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


"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.

  • Chapter 4. The Elite Monster template helps you utilize the talents in creating boss-type versions of monsters.  Includes examples (Elite Balor, Elite Chimera, etc.).

Nerd Immersion's Featurette:

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!

Other products:

Character Options: Talents   Character Options: Talents II  Into the Dragon's Maw

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (7)
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 N January 18, 2019 10:03 pm UTC
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
December 02, 2018 11:11 pm UTC
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:

PC Talents Example (to hold talent cards):
Customer avatar
December 02, 2018 11:17 pm UTC
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 N December 04, 2018 10:33 pm UTC
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
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 N November 12, 2018 10:15 pm UTC
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
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 N November 21, 2018 1:30 am UTC
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
Awesome! That's *exactly* what I needed to know. I look forward to unleashing these interesting new features on my players!
Customer avatar
Cole C June 13, 2018 2:10 am UTC
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 N June 13, 2018 3:51 am UTC
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! :)
Customer avatar
Njål R June 04, 2018 10:26 am UTC
First off I must say that I thoroughly love this book, and it was everything I hoped it would be, my players have enjoyed your talents immensely and its nice to see that my monsters can finally manage to overcome the balance gap that the talents caused. I can safely say that I am likely to buy every single product you release now and up to the end of time, for as long as I am alive and being a DM at least.

However, I have to say that I would love to see a marked improvement in at least one specific area of the monster manual, hopefully in a future update.

The Monster Manual Giants are some of the least mechanically interesting creatures in the entire book, yet they are presented as something quite magnificent in terms of the lore. After I read through your brilliant take on talents for Demons, (you made me excited to run a Balor! I didn't think that was even possible.) I was convinced that I could expect similarly excellent quality for the giants, but alas I was left deeply dissapointed...See more
Customer avatar
Dragonix N June 04, 2018 11:51 am UTC
Thanks Njål! I'm very grateful for your support and very happy that you and your players have enjoyed the talents books! :)

I'll definitely work on the giants and give most of them their own section, but probably just have around 2-3 talents each of their own. I'm not sure if you got the latest version but I recently already added 3 new giant talents, the auras. I promise to work on this next and hopefully you'll see an update soon!
Customer avatar
Dragonix N June 04, 2018 8:02 pm UTC
Njål, your wish has been granted. :) Download the update and you should find 4 new sections under the giants. I hope you find them to your liking!
Customer avatar
Njål R June 05, 2018 1:04 am UTC
I just finished reading it! I'm amazed that you came up with this so quickly, and I found each option adds immensely to the giant, to the extent that it finally feels as though they are closer to rivalling dragons. Considering that I'm planning to eventually complete the Storm King's Thunder storyline, this was something that I really needed, thanks a lot for the effort!

Speaking of dragons, I'd love to eventually see a similar treatment of them too, particularly in regards to expanding trait options for spellcasting as well as giving them some more fantastical legendary options. Especially something that would allow them to cast a spell through them, because since dragons are so powerful physically, I feel like they would benefit greatly from the ability to use Legendary Actions to this end. Ideally I'd want to use talents to make each specific dragon feel distinct, as distinct as its possible to make a Balor feel by using your talents, they are after all the most iconic Dungeons & Dragons creature....See more
Customer avatar
Dragonix N June 05, 2018 1:44 pm UTC
I'm glad you liked it Njål! I had the extra time yesterday and thought what the heck. Drew inspiration from the 4th ed monster manuals. ;)

And yeah, I'm very happy that you see the value of the book, of being able to use the same monster but still make it a totally different encounter experience for your players! Almost like a different archetype, but for monsters, eh? :)

As for the dragons' extra legendary actions, I might add them in a future book. I'm still deciding at the moment if I should go Monster Talents II with Volo's, or an entire new book I am still conceptualizing on.

Anyways, hope you keep enjoying using the books. Really appreciate the feedback! Mind leaving a review for the book in the review section? Thanks! ;)
Customer avatar
Njål R June 05, 2018 3:56 pm UTC
I wrote a little review.
Customer avatar
Dragonix N June 05, 2018 4:26 pm UTC
Thank you!!! Really appreciate your not-so-"little" review! :D The Volo's Character Races was something I promised way back to include in the Monsters version after Talents 2, which is why it was included later in the end. I hope my next book lives up to your expectations, Njål R!
Customer avatar
Derek H May 29, 2018 12:25 pm UTC
You need to fix your name both on the page and the sidebar, otherwise the search function will not find your other projects (or this one from them).

And will this be released in POD format?
Customer avatar
Dragonix N May 30, 2018 12:50 pm UTC
Thanks Derek. Made the changes. As for POD, no plans yet but it's something I can definitely explore in the future.
Customer avatar
Dakota H May 29, 2018 4:16 am UTC
Well... so much for the volo's races being included. This is still an amazing book regardless, but was looking forward to enhancing those characters as well. Taenth, my Dracolich continues to become even scarier.
Customer avatar
Dragonix N May 29, 2018 7:20 am UTC
Hi Dakota! Thanks for purchasing the book. Not to worry, it's the next thing I'll be working on and I'll include it as an update to this book, Chapter 3. Just give me a week or two.
Customer avatar
Dragonix N May 31, 2018 6:17 pm UTC
Hello again, Dakota. As promised, the section about the 6 new character races from Volo's Guide to Monsters has now been added. Please download the latest version and check chapter 3! :)
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 28, 2018.