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Isaiah Bell
Isaiah Bell

D D Monster Manuall



The Monster Manual (MM) is the primary bestiary sourcebook for monsters in the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) fantasy role-playing game, first published in 1977 by TSR. The Monster Manual was the first hardcover D&D book and includes monsters derived from mythology and folklore, as well as creatures created specifically for D&D. Creature descriptions include game-specific statistics (such as the monster's level or number of hit dice), a brief description of its habits and habitats, and typically an image of the creature. Along with the Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, the Monster Manual is one of the three "core rulebooks" in most editions of the D&D game. As such, new editions of the Monster Manual have been released for each edition of D&D. Due to the level of detail and illustration included in the 1977 release, the book was cited as a pivotal example of a new style of wargame books. Future editions would draw on various sources and act as a compendium of published monsters.




D D Monster Manuall


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After the series was separated into basic and advanced games, the basic game continued to be published in level-based boxes. Monsters of the appropriate level were included in the rulebooks for the various basic game sets (the Basic, Expert, Companion, Master, and Immortal sets). These monsters were later collected in the Rules Cyclopedia, which replaced higher-level the boxed sets, and the Creature Catalogue.


The first edition Monster Manual included topless portrayals of some of its female monsters, such as the succubus, Type V demons, lamia, and sylph. The first edition was also the first appearance of the mimic.


Monster Manual was also reviewed by Don Turnbull who felt that "this manual deserves a place on every D&D enthusiast's bookshelf", and praised the explanatory text, stating that it "amplifies, where necessary, [the game statistics] and the result is the most comprehensive listing of D&D monsters you will find, presented in a clarity which is unfortunately all too rare in other sources."[2] Turnbull noted some minor printing errors and felt that some of the drawings were not as good as others, but felt that the book's quality "is as high as one can reasonably expect in such a complex matter".[2] Turnbull concluded by saying "I can do no more than heap high praise on the Monster Manual. If every DM and every player didn't buy it, I would be very surprised. It is without doubt the best thing that TSR have produced so far."[2] Lawrence Schick, author of Heroic Worlds, commented that "As nothing is easier to design than new monsters, it has spawned a host of imitations."[1] Games journalist David M. Ewalt commented that the "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual may have been a rush job, but its quality is undeniable.[...] The Monster Manual succeeded not just as a game supplement but by elevating the D&D rule book to fetish object. [...] The book became a beloved companion to a generation of gamers, something they came back to again and again."[6]


Fiend Folio was published by TSR, Inc. Fiend Folio was primarily made up of monsters described in the "Fiend Factory" feature of White Dwarf and from various D&D modules, while some were original creations. It introduced several popular monsters to the D&D game including drow, githyanki, githzerai, slaad, and death knights. It also featured monsters that were widely ridiculed, such as the flumph, one of the few non-evil creatures presented in the volume.


Monster Manual II was a 160-page hardcover book published in 1983, also credited solely to Gygax.[1] The book was a supplement describing over 250 monsters, most with illustrations. Many of the monsters were drawn from scenario modules.[1] The book included random encounter tables for dungeon and wilderness settings built from the Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, and Monster Manual II.[1] Some of its contents were taken from various AD&D adventure modules, in particular quite a number from S4: Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth, and a dozen new devils that had been first published in the pages of Dragon magazine. Like the Fiend Folio before it, the monsters in Monster Manual II listed the experience point value for each monster within the entry. The Monster Manual II along with the First Edition Unearthed Arcana book featured quite a number of monsters, races, and places from Gary Gygax's home Greyhawk campaign world.


The Monstrous Compendium superseded the Monster Manual with the release of AD&D 2nd edition.[1] The Compendium was a binder of looseleaf sheets, rather than a hardback book. The first two volumes contained the core monsters of the game. These were followed by many appendices that contained extra monsters for particular campaign settings.


The format was intended to help Dungeon Masters (DM) keep handy only the monster statistics needed for a particular game session, as well as to greatly expand the information about each monster, as each was given at least one full page. It would also mean they would only need to purchase core volumes and appendix volumes for the campaigns they wanted, rather than getting a mix of monsters in books. However, the binder format ultimately proved impractical for two main reasons. First, looseleaf pages were not as durable as the hardcover format. As it was a frequently used game aid this was a serious concern. Second, TSR routinely printed different monsters on each side of a sheet, making it impossible to keep monsters in strict alphabetical order.


In 1993, the Monstrous Manual was released,[3] compiling all monsters from the first two volumes of the Monstrous Compendium plus many monsters from other sources into a 384-page hardcover book edited by Doug Stewart. More Monstrous Compendium appendices were released as a supplements to the Monstrous Manual in the form of paperback books. They included updated reprints of loose leaf Monstrous Compendium Appendices and new volumes.


The Monster Manual for the third edition of D&D was released on October 1, 2000 as the third of three core books of the system. Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams all contributed to the third edition Monster Manual.[8] Williams is credited with the design of the book. The updates were not intended to make major changes, only to update older monsters to third edition rules. According to Williams, "the first item on the agenda was combing through the game's twenty year collection of monsters, and deciding which ones were going into the book... The design team decided to focus on creatures that fit well into classic dungeon style adventures, with extra emphasis on creatures we felt the game needed."[9] In 2001 Monster Manual won the Origins Award for Best Graphic Design of a Roleplaying Game, Adventure, or Supplement 2000.[10] One reviewer for Pyramid called it "...an essential reference book, and it is a bargain..."[11]


The next volumes, Monster Manual II and Fiend Folio were new monster-specific rulebooks. They contain mostly updated monsters from the sourcebooks of earlier editions, though some monsters have almost no overlap with those of their first edition namesakes. There were no new versions of Monster Manual II or Fiend Folio for the 3.5 edition of D&D, although update errata for both volumes and for the original third edition Monster Manual are available for download from the publisher's website.[12]


In July 2003, the Monster Manual was revised and released again for D&D v 3.5. The revision was done by Rich Baker and Skip Williams. The 3.5 revision has a slightly different entry on each monster than 3rd edition. Notably, each monster's attack has been divided into attack and full attack entries.[15] When asked about the hardest part in revising the book, Rich Baker replied: "The hardest part of the job was probably the sheer volume of the work we needed to do. There are hundreds of monster entries, and each monster has a couple dozen data points to examine and check."[16] Some creatures from the Psionics Handbook and the third edition Manual of the Planes were added to the revised book.[15] Further revision included the addition of an enhanced version of most monsters as an example of advancement (usually either with a template or with class levels). Many monsters also included instructions on how to use them as player characters.


Monster Manual III was published in September 2004, and was designed by Rich Burlew, Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, Andrew J. Finch, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Rich Redman, Matthew Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and P. Nathan Toomey. This Monster Manual is notable for its descriptions of where the monsters might be found in the Eberron and Forgotten Realms campaign settings.[18] Chris Perkins explained: "Almost all of the monsters in the Monster Manual III are new. We didn't want to give gamers a bunch of beasties they'd already seen, and we found several interesting monster niches to fill.[19]


Monster Manual IV, published July 2006, was designed by Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, Matthew Sernett, Eric Cagle, Andrew Finch, Christopher Lindsay, Kolja Raven Liquette, Chris Sims, Owen K.C. Stephens, Travis Stout, JD Wiker, and Skip Williams. This book was also published in the v3.5 format and used the new stat block format that was introduced in the Dungeon Master's Guide II. Monster Manual IV contained fewer actual monsters than Monster Manual II and III, but had sample lairs and encounters for them, gave stats for classes and templates applied to old creatures, and full page maps. The book also ties into the "Year of the Dragons" theme that Wizards of the Coast planned out for 2006 with the Spawn of Tiamat, yet contains no new monsters that are considered true dragons.


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