5E Volo's Guide to Monsters: General Discussion.

Corpsetaker

Visitor
Well it looks like the Volo's Guide to Monsters will be here soon and every preview I see makes me want it more, except for the part about Gnoll's not being a playable race.

I figured I would create a general discussion thread that can be used now and after the book has come out.

One thing I am hoping to actually get from this books is some Forgotten Realms lore with regards to the monsters and what their place is in the Realms. I would like to know the specific areas where you might them, their history in the Realms, as well as their ecology. I mean the book has reference to Volo(who's name is in the title), and he has had detailed guides about locations before in the past, so it has to be tied in with the Realms in some way.

I just hope this book isn't a disappointment because with such a thin release schedule I don't want to have to wait a year or longer to get something I actually like.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
Overall, I'm really excited about this release (and I've preorderd a copy from amazon). The MM was my favourite of the core 3 to read casually because of the lore and stories behind the monster so I like that this book seems to be doubling down on that aspect. As someone who hasn't been playing D&D for very long, I'm looking forward to reading up on some of the old creatures that they're bringing back. It really feels like I'm tapping into this shared mythology and it's always nice to feel a part of something bigger.

I've also been impressed by the mechanical side of things we've seen. It's nice to see some creatures under CR 5 get some spell casting for out of combat roleplaying opportunities as well as vary the combat. It makes a lot of sense to give orcs, goblins and giants some backup support since in the MM they are very straightforward creatures that just attack every turn.

The one thing that I do want to see that we haven't seen from the previews are more creatures available for the conjuring spells. As is stands there isn't a lot for Conjure Fey and Conjure Celestial to really do at the moment. But this is a secondary concern, and I'm sure it's also not at the forefront of the designer's minds. It's more important to focus on monsters that are usable as story elements.
 

flametitan

Explorer
Overall, I'm really excited about this release (and I've preorderd a copy from amazon). The MM was my favourite of the core 3 to read casually because of the lore and stories behind the monster so I like that this book seems to be doubling down on that aspect. As someone who hasn't been playing D&D for very long, I'm looking forward to reading up on some of the old creatures that they're bringing back. It really feels like I'm tapping into this shared mythology and it's always nice to feel a part of something bigger.

I've also been impressed by the mechanical side of things we've seen. It's nice to see some creatures under CR 5 get some spell casting for out of combat roleplaying opportunities as well as vary the combat. It makes a lot of sense to give orcs, goblins and giants some backup support since in the MM they are very straightforward creatures that just attack every turn.

The one thing that I do want to see that we haven't seen from the previews are more creatures available for the conjuring spells. As is stands there isn't a lot for Conjure Fey and Conjure Celestial to really do at the moment. But this is a secondary concern, and I'm sure it's also not at the forefront of the designer's minds. It's more important to focus on monsters that are usable as story elements.
If I recall the Annis hag is at a CR appropriate for Conjure Fey, so we at least have that going for us.
 

Parmandur

Legend
The stat blocks are arranged in alhpabetical order, while it seems that in the book they'll be grouped. Look again. The thing below cow is on page 133 while the cow is on 207

I get that; just not sure why there are so many variations on "cow" in particular?
 

Zarithar

Explorer
Yes, I love the fact that we get 4 different cow types. Why do we need an entry for "cow" and then a further entry for "Ox", which is a castrated bull (otherwise known as a steer). Then we get the aurochs (wild ancestor of modern cattle), and the rothe (or drow cow). That's something people have clearly been asking for!

Another playable (but flightless) bird race and the goliath reprint are exciting as well.

I remember hearing that orcs and goblins would be statted out as playable races at one point. Guess I was mistaken.

What does excite me is a plethora of critters from the Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module, including the froghemoth and vegepygmy. Maybe the next AP will be based on that old module?
 

flametitan

Explorer
I get that; just not sure why there are so many variations on "cow" in particular?
Oh I see what you mean.

A cow and an Ox are raised differently (an Ox being more of a Beast of burdern than Dairy cows and meat cattle), while the Stench Kow is a classic D&D monster. The Rothe appears to be the Forgotten Realms Equivalent to a "giant" cow.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Nothing wrong with people sharing a single photo of an object they bought.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Yes, I love the fact that we get 4 different cow types. Why do we need an entry for "cow" and then a further entry for "Ox", which is a castrated bull (otherwise known as a steer). Then we get the aurochs (wild ancestor of modern cattle), and the rothe (or drow cow). That's something people have clearly been asking for!

Another playable (but flightless) bird race and the goliath reprint are exciting as well.

I remember hearing that orcs and goblins would be statted out as playable races at one point. Guess I was mistaken.

What does excite me is a plethora of critters from the Expedition to the Barrier Peaks module, including the froghemoth and vegepygmy. Maybe the next AP will be based on that old module?

Lexie clarified on Reddir that the /Monstrous Adventurers" section page 118 gives the crunch for Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, Bugbears, Kobolds and Yuan-Ti. No fluff in Chapter two, as they get lots of coverage in chapter one.

I think the question of what future storylines this release might tie into is a great discussion to have. Expedition to the Barrier Peak seems plausible. Lots of Fey, so a Faerie Court AP seems plausible. A humanoid war of some sort, perhaps? Gates of Firestorm Peak, with Mindflayers would fit.
 

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