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June 25, 2010 / DM Baloo

9 Reasons to get the new D&D 4th Edition Monster Manual 3

To get or not to get? …is that really the question?


Last week the new Monster Manual for 4th Edition D&D hit the stores, escorted by excellent previews and a lot of anticipation from gamers, today I’m going to give you a list of 9 things you will find inside this book that more than justify adding it to your D&D collection.



A new stat block:


One of the most remarkable features in this new MM3 is a complete remake of the monsters stat blocks, in its new configuration the powers are arranged according to the type of action required to used them (Standard, Move, Minor, Free) making it so much more manageable for DMs to run monster powers amidst combat. Above the powers section we have the “traits” tab, where we find all those special attributes monsters have that where so easily missed before, finally we get the set of “triggered” actions at the bottom of the block.


Improved Solos:


Much have been said about the need of better solo monsters around the internet lately, not only old solos fights tend to last longer than they should, but also the “until the end of your next turn” effects discussion,  apparently the folks at WoTC are aware of this and decided to do something about it, developing more interesting and challenging solos, a great example can be found in the preview of Lolth, Demon Queen of Spiders, this solo basically transforms into another monster with different abilities when it reaches 0 hp, renewing the fight and giving more action and a sense of progression in to an otherwise long flat encounter.


More Fluff:


This edition of Monster Manual has included in its layout a substantial amount of fluff text (lore about the creatures) thus complementing the monster mechanics (stats) with history of its origin, description of behavior, and in some special cases, a few monsters even get a sidebar text expanding upon its lore. Certainly a powerful tool for DMs to include richer stories and backgrounds for the enemies on the campaign.



Far realm theme:


Although MM3 presents us with a great variety of new monsters (300+ additions to any DM arsenal) a large array of this monsters have a Far Realm or Psionic theme, not really a surprise after the recent release of the Player’s Handbook 3. If you are toying with the idea of throwing a far realm oriented campaign (I know i am) this book is just a precious addition of content.


Renewed and Improved:


What does the Ghast, Rot Grub, Intellect Devourer, Mimic and Catoblepas have in common? (I mean besides the ability to make your PC’s go dead dead) They are all monsters that appeared in the first edition Monster Manual. These and many other creatures from pasts editions have been revamped to make their appearance in the 4th Edition of Dungeons and Dragons and are far from being “just conversions”. The guys at WoTC have made efforts to innovate into these monsters while maintaining their original “feeling”. If you are a long time player of D&D you’ll love the opportunity to kick the… (Parental guidance its advised) shit out of them in their newest form.


Are you feeling Paragon? Epic perhaps?:


In MM3 we get a larger than usual number of mid and high end monsters, supporting encounters of paragon and epic tiers. In Monster Manual 1 the highest enemy was Orcus at Level 33, in Monster Manual 2 was Demogorgon at 34. Here in Monster Manual 3 the highest level monster is Lolth at 35 and we also get Allabar, opener of the way (Level 30 soldier), Ogremoch (Level 34 soldier) and Imix (Level 32 controller). Add to that the improved philosophy about solos, and now its a party (For the DM at least)


More Challenging Encounters:


Monster Manual 3 had some significant changes regarding the damage and accuracy of monsters. During development, they determined that players usually kill monsters so fast they are hardly ever threatening to a well build party, so they have increased the damage output of average monsters roughly 30 to 40% and reviewed accuracy as well adjusting it so they would be more effective.


Did he really just do that!?:


New monsters mechanics, pure and simple. Several of the monsters in MM3 present new and unusual mechanics for example, with the Psionic theme going on, some monsters got psionic augmentation ability, another good example would be the Catastrophic Dragons, rushing into battle and dealing damage upon being attacked.


Paragon and Epic Campaign Hooks and Factions:

Along side the addition of more fluff content in this Monster Manual we leave behind the old “Compendium of stat blocks” format to introduce a more compelling way to present enemies, this book also gives us DMs a wide range of possibilities to incorporate history hooks and races/factions to our campaigns, such is the case of the Cult of the Elemental Evil, The forsaken and the Star Spawn, all of them lore rich faction that serve this propose.


To sum up a little, the D&D Monster Manual 3 is the most comprehensive list of monsters for 4th edition so far, there is really not a good enough excuse to keep it out of your collection, oh did i left out the great art this book portraits? well it does, so if you have a chance, get one to yourself, I promise you wont be disappointed.



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4 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Charisma / Jun 25 2010 6:57 pm

    I’d buy it just for the cover.

  2. DM Baloo / Jun 25 2010 8:05 pm

    I know right? for me it was sold when i saw the Kraken, now i can have a npc go “Release…. tze Kraken”

  3. Sersa V / Jun 30 2010 2:05 pm

    I can’t wait to grab a copy, I’ve been stoked about it for months. :)
    Between MM3, Dark Sun, and the Tomb of Horrors, I’ve been a very happy 4E geek!

    • DM Baloo / Jul 1 2010 5:46 pm

      @Sersa V i know exactly what you mean, I’ve been waiting for the Tomb of Horros for 4th edition for several month now, cant wait for its release. I have to admit, Dark Sun I’m waiting since the Penny Arcade podcast, a great approach by WoTC.

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