Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF

Are you a D&D adventurer? If yes, then the comprehensive 5th Edition of Volo’s Guide to monsters PDF is for you. Volo’s Guide to Monsters is an amazing catalog of the monstrous creature races from the Forgotten Realms. You will find a ton of information about the various monsters in the game, getting a comprehensive analysis of each creature’s history, characteristics, language, strengths, weaknesses, among loads of useful information.

I have personally read the guide from cover to cover, and I must say I am utterly impressed by the fictional work. Just like the previous editions, this copy has done a great deal in putting together a comprehensive guide for players and Dungeon Masters. Below is my review of the work.

Chapters in Volo’s Guide to Monsters


Volo’s Guide to Monsters starts with a preface from Volo, in his usual humorous writing style. The preface also includes a few footnotes by Elminster, though the style is not what I expected. From the way the book had been marketed, one would expect that the preface would include a nice exchange between Volo and Elminster, but instead, what we get is just the usual tone that Wizards has used in previous publications. Don’t get me wrong; I am not complaining. The style they have used has worked in previous publications, so no harm there. I’m just a bit disappointed with the outcome and would have expected a different style to spice things up a bit.

But all in all, the preface serves its purpose of introducing the book and letting the reader know what to expect in the pages that follow.

Chapter 1: Monster Lore

The first chapter is a detailed report of the monster lore and covers the different monster types in the game, explaining the background, mechanics, and several other features of each monster race. These include Beholders, Gnolls, Kobolds, Giants, Goblinoids, Hags, Orcs, Mind Flayers, and Yuan-ti. Considering that this is a sourcebook, I’d say that the author went a great deal in covering this section.

If you plan to use any of the above monsters in your game, then this introductory section will be a gold mine of useful information for you. The section covers everything from the giants’ history and hierarchy to the more minuscule details like a creature’s body diameter and iris shape. 

Chapter 2: Character Races

Chapter 2 deals with all the major monster races in the book. Although the chapter is rather short, I believe the section is the most valuable part of the book. The author introduces several new character races, but if you have read the previous Edition of Unearthed Arcana, you may recognize some of the characters from there. The races are both heroic and monstrous, providing many options for PCs to choose from. The heroic races include Aasimar, Kenku, Firbolg, Lizardfolk, Tritons, and Tabaxi. As for the monstrous ones: Bugbear, Kobold, Goblin, Orc, Hobgoblin, and Yuan-ti.

Like I mentioned earlier, the chapter 2 section is a very valuable part of the book, so be sure to spend some time perusing the pages to discover all perks and weaknesses of your favorite races.

Chapter 3: Bestiary

Finally, we get to the book’s last chapter, Bestiary. Did I mention that Volo’s Guide to Monsters introduces over 120 new monsters? Well, the new entries are covered in this section of the book. Some of the new monsters are sort of variations of previous creatures such as the Stone Giant Dreamwalker. The rest of the monster categories in the section are utterly new such as Beholders, Demons, and Mindflayers, among others. The fantastic art will also add to the chapter’s excitement by breaking the monotony of reading through loads of text.

Appendix A: Assorted Beasts

Appendix A is a tiny segment of the book covering information on a few more creatures in the game. So, if you were thinking of using, say, a dolphin in your campaign, this section will have some valuable content for you.

Appendix B: Non-Player Characters

Appendix B is a section of NPCs, most of which are based on previous character classes. To list but a few, the section covers Archdruid, Archer, War Priest, and a few other non-player characters. The section will be a valuable resource if you’d like to know what a character will look like as an NPC.

Appendix C: Monster Lists

The final part of the book is labeled Monster list and has just that…a list of monsters, put under categories, type, rating, and environment.

Top Monsters Races Covered in Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF

Below are my top picks for the 5 best monster races from Volo’s Guide to Monsters.


Kenku is one of the most important characters found in the book, Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Kenku appears as a monstrous creature, with a dark past that still haunts him—the missing wings are a consequence of the creature’s heinous crimes of past years. But don’t let Kenku’s sinister past fool you into dismissing the creature. If you can play the game as Kenku, you will find him to be quite resourceful, which is why I rate him top of the best monster races in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

Now to the monster’s pros and cons: Firstly, you should know that Kenku has a rather short lifespan compared to humans, only living to 60 years. As for the pros, Kenku is able can mimic sounds with perfect expertise, which is another reason that the character is so valuable.


Next, we have an angelic being, Aasimar. These celestial creatures are ancient descendants of human beings, and yield power from Mount Celestia—which explains the creature’s angelic properties. Aasimar creatures are created with the sole purpose of acting as the champions of the gods, and the birth of the beings is a good omen signifying blessings.

As you can tell from the description, Aasimar beings are gifted with celestial powers and have a gentle soul filled with light. Perhaps an important thing to note about Aasimar beings is that they have night-vision of up to 60-feet and also have healing powers.


Tabaxis are feline creatures with a humanoid outlook. Just as you’d expect of a cat-like creature, Tabaxis are very inquisitive, and the monsters enjoy investigating the wonders of the world. Besides that, the cat-like humanoid creatures like exploring and searching for ancient relics, as well as uncovering hidden tales and stories—curios cats indeed!

Playing as a Tabaxi is fun, and you will get to use your acute cat’s senses. Some of these senses include cat-like reflexes, agility, speed, and not to forget the 60-feet dark vision. Ensure to go through the Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF to discover more details about the impressive Tabaxi creatures.


Lizardfolk are also some amazing monster races that you can role-play in the game. The Lizardfolk is an entirely different species from the other warm-blooded creatures in Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Lizardfolk creatures have a niche when it comes to survival instincts, and they have a primitive thought process, which makes the creatures unique from the other species.

One of the advantages of the Lizardfolk creatures is their tough and scaly skin, which the creature’s use for protection. The creatures also have a special ability to hold the breath for a whole 150 minutes! Talk about Reptilian creatures!


Last but not least is a Triton monster race, a friendly creature from the depths of the sea. Tritons are in charge of guarding the depths of the waters, where the creatures have built settlements away from prying eyes. Like I said earlier, the creatures are quite friendly, living harmoniously with other sea creatures such as sea horses, hippocampus, and sea lions.

Volo’s Guide to Monsters provides great insight into the history of the Tritons, just as is the case with the other creatures in the book. The Tritons have waged wars against other creatures in the past, all in the name of protecting the sea. One of the most attractive features of the creatures is their skin color, which is a tinge of silver with a blue hue. You will probably like role-playing Tritons as the vigilant creatures seldom let an enemy escape.

Should you buy Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF—Which Useful Information will you find Therein?

If you are a fan of the Dungeon and Dragon campaign series, then you should consider downloading Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF The book has lots of content that will come in handy as you play the game, giving you tons of information about the monsters your encounter in the game.

90 Pages of Monster Lore and Lair

The book has a detailed 90 pages covering monster lore and providing you with all the information you need to comprehend the game and its characters fully. The content in the book will provide you with valuable insight concerning the characteristics and historical background of the giants, Beholders, Kobolds, Gnolls, Giants, Mind Flayers, Orcs, and Yuan-ti.

Apart from the 5 monstrous races I mentioned above, the book also covers two more playable races, making a total of seven—the two extra races include the Firbolg and Goliath. Therefore, loaded with the book, you will have resourceful content to take you through the entire game comfortably. There’s no going wrong with this detailed guide in hand—Volo’s Guide to Monsters is the ultimate sourcebook for the pro gamer!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who is Volo in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, and what race is he?

Volo is the shortened name for Volothamp Geddarm, and he is a human fictional character in the book created by Jeff Grubb. The character, Volo, is from the Forgotten Realms campaign, and he and Elminster are the two most lasting characters in the book.

  1. Has Volo’s Guide to monsters PDF been officially released?

Volo’s guide to monsters, 5th Edition, is officially available as of November 15th, 2016. The book has been published by Wizards of the Coast. You can find the PDF version of the book online for free, or you can buy the hardcover book from Amazon for $29.99

  1. Which are the additions in Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF?

Volo’s Guide to Monsters has a lot of additional content with new varieties of playable races. Additionally, the version has expanded on the former creatures in The Monster Manual, as well as adding new ones. The new content includes information like the lore for monsters, covering monsters such as beholders, hags, and illithids, among others. Apart from the new monsters, the book also has character margin notes filled by Volo and Elminster.

  1. How many chapters does Volo’s Guide to Monsters have?

The book Volo’s Guide to monsters is a detailed narrative of the monsters you will find in the game, explaining how the monsters live, their origins, and how they may interact with you in the game. The book has 3 chapters, namely, Monster Lore (Chapter 1), Character Races (Chapter 2), and Bestiary (Chapter 3). Apart from the three chapters, the book also has Appendixes 1, 2, and 3, which provide more information on other assorted beats, non-player characters, and a collection of monster lists.

  1. Which monsters are represented in Volo’s Guide to Monsters?

Volo’s guide to monsters covers 6 races of monsters. The monstrous races include Bugbear, Goblin, Hobgoblin, Kobold, Orc, and lastly, Yuam-ti Pureblood. Apart from the 6 featured monstrous races, the rest of the pages of the book cover the new monsters that are in the game.

  1. Where can I buy Volo’s Guide to Monsters?

If you are looking for a PDF copy of Volo’s guide for monsters, you can find it for free online, after just a few searches. Alternatively, you can buy the hardback cover book from your local book stores like Barnes and Noble, or grab a copy from Amazon at $29.99.


The Volo’s Guide to Monsters PDF is a quality sourcebook for players and DMs of Dungeons and Dragons. The book has a lot of content on the various monster characters you will encounter in Dungeons and Dragons. Therefore, if you enjoy playing the popular role-playing game, then this sourcebook will come in handy in helping you navigate the game and learn more about your characters. Apart from the various book sections that are filled with tons of informative content, Volo’s Guide to Monsters also comes with some awesome graphics that will keep you engaged all through.

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