Monster Manual is amazing and Trapdoor beta starts next week


4th Edition

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Liberty's Edge

I have all five editions of the Monster Manual, the Basic D&D Creature Catalog, and four PF Bestiaries. The new 5E is my favorite so far.

In addition to being packed with classic monsters, it has many option not shown in the previews. Dragons can cast spells, fiends can summon other fiends, there are rules for PCs turned into vampires and lycanthropes, special magic items monsters can craft, a handful of templates, and spells that groups of monsters can cast as rituals. Unless a monster is a real world animal, dinosaur, or NPC it includes at least half a page of ecology and the stat block along with the art. Some monsters have a couple different versions.

No hobgoblin gobspitters or anything. There is a hobgoblin, a hobgoblin captain, and a hobgoblin warlord. There is an orc, an orc war chief, an orc eye of Gruumsh, and an orog. I do like the yeti and the larger, meaner abominable yeti.

Sprinkled throughout are little bits of adventurers points of view on each monster, many coming from treks into various classic dungeons. Also, on the credits page, Wizards explains how mind flayers aren't real and won't be targeting anyone and you should put down the book and go watch tv as a brain rarely used is nice and tender. Funny stuff.

The art is really something to see. The werewolf at the start of the lycanthrope section is wild. I like the funny art in the table of contents and the index, especially the otyugh with an outhouse perched on his body.

Also, looks like Trapdoor is starting a beta test next week. In addition to character creation it is going to include some rules from the PH that will be in a Library Module.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Sounds interesting, can't wait to check it out!


Any info on making your own monsters? I know they will have info in the DMG (by what they are saying) in how to advance a monster. The artwork for the most part seems to be some of the better I have seen.

Also, a question about the dragons. Are there only 4 ages per dragon, or do they include them all from wyrmling to great wyrm? The preview of the Red dragon only had 4, which was really disappointing. Glad to see they did add in that the dragons can cast spells.

Would you be able to list the templates? This is, of course, assuming you do have the Monster Manual. Which from your wording, seems to be true.

Edit: I was wondering about something. Is the giant bee in the Monster Manual? I ask because I have a subrace of gnolls that "raise" giant bees to harvest the honey and sell it across the world. So, giant bees would be an awesome inclusion.


Looking forward to getting my hands on one. However, a lack of Monsters by Challenge index is a disappointing (and even a little baffling) ease-of-use ding. Much like not denoting the spells with the ritual tag in the class lists in the PHB. I guess they had to leave something to improve in future printings. ;-)


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Woohoo, no more hobgoblin devious trapsetter (tm), icefrostchoke elemental (tm), hobgoblin sadistic trapsetter (tm) and so on. That is, I must say, a major point in favour of 5th.


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How can all of you be happy about this? Where are all the Hobgoblin Devious Bloodletter Snapshooter Spitters going to find employment now?


That was one of the things I absolutely hated about the MMIV and MMV for 3rd edition, and was a contributing factor in my not picking up 4th edition. While I am sure those such things may appear in a future Monster Manual, I hope they won't be prevalent like they were in 4th and the last 2 MMs for 3rd.

As a side note, it seems most people like to pretend the Monster Manual 4 and 5 never existed. Which, other than about 5 monsters total between the 2, I would agree.


bugleyman wrote:
Looking forward to getting my hands on one. However, a lack of Monsters by Challenge index is a disappointing (and even a little baffling) ease-of-use ding. Much like not denoting the spells with the ritual tag in the class lists in the PHB. I guess they had to leave something to improve in future printings. ;-)

here (some body can link no?)

http://media.wizards.com/2014/downloads/dnd/MM_MonstersCR.pdf


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Linked.


Sissyl wrote:
Woohoo, no more icefrostchoke elemental (tm).

Damn! He was my absolute favorite. Definitely not buying it now. I hate when they cut all the coolest stuff.

Liberty's Edge

Adjule wrote:

Any info on making your own monsters? I know they will have info in the DMG (by what they are saying) in how to advance a monster. The artwork for the most part seems to be some of the better I have seen.

Also, a question about the dragons. Are there only 4 ages per dragon, or do they include them all from wyrmling to great wyrm? The preview of the Red dragon only had 4, which was really disappointing. Glad to see they did add in that the dragons can cast spells.

Would you be able to list the templates? This is, of course, assuming you do have the Monster Manual. Which from your wording, seems to be true.

Edit: I was wondering about something. Is the giant bee in the Monster Manual? I ask because I have a subrace of gnolls that "raise" giant bees to harvest the honey and sell it across the world. So, giant bees would be an awesome inclusion.

Making monsters will in the DMG. MM has some ways to customize--spells for dragons, summoning other fiends for fiends, etc.

Four ages per dragon is correct. Plus dracolich and shadow dragon templates that can be added to some dragons.

Templates: dracolich, shadow dragon, half-dragon, and spore servant (myconid).

No giant bee but there is a giant wasp.

Liberty's Edge

bugleyman wrote:
Looking forward to getting my hands on one. However, a lack of Monsters by Challenge index is a disappointing (and even a little baffling) ease-of-use ding. Much like not denoting the spells with the ritual tag in the class lists in the PHB. I guess they had to leave something to improve in future printings. ;-)

Monsters by Challenge rating is online and will be in the DMG. Also, monsters by terrain will be in the DMG.


Adjule wrote:

That was one of the things I absolutely hated about the MMIV and MMV for 3rd edition, and was a contributing factor in my not picking up 4th edition. While I am sure those such things may appear in a future Monster Manual, I hope they won't be prevalent like they were in 4th and the last 2 MMs for 3rd.

As a side note, it seems most people like to pretend the Monster Manual 4 and 5 never existed. Which, other than about 5 monsters total between the 2, I would agree.

I'd be willing to say that "most people" not liking the later MMs of 3E is probably anecdotal. Even if true, I must be part of the few that did like the later Monster Manuals of 3E and the variant flavors of different monsters in 4E. It's good to have a few flavors of orcs or goblins or ogres to use. If I am not mistaken, the upcoming PF Monster Codex effectively gives me this - monster NPCs of different levels, classes, etc. to use along with the base monsters.


Yeah, I think a lot of those books get a bit more flak than is deserved. The names are a large part of the culprit - the idea itself of having a diverse range of monsters within a monster entry is not a bad one. But while this led to some very creative monsters in terms of mechanics, the creativity often didn't carry through to naming the critters.

It wasn't always completely awful, but the worst ones certainly stood out, and provided lots of fodder for mockery.

Whether the naming was done for IP reasons or because the designers thought melded names had a touch more distinction, it did end up reaching somewhat silly levels, and often distracting from areas where the creature design and background was, itself, reasonably interesting.

Would there have been less complaints if the Fire Archon Emberguard, Fire Archon Blazesteel, and Fire Archon Ash Disciple were instead simply named the Fire Archon Templar, Fire Archon Trooper, and Fire Archon Magus?

Perhaps.

I'm hoping some of the creativity in design will carry over in the new edition, while also stepping away from the less impressive areas, such as creature naming.


Just got the Monster Manual, and must say I am about 50/50 when it comes to the art. There was a lot of good art in there, but also quite a bit of terrible are. The ones that come directly to mind are all of the giants, and nearly all of the lycanthropes (weretiger was good). Especially the werewolf. That snarl is not possible.

I was rather sad they didn't include the Giant Bee, though maybe reskinning the Giant Wasp might work. I heard they might actually be releasing a conversion book for the newest edition, and hope that is true.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:

Yeah, I think a lot of those books get a bit more flak than is deserved. The names are a large part of the culprit - the idea itself of having a diverse range of monsters within a monster entry is not a bad one. But while this led to some very creative monsters in terms of mechanics, the creativity often didn't carry through to naming the critters.

It wasn't always completely awful, but the worst ones certainly stood out, and provided lots of fodder for mockery.

Whether the naming was done for IP reasons or because the designers thought melded names had a touch more distinction, it did end up reaching somewhat silly levels, and often distracting from areas where the creature design and background was, itself, reasonably interesting.

Would there have been less complaints if the Fire Archon Emberguard, Fire Archon Blazesteel, and Fire Archon Ash Disciple were instead simply named the Fire Archon Templar, Fire Archon Trooper, and Fire Archon Magus?

Perhaps.

I'm hoping some of the creativity in design will carry over in the new edition, while also stepping away from the less impressive areas, such as creature naming.

Actually, the 3.5 MM IV was one of my favorites; having all those variants on monsters that had become "useless" was great.

That said, the extended lifespan of monster types is one of the things I'm most excited about as a DM in 5e.

-The Gneech


So, I finally got a chance to look it over. It's good, but I'm not sure what is "amazing" about it. I didn't look it over thoroughly, so maybe I'm missing something?


Adjule wrote:
Just got the Monster Manual, and must say I am about 50/50 when it comes to the art. There was a lot of good art in there, but also quite a bit of terrible are.

While I agree, the art is a mixed bag, none of it was as bad as some of the art in the PHB. I mean the Halfling art was down right amaturish at best.


danielc wrote:
Adjule wrote:
Just got the Monster Manual, and must say I am about 50/50 when it comes to the art. There was a lot of good art in there, but also quite a bit of terrible are.
While I agree, the art is a mixed bag, none of it was as bad as some of the art in the PHB. I mean the Halfling art was down right amaturish at best.

That, I would probably have to agree with. I will say this, though. It has been so very nice not having to see any Wayne England pieces. Even that halfling art in the PHB is so much better than his crap.

Liberty's Edge

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Albatoonoe wrote:
So, I finally got a chance to look it over. It's good, but I'm not sure what is "amazing" about it. I didn't look it over thoroughly, so maybe I'm missing something?

It is full of classic monsters and classic D&D lore with great layout, great art, useful variant rules, and a spread of monsters that work for all levels. Details like what happens to PCs bitten by a lycanthrope or turned into vampires is included. Has funny art in the table of contents and in the index which is also entertaining.

I have playtested D&D 5E from 13th level to 15th level using these monsters and the math is sound also.

So all around good stuff and should be useful for years.


I finally got my copy, and was very impressed with it. I really liked the art, and I found a lot of depth and details in some of the background elements. Kua-toa as a psionic race driven so insane by their enslavement to mind flayers that they now, in their madness, literally invent new gods to worship <i>who become real because the Kua-toa believe in them</i> was one good example of something just dripping with story flavor and plot hooks.

I don't know if this is drawing on a background they've had in past editions. But I can't remember anything from previous MMs about them other than them just being generic crazy fish people who worshipped another generic evil god. But while this version draws on those elements, it takes it in a direction that really feels unique and interesting, and plays up those elements that were already there (religious fanaticism and madness) and uses that to make something that stands out on its own.

So seeing things like that was what has impressed me with the book so far. That doesn't mean every entry in the book will wow me in the same way, but is certainly a promising sign.


That kind of information, the parts that don't affect combat, had been sorely missed. It was one of my more liked aspects of the 2nd edition monster manual. All of the ecology entries, which got shoved off into Dragon magazines (and possibly Dungeon? Not sure about that part), which wasn't often enough.

I mostly just glanced through mine, checking out the art and which monsters got included. Not sure why the winter wolf, worg, blink dog, death dog, and phase spiders got tossed in the "miscelaneous creatures" section with the animals.


Adjule wrote:
I mostly just glanced through mine, checking out the art and which monsters got included. Not sure why the winter wolf, worg, blink dog, death dog, and phase spiders got tossed in the "miscelaneous creatures" section with the animals.

They added 32 pages late in the game to include fan-service creatures like Modrons (although 3 pages for Modrons seems like overkill). A lot of classic creatures still didn't make the cut, though. I think they were trying to include as many classics as possible, and those that don't really require art or a full page of desription got shoehorned into the misc. creatures section.

Blink dogs, for example, look like regular dogs, and only have one power that's easy to summarize, but they're closely tied to displaced beasts in their lore, so it makes sense to include them somewhere instead of dropping them entirely. Winter wolf is a big white wolf, so a just a statblock works fine, too. Death dogs and worgs are a closer call, but IIRC, worgs got a little art in that section, so better to include them than leave them out.


Unless someone has older edition Monster Manuals that detail the blink dog's relationship with the displacer beast, anyone knew to the game will have no clue, since the blink dog didn't get a true write-up. Of course, if that is detailed in the displacer beast entry (which could be), then just a plain stat block is enough (though very disappointing nonetheless). "Blink dogs harbor a long-standing hatred for displacer beasts and attack them on sight." That doesn't give much of a reason as to why they hate them so much.

I agree that 3 pages dedicated to the modrons was a bit much (and 3 pages too many in my opinion, as those could have been better placed in a Planescape book).

I am just glad that I have the Monster Manuals from previous editions.

Liberty's Edge

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While including ecology of monsters would have been nice. I don't miss it. In all my years of gaming about 90% of the players I played and ran the game with never really cared about it. Nor were they simple hack and slashers either. Unless a DM makes a creatures ecology part of the adventure I'm not that interested in the mating or eating habits say of Xorn. All it does really is make the reading of the Monster Manuals more interesting. Usually creatures being fought don't last long enough for the players to know more about them imo. I like the book. Very pleased with it. Glad to see Modrons again as well.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

For me, the ecology sections (and similar material) is actually what makes the book readable. I find page after page of crunch boring, and I can often find cool ideas for encounters or new ways to use a monster from reading those sections.

A huge reason I was never a fan of the 4E manuals, since they seemed to either convert the ecology to crunch or just dump it completely. Looking forward to browsing a copy (although my next hardcover purchase will be the Monster Codex, so probably won't buy it).


MMCJawa wrote:
A huge reason I was never a fan of the 4E manuals, since they seemed to either convert the ecology to crunch or just dump it completely. Looking forward to browsing a copy (although my next hardcover purchase will be the Monster Codex, so probably won't buy it).

For me the big thing with the 4E MM (and I speak as someone who played and hated 4E) was that you didn't need to open up any other book to run a 4E monster, everything you needed was right there in the entry. Every other edition has you referencing other books for spells and feats. If the 5E books can do that while bringing back the good stuff that got dropped it might make my group seriously consider a switch.

Liberty's Edge

Again I don't dislike monster ecologies. You need the right players and/or DM to take advantage of ut in a game. A Monster Manual where everything to run a creature is self contained trades something in order for it to do so. I like running Pathfinder. I did enjoy running 4E and if I every run 5E encounters more. Having to reference only one book as opposed to more than one to find out all the information needed to run a creature is a big plus for me.


Adjule wrote:

Unless someone has older edition Monster Manuals that detail the blink dog's relationship with the displacer beast, anyone knew to the game will have no clue, since the blink dog didn't get a true write-up. Of course, if that is detailed in the displacer beast entry (which could be), then just a plain stat block is enough (though very disappointing nonetheless). "Blink dogs harbor a long-standing hatred for displacer beasts and attack them on sight." That doesn't give much of a reason as to why they hate them so much.

I agree that 3 pages dedicated to the modrons was a bit much (and 3 pages too many in my opinion, as those could have been better placed in a Planescape book).

I am just glad that I have the Monster Manuals from previous editions.

Yes, the displacer beast entry has two paragraphs describing their origins, and has this passage on the relationship to blink dogs:

Quote:
With blink dog companions at their side, fey hunters drove these predators to the fringes of the Feywild, where many crossed over to the Material Plane. To this day, displacer beasts and blink dogs attack each other on sight.

Not a huge entry, but probably enough to efficiently convey to a new player. It's certainly more info than the 1E MM entries for the displacer beast ("These fierce creatures hate all life, but they particularly hate blink dogs") and blink dogs (no mention of DBs). :)

For me, the more creatures they can squeeze in, the better. For example, I wish the dinosaur entry had another page of statblocks, with some smaller CR1 beasties that are usable as low-level companions/wild-shapes. I love the art in this book, but I'm glad they skipped the art on most of the beasts (including dinosaurs), since just about everyone knows what they look like.

I think it would be fun to see what was on the chopping block before the decision to add those 32 pages. We know Modrons were added in late, and presumably Yugoloths (4 pages) as well, since their origins are related to Modrons. Paging though my 1E MM, the number of monsters that didn't make it into the 5E MM is pretty small - it certainly feels like they tried to fit in as many old school monsters as possible.


questionbased on miniatures (such as giant being huge sized?) any other changes that will make it more difficult to use older miniatures

was more detail given about other races such as (duergar) as possible player races?Do drow enemies have more racial bonus spells than players, etc.

Any new creatures introduce that could be new fan favorites? Especially low level encounter


There are no "*Race* as player character" in the Monster Manual. For any monsters as pc races, best bet would be the DMG which comes out in 2 months. I know that is where the Warforged and Kender will be given, so maybe the duergar and svirfneblin would be detailed, and possibly some others. Then you have later books or their Dungeonscape thing that would have any other new races.

Honestly, I wouldn't mind if any future non-Monster Manual book was softcover, like the 3.0 Masters of the Wild/Defenders of the Faith/Tome and Blood/Sword and Fist (and I think Monsters of Faerun) books. Any setting book they would release could be hardcover as well. But every book being hardcover like in 4th (I am assuming) and 3.5 is just too much. Softcovers would reduce the cost to produce and the price to purchase.

Softcover books would also reduce the weight and space of physical books, as well. I would much rather have those than pdfs (though pdfs for those who want them is fine). Softcover > hardcover for anything other than setting books and full-on Monster Manuals. Having the old "Monstrous Compendiums" would be a nice re-addition. Bonus points if they made them binder ready (and rereleased the Monster Manual in that format as well).


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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

For the love of all that's holy, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT publish more monster info as binder looseleaf. *shudder* It was a horrible idea then and is a horrible idea now. Even the seemingly okay idea about making a binder with the actual creatures your homebrew/campaign uses is meaningless because massive sorting work and because non-included monsters on the back page will get included. And that's without counting the torn pages...


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YEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS!!!

For the love of all that's holy, please, I repeat please publish Monster entries as separate binder ready pages. it was a great idea then, and will be a great idea now. The mere promise of a campaign specific binder makes my toes tingle (even if monsters on one side of the page won't be used). Now, as long as I am careful and do not tear pages....WAIT

Better yet. individual PDF files for single monster entries that can be combined into a single electronic folder I can access for on line campaign use...

normally i agree with Sissyl about a lot of things, but this is one where I do not, and also one of those situation where it might be better if both of us started off by saying, In my opinion...


I would love to have binder ready Monster entries. One way to remove the part about monsters on one side not seeing any use, is to do one of these.

- Front part is nothing but full art, with the back section being the stats and other info.
- Front is half art, half stat block (just the numerical stats), with the back half being the other information (such as the attacks like breath weapons).

I wouldn't mind Terquem's individual pdf idea if printing them out wasn't so damn expensive. Even photocopying individual monster entries is rather expensive.

Liberty's Edge

Another vote to no monster manual binder. They were unwieldy. Took too much space on a bookshelf. Stuck out annoyingly on a bookshelf as well. There a reason Worc and other rpg publishers never published that sort of format.


If they made a monstrous compendium-style looseleaf binder with tougher pages, maybe laminated, it would be nice for a DM. The 2e ones always tore at the ring holes.


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I did that monstrous compendium crap for positively YEARS. Eventually, they got it into their heads to simply print a classic monster book, the Monstrous Manual. This became a smash hit. Now, it was a good book, but it wasn't THAT amazing. I suspect that the main point in its favour is that it did away with the looseleaf system.

Terquem: Normally I am all for being humble, you know me, right? However, in this case, no. A looseleaf/binder system is an objectively bad idea. I am sorry if you thought differently; being wrong is not the worst that could happen to a person. =)


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What was wrong with the idea?

I didn't play 2E but I did see the various loose leaf compendiums. I kind of figured the idea was that you could pick and choose and basically design your own monster manual based on what monsters you liked. That sounded a good idea to me.


Yes, brilliant. In theory.

In practice, you have two monsters per page, so when you select monsters for a campaign, you also add in just as many monsters you don't want. Also, since these come from different "books", the alphabetical order won't work either. Then, once you have your setting compendium, the rest of the monsters become a dead weight, because you are not going to be able to make a second such setting without the ogres, ankhegs and xorn you already added to the first setting. Even if you decide to break up your setting collection, you have some serious sorting work to do.

And, you know, the pages deteriorate pretty quickly once you start using them.


Sissyl wrote:

Yes, brilliant. In theory.

In practice, you have two monsters per page, so when you select monsters for a campaign, you also add in just as many monsters you don't want. Also, since these come from different "books", the alphabetical order won't work either. Then, once you have your setting compendium, the rest of the monsters become a dead weight, because you are not going to be able to make a second such setting without the ogres, ankhegs and xorn you already added to the first setting. Even if you decide to break up your setting collection, you have some serious sorting work to do.

And, you know, the pages deteriorate pretty quickly once you start using them.

I'm a kook, so I always just wrote down the monster statblocks in my campaign documents. Voila, instant make-it-yourself binder that easily copies from campaign to campaign. No sense cutting up your monster manual for that.

Liberty's Edge

I'm also assuming that a binder is also more expensive to produce than a regular hardback as well. As well as built with decent production values. As any surviving 2E binders for the most part are still in average to good condition. Even after all this time. If paizo were to make one they can't cut corners or go cheap,


They wouldn't have to make their own binder, as getting a binder from a place like Staples or Walmart is fairly cheap. They could alsoprint the pages on cardstock, which is much more durable than paper, and even then, there are stickers you can get for cheap that you place on the holes to reinforce them, or Wizards could add those to them by default.

It is much easier, and probably cheaper, to keep those looseleaf pages in good condition now than it was back in the 90s.


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Now I want an "App" that simulates an empty binder, with rings that I "click to open" then drag my documents into it, and "click to close" and that operation binds the pdf I've selected to the folder I want it to be in, and at the same time makes all bound pdf's in that folder readable at one time


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Adjule wrote:

They wouldn't have to make their own binder, as getting a binder from a place like Staples or Walmart is fairly cheap. They could alsoprint the pages on cardstock, which is much more durable than paper, and even then, there are stickers you can get for cheap that you place on the holes to reinforce them, or Wizards could add those to them by default.

It is much easier, and probably cheaper, to keep those looseleaf pages in good condition now than it was back in the 90s.

Even without a binder, they would have to package the sheets somehow. So that may negate any cost savings they would of had.

Cardstock is more expensive than regular paper, so that is a cost increase. Cardstock is also thicker and heavier, so that means each book takes up more space and is more expensive to ship. The only way to counter that is to not include as many monsters in a book, so you end up getting fewer monsters for the same price.

Plus the whole issue of monsters no longer being in alphabetical order once you start adding in monsters from other sources. Which you could fix by only printing one monster per page, but that only increases the cost to print the entire book, and makes it even larger, as now you have more cardstock pages (which are already thicker than a normal sheet of paper).

In the end, you just end up with a thicker, heavier, and more expensive product if you go that route instead of just printing a normal book.


And these days, if you really want to do this, it's easy to buy the PDF and print the pages that you want to include and put them in the binder yourself.

Well, for pretty much everything except 5E that is. We're still waiting to see what their digital solution will look like.


thejeff wrote:

And these days, if you really want to do this, it's easy to buy the PDF and print the pages that you want to include and put them in the binder yourself.

Well, for pretty much everything except 5E that is. We're still waiting to see what their digital solution will look like.

The fact that they think they need a "digital solution" tells me all I need to know. :-(


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Sissyl wrote:

Yes, brilliant. In theory.

In practice, you have two monsters per page, so when you select monsters for a campaign, you also add in just as many monsters you don't want. Also, since these come from different "books", the alphabetical order won't work either. Then, once you have your setting compendium, the rest of the monsters become a dead weight, because you are not going to be able to make a second such setting without the ogres, ankhegs and xorn you already added to the first setting. Even if you decide to break up your setting collection, you have some serious sorting work to do.

And, you know, the pages deteriorate pretty quickly once you start using them.

Ah, I didn't realise there was more than one monster to a sheet. That would annoy me. Same with the pages tearing with use.


bugleyman wrote:


The fact that they think they need a "digital solution" tells me all I need to know. :-(

I hear you. I'm still holding out hope that Dungeonscape will have some cool options for monster sorting and filtering, but the rollout keeps getting delayed and individual features (like multiclassing) keep getting pulled from the launch version, so I'm growing more and more skeptical that they'll pull it off. They're still trying to get all the PHB stuff to work, so it's going to be a while before we have anything for digitally managing monsters apart from lots of home-brew spreadsheets.


If the new tools allow me to basically assemble the stat blocks I need for an adventure I am running into a text file/Word doc/PDF/etc. that will be all I need to create an encounter book to print out at the table or use electronically on my tablet. I fully expect this time with 5E we'll get there with tools in a way we never have in the previous editions. I also guarantee it won't be done fast enough to make a lot of people happy. My guess at the moment is we'll have our 75% solution by summer 2015.


Steve Geddes wrote:
Sissyl wrote:

Yes, brilliant. In theory.

In practice, you have two monsters per page, so when you select monsters for a campaign, you also add in just as many monsters you don't want. Also, since these come from different "books", the alphabetical order won't work either. Then, once you have your setting compendium, the rest of the monsters become a dead weight, because you are not going to be able to make a second such setting without the ogres, ankhegs and xorn you already added to the first setting. Even if you decide to break up your setting collection, you have some serious sorting work to do.

And, you know, the pages deteriorate pretty quickly once you start using them.

Ah, I didn't realise there was more than one monster to a sheet. That would annoy me. Same with the pages tearing with use.

Indeed. So, let's not go back to the early 90s for solutions. It would be far easier to make pdf system that can make a "binder" for "loose pages". Sure, you won't get the feel of holding it like a book in your hand... but the binders never did that either.

Another problem that the binder system carried was this: The first Monstrous Compendium was a binder. Second and third were loose pages for that binder. IIRC, #4 was a binder too, the Greyhawk expansion. After this, nobody knew which to make into binders. In total, there were fourteen (I think) expansions, and each binder held four. Two binders were made. In Sweden, where I live, three-ring binders are truly rare, we use a four-ring system instead (for the A4 paper size instead of folio format, I think), so I had too many loose leaf expansions, the ones I crammed together (Spelljammer, Ravenloft and Dark Sun, hmmm?) had nothing much in common, I had to make new holes in the pages, and I did manage to track down one extra three-ring binder after long searching. Blugh.

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