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80 new DnD monsters lurk in upcoming core rulebooks

The 2024 version of the DnD Monster Manual has 80 additional 5e monsters, with the three core rulebooks containing 1,000 pages in total.

DnD monster books size - a beholder covered in ears

The new core DnD books coming in 2024 are the biggest the game has ever had, Wizards of the Coast says, with the three books combined spanning almost 1,000 pages. The next Monster Manual features over 80 “brand new” DnD monsters, according to designer Jeremy Crawford.

The new versions of the Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide were until recently known as ‘One DnD’ and are expected to contain tweaked versions of all the DnD classes, DnD races, monsters, 5e magic items and more – while still being compatible with Dungeons and Dragons 5e.

From what Chris Perkins and Jeremy Crawford have said, in a YouTube video published to the main DnD channel on November 7, the rulebooks are shaping up to be pretty deluxe versions. It’s not only their size and the quantity of new content that gives us that impression, there’s also apparently way more high-quality artwork commissioned for the books, with each class and subclass getting its own pics.

“We have more resources at our disposal now than we did back in 2012 when we were putting the core rulebooks together, so we’re just pouring a lot of beautiful work into these books and turning them into real showpieces,” says Perkins.

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Currently the 5e Monster Manual has 179 unique DnD monsters, so adding 80 more is no mean feat. What this really means is highly dependent on how the counting is done, however. If you count monster subtypes (e.g. Gnoll and Gnoll Packlord) as individual monsters, then the manual has closer to 500. We’ll have to wait and see if it’s actually more like 30 new monsters, with a few variations of each.

According to the video, there’s some terrifying new creatures coming. The designers explain that they have made a concerted effort to support high-level play with more high level monsters. Perkins says they’re able to address this common complaint and then “cackle with delight as we come up with CR20 threats to sneak into this book”.

We hope there’ll be some strange returning beasties from old editions, like weresharks and susuruses (susurii?) Apparently, despite the playtest process, fans won’t be privy to everything going into these titles, so we won’t know for sure until they release.

Wizards of the Coast believes most of its classes are done playtesting – though the Fighter Brawler was struck out along the way. Now, of the game’s many classes, just the 5e Monk, 5e Druid, and 5e Barbarian will receive more public feedback.