This hardcover Monstrous Manual was created in response to the many requests to gather monsters into a single, durable volume which would be convenient to carry. With the DUNGEON MASTER™ Guide (DMG) and the Player's Handbook (PHB), the Monstrous Manual forms the core of the AD&D® 2nd Edition game.
Every monster from the MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM® Volumes One and Two are contained within, as well as a few creatures from later volumes. The monsters in the Monstrous Manual have been revised, edited, and updated. Statistics for many of the creatures have been corrected, new information has been added to many of the entries, and many monsters have been reclassified. There are some new beasts, as well. In cases of conflicting information, the Monstrous Manual supersedes all previously published data.
Certain entries have been greatly condensed from MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM entries, to make this book as complete as possible without increasing its size or price. For instance, there is a full-page description of ravens in the MONSTROUS COMPENDIUM appendix for the GREYHAWK® campaign setting; in this book, ravens are given only a few lines in the "Bird" entry. This provides enough information to use the creatures for a short encounter, and it allows a page to be devoted to another adversary.
To find a monster in this book, flip through the pages or look in the index, which contains listings for the common name(s) of every monster in the book, referenced to the correct page.
All of the monsters described here are typical for their type. DMs should note that unusual variations are encouraged, but they are most effective when they depart from the expected. Likewise, entries describe typical lairs for creatures, from the dungeon complexes they inhabit to the tree houses they build; changing the look of these can make a monster encounter unique.