half-Orcs will be dropped, and Half-Elves will be dropped from every setting that they don't have a major role in (Eberron is the main one where they're actually important). And in Eberron, they can just be treated similarly to the Bretons from the Elder Scrolls Game, where they're not explicitly "Half-Elves," but are magical people descended from both man and elves/mer.

They could just say for the rest of the base game "you can be a hybrid race, but you just use the racial stats of whichever parent race you take after the most". That's how it's approached in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount with the Dwarf-Elf hybrids that are mentioned in its gazetteer.
 

(Sorry for the triple post.)


My guess is that Half-Orcs will be dropped, and Half-Elves will be dropped from every setting that they don't have a major role in (Eberron is the main one where they're actually important). And in Eberron, they can just be treated similarly to the Bretons from the Elder Scrolls Game, where they're not explicitly "Half-Elves," but are magical people descended from both man and elves/mer.

They could just say for the rest of the base game "you can be a hybrid race, but you just use the racial stats of whichever parent race you take after the most". That's how it's approached in Explorer's Guide to Wildemount with the Dwarf-Elf hybrids that are mentioned in its gazetteer.
I "liked" this because I agree that what they'll probably do, but I don't agree with them doing it. It removes content, and replaces it with the pinnacle of lazy rule-making.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I "liked" this because I agree that what they'll probably do, but I don't agree with them doing it. It removes content, and replaces it with the pinnacle of lazy rule-making.
Eh, I'm fine with it. And this is coming from the guy that has homebrewed a ton of hybrid races (Half-Gnomes, Mul, Orc-Elves, Dwarf-Elves, Dwarf-Orcs, Half-Ogres, etc). I know from experience that making a couple hybrid races is kind of opening the door for all kinds of other hybrid races ad nauseum. It's "lazy", but the good kind of lazy where you're not doing redundant work just to do redundant work.

And I like playing hybrid-race characters. I just don't think that it's a good idea to have to make a whole new race every time you want to let a player play one. It's kind of exhausting and takes energy that could have been used to make newer races/update races from previous editions that aren't in the game yet.

I'm not sure what this means for the Mul, though, if Dark Sun is ever getting updated to 5e.
 

Azzy

KMF DM
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).
Did they steal his ship, too (or just replace it)?
 

Eh, I'm fine with it. And this is coming from the guy that has homebrewed a ton of hybrid races (Half-Gnomes, Mul, Orc-Elves, Dwarf-Elves, Dwarf-Orcs, Half-Ogres, etc). I know from experience that making a couple hybrid races is kind of opening the door for all kinds of other hybrid races ad nauseum. It's "lazy", but the good kind of lazy where you're not doing redundant work just to do redundant work.

And I like playing hybrid-race characters. I just don't think that it's a good idea to have to make a whole new race every time you want to let a player play one. It's kind of exhausting and takes energy that could have been used to make newer races/update races from previous editions that aren't in the game yet.

I'm not sure what this means for the Mul, though, if Dark Sun is ever getting updated to 5e.
In Level Up, a heritage has base characteristics and gifts, which represent special traits that might be different for different members of the heritage. A way to represent physical aspects of a sub-race, for example. If you want to play a mixed heritage character, you take the base from one and the gift from another.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
I agree that it sucks that it's not treated as errata, IMO it really should have been. But they were getting a lot of backlash from the community and that probably influenced how they approached the book on the site.
I don't agree that is should be treated as errata.

I want my monsters to remain with the spellcasting blocks and lists as I purchased them. If they updated them on Beyond without asking, how would I be able to use the encounter builder and monster stats as I am currently.

It would cause my books and Beyond to be different. It would force me to buy the new book/format if I wanted to continue to use Beyond (which I do).

The option of buying the new book and getting updated Beyond stats, or not buying it and keeping the older stats is the only fair way to accomplish the update.

And I applaud them for offering the option. I applaud them for trying to improve the game. And if someday I decide I like/want the new format, I will buy the physical book, and THEN buy the Beyond version for my digital use.

But that should be my choice, not something forced upon me.
 

When I do homebrew worlds, I generally leave out half races anyway. I've always felt that half-orcs and half-elves water down the races in an unnecessary way by highlighting the idea that everything is just a human with star trek make-up. Half-dragons or demons have a conceptual space because you can't play a balanced first level dragon or pit fiend but in a game where orc and elf are standard options, I'd rather just let people choose those and accept that they're genuinely unique species.
 

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I don't agree that is should be treated as errata.

I want my monsters to remain with the spellcasting blocks and lists as I purchased them. If they updated them on Beyond without asking, how would I be able to use the encounter builder and monster stats as I am currently.

It would cause my books and Beyond to be different. It would force me to buy the new book/format if I wanted to continue to use Beyond (which I do).

The option of buying the new book and getting updated Beyond stats, or not buying it and keeping the older stats is the only fair way to accomplish the update.

And I applaud them for offering the option. I applaud them for trying to improve the game. And if someday I decide I like/want the new format, I will buy the physical book, and THEN buy the Beyond version for my digital use.

But that should be my choice, not something forced upon me.
Yeah, I get that, but it still feels kind of scummy to print a book that is mostly just reprints of previous monsters and character options with minimal changes and then expect the people that already bought that content to do so again. Ideally, something like allowing everyone to decide whether or not they want it treated as errata would be idea, letting them choose between the old and new versions without having to rebuy content. I'm not sure if that is feasible, though.
 



Parmandur

Book-Friend
They do say this is only according to "some sages," though, wisely leaving the door open to other origins (including Baphomet).
For sure, and I think in regards to Settings, the "specific trumps general" principle of the rules is important. Still, an interesting sign of Planescape plans to come, probably.
 

The thing is, on D&D Beyond when this book was first announced, the number one question that everyone had about it was whether it would function as an errata or if you would have to buy its content separate from Volo's and Mordenkainen's original versions. Because, typically on D&D Beyond, if you bought the previous version of the race/monster/subclass and it was reprinted with changes in a future book, it would automatically update to replace the previous version. It happened with the new version of the Goliath in Rime of the Frostmaiden for everyone that had already bought the race from Volo's and Wildemount. It happened with the Theros's updated Triton for everyone that owned Volo's Guide to Monsters. It, most comparatively, happened with the updated, official versions of the Eberron races and magic items when Eberron: Rising from the Last War was released for everyone that had bought Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron. Everyone was asking if the same would happen to the people that owned Volo's and/or Mordenkainen's, and people were angry. And D&D Beyond didn't give an answer for several weeks, the staff testifying that they themselves didn't know the answer and wouldn't until WotC told them what to do.

You know all of those people that absolutely hate the direction that D&D 5e has taken since Tasha's Cauldron of Everything? The people that have boycotted every book since that included the updated formats of races/lineages? There's not many of them, but they sure are loud. And they made a big fuss on D&D Beyond's forums, a lot of them saying that if Monsters of the Multiverse's updated monsters and races from Volo's and Mordenkainen's were treated as errata, they would demand a refund for those books on the site.

So, eventually, D&D Beyond's staff got an answer and told the people of the forums that the book would not be treated as errata (even though all evidence from previous examples suggested that it should have been). It's unclear whether or not this was WotC's plan since the beginning, or if they saw/heard of the blowback on the site's community when they were thinking that it would be treated as errata. Or they just wanted to squeeze more money out of the fans that already owned this content and still wanted the updated versions.

I agree that it sucks that it's not treated as errata, IMO it really should have been. But they were getting a lot of backlash from the community and that probably influenced how they approached the book on the site.
Yeah, I remember pretty well and I can see why they didn't do it as a free errata.

What I can't see is why they didn't do a price cut for people who already own the two books it is replacing. They're quite capable of doing that, and have offered no explanation as to why not, AFAICT.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I'm working overseas for the next few weeks, so I only have access to the content on DDB. I tend to judge the art and overall feel of the books by the physical product. DDB is more of a look-up and prep tool for me. If I were only buying the DDB books, I might be upset that the updates were not treated by errata, but I also have the physical book. Also, maybe because of my age, and because I also buy the physical books, and perhaps from my academic background, I like having access to BOTH the old and new versions in DDB. I paid for both. I want to be able to pull up both and look at both.

Instead, I would rather see DDB continue to improve their support of homebrew and start support third-party publishers. I fear, however, that support for third-party material is unlikely now that it is owned by WotC. My main problem with DDB is not the common complaints I've been reading in the forums, its that I have to have to constantly consult multiple sources on multiple systems. I'm lucky enough at this stage in my life where I can afford paying more than once for content for the sake of convenience, but DDB is not a convenient place to do that.

For those who are only using DDB and only official WotC material, and have a tighter gaming budget, I can see why these changes would upset them.
 

Instead, I would rather see DDB continue to improve their support of homebrew and start support third-party publishers. I fear, however, that support for third-party material is unlikely now that it is owned by WotC.
Yeah sadly I suspect we can rule that out entirely now. The vibe I get from previous 3PP incidents it that WotC barely tolerated the combination of highly official-looking D&D branding and naming and 3PP material and that they saw the LoL collab as going too far. Roll20 or Foundry don't look like or sound like WotC products, nor could they be threatened in the same way. Given that, WotC probably has zero interest in allowing 3PP material on Beyond.

Once 5.5/6E hits I could see them changing their tune and allowing "select partners" to put up stuff on Beyond with WotC taking 50% of the revenue or the like (as per DMG), so long as said partners did all the work in getting the stuff working on Beyond.
 

maceochaid

Explorer
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

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.
I do feel that the urge to always use the same player spells with monsters is good for verisimilitude but bad for game playing. I like this idea of "here are some thematic spells the wizard might be able to cast if useful" but even I'd also use more trap/encounter obstacle style buffs, think more like "lair action" style features, that are thematic buff to an encounter. Examples:

Diviners and their allies within an encounter location, will never be surprised and give the diviner a reaction to impose disadvantage when a hero tries to make a stealth role to hide from a the wizard or allies

Illusionist Wizards who expect heroes to approach or attack within 10 minutes, will prepare an illusion spell over themselves and up to three of their allies that require a check to overcome, they can choose to make their allies either invisible DC 20 wisdom(perception), or appearing as allies DC 20 intelligence(investigation). If they are hidden or appear harmless they get advantage on their first attack. This effect ends after they take an attack action or cast a spell.

Even if it isn't a spell the player can learn it will give the feel of a slightly different kind of encounter. (4E definitely got enemy caster design down well!)
 
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