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Monster Weaknesses of the Multiverse: D&D 5e Review

Monster Weaknesses of the Multiverse D&D 5e review article’s featured image is from Mythic Odysseys of Theros. This article contains affiliate links to put gold in our coffers.

I’m reviewing a new product on the Dungeon Master’s Guild. This is a D&D 5e DM tool called Monster Weaknesses of the Multiverse. It is a sequel to another DMs Guild book about Monster Weaknesses for the Monster Manual. It’s supposed to enable DMs to create weaknesses for their monsters.

What’s in the Book?

The monsters in this book have at least one combat weakness. They may also have a social or exploration weakness if they can speak a language that player characters would reasonably speak.

These aren’t just vulnerabilities; these aren’t Pokemon! These weaknesses are lore-based with unique effects. You can be super effective without defaulting to double damage.

The monsters in this book are from Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse. They covered hundreds of monsters from that book, giving them unique weaknesses. Monsters are sorted into chapters by their creature types (elementals, undead, etc.).

Target Audience

I always appreciate that DMs Guild products and third-party products, in general, articulate their design philosophies. You can read about author mindsets that shaped the products. You can very clearly figure out if you are the target audience and if you find the work desirable. I appreciate that Monster Weaknesses of the Multiverse does this in their early pages.

The target audience, in my opinion, is DMs who want to tell players at session zero that there is an incentive to investigate, experiment, and otherwise seek information that can help defeat or appease monsters. The incentive is for players to think critically about their foes and not just think, “Oh, I’m just going to do damage until it dies.” This isn’t for you if you’re a DM who can read between the lines to discern monster behavior ecology and think, “What kind of weaknesses might they have? How might the players exploit that?”

Design Philosophy

Design philosophies are critical for me to review when considering third-party content. They frame my expectations for the material.

For Monster Weaknesses of the Multiverse, the writers didn’t want to have weaknesses that trivialize fights. They wanted to keep fights moving and not bog them down. And they didn’t want to reward obvious actions that player characters would already have done anyway. The weaknesses should make combat with the monster more interesting.

A monster’s weakness should discoverable. The book contains guidance on how players might discover a monster’s weaknesses through experimentation, experience, or research. However, they don’t give context per monster as to how the players might discover weaknesses. At the beginning of this PDF, they give suggestions to echo what the Dungeon Master’s Guide says about different creature types and how characters might explore or get to know those creatures or recall information about them. It’s not groundbreaking guidance.

I would have liked more narrative ideas per monster, or at least the monster types. How might characters discover the weaknesses of a given monster? I wanted more of that. Having said that, these weaknesses are simple for the DM to implement. They’re mechanically simple. There are a few odd ones, but they’re cool enough to be worth the oddity.

My First Impression and Review

I didn’t think I would like this product when I saw that it was only one or two paragraphs or sentences of weaknesses per monster. I thought it was going to be a quantity-over-quality type of product, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I felt inspired by the weaknesses, especially because I’m not super familiar with newer monsters. Reading the monsters’ weaknesses immediately evoked in me what those monsters were about. “Why would they have those weaknesses?” This content fills in that gap for me.

I will also say that I showed this to a friend whom I thought would eat this up because she loves turning lore into monster mechanics. She thought this manual fulfilled its design goals, but it wasn’t an exciting product for her. In this way, my review goes against type. I thought it would not be valuable for me, and I thought it would valuable for my friend. We ended up being opposites.

For its PDF price point, I think it’s valuable. I don’t know if I would go for the book version since I’d need two manuals open (the monster entry and the weakness entry). With the PDF alone, however, I could print out or take screenshots of the part I need for a monster I’m running and slap it in Excel, and I’m good to go. The PDF also has bookmarks for easy navigation.

More Examples and Where to Buy

Click here to buy Monster Weaknesses of the Multiverse on the DMs Guild. If you want to ask me more questions about it before you purchase, feel free to ask me in the comments.

Please support third-party publishers who put a lot of work into products like this. They do a great job, and they really give Wizards of the Coast a run for their money. 3PP gives the community what we want that Wizards of the Coast isn’t providing.

You can watch my video review (see below) to get a better look at the material. I read several examples from the book in my video so you can evaluate if they’re useful enough for you to purchase the book. Watch the video for more examples:

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