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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pictures, but...
Well, the art work is excellent, a great improvement on the last edition, which tended to portray almost cartoonish images of the monsters. The new artwork makes them look far more... well, monstrous. Compare the old and new images of sealion, for example. Another improvement is the inclusion of a full description of the extraplaner monsters, Tanari, Baatezu and...
Published on 10 Oct 2001 by dara_mac_donnacha@hotmail.com

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Short
Of the three core rule books for 3rd Edition the Monster Manual is inarguably the most disappointing. Compared to the 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual it is actually rather feeble. Only about 300 creatures (compared to the 600 in the 2nd Edition MM) are featured in the book and each entry is ridiculously short. The ecology and habitation sections which DMs relied on in 2nd...
Published on 20 July 2001


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great pictures, but..., 10 Oct 2001
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
Well, the art work is excellent, a great improvement on the last edition, which tended to portray almost cartoonish images of the monsters. The new artwork makes them look far more... well, monstrous. Compare the old and new images of sealion, for example. Another improvement is the inclusion of a full description of the extraplaner monsters, Tanari, Baatezu and Celestials. In the last editions, a few lame examples were provided which failed to convey anything about their society or culture. The 'advancement' rules which alow you to create 'boss' enemies - or just a really tough bodyguard - are useful too, but it was eaasy enough to do that in the last edition, though you needed the DMG to calculate experience points. The monster templates at the back of teh book are great, allowing you to craft foes tailor made to fit into your campaign.
So why only four stars? Well, the book suffers from some major drawbacks. For one, it no longer includes as thorough a description of the monsters' ecology and background as the last edition. These provided very usefull information for a DM with which he could realistically introduce them into a campaign. It gave him a reason for the monsters to attack the PCs (defending home /young etc). This can be a problem if you don't have the last edition - unless your willing to create an entire ecological system for your game world. Another cause for complaint is the removal of certain Monsters. Although new ones were introduced to replace them, the book is still short of the amount of creatures it had in the last version and you may find yourself having to convert stats from 2nd ed to 3ed, because a monster you have used in your last game isn't covered in the new rules. This might not be too much problem for an experienced DM, and newcomers probably won't notice, but its still annoying.
Note: I wasn't bothered by the unusual print format, but many have been. Just one more problem.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointingly Short, 20 July 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
Of the three core rule books for 3rd Edition the Monster Manual is inarguably the most disappointing. Compared to the 2nd Edition Monstrous Manual it is actually rather feeble. Only about 300 creatures (compared to the 600 in the 2nd Edition MM) are featured in the book and each entry is ridiculously short. The ecology and habitation sections which DMs relied on in 2nd Edition games for adventure ideas and encounter hooks are now totally gone to fit more monsters in. But the small page count and the often ridiculously huge pictures means that barely half the number of monsters is included compared to 2nd Edition. Even worse, many familiar creatures have been banished to expansion books. Want information on the githzerai? Tough, you'll have to look in the Psionics Handbook. Want to create a dracolich? Nope, go buy the Forgotten Realms sourcebook. The whole point of the 2nd Edition MM was to collect together the most popular and commonly-used monsters from the thousands of Monstrous Compendium sheets and expansions used during the reign of 1st Edition (and early 2nd) and put them in one easy-to-use tome. 3rd Edition MM blows that away immediately, forcing you to buy almost every book that comes out on the off-chance there are some new monsters in it. The artwork is superb and the detailed stats, including advice on how to make the monsters more powerful to challenge higher-level PCs (a race of ninja assassin goblins, anyone?), is a godsend given the relative complexity of the 3rd Edition monster/PC creation rules, but overall the book leaves a bad taste in the mouth, with WOTC charging you the same as TSR did five years ago for what is essentially the same book but with only about half the content.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Houston we have a problem!!, 3 Mar 2004
By 
Todd (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
Well, I've collected the whole 1st edition hard cover set and almost all the 2nd edition hard covers with all the monster book yearly updates, so I know my D&D, and this book, it needs help. I believe it's bad enough that they seem to have placed more emphasis on game mechanics then role-playing, but they kinda butchered the Monster Manual. First I'll give credit where it is due, the artwork is outstanding. When compared to the Monstrous Manual of the 2nd edition, quanity does outweigh quality. A DM needs many monsters, and that's why the 2nd edition set of books was so outstanding. Unfortunately, now I have to buy all kinds of different books just to get the collection of monsters I have with my 2nd edition set, (I'm having enough problems figuring out the new system, after 17 years of playing by the old rules, so changing all those books over to 3rd edition is out of the question for me). Still though, the book looks cool, and like I said the art is beautiful. Plus, it's nice that they put all abilites stats with the monster, but no ecology or habitat info. Hmm? Well, if your as big a role player as me, it's nice to have. If your only a casual DM. Stick to the old books, and just change the stats to 3rd edition play if you have the patience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BUT WHAT YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW IS..., 5 Nov 2000
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
Groan... Why the long face? Well, it's a such a beautiful book, the creatures are fabulous, yes there is the return of old favourites not to mention a smattering of new creatures, pure 2nd Ed guys will lap up stuff they've never heard of before.
Advancement of types is a kick arse idea - Splorge the dwarven fighter, "hah one weedy Kobold - 'eat steel Miserable vermin'" DM, "Uronimor whips out his trusty flame blade, flexes his mighty form and advances" PC, "eh I thought you said it was a Kobold?" DM, "It is, Heh, Heh" But then again we've all done that already, it's jst nice to see it in print.
Vampires are the same sort of thing, on the grounds that they can bite anyone, most undead as well, Ghost rats, Vampire Owlbears, and Undead Displacer Beasts. Good Ideas and all...
But, One flaw, just ONE!. Every creature butts up to the next in a continous alphabetical stream. Alright you're probably going to know the stats backwards in six months and never look at the thing again but in the meanwhile it's just going to annoy. and annoy. and annoy.
Overall just buy it. After all it does look fabulous and it does the job. 4 stars because it's just so pretty. (I bet 4th edition returns to 2nd edition style though)
But there is an alternative? The new D20 system is sort of 'open source' so other companies can publish add-on's. Try this, 'The creature collection' Look for ISBN 1-56504-487-8 on this site... I haven't got a copy yet but it does look so tempting... I'll post a review when I inevitably purchase it.
Master Dungeon-Smith Sean 'Mandrake' Hill (DM for 15 years and now 5 various D&D editions)...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The trilogy is now complete., 26 Oct 2000
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
You now have everything you need to make all your adventures come to life, if you have any imagination. This volume beautifully describes everything from the humble cat to the terrifying tarrasque. If your DM cannot find a monster in here to challenge your group you are to powerful and should go challenge the Gods. The book itself is very well laid out with everything easy to find, I particularly liked the section at the back which comprised of creatures such as vampires and werewolves that can be modified with differing character classes and levels to make them just the perfect challenge, and as for the artwork, it just puts the second edition to shame. Well done everyone involved, and everyone else go out and buy it now!!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Core Rules Book, 18 Feb 2011
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
Writing a belated review, but I found the 3rd Ed Core Books (DMG, PHB and MM) to be excellent quality and a very justified upgrade from AD&D 2nd Ed. The releases and schedule since then are to be questioned of course but in terms of quality, these 3 books were very good and Amazon service great.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Coming from the original AD&D - not bad, 8 Mar 2007
By 
J. Lawrence "ashhousebooks" (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
I last played AD&D over 20 years ago, so my books are from the original rules. I bought this because I wanted to introduce my kids to the game, but had lost my Monster Manual, and this was the cheapest version going. It certainly is an upgrade on the original in terms of professionalism. The layout is good, the indexing is good, the binding and paper quality is excellent, and of course the artwork is infinitely better than the original.

My only quibble is that this is not very user-friendly to those mixing old and new. In the old system, armor class went from 10 (none) downwards. This has now changed (for the better), but there's no mention of this in this book at all, making it not only incompatible with old systems, but also unhelpful. I found all the detail I needed to translate armor class, and many other useful pieces of information, on the Wikipedia entry, but it wouldn't have taken much space to mention the changes in an introduction to this book. Other changes are the introduction of the Challenge Rating (again, had to do research to find out what that was), and various modifiers that I'm happy to ignore. I have no idea whether these happened in version 2 or 3 - to me, it doesn't matter, and I doubt I'm the only one.

Apart from that, I'm very happy with this book, and prefer it to the original.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - Great Art and New takes on the bad guys!, 26 Oct 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
Received this book with anticipation, and was not disapointed. As with the other two core books, the artwork and layout is fantastic. Occasionally the pictures do not match the descriptions closely, but they give you a hell of a feel for running them. As a 1e and 2e DM I recognised a lot of the bad guys from the old MM 1&2 and even the Fiend Folio. Good to see these return!. The information for creatures is fantastic for running them, and thankfully does not waffle on about spurios details. One drawback maybe the overall layout as creature follows creature, even if that means starting in the middle of a column - making it difficult to find them in the heat of action, but I can forgive this - just need to learn my alphabet better!
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Terriffic!, 6 May 2001
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
The new Monster Manual is fabulous. The art work perfect, and the rules even more! Many new foes for your players to slain and be defeated by. It is even good if you aren't a DM. It is just so good...
Simply a must have in dungeons and dragons.
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1 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best collection of monsters i have purchased, 1 April 2001
This review is from: Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) (Hardcover)
The artwork is great, there r loads of monsters to choose from a must have for me ne way
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Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III)
Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) by Jonathan Tweet (Hardcover - 13 Oct 2000)
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