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Monster Manual (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition)

4.20  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,862 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
This is the source to be used by referees and players for creating imaginative situations while playing the AD&D game. To compliment the original version, we've added new cover art! This manual is ideal for intermediate through advanced players,ages 10 and up.

"This is the original source used by Dungeon Masters and players to create challenges and combat scenarios"

With
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Hardcover, 112 pages
Published March 28th 1981 by TSR Inc. (first published 1977)
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8th out of 166 books — 77 voters
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17th out of 33 books — 5 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,278)
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Jason Koivu
My favorite and most perused Dungeons and Dragons book of all time!

From the meager kobold...description

…to the mighty Tiamat...
description

…the Monster Manual provided a bevy of sword fodder such as goblins and orcs, as well as easily dispatched undead like skeletons and zombies:

descriptiondescriptiondescription
(I can't even begin to imagine how many orcs I killed. Stupid noisy pigs...)

Not to mention trickier specters in the shadowy form of ghosts, ghasts and, well, specters with their ability to drain the life right out of the player’s characters:
...more
Lyn
Oct 09, 2015 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
My ticket to being a cool dad because I own these "ancient" texts. Mine is a 4th edition 1979 with illustrations by David C. Sutherland III.

The sub-title is “An alphabetical compendium of all of the monsters found in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, including attacks, damage, special abilities, and descriptions.”

Almost 40 years later and it is still fun. A quick reference for all things arcane, occult and monstrous.

How many hit dice does Orcus (Prince of the Undead) have? 120 hit points.

What armor
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Mike (the Paladin)
When I first found AD&D back in '78 I think that the Monster Manual may have been my favorite book to just sit down and read. In first edition i gave the books (Handbook and DM Guide) four stars, this one I give 5. It remains handy. You have to convert the monsters to use them in the other editions but that's not a big deal

Do you write,...(be careful not to use copyrighted material), but thumbing through this book you'll come on classic creatures from mythologies around the world that you ha
...more
Michael
Sep 25, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: gamers, pre-adolescents
Recommended to Michael by: Seth Klein
Shelves: role-playing, fantasy
This was most likely the first book of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (1st Ed.) rules that I owned or read, and it was an excellent place to start. A listing of more than 350 monsters, most of them illustrated, was a perfect book for a young person of my predilections. I didn't necessarily understand half of the data fields for each entry at first - being accustomed only to "Basic" D&D, but I understood the opportunity to people my fantasy worlds with a tremendous array of beasts. It may ...more
David Sarkies
Oct 20, 2014 David Sarkies rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: game
The original collection of monstrous fiends
13 January 2013

Well, I can't say I actually read this book from cover to cover, though I do believe that I did own a copy of it at one time (though it probably disappeared sometime over the years). This is the third of the three main books for the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game and while not necessary for running a game (the Dungeons Master's Guide contained a list of creatures in the back) it is still quite helpful since it contained pictures and
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Scott Marlowe
Mar 12, 2012 Scott Marlowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I still have this book and many of the original Dungeons & Dragons books in a box upstairs. It's been years and years since I've played, but looking through some of the Gygax titles sure brings back some memories.
Andy Howell
Mar 05, 2008 Andy Howell rated it it was amazing
In memoriam.

--Naked Succubus on page 18.
Carolee
Jul 28, 2011 Carolee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This manual ( & Monster Manual II) was one of my son's favourite books to sprawl out behind on the floor ... at the age of 5 / 6 this is what he really enjoyed reading ... pictures and gory details about all manner of beasties. My husband is a first generation D & D er ... I only came to the wonderful world of RPG in the late 90's ... Diablo for PC was the little game that 'bit me' and Baldur's Gate reeled me in! I know, I know, I'm not a true-blood ... but these manuals helped me and my ...more
David Winston
Mar 30, 2013 David Winston rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Yes sir wee!
One of the most used D&D books I own!
Tony
Oct 21, 2008 Tony rated it it was amazing
109 Pages cover to cover. This book is a reference manual for the tabletop AD&D Role Playing Game, but when I was 6, it was a textbook for everything you need to know in life. I have two copies of this book, and I love them both like children; more than children. This book taught me how to kill vampires, why you don't speak the names of demons and that there are better things to be afraid of than home-invaders- like mind flayers.

This was one of the most important books of my childhood. Buy
...more
M
Dec 05, 2015 M rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: roleplaying, fantasy
This was unfortunately the least fun of the three AD&D core books to read. The problem is that it's mostly a detailing of combat abilities and stats, and largely lacks information on what these monsters are. Some are of course fairly obvious, such as the PC races and major villains like orcs, goblins, zombies, and vampires. But there are other monsters where I'm left with absolutely no idea of how I'd use them. One good example of this is the Titan. I know that they're fairly powerful and co ...more
Jared
Sep 27, 2011 Jared rated it it was amazing
Shelves: games
You still can't beat this book and, to a lesser extent, the Monster Manual II for stimulating the imagination. I loved this book as a kid and I still look at it from time to time just for the nostalgia. This tome seems to capture an element of the fantastic that cannot be replicated by the overt visual (and superficial) stimulation of video games and movies.
Stuart
Jul 20, 2013 Stuart rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: Never really played AD&D except for a few ill-fated attempts in 5th grade. It's amazing how personalities can clash, especially with an incompetent DM. But it is just fun to read about all kinds of cool monsters and imagine pitting your toughest character against them.
Clayton Bye
Nov 29, 2009 Clayton Bye rated it it was amazing
I have a 1st edition of this book. When constructing an 8 level dungeon with around a hundred rooms per floor, this book became an essential companion. My kids took over where I left off, so it's still being used today.
Corbett Sparks
May 02, 2008 Corbett Sparks rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
I constantly refer to this book for answers.
Francisco Becerra
Oct 31, 2015 Francisco Becerra rated it really liked it
Shelves: rpg
This book emanates magic. It's the inspiration and innocence of beginnings incarnated. A true treasure.
Kurt Vosper
Jul 09, 2014 Kurt Vosper rated it really liked it
Classic D&D information for gamers.
Keith Brough
Feb 12, 2009 Keith Brough rated it liked it
Oh yes. The old one. Still in a box under my bed. I think I have Joe's old copy. Ah,... the good ol' days.

Ivan
Oct 07, 2013 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
And people wonder where I get my imagination from...
Bret
Sep 24, 2007 Bret rated it it was amazing
Awesome pictures that still haunt me to this day.
Abraham Ray
Apr 30, 2015 Abraham Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
nice rpg monster book
Abraham Ray
Apr 30, 2015 Abraham Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
nice rpg monster book!
David
Nov 12, 2013 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: games
Childhood treasure
Michael
Sep 20, 2007 Michael rated it it was amazing
Best cover art.
Riley
Riley marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
Michael Jewitt
Michael Jewitt rated it it was amazing
Jun 25, 2016
Gene Dryden
Gene Dryden rated it it was amazing
Jun 24, 2016
Andrew Franke
Andrew Franke rated it it was amazing
Jun 19, 2016
Deanna L. Hoffman
Deanna L. Hoffman rated it really liked it
Jun 19, 2016
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Ernest Gary Gygax was an American writer and game designer, best known for co-creating the pioneering role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) with Dave Arneson in 1974, and co-founding the company Tactical Studies Rules (TSR, Inc.) with Don Kaye in 1973.

After leaving TSR, Gygax continued to author role-playing game titles independently, including another gaming system called Lejendary
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More about Gary Gygax...

Other Books in the Series

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Players Handbook (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook)
  • Dungeon Masters Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Core Rulebook)
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  • Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Fiend Folio
  • Monster Manual II (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2016)
  • Unearthed Arcana (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2017)
  • Oriental Adventures (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)
  • Dungeoneer's Survival Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2019)
  • Wilderness Survival Guide (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition, Stock #2020)
  • Manual of the Planes (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons )

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