The third of three core rulebooks for the 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game.

The Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game has defined the medieval fantasy genre and the tabletop RPG industry for more than 30 years. In the D&D game, players create characters that band together to explore dungeons, slay monsters, and find treasure. The 4th Edition D&D rules offer the best possible play experience by presenting exciting character options, an elegant and robust rules system, and handy storytelling tools for the Dungeon Master.

The Monster Manual presents more than 300 official Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game monsters for all levels of play, from aboleth to zombie. Each monster is illustrated and comes with complete game statistics and tips for the Dungeon Master on how best to use the monster in D&D encounters.

  • Core Rulebook: The Monster Manual is the third of three core rulebooks required to play the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game.
  • Quick and easy play: The improved page layout and presentation enables novice and established players to learn and understand the new D&D rules quickly.
  • D&D Insider: The Monster Manual will receive enhanced online support at


The 4th edition Dungeons & Dragons ruleset revamps the mechanics of monsters substantially and it is this subject that the Monster Manual covers. Like previous iterations of the book, the Monster Manual is a compendium of basic lore, game mechanics, and imagery on the various monsters which make up the core bestiary of the D&D game. Each monster present in the 4th edition ruleset, however, unlike in previous editions, is considered an inhabitants of the Forgotten Realms.

The book consists of only four chapters, though the first chapter composes most of the book. The chapters are as follow:

  1. Monsters A to Z — This chapter, by far the largest, includes roughly 300 monsters from aboleths to zombies, listed alphabetically. Each section focuses on a particular monster type, with a small amount of background information for use in games, along with statistics for use in an encounter.
  2. Racial Traits — This chapter serves as a supplement to the Player's Handbook, providing players with alternatives to the core races in the form of "monster" races. Unlike the core races, however, these races are not extensively playtested and can be unbalanced compared to the others. Some, such as drow and gnomes, were later re-released in a more formal fashion as fully developed races.
  3. Glossary — An explanation of the terms used in the book, such as creature origins (including natural creatures and elementals) as well as game mechanics terms.

Core Sourcebooks
5th edition
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster Manual
4th edition
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster Manual
3.5 edition
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster Manual
3rd edition
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster Manual
2nd edition
Player's HandbookPlayer's Handbook (revised)Dungeon Master GuideDungeon Master Guide (revised)Monstrous Manual
1st edition
Player's HandbookDungeon Master's GuideMonster Manual