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The Monster Manual, released in 2014, is one of the three core rulebooks for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. It presents rules and game statistics for monsters, and is intended primarily for use by the Dungeon Master.


The Monster Manual contains statistics for over 300 monsters, miscellaneous creatures (mostly mundane animals), and NPCs.


As described on the book's index page, the front cover depicts the beholder crime lord Xanathar of Waterdeep, ambushing explorers in the depths of Undermountain. This explicitly places this event in the Forgotten Realms. On the back cover, a grick can be seen.

According to Expedition to Undermountain (2007), Xanathar maintains a lair in the third level of Undermountain. Intruders are readily spotted by hidden eyeball beholderkin and reported to Xanathar. However, he prefers to avoid physical combat where possible.

The cover image is drawn by Raymond Swanland. A higher resolution wallpaper of this image can be found at Wizards.com.


The Monster Manual begins with an eight-page introduction which briefly describes how to use the monster manual, how to read statblocks, monster types and locales, various rules relevant to monters such as experience point values and resistances, and the rules for legendary creatures.

List of monsters

The main section of Monster Manual contains game statistics for the following creatures:

aarakocra, aboleth, angels (deva, planetar, solar), animated objects (animated armor, flying sword, rug of smothering), ankheg, azer, banshee, basilisk, behir, beholders (beholder, death tyrant, spectator), blights (twig blight, needle blight, vine blight), bugbears (bugbear, bugbear chief), bulette, bullywug, cambion, carrion crawler, centaur, chimera, chuul, cloaker, cockatrice, couatl, crawling claw, cyclops, darkmantle, death knight, demilich, demons (balor, barlgura, chasme, dretch, glabrezu, goristro, hezrou, manes, marilith, nalfeshnee, quasit, shadow demon, vrock yochlol), devils (barbed devil, bearded devil, bone devil, chain devil, erinyes, horned devil, ice devil, imp, lemure, pit fiend, spined devil), dinosaurs (allosaurus, ankylosaurus, plesiosaurus, pteranodon, triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex), displacer beast, doppelganger, dracolich, dragon, shadow (young red shadow dragon), dragons (ancient, adult, young and wyrmling statblocks for each of the black, blue, green, red, white, brass, bronze, copper, gold, silver dragons), dragon turtle, drider, dryad, duergar, elementals (air elemental, earth elemental, fire elemental, water elemental), elves: drow, empyrean, ettercap, ettin, faerie dragon, flameskull, flumph, fomorian, fungi (gas spore, shrieker, violet fungus), galeb duhr, gargoyle, genies (dao, djinni, efreeti, marid), ghost, ghouls (ghast, ghoul), giants (cloud giant, fire giant, frost giant, hill giant, stone giant, storm giant), gibbering mouther, gith, gnolls (gnoll, gnoll pack lord, gnoll fang of Yeenoghu), gnome, deep (svirfneblin), goblins (goblin, goblin boss), golems (clay golem, flesh golem, iron golem, stone golem), gorgon, grell, grick, griffon, grimlock, hags (green hag, night hag, sea hag), half-dragon (half red-dragon veteran), harpy, hell hound, helmed horror, hippogriff, hobgoblins (hobgoblin, hobgoblin captain), homunculus, hook horror, hydra, intellect devourer, invisible stalker, jackalwere, kenku, kobolds (kobold, winged kobold), kraken, kuo-toa (kuo-toa, kuo-toa archpriest, kuo-toa whip), lamia, lich, lizardfolk (lizardfolk, lizardfolk shaman, lizard king/queen), lycanthropes (werebear, wereboar, wererat, weretiger, werewolf), magmin, manticore, medusa, mephits (dust mephit, ice mephit, magma mephit, mud mephit, smoke mephit, steam mephit), merfolk, merrow, mimic, mind flayer, minotaur, modrons (monodrone, duodrone, tridrone, quadrone, pentadrone), mummies (mummy, mummy lord), myconids (myconid sprout, quaggoth spore servant, myconid adult, myconid sovereign), nagas (bone naga, spirit naga, guardian naga), nightmare, nothic, ogres (ogre, half-ogre), oni, oozes (black pudding, gelatinous cube, gray ooze, ochre jelly), orcs (orc, orc war chief, orc eye of Gruumsh, orog), otyugh, owlbear, pegasus, peryton, piercer, pixie, pseudodragon, purple worm, quaggoth, rakshasa, remorhazes (remorhaz, young remorhaz), revenant, roc, roper, rust monster, sahuagin (sahuagin, sahuagin priestess, sahuagin baron), salamanders (fire snake, salamander), satyr, scarecrow, shadow, shambling mound, shield guardian, skeletons (skeleton, minotaur skeleton, warhorse skeleton), slaadi (red slaad, slaad tadpole, blue slaad, green slaad, gray slaad, death slaad), specter, sphinxes (androsphinx, gynosphinx), sprite, stirge, succubus/incubus, tarrasque, thri-kreen, treant, troglodyte, troll, umber hulk, unicorn, vampires (vampire, vampire spawn), water weird, wight, will-o'-wisp, wraith, wyvern, xorn, yetis (yeti, abominable yeti), yuan-ti (yuan-ti abomination, yuan-ti malison, yuan-ti pureblood), yugoloths (arcanaloth, mezzoloth, nycaloth, ultroloth), zombies (zombie, beholder zombie, ogre zombie).

Appendix A: Miscellaneous Creatures

Appendix A: Miscellaneous Creatures contains additional statistics for various creatures, primarily animals and fantastic variants of animals. Little to no lore is printed for these creatures, and only a few have art.

ape, awakened shrub, awakened tree, axe beak, baboon, badger, bat, black bear, blink dog, blood hawk, boar, brown bear, camel, cat, constrictor snake, crab, crocodile, death dog, deer, dire wolf, draft horse, eagle, elephant, elk, flying snake, frog, giant ape, giant badger, giant bat, giant boar, giant centipede, giant constrictor snake, giant crab, giant crocodile, giant eagle, giant elk, giant fire beetle, giant frog, giant goat, giant hyena, giant lizard, giant octopus, giant owl, giant poisonous snake, giant rat, giant scorpion, giant sea horse, giant shark, giant spider, giant toad, giatn vulture, giant wasp, giant weasel, giant wolf spider, goat, hawk, hunter shark, hyena, jackal, killer whale, lion, lizard, mammoth, mastiff, mule, octopus, owl, panther, phase spider, poisonous snake, polar bear, pony, quipper, rat, raven, reef shark, rhinoceros, riding horse, saber-toothed tiger, scorpion, sea horse, spider, swarm of bats, swarm of insects, swarm of poisonous snakes, swarm of quippers, swarm of rats, swarm of ravens, tiger, vulture, warhorse, weasel, winter wolf, wolf, worg.

Appendix B: Nonplayer Characters

Appendix B: Nonplayer Characters containts statblocks for humanoid opponents. This marks a change from previous editions of the game, such as Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, which had included NPC statistics in the Dungeon Master's Guide. Appendix B contains statistics for:

acolyte, archmage, assassin, bandit, bandit captain, berserker, commoner, cultist, cult fanatic, druid, gladiator, guard, knight, mage, noble, priest, scout, spy, thug, tribal warrior, veteran.

Development and release

According to the book's inside cover, the Monster Manual for D&D 5th edition was released on September 2014. The store release date was Sept 19 for Wizards Play Network stores, and Sept 30 for all other retailers.[1] Pre-release copies were available to staff as early as August 18, when author Jeremy Crawford tweeted a photograph of his copy next to a garden gnome.

Reception and influence

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition was highly successful, and saw unprecedented growth. In 2018, the Monster Manual appeared as #76 on Amazon's top 100 bestselling books.[2]

External links


  1. "September 19 is the Monster Manual's release date for WPN stores. It's September 30 everywhere else." Jeremy Crawford, Twitter.
  2. How Well is 5th Edition D&D Selling?, Unpossible Journeys
Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manuals
Monster Manual (1e)Monster Manual II (1e)
Monstrous Compendium Volume One (2e)Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (2e)Monstrous Manual (2e)
Monster Manual (3.0)Monster Manual II (3.0)
Monster Manual (3.5)Monster Manual III (3.5)Monster Manual IV (3.5)Monster Manual V (3.5)
Monster Manual (4e)Monster Manual 2 (4e)Monster Manual 3 (4e)Monster Vault (4e)
Monster Manual (5e)
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
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