More Monsters in (Disappointing) Book Form

I just received a copy of Volo's Guide to Monsters that I ordered from the Book Depository some time ago.

It's a D&D 5e bestiary. I forget now how much it cost; it was about standard for these 5e harcovers, so not particularly cheap.

It's 224 pages, but that's not really a very good indication of its contents, as about half of that is taken up with detailed fluff about certain traditional types of monsters like Beholders and Mind Flayers. The second half is made up of much shorter descriptions of monsters, but these too are padded out with fluff — and there are no new creatures in the book at all, as far as I can see; they're all monsters that have appeared over and over in previous editions of D&D. Originality is in short supply in this book, and if you have any of the Monster Manuals for any previous D&D editions, you can probably safely save your money and just use those.

Overall, the book reads like somebody's notes on the creatures appearing in their own campaign, with extensive campaign-specific filler that is, in my opinion, largely unnecessary and serves no real purpose except to inflate the page count. It might be good for a GM who is entirely lacking in imagination or inspiration for their own campaign, or one who is very new to world-building, but for most GMs with any experience, it's not that useful at all.

Unless you're not comfortable with converting monsters from older books for use with D&D5e, or you're brand new to D&D and want some help with monster "colour", I'd say that you probably don't need this book.

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