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Monster Manual (4e) $34.95 $9.99
Average Rating:4.3 / 5
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Monster Manual (4e)
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Monster Manual (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Jackson B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/04/2019 23:51:10

None of the images are showing up for me, which makes it hard to enjoy.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Manual (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Denys C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/15/2016 08:15:18

High quality content and graphics.

This product's scan quality is also superior, as opposed to some of the older D&D modules and sourcebooks I have purchased from DriveThru RPG in the past; the latter may have excellent content, but they are obvious scans of adequate quality.

I hope to see the same scan quality in future purchases, as i have seen in the D&D (4th) Monster Manual.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Manual (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Robert C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/12/2008 14:59:31

Even if you own the Hard Cover of this book and GM should have this copy on there computer. The bookmarks take half of the work away.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Manual (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/29/2008 10:47:06

If magic could be said to be the heart of fantasy role-playing, then monsters are surely some other, similarly-vital, organ. Perhaps the lungs, since evocative descriptions of fierce and terrible creatures breathe fun and vitality into the game world. Sure, you can have a game where you just fight other human(oid) NPCs, but does going up against the local Bandit King really compare to facing down a mighty demon, or a fearsome dragon? Monsters are an integral part of the game, and the new Monster Manual for Fourth Edition Dungeons & Dragons aims to deliver that aspect of the world’s favorite RPG.

From a technical standpoint, the PDF of the MM does very well for itself. The book has been given full bookmarks to each individual monster entry, though not for sub-entries (e.g. you’ll be able to go straight to “Angel,” but not “Angel of Valor,”), with the bookmarks being nested for convenience. The table of contents is not hyperlinked, but interestingly several hyperlinks do turn up throughout the book, almost always as entries that are “see page XX.”

It’s worth mentioning that the book’s artwork is quite eye-catching. While some illustrations are of “okay” quality, several are truly stellar in depicting a monster. All of the artwork is in full color, which is a good point, but it’s worth noting that that might be a barrier towards printing. Unfortunately, no printer-friendly option is included, so you might want to simply purchase the print book if you want to print large sections of the PDF and are worried about ink consumption.

The book presents a large number of monsters, most of which will be familiar to longtime fans of the D&D game. You’ll find classics such as the Tarrasque and the beholder here, along with older monsters that were forgotten in previous editions of the game, such as the berbalang and the galeb duhr. There are also several new critters making their debut, such as the balhannoth and the kruthik. Unfortunately, canny-eyed readers will also note that there are some monsters that would normally be a shoe-in for the Monster Manual that didn’t seem to make the cut this time around. If you’re a fan of metallic dragons, or frost and stone giants, then this book will disappoint you.

The rules for the monsters are fairly slick in what’s presented. The rules for things such as monster types, combat roles, and special attacks make the monsters streamlined and easy to use; it’s also fairly simple to improve monsters, or create your own now, though it will still take some intuition to design creatures that work well in their chosen role. Many of the monster entries here have different versions of the same creature, giving you several different options right from the start. It’s also worth noting that there is a little more fluff text than what a lot of people seem to be saying, mostly because the fluff text has been “crunchified” by placing it under the Lore sections for each monster, meaning characters must make a skill check, with higher DCs revealing more information about the monster. That said, this is still the least amount of fluff we’ve ever seen for most monsters, so DMs who want to flesh these creatures out more are largely going to be on their own.

Ultimately, this book does a good job in bringing the monsters of D&D up to speed with the new edition. The creatures are easy to use and design for, but a lot of baggage that you might have otherwise enjoyed has been thrown out in the process. The PDF itself has most, but not all, of the bells and whistles you’d expect a high-class PDF book to have. The work here, mechanically, artistically, and technically, is not without flaws, but these imperfections pale in the face of what it does right. The book stands up very well as one of the Core Rulebooks for the new edition of the archetypal fantasy role-playing game.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster Manual (4e)
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/21/2008 11:38:40

An RPG Resource Review:

The aim of this Monster Manual, as with previous editions, is to provide an array of interesting opponents for your characters. It is evident from the very start that a lot of thought has been put into the layout of the entries and the way in which information is presented. This makes it very easy both to select suitable monsters as you design encounters and to run actual combat with the details you need presented handily.

Mechanically, as a catalogue of combat opposition, it's excellent. However, if you like to present an alternate reality in which the monsters live, you are going to have to draw on other resources such as 'monster ecology' books and articles from earlier editions, just using 4e statistics rather than those in your other books when a fight breaks out. One nice touch is that for each monster there is a list of the likely knowledge a well-read adventurer might know about, say, a balhannoth, even before he has the bad luck to meet one. Nothing, however, to suggest how without your Jane's Book of Monsters to hand you know that it IS a balannoth in the first place!

Most of the main monster types have several varieties. Some are stronger than others but the really interesting thing is that each variety has a combat role assigned to it, making building a war party of that particular monster type quite straightforward. Or of course you can pick monsters of appropriate role and level from throughout the book if you want a really mixed group. To facilitate this, guidelines for likely 'encounter groups' are provided, suggesting a likely mix of monsters for different levels of encounter.

The pictures are good, showing each monster in the sort of pose that might be the first - or if they're unlucky in the ensuing brawl, the last - view the characters have of them. If you like to say "You see this!" rather than "You see a beholder" these images will translate well to being held up, although most are in the middle of the text rather than on their own.

After the alphabetical listing of monsters, there's a section on Racial Traits, which can be used if you want to use selected monsters as characters (or fully-developed NPCs). The selection is quite limited, and there are others in the book which are sentient but not here, however if you fancy being a goblin or a minotaur the resources are available. Next is followed by a glossary of the terms used in describing the monsters, so there's no doubt about what, for example, a monster which can burrow is capable of doing. Finally, there are listings of the monsters sorted by level and by combat role, again to facilitate building that war party."

Overall, as a collection of monsters to fight, this is an excellent start. But if you want more rounded monsters rather than combat-fodder, you will have to add material of your own or modify that published for earlier editions.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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