The ever-expanding universe of D&D 5e is establishing a brave new direction for D&D with Monsters of the Multiverse. One of Gary Gygax’s original characters is our guide as Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse breaks ground on the future of D&D.
If Tasha’s Cauldron and Xanthar’s Guide set the framework of things to come, Monsters of the Multiverse bursts the door wide open. Monsters of the Multiverse has a ton of updates packed onto the pages and takes purposeful changes in time for D&D’s 50th anniversary.
So, what does that mean?
Join us as we break down what’s inside Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse and what it means for the world of D&D.
The Specifics: A Brave new direction for D&D with Monsters of the Multiverse
Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse is a bestiary of wondrous friends and foes for the world’s greatest roleplaying game. It’s available May 17th, 2022 in both physical and digital form.
Here are some specifics according to the press release for Monsters of the Multiverse.
• Includes over 30 playable races. Monsters of the Multiverse brings all the game’s setting-agnostic races into one book.
• Updates format that makes playable races relevant for any class–on any world–in the multiverse.
• Includes over 250 monsters to challenge your players. Updates to the monsters include making spellcasters easier for Dungeon Masters to run. This gives many monsters more damage and resilience; and improves the organization of monster stats.
• A multiverse of lore. Includes updates to monster lore that refocuses the stories on the D&D multiverse, rather than on any particular world or realm.
This book presents friends and foes for all D&D campaigns. This is exciting and makes it easier to venture into the unknown with the Character YOU want.
A Change is on the Horizon
D&D is approaching 50 years of being the best tabletop experience in the world and as such is pushing to update its lore. The lore in Monsters of the Multiverse is largely left intact with the brunt of the updates devoted to character creation. I find the character creation portion of the book to be the most intriguing due to the collection of over 30 races getting coverage.
When the book was first announced there was a minor social media uproar about the possible changes to lore and game mechanics. The initial impression is that the new race mechanics are freeing and how they should have been all along.
I understand. Change is hard. Even good change can be jarring at first but the initial changes in this book are an intriguing glimpse at things to come.
Monsters of the Multiverse plants its flag firmly as the opening shots of a new direction in D&D. The few changes to lore point to something larger looming but at its core this book is an info dump before the storm. It almost has to be with the 252 Monster and 33 races crammed on the pages.
Glimpse at a Possible new edition of D&D
There is a brief glimpse of what a possible 6e version may look like with the Monster manual section. The updates are subtle but do open the D&D landscape up to a broader realm of possibilities. Changes like that are a breath of fresh air to many DM’s.
There is a sense of customization to the Monsters that really adds a feel of freshness to planned encounters. Monster attacks and spells both have a more streamlined and DM-friendly approach. For instance, Spellcasting Monsters get spell attacks that CAN’T be automatically countered. Not only that but for many Spellcasters, their spellcasting can be bundled into a multi-attack. That’s pretty cool!
The updates and tweaks have more of a 5.5e flair than a full-fledged 6e which is a good thing. Love it or hate it D&D5e opened the door to a more inclusive and user-friendly tabletop RPG experience.
If Monsters of the Multiverse is an indicator of the future of D&D then that theme of inclusivity will continue.
What the Experts are saying
In September 2021, Head of D&D, Ray Winninger spoke at length about the future of Dungeons and Dragons. He stated:
“I know there’s been a lot of speculation of this, but I can actually reveal today that we have — earlier this year — began work on the next evolution of Dungeons & Dragons. (This includes) new versions of the core rulebooks that will be coming out in 2024 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons.”
Those comments are what have many anticipating a shift to a new edition of D&D sooner rather than later. But wait… there’s more.
Earlier this year Principles Rules Designer for D&D, Jeremy Crawford added:
“We are working as we speak on revisions of the core rulebooks that will be backward-compatible. That was in our mind as we worked on Monsters of the Multiverse. So this book will be not only ready to go, but will be able to keep going for years to come.”
Speaking more in-depth on the tweaks to character creation mechanics found in Tasha’s Cauldron in 2020 and now in Monsters of the Multiverse Crawford continued:
“We really wanted to reinforce that all of the game’s races are just as flexible as humans when it comes to the range of culture and personality.
Full Steam Ahead: A Brave new direction for D&D with Monsters of the Multiverse
Lifting the veil with these quotes it seems like there will be a more deliberate and methodical approach to updating the game of D&D. That alone is a breath of fresh air. Monsters of the Multiverse seems to be (along with Tasha’s Cauldron) to be phase one of this transition.
But what about the backwards compatibility that Crawford mentioned? It appears that points to the “behind the screen” DM functions more than anything. Besides initial character creation I doubt most players will recognize or be affected by many of the updates.
All in all Monsters of the Multiverse is a step forward for D&D. It shines a light on inclusivity to move the game toward a more modern and mainstream gaming experience.
Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse is a welcome and interesting sourcebook for D&D. With the recent announcement of Spelljammer and Dragonlance returning to D&D there seems to be a well mapped out approach to broadening the fanbase even wider.
It’s an exciting time to adventure my friends!
ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MORDENKAINEN PRESENTS: MONSTERS OF THE MULTIVERSE? WHAT ABOUT SPELLJAMMERS OR DRAGONLANCE?
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE TRANSITION OF D&D AS A WHOLE?
TELL US ALL ABOUT IT IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW!!!
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