View Full Version : Is the Monster Manuel really needed?

04-28-2012, 08:52 AM
Hello all,

I have very recently gotten my first DND book and I only was able to get the player's hand book ( for 2nd Ad&d revised) and was wondering, are the other books really needed?

04-29-2012, 09:09 PM
It's been a while since I've looked at 2nd Ed but:

- the Dungeon Master's Guide is needed, because the Player's Handbook doesn't contain all the gameplay rules/mechanics.

- the Monster Manual (Monstrous?) is not needed, because you can use the rules in the first two books to make your own monsters. However, the Monster Manual will save you tremendous amounts of time of making your own monsters.

04-30-2012, 05:27 AM
Earlier editions of D&D would especially benefit from a "monster construction kit" more than a Monster Manual. The Referee's manual for Lamentations of the Flame Princess -- and the author's latest video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okypMiBOrac) (NSFW) -- argues that a standard list of monsters takes the mystery and surprise out of confronting something unnatural. "Oh a skeleton, ho hum; melee weapons only because arrows pass right through. Oh, a Type V demon; avoid its six swords and coils." While LotFP tends toward low-magic grim worlds, unknown or little-known monsters keeps a high-magic world from becoming stale or cramped. All or nearly all of the writers in "Appendix N" made stuff up as they went along, and DMs should be able to do so too.

04-30-2012, 08:35 PM
I believed for 2nd edition, you only need the players handbook as it has all of the information regarding combat, movement, etc. In regards to monsters, the mechanics for monsters in 2nd edition is different from player characters. However, nothing is preventing you from using class level on your foes instead of the monster mechanics. (i.e they could be fighting 1st level thieves) or use the mechanics to create your monsters (i.e a Medusa gaze works like a flesh to stone spell). The one thing you won't have is how XP is calculated for the monsters, as that is located in the Dungeon Masters Guide but could always create your own or find some reference to it elsewhere.