Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse – Summary

Last Updated on February 1, 2023

A large part of what makes Dungeons and Dragons such an exciting hobby is the vast collection of creatures and playable races that populate the worlds we explore. From the dragons that immediately come to mind to strange oddities like flumphs, there are a lot of incredible creatures, and many of them are jam-packed into the 5e book Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse.

In this article, we’ll be looking into what this book features, how good the book really is, and ultimately, whether or not you should buy it. 

(For other great recommendations, be sure to check our full guide to 5e books here.)

Key Takeaways:

  • Monsters of the Multiverse “replaces” Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
  • This book is a collection of creatures and playable races, most of which are reprinted and edited to align with the new direction of 5e.
  • MotM is the reason why many DnDBeyond creatures have received the “legacy” tag.

What Is Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse?

It’s probably a bit dismissive to say that Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse is a shameless cash grab from Wizards of the Coast. However, that’s mostly what this book is. It’s a supplemental sourcebook that poorly replaces two other books most people already owned.

I’ll try to keep this review as objective as possible. Still, at this point, we’re well aware that WotC is following the Hasbro initiative that prioritizes money over quality content. So… there’s that.

On their website, WotC has this to say about their book:

“Compiling and updating monsters that originally appeared in Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, this book presents friends and foes for any D&D campaign, many of them accompanied by the comments of Mordenkainen. The wizard has faced many of these monsters and peoples on numerous wondrous adventures. Now it’s time for you to venture forth and face these creatures yourself!”

This is all nice and well, but to most enthusiasts, “updates” tends to imply “improvements.” In fairness, there are some things that have been improved, but there are many other things that haven’t been or that have even been worsened. 

What’s in Monsters of the Multiverse?

Monsters of the Multiverse includes a litany of creature stat blocks along with many of the playable races that have slowly been added to the 5e roster. While many of these items exist in other 5e books, this does serve as a sort of single-purchase compendium with moderate changes throughout.

We should start off by looking at the playable races. The new approach to playable races in 5e is to allow players to choose Ability Score increases rather than having some set racial bonus. Every race in MotM receives this treatment, whether or not it did when it was first published.

There are opinions on both sides of the fence here. Some people love the newfound freedom to create just about any class/race combo they could desire. Others are annoyed that races like the Aarakocra have become insanely overpowered for optimizers. This new take on races also makes most of the original races undesirable in a lot of cases.

The big problem I have with the “Fantastical Races” section of this book is the lack of lore provided. In the PHB, each race received a few full pages of lore. We got to learn about the history, culture, and even naming traditions of these fantasy races we want to play. 

Now, you’re lucky if you get more than a few paragraphs before you jump into the racial traits. In a book that’s meant to replace other publications, you’d expect at the very least the same depth of information. Unfortunately, they tried to pack too much in and, in the process, decided stats were the only important thing.

The past Mordenkainen and Volo books were saturated with useful world-building information. They gave DMs and players alike information and context for the creatures and characters they might come across. Heck, they were so well written you could read through them for the exciting fantasy even if you had no intention of starting up a D&D campaign.

Monsters of the Multiverse, on the other hand, continues to disappoint as we make our way into the bestiary. Of all the monster compendiums published in 5e, this is perhaps the least exciting. 

Almost every creature has less lore and information than they had in previous printings. Their stat blocks as well are mostly unchanged with small modifications here and there.

The biggest actual changes, throughout this whole book, are to make spellcasting a more forgiving process for both players and DMs. 

Monsters of the Multiverse takes excellent content from two previous books and smashes them together, losing much of the exciting content and lore that made the previous books more than just rule books.

Should You Buy Monsters of the Multiverse?

D&D books aren’t cheap. If you’re just getting into the hobby and you don’t want to buy a multitude of books for the content provided here, feel free to purchase MotM. Otherwise, don’t go near this book; it’s not worth it. Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes are far more worth their value. 

It doesn’t matter how much WotC tries to slap the “legacy” tag on old content; just because it’s been technically replaced by a megacorporation doesn’t mean you can’t keep using it at your table. 

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