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Monster Manual III (Dungeons and Dragons v3.5 Accessory): No. 3 (Dungeons & Dragons) Hardcover – Sep 2004


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (Sep 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786934301
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786934300
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 1.7 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Synopsis

Describes the characteristics and attributes of a variety of monsters, zombies, demons, giants, werewolves, animals, and aliens for use in the Dungeons and Dragons game.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Alex Fell on 22 Jan 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a pretty handy tool for DMs to surprise their players. It contains a number of excellent new monsters with a very good hit-rate of good concepts. It also contains a lot of Eberron material, either for monsters explicitly mentioned (like Blackscale Lizardfolk and a large selection of Living Spells) or explains how more generic monsters work specifically in that campaign world. I also consider one of its strengths to be that it build on existing "types" - building on new types of giant, troll, ogres, the above-mentioned lizardfolk, goblins, rakshasa, golems etc. This helps give new challenges to players, spreading things out across the Challenge Ratings (consider trolls: this book provides both little Forest Trolls for CR4 up to the dread War Troll for CR12, among a number of other variants). Yet none of this feels forced or contrived in a lazy, cashing-in sort of way. Virtually all of the concepts stand up well. In fact, I would go on to say this is the best monster manual-style supplement, other than the basic 3.5 MM, that has been produced. (And it is the only supplement which is fully 3.5 compliant without resort to updates from the WoTC website.) Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Holiday Gamer / Weekend Warrior 2 Dec 2004
By Jaltith the Wild - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I just don't have the time that I used to, and my friends live all over, so I'm what you call a Holiday Gamer. I don't have all the feats memorized or monster strengths and weakness strategies fully understood. This makes it difficult as the DM for my campaign because we always reference play (look up stats during battle, consult a chart while exploring for secret passages)

That's why this book deserves a 5 star rating from me. Not only does it include the basic charts, pictures etc. of the monsters, but it gives you example paragraphs to read to the players when the first encounter the beast. And secondly, most monsters, at least the difficult ones or spell casters, tell you a round by round strategy of how the monster fights, when it flees, when it watches, and how it gathers information about the party.

For example : "you see a stern but regal looking head float above a shimmering humanoid body of a warrior. Streams of light show through cracks in its armor . . .etc etc." You get the point.

From a strategy side, some of the difficult monsters tell you what spells they would be most likely to cast at various times during the combat : "He will likely do an invisibility purge round one to reveal hidden foes . . . round two he will cast chaos / confusion and repeat the same in round 3 . . . if any creatures remain unaffected by two rounds of confusion, he will target them first with his attack . . . and will use silence to nullify pesky spell casters . . . if both confusions fail to affect the party, he will cautiously retreat or plane shift if he gets in real trouble" That's the kind of assistance I need as Holiday gamer and that's what this book can offer that the first two Monster Manuals did not.

These strategy guides help the Holiday Gamer insure that monsters encountered by the party get their full merit of challenge rating rather than just "wade in and attack". . . .

Happy Gaming!!!

PS :

But the one thing I found disappointing : can you guess it? Come on try . . . . well here it is : THERE ARE NO NEW DRAGONS IN THIS MONSTER MANUAL! I know, I know, you can't have dragons in EVERY book but come on - - - it's dungeons and DRAGONS!
42 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Depends on your game 5 Oct 2004
By D. Keen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I've only had a chance to look through this book so far, but I plan to buy. It passed my main test: one of my players thumbed through it in the bookstore and now dreads me getting the book because of what it will no-doubt put his poor character through. The inventiveness in these creatures means that you can do more with monsters than "he runs up and swings at you," which makes the players think first before they swing.

The usefulness of this book may really depend on what sort of game you're running. I, for one, run an undead-heavy campaign (and am looking forward to Libris Mortis for obvious reasons), and this book seems to have some very inventive undead. It also has several interesting fey creatures, something beyond your standard nixie-pixie-grig type... darker types including the Redcaps. It fleshes out a couple types that get overlooked.

Also of note: the Shifter, Changeling, and Warforged of the Eberron setting are statted here. So, if you like the idea of these as playable races but don't want to use a published setting (like me), this is a good way to get legal access to those races in all their glory. As a DM, the thought of a band of changeling assassins is too good to pass up.

For those who have said that the Eberron and FR entries are wasted space... I honestly think they are space-filler to accomodate the one-monster-to-a-page format (which I think is a great change from previous MMs). If the setting-specific entries weren't there, reviewers would gripe about all the blank white space and a slightly overpriced book would suddenly seem far more expensive.

One complaint: at a glance I only saw one template. Personally, I'm a fan of templates, so this hurts the book's value in my eyes, but it's no big deal. Inventive DMs can always come up with templates based on any nifty creature they find here (example: any of the countless Troll variants presented here could just as easily be applied to, say, orcs or goblins with a bit of work).

Overall, a solid book. The $35 bookstore price may be a bit steep for what you get, but it's definitely worth buying online with the big discount.
38 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Another solid chunk o' crunch from WOTC 2 Nov 2004
By J. Roberts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Both of you who read all of my reviews know that I'm constantly harping on WOTC for having copy editors with a weak to middling grasp of the English language. For the price of a hardover RPG book these days, I do honestly expect perfection in the use of language. This book isn't quite perfect, but it's close, much closer than most of the other WOTC books I've looked at recently.

The content's really good, too. I've already used about a dozen monsters from this book, from the summoning ooze to a few species of dinosaur and a tribelet of skullcrusher ogres. In each and every case, the new players and old were kept off-balance by the mix of unique special abilities and misleading metagaming.

Against the skullcrusher ogres, for example, my group chose to use standard anti-ogre tactics and were roundly trounced for their metagaming ways. It was delicious to watch, particularly when it was the newest gamer in the group who came up with the plan to root out the rather smarter and stronger ogres from their mountain cave.

There aren't a lot of templates, prestige classes or other "special features" mucking up the book, it's mostly just monsters which is just fine by me. It's clear that this enabled the designers to really focus their attentions on the monster stat blocks, including adjustments for Power Attack, Combat Expertise and other feats as needed, and providing descriptions of tactics for monsters with a lot of special abilities and buff spells to choose from.

I'm not giving this book 5 stars simply because it does contain a few errors in language, and a very few errors in the stat blocks. Also, while the sections on using the monsters in Eberron and Forgotten Realms are useful for that portion of the gaming populace that uses those settings, it's my estimation that the whole list of information could've been put together into a three-page PDF for each game world and then posted on the Wizards site for the enlightment of all. Six pages of free stuff isn't that much to ask, particular since none of the text would be at all useful for people trying to get the monster statistics without paying for the book.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Great new critters 14 Oct 2004
By Eric - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The new monsters in the MM3 are pretty well done. They tend to be higher ECL than average but the creatures are interesting. They are creative and well though out to be fun to run an run up against (well challanging to run up against if not fun). Although I'm not finished going through it yet, so far it contains some of the most interesting critters of the 3 different monster manuals. Anyway, I have been pleasantly suprised by the quality of the content so far. Hopefully you'll like it as well.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Best Monster Manual Ever 17 Dec 2006
By Drizzt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is the best Monster Manual that I have seen yet. In fact, I reference it more in my games than the Monster Manual itself. This book has very inventive creatures. Here is a rundown of the contents:

GOOD:

Each monster takes up exactly one, two, or (in a few cases) three or four pages. This means that there is no page-flipping to get all the monster statistics. While some of the time this leaves empty room at the bottom of the page, it is only a few lines.

Even when I'm not running an Eberron or Forgotten Realms campaign, I find the information on the monsters for those settings very nice to have. They give you ideas and adventure hooks that the rest of the description lacks.

Every creature has a picture. While at first this seems true with all the Monster Manuals, it is not. I do not see a picture of a half-celestial in the Monster Manual, nor is there a black pudding (just why did they put a picture of the invisible stalker in the Monster Manual? You can even see the stalker in the picture!).

Some creatures have `powerful' versions of them, such as is the case with the shadesteel golem, and the nycter. These really help a DM that uses high-level adventures and reduces preparation time.

In addition, it has more subtypes of already-common creatures, including: two demons, four dinosaurs, one elemental, three giants, one gnoll, one goblin, seven golems, two lizardfolk, one ogre, one otyugh, two rakshasa, one roper, five trolls, and four yugoloths.

Also, the statistics for changelings, shifters, and warforged are all presented from the Eberron Campaign Setting. The warforged entry (which is four pages long) includes two new types of warforged.

Finally, a wide selection of creatures is presented, with all creature types. From undead swarms to aquatic vermin, this book has it all.

BAD:

Repetitive. This book is built to be usable (just not easily) without any other monster books. This means that it has a `reading the entries' section (four pages), monster feats (two pages, although there are two new feats), and a glossary (16 pages, although it has a few new entries). In the end, this book has 197 pages on monsters.

Some creatures are weird. Not weird like `ephemeral swarm' or `feral yowler' weird, but `dread blossom swarm' (yes, it's in the book) and `susurrus' weird (the susurrus, by the way, is a silvery humanoid with holes in it and kills undead).

Of course, it has the standard Wizards of the Coast errors scattered throughout the book (look at Monster Manual II, where it has `chapter title' instead of a monster name in one place... page 163).

All in all, it is a solid book. DMs get to surprise players with nonstandard creatures (no more giant eagles and bulettes, no pixies or hydras, no mimics or purple worms, etc.).
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