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Monster Manual

(Dungeons & Dragons, 5th Edition)

4.58  ·  Rating details ·  3,466 ratings  ·  102 reviews
A menagerie of deadly monsters for the world’s greatest roleplaying game
The Monster Manual presents a horde of classic Dungeons & Dragons creatures, including dragons, giants, mind flayers, and beholders–a monstrous feast for Dungeon Masters ready to challenge their players and populate their adventures.
The monsters contained herein are culled from the D&D game’s illustr
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Wizards of the Coast
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Average rating 4.58  · 
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 ·  3,466 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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Alis Franklin
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: dnd players, people who like books of monsters
Shelves: rpgs, read-2014
Fully. Clothed. Female. Demons.

Aug 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy, rpg
So on its face this is sort of an odd book to review for Goodreads. It is effectively a rule book for a game. you wouldn't see people review the rules to Risk or Parcheesi here, why should this one be any different?

Well, first off, it is associated with a game that is intimately tied to the fantasy genre, Dungeons and Dragons. Many a fantasy writer and reader has cut their teeth on this decades old role playing game and it spawned the immensely popular Dragonlance series. It has allowed countles
James Bowman
Aug 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, dnd, favorites, rpg
Short version: This may be the best core monster book ever produced for D&D. As a long-time connoisseur of D&D monster books, I do not say this lightly. (Only my beloved Monstrous Manual might compare, and this one definitely beats it on presentation.) If you are running this game, it's a must-buy; if you don't play, but enjoy fantasy bestiaries with great art, I still think you'll like it. It is really good.

Long version:
(view spoiler)
Oct 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Perhaps this deserves five stars.

Some of my disappointment stems from the fact that it was supposed to have extensive descriptions of all the monsters.

However, the descriptions, though at times evocative, are much shorter and less interesting than in the 2e, and often less than in the 3e, Monster Manual.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was really impressed with this monster manual, I think it's my favourite of all the editions, the artwork, descriptions and especially the lair powers really seemed fresh to me. Even if you're not into 5th edition (I've only just started playing this edition), this is a worth while purchase, it's kept me engaged through many a poop.
Nov 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gaming
Having intimate familiarity with the AD&D and 2nd Edition versions of the Monster Manual, I felt no need to read this cover to cover, but nearly did so anyway just out of nostalgia and the sheer pleasure of reading.

Overall this rulebook is great - it's easy to use and well written, with beautiful illustrations throughout. The monsters are laid out alphabetically and are easy to find...gone are the days of Baatezu, now creatures are listed as Demons and Devils again. Similar types of creatures ar
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Really like the art, and it's a nice mix of classics and newer monsters. I like the way they have reimagined certain classic monsters (the goblin, a classic wimp, has been sexed up/souped up). However, as with other 5e books I have seen, this doesn't seem to be organized very well. There's no supplementary material like a table of monsters by type or challenge rating, or rules for making your own monsters and assigning challenge ratings, etc. I get the feeling, as with other 5e books, that later ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, roleplaying
This is a pretty good volume of monsters. I do feel like the selection suffers a bit, as there's a few too many low challenge humanoids (seriously, why would I use a quaggoth instead of the more recognizable orc?) and some iconic "boss monsters" feel overpowered - I'd like to have a lich that I can use prior to everyone being at max level. Plus, I kinda miss 4E's monster lore thing, and I would have preferred blink dogs and worgs to get full write-ups rather than being consigned to the appendix. ...more
Keith Davis
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the fifth edition of the Monster Manual, the compendium of monsters used in Dungeons & Dragons, the granddaddy of all pen and paper role-playing games. All the old favorites are here: Beholders, Owlbears, Gelatinous Cubes, Mindflayers, Bulettes and Displacer Beasts. The subspecies of Giants and Dragons are exactly the same as the appeared in the first edition back in 1977, but Trolls continue their never ending mutation. Trolls in D&D and Trolls in World of Warcraft are very different cr ...more
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gaming
Pretty informative for a new player like me.
Andrew Obrigewitsch
There’s a lot of great inspiration in this book for DMs.
Jonathan Hicks
Nov 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I quite like monster manuals. I like the fact that you can have, at your fingertips, everything you need to challenge players with some pretty nifty encounters. It’s good if you’ve got something planned, great if you need a quick off-the-cuff monster to have a bit of a fight with, and excellent when the monsters slot neatly into the campaign and you don’t have to do too much work on their stats or abilities. Yes, monster manuals take a lot of work out of the Dungeon Master’s design process and g ...more
Bilbo Swaggins
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A perfect field guide for any Halfling not wanting to get eaten alive by an irate Troll. Next time I’ll make sure to bring along my trusty shovel. He won’t know what hit him.
Adam Wolf
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I don't get nearly as inspired by the Monster Manual as the PHB or DMG, but it is what it is. I like the style of 5e.
Patrick McG
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I think at this point I have read enough of this book to say that I have read it.
So there we go, I guess.
Lotta monsters.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This feels like a weird thing to put on Goodreads because it isn't a cover-to-cover read, but I've put more hours into reading the thing than I have into some novels, so I will damn well count it!
Ανδρέας Μιχαηλίδης
As an avid player for 20 years and a child of the 2nd Edition, it is with a glad and heavy heart that I admit this is the best edition so far. Easy access for the young, appealing to the old, carefully written and considered and perhaps, above all, the first system I have played which can be typically combat-heavy and yet the combat is so streamlined and easy to manage, without stalling the game.

Extensive, with monsters ported from various worldspaces of previous editions, mostly great artwork.
Nick. Hashbrowns
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I get a lot of use out of this book, however it is the last of the three core rule books I would buy. Most of the book is monster back story and stat blocks, all of which you could find abbreviated versions of online. However it is very useful and has a lot of combat options, it's just the weakest of the three books. I enjoy the 350+ pages of classic D&D monsters. Any seasoned veteran player will be familiar with the monsters, each sporting new and improved stat blocks. I recommend this book to ...more
Sep 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rpg, fantasy
This is a review of the Fifth Edition of the Monster Manual. I've read the Monster Manuals since Second Edition, and I have to say this is the best version of it that I've read. Each monster gets about a page with lots of information about the characteristics, culture, and habits of each creature. Reading through these descriptions can inspire you to create some interesting scenarios. The stat blocks are pretty easy to read and use as well. If you've been away from Dungeons & Dragons for a while ...more
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
This manual looks great, and is very user friendly (unlike the player handbook). The monster/enemy stats are easy to understand, and monsters are grouped by type, which makes them easy to find. Just flipping through is enough to jog campaign ideas! I would have liked to see more extensive descriptions and lore, but that is really a minor thing, as I often will make up my own lore for monsters and mobs.
Chris Philbrook
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm in love with 5th edition. I loved 3 and 3.5, (no comment on the atrocity of 4th) and 5th simplifies the game so it's back to storytelling.

Specifically in the MM I LOVE the legendary rules. They add a new twist to monsters so you can take a regular old monster that the PCs are expecting to crush, and give them a run for their money instead.

Great book. If you're playing other editions of D&D, give 5th a try.
G. Derek Adams
Dec 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Really excellent update mechanically - a hair disappointed at how 'classic' the monster selection was, this is boilerplate D&D, which I guess is the point? Excellent work on providing story hooks and context for a lot of the prime monsters, as well as delving into ecology. Really brilliant tactical synergy between low CR monsters and their more powerful brethren. ...more
Oct 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Great creatures lie within. Simplicity and a good balance of fluff/crunch makes it a good bestiary. I deduct two stars for its lack of flexibility. There are no rules for creating your own monsters or NPCs. Review in my blog coming soon.
John Smith
Apr 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic Monster Manual great fluff on the monsters and stunning art to look at as well. Great inspirational tool i got so many ideas for my campaign just reading the entries sparked my imagination about how to put them in my game
Aug 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Easy to use, greatly illustrated and comes with some useful background info on typical monster behaviour.

I only wonder why the monster lists by native habitat and challenge rating are hidden in the dungeon master's guide.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's just a very, very, very complete and clear Monster Manual. I might have arranged things a little different, but overall the best monster guide out there. This book along with the Player's Guide is pretty much all you need to play the game.
Ruben Ramalho
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rpg
Good selection of monsters hitting most of the big ones, beautiful illustrations, and a goodly amount of text on each giving you insight on their motives, origins, social life, etc. Who knew the giants' Ordning could be so entertaining?
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I haven't looked at a Monster Manual for nearly 25 years but this new version of D&D is really very good. It's returned to the core of the game, what makes it fun, by carving away a lot of the rule bloat that had crept in. Nicely done! ...more
Jeremiah Mccoy
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: game-books
Solidly written monster manual. There have been enough over the years to compare, and this one is certainly the right mix of monsters, with some solid lore and mechanics. Good art too. I would only ask for more lore to use, but that is maybe more suited for articles on the website.
Ron Turner
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Alas, I have never played D&D. But I enjoyed learning about the creatures residing on the various planes.

My only nitpick is that it could be organized a little better. It got a little repetitive at times.
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