EVERY Monster from the Monster Manual?!

Posted by Labyrinthian in , , ,

I was an RPG forum the other day and I came across a guy talking about how it was "unfair" that his DM didn't include every monster in the Monster Manual.  My head very nearly exploded.  His argument essentially boiled down to the fact that the Monster Manual is a Core Book and everything in the Core books must be included.

The ridiculousness of this is just staggering so really take a minute to let that one soak in.

Thankfully the fact that this particular player was taking this bullshit complaint to a message board meant that the DM did the right thing and rejected the players assertion that all monsters should be included.  I'm going to go a step further and say that all monsters should NOT be included.  

Depending on edition you are talking about hundreds of monsters, some as ridiculous as this guy.

That is a Giff.  Yes, it is a Hippo-Man with a gun.  

But aside from the really stupid monsters one can find in the core Monster book (to say nothing of the plethora that can be found in the books beyond) you have to deal with over-saturation, unnecessary additions, overlaps, and monsters that are just flat out of place in your campaign world.  

Gamemaster often spend countless hours meticulously crafting a world from their imagination.  They consider a whole host of factors often spanning thousands of years of history.  Those who go to that level of effort do themselves a disservice by forcing every single monster in the core books just to appease a player.  I'm certainly not saying that you couldn't craft a world that fit all of these monsters, but given creatures like the Giff and the Shedu (seen to the right) that is a tall order.

Monsters are an important part of the world that you as a Gamemaster build and run.  Don't just throw one in on a whim and don't try to fit too many varieties in.  Doing so can be counter effective in your quest to create a rich fantasy setting. 

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2011 at Wednesday, April 27, 2011 and is filed under , , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .



You should have proofed your article a few more times before posting it. The grammatical errors make it very difficult to read.

Also, you need more context because you are not explaining the player's complaint very well. A link to the original post would help.

April 27, 2011 at 11:59 AM

I hear you; stupid complaint.

BTW, I'm not sure if Anonymouse there is the original poster of the complaint or not, but I wouldn't be terribly surprised. I understood exactly what you were getting at and any typos/grammatical errors escaped my notice while reading your post.

April 27, 2011 at 3:28 PM

To be fair, while the request is probably unreasonable in any edition it was much more insane with the 2e MM. Shedu...sure, they're odd but they kind of vaguely balance a heavy demonic influence.

But the 2e MM carried over monsters from a number of specific campaigns, like the Giff (that was Spelljammer, wasn't it?), Ravenloft, and even Dark Sun. Trying to combine all of that in the same gameworld could easily break any continuity the DM was trying to establish re: divine interaction or technology level.

My favorite part of that old white MM was that there was no explanation of many monsters. I remember getting to the huge list of animals and trying to understand, well, anything about why Stench Kine were so foul or those black squirrels were evil thieves.

April 28, 2011 at 5:40 AM

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