So the Monster Manual came out this week. Overall … it’s a Monster Manual. The art is pretty good and the production quality is similar to the Players Handbook so there are no worries there. The introduction lays out how to use the stat blocks and then discusses a few thins unique to monsters in general (such as challenge ratings).
There are a few minor things that kind of annoyed me. They seemed to double down on the Drow, adding more material for them and yet not developing anything further for other fantasy races you can play in the core. So it’s no surprises that I didn’t like that. They had a half dragon template which I felt was redundant all things considered (with the Dragonborn and all). And there is still no sign of the Aasamir. I’m curious if they have plans for a book of new PC races and that’s what they are being saved for.
The book also kinda left me feeling like the intent for Wizards of the Coast was to bled GM’s dry. When it makes mentions of building an encounter the book recommends you either get the DMG or the starter kit. While I wasn’t expecting a deep conversation on building encounters I think some general notes for new GM’s would have been appreciated. They also save making adjustments to challenge ratings for the DMG leaving new GM’s and even old ones not confident with the system having to buy another book and wait yet another month before they can really build a campaign on their own. Given that this game has been out since August I think stretching it all out till Nov is a bit ludicrous.
Still it’s not a bad book. It’s definitely a book you should get if you’re committing to the 5th Edition game. I was rather surprised when they add a few psionic races to the book. They didn’t add psionics but they did make notations that for now psionic creature abilities are like magic abilities just with no components. Psionics being one of my favorite things I was amused to see them crop up this earlier into the new edition. Each monster has a wonderful illustration to go with it. I think Wizards of the Coast sunk a lot of money into their art budget and it shows.
So overall a 4 out of 5 possible fro’s :P. The book has strong production quality, is beautiful and is something every GM will make use of. Now to return to Destiny and Edge of Empire (I’ve recently decided to take a look at the new iteration of Star Wars).