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Tragic Endings: 5 Ways the MM2 Will Kill Your PC

Written by Janna - Published on April 25, 2009

Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.

It’s not fun to dwell too long on the challenges we face in life. At least we have it better than our PCs. For the most part, real people don’t have to worry about running into dragons, setting off deadly magical traps, or getting gnawed by carnivorous plants. PCs, on the other hand, have been forced to accept the fact that everything is out to kill them at every turn.

So is the Monster Manual 2 really necessary? I mean, don’t PCs have it bad enough already without adding hundreds of monstrous weapons to the DM’s arsenal? If you have a soft spot for the plight of PCs, forget that you ever heard about the coming release of the Monster Manual 2. If, on the other hand, you believe there’s no such thing as too many ways to die, read on for a glimpse of five terrible things to come in the MM2.

“B-but.. I thought you loved me…” – Your PC

1. Killer Bugs

D&D has never been lacking in the ‘things that crawl up and eat you’ department. With the launch of the MM2, your PCs will have to contend with old foes like the Rust Monster and new insectoid horrors like the Hive Queen Ant. Of course, those creepy-crawlies are nothing compared to the shock and pain your PC will feel when, on a lovely spring morn, they start to stroll across a fallow field and – surprise! – end up in the acid-dripping mandibles of an Ankheg.

2. Heavy Metal

Metallic monsters don’t seem fair (They’re monsters and they’re made of metal, FTW?!), but I guess they’re not much worse than a burly PC sporting platemail. Then again, consider the Iron Golem. From the WotC web site: “Infused with potent toxins, iron golems thunder toward foes and bash them into mush.” Um, ouch? If an Iron Golem sounds too tough for your PC, you can always try Door #2. (Of course, there’s an Adamantine Dragon behind it.) Metal monsters will make your PC want to quit life.

3. Giants

Picture by Lamont Cranston

Frost Giant: Did you miss me?
Your PC: Uh, no.
Frost Giant: Too bad!! Feel the bite of my icy greataxe!
Your PC: But that’s a melee attack, and I’m way over here…
Frost Giant: So? I have Speed 8 on ice, and Reach 2.
Your PC: Oh. Damn.

Yes, some old familiar giants are making their 4E debut. As if getting whapped with an icy greataxe weren’t bad enough, your PC must also avoid getting their head cracked by the boulders and greatclubs of our old pals, the Stone Giants.

4. Big Bitey Things

The charmingly-named Heroslayer Hydra wants to kill your PC. The Remorrhaz will tunnel through rock and ice for a taste of your PC’s lifeblood. And the Behir will straight up eat your PC given half the chance – after it roasts him alive with its electrifying lightning-spit. (Good times!)

5. Other

Some things in the MM2 are just too weird to classify anywhere else. For example, the Star Spawn ‘Maw of Acamar’. (Lovecraft fans, take note: these stars are wrong on many levels.) It’s basically a black hole on two legs. And the Retriever, far from being a friendly family pet, is actually an arachnid… construct… stalker… thing. Our favorite eel-spider-merchants, the Neogi, are also making a comeback in the MM2. And those of you who enjoy riddles and obscure prophecies will be glad to see the Sphinx again. (But your PCs won’t!)

So what do you think? Will you be purchasing the MM2? Are there too darn many monsters to keep track of already? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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Written by Janna

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Janna discovered D&D at the age of 16, and she's been rolling the dice for 16 years. (You do the math.) She is fond of intelligent villains, drow society, and campaigns that explore the Dark Side.



13 Responses to “Tragic Endings: 5 Ways the MM2 Will Kill Your PC”
  1. Macguffin says:

    I’m looking forward to the MM2, but mostly out of my strange obsession with the monsterous races. : D
    Was kinda hoping that there would be copies for some of the RPG bloggers to preview, but i guess I’ll have to wait until my birthday to get my copy…

    just out of curiosity, that is just the released info, right? or do you already have a copy…? *glares*

  2. Janna says:

    @ Macguffin: This is just the released info. Please don’t hurt me. ;)

  3. Ameron says:

    The Monster Manual 2 is one of those books I’m actually looking forward to buying, reading and using. Not like Arcane Power which I can live without. Thanks to the Character Builder most of the “player aides” are no longer necessary. But the monster books are a valuable resource for everyone. Can’t wait.

  4. Swordgleam says:

    I have plenty of ways to kill my players already, and I can always reskin the monsters I have. That said, if one of the guys wants to buy the MM2 for me, I wouldn’t say no.

  5. dylan says:

    hell yea kill the pc’s!

  6. gull2112 says:

    I like it because the plethora of monsters makes it unlikely PC’s are going to get too comfortable with knowing how to deal with them. My PC’s were totally on edge in Keep on the Shadowfell when they faced a deathlock wight because they didn’t know exactly what it did or what its lowest defense was going to be.

    Too many monsters???? As if!

  7. satyre says:

    I’ll be buying. You had me at neogi.

  8. Wolf-Shifter Druid says:

    Ooooh…MM2…DEATH TO ALL PCs! I can’t wait to get it, and change what all the monsters look like and what they do(keyword-wise) just to screw with the PC’s heads. God, I’m so mean, but I like it :p

  9. Justin says:


    Arcane Power is a great book btw…adds a lot for wizards/sorcerors/warlocks/bards that can really excite some players. I bought it and the wizard in my party loves it.

    The illusion/summoning stuff is really cool. As well as some of the feats and ideas with familiars.

    You should totally give it another look. :)

    I’m kind of disappointed that some of the classics are in MM2. I think a number of them should’ve been in 1.

  10. Stinky Ben says:

    Ah HELLLLL yeah….

    Here’s to hoping they have Vargouilles (sp? – you know, the flying head monsters with dumbo ears?)…

    Also, I’m assuming they will cover another grouping of dragons (i.e. MM1 had chromatic)? Does anyone know?

  11. Stinky Ben says:

    aside from adamantine, that is. ;P

  12. aneoth says:

    THE MM2 was published about 28 years ago.
    I have some copies if you guys want to take a look.

  13. theSnark says:

    My friend and I recently defeated a hydra by him jumping up on it’s back while I distracted it. I don’t know how, but it worked.

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