5 Cool Things in the D&D 5e Monster Manual

March 22, 2015


Patrons of Dragon’s Lair have had a chance to pick up and peruse the new Monster Manual.  If you haven’t picked up yours yet, here are five things you have to look forward to:

  1. Lots of Shout-outs to the D&D of Yore: we get quotes from the Demonomicon of Iggwilv and Emirikol the Chaotic, memories from delves into the Temple of Elemental Evil and Undermountain, and a discussion of the heraldry of House Orien from Eberron.  Lord Soth, Count Strahd, and Baba Yaga also get mentioned.  This book knows it’s part of a long tradition of gaming and isn’t afraid to wallow in it.
  1. Lots of Mentions of Graz’zt: lots of entries mention the Dark Prince specifically, including the ones for cambions, lamias, and the incubi/succubi.  Don’t be surprised if Graz’zt is a central player in future organized play, just as Tiamat is currently.
  1. New Takes on Old Favorites and Old Takes as Well: marids now have heads that look like bloated lionfish.  Pixies have all sold their bows to the sprites.  Azer are now fire elementals in dwarf-shaped shells of bronze.  The lamia is no longer a colony of insects.  Water weirds are snakes made out of water again.
  1. Lair Actions and Regional Effects: the homes of certain “legendary” monsters are truly extensions of the creatures themselves.  The very walls of a beholder’s home will fight to defend their owner.  The birds and rodents within a mile of a green dragon’s lair act as its eyes and ears.  Merely stepping foot in a demi-lich’s tomb can kill those who do not share its evil alignment.
  1. Yugoloths: they may not be called daemons anymore, but the mercenary natives of Gehenna no longer play second-billing to their more popular neighbors, the demons and devils.  Yugoloth rank-and-file and lieutenant and captain-level members get full write-ups and stat-blocks.  You’ll also find the slaadi (still color-coded for your convenience) as well as all modrons up to the pentadrone.


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