What do official sources say about player access to the Monster Manual?

The Introduction of the Monster Manual makes it clear several times that it is a book for DMs (MM, p. 4; emphasis mine):

This bestiary is for storytellers and world-builders. If you have ever thought about running a DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game for your friends, either a single night’s adventure or a long-running campaign, this tome contains page after page of inspiration.** […]

If you’re an experienced Dungeon Master (DM)**, a few of the monster write-ups might surprise you, for we’ve gone into the Monster Manuals of yore and discovered some long-lost factoids. […]

The best thing about being a DM is that you get to invent your own fantasy world and bring it to life, and nothing brings a D&D world to life more than the creatures that inhabit it. […]

The Monster Manual is one of three books that form the foundation of the DUNGEONS & DRAGONS game, the other two being the Player’s Handbook and the Dungeon Master’s Guide. The Monster Manual, like the Dungeon Master’s Guide, is a book for DMs.

However, it stops short of saying the Monster Manual is only for DMs, and does not specifically say that it should not be used by players.


Roll20, on the other hand, clearly made a decision to give players extensive access to information from the Monster Manual. Per the Roll20 wiki page for the Monster Manual:

Players can have direct access to the Monster Manual within the In-App Roll20 Compendium. You can share the Monster Manual with Compendium Sharing.


This is not a question about whether such information should be available to players – that is opinion-based and off-topic.

Rather, I am trying to understand:

  1. Besides the statements in the MM itself, what do other official sources say about to what extent the information players have access to the information in the MM?

  2. Did Roll20 ever explain their decision to provide players with full access to MM information?

While this is a list question, it is a bounded list – I am interested in official sources, and officially licensed sources.

It is not a ‘designer’s intent’ question in that I am not interested in opinion, interpretation, or speculation; I am just trying to track down relevant textual quotes about who has legitimate access to the MM information, and under what circumstances.

Methods to Prove Data Authenticity from Potentially Compromised Sources?

I’ve been thinking about this problem for some time and I wanted to ask if there are any known methods, or research papers, about how to prove "authenticity" or correctness of data originating from a potentially compromised source (remote server, process, etc). Specifically what I’ve been imagining is say you have service A and service B, service B sources data from A but is worried that A has been compromised such that even if data is signed by A, B can’t trust that it was generated by code written by A‘s developers. Is it possible for B to prove to itself that data from A is authentic, that it was indeed generated by the expected code and not injected or generated by an attacker who has compromised A?

One solution I’ve been thinking about is using a sort of distributed ledger or blockchain so that multiple nodes compute the same data, and in doing so raises the bar such that an attacker would have to compromise N% of the services producing the needed data, this provides naturally replication and I can use an appropriate consensus protocol, but ofc introduces some overhead, efficiency concerns, and I would need to think hard about side-effects being performed more than once.

If there is only one node possible of generating data, such as a sensor node, and it is compromised, I’d imagine all hope is lost, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if there is some clever crypto scheme that attempts to solve this problem as well.

I hope it’s clear as to what the question is, thank you.

Do multiple sources of counting as one size larger for carrying capacity stack?

I am currently mocking up a Goliath Barbarian, and was wondering if there is a limit to the amount of sources of “You count as if you were one size larger for the purpose of determining your carrying capacity” that stack.

From prior browsing, I’ve found that Goliath’s Powerful Build & Totem Barbarian’s Bear Aspect feature stack in that regard, but could you stack, for example:

  • Powerful Build (innate Goliath feature)
  • 6th level Totem Barbarian Bear Aspect
  • Brawny feat

Essentially, could you double your carrying capacity and lift/pull capacity thrice?

How to resolve multiple sources of cover?

The cover rules in the PHB say:

There are three degrees of cover. If a target is behind multiple sources of cover, only the most protective degree of cover applies; the degrees aren’t added together. For example, if a target is behind a creature that gives half cover and a tree trunk that gives three-quarters cover, the target has three-quarters cover.

However the DMG (250/251) appears to have an alternate method for resolving multiple sources of cover:

To determine whether a target has cover against an attack or other effect on a grid, choose a corner of the attacker’s space or the point of origin of an area of effect. Then trace imaginary lines from that corner to every corner of any one square the target occupies. If one or two of those lines are blocked by an obstacle (including another creature), the target has half cover. If three or four of those lines are blocked but the attack can still reach the target (such as when the target is behind an arrow slit), the target has three-quarters cover.

The only case I can think where these might collide is something like the following:

multiple character cover

Individually T would not get cover from D1 or D3 and only get half cover from D2. The DMG seems to indicate T might get full cover since all 4 lines would be blocked. However if you use the guidance from the PHB (as shown above) T would only have half cover.

Seems to me it’s just a judgement call which interpretation is correct. Anyone know of any rules that clarify this other than a judgement call?

Minimize shadows placing light sources on a diagram of a room

I’m a CS student and came upon this problem:

Given a diagram of a room with obstacles in it (like walls or furniture), find the 4 best places to put light sources in it so the room has the most light possible, or you can think of, minimizing the amount of shadow in the room.

In other words, if you have 4 sources of light, which are the best places to put them so your room has maximum light (or minimum shadow).

I’ll append an example of a diagram so the problem can be better understood: example of a diagram

The solution I thought was to find the spot with most light and from there find the second one and so on. But something makes me think that it may exist a configuration which is better that doesn’t need to be the best from the beginning, kinda feels like a special case of the knapsack problem, if so I’d think of implementing a greedy algorithm or using genetic algorithms to give an approximation of the best places.

I’m not sure if it’s a math or a CS problem. I’d be grateful if at least someone points me in the right direction so I can do a better research, thank you very much!

Can the stress of wish prevent using wishes from other sources?

The stress of casting wish for creative effects has a 1/3 chance of preventing the caster from ever casting wish again. (There are plenty of cites all over RPG Exchange.) Does this preclude using wishes from sources that do not involve the PC casting wish?


Related: Does a character suffer negative effects from using a Wish spell cast from a magic item? — This question addresses an item that enables the PC “to cast the wish spell from it”.

Do the negative effects of wish apply to free wishes? — This question’s second bullet point is similar to my question, but is phrased as being able to use items’ properties that enable a PC to cast wish.

Does the wish-granting Efreeti from an Efreeti Bottle suffer wish stress? — This discusses whether an efreeti granting a wish suffers wish stress. This approaches my question: Can a PC that cannot cast wish due to the stress have their wish fulfilled by an efreeti or similar?

(This question arose from a dream I had last night: Dream-me took a ring that I had collected during my adventuring days. This was not a Ring of Three Wishes, rather a ring like the lamp in “Aladdin’s Wonderful Lamp” from Arabian Nights: The host vessel for a djinni that could grant wishes without numerical limit. I was negotiating with the djinni on the phrasing of a wish that would cancel the contagious aspect of SARS-CoV-2; the djinni told me that if I wished for that, I would never be able to use a wish ever again. I was willing to pay that price; wouldn’t you?)

Do multiple sources of temporary hit points combine, or do you only get one set?

Do multiple sources of temporary hit points combine, or do you only get one set?

For example, say you cast armor of Agathys and false life on yourself. Do you have two separate pools of temporary hit points, or do you have to pick one of the two? By separate pools, I mean that you have 5 temp HP from AoA and 8 temp HP from FL. If you take 10 damage, can you pick one of the two pools of temp HP and take the leftover damage to your real HP, but still have the other pool to protect against a second attack?

I ask because a warlock player in my game insists that she gets both pools, but I think it should be either-or.

How do multiple sources of temp HP interact with one another?

Confused about spell sources for Artificer

I am going to play my first D&D campaign soon. I have played lots of Neverwinter nights (not the mmo) which I hope will give me something of a grounding.

Anyway, I have chosen to be an Artificer.

The spell list states that some of the spells are from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. I did some googling, found a link to the book’s content and the spells are not listed there… Confused!

I do some more googling and find out that they actually seem to be in the Players Companion for Elemental Evil.

What confuses me more is that the same spells listed here also have comments from people saying that they are not in the normal players guide but are in fact in Xanathar’s.

Could someone help me out? Where is the true source for these spells?

Sources for Benchmarks of Prices

I am planning to run a Star Wars campaign, and I would like to get a better feel for the setting’s economical ‘realities’, such as approximate relative prices of things and services. I understand that that there are fluctuations of such things (though a combination of a handwavy setting and the ease of interstellar trade seem to equalise prices more across the galaxy), so I’m not trying to get it right to the last decicredit – orders of magnitude would suffice. Typical items an adventurer would need, typical services like interstellar flight tickets, expenses for hyperflights and ship maintenance – that sort of thing.

What would be a good (best) source which has a lot of such prices or price comparisons in one book, list or other form of compiled material (i.e. not a myriad of scattered pages)? Doesn’t matter which of the systems it’s made for, so long as it presents a relatively comprehensive and mostly-coherent picture of comparative worth of various things and services. Old Republic era is preferred, but I think that’s less likely to be available, and if it’s not, I think I should be able to get by almost as well with Rebellion era.