[[quoteright:239:[[Webcomic/RustyAndCo http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rc1_4742.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:239:There's ''always'' room for jello. Even in AngelsPose.]]

->''"Monsters are ''cool'' when you're one of them. ''Rar!''"''
-->-- '''Abbie''', ''Webcomic/{{Weregeek}}''

Life is tough for a wandering monster. Not only do you have to live in a dungeon [[ArtisticLicenseBiology with no new energy entering the ecosystem]], but you're in constant danger of being killed by treasure hunters or perhaps other monsters. Can't be a fun existence.

But wait! The adventurers are in an environment just as dangerous, and they live a ''lot'' longer! They get all those nifty {{healing potion}}s and [[CoolSword shiny swords]] and [[TheQuest glamorous]] [[SideQuest quests]]! [[GoodFeelsGood Their goodness feels good]]! [[HundredPercentHeroismRating People respect them]]! They're at the top of the world! Well, to the thinking monster, a course of action suggests itself...

This trope is not for {{Mons}}, [[PetMonstrosity Pet Monstrosities]], or MonsterAllies. This is when a lone adventurer, an entire party, or at the very least a core party member are of a 'monster[[note]]"Monster" here meaning "normally AlwaysChaoticEvil in this {{verse}}".[[/note]]' species. By definition either a ReluctantMonster or a DefectorFromDecadence, a Monster Adventurer might also be a HorrifyingHero depending on ''how'' monstrous they are. The civilian version is a FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire.

Note that this trope only applies when there's an AlwaysChaoticEvil (or [[NonMaliciousMonster Always Neutral Hungry]]) morality for the MonsterAdventurers to [[HeelFaceTurn break free from]], otherwise they're just normal adventurers of an unusual species. The Monster Adventurer's natural habitat is the RPGMechanicsVerse, though they're also frequently found in settings with LoadsAndLoadsOfRaces. See also BreakoutMookCharacter, MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch, PerspectiveFlip and PlayerCharacter.
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!!Examples

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[[folder:Comic Books]]
* MarvelComics' series ''NickFury's Howling Commandos'' (not the one set in WWII). Starring the likes of Warwolf, N'Kantu the Living Mummy, Frankenstein (a clone of the original Frankenstein's monster), Gorilla-Man, and a zombie named John Doe.
* Along similar lines and years earlier, DCComics' Creature Commandos. Unlike the Howling Commandos, who were taken from a pool of supernatural creatures known to SHIELD, the original Creature Commandos were all normal humans at one point, deliberately transformed into monsters by scientific means for the purposes of psychological warfare.
* Comicbook/DungeonMonstres #1 gives us the merry band of Juan-Juan (A Bogeyman fighter), Darmfloor (An Undead magician), Wilfried (An Elephant [[MultiClass barbarian-monk]]), Yomanda (An Ochtone with no discernible class) and... [[TravelingSalesman Willem van Dattum]] (An evil salesman who bears the Sword of Destiny at the time).
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Drizzt Do'Urden of the ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms [[TheLegendOfDrizzt Legend of Drizzt]]'' books. His father Zaknafein might have become one, had he not fallen prey to MentorOccupationalHazard.
* The ''WarOfTheSpiderQueen'' series is mostly about a bunch of drow on a quest to find out why their boss doesn't answer calls. They even took a Draegloth with them, and later sort of picked up [[spoiler:an Alu-fiend]]. Of course, unlike Salvatore's most famous Drow protagonist, [[VillainProtagonist they're all evil]].
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' always was ready to throw an occasional monster at least as a sidekick, eventually including just about everything.
** The Basic ''D&D'' supplement "Gazetteer 10 The Orcs of Thar'' had rules for creating and playing humanoid monsters such as orcs, trolls, hobgoblins and so on.
** ''AD&D2'' has "The Complete Book of Humanoids" including traditional {{Mook}} species.
** In ''D&D3'' this became a routine procedure. As mentioned in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' example, there are rules for monster [=NPC=]s, but most of the monster races aren't really that good as player characters. The reason for that is ''level adjustment''. It means that to pay for the increased power of, say, being able to eat your opponents' brains and mindblast them, some of your levels don't actually count for the character's advancement, meaning you're perpetually between 2 (drow) and 6 (mindflayer) levels behind every other player character. While the abilities you gain are pretty cool, they're often no match for the increased HitPoints and ''especially'' spellcasting power actual levels would give you.
** In 4e, with the NPC stats at the back of the first two Monster Manuals, playing a monster PC is more mechanically viable than ever.
** One D&D book (containing ready-to-use {{NPC}}s for various occasions) contained such a group of adventurers: a troll fighter (full plate but fights with claws), an ettercap cleric (rather smart for an ettercap but Int isn't his casting stat anyway), a pseudodragon sorcerer (ditto), a phase spider rogue (who needs lockpicks when you can pass through walls?), and an umber hulk monk (who fights [[BlindfoldedVision blindfolded, purely by tremorsense]], to protect his teammates from his [[EyeBeams gaze]]). A RagtagBunchOfMisfits if ever there was one, but rather friendly if you don't attack right away.
** ''TabletopGame/{{Spelljammer}}'' has a classic NPC [[{{Cthulhumanoid}} illithid]] who hires the party in one adventure and is a major character of the ''Cloakmaster'' cycle. Estriss had nothing against other mindflayers in general, it just didn't allow their boring [[TakeOverTheWorld universal domination]] plans to interfere with more important things, such as [[AdventurerArchaeologist its own quest for an ancient mystery]].
** ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms'' from AD&D1 times had Mindulgulph [[PrivateMilitaryContractors mercenary company]], mostly non-humanoid. Named after a ruined castle that one warrior lady turned into her base mainly through use of telepathic communication first on everything moving during a dungeon crawl.
** The ''TabletopGame/DarkSun'' setting includes the Thri-Kreen -- [[IAmAHumanitarian anthropophagous]] mantis warriors -- as player characters from the get-go, with further expansions providing at least six different Kreen sub-species.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' overtly tries to avert this trope, emphasizing the AlwaysChaoticEvil nature of its monsters, but at the same time includes a wide variety of monster races, and much more balanced than those in its ancestor, D&D.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Several {{NPC}}s in ''VideoGame/{{Mabinogi}}'' are monstrous humanoids, like Elatha the [[HornyDevils incubus]]. There's also the option of playing as one of your pets, so [[PetMonstrosity Pet Monstrosities]] like [[GiantSpider spiders]] or vipers might count.
* ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights''. The Badlands servers allow you to choose from more than 60 monster types to use as your character's race.
* Among the [[MassiveRaceSelection many playable races]] in ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' are kobolds, mummies, ghouls, and orcs, the last of which can even get other orcs to follow him/her as their messiah.
* ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' offers your entire cast as demons or angels, and you can get every single monster species you find and equip them with weapons AND armor. Then again, it's Hell.
* ''VideoGame/{{World of Warcraft}}'': Horde player characters are all about this, with the Horde representing a goodish-neutral version of the FantasyAxisOfEvil -- orcs, trolls, undead, "minotaurs" (Tauren). The expansions mix up this pattern when adding new races to both sides, with for example werewolves (Worgen) going on the Alliance side.
* The [[CatFolk Charr]] of ''VideoGame/GuildWars2'' are this to those who played the original GuildWars, where they were evil and [[ImAHumanitarian man-eating]] (which was actually propaganda); after dethroning the zealots using a false religion to guide them, they're now in an [[EnemyMine uneasy truce]] with the humans to fight their common foe, [[EldritchAbomination the dragons]], and wander the world to that end.
* In the second game of the ''VideoGame/SaGa'' series, your entire party (Main character included) can be monsters. The third game starts all of your characters off as human, but allows them to become monsters.
* The sample game that came with the original Playstation RPGMaker tool starts with an A.I. controlled party slaughtering goblins. After respawning, Gobli decides that he'd rather be an adventurer than XP fodder, and sets out on a quest to do so. He is joined by a literal hole in the wall that wants to become an NPC and a kitten that wants to be a FinalBoss.
* The Dragonborn in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' is a somewhat example, being a Dragon in human/oid form. Dragons in this setting are innately driven to destroy and dominate others, something that even the [[TokenGoodTeammate reformed]] dragon Paarthurnax admits he struggles with. He notes that with their kinship, those same urges are present in the Dragonborn as well.

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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* There's a passing mention in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick: Start of Darkness''.
-->'''Dark One:''' You made us and the humans, but they get to be [[PlayerCharacter PC]] races while we are slaughtered by adventurers?\\
'''Marduk:''' Well, there are those rules for monster [=PCs=]--\\
'''Dark One:''' Those rules are crap and you know it!
** Later [[spoiler: Malack turns out to be a vampire, which has a punishing level adjustment of ''eight'']], was previously part of an adventuring party, and notes that the level adjustment suffered in a ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' world does make it difficult to find "appropriate" challenges to level up on.
** Xykon, as a lich, has a level adjustment of four, although it doesn't seem to impede him nearly as much as the one above despite being into epic levels even before the adjustment is calculated. As the primary villain of the comic he may benefit from accelerated xp growth to keep him outmatching the heroes though.
* As featured in the picture, the core cast of ''Webcomic/RustyAndCo'' consists of a fast-talking [[ChestMonster mimic]], a [[MooksAteMyEquipment rust monster]], and the [[MemeticBadass silent-but-deadly]] [[BlobMonster Gelatinous Cube]], plus usually a FiveRaces ActionGirl from a rotating GuestStarPartyMember roster.
* The party in ''{{Webcomic/Goblins}}'' is made up of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin goblins]] whose village was destroyed but realized they could better defend their tribe by leveling up. The {{Hero Antagonist}}s now also travel with a [[SnakePeople yuan-ti]], and there's a {{deuteragonist}} dungeon party made up of three goblins, a [[LizardFolk lizardfolk]]/[[OurOgresAreHungrier ogre]] [[HybridMonster hybrid]], and a weird flying, shapeshifting [[ChromeChampion metal thing]] called [[VerbalTicName Klik]].
* The party in ''Webcomic/SlightlyDamned'' includes the [[PlayingWithFire fire]] [[OurDemonsAreDifferent demon]] Buwaro -- who, by the way, is an incredibly nice guy.
* ''Webcomic/YetAnotherFantasyGamerComic'' plays with it. Just look at its article's page picture. It started with beholders, kobolds and harpies, continued with a lich and drow, and most of the time retains at least a token mongrelman even when it mainly involves more traditional PC races. Sometimes AlwaysChaoticEvil aren't very chaotic or evil, sometimes they very much are, and sometimes they have a reason to [[EnemyMine team up]] with "good" guys.
* The eponymous anti-hero party of ''Webcomic/AntiHeroes'' is composed of a vampire, a ghost, a tiefling, and a half-demonic (or is it half-divine?) mysterious cloaked figure. They are also much more sympathetic than the nominally "hero" party including more standard races.
* ''Webcomic/ByTheBook'' is about a party consisting of a goblin, an orc, and a kobold. Later they're joined by some humans and a tiefling. And their "former" employer sent a group consisting of a couple goblins, a hobgoblin, a half-orc-half-ogre and a gnoll to retrieve them, who have gotten somewhat sidetracked by a series of unstable portals.
* ''Webcomic/{{Unsounded}}'': [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Duane]] may have been blackmailed into guarding Sette as they trek across the continent at first, but he seems to be genuinely enjoying it.
* Dan from ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'' is an incubus and [[RetiredBadAss retired adventurer]]; however, he was never both at the same time. His cubi-based powers didn't manifest until after he quit adventuring, so during that time, he was just an adventurer with wings; and is now an incubus with adventuring skills.
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