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In the module Out of the Abyss on page 231, it lists the creatures Male Steeder and Female Steeder. These creatures are listed as beasts. In MToF on page 238, it lists these same creatures with the same basic stats but varying abilities (OotA is more limited). These are listed as monstrosities. OotA is an older published book than MToF. Are we able to choose which one we use between the books?

Note: I'm sure there are other examples for this scenario.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Isn't there a playable race with different stats in SCAG and some other book? I'm not sure, but if there is, it could help with additional examples \$\endgroup\$
    – BlueMoon93
    Oct 30 '19 at 13:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Derro and many of the demon lords also differ some between OotA and MToF. \$\endgroup\$
    – mdrichey
    Oct 30 '19 at 18:46
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There seem to be multiple points to this question: firstly which Stat Block is the official one for any given campaign, and how this affects the Druid's Wild Shape ability.

The Stat Block Officialness Question

The DM decides which stat block to use.

Additional Info and Suggestions:

If you're currently running Out of the Abyss [or any other module with campaign specific stat blocks], I would recommend using the stat block included with the module, as the differing abilities of versions in other source books might change the challenge level or interact with other creatures/situations in unexpected or undesireable ways. The theory here is that the stat blocks for a module have been play tested to work well in that module.

Otherwise, barring DM preference, I'd use the most recent official version, which in this case is MToF.

If homebrewing is an option, the DM might also choose to merge the stat blocks, taking attributes from each.

The Wild Shape Question

The key text of Wild Shape [as copied from the SRD] states:

Starting at 2nd level, you can use your action to magically assume the shape of a beast that you have seen before. You can use this feature twice. You regain expended uses when you finish a short or long rest.

This means that two conditions must be met for a Druid to use Wild Shape to transform into a Steeder.

  1. The DM must be using a monster stat block that defines the Steeder as a beast.
  2. The player character must have seen a Steeder at least once during the course of the campaign or in their backstory.

If both conditions are met, then yes, the Druid can Wild Shape into a Steeder.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The wild shape part of your answer doesn't really address the issue. Whether the druid has seen the steeder or not doesn't matter to this question. The issue is that on stat block shows beast and the other shows monstrosity. You answered that partially I admit. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '19 at 14:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 I think the point could be maybe made clearer, but it does fully address that. The point is that the druid can only wild shape into beasts they’ve seen, so which one the DM has them encounter defines which stat block the monster has for the purpose of wild shape. If the DM uses the beast version, the druid has seen a new beast; if the DM uses the monstrosity version, the druid can’t turn into a steeder. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 30 '19 at 14:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eternallord66 Edited for clarity. \$\endgroup\$
    – Renegade
    Oct 30 '19 at 15:47
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In D&D Adventurers League organized play...

...where a consistent experience across tables and venues is a goal, the latest printing of any particular rule is always the authoritative printing. By playing or DMing DDAL, you're voluntarily giving up control of certain game aspects in pursuit of that consistent experience.

In any given DM's private game...

...the DM can use whichever one the DM likes. There are no rules police to compel or enforce a decision either way. When making that decision, the DM should take into account how other rules may interact.

In the Steeder example, the two biggest implications that come to mind for a change from beast to monstrosity is Druid's Wild Shape ability and spell type interactions (Polymorph, plus any spell with "Beast" or "Animal" in the name). The DM will have to decide if these features no longer including the Steeder is important to the game or the players.

At DM could even look at the differences between the two and decide to use both. Perhaps some breeds of Steeder are beasts, and others are monstrosities.

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As the DM that is entirely at your discretion. If one instance makes the encounter too weak/hard, then choose the other option that's more viable. Have the answer before the party encounters them however.

We have learned in our campaign to never look up stats of a monster we're facing because our DM adjusts its strength to our level. We are about to fight an epic Bone Naga, but the stats of that aren't that great. It will have some new abilities and a lot more HP when we fight it.

I'm saying that to suggest that you just pick the one that best fits the situation. If you want to make a hard fast rule to use the Monster Guide in every instance, that would be acceptable too. That way their can be no argument due to a hard fast rule.

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