A character goes to a bookseller and wants to buy Volo's guide to Monsters.

With support from your expert opinion, how would you price the book?

The bookseller has the book in stock, somewhere in the forgotten realms.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you mean a character. A player pays what Barnes & Noble wants for it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 4:46

1 Answer 1


50 gp, based on Tomb of Annihilation.

In the Tomb of Annihilation module, in the Chult region of the Forgotten Realms, players can buy a copy for 50 gp. However, it comes with limitations.

If the characters buy a copy of Volo’s book (50 gp for a durable hardcover edition), [...] Any time they want to know lore about a particular monster described in the book, give them useful tidbits from Volo’s Guide to Monsters. Do not impart game statistics, since such information would not be available in-world.

I have used the same price in other campaigns. If you carefully ensure to give out tidbits instead of abstract statistical information, it is of appropriate value. But I also cannot emphasise enough that you should even limit the bits in what kind of information they can convey. Make sure that it conveys only partial information at best. I approach it similar to collecting rumours, some of which are unreliable - to limit the meta gaming at the table.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM The stat block is quite literally the part in a monster's description which is strictly game statistics [and such information would not be available in-world]. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 6:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @KogarashiKaito or, alternatively, the stat block is our world’s representation of things that exist in the game world. You could say that wolves are more dangerous in packs. Or you could just tell the players how Pack Tactics works. Different tables will handle this differently. All of them are correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 7:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM 3-5 happy players is my usual rate ;) \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you suggesting, that a book by Volo would contain mere rumors and unreliable information? I mean, according to my information, they've been edited by none other than Elminster, too. I'm shocked. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 11:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Volothamp Geddarm is known to most Waterdavians as a braggart and a notorious embellisher of facts." -Waterdeep: Dragon Heist (pg. 22) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 15:39

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