A brand new sourcebook for Dungeons & Dragons 5E, one that compiles 33 playable species, is coming this spring.
Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse is an upcoming sourcebook for D&D 5E that features various species options for players to choose from when creating their characters, alongside a bestiary containing over 250 different monsters for players to encounter in their games. There are no entirely new playable species found in Monsters of the Multiverse, instead, the sourcebook is a compilation of species from past sourcebooks such as Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and Eberron: Rising from the Last War.
According to the sourcebook’s lead designer, Jeremy Crawford, the playable species found in Monsters of the Multiverse - which includes the humanoid tortoise-like species, Tortles, in print for the first time - have all been rebalanced to make them feel more powerful, as some species had previously felt weaker than others. Any species with aspects that were specific to a certain setting - such as the Dwarves of the Five Nations compared to the Dwarves of the Mror Holds in Eberron: Rising from the Last War - have been removed for their inclusion in Monsters of the Multiverse, to enable players and dungeons masters to design characters for any D&D setting, whether official or homebrewed.
Monsters of the Multiverse also features versions of its playable species that do not include specific ability score increases. Instead, similarly to the species contained in 2020’s Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, players are able to assign ability score increases to whichever traits they want, regardless of the species. Though this change to playable species was implemented to address some of the more problematic elements of the fantasy RPG, when Dicebreaker asked whether Crawford or other members of the design team had made any significant changes to how certain D&D species were depicted - particularly in regards to D&D’s history of racially insensitive portrayals of certain species’ ‘primitive’ or ‘savage’ natures - in Monsters of the Multiverse, we did not receive a response. Suggested moral alignments for certain species have also been removed for Monsters of the Multiverse.
Other playable species in the new sourcebook include the Fairy and Haregon species introduced in last year’s Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign book. However, the two species, which originate from the magical Feywild dimension, were originally intended to be first featured in Monsters of the Multiverse, with the sourcebook having been ready for printing as early as the middle of 2021, but was delayed due to supply chain issues.
The bestiary for Monsters of the Multiverse contains creatures that have otherwise appeared in previously released sourcebooks - such as Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes and Volo’s Guide to Monsters - as new versions of themselves designed to be able to be used in any Dungeons & Dragons setting. As with the playable species found in the sourcebook, its monsters have been altered to remove anything specific to certain settings. In addition, the design of the monsters have been streamlined overall, particularly those that use spellcasting. In response to player feedback, monsters with higher challenge ratings - which determine at what level player characters should be fighting them at - have been altered to provide DMs with more ways to make a creature “really earn” its challenge rating.
The creatures in Monsters of the Multiverse have all been sorted in alphabetical order according to their names, rather than being sorted into specific categories and then alphabetised. (Except for specific species of dinosaur, which can be found under the letter D.) Versions of monsters that may have appeared in previous sourcebooks, but as add-ons to other entries, now have their own stat blocks for DMs to use. Several entirely new monsters have been introduced into Monsters of the Multiverse, such as the Dolphin Delighter, a fey version of a dolphin that can teleport and use telepathic abilities.
Monsters of the Multiverse will be released as part of the D&D Rules Expansion Gift Set on January 25th - alongside copies of Xanathar’s Guide to Everything and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything - as well as separately, both in print and digitally, on May 17th.