D&D Monster Manual Thoughts

After reading the Player's Handbook, which I talked about yesterday, I immediately jumped over to the Monster Manual to see what the world of NPCs had to offer.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Unlike the Player's Handbook, this isn't a book you can sit down and read cover to cover.  It's a detailed reference for all the major monsters, creatures, beasts, and beings in the game.  It's basically a combination of a world building tool and an encounter building tool for a DM.

I scanned through the whole book, stopping to read about the monsters that most interested me.  It was fun!  And now I can definitely see how much of a tool this book could be for campaign building.

One of the things I found most interesting was that every monster is given a challenge rating.  That rating is basically a "normal" difficulty rating for a party of four characters at that level.  So, for example, if a monster has a challenge rating of five then a group of four level five characters should be able to defeat it without dying.  It's a great way to gauge the challenge that you're setting up for your adventurers.

I'm glad I have this book to flip through for fun.  I think I'm more likely to run a pre-made adventure whenever I start out, but this will be great as soon as I get beyond that.


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