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DM Options: Monster Talents (5E)
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DM Options: Monster Talents (5E)

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$14.99

The Fantasy Grounds version can be found here.

"This product is bar none, one of my favorite non-adventure supplements. This is a must have 5 star product!" - CritAcademy

"A definite boon for dungeon masters who are tired of players always predicting what monsters are capable of." - AndrewR

"... the final verdict is that Monster Talents is an exemplary product...  and if you are a DM who wants to improve your monsters, I cannot reccomend this book enough. I award it five stars!" Njål R. M.

"This is an astonishing supplement and a fantastic sourcebook to spice up your encounters, totally recommend it for the value it provides in comparisson to its price! 5/5!" -  Libedrator E.

"Excellent work, and well worth the price tag. I'll definitely be looking at this every week while prepping games! This worked great as a stand alone DM creature resource." -   James M.

"The extra firepower and variety in abilities is a welcome addition for those interested in giving their players extra challenges regardless of level."  Lawrence M


DM Options: Monster Talents is the stand-alone follow up to the best selling Character Options: Talents and Character Options: Talents II.

It contains over 150 pages of detailed talents to spice up your monsters and make your encounters more challenging, fresh, and unpredictable!  In addition, it also has a player section for the six new character races presented in Volo's Guide to Monsters! Finally, it includes a new creature template: the Elite Monster!

  • Chapter 1. Talents for the creatures from the Monster Manual.

  • Chapter 2. Talents for the miscellaneous creatures.

  • Chapter 3. Talents for the Character Races from Volo's Guide.


Nerd Immersion's Featurette: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeoMEinJ5W8&feature=youtu.be


About this Book

DM Options: Monster Talents is the third book about the Talents concept. The first two books, Character Options: Talents and Character Options: Talents II, have both been successful and made a huge impact to a lot of players' gaming experience. However, it did have balance issues that a DM had to address. And this book will finally help the DM do that. This time, the talents are not for the players (well. almost... see Chapter 3). This time, it's the DM who gets to have the fun choosing and playing around with feat-like options for monsters. 

This book covers the creatures from the Monster Manual book,  providing several talents to choose from for each critter, depending on their CR. The higher the creature's CR, the more talents they can have and the bigger their selection. As a result, you'll have plenty of options to make the tired and typical encounters your players have gone accustomed to dealing with suddenly fresh and exciting. With talents like the stirge's insidious Anesthetic Bite, the beholder's obnoxious Redirect Central Eye, the balor's destructive  Meteor Strike, the tarrasque's terrifying Disintegration Breath, and the truly horrifying rage-quit inducing Potent Antennae of the rust Monster to arm your monsters with, you'll have a delightful time tormenting and shocking your players. 

If you didn't purchase the Character Options: Talents books, don't fret. DM Options: Monster Talents can still provide you with dozens of ideas on how to create or customize your own monsters. With over 150 pages  of talents, you'll find a lot you can use here! Enjoy!

 
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Reviews (11)
Discussions (19)
Customer avatar
Dragonix M October 02, 2020 12:09 am UTC
CREATOR
v.108 has been released
- various minor fixes, wording corrections, and layout improvements
Customer avatar
Caleb B October 01, 2020 8:13 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I love this supplement! However, I was looking to level up a Night Hag in my campaign and noticed that their talent "Inate Spellcaster" gives them the option to cast Magic Missile 3 times a day. The Night Hag can cast Magic Missile at will, so that part of the talent is redundant.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M October 01, 2020 9:38 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks Caleb! I'll check this and update it soon! Thanks for letting me know!
Customer avatar
David S July 23, 2020 8:10 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Hm... I just bought this product and downloaded the PDF (version: DM_Options_Monster_Talents_v1.07.pdf). But this one doesn't have a Chapter 4: Elite Creatures as the description tells me. Is there a way to download an old aka wrong version? I see only one...

EDIT 1: BTW Check back on the minotaur. The first line after the correct title says "mind flayer"...

EDIT 2: BTW Check back on the troglodyte. The first talent mentions slaad instead of trog...
Customer avatar
Dragonix M July 23, 2020 11:55 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi David. Thanks, I'll be fixing these in the next update. I've since removed the Elite Creatures as they have become obsolete. Please see the Monster Manual Expanded products.
Customer avatar
David S July 24, 2020 7:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
Hi Dragonix. This is very sad to read. The Elite Creatures were one reason I bought this product. In which regard have they become obsolete?
Customer avatar
Dragonix M July 24, 2020 7:32 am UTC
CREATOR
Obsolete in a way that the template I used to create them with does not look as good as the ones I've done in the latest MME books. If you can wait a few days, I will include the old elite section as a separate pdf and upload it here. That way you still get the old version section with the elite creatures.
Customer avatar
David S July 24, 2020 7:41 am UTC
PURCHASER
This would be nice! But why don't you publish one ruleset for Elite Creatures in all of your products?
I totally understand you want to sell them MME books though.
Customer avatar
Chris K July 07, 2020 6:23 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Im a buyer of a few of Dragonix products - all are well worth the money and I will soon be adding the rest to my collection Highly recommended!
Customer avatar
Dragonix M June 02, 2020 5:07 pm UTC
CREATOR
v1.07 uploaded
- Fixed balance issue with Extra Legendary Action (now counts as 2 talents)
- Minor aesthetic improvements
Customer avatar
Dragonix M June 02, 2020 5:41 pm UTC
CREATOR
- fixed balanced issue with Legendary Actions (now counts as 4 talents)
Customer avatar
Robert H May 15, 2020 10:50 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I wrote a review, but I also wanted to post more here after watching a video by Matt Colville about designing villain actions which is basically what this book is for monsters. I'm definitely going to be using these to make the finale to my 20 year long campaign more epic when the demons the party will be encountering will have powers, actions, and reactions that the player's characters haven't run into before. This on top of my recent purchase of the book "The Monsters Know What They're Doing" by Keith Ammann (a book that breaks down the round by round tactics of each monster in the Monster Manual) should give my finale encounters some real depth for the players to dig deep and work together to tactically survive the final fight with the big bad evil demon and its minions. Until I purchased this product I wasn't very excited about running these final encounters, now I feel that my campaign will have the big ending I've been looking for.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M June 02, 2020 4:58 pm UTC
CREATOR
The sounds awesome Robert! I'm glad you found this book useful! Good luck on your end game!
Customer avatar
Dragonix M October 03, 2020 8:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Monster Talents II is now out! You can grab it here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/330630?affiliate_id=1138250
Customer avatar
Just D May 05, 2020 6:54 pm UTC
I had a question regarding your monster manual expanded series in combination with this one. How would you go about giving creatures in those series talents, would you use the same method but just give them talents of their general category?
So, you would give the Ankheg brood Queen talents from the Ankheg section?
Customer avatar
Dragonix M May 05, 2020 7:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Just D. Yes, that's how you would do it but be mindful of the creature's new CR so you know how many talents you're supposed to give it. Monster Talents was designed before the Expanded series, and was originally for just the Monster Manual. That's why you'll notice that some of the talents are already incorporated into the creatures. So for the Ankheg Brood Queen, it has a CR of 8 which means you can give it 3 talents. You'll notice that it already has Rising Burst so you'll have to use the remaining three available (hardened carapace, a spiked carapace, and vitriolic acid spray).

In some cases, the new creature has too high a CR that you won't have enough talents. You'll have to improvise and create your own, or just borrow from a similar creature. Hope that helps.
Customer avatar
DANIEL I February 26, 2020 11:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Are there any plans to create a Monster Talents 2 which would include creatures from Volo's and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes? I've found this invaluable and it's a shame it doesn't cover all the monster currently available.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M March 13, 2020 11:18 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Daniel. Sorry for the late response. No plans yet for Monster Talents 2 but it's not off the table. Just not in the immediate future.
Customer avatar
Avery O June 01, 2020 5:29 am UTC
PURCHASER
I really hope that you make a Volume 2 with Volo's/Mordekainen's monsters
Customer avatar
Dragonix M June 02, 2020 5:08 pm UTC
CREATOR
Wish granted. :)
Customer avatar
Dragonix M October 03, 2020 8:29 pm UTC
CREATOR
Monster Talents II is now out! You can grab it here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/330630?affiliate_id=1138250
Customer avatar
Michael F February 03, 2020 7:54 am UTC
PURCHASER
I love the work you did here -& i love the fact that it looks so great in its lay out on screen! Unfortunately, i could never afford to color print this book, and i would love it so much more if you offered a printer friendly version of the PDF that i could just print in black text! :)
Customer avatar
Paul K August 18, 2019 12:11 am UTC
PURCHASER
Any chance of posting a Printer Friendly version, with no colored background? The background looks nice but makes it really hard to print at home for those of us that prefer to game with hard copies.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M August 20, 2019 6:20 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Paul. I'll put this on my to-do list. Please give me until end of next month as I am currently busy with work.
Customer avatar
Shaun S March 27, 2019 8:00 pm UTC
Hi,

I've done a lot of conversions for Fantasy Grounds, and I would definitely be interested in doing that for this product. If you're interested, please message me back. Looks like a great product!

Shaun
Customer avatar
Dragonix M April 01, 2019 5:06 pm UTC
CREATOR
Hi Shaun.

Thanks for your interest and liking the product! I would have accepted your offer, but, unfortunately, Rob Twohy and I have already made a deal with my products last month. Good luck on your future projects though.
Customer avatar
Paul K March 14, 2019 4:39 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Love the book! But I'd love even more a POD option or a print-friendly version with no background. It doesn't print well on my b&w laser printer, and it's way too expensive (~$90) to have it printed somewhere in color.
Customer avatar
Cassiel H January 18, 2019 4:04 pm UTC
Holy potatoes!, just found your books and damnn this concept is amazing! I love it! Do you have any plans for making a fantasy grounds port? Me and my friends play there and as a dm a fantasy ground port would be crazy useful
Customer avatar
Dragonix M January 18, 2019 10:03 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks Cassiel! Not at the moment I'm afraid. I have no experience with fantasy grounds but I'm not totally discounting it. I'm currently working on my next book so that's something I can explore when I'm finished.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M April 29, 2019 12:55 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Cassie! You can get the FG here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/274297?affiliate_id=1138250
Customer avatar
December 02, 2018 11:11 pm UTC
PURCHASER
First, I love your product! Monster Talents is amazing from start to finish. Second, I wanted to make a request. Would it be possible to provide a second format for Monster Talents where each power is printed on a playing card shape and size? Those could then be printed out and would be an ideal way to easily reference the variant abilities of any monster brought to the table.

On a related note, that format would work amazingly well for the character talents as well. Think something similar to Gale Force Nine and their spell cards.

Spell Card Example: https://dnd.gf9games.com/gameAcc/tabid/87/entryid/342/spellbook-cards-xanathar-s-guide-to-everything-73922.aspx

PC Talents Example (to hold talent cards): https://www.ultrapro.com/product_info.php?products_id=5051&osCsid=33uo6h1e45fd3qhukrttnp8ag4
Customer avatar
December 02, 2018 11:17 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Maybe you could even get DriveThruRPG or whatever version DMs Guild uses to do print on demand to have an option to purchase real playing card printed versions of the talents. I've seen it done for a few products, though it seems rare.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M December 04, 2018 10:33 pm UTC
CREATOR
Thanks for the review! I'm glad you like it! :)

As for your request though, unfortunately, my hands are currently tied at finishing my current book and real life work. :(

When I find the time in the future, I can revisit this and weigh my options.

Thanks again!
Customer avatar
Jason C November 12, 2018 9:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
How do the special features compare to the ones in Volo's Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes? What I've noticed is that the Monster Manual monsters were boring in comparison to the latter books, which added more interesting features. So what I'm wanting to know is are the new features in this product along the lines of those books (ie, bringing MM monsters up to par with later books) or is this something that feels like an entirely new (and/or more extensive) way of dealing with it?

Personally, I'm looking for something along the lines of those books, rather than a complete game changer, but I just want to know what I'd be getting, since it looks like this is a great product whether it is aimed at me or at others.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M November 12, 2018 10:15 pm UTC
CREATOR
It's both. A lot of the Monster Talents here are similar to the ones in Volo's and Mordenkainen's (in regards to wording and concept). But there is also an equal number of features that are 'new.' Some of the 'new' are actually classic features that disappeared from some monsters when they got to 5E. Hope that info helps.
Customer avatar
Jason C November 21, 2018 12:58 am UTC
PURCHASER
Cool, thanks!

Another quick question. If I use the recommended number of monster talents (and I'm not using any player talents), is this expected to raise the monster's CR? Some of these abilities add flavor but shouldn't improve CR, while others might. I'm just wondering if there is some sort of guideline for how to determine this. My main goal is to use this to make the MM monsters as interesting as the ones in the other books (and restoring classic features is awesome!), so I don't want to overdo it and raise their effective challenge by 2 points without actually adjusting their CRs (players might not enjoy that).
Customer avatar
Dragonix M November 21, 2018 1:30 am UTC
CREATOR
If your players are also using talents from the Character Options: Talents books, then no, you should not raise the creature's CR. Monster Talents helps counter the advantage players get from their talents. But if your players are not using them, then I would suggest the following adjustments: If the creature's original CR is 6 to 14, increase its CR by 1. If it is 15 or higher, increase its CR by 2. Do not increase the CR if the creature's original CR is 5 or less.
Customer avatar
Jason C November 22, 2018 11:56 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Awesome! That's *exactly* what I needed to know. I look forward to unleashing these interesting new features on my players!
Customer avatar
Dragonix M October 03, 2020 8:30 pm UTC
CREATOR
Monster Talents II is now out! You can grab it here: https://www.dmsguild.com/product/330630?affiliate_id=1138250
Customer avatar
Cole C June 13, 2018 2:10 am UTC
PURCHASER
hey just wanted too say i love the books man. One question tho what about the character monster races in volos like orc,bugbear,and hobgoblin. i was looking at the monster talents for them and they dont seem too balance for PCs. But other then that i find this too be great buy an wish ya the best of luck on your other works.
Customer avatar
Dragonix M June 13, 2018 3:51 am UTC
CREATOR
Hi Cole C! Thanks for the feedback!! I only concentrated on the four specific character races that were given more detail by the Volo book. As for the Monster talents, they're exactly that - just for monsters. ;) They're definitely not balanced for PCs and should never be used by PCs. Maybe in the future I'll create some base character talents for those specific monster races.

Appreciate it if you can provide a review for the books! :)
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 28, 2018.