Even though my group’s adventurers are just getting into the Starter Set’s Lost Mine of Phandelver story, I’m interested in throwing them something unexpected, something dreadful yet worth the encounter. I haven’t gone through with it since I’m still a very green DM and if I dropped a monster that was a smidgen too powerful for them this early on in the game (maybe that Beholder from the Manual’s cover?) … well, you know what might happen.
The September 30th, 2014 release of The Monster Manual will provide an ample supply of beasties to drop into any future campaign. The pages within draw from all previous editions of the rulebook to give insight into monsters, their backstories, and their stats. I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of it. I couldn’t resist.
Of the three core D&D rulebooks, this one is the most exciting to me right now. I’ve mentioned before that I never really played Dungeons & Dragons until now, but I poured over and studied the books when I was a young kid. I’d borrow the books from friends and read about the game for hours on end. The Monster Manual was the book I was least likely to put down. After reading about the different enemies, backstories, and lore, I’d then break out my paper, pencils, and pens and recreate what I thought these awesome creatures could look like. The Manual was a deep well of creativity for me, and it added to the points in my life that set me on the path of art and imagination that I still travel.
It’s exciting to know that decades after returning the last of those books to my friends, I’ll finally have my own tome of monster lore nestled comfortably in between other books on my shelf, ready help shape and inspire future adventures. Or maybe it will light the creative spark for someone new when they find it there and open it up.