This book should be bought along with basic rulebooks for ad&d. It contains illustrations, general information, relevant stuff in tables, combat skills, society and many more info about monsters which you will encounter on your adventures. DMs simply must have it.
Everything is organised very well, all monsters are presented at the same way, so you will quickly find desired information about specific monster. For most of them, there are good stories about their history, habits, looks...
You can find enough information in Monstrous Manual to choose a playing character from presented monsters. Play as a vampire, dark elf, or as troll, explore new ways of play, modify presented monsters and create new...You can do realy great things with this book, it will stimulate your imagination and, if nothing else, you will get to know more closely dangerous world which you are about to enter.
Only thing that is not great in this book are illustrations. That is very serious problem, because they should picture (un)reality, and a big part of game feeling depends on it. There is only one picture for each monster in this book, and their quality vary from great to realy bad. Next editions should definetly have better pictures, but you will find that despite mediocore pictures, this is very good book.
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