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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Killersquid's Avatar

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    Default How useful is a monster manual?

    This is either a really smart or a really stupid question, but how many of you USE your Monster Manuals to put monsters into your campaigns and adventures? With the SRD it seems like a few monsters could be easy to use from there, but the MM would be better to homebrew a few.
    Last edited by Killersquid; 2008-06-02 at 06:40 PM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    monty's Avatar

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    I've had several occasions where there was no internet available during the game, in which case a MM becomes very useful for looking up random stats.
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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Extremely useful. The SRD lacks most of the really cool monsters, and some (Like the Mindflayer) are missing.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by monty View Post
    I've had several occasions where there was no internet available during the game, in which case a MM becomes very useful for looking up random stats.
    Laptop + saveing pages will help immensly here. You can save a page and all links it links to, through a few layers. It makes it even eaisier to look stuff up.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Killersquid's Avatar

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Extremely useful. The SRD lacks most of the really cool monsters, and some (Like the Mindflayer) are missing.
    See, I KNEW it was a dumb question.

    Thanks for the answers guys.
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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Killersquid View Post
    See, I KNEW it was a dumb question.

    Thanks for the answers guys.
    Eh, not that dumb of a question. I mean, it's there and it's free. But at least there's a few good, solid reasons to have some paper copies of stuff.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Glawackus's Avatar

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Azerian Kelimon View Post
    Extremely useful. The SRD lacks most of the really cool monsters, and some (Like the Mindflayer) are missing.
    This. All of the following are "product identity" monsters and aren't in the SRD:

    * beholder
    * gauth
    * carrion crawler
    * displacer beast
    * githyanki
    * githzerai
    * kuo-toa
    * mind flayer
    * slaad
    * umber hulk
    * yuan-ti
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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    To say nothing of the really interesting monsters, AKA the ones that come from the later MM's. Those sure ain't on the SRD.

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    FlyMolo's Avatar

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Killersquid View Post
    This is either a really smart or a really stupid question, but how many of you USE your Monster Manuals to put monsters into your campaigns and adventures? With the SRD it seems like a few monsters could be easy to use from there, but the MM would be better to homebrew a few.
    I have a folder of bookmarks. It's called Homebrew, and it's full of things that I run across that I should put in my campaign. It's got psionic undead and random races, and the entirety of The Vorpal Tribble's collection. I think it also has a link to the request a homebrew thread, because that stuff is awesome. The Yergil are great, use them yourself.
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    Firbolg in the Playground
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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    I have one use for the MM.


    I hand it to one of my players, he picks a random picture and hides the name, I name it.

    To this day I've never missed one or taken more than three seconds to answer.
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jayngfet View Post
    I have one use for the MM.

    I hand it to one of my players, he picks a random picture and hides the name, I name it.

    To this day I've never missed one or taken more than three seconds to answer.
    GEEEEEEEEK!

    I find hardbound Monster Manuals a little too bulky to use at the table (SRD ftw!). The 3rd Ed faux tome ones still look cool as objects of desire though.

    The main uses I have for monster books are:

    1) inspiration from the better examples of art
    2) exploiting creature background fluff as source for adventures (this fluff was more copious in 2nd Ed MMs than in more recent offerings)

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Personally, I prefer to copy the stat blocks of monsters I intend to use into a Word document and print them out. This way they are very easily referenced at the table (and they fit behind my DM screen), and I only have to worry about the ones I actually need.

    Of course, I always keep the book around in case of summoned monsters, or if I need to kill some time and decide to roll a random encounter. Also, it's nice to be able to show my players the monster's picture.

    When making preparations for a game session, I always reference my Monster Manuals rather than the online SRD.
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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    I own the Monster Manual, but I hardly ever use it. At least one person (and usually 3-4) at each D&D session brings a laptop, so I either use the SRD off of that, or hook up my external hardrive which has all my homebrew on it and get it from there.

    Total, among my regular D&D group, we own the MM 1-5, but amid the scores of creatures in the 2-5 MMs, we've probably only used about 10 in all these years.

    And now we're switching to 4th edition, so a fat lot of good they all did.

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    Orc in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    I don't use a computer during play...
    So I bookmark the MM and use that. It's just as easy in my opinion. If there is more than one type of monster in an encounter, most of them are probably simple enough that I only need to write down a few numbers before the game. If a player summon a monster, I expect him to have the stats ready.

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    SilverClawShift's Avatar

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    My DM uses stuff from all five monster manuals regularily, as well as monsters from other books (such as Heroes of Horror, and... well, every book that has monsters really, which is most of them).

    But instead of carrying around this massive stack of books, my DM does something that helps him access/memorize the monster he needs. Anything he's planning on using for a campaign, wether it's homebrew he creates, official material, or stuff he finds online or adapts from other game systems, he copies the relevant information (fluff, stat blocks, combat info, and usually even scans the picture) and adds it to his own personal little "srd" on his laptop. He's also got this html page he adds the monsters to, that lets him sort them with a click either alphabetically, by creature type, by CR, by source book....

    It's pretty freaking slick.

    We've got something similar for base and prestige classes, and for spells.

    It probably breaks some kind of rules, but we're not sharing it with anyone but our own group, so it doesn't really matter away from our own little table.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Quote Originally Posted by SilverClawShift View Post
    It probably breaks some kind of rules, but we're not sharing it with anyone but our own group, so it doesn't really matter away from our own little table.
    Probably not, it's fair use as long as you don't distribute it. Especially since you own the books. But that does sound pretty slick...

    I never use a Monster Manual. Aside from the gith, I don't use any of the monsters there and I own the XPH anyway.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Much as I'm a computer geek I vastly prefer real books when running D&D. For me the MM is a must. I avoided it at first because I thought it would be more fun to come up with my own enemies. Turns out statting monsters really bores me. Instead I can flip to something CR and environment appropriate and then go back to spend time writing plot.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    AslanCross's Avatar

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    Default Re: How useful is a monster manual?

    Since I use a laptop as a DM screen/notebook, all my statblocks are in soft format. I only use Monster Manuals when preparing. I rarely look at them during actual play.

    Btw, Monster Manuals III and V do contain some pretty awesome critters.


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