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Monster Manual (Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, Core Rulebook III) Hardcover – 13 Oct 2000

4.4 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 3rd edition edition (13 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786915528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786915521
  • Product Dimensions: 28.4 x 21.6 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 35,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Amazon Review

Over 200 creeps, critters and creatures to keep players on their toes. From Aboleths to Zombies, the third edition Monster Manual holds a diverse cast of enemies and allies essential for any Dungeons & Dragons campaign. There are hundreds of monsters ready for action, including many new creatures never seen before. Plus, all monster entries include character stats so for the first-time players can play as the monsters. Dungeon Masters and players alike will find the new Monster Manual an indispensable aid in populating their third-edition campaigns.


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.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My plans to be a dungeon master fell through, but regardless I have still enjoyed reading this and eyeing the illustrations, They are seriously well done! Except the spiders, those are horrible, *Closes book quickly*... But I guess if they set off my arachnophobia, then they must be well drawn, right?
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Format: 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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By A Customer on 20 July 2001
Format: 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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Format: 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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