The Monsters Know What They're Doing: Combat Tactics for Dungeon Masters (The Monsters Know What They’re Doing #1) (Hardcover)
From the creator of the popular blog The Monsters Know What They’re Doing comes a compilation of villainous battle plans for Dungeon Masters.
In the course of a Dungeons & Dragons game, a Dungeon Master has to make one decision after another in response to player behavior—and the better the players, the more unpredictable their behavior! It’s easy for even an experienced DM to get bogged down in on-the-spot decision-making or to let combat devolve into a boring slugfest, with enemies running directly at the player characters and biting, bashing, and slashing away.
In The Monsters Know What They’re Doing, Keith Ammann lightens the DM’s burden by helping you understand your monsters’ abilities and develop battle plans before your fifth edition D&D game session begins. Just as soldiers don’t whip out their field manuals for the first time when they’re already under fire, a DM shouldn’t wait until the PCs have just encountered a dozen bullywugs to figure out how they advance, fight, and retreat.
Easy to read and apply, The Monsters Know What They're Doing is essential reading for every DM.
About the Author
Keith Ammann has been a Dungeons & Dragons player and DM for more than thirty years. He has been writing his fifth edition D&D–focused blog The Monsters Know What They’re Doing since 2016. He lives in Chicago.
“I’ve always said, the Dungeon Master is the whole world except for his players and as a result, I spend countless hours prepping for my home group. What Keith gets is that the monsters are the DM’s characters and his work has been super helpful in adding logic, flavor, and fun in my quest to slaughter my players’ characters and laugh out the window as they cry in their cars afterward.” —Joe Manganiello, award-winning actor/producer, author of Evolution, founder/creative director of Death Saves streetwear, and consultant/contributor to Dungeons & Dragons
“This book almost instantly made me a better Dungeon Master. If you’re running games, it is a must-have enhancement. I gave copies to the two others in our group who share in the Dungeon Mastering, and both of them came back the next time grinning rather slyly. Keith is a diabolical genius, and I say that with the utmost respect!” —R. A. Salvatore, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty-five books, including the Drizzt novels The Crystal Shard, Timeless, and Boundless
“The best movie villains are the ones you fall in love with. Keith’s book grounds villains in specificity, motivation, and tactics--so much so that players will love to hate ‘em. This book will enrich your game immeasurably!” —Matthew Lillard, award-winning actor, director, producer, and co-founder of Beadle and Grimm’s Pandemonium Warehouse
“I have to send this book to my DM!” —Hugo award finalist Max Gladstone, author of This is How You Lose the Time War
“I hope my DM doesn't read this book.” —Hugo award-winner Elizabeth Bear, author of Ancestral Night
“Every great DM needs a copy of this book like a player needs a D20 that rolls a lot of critical hits. It won't make the other side happy, but it will make the game more exciting.” —Two-time Campbell award finalist Stina Leicht, author of Cold Iron
"Is a conniving creature with a rational sense of self-preservation really going to take one last swipe at the fighter while on death’s door, or would it run away to fight another day? Depending on the monster, this book has the answer." —SYFY Wire
“One of the most interesting, thoughtful, smart RPG sourcebooks I've ever read. . . . The Monsters Know What They're Doing is a hoot just to read, and transported me back to my days of poring over the Monster Manual and the Fiend Folio."—Cory Doctorow, co-editor of boingboing.net and New York Times bestselling author of Little Brother and Homeland
“As a dungeon master, I am overcome with the sheer usefulness of Keith Ammann’s The Monsters Know What They’re Doing. This book is brilliant. It’s completely rewriting the way I think about encounters, and making me want to sick a pack of goblins on my players straight away. Highly recommended for any DM of any level of experience. And I fear it will become required reading when Live to Tell the Tale comes out this summer and our players all get smarter with their tactics too!” —Lou Anders, Hugo award winning author of Once Upon a Unicorn, Star Wars: Pirate’s Price, and the Thrones & Bones trilogy
“This book is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for any D&D DM, whether you’re running monsters straight from the book or not. This should sit prominently on every game shelf and should be pulled out for every session.” –Dice Monkey