If you were intrigued by the new Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual but wondered whether you’d be disappointed or not, wonder no further. This book is fantastic. A little on the pricey side, though not any more than any other book of its kind.
First of all, the art is amazing. Every page includes art depicting that monster, which is absolutely necessary in my opinion. Why assume everyone knows what an Ankheg is? I can’t speak for past editions, but they definitely didn’t skimp on the artwork this time. There are so many amazing-looking creatures that I would love to see as miniatures, especially ones I’d be able to paint. Wiz Kids currently hold the rights to D&D minis. They’ve already released some pre-painted figures for the Starter Set, and I read something about boosters. Whether or not they’ll release unpainted versions of some of the better monsters is something we’ll have to wait and see about.
I haven’t had much use for the manual itself, as I’m not a DM, but I’ve flipped through it several times just to look at the pictures. There’s some pretty neat stuff in there. Lots of monsters I hadn’t even heard of: a chuul, a modron, and a flying carpet known as The Rug of Smothering. It’s very nice and organized. It’s all in alphabetical order. Several monsters have variants. They did an excellent job.
The only complaints we have are:
- There is a spell in the Player’s Handbook to summon minor elemental creatures. However, there are no minor elemental creatures listed in the monster manual. Not a big deal, but still an oversight.
- My fiance loves Mindflayers and was disappointed to find there were only 2 pages dedicated to Mindflayers, compared to 4 pages of some spore, mushroom-type creatures; which I think are awesome, by the way.