Volo’s Guide to Monsters is an amazing addition to the Dungeons and Dragons 5e game. Unlike former monster manuals, it goes past giving the reader descriptions and stats, although it does do this as well. I enjoyed the manual for many reasons which I will detail below.
Genre: Fantasy Role Playing
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Stars: 5 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
The first part of the book focuses of looking into some of Dungeons and Dragons’ greatest and most popular monsters with increased detail. The monster’s culture, history, and tactics take a front seat to how many hits they have as the writers dig deep into explaining how these creatures interact with the rest of the world. This was enjoyable and at times a scary read. All players would like these sections, but I think they should stay for the Dungeon Masters eyes only as much as possible.
Things such as how hyenas bloated from eating humans are transformed by Yeenoghu into gnolls and other secrets are revealed and discussed. If you wanted to learn how Beholders are born, this is a great place to start. These insights give a good DM dozens of new ideas and platforms to start just as many adventures and enrich the ones they already have going. Things like this makes one wish there were more hours a week in which to throw dice.
There are some charts in the back and other useful things, but the second half of the book reviews both the new creatures discussed in the first section as well as classic creatures which could not fit in the 5e Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual. These monsters are mostly heavy hitters, but lower level Challenge creatures are included too so it could be used for DM covering a wide span of character levels in their campaign.
Another advantage of this manual is it could be used by game masters running campaigns with different Dungeons and Dragons editions. The beginning could fuel adventures for any game master.
There are not many downsides to the book as long as role playing games and Dungeons and Dragons are your thing. Some people resist the new versions, but this might not have the biggest effect with this book, since much of the manual discusses the monsters as a general concept.
I recommend this manual to all game masters. It is a little expensive, but hey, like me, you just need to know how to ask from the right presents when Christmas or your birthday draw near, and also make sure you have a rocking partner. That is how I got it.