Volo's Guide to Monsters, released in 2016, is a sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition.

Content[edit | edit source]

Cover[edit | edit source]

The cover, by Tyler Jacobson, depicts a meeting between an unnamed adventurer with a copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters, and a frost giant.

Preface[edit | edit source]

This section features an introduction from Volothamp Geddarm, explaining that the book is his latest work; this is immediately followed by commentary on that introduction from Elminster. The remainder of the book includes commentary from both characters on various sections.

Monster Lore[edit | edit source]

The first chapter of the book provides expanded lore and options for a number of monsters introduced in the Monster Manual (5e) (2014). These include beholders, giants, gnolls, goblinoids, hags, kobolds, mind flayers, orcs, and yuan-ti.

Character Races[edit | edit source]

The second chapter of the book features profiles of seven playable character races: aasimar, firbolg, goliath, kenku, lizardfolk, tabaxi, and triton. A smaller, less detailed section on "monstrous adventurers" includes rules for playing bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins, kobolds, orcs, and yuan-ti purebloods.

Bestiary[edit | edit source]

The third chapter of the book provides game statistics for nearly 100 monsters:

banderhobb, barghest, beholders (death kiss, gauth, gazer), bodak, boggle, catoblepas, cave fisher, chitines (chitine, choldrith), cranium rats (cranium rat, swarm of cranium rats), darklings (darkling, darkling elder), deep scion, demons (babau, maw demon, shoosuva), devourer, dinosaurs (brontosaurus, deinonychus, dimetrodon, hadrosaurus, quetzalcoatlus, stegosaurus, velociraptor), draegloth, firenewts (firenewt warrior, giant strider, firenewt warlock of Imix), flail snail, froghemoth, giants (cloud giant smiling one, fire giant dreadnought, frost giant everlasting one, mouth of Grolantor, stone giant dreamwalker, storm giant quintessent), girallon, gnolls (flind, gnoll flesh gnawer, gnoll hunter, gnoll witherling), grungs (grung, grung elite warrior, grung wildling), guard drake, hags (annis hag, bheur hag), hobgoblins (hobgoblin devastator, hobgoblin Iron Shadow), ki-rin, kobolds (kobold dragonshield, kobold inventor, kobold scale sorcerer), korred, leucrotta, meenlock, mind flayers (alhoon, elder brain, ulitharid), mindwitness, morkoth, neogi (neogi hatchling, neogi, neogi master), neothelid, nilbog, orcs (orc blade of Ilneval, orc claw of Luthic, orc hand of Yurtrus, orc nurtured one of Yurtrus, orc red fang of Shargaas, tanarukk), quickling, redcap, sea spawn, shadow mastiff, slithering tracker, spawn of Kyuss, tlincalli, trapper, vargouille, vegepygmies (vegepygmy, vegepygmy chief, thorny), wood woad, xvarts (xvart, xvart warlock of Raxivort), yeth hound, yuan-ti (yuan-ti anathema, yuan-ti broodguard, yuan-ti mind whisperer, yuan-ti nightmare speaker, yuan-ti pit master).

Appendix A: Assorted Beasts[edit | edit source]

The first appendix contains several beasts, expanding on Appendix A of the Monster Manual:

aurochs, cattle (cow, ox, rothé, stench kow), dolphin, swarm of rot grubs.

Appendix B: Nonplayer Characters[edit | edit source]

The second appendix contains a number of NPCs, expanding on Appendix B of the Monster Manual:

abjurer, apprentice wizard, archdruid, archer, bard, blackguard, champion, conjurer, diviner, enchanter, evoker, illusionist, kraken priest, martial arts adept, master thief, necromancer, swashbuckler, transmuter, war priest, warlock of the Archfey, warlock of the Fiend, warlock of the Great Old One, warlord.

Appendix C: Monster Lists[edit | edit source]

The final appendix includes lists of the book's monsters organized by creature type, challenge rating, and environment.

Development[edit | edit source]

This section is incomplete. Please complete this section and remove this {{secstub}} notice.

The lead designer for Volo's Guide to Monsters was Mike Mearls. Jeremy Crawford was credited as lead rules designer, and further credited designers included Adam Lee, Kim Mohan, Christopher Perkins, Sean K Reynolds, Matt Sernett, Chris Sims, and Steve Winter. Ed Greenwood was credited with "additional design".

Crawford was the managing editor for the work, with Mohan, Perkins, and Michele Carter as additional editors; Chris Dupuis, Ben Petrisor, and Stan! were credited with "editorial assistance".

Kate Irwin was the art director for the work, with additional art direction provided by Shauna Narciso and Richard Whitters. Emi Tanji was credited as graphic designer, and Jared Blando as cartographer. Interior illustrations for the work were provided by Tom Babbey, John-Paul Balmet, Thomas M. Baxa, Mark Behm, Eric Belisle, Christopher Bradley, Filip Burburan, Christopher Burdett, Sam Burley, Conceptopolis, Stephen Crowe, Daarken, Eric Deschamps, Dave Dorman, Mike Faille, Scott M. Fischer, Lars Grant-West, Rebecca Guay, Lake Hurwitz, Tyler Jacobson, Jeremy Jarvis, Jorge Lacera, Daniel Ljunggren, Howard Lyon, Warren Mahy, Brynn Metheney, Scott Murphy, Marco Nelor, Jim Nelson, Marc Sasso, Chris Seaman, Craig J Spearing, Cory Trego-Erdner, Franz Vohwinkel, Richard Whitters, Eva Widermann, Shawn Wood, and Ben Wootten.

Others credited for the work include "D&D team members" Greg Bilsland, Bart Carroll, John Feil, Trevor Kidd, Christopher Lindsay, Shelly Mazzanoble, Hilary Ross, Liz Schuh, Nathan Stewart, and Greg Tito; project manager Heather Fleming; product engineer Cynda Callaway; imaging technicians Sven Bolen, Carmen Cheung, and Kevin Yee; David Gershman, for art administration; and prepress specialist Jefferson Dunlap.

A few inclusions had appeared in previous 5th edition works. The aasimar race had previously appeared in the Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014) as an example of how to build a character race; however, the depiction in Volo's Guide to Monsters changed them substantially.[1] The goliath race was reprinted from the Elemental Evil Player's Companion (2015).[2] The guard drake had previously appeared in Hoard of the Dragon Queen (2014) and The Rise of Tiamat (2014), but gained additional detail in Volo's, as well as a chromatic guard drake variant.[3]

Christopher Lindsay, a longtime fan of the grung, entered them into selection for Volo's Guide to Monsters. While it was not a favored choice, workers each received a "golden ticket" for one creature; Lindsay used his on the grung, and it was included in the final product.[4]

Release[edit | edit source]

Alternate cover

According to the book's inside cover, Volo's Guide to Monsters was released in November 2016. The store release date was Nov 4 for Wizards Play Network stores, and Nov 15 for all other retailers. Wizards Play Network stores also received a limited-edition alternate cover, by Hydro74; this cover depicts a mind flayer.[5]

Reception and influence[edit | edit source]

This section is incomplete. Please complete this section and remove this {{secstub}} notice.

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. How does the Aasimar differ from Volo's and the DM's Guide? (r/dndnext, Reddit). Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  2. Why did the designers choose to include the Goliath as a PC race in Volo's Guide to Monsters? (Role-playing Games Stack Exchange). Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  3. Let's Read: Volo's Monsters (ENWorld). Retrieved 2020-10-22.
  4. One Grung Above (2017), p.2.
  5. Volo's Guide to Monsters (Wizards Play Network). Retrieved 2020-10-22.
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition
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