Combat Tactics For Dungeon Masters.
By Keith Ammann.
The Monsters Know What They're Doing is an insightful collection about how monsters and villains act in a Dungeons and Dragons game.
The information here is specific for 5th edition D&D. It is Based on the popular blog of the same name by Keith Ammann. Themonstersknow.com
I am recommending this book and blog because I believe in helping dungeon masters run the best game possible.
I believe in sharing knowledge and supporting each other the best that we can.
Information and advice should be shared from multiple sources and we can always learn new things from different teachers.
The Monsters Know What They're Doing is a translation and expansion of the info we get in the monsters manual. The stat blocks in the Monsters Manual never revealed its secrets to me until now.
Until now, I had just copied and pasted the monsters stat blocks and didn’t think twice about them. Ammann gets right to the point and shows us the tactics in a precise and simple way.
After reading The Monsters Know What They're Doing , I had found what I was missing. This book taught me how to interpret the stats to make the D&D creatures come to life. Now my creatures and boss battles are so much more engaging and dynamic than ever before!
The Monsters Know What They’re Doing is not a replacement for the D&D monsters manual. You’ll still need the manual and the Players Handbook for game rules. The Monsters Know What They’re Doing focuses on things you won't find in the monsters manual. Keith's focus leans more toward monster's tactics and instincts more than just a block of stats.
I’ve been DMing for over 15 years now, (started with 3rd edition) and the combat tactics I have learned from this book are greatly appreciated. Most of the information Ammann gives us is pretty new to me. My mind was blown when I first sat down to read The Monsters Know What They're Doing.
When it comes to monsters, my DM style was completely lazy. I usually ignore most stats, I hate math and numbers, and I never calculate experience points, and I always thought CR was just a guideline.
When preparing, I only ever paid attention to enemy attacks, spells I liked, and special abilities. I rarely thought twice about ability scores, and skills like perception, stealth and the rest. I never thought twice about how goblins actually behave in battle. I just threw them at the players and treated the goblins like low level cannon fodder.
Boy was I wrong.
Kieth says, “High-strength and high-constitution creatures are brutes that welcome a close-quarters slugfest.” Before now, all I would see is how much damage a monster does.
Ammanns advice gets deeper and more specific. Every section and chapter in the book focuses on a different type of monster; NPCs, undead, dragons, aberrations, constructs, demons and much more.
I am currently excited to run a vampire in one of my current campaigns. I learned how a vampire would use its spells, and special abilities more tactfully long before a battle even starts. I learned the way it can manipulate other monsters and PCs to its advantage.
I admit that I haven’t read the whole book, I have just skipped around and read about the creatures that I was interested in or was planning on running in an upcoming session.
This Book makes it easy for DM’s to skip around and find the info they need. The organization is great for campaign planning when you don’t have much time.
If you aren’t too familiar with the 5th edition rules, it might get kind of confusing. But I don’t think that would be a problem for most DMs.
I learned and will continue to learn how to run monsters and enemies more effectively than I ever had before. Ammanns’ book is an amazing resource that I will be using for many more years to come.
A professional dungeon master never stops learning. If you want to improve your encounters, and your game, this book is most definitely for you. I believe every dungeon master could benefit from Keith Ammanns sage advice.
The Monsters Know What They’re Doing is an insightful eye opener that deserves its place on the shelf next to the Dungeon Masters guide. It is essential reading for dungeon masters who want to improve their game.
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