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Monstrous Manual is a 384-page monster sourcebook for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition released in June 1993. It replaced the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989) and Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989) as a core rulebook for that edition.

Official synopsis[]

Need a monster? Look inside, where more than 300 new pieces of full color art show what the monsters really look like! This book contains more than 600 monsters including all the creatures from the MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM Volumes 1 and 2! In addition, there are monsters from the other MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM Volumes, and some creatures never seen in the second edition AD&D Game before.


The Monstrous Manual contains statistics for over 600 monsters.


The front cover is illustrated by artist Jeff Easley, and depicts five monsters. Clockwise from top, they are a red dragon, a minotaur, a beholder, a lich, and a thri-kreen.


The Monstrous Manual begins with a section explaining the background of the work, as well as explaining how to read the monster stat blocks.

List of monsters[]

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

aarakocra, aboleth, ankheg, arcane, argos, aurumvorax, baatezu (pit fiend, abishai (black abishai, green abishai, red abishai)), banshee, basilisk (lesser basilisk, greater basilisk, dracolisk), bat (common bat, large bat, huge bat (mobat), azmyth, night hunter, sinister), bear (black bear, brown bear, cave bear, polar bear), giant beetle (bombardier beetle, boring beetle, fire beetle, rhinoceros beetle, stag beetle, water beetle), behir, beholder and beholder-kin (beholder, death kiss (beholder-kin), eye of the deep (beholder-kin), gauth (beholder-kin), spectator (beholder-kin), undead beholder (death tyrant), hive mother (beholder-kin), director (abomination), examiner (abomination), lensman (abomination), overseer (abomination), watcher (abomination), other beholders and beholder-kin (describes beholder mage, elder orb, orbus, doomsphere, kasharin, astereater, gorbel)), bird (blood hawk, boobrie, condor, crow, giant eagle, wild eagle, eblis, emre, falcon, flightless bird, large hawk, kingfisher, owl, giant owl, talking owl, raven, huge raven, giant raven, skyfisher, swan, vulture, giant vulture, 'wari), brain mole, broken one (common, greater), brownie (brownie, killmoulis), bugbear, bulette, bullywug, carrion crawler, great cat (cheetah, jaguar, leopard, common lion, mountain lion, spotted lion, giant lynx, wild tiger, smilodon), small cat (domestic cat, wild cat, elven cat), catoblepas, cave fisher, centaur, centipede (giant centipede, huge centipede, megalocentipede, tunnel worm), chimera (chimera, gorgimera), cloaker, cockatrice (cockatrice, pyrolisk), couatl, crabman, crawling claw, crocodile (crocodile, giant crocodile), giant crustacean (giant crab, giant crayfish), crypt thing, death knight, deepspawn, dinosaur (ankylosaurus, deinonychus, diplodocus, elasmosaurus, lambeosaurus, pteranodon, stegosaurus, triceratops, tyrannosaurus), displacer beast, dog (wild dog, war dog, blink dog, death dog, moon dog), dolphin, doppleganger, dracolich, dragon (chromatic dragon (black dragon, blue dragon, green dragon, red dragon, white dragon), gem dragon (amethyst dragon, crystal dragon, emerald dragon, sapphire dragon, topaz dragon), metallic dragon (brass dragon, bronze dragon, copper dragon, gold dragon, silver dragon), brown dragon, cloud dragon, deep dragon, mercury dragon, mist dragon, shadow dragon, steel dragon, yellow dragon), dragon turtle, dragonet (faerie dragon, firedrake, pseudodragon), dragonne, dryad, dwarf (hill dwarf, mountain dwarf, derro, duergar), elemental (air elemental, earth elemental, fire elemental, water elemental, air kin (sylph, aerial servant), earth kin (pech, sandling), fire kin (salamander, fire snake), water kin (nereid, water weird), composite elemental (tempest, skriaxit)), elephant (elephant (African), mammoth, mastodon, oliphant), elf (high elf, grey elves (faerie), wood elves, half-elves, aquatic elf (aquatic elf, malenti), drow (drow, drider)), ettercap, eyewing, feyr (feyr, great feyr), fish (barracuda, giant carp, giant catfish, dragonfish, electric eel, giant eel, marine eel, weed eel, giant gar, ixitxachitl,[1] lamprey, giant lamprey, land lamprey, manta ray, giant pike, piranha, giant piranha, pungi ray, quipper, giant sea horse, shark, giant shark, sting ray), frog (giant frog, killer frog, poisonous frog), fungus (ordinary fungi, violet fungus, shrieker, phycomid, ascomoid, gas spore), galeb duhr, gargantua (reptilian gargantua, humanoid gargantua, insectoid gargantua), gargoyle (gargoyle, kapoacinth, margoyle), genie (djinni, noble djinn, dao, efreeti, marid, jann, jann leaders), ghost, ghoul (ghoul, lacedon, ghast), giant (cloud giant, cyclops (cyclops, cyclopskin), desert giant, ettin, firbolg, fire giant, fog giant, fomorian, frost giant, hill giant, jungle giant, mountain giant, reef giant, stone giant, storm giant, verbeeg, wood giant (voadkyn)), gibberling, giff, gith (gith, pirate of Gith), githyanki, githzerai, gloomwing (gloomwing moth, tenebrous worm), gnoll (gnoll, flind), gnome (rock gnome, svirfneblin (deep gnome), tinker gnome (minoi), forest gnome, spriggan), goblin, golem (greater golem (stone golem, iron golem), lesser golem (flesh golem, clay golem), bone golem, doll golem, gargoyle golem, glass golem, necrophidius, scarecrow, stone variants (caryatid column, juggernaut, stone guardian)), gorgon, grell (soldier/worker, philosopher, patriarch), gremlin (gremlin, fremlin, galltrit, mite, snyad, jermlaine), griffon, grimlock, grippli, hag (annis, green hag, sea hag), halfling (hairfoot, tallfellow, stout), harpy, hatori (lesser, greater), haunt, hell hound, heucuva, hippocampus, hippogriff, hobgoblin (hobgoblin, koalinth), homonculous, hook horror, horses (draft horse, heavy horse, medium horse, light horse, pony, wild horse, riding horse, mule, steppe pony), human (aborigine/caveman, adventurer, bandit/brigand, barbarian/nomad, berserker/dervish, farmer/herder, gentry, knight, mercenary (mercenary soldier), merchant sailor/fisherman, merchant/trader, middle class, peasant/serf, pilgrim, pirate/buccaneer, police/constabulary, priest, sailor, slaver, soldier, thief/thug, tradesman (tradesfolk)/craftsman (craftspeople), tribesman (tribal culture), wizard), hydra (hydra, lernaean hydra, pyrohydra, cryohydra), imp (imp, quasit, mephit (fire mephit, ice mephit, lava mephit, mist mephit, smoke mephit, steam mephit)), insect (giant ant, giant ant lion, aratha, aspis cow, aspis drone, aspis larva, assassin bug, worker bee, soldier bee, bumblebee, cave cricket, giant dragonfly, dragonfly larva, ear seeker, firefriend (giant firefly), giant bluebottle fly, giant horsefly, fyrefly, horax, giant hornet, pernicon, gargantuan praying mantis, giant harvester termite (king, queen, soldier, worker), giant tick, giant wasp), insect swarm (velvet ants, grasshoppers and locusts), intellect devourer (adult (intellect devourer), larva (ustilagor)), invisible stalker, ixitxachitl (ixitxachitl, vampiric ixitxachitl, greater vampiric ixitxachitl), jackalwere, kenku, ki-rin, kirre, kobold (kobold, urd), kuo-toa, lamia (lamia, lamia noble), lammasu (lesser, greater), leech (giant leech, throat leech, leech swarm), leprechaun, leucrotta, lich (lich, demilich, archlich), living wall, lizard (fire lizard, giant lizard, minotaur lizard, subterranean lizard), lizard man (lizard man, lizard king), locathah, lurker (lurker, trapper, forest trapper (miner)), lycanthrope (seawolf (lesser, greater), werebat, werebear, wereboar, werefox, wererat, wereraven, weretiger, werewolf), mammal (carnivorous ape, wild baboon, badger, banderlog, bhaergala, wild boar, chattur, cooshee, dakon, debbi, goat, gorilla, hsing-sing, hyena, jackal, losel, monkey spider, osquip,[2] black porcupine, brown porcupine, rothé, skunk, sleek, wild stag, stench kow, taer, tyrg, warthog, weasel, wolverine, minimal mammal, giant mammal, herd mammal (camel, cattle, buffalo, antelope, sheep), small mammal (beaver, chipmunk, ermine, ferret, fox, gopher, hedgehog, mink, mole, monkey, mouse, muskrat, opossum, otter, sea otter, giant otter, domestic pig, wild pig, rabbit, raccoon, squirrel (squirrel, flying squirrel, giant black squirrel), woodchuck)), manscorpion, manticore, medusa (normal, greater, maedar (maedar, glyptar)), merman, mimic (common mimic, killer mimic), mind flayer (illithid) (illithid, psionic illithid), minotaur, mist (crimson death, vampiric mist), mold (brown mold, russet mold, yellow mold), mold man (vegepygmy), mongrelman, morkoth, muckdweller, mudman, mummy (mummy, greater mummy), myconid (fungus man), naga (guardian naga, spirit naga, water naga, dark naga), neogi (neogi, great old master, reaver), nightmare, nymph, giant octopus, ogre (ogre, ogre mage, merrow (aquatic ogre), half-ogre (half-ogre, ogrillon)), ooze/slime/jelly (olive slime, olive slime creature, mustard jelly, stunjelly, ochre jelly, gray ooze, crystal ooze, gelatinous cube, green slime, slithering tracker), orc (orc, orog, half-orc), otyugh (otyugh, neo-otyugh), owlbear, pegasus (pegasus, greater pegasus), peryton, phantom, phoenix, piercer, plant (dangerous plant (choke creeper, mantrap, retch plant, snapper-saw, thornslinger, tri-flower frond, yellow musk creeper, yellow musk zombie), intelligent plant (hangman tree, kelpie, obliviax, quickwood, shambling mound, strangleweed, giant sundew, thorny)), poltergeist, deadly pudding (black pudding, white pudding, brown pudding, dun pudding), quaggoth, rakshasa (rakshasa, greater rakshasa), rat (rat (black, brown), brush rat, giant rat, osquip), remorhaz, revenant, roc, roper (roper, storoper), rust monster, sahuagin, satyr (satyr, korred), scorpion (large, huge, giant), sea lion, selkie, shadow, shedu (lesser, greater), sirine, skeleton (skeleton, animal skeleton, monster skeleton, giant skeleton, skeleton warrior), slaad (red slaad, blue slaad, green slaad, gray slaad, death slaad), giant slug, snake (amphisbaena, boalisk, constrictor snake, giant constrictor snake, heway, poisonous snake, giant poisonous snake, giant sea snake, spitting snake, jaculi (tree snake), elder serpent, winged snake), spectre, sphinx (androsphinx, criosphinx, gynosphinx, hieracosphinx), spider (hairy spider, large spider, huge spider (huge spider, watch spider), giant spider (giant spider, giant water spider, flying spider, giant trap door spider, steeder), phase spider, sword spider, gargantuan spider), sprite (sprite, sea sprite, pixie, nixie, atomie, grig), giant squid (giant squid, kraken), stirge, su-monster, swanmay (swanmay, bird maiden), tabaxi (tabaxi, tabaxi lord), tako (male, female), tanar'ri (balor (true tanar'ri), marilith (true tanar'ri)), tarrasque, tasloi, thought eater, thri-kreen (thri-kreen, related species (describes tohr-kreen and xixchil)), titan, toad (giant toad, fire toad, ice toad, poisonous toad), treant, triton, troglodyte, troll (troll, giant two-headed troll, freshwater troll (scrag), saltwater troll (marine scrag), desert troll, spectral troll (troll wraith), giant troll, ice troll, spirit troll), umber hulk (umber hulk, vodyanoi), unicorn, urchin (black urchin, green urchin, red urchin, silver urchin, yellow urchin, land urchin), vampire (western vampire, eastern vampire), wemic, whale (common whale, giant whale, leviathan, killer whale (orca), narwhal), wight, will o'wisp, wolf (wolf, worg, dire wolf, winter wolf), wolfwere, worm (purple worm, giant bloodworm, bookworm, rot grub), wraith, wyvern, xorn (xorn, xaren), yeti, yuan-ti (yuan-ti, histachii), guardian yugoloth (least, lesser, greater), zaratan, zombie (common zombie, monster zombie, ju-ju zombie, zombie lord, sea zombie).


After the monster listings follow several appendices. Appendix I features a blank monster form for use in creature design. Appendix II provides tables for use with the monster summoning spells. Appendix III provides tables to quickly generate NPCs.


The Monstrous Manual was created as a response to requests to gather together AD&D monsters into a "single, durable volume". The Manual includes every monster from the Monstrous Compendium Volume One and Two, as well as creatures from supplements for various campaign settings such as Greyhawk, Forgotten Realms, Spelljammer, and Dark Sun. Additional new creatures (for the AD&D 2nd edition game) were included as well. The creatures were all revised, updated, and reorganized. However, many monster listings were condensed from their entries in earlier works.[3]

The project was coordinated by Tim Beach, who also served on a "Monster Selection Committee" with Jeff Grubb, John Rateliff, and David Wise. Doug Stewart served as the editor, with Gaye O'Keefe as editorial assistant (and also responsible for typesetting). In addition to Beach, Grubb, Rateliff, and Stewart, development work for the Manual also involved Wolfgang Baur, Slade Henson, Jon Pickens, and Thomas Reid. "Guidance" was provided by Tim Brown, Steve Winter, and James M. Ward.[4]

Art for the Manual was coordinated by Peggy Cooper and Beach. The interior illustrations were produced by Tom Baxa, Jeff Butler, Tony DiTerlizzi, Mark Nelson, and Dave Simons, with Les Dorscheid coloring most of the book.[4] In addition to reprinting artwork from previous Monstrous Compendiums, over 300 new pieces of art were created for the book.

Additional development credits include Paul Hanchette for keylining, and proofreaders Karen Boomgarden, Anne Brown, and Andria Hayday. (Reid and Wise were also credited as proofreaders.)[4]


Monstrous Manual was released by TSR in June 1993 for $24.95 US, $29.95 Canadian, or £14.99 GBP.

The Monstrous Manual received a new cover in 1995, to match the revised releases of the Player's Handbook (2e) (1989) and Dungeon Master Guide (2e) (1989), but the interior contents were unchanged. The Monstrous Manual was reprinted again in 2013, along with the 2nd edition Player's Handbook and Dungeon Master's Guide, once again receiving a new cover.[5]

On August 25, 2015, it was re-released in digital format. It is currently available on DriveThruRPG and Dungeon Masters Guild for $5.99.

Reception and influence[]


Between 1993 and 1998, the Monstrous Manual sold a total of 281,864 copies.[6]

Year Sales
1993 59,682
1994 88,416
1995 43,683
1996 47,583
1997 35,000
1998 7,500

It had similar sales figures to its predecessor Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989), which sold 293,130 copies; but was less popular than the original Monster Manual (1e) (1977), which sold over 1 million copies.

Critical reception[]

As of 2023, Monstrous Manual reached the rank of Adamantine seller on DriveThruRPG.

Influence on other works[]

External links[]


  1. The ixitxachitl also has its own separate entry.
  2. The osquip is also listed under the entry for rat.
  3. Monstrous Manual (1993), p.3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Monstrous Manual (1993), p.2.
  5. Monstrous Manual (2e) (Dungeon Masters Guild). Retrieved 2020-10-05.
  6. Tweet. Ben Riggs, July 26, 2022.

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