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The Monsters Know What they are doing : Combat tactics for DMs by Keith Ammann

jasper

Rotten DM
The Monsters Know What they are doing : Combat tactics for DMs by Keith Ammann 3 out 5 stars. This is for people who have never DM and only for 5E. The author breaks down the abilities of monsters attacks and spells and give suggestions on how to use them in combat. I recommend you buy the hard copy version so you can pencil in notes and cross reference to the monster manual. But since this is just his blog posts dumped into book form, the book IS BORING. It took 3 weeks for me to finish the kindle version. If you are going to buy the kindle version buy under $4.
 

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Li Shenron

Legend
I've read the blog, and I disagree it's for people who have never DMed. In fact, experienced DMs who have run the game in previous editions might think they know how to run famous monsters in combat, and end up making them too weak opponents.

In addition, it's been almost 6 years we've been reading how 5e monsters are too easy, and yet almost every single time I see someone DMing, they are clearly downplaying monsters in combat.

Because of these, I think the blog is a must-read for 5e DMs of every level. Obviously, it is useless for non-5e games. The book is just a way to support the author's work.
 

cmad1977

Hero
I've read the blog, and I disagree it's for people who have never DMed. In fact, experienced DMs who have run the game in previous editions might think they know how to run famous monsters in combat, and end up making them too weak opponents.

In addition, it's been almost 6 years we've been reading how 5e monsters are too easy, and yet almost every single time I see someone DMing, they are clearly downplaying monsters in combat.

Because of these, I think the blog is a must-read for 5e DMs of every level. Obviously, it is useless for non-5e games. The book is just a way to support the author's work.
Yes. The biggest complaints I see are things like
“I had a demon standing still in a featureless room and he got killed easily. 5e monsters are weak!”
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I've found the blog useful, even if I don't run my monsters the way Keith does, simply because I find it helpful to think about what the monsters want (and why) and how they usually go about getting it. Even if I disagree with an entry, figuring out why I disagree with it helps to clarity my thinking.

I should probably see about buying Keith's books.
 

Eltab

Hero
I got my Library's copy and enjoyed reading it. The format is not really meant to be read cover-to-cover but more like, well, blog entries. The Table Of Contents lists each monster, not just the categories (undead, monstrosities, &c). Most entries are two or three pages long, except spellcasters - which have more options and have to prioritize what to do and when to do it.
The analysis is only indirectly DPR-based; it presumes the monsters want to finish a fight quickly not drag it out, and addresses the "what does the monster want to accomplish?" angle.
A section of a dozen pages at the beginning of the book lays out the parameters for the analyses.
DMs should read this book. Not just advice for the heat of combat is on offer here. If your adventure has (or needs) any "info-dump NPCs" or in-world specialist NPCs, they might summarize an entry for the PCs and give insight on the monsters' likely goals / needs, besides telling the PCs the adventure's requisite plot hooks and a "be careful out there" farewell.
 

Derren

Hero
Does it address the disconnect between having the monsters "know what they are doing" one one side and running them ineffective to not focus fire a single PC until hes dead on the other side?
 

auburn2

Explorer
I need to figure out how to fight with Druids. I DM ed for a party of 4 8th level characters and they wiped the floor with an archdruid, 4 awakened trees and 2 cave bears. I felt like I totally botched it.

I really feel like I totally botched it once the battle ended.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Does it address the disconnect between having the monsters "know what they are doing" one one side and running them ineffective to not focus fire a single PC until hes dead on the other side?
One thing I love about the book is the author's thoughtful and structured approach to creature motivations and tactical capacity and likely behavior given their makeup and environment. I've had the kindle version for two days and the hard copy for one day and am thoroughly enjoying it. I highly recommend it.
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

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