log in or register to remove this ad


5E Why is the Phase Spider listed under "Miscellaneous Creatures" in the MM?


Swords against tentacles!
Is it just me, or does it seem kind of strange that the Phase Spider (which is a Monstrosity) is thrown in with all the "normal beasts" in Appendix A in the 5E MM? It even has an illustration and some flavor text, but did not get its own entry in the main part of the book?

True, there are a few other examples of this as well: Blink Dog (fey), Death Dog (monstrosity), Winter Wolf (monstrosity), and Worg (monstrosity). These all have illustrations, too.

Perhaps a page count or layout issue? I dunno, but it just bugs me... :geek:

log in or register to remove this ad

Benjamin Olson

I think you've guessed that the correct answer, at the end of the day, is that a full page write-up entry is more expensive. Beyond art it requires a description of the correct length to fit in the layout well with that art and stat block, all to create a book that will be more expensive to print. The more expensive the book is the less money it makes.

What I would add is that creating a Monster Manual is a sufficiently complicated project that a certain number of decisions are going to outlast the logic that created them. In other words, some things are the way they are because there was a really good reason in an earlier draft that didn't necessarily make it to the final version.

My guess, given that there are illustrations and some text would be that at some point these critters were going to get proper full entries, then got demoted. They all lucked out in being animalistic enough to get to hang on in Appendix A, rather than being booted from the book.


I think there never really was much lore for any of those things. For instance, there never was an Ecology of the Phase Spider in Dragon magazine, it's AD&D entry was pretty minimal (one paragraph under "Spider", entirely focused on what they can do, rather than their ecology). 3e and 4e repeated this trend, IIRC.

Similar case with blink dogs. No ecology article, and AD&D entry was minimal (one paragraph under "Dog", more focused on what they can do, rather than ecology/psychology).


Perhaps a page count or layout issue? I dunno, but it just bugs me... :geek:
It may be a page count issue—the Monster Manual already exceed the page count that WotC were originally planning for it to include "moar monsters". But with all of the entries, they may have had to cut or abridge some so it didn't exceed the new page count. Just a guess.

It also has the advantage of when you know you want to use a Spider for an encounter, all the different varieties are grouped together for you to peruse.

My alternative answer, is that the Phase Spider had it's own entry, and of coursed just phased to the back of the book after printing.
Funny, I have phase spider in the DMG - wait - no it isn't! Where has it gone?! I can't see it anywhere! :eek:

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game