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This page covers general Dungeons & Dragons monsters such as can be found in the Monster Manual or in setting-agnostic books such as Volo's Guide to Monsters or Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. The creatures on this page can be found in any world of the D&D multiverse and can be encountered in just about any campaign.


A creature entry's listed Challenge Rating may be for "baseline" examples of the monster, rather than listing every advanced variant presented in Monster Manuals. Also remember that 3rd and 5th Edition use a 1-20 scale for "standard" Challenge Ratings, while 4th Edition uses 1-30. Not all Playable creatures are created equal, especially in 3rd Edition, in which Monster Adventurers can have significant Level Adjustments for the sake of party balance. A creature's listed Alignment is typical for the race as a whole, not an absolute for every individual in it — even supposed embodiments of Good and Evil can change their alignment. Also, if there are two alignments listed, and one is for 4th Edition, assume that the other alignment holds true for all other game editions. Finally, the "Always Neutral" alignment listed in previous editions for nonsapient creatures has been equated with the "Unaligned" alignment of recent editions.


For the game's iconic dragons, see Dungeons & Dragons Dragons. For demons and devils, see Dungeons & Dragons Fiends. For the various undead creatures, see Dungeons & Dragons Undead. For creatures found only in specific settings, see Dungeons & Dragons: Setting-Specific Creatures.

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Spirit naga (5e)
Classification: Aberration (3E), Immortal Magical Beast (4E), Monstrosity (5E)
Challenge Rating: 8 (dark, iridescent) to 18 (nagahydra) (3E); 12 (guardian) to 25 (primordial) (4E); 4 (bone), 8 (dark, spirit), 10 (guardian) (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Good (guardian), Chaotic Good (iridescent), True Neutral (nagahydra), Lawful Evil (bone, dark), Chaotic Evil (spirit)

Serpentine creatures with human faces, as well as great wisdom and magical power. They tend to become the unquestioned rulers of their territories, though whether they are benevolent or tyrannical depends on the naga.

  • Arch-Enemy: Nagas don't get along with the yuan-ti, the other race of serpent people that happen to share the nagas' preferred territory and consider themselves the epitome of snakedom. In rare cases the two will cooperate, but the yuan-ti always chafe under a naga's authority.
  • Forced Sleep: A dark naga's bite forces its victims to lapse into a nightmare-haunted sleep.
  • Healing Factor: Nagahydras steadily regenerate health in general, and will grow back severed heads within a few rounds.
  • Language Equals Thought: Nagas are supremely arrogant beings, and each views themself as incarnate perfection, other members of its specific breed as nearly so, other nagas as further flawed, and non-nagas as increasingly imperfect. Consequently, they have no concept of equal rank, and their language has no word for "peer".
  • Non-Human Undead: Bone nagas are skeletal undead servitors transformed by a necromantic ritual for the purpose of halting their resurrection. In 3rd edition, they are transformed by other dark nagas, while in 5th edition, this ritual was devised by the yuan-ti.
  • Our Hydras Are Different: Nagahydras are a large variant of naga whose bodies fork into multiple necks and heads, each of a different color, which will grow back if severed unless the stump is seared with fire.
  • Poisonous Person: All nagas have a venomous bite.
  • Resurrective Immortality: 5th edition nagas come back to life within days of being killed. Only powerful magic, such as a yuan-ti necromancy ritual or the wish spell, can prevent a slain naga's resurrection.
  • Royal "We": Nagas tend to believe themselves, personally, the pinnacle of creation, and usually refer to themselves in the plural. Most go further and specifically call themselves Ssa'Naja, "We the Ideal".
  • Servant Race: In Forgotten Realms, the nagas were created by the sarrukh to serve as explorers, scouts, and magical researchers.
  • Snake People: Nagas are at the far snake end of this, usually resembling giant snakes with human heads or faces.
  • Super Spit: Guardian nagas can spit their venom at up to thirty feet away from themselves.
  • Telepathy: Dark nagas can constantly detect the thoughts of nearby creatures.
  • Walking the Earth: Iridescent nagas spend their lives wandering the world, searching for new discoveries and beauty.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 22 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

These immense naga lords are often worshipped by spirit nagas as living gods, and prefer to lair within the ruined palaces or temples of civilizations they have personally destroyed.

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Most nagas are fairly large compared to humans, but the ha-naga is massive: the thing is a hundred feet long.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: A ha-naga adapts the hues and shades of its scales to match its environment, in a manner compared to a chameleon's camouflage.
  • Charm Person: They gaze replicates a mass charm effect.
  • Collector of the Strange: A ha-naga colelcts the art, fine jewellery, and the recorded history of a civilisation it destroyed together as a tribute to its own prowess.
  • Flight: Ha-nagas can fly through the air in a way compared to a snake swimming through the water.
  • Large and in Charge: Ha-nagas are immense, towering above the lesser nagas that serve them and worship them as gods.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

The creation of evil spirit nagas, these blind, wormlike monsters vent their suffering from their existence upon their opponents.

  • Snake People: Nagathas have serpentine heads but wormlike lower bodies.
  • Super Speed: Their base speed is only 10 feet of normal or burrowing movement, but whenever they devote a turn to taking two move actions, they gain a burst of speed that lets them move 100 feet per round, or 200 feet if they "run."
  • Super Senses: Nagathas are blind, but their hearing gives them blindsight out to 60 feet.
  • Undying Loyalty: Part of the nagatha creation process involves the casting of charm person, making the creature permanently loyal to their spirit naga "parent." Nagathas will fly into a rage at the suggestion that their master is in any way responsible for their miserable existence.
  • Was Once a Man: They're usually created from humanoids who survive failed attacks on a spirit naga's lair, magically corrupted using raw material from snakes into creatures that bear no resemblance to their previous forms. The most sadistic part is that during the process, the subject's memories are wiped and their mental faculties dulled, but the spirit naga deliberately leaves the new nagatha with the knowledge that something important has been taken away from them, leaving them in a constant state of loss and misery.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E), Elemental Humanoid (4E), Humanoid (5E)
Challenge Rating: 11 (3E), 9 (4E), 17 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (3E), Evil (4E), Neutral Evil (5E)

Former humanoids cursed with hideous avian forms.

  • Bird People: Nagpas resemble hunched, wingless humanoid vultures.
  • Black Speech: In 2E, the nagpa language Nag (pronounced "nawg") consists of "squawks, caws, and shrieks, and is definitely not a language suited for whispering or polite conversation."
  • The Chessmaster: From the shadows, nagpas manipulate events to bring about ruin. Extremely patient, they have several plots working simultaneously, so if one plan goes awry, they can shift their focus to another.
  • Creative Sterility: In 5th Edition, nagpas were a cabal of wizards who betrayed the elf mage who would become the Raven Queen, who cursed them to be unable to gather, expand or create new knowledge of their own or to learn it from the living, forcing them to scavenge tidbits of lore from the ruins of fallen civilizations.
  • Expy: In every edition, they have a remarkable resemblance to the Skeksis. Their state as beings who were cursed after a failed ritual can be seen as a loose allegory to the splitting of the urSkeks into urRu and Skeksis, too.
  • Forced Transformation: In most iterations of their lore, the nagpas were once humanoid beings who were cursed into twisted birdlike forms after offending divine powers, though the specifics vary with edition.
  • Loners Are Freaks: In AD&D, certain gods inflict the nagpa curse upon "especially selfish mages who disdain the company of others," making them twisted creatures compelled to kill any who learn of their shameful existence.
  • Speak of the Devil: In 2nd Edition, nagpas can sense when other creatures are talking about them, to a range of 100 miles, and will seek out and murder those creatures before departing "consumed with feeings of guilt, remorse, relief, and joy."
  • Turncoat: In 4th Edition, the nagpas were originally beautiful and cunning creations of the primordials, but as the Dawn War turned against their masters, the opportunistic nagpa secretly defected to aid the deities. But their treachery was discovered by the primordials, who cursed the nagpas with their current forms.

Clockwise from top: lu nat, einsaung nat, and hkum yeng nat (3e)
Classification: Fey (3E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (einsaung nat), 3 (hkum yeng nat), 4 (lu nat) (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Good (einsaung nat), True Neutral (hkum yeng nat), Chaotic Evil (lu nat)

Nature spirits who take up residence in warm forest settlements, imparting their blessings in exchange for offerings.

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Nats come in a variety of brightly-colored skin tones, usually red, yellow or blue.
  • Elemental Powers: Hkum yeng nats wield a variety of at-will elemental powers, such as create spring, fireball and hail of stone.
  • Friend to All Children: Einsaung nats adore children, who are the only people they'll interact with in their true forms.
  • House Fey: Nats in general serve this role, though the particulars vary by subtype.
    • Einsaung nats are shy creatures who take up residence inside humanoid houses (specifically the southernmost cornerpost), usually remaining out of sight, but leaving advice and information on scraps of paper for residents to find.
    • Hkum yeng nats make their homes in the center of villages belonging to "fierce hill people," protecting their settlement unless the locals neglect their offerings, at which point the nats will inflict misfortune and death.
    • Lu nats are purely malicious spirits that haunt graveyards, attacking victims with their claws and spells unless appeased by offerings of food.
  • Intangibility: Einsaung and hkum yeng nats usually reside on the Ethereal Plane/Spirit World, only returning to the Material Plane to defend their homes.
  • Invisibility: All nats can use the spell at will.
  • Poisonous Person: Lu nats are surrounded by a 5-foot aura that can infect other creatures with a rotting affliction that deals Constitution damage until it's either cured with remove disease, or the victim reaches 0 Constitution and dies.
  • Status Buff: Anyone inside a home protected by an einsaung nat enjoy the benefits of a bless spell.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Hkum yeng nat constantly radiate a 10-foot radius of fear.
  • White Mage: Most of an einsaung nat's spells are curative in nature, such as slow poison, remove disease or dispel evil.

Classification: Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 1/2 (3E)
Playable: 3E
Alignment: True Neutral

Primitive kin to humans who live as simple hunter-gatherers on the fringe of civilization, typically dwelling within caves or other races' ruins.

  • Clash of Evolutionary Levels: They're presented as the losing side of such, having been continuously pushed out of their homelands by the expansion of more settled races, and their race entry notes that "the history of neanderthals and civilization is a long, bloody tale of warfare and slaughter."
  • Contemporary Caveman: Comparatively speaking; neanderthals are club-wielding, illiterate savages coexisting in a Standard Fantasy Setting with medieval knights and wizards.
  • Dumb Muscle: They get racial boosts to Strength and Constitution, at the cost of penalties to Dexterity and Intelligence.
  • Human Subspecies: They have the (Human) subtype, and will be affected by anything that affects full-blooded humans. Interestingly, their racial write-up describes neanderthals as creations of "the crude and violent deities of the winterlands to dwell in their frozen domains," suggesting that they aren't so much directly related to humans as they were created in imitation of them.
  • Never Learned to Read: Neanderthals are by default illiterate regardless of character class, and have to spend skill points to know how to read and write the languages they speak.
  • Won't Get Fooled Again: The reason for neanderthals' suspicion toward other peoples, even those who seem sympathetic to them — "the neanderthals have been tricked and deluded far too many times for them to openly accept offers of friendship and trade."

Classification: Construct (3E)
Challenge Rating: 2 (3E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Stealthy, skeletal, serpentine constructs usually employed as guardians or assassins.

  • Back Stab: They deal sneak attack damage against flanked or flat-footed foes.
  • Mistaken for Undead: A necrophidius looks like a skeletal serpent with a fanged humanoid head, but they're constructs, not undead creatures, and their bones are warm to the touch.
  • Noiseless Walker: A necrophidius makes no noise even when slithering across a hard surface, translating to a bonus on Move Silently checks.
  • The Paralyzer: Anything bitten by a necrophidius has to save or be paralyzed and unconscious for 10 minutes.
  • Snake Charmer: Inverted; a necrophidius can perform a macabre "dance of death" as it moves, holding eye contact with a victim and swaying in a hypnotic manner. Observers who fail their saves can take no actions but to defend themselves when the necrophidius inevitably attacks.

Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 2 (3E)
Alignment: True Neutral

Sapient, bristly, humanoid plants that normally keep to themselves, unless an elf should enter their territory.

  • Berserk Button: Needlefolk hate elves, and can sense their presence to a range of 1500 feet, at which point the needlefolk will move in to attack. If the elves outnumber them, needlefolk will silently shadow a party of elves until enough other needlefolk are drawn to the elves to make an attack successful.
  • He Was Right There All Along: When dormant, a needlefolk resembles a tree with two branches and a face-like outline in its bark near the top of its trunk. They also gain a hefty bonus to Hide checks in their home forests.
  • Plant People: A spindly, spiny example. Needlefolk meet their dietary needs by absorbing sunlight and eating dirt, dead leaves, and a bit of carrion, though they have no roots and thus need to drink through their mouths. They're deciduous, so their leaves turn red and brown in the autumn — the same time of year they drop their thorny seeds — and needlefolk hibernate through the winter.
  • Spike Shooter: Their signature attack is launching a volley of needles from their bodies, which they can do each round.
  • Unreliable Illustrator: Their art makes them look like bug-like humanoids made out of cacti, though their write-up describes bark and small leaves covering their bodies.

Classification: Aberration (3E, 5E)
Challenge Rating: 26 (3E), 4 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (2E, 5E), Chaotic Evil, or Neutral Evil (3E)

Monsters from a nightmare realm whose activities on the Material Plane have led to their nickname, "Brain Collectors."

  • Admiring the Abomination: Brain collectors may attract a retinue of mind flayers who wish to study its ability to extract brains at long range, and who also get to eat the brains the neh-thalggu disdains to add to its collection.
  • Art Evolution: They're fairly cartoony in their 2nd and 3rd Edition art, but neh-thalggu's 5th Edition depiction is as a more realistic and grotesque horror.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Their AD&D write-up insists that neh-thalggu are more Neutral than Evil, despite their habit of stealing brains — "The Neh-thalggu do not have hostile intentions as such; rather, they do not seem to regard humans or or other humanoids as people." Instead, brain collectors see Material Plane races as things to be studied and exploited, something like cattle.
  • Brain Theft: In 2nd and 5th Edition, neh-thalggu use surgical tools or their pincers to remove their victims' brains and swallow them for storage within a bulge upon their heads. In 3rd Edition they are even more dangerous, and every few rounds can attempt to use psionics to make a victim's brain phase through their skull to be sucked up by the brain collector (thankfully, a dimensional anchor effect will block this ability). Neh-thalggu can store up to 13 stolen brains within their bodies, and can draw upon the captured brains' cumulative ranks in Knowledge skills (in 3rd Edition), learn languages the brains' owners knew, or even cast wizard spells from them (in 2nd and 5th Edition).
  • Cephalothorax: Neh-thalggu are essentially Huge, bloated, tentacled heads atop a collection of spiderlike legs.
  • Intangibility: 3rd Edition bcollectors are always partly within another dimension, and are thus naturally incorporeal.
  • No-Sell: In 3rd Edition, the neh-thalggu's alien, amorphous physiology makes them immune to critical hits, sneak attacks, death from massive damage, or coup de grace attempts.
  • Non-Health Damage: Apart from its poison, a neh-thalggu's tentacles desiccate and dehydrate its opponents in 3rd Edition, dealing both normal damage and permanently draining their Strength, Dexterity and Constitution as they wither away.
  • Percent Damage Attack: A 3E brain collector's bite carries a poison that damages half of a victim's Constitution as an initial effect on a failed saving throw, and if they fail a second save a minute later, they lose the other half.
  • Teleportation: In 3rd Edition, they can use a quickened dimension door every round, and cast teleport without error or plane shift at will.
  • Touch the Intangible: 3E neh-thalggu are often incorporeal, but they can manifest their mouths physically to bite creatures on the Material Plane.
  • Your Soul Is Mine!: In 3rd Edition, anyone whose brain is in the body of a neh-thalggu cannot be raised from the dead, as the creatures use their victims' souls when drawing upon the brains' stored knowledge. Some neh-thalggu have been known to barter for the return of a specific brain, but only in exchange for a more desirable specimen.

Classification: Aberration (3E, 5E), Aberrant Magical Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E), 10 (4E), 3 (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Creatures with spider-like bodies but eel-like heads and necks, the neogi are slavers and traders who wander through and between the worlds of the Material Plane, hated by all they meet but always able to find customers.

  • Aliens Are Bastards: They are explicitly from another planet, and are almost always evil.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: They cannot comprehend any social bond aside from master and slave.
  • Canon Immigrant: The neogi originated in the Spelljammer setting, but have since spread to more general D&D cosmology.
  • Charm Person: Neogi have the ability to control minds, allowing them to subjugate physically superior beings.
  • Chest Burster: Neogi reproduce by laying their eggs within another member of their species, derisively called a "great old master" by the others. The resulting spawn gestate within the adult neogi's body, eating it from the inside out before chewing their way to freedom. The one thing that makes this any less horrific is that neogi only use neogi that have gone senile this way - why waste a useful one?
  • Made a Slave: Neogi are enthusiastic slavers, and measure their place in society by how many other sapients they have forced into their service — they can even psychically dominate other beings to aid this endeavor. This makes dealing with them extremely dangerous, as even neogi who present a reasonable and mercantile facade will attempt to enslave their trading partners as soon as opportunity arises. Neogi who are enslaved are not forbidden from owning property, including slaves of their own, so the entire neogi culture is one giant chain of masters and slaves.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Neogi resemble eels sprouting from the bodies of giant spiders.
  • The Right of a Superior Species: They think just having Mind Control gives them the right to enslave everyone else.
  • Super Spit: All neogi have venomous bites, but a few develop the ability to spit this venom as a ranged attack.
  • Weaponized Offspring: When attacked, great old masters — the neogi reproductive stage — can release clutches of aggressive, vicious spawn as a defense mechanism.

Classification: Outsider (3E)
Challenge Rating: 1/2 (3E)
Playable: 3E
Alignment: Any Chaotic

Related to but distinct from the slaadi, neraphim live as nomads amid the Ever-Changing Chaos of Limbo, hunting the local chaos beasts for their meat, bones and hide.

  • Confusion Fu: The neraphim have mastered a form of motion camouflage that tricks prey into thinking an incoming threat is motionless or moving slower than it actually is. This lets them, once per combat encounter, make a charge or ranged attack against a foe that is treated as flat-footed.
  • Deadly Disc: Their signature weapon is the annulat, a hurled hoop of razor-sharp metal.
  • The Exile: The most severe punishment among the neraphim is exile, and many neraph adventurers were banished from their home plane. Some of these exiles manage to complete a quest that gives them the right to return.
  • Frog Men: They have the toad-like builds of the slaadi, and are natural jumpers, though neraphim have no affinity for water. They also sport un-frog-like chitinous encrustations for some natural armor.
  • Matriarchy: What society the neraphim have is divided into households, each led by a matriarch with absolute authority.

Nereid with water weird (2e)
Classification: Fey (3E)
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E)
Alignment: Any Chaotic (2E), Chaotic Neutral (3E)

Capricious fey from the Elemental Plane of Water who sometimes explore Material Plane waters, leading to stories of them luring sailors to their dooms.

  • The Beastmaster: Nereids can speak with animals at will, and in 2nd Edition are often accompanied by "pets" like a dolphin, giant octopus or stingray, who assist them in battle.
  • Enemy Summoner: 3rd Edition nereids can summon one or more water elementals once per day.
  • Making a Splash: They can control the waters of their homes, either to amuse themselves by sculpting waves into shapes, or to impede attackers with rough surf.
  • One-Gender Race: Nereids are all female; their AD&D rules let them assume male guises when interacting with females, but most of the time other women can tell there's something off about them, and won't lower their guard.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: They're extraplanar fey who are sustained by clean water, and want nothing more than to splash and cavort in the waves. Since they can be found in both salt- and freshwater, they're effectively fusions of the Greek nereids and naiads. Nereids usually live alone or in small groups, and might be related to tritons, though the nereids have not moved permanently to the Material Plane.
  • Our Sirens Are Different: Nereids have lovely singing voices, and have been known to tempt amorous sailors to their watery deaths, but they don't have any actual supernatural singing ability — that trait belongs to sirines, a distinctly different kind of fey. Most nereids are in fact shy and would prefer to hide from a potential threat rather than draw someone into a fight.
  • Soul Jar: Nereids always carry or wear a delicate shawl of seaform white, and will quickly die, dissolving into water within an hour, should that shawl ever be destroyed. Some evil individuals thus steal a nereid's shawl and use it to enslave the fey.
  • Super Spit: 2nd Edition nereids can spit a blinding venom at opponents.
  • Supernatural Suffocation: A nereid's kiss (i.e. touch attack) can fill an enemy's lungs with water, forcing them to save or drown. Though 2nd Edition notes that should someone succeed his saving throw from being kissed by a nereid, "he finds total ecstasy."
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: In their natural forms, nereids are nearly impossible to distinguish from water, but upon exposure to air will assume a comely humanoid shape.
  • Would Not Hit a Girl: Enforced in 2nd Edition, in which "All males that look at a nereid find themselves incapable of harming the creature (no saving throw), and it seems to be a shy and flirtatious girl playing by the shore."

A varoot (left), kalareem (middle) and sillit (right) (3e)
Classification: Outsider (3E), Immortal Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (varoot), 3 (kalareem), 6 (sillit) (3E); 16 (varoot) to 20 (teltarym) (4E)
Alignment: True Neutral (3E), Unaligned (4E)

Enigmatic, reflective-skinned humanoids from the Plane of Mirrors, who observe the Material Plane and kidnap key individuals, presumably in preparation of an invasion. The varoots are the most common of the nerra, acting as their primary infiltrators, while kalareems are their soldiers and guardians of the Plane of Mirrors, and both defer to the leadership of the sillits.

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The nerra's signature weapons are shard swords and daggers made out of the mirror-like substance of the Plane of Mirrors. They're enchanted weapons that inflict terrible bleeding wounds for a Damage Over Time effect.
  • Achilles' Heel: Nerra take additional damage from sonic attacks.
  • Attack Reflector: Any spell that a nerra saves against instead affects the caster, and they're similarly immune to gaze effects, which affect the source creature instead.
  • Doppelgänger Spin: Appropriately enough, all nerra can cast mirror image once per day, or at will in the case of the sillits.
  • Dual Wielding: The kalareems usually wield two shard swords at once.
  • Dumb Muscle: Kalareems, the biggest and strongest nerra, have an averge Intelligence score compared to the varoot and especially the brilliant sillits, and lack most of the other nerra's spell-like abilities.
  • Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: The nerra's home plane is one to begin with, and they can also magically jump between mirrors (or potentially highly reflective surfaces like still pools of water, or shiny metal) in a variant of the shadow walk spell, emerging up to a mile away.
  • Flechette Storm: A few times each day, kalareems and sillits can spray a cone of mirror-like shards from their hands, which both deals damage and inflicts a bleed effect similar to their signatue weapons.
  • In the Hood: Sillits distinguish themselves from varoots with their fine black silk robes.
  • The Infiltration: The varoots are the nerra most commonly encountered on other planes, where they masquerade as native creatures and infiltrate a variety of organizations. The nerra's use of captives' mirror-selves only adds to this.
  • Lie to the Beholder: Varoots and sillits can cast change self at will to aid their infiltrations.
  • Mirror Self: They actively create these, by abducting Material Plane creatures and bringing them to the Plane of Mirrors. This spawns a mirror replica of the nerra's victim, which kills and replaces the original creature, then follows the nerra's orders regardless of alignment.
  • No Body Left Behind: When a nerra is slain, their bodies shatter into a thousand mirror-like shards, which ten minutes later melt into pools of quicksilver before evaporating.
  • Retcon: 4th Edition presents the nerra as the descendents of a group called the Sect of Severity, which planned to use their astral domain of the Constellation of Eyes to watch over the mortal realm. Unfortunately they were infiltrated by cultists of Asmodeus, and the resulting conflict turned the nerra into mirror-skinned creatures with an uncertain agenda, using dedicated combat forms such as the meerak and delphar. 4E also changed the nerra's appearance, going from smooth, mirror-skinned humanoids to blocky humanoid hulks (represented by the 3E art for the susurrus).
  • Sinister Surveillance: Any mirror, anywhere, might have a nerra spying from the other side of it.

    Nethersight Mastiff
Classification: Magical Beast (3E)
Challenge Rating: 8 (3E)
Alignment: True Neutral

Great magical wolfhounds uniquely suited to hunting ethereal prey.

  • Intellectual Animal: With an Intelligence score of 6 they're a little smarter than the average ogre, and nethersight mastiffs are fully capable of speaking Common.
  • The Nose Knows: For more mundane prey, nethersight mastiffs are capable of tracking creatures by scent.
  • See the Invisible: As per their name, they have a natural true seeing effect that allows them to see ethereal creatures.
  • Touch the Intangible: Their glowing teeth act like ghost touch weapons, and can affect ethereal creatures without difficulty. More than that, nethersight mastiffs have learned how to latch onto ethereal foes and wrench them across the planar boundary, potentially stranding them on the Material Plane.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Nethersight mastiffs love the flesh of ethereal creatures, and will often pass over easy prey on the Material Plane in favor of hunting something on the Ethereal Plane.

Classification: Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 1/2 (3E)
Playable: 3E
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Sometimes called "ratlings," these primitive humanoids are adept survivalists and savage in combat.

  • Crossover: Nezumi were introduced in the 3rd Edition Oriental Adventures sourebook that was a D&D adaptation of the Legend of the Five Rings setting.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: The nezumi of Rokugon suffer Fantastic Racism for their appearance, disregard for human customs, scavenging habits, and for living in the midst of the Shadowlands, but despite all that the rat folk aren't actually evil, and are in fact immune to Shadowlands taint. They're stalwart allies of the Crab clan against Shadowland incursions, and often work with Hiruma scouts.
  • The Nose Knows: They have the Scent ability.
  • Rat Man: They're humanoid rats that are faster and have better vision than humans, as well as racial bonuses to stealth and resisting poison, and they can deal improved unarmed damage with their claws and teeth.
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: Nezumi are willing to wear earrings, ornaments or armor fashioned from bones, or utilize kappa shells as tower shields.
  • Verbal Tic: Due to their own chittering language, nezumi speak Common punctuated "with clicks and squeals, and a peculiar stuttering repetition."
  • You Dirty Rat!: The nezumi subvert this in their home setting, though their entry explains that in other settings, they might be evil by nature, or simply because they are suspected of being evil by other races, who might confuse them for evil wererats or rat hengeyokai.

    Night Twist
Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 12 (standard), 20 (ancient) (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Black, leafless trees that lure prey in with their hauntingly horrible songs, then feed upon their victims' decaying flesh.

  • Blow You Away: Night twists can generate a gale-force wind at will, affecting all within 120 feet, usually in order to extinguish flames.
  • Compelling Voice: After sunset, a night twist emits a "despair song" that affects all creatures with an Intelligence of 6 or greater within a miles-wide radius. This song sounds different to each listener — some hear a woman weeping, others a cold wind blowing over a cemetery, but the point is that it's the most sorrowful sound imaginable. Those who fail their saving throws are hit by a crushing despair effect and are compelled to move toward the source of the song, neglecting food or sleep, and even take damage if they're restrained from seeking out the night twist. Those who reach the plant are promptly attacked by its spells or slam attacks.
  • Dying Curse: Whoever deals the death blow to a night twist has to save or become cursed by a nightmare effect, suffering hideous dreams each night that prevent rest and deal damage. This curse can only be removed by a limited wish or more powerful magic, and should a victim succumb to it, one month after their burial, a night twist sapling will sprout on their grave.
  • Imaginary Enemy: Night twists can use phantasmal killer to create illusions that may cause victims to die of fright.
  • One-Hit Kill: Ancient night twists can alternatively use circle of death to snuff out the lives of their victims.
  • When Trees Attack: They're evil, carnivorous trees that aren't very mobile (their speed is only 10 feet per round), but are adept at luring prey to them.

    Nightmare Beast
Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Shadow Magical Beast (4E), Monstrosity (5E)
Challenge Rating: 15 (3E), 25 (4E), 16 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Fanged, tusked behemoths that terrorize prey in their dreams before tearing them apart in the flesh.

  • Disintegrator Ray: Their 5th Edition incarnation has a Deadly Gaze to this effect.
  • Goomba Stomp: In 3rd Edition, they have a variant of a trample attack that involves a running start and pouncing on a victim up to 35 feet away.
  • Monster Mouth: They have a formidable array of foot-long teeth, as well as a pair of tusks the length of cavalry lances, all of which are employed in combat.
  • Mutants: A sidebar in their 4th Edition entry explains that nightmare beasts aren't a natural species, but are mundane Athasian predators mutated by consuming prey tainted by the Gray or defiling magic, causing them to grow into these horrors. The sidebar also asks some pertinent questions, such as why these creatures mutate into a set form, and whether there are similar mutated monsters elsewhere in the wastes.
  • Nightmare Weaver: These beasts' signature ability is to torment the dreams of intelligent prey, causing those who fail their saving throws to suffer horribly vivid nightmares of being stalked and devoured. This prevents the victims from properly resting, leaving them fatigued (and potentially even dealing damage), and interferes with mages' efforts to recover their daily spells.
  • No Body Left Behind: Their 2nd Edition write-up notes that nightmare beasts aren't suitable as a food source because their bodies decay unnaturally quickly once the magic sustaining their lives has faded.
  • Psychic Powers: The nightmare beast debuted in Dark Sun, and thus its original AD&D incarnation sports a formidable repertoire of powers from the psychokinesis, psychometabolism, psychoportation and telepathy disciplines. Later editions replace these with spell-like abilities such as disintegrate, chain lightning, dimension door and wall of fire.
  • Walking Wasteland: Their 4th Edition write-up likens nightmare beasts to "a cancer on the world," permanently tainting the land and poisoning the water around them.

Classification: Ooze (3E)
Challenge Rating: 14 (3E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Huge, roving blots of hungry darkness spawned by the Far Realm, which haunt the darkest depths of the earth or the surface on moonless nights.

Alignment: Neutral Evil

Also known as "wood woses," these malicious elemental spirits embody poisonous plants such as belladonna, foxglove, hemlock and mistletoe, and lurk in dark forests or dank caverns. Not to be confused with the giant undead creatures also known as nightshades.

  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Nightshade society is led by their High Queen Ainecotte, the oldest and most intelligent of their kind who "rules through terror and blackmail." The lesser nightshades sacrifice prisoners to her.
  • Green Thumb: They can use magic like speak with plants, entangle and plant door, and seven or more nightshades can conduct a ritual to summon a shambling mound once per month, though it requires them to drink blood beforehand.
  • No-Sell: Nightshades are completely immune to damage from wooden weapons, even enchanted shillelaghs.
  • Plant Person: Nightshades look like dwarves wearing clothes of leaves, with vines growing in their thick, tangled hair. Despite their nature, they hide from the sun during daytime and hunt at night, though they also go into hibernation over the winter. They're also Weak to Fire.
  • Poisonous Person: Their sap, which they use to coat their bronze weapons, is a Dexterity-damaging poison, paralyzing victims if their Dexterity falls below 3, and killing them if it reaches 0. Nightshades also trade their poisons to quicklings in exchange for weapons.
  • The Spiny: Striking a nightshade with a melee weapon deals damage from their stinging poison, while those grappled by one take Dexterity damage as well.
  • The Virus: Anyone slain by a nightshade's poison sprouts a new nightshade at the next full moon.

Classification: Humanoid (5E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

A goblin possessed by a nameless trickster deity that grants them strange powers, allowing them to sow chaos amongst their hobgoblin abusers and oppressors.

  • Charm Person: Anything that attempts to attack a nilbog has to save or become charmed by it, forcing them to praise the creature instead.
  • Court Jester: The nilbog's very existence has led to the practice of hobgoblins appointing one lucky gobbo to be an official jester, allowed to do or say as they please and cause a moderate amount of disruption that is preferable to the chaos caused by a nilbog.
  • Demonic Possession: A nilbog is an invisible spirit, the splintered form of a goblin trickster god, that possesses only goblins.
  • Healing Shiv: Enforced with their "Reversal of Fortune" reaction, which allows the nilbog to reduce an incoming attack's damage to zero and instead heal from it. This is in fact the only way a nilbog can recover health.
  • Karmic Trickster: Nilbogs exist to wreak havoc among the brutally disciplined hobgoblin legions, as a direct response to their abuses against their goblin conscripts. They're difficult to even attack, much less harm, and can use obnoxious spells like mage hand, Tasha's hideous laughter or vicious mockery at will.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: It's "goblin" backwards.
  • Speak of the Devil: The goblins never speak the name of the trickster god that empowers nilbogs, lest it allow the hobgoblin deity Maglubiyet to finally defeat him.

Classification: Construct (3E, 5E)
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E), 4 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral (3E), Unaligned (5E)

Human-sized constructs that use their speed, spells and swordsmanship to serve their creators as bodyguards or assassins. Unlike most constructs, they are intelligent, creative, and have distinct personalities.

  • Achilles' Heel: Cold damage slows a nimblewright for several rounds, while fire damage stuns them for a round.
  • Dual Wielding: Nimblewrights can fight with both rapier-hands at once without penalty.
  • Glamour: They can use alter self at will to disguise their construct nature, or to aid in an infiltration.
  • Golem: They're similar to standard golems in that nimblewrights are constructs animated by a bound elemental spirit, but theirs is from the Elemental Plane of Water rather than Earth. They also never go berserk during combat, but lack a normal golem's resistance/immunity to most magic.
  • Magic Knight: Nimblewrights can use buff and utility spells like haste, entropic shield, cat's grace and featherfall at will.
  • Master Swordsman: In 3rd Edition, nimblewrights have feats like Improved Disarm and Expertise, their Augmented Critial ability gives them a 45% chance to score a Critical Hit with their rapiers, and they can make trip attacks with them as well.
  • Retractable Weapon: A nimblewright's rapiers are actually parts of their body, able to fold up into their forearms until needed.

Hakeashar (3e)
Classification: Outsider (3E)
Challenge Rating: 6 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Extraplanar creatures resembling 12-foot-wide, glowing, misty red spheres, which seek out and consume magical energy.

  • Achilles' Heel: A rod of absorption or ring of spell turning has a 1-in-20 chance of destroying a nishruu outright, with no harm done to the item.
  • Composite Character: In 2nd Edition, nishruu and hakeashars are distinct but related creatures, and while each has its own Monstrous Manual entry, they are functionally identical, differing only slightly in appearance. 3rd Edition decided hakeshars are just a subspecies of nishruu characterized by having a bunch of grasping claws, gnashing mouths and staring eyes visible within their misty forms.
  • Feed It with Fire: Any spells cast on nishruu simply cause it to gain hit points, with the exception of magical fire and cold attacks (though the latter energy type does reduced damage).
  • Magic Eater: Nishruu feed on magic, though none have been observed starving for lack of magic, or suffering any effects from overfeeding. Any magic items they come in contact with lose charges every round, or have their power negated until a few rounds after the nishruu moves on — the latter applies even to artifacts. This is in fact the nishruu's only way of interacting with the material world, as they have no offensive attacks or other abilities. But as a consequence of this, should a nishruu be destroyed, any magic items in contact with its body as it dissipates are empowered by the energy released, so that those that use charges gain some, and any magic weapons temporarily gain the spell storing trait for a few days.
  • Mana Burn: Any spellcasters who come into contact with a nishruu lose a random spell each round, and worse, have to save to avoid a feeblemind effect.
  • No-Sell: Nishruu are immune to any mental effects, and are quite difficult to harm with nonenchanted weapons (and enchanted weapons won't be functional for long if they're close enough to hit a nishruu).
  • Salt Solution: While nishruu mostly ignore attempts to damage them with physical objects, salt is highly poisonous to them, and a thrown handful of the stuff can deal more damage than a blow from a greatsword.
  • Starfish Language: Nishruu are intelligent and presumably have their own language, but all attempts to communicate with them have failed.

Classification: Humanoid (3E, 5E), Elemental Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 1/2 (3E, 5E), 12 (4E)
Playable: 3E
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Savage subterranean goblinoids known for their tough hides.

  • Barbarian Tribe: Norkers are this compared to ordinary goblins. Their weapons are primitive, they can't cooperate enough to build anything more complicated than a rough wall or stockade, and they're too lazy to hunt, leading norkers to steal supplies from other humanoids to survive. They're also incredibly fractious and prone to infighting, resulting in smaller tribes than other goblinoids.
  • Battle Trophy: When two norker tribes clash, the results are usually short of a total slaughter, with the winners taking the fangs of the losers to show their dominance.
  • Our Goblins Are Different: They're clearly related to the likes of goblins and hobgoblins, sometimes described as resembling the latter on the scale of the former. Hobgoblins will conscript norker tribes into their warhosts for use as expendable laborers, lower in the hierarchy than even goblins.
  • Retcon: 4th Edition casts norkers as goblins who found their way into the Elemental Chaos, taking on the strength of elemental earth to survive there. As such, their hides are literally rock-hard, and they're often minions of the archomental Ogremach or the cult of the Elder Elemental Eye.
  • Super Toughness: Norkers' thick hides offer them a hefty natural armor bonus, the equivalent to breastplates in 3rd Edition, leading them to charge into battle wearing nothing more than a loincloth.

Classification: Aberration (3E, 5E), Aberrant Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (3E), 15 (4E), 2 (5E)
Alignment: Any Evil (3E), Unaligned (4E), Neutral Evil (5E)

Wretched, cyclopean creatures created when wizards delve too deeply into knowledge they shouldn't seek and powers they cannot control.

  • Cyclops: A nothic's face is dominated by a single, immense, staring eye.
  • Deadly Gaze: A nothic's gaze is its strongest weapon, as it's able to inflict necrosis on any creature it can fix its sight on.
  • Make Them Rot: A nothic's gaze causes necrotic damage in beings caught in its line of sight, rotting away their flesh as they live.
  • Seeing Through Another's Eyes: Nothics have a strong psychic connection to Vecna that allows him to see through their eyes, and the god often uses them to keep tabs on his cults in this manner.
  • Seers: A nothic can magically divine information about any creature it can see, becoming privy to a single secret or insight about them.
  • Was Once a Man: Nothics are creeping, tormented monsters transformed by Vecna's curse from wizards who devote their lives to unearthing arcane secrets. Nothics retain no awareness of their former selves, beyond a vague sense of having once been something greater.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 6 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Grotesque amphibious monsters, similar in shape to centaurs, who despise living creatures and try to exterminate them whenever possible.

  • An Ice Person: Their Breath Weapon is a cone of cold in 2nd Edition, and a cone of frigid water in 3rd Edition.
  • Cannot Cross Running Water: 2nd Edition nuckalavees cannot cross flowing fresh water, while 3rd Edition expands this to a phobia for all fresh water. Nuckalavees aren't harmed by freshwater or anything, they just will never willingly enter it.
  • Evil Smells Bad: They reek of decay, like a corpse left to rot in the water, a strench "so strong and oppressive that it can be felt and tasted."
  • Make Them Rot: Nuckalavees are surrounded by a minor death aura, so that any Tiny animals who come within 120 feet of them quickly perish, taking a few points of damage each round until they succumb. This may be part of the reason that undead never attack a nuckalavee unless magically compelled to do so.
  • No-Sell: They're immune to poison attacks, and highly resistant to fire damage.
  • Nuckelavee: Besides the different spelling, these nuckalavees deviate from their mythological source by being centaur-like creatures whose humanoid torsos replace the horse's neck at the front of their equine bodies, rather than sitting atop the spine like a rider. Their breath weapon is also a blast of cold damage rather than a breath of sickness and decay, though the latter aspect is represented by their "Death Aura" ability.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: A minority of sages suggest that nuckalavees are the descendents of evil centaurs who fled into the ocean and evolved into horrible, aquatic forms. Centaurs hotly contest this, and insist that nuckalavees are some evil power's Copycat Mockery of proper centaurs.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Nuckalavees are surrounded by a fear aura.
  • Unreliable Illustrator: While nuckalavees in both editions are described as having transparent flesh, revealing their ropy white muscles, pulsing organs, and black blood, their 3rd Edition Dragon magazine illustration gives them opaque blue flesh.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 2 (3E)
Playable: 3E
Alignment: True Neutral

Small, bat-like humanoids who build communities in caves, avoiding conflict whenever possible.

  • Bat People: They're a smaller example than the desmodus, though unlike them, the nycters can actually fly.
  • Fantastic Racism: Nycters view their desmodu cousins as barbaric savages, much like how humans view ogres (ironic, given that desmodus are actually much smarter than nycters, with an Intelligence of 15 to the average nycter's 10). The desmodus in turn deride nycters as lesser bat-folk, lacking brains and ambition.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A nycter can emit a hunting cry at will, dealing sonic damage in a cone and potentially paralyzing targets — though should anything successfully save against those effects, they become immune to that nycter's hunting cry for the next 24 hours.
  • Super Senses: As expected, these bat-folk can use echolocation to detect creatures in the dark, out to 60 feet.

Classification: Fey (3E), Fey Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E), 5 (4E)
Alignment: True Neutral (2E), Chaotic Good (3E), Unaligned (4E)

Fey embodying the beauty of nature, and who can be quite literally drop-dead gorgeous.

  • Brown Note Being: In 2nd Edition, looking at a nymph can permanently blind you, or even kill you if she's nude at the time. In 3rd Edition, nymphs can suppress or resume this ability at will, and the effect is restricted to blindness.
  • Can't Live Without You: In some tellings, a nymph will sicken and perish if their natural sanctums are despoiled, and in turn their homes will decay if the nymph is injured.
  • Deadly Gaze: When they aren't inverting the trope with their blinding beauty, an angry nymph can stun a creature with a look.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Wild animals flock to a nymph's sanctum to enjoy her company and receive healing, and will ignore any natural hostility towards each other when around her.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Their old lore holds that a nymph's kiss will cause a man to forget all their painful and troubling memories for the rest of the day, which can be problematic depending on the situation.
  • Magic Hair: A lock of a nymph's hair can be used to brew a sleeping potion, or be enchanted and woven into a cloak that enhances the wearer's Charisma.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: Nymphs are nature spirits with some resemblance to elven women, known for being incredibly beautiful. They dwell in and protect places of unspoiled natural beauty such as groves, pools or mountain peaks, and may in fact spontaneously form in such places to reflect their splendor. They can be kind and graceful to mortals they regard as allies of nature, particularly elves and druids, but nymphs are also wild and mercurial as nature itself.
    • Grain nymphs are a Krynnish variant bound to cultivated fields, who protect them and ensure an ample harvest. They consider themselves more sophisticated than woodland nymphs, and can curse those who offend them to be regarded as enemies by farm animals.
  • Swiss-Army Tears: A nymph's tears can be used as an ingredient in a philter of love.

Unseelie Nymph
Classification: Fey (3E)
Challenge Rating: 5 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

These fey are nearly as beautiful as other nymphs, but are in every other way their exact opposites, seeking to corrupt all that is good and beautiful in nature.

  • Charm Person: Anyone who sees an unseelie nymph, regardless of gender or orientation, has to save or fall in love with her, viewing the fey as the center of their universe. Those who succumb to this effect will not willingly leave their mistress' side, and fight to the death to defend her. AD&D notes that this effect is so powerful that it can overcome elves' normal resistance to charms.
  • Dirty Coward: Unseelie nymphs avoid fighting whenever possible, as they usually have minions to do that for them, and "they prize their own beauty too highly to risk it in combat." When things turn against them, they'll use dimension door to slip away.
  • Evil Counterpart: They're such to normal nymphs. It's noted that unseelie nymphs are almost as lovely as their kin, but their beauty is marred by fleeting sardonic glints in their eyes, or brief, calculating smiles.
  • The Vamp: In contrast to their kin, unseelie nymphs are this, using their beauty to manipulate and corrupt other creatures.
  • Vampiric Draining: Enthralled creatures who linger around an unseelie nymph have their Charisma and Constitution drained away by her — males in particular have a penalty on the save to resist this effect, as "they would willingly give the unseelie nymph anything it requests."
  • Walking Wasteland: An unseelie nymph's presence gradually deforms and kills plants, and fouls water so that nothing can live in it, resulting in a twisted, lifeless landscape. The affected area spreads only 150 feet a week, but can eventually encompass several miles before the evil nymph moves on to befoul another site, and the effects are permanent unless countered with powerful magic like wish, or a powerful druid takes charge of the area to heal it.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 5 (3E)
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Glowing globes of light that hunt prey with magic missiles.

  • Attack Reflector: Anyone targeting a nyth with a magic missile of their own will have the spell reflected right back at them.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Once a nyth absorbs enough extra hit points, it splits into two nyths in an explosion of light that also bombards a 30-foot radius with magic missiles.
  • Feed It with Fire: Nyths absorb electricity and fire, gaining rather than losing hit points from such effects.
  • Invisibility: They can damp their glows for up to eight rounds at a time, effectively becoming invisible, though they pulse with light whenever they fire their magic missile.
  • Magic Missile Storm: They can fire a basic magic missle every other round.
  • No-Sell: Nyths' strange minds make them immune to mental effects like charms, phantasms or morale effects.
  • Protect This House: Their AD&D entry notes that nyths can make for good guardians, should some dungeon keeper designate an area their "home" and supply them with food (both conventional as well as flames or electricity they can feed on). Afterward, a nyth will take pride in cunningly defeating those who trespass in its corner of the dungeon, and will only retreat if faced with certain death.
  • Telepathy: 2nd Edition nyths communicate this way, while in 3rd Edition they can speak Common.
  • Will-o'-the-Wisp: They're related to such creatures, and can communicate with them via pulses of light, but nyths differ from will-o-wisps by operating in daylight (and often attacking prey with the sun behind them), and rather than absorbing a dying creature's life essence, nyths hunt and physically eat small game like rodents, birds and insects.


Elder oblex (5e)
Classification: Ooze (5E)
Challenge Rating: 1/4 (spawn), 5 (adult), 10 (elder) (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Evil

Intelligent oozes that hunger for other creatures' memories, and can manifest copies of their victims.

  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: As an oblex devours memories, it grows larger and becomes able to mimic multiple distinct personalities. Eventually it reaches the point where it has to shed a personality or go insane, which spawns a new oblex.
  • Blob Monster: Their amorphous bodies can squeeze through an inch-wide gap without difficulty, even the Huge elder oblexes.
  • Charm Person: Adult oblexes can cast the spell three times per day, while elder oblexes can use it at will.
  • Glamour Failure: An oblex's simulacra are near-perfect copies of its victims, looking, sounding, and even feeling exactly like them. However, they do not smell like whoever they're impersonating: these duplicates always carry a faint whiff of sulfur.
  • Ingesting Knowledge: Oblexes feed on thoughts and memories, leaving their prey befuddled and confused. The sharper the mind, the better the meal, so oblexes hunt obviously intelligent targets.
  • Kill It with Fire: Oblexes have an aversion to fire, and will have disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks after taking fire damage.
  • Replicant Snatching: They can create a simulacrum of a creature whose memories they've absorbed (and thus usually, but not always, someone they've killed), which is indistinguishable from the original save for a slimy tendril extending up to 120 feet to the oblex's main body. The oozes use these simulacra to infiltrate settlements and lure in additional victims.
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: An oblex can eat an adjacent creature's memories, dealing psychic damage and also imposing penalties on their attack rolls and ability checks as they forget how to fight. Each time a victim suffers this effect, the penalties get worse until they ultimately lose consciousness after five attacks. Fortunately, a rest or magic like greater restoration or heal will set them right.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Though the oblexes don't seem aware of it, they are the result of illithid experimentation on Underdark oozes, and Mordenkainen suspects that the mind flayers' elder brains are psychically monitoring the oblexes' progress, co-opting whatever they learn through their predations.

Mosslings (4e)
Classification: Plant (3E), Magical Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (3E), 12 (4E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil, Unaligned (4E)

Also known as "oblivion moss" or "memory moss," this magical black moss can steal memories from intelligent beings, and defend itself by spawning crude copies of its victims.

  • Achilles' Heel: While enough fire damage will destroy a patch of obliviax, any amount of cold damage instantly kills it
  • Eat Brain for Memories: A vegetarian variant; if someone eats a patch of oblivion moss, they can regain the lost memories — including any stolen spells — of the obliviax's most recent victim, though if they fail a saving throw they'll instead become poisoned. 4th Edition expands upon this, by noting that those who consume obliviax might gain hazy memories from the plant's older victims, such as the important message relayed by a courier, or the location of traps within a treasure vault, though such memories need to be acted upon quickly before they fade away.
  • Fantastic Medicinal Bodily Product: Memory moss can be used to brew a potion of forgetfulness, or its spores can be distilled into an elixir that can restore the memories of the senile or forgetful.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Obliviax looks like a patch of thick, black moss with the unappetizing odor of damp dirt, difficult to distinguish from a non-magical plant (though a hungry obliviax will quiver, as if in anticipation). Any mosslings it spawns are similarly hard to distinguish from the main mass when immobile.
  • It Can Think: Obliviax are sentient and intelligent enough to make the best use of their stolen spells, though they don't have a society, as each patch of moss is concerned only with stealing the best memories for themselves.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Oblivion moss is feared for its ability to steal memories from creatures that pass near it, which in most editions translates into losing all recollection of the past 24 hours... as well as all of a spellcaster's unused spells. This disorients the victim (who takes some Wisdom damage in 3rd Edition), while the moss goes dormant for a day to "digest" its meal, spawning a mossling to defend itself if attacked. This trait means that some beings cultivate obliviax as a passive defense, especially if their lair is meant to remain hidden.
  • Mirror Match: While mosslings have long had the ability to use spells stolen from the minds of casters, in 4E they can also make "Simulacrum Attacks" using the at-will powers of their opponents. Their entry describes a caravan guard finding himself unable to remember his best combat moves while fighting a moss monster wielding a wooden copy of his own greatsword.
  • Mook Maker: Obliviax can create "mosslings," mossy mockeries of those whose memories the plant stole. In most editions these are Tiny buds on the moss' main mass that may be unable to leave it, though 4E provides a variety of Small to Large combat forms that are considerably more mobile, and dangerous.
  • Stationary Enemy: As a moss, obliviax cannot move unless transplanted by another creature (preferrably in a lead-lined box to block its mind-stealing powers). Beyond feeding upon the mental energy of their victims, obliviax crave knowledge of the world beyond their immediate vicinity, and wish to vicariously experience what life is like for mobile creatures. Some obliviax have been known to cooperate with the likes of the cult of Zuggtmoy after being offered more mobile forms.

    Ocean Strider
Classification: Fey (3E)
Challenge Rating: 18 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Giant fey resembling humanoid orcas, who protect stretches of ocean from exploitation and pollution.

  • Beast Man: They're Huge humanoids with the rubbery skin, black-and-white markings, and stubby tail of an orca.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Ocean striders take it upon themselves to defend the seas from plunderers, viewing anything not native to the area's water or skies as an intruder. They are, however, willing to negotiate, and will let ships through if their captains promise not to kill more marine life than they can eat, or dump their trash overboard. Such captains would be wise to fulfil their end of the bargain, as ocean striders are known to shadow ships for miles if they have doubts about the crew's trustworthiness.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: They have a frightful presence that affects creatures up to 100 feet away.
  • Use Your Head: Ocean striders can make ram attacks, either dealing damage to a single creature, or potentially hulling a ship so that it sinks in a matter of minutes. Even if the fey fails their Strength check to break a ship's hull, those aboard must make their own saves to either take damage from being thrown about, or ending up overboard on a failure.
  • Walk on Water: They get their name from their ability to walk atop the waves as easily as they stride along the sea floor.
  • Weather Manipulation: Ocean striders can use spell-like abilities such as control water, ice storm, or obscuring mist several times each day.

    Octopus Tree
Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 12 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Predatory sea plants that can root themselves near the shore or drift along the currents on the ocean's surface, forming forests of rubbery, black-barked, tentacled trees.

  • Derelict Graveyard: Larger groves of octopus trees tend to have the wreckage of ships lodged in their "roots," which only serves to lure in would-be explorers.
  • Eerily Out-of-Place Object: Sailors sometimes tell stories about strange forests growing in the middle of the ocean, and thanks to octopus trees, such tales don't just come from the bottom of a mug of grog.
  • Green Thumb: Their spell-like abilities include entangle, plant growth, wall of thorns and warp wood, the latter of which is particularly dangerous to sailing vessels.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Octopus trees can gain some sustenance from photosynthesis, but to grow larger they need to consume flesh. They thus lurk along shipping lanes and use their roots to swim to intercept prey, using their magic as necessary.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: Any nearby creatures have to save or become shaken.
  • Tentacle Rope: They attack by striking and grabbing prey with their tentacles, then passing them to the plant's maw, hidden just beneath the water's surface.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 12 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Floating, tentacled beings that can steal and animate other creatures' eyeballs.

  • Eye Scream: An ocularon can try to steal the eyes of a victim its grappled for a round, impaling their eyeballs on the ends of the ocularon's barbed tentacles.
  • Eye Spy: An ocularon can fill a stolen eyeball with the same gas that supports its body, allowing the creature to animate the eyeball as a flying sentry as per the prying eyes spell, or send the eyeball after a target as an explosive missile with a ranged touch attack.
  • Living Gasbag: Ocularons are jellyfish-like creatures held aloft by toxic lighter-than-air gases, and explode when killed.
  • The Paranoiac: Ocularons are prone to claiming a slice of a dungeon as their own territory, driving out all other creatures, and then animating some stolen eyeballs to monitor its territory for intruders.
  • Poisonous Person: The gas that fills an ocularon and its purloined eyeballs deals Strength and Constitution damage.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 14 (standard), 18 (elder) (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Huge, many-handed nightmares from the Tarterian Depths of Carceri, who sometimes tumble out of planar rifts to destroy anything they encounter.

  • Bizarre Alien Locomotion: They roll around like gigantic tumbleweeds on their countless hands.
  • Boulder Bludgeon: Odopis can sling up to four 20-pound stones per round, but can't concentrate fire on a single target.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: They're in fact mostly clawed arms, with eyes in the center of each palm. Unlike the adominable hecatoncheires, this doesn't give odopis many melee attacks, instead they prefer to grab a single foe each round and then subsequently trample them.
  • Starfish Language: The odopis have their own language, expressed by gurgling and hand-clapping.
  • Swallowed Whole: Odopis do have a toothless mouth in the center of all those arms, and anything they grab in their hands is at risk of being passed to that maw and swallowed.
  • Trampled Underfoot: Well, underhand — odopis deal damage to anything they move over, including foes they've grabbed and held onto in previous rounds.

Classification: Giant (3E, 5E), Natural Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (3E), 8 (4E), 2 (5E)
Playable: 2E-3E
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Hulking, dimwitted brutes with a taste for humanoid flesh.

  • Art Evolution: 1E and 2E ogres are essentially just big humans. 3E ogres have a much more monstrous, bestial appearance, with pronounced muzzles, thick manes, large ears, and arms dragging almost to the ground. 4E and 5E ogres take a middle road, being less animalistic than the 3E design but retaining thickly muscled bodies, hunched heads, and thick jaws filled with large fangs.
  • Dumb Muscle: It's mentioned that the majority of ogres can't count to ten even with their fingers in front of them. Their 5th Edition stats put them at Intelligence 5, meaning that ogres are exactly as smart as shambling mounds, non-sapient, predatory piles of compost.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Goblins are known to use ogres as mounts, either by strapping themselves (or being strapped) to an ogre's back and wielding a crossbow as a tail gunner, or constructing a howdah on the ogre's shoulders that can hold up to four goblins at once.
  • Large and in Charge: Zig-zagged; sometimes, ogres are able to use their size and strength to seize control of a tribe of orcs or goblinoids, but in other cases, the ogres might end up bullied into serving as bruisers and warbeasts.
  • Non-Human Humanoid Hybrid: In older materials, "ogrillons" are half-ogre variants produced from the union of a male ogre and female orc, and are always sterile, while "orogs" are born from male orcs and female ogres. Nowadays, "ogrillon" is just another name for "half-ogre," and can be born from ogres of either sex mating with humans, Medium-sized goblinoids, or orcs, while orogs are orcs seemingly blessed by the goddess Luthic with enhanced strength and intelligence.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Fearsome as they may seem to humans, ogres are some of the smallest and least of the giant-kin, and occupy the absolute lowest rung of the Ordning — lower even that the likes of hill giants and trolls — and consequently are often found serving greater giants.
  • Our Ogres Are Different: Simple-minded, short-tempered, and always hungry. Ogre magi also exist, based on the oni; see below.
  • Primal Stance: Ogres are typically depicted standing in a bow-legged, stoop-shouldered post, with their heads jutting forward and rarely above shoulder level and with their arms dragging low at their sides.
  • Primitive Clubs: Typically, when ogres are shown using any weapons at all, these tend to be giant clubs made from tree limbs or entire trees, sometimes enhanced with metal spikes and similar touches, which make good use of their wielder's immense strength without being held back by their general lack of intelligence. That said, some work out how to use more interesting weapons on the battlefield: battering rams, huge iron chains, or a ballista carried with the ease of a crossbow.
  • Smash Mook: Big, strong, dim and with a marked tendency to fight smaller enemies with gigantic clubs, maces and similar blunt weapons, ogres are usually very straightforward bruisers with little tactical acumen or fancy tricks.
  • Who Even Needs a Brain?: The 3.5th Edition Monster Manual IV mentions an ogre variant dubbed a guard thrall. Ogres are in fact so stupid that the illithids discovered that an ogre can actually survive having most of its brain bitten out and eaten. While this leaves a basic ogre comatose, through breeding experiments the illithids were able to produce mindless ogre bodyguards that, with the help of a psionic crystal implanted in their mostly-empty skulls, will follow a nearby mind flayer's psychic commands. Even more dangerously, that crystal in the ogre thrall's skull will "echo" an illithid's mind blast attack (which the thrall is immune to, being mindless) if the thrall is in the area of effect, potentially stunning anything that shrugged off the initial psionic assault.

"Ogre mage" (3e) 
Classification: Giant (3E, 5E), Natural Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 8 (3E, 4E), 7 (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Evil
Large humanoids that combine an ogre's strength with a terrible cunning and fearsome magical powers.
  • Eats Babies: The 5th edition Monster Manual notes that they find human babies delicious.
  • Flight: They have the power to fly.
  • Healing Factor: Oni often have regenerative powers. In older editions this regeneration could be halted by acid or fire, while in 5th edition they just keep regaining hit points on each of their turns as long as they're above 0 hp.
  • Magic Knight: Oni have the strength and combat prowess you'd expect of a hulking ogre, and also have potent magical abilities. A lone oni can obliterate an entire party of low-level adventurers in one turn if it decides to cast cone of cold. They also covet magical items, and are willing to work for a wizard who supplies them with some.
  • Non-Indicative Name: Oni are sometimes called ogre mages because of their resemblance to ogres, even though they are only distantly related to true ogres.
  • Oni: They have a giant's strength but are also intelligent and possess dangerous magic, and appropriately enough spent several editions classified as "ogres." 4e decided there was no point hiding the truth and created an openly "oni" monster category. While there are several types, such as the night haunter and the spirit master, they are all explicitly described as evil creatures with a vaguely ogre-like appearance and invariably some form of shapeshifting or illusion type power they used to deceive humanoids.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Oni can take on the form of humanoids of Small to Medium size or of any Large-sized giant, an ability they use to case a settlement in preparation of an attack.

Elemental Mage
From left to right, a ken-li, ken-sun, and ken-kuni (3e)
Classification: Giant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 8 (ken-kuni), 10 (ken-li), 13 (ken-sun) (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil (ken-li), Lawful Evil (ken-sun), Neutral Evil (ken-kuni)

This family of ogre mage variants have distinct elemental powers, but are most dangerous when working in concert.

  • Blow You Away: Ken-sun can surround themselves with fierce winds, making missile attacks impossible and potentially knocking down adjacent Medium-sized creatures (and blowing away Small ones).
  • Combination Attack: Elemental magi are most dangerous when working together, using their abilities to disrupt opponents and control the battlefield. They even have a "Shared Strength" ability that means whenever two or more elemental magi are within 60 feet of each other and have to make a saving throw, they can use the highest bonus available to the group.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Ken-kuni can make earthshock attacks every few rounds to try and knock foes off their feet, affecting either everything adjacent to them, or those in a 30-foot line.
  • Evil Overlord: Ken-sun are megalomaniacs who exist to rule. They use their might and magic to gather warbands, if not entire armies, to carve out domains and extract tribute. The ken-kuni and ken-li, who are naturally subservient to the stronger ken-sun, will serve in the latter's forces as siegebreakers and trusted retainers.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Elemental magi are immune to each other's special abilities, allowing them to be used with impunity during mixed melees.
  • Horned Humanoid: Ken-kuni have three horns, ken-li have two, and ken-sun have a single huge horn two to three feet long.
  • One-Gender Race: There are no female elemental magi, and while the all-male race is capable of breeding with ogres and ogre mages, there's no guarantee their offspring will be another elemental mage.
  • Our Ogres Are Different: Elemental magi are thought to be a variant of ogre mage (aka oni) that is born at random to other types of ogres.
  • Playing with Fire: Ken-li can exhale a 30-foot line of fire as a Breath Weapon, and can wreathe themselves in flames, dealing a bit of damage to those who attack it in melee.
  • Pyromaniac: The fiery ken-li want nothing more than to wander where they will, torching any forests, herds of cattle, and villages they come across. It takes the ken-sun to give them purpose and discipline as soldiers.
  • The Slacker: Ken-kuni lack ambition, and are usually content to claim an area and shake down anyone passing through it, unless a stronger elemental mage presses them into service.

Black pudding (5e)
Classification: Ooze (3E, 5E), Natural Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 1/2 (gray ooze), 2 (ochre jelly, gelatinous cube), 4 (black pudding) (5E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Whether they're labeled oozes, jellies, puddings or slimes, there is a dangerous assortment of mindless blobs to threaten adventurers in dungeons.

  • Acid Attack: Nearly every variety of ooze uses acid to dissolve and digest their victims.
  • Aquatic Mook: Crystal oozes are an offshoot of gray ooze which live in lakes and seas, and which are translucent to make themselves more difficult to spot underwater.
  • Asteroids Monster: Some oozes, such as the ochre jelly, split into multiple enemies when subjected to certain attacks, distributing their hit points between them. Other oozes like the mustard jelly can split and reform themselves at will as they hunt their prey.
  • Blob Monster: A wide variety of amorphous creatures with the shape and consistency of overcooked puddings. Most are mobile enough to pursue prey, but never quickly.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: One of the most characteristic traits of the ooze and jelly family is that its branches come in numerous color-coded variants, each with very specific traits, strengths and weaknesses. During a dungeon delve, being able to quickly recognize the sometimes very specific shade of the slimy mess that's bubbling up through the floor and which list of traits it's associated with is often a matter of life or death — if it's black, it will dissolve everything that's not stone; if it's brown, it will dissolve anything organic but leave metal alone; if it's gray, it's the other way around; if it's green, it will turn you into more of itself but cold and fire will kill it; if it's olive, it will turn you into a zombie first; if it's mustard, It Can Think; and so on and so forth.
  • Death from Above: Green slime is otherwise immobile, save for its practice of dropping down from ceilings or high walls on victims passing beneath it.
  • Enemy Summoner: As can be guessed, this is the trait of the summoning ooze, which has the power to cast spells from the summon monster line mutliple times per day.
  • He Was Right There All Along: Several kinds of oozes use their natural coloration to blend in with their environments and ambush unsuspecting prey.
    • In dimly-lit passages, a black pudding looks much like a dark patch of shadow.
    • Crystal and flotsam oozes are nearly transparent, making them very difficult to see in the water where they live.
    • Gelatinous cubes are for the most part transparent, leading some inobservant creatures to simply walk right into them to be engulfed.
    • Gray ooze at rest is indistinguishable from a wet rock or oily pool.
    • Mustard jelly is nearly translucent, and can be easier to detect by its signature mustard-like odor than by sight.
    • Snowflake oozes and white puddings look like ordinary snowbanks.
    • Stunjellies are perhaps the most insidious, as these offshoots of gelatinous cubes were altered by a mage to look like a ten-foot stretch of stone wall, and only a close light source will reveal their slightly translucent nature.
  • Intangibility: Ethereal oozes are flesh-colored, cube-shaped oozes that lurk on the Ethereal Plane, manifest on the Material Plane to engulf prey, and then "etherealize" their victim, bringing it back to the Ethereal Plane with them — and potentially stranding the creature there if it manages to fight free of the ooze.
  • It Can Think: Mustard jellies stand out for being predatory oozes with a human-level intelligence, enough to recognize the value of treasure as bait to lure in more victims. They are thought to have come about when a young wizard attempted to polymorph herself into an ochre jelly.
  • Living Lava: Lava oozes are living masses of molten rock, mostly found lurking in volcanic caverns.
  • Mooks Ate My Equipment: Black pudding and gray ooze both corrode metal, and will damage weapons used to strike at them.
  • Murder Water: Brine oozes resemble large patches of animated briny water with a taste for blood.
  • The Paralyzer: Stunjellies live up to their name by paralyzing those in contact with them.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: Olive slime is a variant of green slime that drops down onto a passing creature, uses a numbing poison to avoid detection, then extends parasitic tendrils into the host and tries to fuse with their spinal column. If successful, the host is complelled to protect the slime, until a few days later the host is transformed into a mindless, plant-like creature, before ultimately collapsing and expiring, creating a new patch of olive slime.
  • Underground Monkey: The more common oozes often have variants adapted to live in specific environments, usually with colors tweaked to match. Crystal oozes are an offshoot of grey oozes that lives in the sea, dun puddings are black pudding relatives that live in sandy deserts, and white puddings are another black pudding variant found in snowy wildernesses.
  • Vampiric Draining: Bloodbloaters are transparent oozes that latch onto other creatures and drain them of blood, turning red as they do so.

Arcane Ooze
Challenge Rating: 9 (3E)

Fluid masses of green protoplasm with a strange affinity for arcane magic.

  • Feed It with Fire: They're healed by any magic that deals acid damage, while lightning damage will grant them a haste effect.
  • Magic Eater: These oozes have the strange ability to siphon arcane spells. Any arcane spellcaster within 60 feet of an arcane ooze has to make a saving throw each round or lose one of their highest-level spells as the creature absorbs its magical energy, gaining temporary hit points from the effect.
  • No-Sell: Arcane oozes are unaffected by most arcane magic.

Bloodfire Ooze
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E, 4E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Masses of superheated blood, which can fling fire themselves and empower the pyromancy of other creatures.

  • Amplifier Artifact: Any fire spell cast within 60 feet of a bloodfire ooze is boosted as per the Empowered Spell feat.
  • Bloody Murder: Bloodfire oozes are created from blood harvested from a hundred non-evil humanoids, mixed with the ichor of a demon. "Blighted" bloodfire oozes add the blood of even more alien and horrific beings, giving the monster the entropic and pseudonatural templates.
  • Make Them Rot: Blighted bloodfire oozes are surrounded by an aura of negative energy that deals a point of hit point damage to any living creatures within 10 feet of them, an effect they can strengthen to also deal Strength damage.
  • Playing with Fire: Bloodfire oozes can create 10-foot radius blasts of fire each round.
  • The Spiny: Anything that strikes them in melee takes fire damage from the ooze's burning blood.

Bone Ooze
Challenge Rating: 21 (3E)

Also called "rolling graveyards," these 30-foot-wide globs of pallid goo have dozens of partially-digested bones within their masses.

  • Damage Over Time: Their bodies are studded with bone shards, and so their slam or engulf attacks cause cumulative bleeding damage, until the victim receives natural or magical healing.
  • Logical Weakness: All those absorbed bones give them a lot more structure than most oozes, so while bone oozes can still squeeze through a gap as small as five by five feet square, it takes a full round for them to do so.
  • Non-Health Damage: These oozes absorb part of their victims' bone structure with each slam attack, dealing Strength, Dexterity and Constitution damage.
  • One-Hit Kill: Their most fearsome attack is to attempt to absorb the entire skeleton of an engulfed creature, and should said creature fail their saving throw, they're instantly slain. A few rounds later, the ooze expels the victim's fleshy parts and equipment.
  • Swallowed Whole/Trampled Underfoot: Bone oozes can engulf victims they move over, trapping them inside their bodies, where they'll take automatic slam damage each round, and be subject to their "bone meld" attack.

Cesspit Ooze
Challenge Rating: 9 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Revolting monsters born when a sentient creature dies in filth tainted by arcane pollution and surrounded by misery.

  • Asteroids Monster: Each attack by a slashing or piercing weapon merely causes the cesspit ooze to split in two, dividing its hit points.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Cesspit oozes burst when slain, resulting in a 30-foot splash of enraging acid.
  • It Can Think: Due to the circumstances of their creation, cesspit oozes "inherit" a glimmer of intelligence from the decaying body that spawns them, enough to prefer prey that's sentient, frightened and in pain.
  • Muck Monster: They're living, predatory piles of sewage mixed with trash and animal carcasses.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Even though they're not undead, cesspit oozes are empowered by the pain of their victims, and thus take damage from positive energy.
  • Set a Mook to Kill a Mook: Any creature damaged by the ooze's acidic muck also has to save or fly into a berserk rage within 20 rounds, attacking the nearest living thing until they successfully save to shake off the effect.
  • The Virus: Oddly enough averted; even though a cesspit ooze's victims die in pretty much the same circumstances the original spawned in, this never results in new oozes, presumably because the existing ooze absorbs the emotions that would generate a new one.
  • Weaponized Stench: Unsurprisingly, these sewage monsters smell foul enough to sicken creatures that come near them.

Conflagration Ooze
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Sentient and malevolent masses of liquid flame, which cause their victims to erupt with fire from within.

  • It Can Think: Conflagration oozes are smart enough to use their spell-like abilities tactically, speak Ignan, and some even conduct magical research in their spare time.
  • Logical Weakness: They have to spend most of their time hunting, to fuel the infernos within them.
  • Playing with Fire: True to their name, conflagration oozes are constantly burning, and deal extra fire damage with their slam attacks, but much more dangerous is their "fire in the blood" ability. Anything they grapple or pin has to save or contract a fiery toxin that causes additional damage and can cause their blood (or other vital fluids) to become liquid flame, dealing Constitution damage as rivulets of flame burn through their skin.
  • Status Effects: They can use spells like confusion, deep slumber and hold monster each once per day, to immobilize or disogranize opponents before moving into melee.

Dragonblood Ooze
Challenge Rating: 5 (5E)

The result of unwise alchemical experiments, these animate masses of congealed dragon blood struggle to form a coherent shape, lash out with caustic psuedopods, and instinctively attempt to use breath weapons they do not possess.

  • Bloody Murder: Dragons don't normally spawn enemies when their blood is shed, but some alchemist has done the next best thing.
  • Breath Weapon: Dragonblood oozes try to manifest a dragon's breath weapon, but only manage to expel a spray of their own gelatinous mass.
  • Wall Crawl: They can freely scale sheer surfaces or move upside-down across ceilings.

Flesh Jelly
Challenge Rating: 19 (3E)

Gargantuan mounds of stinking skin and hair, bulging with loose bones.

  • One-Hit Kill: Anything engulfed by a flesh jelly has to save or die instantly as they're absorbed into its mass. While their belongings get spat out a few rounds later, only a wish or miracle can bring the victim back to life after absorption.
  • Poisonous Person: These oozes' slam attacks carry filth fever, which can cause Dexterity and Constitution damage.
  • Swallowed Whole/Trampled Underfoot: Flesh jellies can engulf victims they move over, trapping them inside their bodies, where they'll take automatic slam damage and have to save against disease each round, and become subject to the ooze's "absorb" attack.
  • Weaponized Stench: Anything coming within 50 feet of a flesh jelly has to save or become nauseated for several rounds, able only to stagger around and take a single move action.

Graveyard Sludge
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E)
Large blobs filled with both necromantic energy and humanoid remains, which spontenously arise in areas defiled by negative energy.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Subverted; these oozes have the "between worlds" trait, so they're healed by both cure and inflict wounds spells.
  • Spawn Broodling: When an eligible creature dies within 20 feet of a graveyard sludge, that creature arises as a zombie a few rounds later, but coated with some of the ooze's slime to impart extra acid damage to its attacks.
  • Supernatural Fear Inducer: They can release some of the latent spiritual energy trapped inside their forms to hit adjacent foes with a fear effect.
  • Support Party Member: While graveyard sludges are dangerous on their own, when they sense an intelligent undead creature, they instinctively follow them around, spending full-round actions to use the ooze's "vigor of the dead" ability to give the undead creature several Status Buffs.

Void Ooze
Challenge Rating: 8 (3E)

Flying, vaguely slug-shaped masses of congealed darkness usually found on the Negative Energy Plane.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 2 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Snake-like humanoids with stunted arms and legs, usually found in the service of more intelligent creatures.

  • Chameleon Camouflage: They can change the color of their scales to blend in with their surroundings.
  • Happiness in Slavery: While they weren't deliberately created as a Servant Race, ophidians are naturally servile, and are thus almost always encountered serving yuan-ti, nagas, dragons, or even giant serpents. In some cases they'll worship their patron, providing offerings of food and treasure.
  • Snake People: They have a strong serpentine appearance, though their bodies are thicker and shorter than true snakes', and of course they have arms and legs.
  • The Virus: Ophidians bear a serpentine curse, so that any humanoid they bite has to save or transform over the next two to five days — their skin grows scaly, their tongue becomes forked, their legs fuse together, and their memories fade as they're compelled to return to the place they were bitten. Once the transformation is complete, the new ophidian is adopted by any ophidian clan in the area. Magic like heal or regeneration can reverse this transformation while it's progressing, but once it finishes, only a wish or miracle can restore the victim.
  • Was Once a Man: The first ophidians were a human tribe in the Forgotten Realms setting who devoted themselves to a snake cult, found a powerful artifact in some yuan-ti ruins, and were trasnformed into serpent people themselves.

Classification: Humanoid (3E, 5E), Natural Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 1/2 (3E, 5E) 3 (4E)
Playable: 2E-5E
Alignment: Lawful Evil (2E), Chaotic Evil (3E-5E)

Brutish humanoids who raid and pillage those around them, or gather into howling hordes that overrun civilization. See the Playable Races subpage for more information about them.

Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (wortling), 20 (orcwort) (3E)
Alignment: True Neutral

Enormous, predatory pitcher plants that sprout humanoid minions to help capture prey. They have no relation to actual orcs, beyond a vague resemblance in the shape of their wortlings.

  • Forced Sleep: A wortlings' claw attacks deliver a poison that induces sleep for up to 10 minutes.
  • Hive Mind: All wortlings within 15 miles of their parent tree are in constant communication with one another, and under the command of the orcwort.
  • Mook Maker: Orcworts can grow their wortlings from pods on their branches, which fall to the ground and "hatch" into lumpen, featureless humanoids utterly loyal to their parent tree. These wortlings are spawned about twenty at a time, and live for at most five days, but if commanded to root themselves before their lifespans are up, they'll go dormant and grow into a new orcwort over the course of a year.
  • Swallowed Whole: Orcworts' maws can accomodate even Huge creatures, and anything inside their pitchers is not only subjected to acid damage every round, they also have to save or become paralyazed by the same digestive juices, which can leave them helpless while they're digested alive.
  • When Trees Attack: Orcworts are Colossal, carnivorous, and intelligent trees that can lash and grab prey with their vines for transfer to their pitchers. Though quite hard to kill, they are very slow, moving only 10 feet each round — unfortunately, their wortling minions are much faster with a speed of 30 feet, and excel at mobbing and subduing prey for their parent to eat.
  • You Shall Not Evade Me: Orcworts can use their roots to hold any creatures within 15 feet of them in place, as per the entangling roots spell.
  • Zerg Rush: Wortlings are adept at swarming over each other, so that three of them can occupy the same space on a battle map, and gain a bonus when working together to grapple a foe.

Classification: Fey (3E)
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Stone-skinned fey embodying specific mountains, who use their magic to defend their homes from despoilers.

  • Arch-Enemy: Oreads are sworn enemies of races with a penchant for mining and tunneling, such as dwarves, gnomes, goblins and pech, as well as creatures like xorn that might eat their gemstones.
  • Can't Live Without You: An oread taken a mile away from her home mountain dies within a day.
  • Charm Person: 3rd Edition oreads can cast charm monster three times per day, and usually employ the spell on lone miners to deliver warnings and send them on their way, or have them lead a larger party into an ambush. 2nd Edition goes a step further, as seen below.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: They can use magic like spike stones, stone shape, or earthquake to drive off intruders. Oreads can also move through solid stone as easily as a fish moves through water, without leaving a tunnel behind them.
  • Eat Dirt, Cheap: Oreads eat certain minerals, and particularly enjoy clear gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, quartz, sapphires and topaz. They'll accept such gifts from visitors, or will bluntly ask for the gems if not offered them.
  • Fantastic Racism: Oreads don't get along with sylphs, who like the view from their mountains, but tease and harrass them for being earthbound.
  • Magic Music: In AD&D, oreads can sing the song of stone once per day, which sounds like "a fast mountain brook, like the rushing wind in trees, like the clatter of stones in a rockslide." Those who fail their saving throws must serve the oread for a full year, and become so devoted to their mistress that they'll lay down their lives for her — dispel magic or remove curse are useless against this ability, only the likes of limited wish or holy word can break an oread's control over her charmed subject. Thankfully, oreads generally keep a single servant at a time, and are willing to ransom them back to their families before the year is up.
  • Never Mess with Granny: The snowhair are ancient oreads, craggy, stooped and white-haired, who instead of protecting a single mountain act as the guardians of entire mountain ranges. They're the leaders of their kind, and responsible for taking oreads who come of age away from their mothers to be given their own mountains to protect. Snowhairs are much more powerful than ordinary oreads, and can turn enemies into boulders with a touch.
  • One-Gender Race: Like dryads, oreads are exclusively female. They mate with satyrs or korreds, and any females from such unions will grow into oreads themselves.
  • Our Nymphs Are Different: They're essentially to mountains what dryads are to oaks, and appear as women with stony skin, wearing clothing and jewelry made from the metals and gems inside their mountains.
  • Plant Hair: Oreads' hair looks like stringy lichen, unless their mountain is snowcapped, in which case their hair turns white.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 6 (3E)
Alignment: Lawful Neutral

Huge, amphibious beings that live in rivers, and are notably obsessed with acquiring magic.

  • Art Evolution: 2nd Edition ormyrr have legless, snake-like bodies with pale or purplish colorations, while 3rd Edition ormyrrs have grub-like bodies and are depicted a vivid shade of blue.
  • Call of the Wild Blue Yonder: Beyond their fascination with magic, ormyrr dream of developing the power of flight, either by acquiring enough magic items, or by developing wings. They've even been desperate enough to (unsuccessfully) attempt to mate with wyverns and other aerial creatures to breed wings into their race.
  • Mage Species: Pointedly inverted; ormyrr have no aptitude for magic at all, but remain fascinated by it. They do whatever they can to acquire magical items, and hope to someday develop a unique form of ormyrr magic.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Ormyrr have two sets of arms, which are dexterous enough to fight with mutliple weapons without penalty, and strong enough to grab and crush opponents.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: Ormyrr have elongated bodies up to 25 feet long, toadlike heads full of teeth, and two sets of humanoid arms. There's speculation that they're from another plane in 2nd Edition, though 3rd Edition treats them as Monstrous Humanoids rather than Outsiders.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: The normally-reasonable ormyrr have been known to lie, steal, or launch an unprovoked attack to acquire magical items. That said, their Lawful natures mean that should someone appeal to the ormyrr's sense of right and wrong, the creatures might give a stolen magic item back.

Classification: Aberration (3E, 5E), Natural Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E), 7 (4E), 5 (5E)
Alignment: True Neutral, Unaligned (4E)

Sometimes called gulguthra, these carrion-eaters are often used as living garbage disposals in dungeons.

  • Big Eater: Otyughs require plenty of waste, carrion and meat. Would-be otyugh masters can easily underestimate the quantity of food necessary to keep an otyugh from wandering off.
  • Combat Tentacles: Otyughs shove food into their maw with two rubbery tentacles that end in spiky, leaf-like appendages.
  • Extreme Omnivore: Otyughs can eat almost all kinds of refuse, making them a vital if unappreciated part of dungeon ecology.
  • He Was Right There All Along: They often hide by covering themselves in refuse, using their eye-stalk to spy on their surroundings until prey comes by.
  • It Can Think: They look monstrous, but otyughs are intelligent enough to speak Common, and can even form symbiotic relationships with creatures that give them food and leave them in their refuse. If trained, they're capable of following complex instructions about who to attack and ignore, and thus make surprisingly good guard animals to prevent thieves from accessing garbage chutes or sewers.

Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Fey Beast (4E), Monstrosity (5E)
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E),8 (4E), 3 (5E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Infamously vicious carnivores with the front half of a flightless owl and the hindquarters of a bear.

  • Attack Animal: It's theoretically possible to train an owlbear, but they don't need instructions on how to maul something, and it's not productive to try to teach them anything else. That said, if raised from chicks, owlbears will at least bond with their trainers, but they're sullen when performing most tricks, and it takes special effort to make them not attack something.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Much like full bears, owlbears are known and feared for their ferocity, aggressiveness and foul tempers.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Some brave/foolish individuals attempt to train owlbears as mounts, but this is a difficult process that requires either regular, vicious beatings or magical coercion, and in the latter case the owlbear will forget its training and revert to its savage nature the instant the spell wears off. Even if conventionally trained, owlbears are hateful mounts with a tendency to throw and attack their riders if they ever sense weakness, i.e. if their rider takes a moderate amount of damage.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: They have an owl's head, wings and claws and a bear's torso and legs. This incidentally gives owlbears an odd sleep cycle - they wake at noon, hunt through nightfall, and go to sleep at midnight.
  • A Wizard Did It: In-universe scholars generally believe owlbears to have been created as a result of experimentation or some long-forgotten project by ancient wizards. This point is disputed by the fey, however, who claim that owlbears have always existed in the Feywild. The Doylist explaination is that the creature is inspired by a cheap plastic toy Gary Gygax picked up for his Chainmail games, a "prehistoric monster" that was a knock-off Kaiju design.


    Pack Fiend
Classification: Magical Beast (3E)
Challenge Rating: 8 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Stealthy predators native to the Gray Waste of Hades, though fiends across the Lower Planes routinely capture them for use as hunting beasts.

  • Attack Animal: It's mentioned that pit fiends and glabrezu in particular are fond of keeping kennels of starving pack fiends, waiting for the right moment to go hunting.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: Their sting attacks deliver a Strength-damaging poison.
  • Deadly Lunge: Pack fiends pounce when they charge, allowing them to make a full attack action at the end of their move.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: They look like some unholy cross between a wolf and cockroach, with a streamlined scorpion's tail.

Alignment: Unaligned

Sheets of rune-inscribed paper or parchment that have become carnivorous predators.

  • Achilles' Heel: Electricity attacks not only deal damage to palimpsets, they have a chance, increasing with the attack's severity, to make them spit out any creatures they're currently digesting.
  • Animate Inanimate Object: Palimpsets are slow but ambulatory, moving as if blown about by a stray breeze.
  • Chest Monster: Rumors abound of entire libraries filled with palimpsets, in volumes with enticing titles such as Manual of Bodily Health, Libram of Gainful Conjuration, and Elminster's Black Book.
  • No Body Left Behind: This is what makes it so difficult to resurrect someone who's been absorbed by a palimpset. If they're found while being digested, they can be restored using a specific sequence of spells: a remove curse to animate their illustration, abjure to lift them from the sheet as a colorless, lifeless paper doll, and then resurrection to restore them to normal. But if a palimpset has fully digested someone, then only a wish can bring them back.
  • No-Sell: Counterintuitively, palimpsets are immune to fire and attacks with edged weapons.
  • Portal Book: A sinister variant. Prey that makes contact with a palimpset is in danger of being absorbed by the creature, appearing as a sketch or illumination upon it — "mice screeching to get out, or a scribe screaming in terror among the fanciful scrollwork." After one day per Hit Dice, the victim is fully "digested" and vanishes from the paper. Fortunately, sometimes the absorption attempt fails and only deals a nasty paper cut (in which case the blood is quickly absorbed by the monster), and even if successful, absorption takes two rounds over which the monster is helpless and vulnerable to attack. For this reason, palimpsets prefer attacking lone victims.

Classification: Celestial (5E)
Challenge Rating: 13 (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Good

Angelic beings with the power of foresight, who visit the mortal world with prophetic warnings or as harbingers of events to come.

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Pari are known for their pastel blue skin tone.
  • Brown Note: Pari can weaponize their prophetic powers by flooding a creature's mind with disorienting visions of the future, dealing psychic damage and giving them disadvantage on attack rolls for their next turn.
  • Our Angels Are Different: They're modeled off the pari/peri of Persian Mythology, though they lack their source's angle as "mischevious beings denied entry to paradise until they complete a penace."
  • White Magic: Their spell-like abilities include cure wounds, dispel good and evil, and lesser restoration.

Alignment: Neutral Good

Small humanoid elemental-kin from the Elemental Plane of Earth, who often find the depths of the Material Plane to be a more hospitable home.

  • Attack Its Weak Point: The pech's extensive knowledge of stone lets them know precisely where to strike a Rock Monster to reduce it to rubble — their attacks against the likes of stone golems or galeb duhr always deal maximium damage, even with non-magical weapons.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: The pech have power over rock and stone, and each can cast stone shape and stone tell several times per day. By working together, pech can use more powerful magic such as wall of stone or flesh to stone.
  • No-Sell: Pech are immune to petrification effects.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: They're at most four feet tall, but pech are quite strong for their size, and their flesh is nearly as hard as granite.
  • Prophet Eyes: Their eyes are large and have no visible pupils; appropriately, pech have infravision out to 120 feet, but are sensitive to light and will ask other creatures to douse their lamps.

"Behold the pegasus. It can outrace a dragon in the open sky, and only the best among us can ever hope to ride one. A fitting emblem for our great house, don't you think?" — Tyllenvane d'Orien
Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Celestial (5E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (3E), 2 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Good

Intelligent winged horses. Pegasi are greatly prized as aerial steeds, although finding one can be quite difficult and winning its trust harder still.

  • Animal Jingoism: Pegasi normally reserve their enmity for evil beings, but bear a particularly deep-seated hatred of griffins and hippogriffs due to their fondness for equine prey.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: According to the 5th edition monster manual, Nightmares are pegasi that have had their wings amputated and been tortured into evil.
  • Gameplay and Story Integration: In the 5th edition monster manual, a note contains a quote from a House Orien scion who boasts that the pegasus can outrace a dragon in the open sky. True enough, the pegasus' flying speed of 90 is 10 feet faster than the fastest dragon in the book.
  • Horse of a Different Color: Pegasi are popular flying mounts for good-aligned characters.
  • Pegasus: Goodly white horses with bird wings and with feathers making up their manes and fetlocks.
  • Whale Egg: In early editions, despite being primarily mammals with a few bird parts tacked on, pegasi reproduce by laying eggs. 5th changes this to them giving live birth like normal horses.

Alignment: Unaligned

Shapeshifting parasites that take the form of enticing items, so they'll be picked up and carried by their hosts. Standard peltasts disguise themselves as leather goods, while greater peltasts resemble gemstones.

  • Artifact of Death: Greater peltasts have magical abilities they use to maximize bloodshed and bodies upon which they can feed, and use a variant of summon monster to make hostile creatures attack their hosts, or make suggestions to encourage violence.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Peltasts expel their waste when immersed in water, tainting it so that any drinkers become nauseated for several rounds.
  • No-Sell: Peltasts are immune to poison or crushing effects.
  • Picky People Eater: These creatures primarily feed upon humans and goblinoids — they'll allow themselves to be picked up by the likes of elves and dwarves, but never feed upon them, and will try to find a better host as soon as one presents itself.
  • The Symbiote: Peltasts feed by applying a liquid that serves as an anaesthetic and also dissolves a patch of their host's skin, allowing the creature to absorb nutrients from its blood. This deals a single hit point of damage each day, which many hosts don't even notice, while in exchange, the peltast neutralizes any poisons in its host, shares its minor spell resistance, and in emergencies can inject a few hit points back into its host, once per day. It's a little more obvious when a greater peltasts feeds, as the blood can be seen collecting within their crystalline forms, which also grow larger after feeding — as such, they prefer to feed upon sleeping or dying hosts.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Peltasts can change their forms over two rounds, usually to take the shape of an item it sees a perspective host drop, so that the parasite might be mistaken for it.

Classification: Fey (3E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Good

Tiny fey who, when not serving as messengers for their larger kin, work to ensure that travelers and adventurers benefit from a restful sleep, whether they want to or not.

  • Forced Sleep: They can sing songs to duplicate lullaby and sleep spells, which they typically use one after the other. The more petals that contribute to the sleep song, the harder it is to resist.
  • Our Pixies Are Different: Petals are little fey at most a foot and a half tall, with flower petals for hair and wings, garbed in clothes made from leaves.
  • Stupid Good: Petals believe everyone deserves a good sleep, and to awake refreshed and surrounded by beauty. As such, they use their sleep songs on anyone they encounter, and once their guests fall asleep, the fey remove their uncomfortable armor and clothes to garb them in clothing of leaves and garlands of flowers. As might be imagined, this can leave the sleepers helpless against any thieves or monsters in the area.

Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Natural Beast (4E), Monstrosity (5E)
Challenge Rating: 5 (3E), 4 (4E), 2 (5E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

Stag-headed birds of prey that feed on human hearts.

  • Mix-and-Match Critters: They resemble enormous eagles with the heads of stags — some early art also gives them cervine legs — and the fangs of predatory mammals.
  • Our Perytons Are Different:invoked They're more bird-heavy than typical deceptions, being fully avian except for their stag heads. They're Chaotic Evil as a rule, and are gluttonous eaters of hearts — especially human ones. There's a great deal of in-universe debate about the nature of their shadows — some believe that a peryton casts the shadow of the last creature whose heart it ate, while others say that they always cast human shadows and yet others that they only cast their own shadow after killing a victim but before devouring it. "Ecology of the Peryton", in Dragon #82, describes a colony of perytons having invaded an island-nation named Atlantis on a far-off world before it sank beneath the waves, and as being fated to some day bring about the fall of the great city of Roma.
  • Picky People Eater: Perytons crave humanoid hearts over everything else, as female perytons need to eat them before being able to reproduce. Their first action after making a kill is to tear out the desired organ, after which they abandon the carcass and fly off. They're also fairly picky about the provenance of these hearts; they prize human ones above all others, but never eat those of elves and fairies.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 5 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Bizarre-looking flying beings feared for their evil natures and mastery of sorcery.

  • Absolute Xenophobe: Averted, to an extent, as their 3rd Edition write-up notes that phaerimm would like to exterminate all other life, except that would deny them slaves they could torture to death for sport.
  • Attack Reflector/Feed It with Fire: As per their AD&D rules, any magic that fails to penetrate a phaerimm's (considerable) spell resistance will both heal the monster and be rebounded back on the caster.
  • Beware My Stinger Tail: They have a poisonous sting that also implants eggs in the victim.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: Again, averted; "If phaerimms were less evil, they would be more alien and difficult to understand, but their overwhelming drive toward inflicting pain makes them somewhat predictable."
  • Mage Species: Phaerimm are natural spellcasters, and their 3rd Edition rules let them cast sorcerer spells like they were spell-like abilities, without requiring verbal, somatic or material components, while their AD&D write-up notes that the most powerful phaerimm mages are equivalent to 22nd-to-27th level wizards. They're also egotistical about their magic, and view physical combat as a sign of weakness, an admission that their arcane power is insufficient.
  • No-Sell: They're immune to polymorph and petrification effects.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: They would gladly wipe out all other life, except that then they wouldn't have anyone to enslave.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: They look like nothing less than 12-foot-long windsocks with a Lamprey Mouth and multiple humanoid arms.
  • Poisonous Person: A phaerimm's tail stinger carries a weird poison that both paralyzes their victim on a failed save, and also causes them to levitate off the ground for potentially hours, immobilizing them unless they have a stick or something to push against the ground. And with their AD&D rules, victims also have to save to see whether they've been implanted with a viable phaerimm egg, which will hatch after a few days, at which point the young phaerimm will begin eating its way out of the host. Thankfully, a cure disease spell kills the larva.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In the Forgotten Realms, most phaerimm were sealed beneath Anauroch by their ancient sharn rivals, and only a few escaped — though some of those are working to free their kin.
  • Supernatural Sensitivity: In 3rd Edition, phaerimm have "full vision," allowing them to detect magic and perceive ethereal or astral creatures out to 120 feet.

    Phantom Fungus
Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (3E)
Alignment: True Neutral

Mobile, carnivorous fungus monsters that are naturally invisible, and remain so even while attacking.

  • Attack Animal: Though only as intelligent as animals, phantom fungi are trainable, and make dangerous guards since most detection magic doesn't pick them up. Their invisibility also makes training them difficult, however, leading to handlers throwing flour on them or tying ribbons around them to keep track of their location. Phantom fungi are often trained to click their teeth after performing a trick, a habit which can give them away.
  • Invisible Monsters: They're under a constant greater invisibility effect, which allows them to remain unseen even when taking actions like attacking. Since phantom fungi are pretty quiet while stalking prey, often the only thing that gives them away is their strange, moldy odor.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Fungus, but close enough. They have bizarre bodies with four stumpy legs supporting a green-brown mass, a toothy mouth, and a cluster of nodules that serve as sensory organs, but are normally only visible when slain.

    Phase Wasp
Classification: Magical Beast (3E)
Challenge Rating: 2 (3E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Oversized wasps with a dangerous magical attack, and a tendency to make nests from paper stolen from libraries, magical and non-magical.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Amorphous shapeshifters that use their ablities to devote their lives to exploration, philosophical contemplation, or pure hedonism as their whims decree.

  • Blob Monster: In its natural form, a phasm resembles an ooze and attacks with pseudopods.
  • The Hedonist: They crave new experiences, from scents or flavors to obscure trivia and juicy gossip.
  • It Amused Me: Phasms' fundamental motivation. This means that there's no telling how they'll react to a given situation, whether they'll attack or parley with or retreat from opponents. Sometimes phasms will team up with doppelgangers just for the fun of it, other times they'll hire out their talents as spies, except they're notoriously unreliable since they don't feel any obligation to share what they learn.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Phasms can take the form of almost any other creature or object of Large size or smaller, an ability they use in combat or to aid their infiltrations.

Alignment: Neutral Good

Gaunt humanoids sometimes encountered on the Ethereal Plane, known for their unusual non-verbal method of communication.

  • Compelling Voice: A non-verbal example; once per day, a phirblas can use its words and telepathy to make a suggestion.
  • Fearless Fool: Phirblas don't fight among each other, don't seem to age or contract diseases, and rarely meet with fatal accidents. As such, they have little fear or understanding of death, which makes other planar travelers consider phirblas quite naive.
  • Hover Skates: In another trait they share with the dabus, phirblas' feet don't touch the ground. They can't actually fly, and move about as if they were walking, just slightly above the surface beneath them.
  • Mass Hypnosis: Three times per day, phirblas can form a dizzying array of words above them to replicate a hypnotic pattern.
  • No Biological Sex: Phirblas don't have recognizable genders, and in the rare cases they reproduce, do so asexually to produce a fully-grown phirblas.
  • Pocket Dimension: Though their listed environment is the Ethereal Plane, phirblas properly hail from Inphirblau, an ancient demiplane that contains a veritable metropolis housing millions of phirblas.
  • Speech Bubbles: A weird variant; phirblas have a form of telepathy that allows them to communicate by having words form in the air right above them, about ten at a time, appearing in the language of their intended recipient. The nature of said script indicates the phirblas' emotional state, so flowing and elegant letters are used for a formal address, while quick and simple text indicates a casual conversation, messy writing indicates that the phirblas is in a hurry or doesn't wish to converse, and shaky script suggests emotional distress. This trait suggests some connection between the phirblas and the dabus of Sigil, but nothing conclusive has been proven.
  • Veganopia: The phirblas' dietary needs are met by herbariums all over their demiplane-city, and their chefs have devised mutliple hot and cold vegetarian dishes so complicated that it takes several days to prepare them.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 11 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Also known as "vaporous horrors" or "lingering deaths," these murderous clouds of poisonous steam haunt the Bleak Eternity of Gehenna.

  • Deadly Gas: A phiuhl more or less is a sentient cloud of superheated poisonous vapor, and anyone within 50 feet of them has to save or take Constitution damage (in 3rd Edition), or be in danger of collapsing and expiring in a matter of rounds (in 2nd Edition). On the upside, their gaseous nature makes phiuhls vulnerable to being blown around by effects such as the gust of wind spell.
  • Evil Living Flames: They get in on this trope as well due to their sweltering heat, which damages anything that comes close to phiuhls. Things only get worse if a phiuhl envelops a victim in their gaseous form, dealing Level Drain from the intense, dessicating heat. Some phiuhls are known as "harvesters as flame" because they lack the poisonous aspect or normal phiuhls, but double down on the fire damage, and are even able to damage creatures explicitly immune to heat.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Phiuhls have inscrutable and alien minds that can drive anyone trying to make mental contact with them insane. A cambion sorcerer by the name of Rgillyth attempted to use ESP to interrogate a phiuhl about the creature's origins, and was left ranting about "undead lords of brass," "spirits of long-dead wind dukes," and a "melded prison of steam."
  • Riddle for the Ages: No one's sure what exactly phiuhls are, and mortal and fiendish scholars alike have tried to capture and study them, to little success. The prevailing theory is that phiuhls are the spirits of slain elementals, except no priest has been able to successfully turn them, and 3rd Edition classifies them as aberrations rather than undead.
  • Starfish Language: Phiuhls speak no audible language, but appear to have some way to communicate with one another, as they often operate in pairs. Night hags have been known to strike short-term bargains with phiuhls, usually offering larvae in exchange for safe passage or small favors, but attempts by tanar'ri and baatezu to bring phiuhls into the Blood War have been unsuccessful.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid/Magical Beast (3E), Natural Humanoid/Elemental Magical Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 6 (phoelarch) 3 (phoera) (3E); 12 (4E)
Alignment: Chaotic Good (3E), Unaligned (4E)

Phoelarchs are humanoids with avian features said to be kin to phoenixes, who wield the power of fire as they wander the world, fighting for freedom. When a phoelarch is slain, its ashes give rise to a purely-avian phoera.

  • Art Evolution: While their 3rd Edition art depicts phoelarchs with brilliantly-colored feathers on their heads and upper bodies, 4th Edition gives them full-on flames instead.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: When slain, phoelarchs detonate in a 20-foot fireball.
  • Feed It with Fire: Phoelarchs and phoera are healed by fire effects.
  • The Phoenix: They're suspected of being related in some way to the legendary firebirds, and they share many phoenix-like traits, particularly how they die. After detonating, a phoelarch leaves behind a pile of ashes and a black glass egg, which in 24 hours will hatch into a phoera. This phoera is an entirely new creature, with no memories of its phoelarch "parent's" life, but once that phoera has hatched, the original phoelarch cannot be brought back to life by any means short of a wish or miracle used in conjunction with resurrection. If a phoera is slain, its body too immolates and leaves behind another black glass egg, which will hatch into a new phoera; once again, it is very difficult to bring back the original phoera after its "child" hatches.
  • Playing with Fire: Phoelarchs wield spell-like abilities such as scorching ray, produce flame and fire shield, while phoera have a fiery Breath Weapon and can ignite foes they attack with their beak or claws. Both creatures are also hot enough to damage foes who touch them, an ability they can choose to suppress.
  • Underground Monkey: Vazalkyon and vazalka are cold-themed variants of phoelarchs and phoera, and are identical save for wielding and healing from a different energy type, and causing foes to be shaken from cold rather than igniting from heat.

Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Elemental Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 24 (3E), 19 (4E)
Alignment: Neutral Good (1E-3E), Unaligned (4E)

Large, fiery birds capable of resurrecting themselves when slain.

For the 5E iteration of this creature, see the "Elder Elementals" section of the "Elementals" entry.

  • Giant Flyer: Phoenixes are usually very large birds, with wingspans at or over the forty-foot range.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A phoenix can emit a piercing war shriek that slows opponents.
  • Organ Drops: Phoenix feathers are useful additions to a staff of healing or various curative potions, while their eyes, beaks and talons can fetch up to 5000 gp apiece from buyers who aren't appalled by someone killing and butchering a firebird.
  • The Phoenix: There have been several versions and interpretations of this creature over the years. Depending on the edition, they're either Neutral Good inhabitants of the Upper Planes or destructive Elemental Embodiments of fire. Either way, they're usually very large, with red-gold plumage, extremely powerful, and hard to keep dead.
    • In the first edition Fiend Folio, it's stated that phoenixes are based on garbled accounts of reptilian ostrich-like monsters called giant striders bathing in fire (see the "Firenewt" entry). This is immediately contradicted by the subsequent Monster Manual II introducing actual phoenixes to the game.
    • 3rd Edition's Monster Manual II presents phoenixes as being powerful creatures of good and opponents of evil beings, and as being considered omens of either fortune or disasters when seen.
    • The 5th Edition Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes takes the Elemental Embodiment aspect to the extreme with an elder elemental called the phoenix. It's pretty damn intense, powerful enough to rival an ancient red dragon, and desires to see everything burn.
  • Playing with Fire: While the specifics vary between editions, phoenixes' ties to the element of fire typically allow them some control over flame in the form of spell-like abilities such as fire seeds, incendiary cloud and pyrotechnics.
  • Resurrective Immortality: Famously, a dying phoenix will burn itself to ashes and then rise to new life from its own remains. In 3rd Edition, this isn't quite an Auto-Revive, but a full-round action the phoenix can take when death is near.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Phoenixes use Telepathy to communicate with most creatures, but can "speak" with other avians.
  • White Magic: Beyond their fiery abilities, phoenixes can also wield curative magic like cure light wounds, heal, remove curse, and even reincarnate.

Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 6 (3E)
Alignment: Chaotic Evil

A repressed neurosis given life, hungering for the mental energy of other creatures.

  • Achilles' Heel: Since they're creatures of the mind, feeblemind and confusion spells deal damage to phthisics in 2nd Edition, and nullify their Healing Factor for several rounds.
  • An Ice Person: In 2nd Edition, phthisics can, once per hour, surround themselves with an aura of cold strong enough to deal damage to anything within 10 feet, though only for a single round.
  • Art Evolution: 2nd Edition phthisics appear as enlarged and twisted versions of the being from which they emerged, but their 3rd Edition incarnation is much more monstrous, so that it takes a DC 25 Spot check to notice the resemblance between the phthisic and its source.
  • Attack Reflector: Their AD&D rules explain that phthisics are "born of turmoil, self-deprecation, and doubt," and thus have a 25% chance to reflect any offensive magic back on their casters.
  • Horror Hunger: A phthisic "constantly craves the sweet nectar of sanity to soothe its mental torment, if only for a while."
  • Psychic Powers: 3E phthisics have the psionic subtype, and an array of powers such as brain lock, ego whip and mind thrust.
  • Retcon: 2E phthisics are specifically the creations of the mind flayers, the only creatures skilled enough to draw them from the minds of their thralls. In 3rd Edition, phthisics' origins are unknown, though speculated to be the product of a variant of psychic chirurgery.
  • Soul Jar: In 2nd Edition, phthisics are bound to complex psionic circuitry affixed to an inanimate object. While this means they can't move more than three miles away from this source, or spend too long apart from it, the phthisic can instantly teleport back to its lair, and perceive everything around its psionic circuitry. But destroying the psinoic circuitry will instantly destroy the phthisic (in contrast to killing the creature from which the phthisic is spawned, whose death does nothing to the phthisic).
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: A phthisics' bite attacks cause a feeblemind effect in 2nd Edition, and if it's able to feed in peace, the monster can drain Intelligence from its victim. In 3rd Edition, its bite deals Intelligence damage that, should a victim reach 0 Int, becomes permanent ability drain. Those who the phthisic is draining in this way experience a deathly chill, and should they succumb to it, their corpses will shrivel as a side-effect of the feeding.
  • Tulpa: Phthisics are spawned from the troubled psyche of intelligent beings, the physical embodiments of a repressed memory or suppressed neurosis.

Classification: Fey (3E, 5E), Fey Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 4 (3E), 1 (4E), 1/4 (5E)
Playable: 2E-4E
Alignment: Neutral Good, Unaligned (4E)

Diminutive fairies who delight in playing harmless tricks on people.

  • Crafted from Animals: Pixie wings can be ground into dust of disappearance. "Naturally, pixies frown on this use of their wings."
  • The Dandy/The Fashionista: Pixies style themselves as the princes and princesses of the sky, and dress accordingly in sparkling silken gowns and doublets, or in outfits crafted from leaves, tree bark and small animal pelts. One of the surest ways to win a pixie over is by complimenting their fashion sense.
    Rivergleam: Petal gowns and acorn caps are so last summer!
  • Fairy Trickster: They amuse themselves by leading travelers astray with dancing lights, sneakily tying shoelaces together, blowing out candles, and so forth.
  • Honest Axe: Pixies like to trick misers out of their treasure, accumulate it in a small hoard, and use it to taunt other greedy people. But if one of their victims takes the pixie's pranks in good humor and shows no greed when led to the treasure pile, the fey may allow the individual to choose an item from their hoard.
  • Our Pixies Are Different: Pixies resemble diminutive elves with bright, luminous gossamer wings and an assortment of magical powers. They use their spells for harmless pranks, though their pixie dust is said to have magical properties ranging from bestowing flight to putting creatures into an enchanted slumber, leading some mages and monsters to pursue pixies to take advantage of this power.
  • Painting the Frost on Windows: On both the Feywild and Material Plane, pixies wake the birds for springtime, sprinkle dew on summer flowers, paint the autumn leaves, and draw frost on windows during winter.
  • Shrinking Violet: They like to spy on other creatures and can barely contain their excitement upon seeing interlopers, but their overwhelming urge to introduce themselves and strike up a friendship is only controlled by the fear of being captured or attacked. Those who wander through a pixie's glade might never see them, yet hear the occasional giggle, gasp or sigh.

    Plague Brush
Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 17 (3E)
Alignment: Unaligned

35-foot wide, poisonous tumbleweeds that normally roll about the scarlet plains of Cathrys, second layer of the Tarterian Depths of Carceri.

  • Indy Escape: They're essentially free-roaming examples, instinctively chasing down and flattening anything they come across. With a 60-foot movement speed, escaping them is more easily said than done.
  • Poisonous Person: Plague brushes constantly emit a 30-foot cloud of spores that cause heavy Strength and Constitution damage.
  • Trampled Underfoot: These plants' primary attack is to simply roll over other creatures, dealing damage and potentially causing them to get scooped up in the tangle of vines, trapping them inside the plant until they either extract themselves or succumb to the plague brush's spores. In fact, these mindless plants often ignore creatures they've rolled over or entrapped, and after tumbling through an encampment will just keep rolling along their way.

A chaond and zenythri (3e)
Classification: Outsider (3E)
Challenge Rating: Usually 1/2 (3E)
Playable: 3E (shadowswyft)
Alignment: Varies by heritage

"Planetouched" is a catch-all term describing those whose bloodlines have been touched by powers beyond the Material Plane. Though this effect is not as pronounced as in a half-celestial or cambion, this extraplanar heritage manifests in supernatural abilities and physical traits for many generations.
Several of the most common planetouched, the aasimars, tieflings and genasi, are discussed on the Playable Races page.

  • Chrome Champion: Mechanatrices tend to have a metallic sheen to their skin, and are sometimes born with a mechanical limb.
  • Day Hurts Dark-Adjusted Eyes: Shadowswyfts have superior darkvision, but are blinded by sudden exposure to bright light, and will be dazzled so long as they remain in the area.
  • Divine Parentage: Planetouched's heritages can range from Good and Evil to Law and Chaos.
    • Axani and zenythri have a touch of pure Law in their blood, while mechanatrices are specifically descended from the clockwork beings of Mechanus.
    • Chaonds are the descendants of someone who survived a slaad's reproduction attempt, but had their bloodline tainted with raw Chaos in the process.
    • Shyfts are humanoids descended from a creature from the Ethereal Plane, and tend to look supernaturally unremarkable.
    • Shadowswyfts have an ancestor from the Plane of Shadow, and are most comfortable in darkness.
  • Frog Men: Chaonds are a downplayed example, but show their slaadi heritage with stocky bodies, wide feet, and gravelly voices that tend to come out as croaks when they're excited.
  • Intangibility: Shyfts can use ethereal jaunt once per day.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: Chaonds crank this up a notch by having not just their eye color slowly shift over time, but so can their hair and skin tone.
  • Mark of the Supernatural: Planetouched tend to have something that visibly sets them apart from normal Material Plane races, whether something as dramatic as a different skin tone, weird eyes, or vestigial wings or horns, or something as subtle as being a little too good-looking, or strangely nondescript.
  • The Nondescript: Shyfts look remarkably unremarkable, easy to overlook and forget. As such, they get a racial bonus on Hide and Move Silently checks, and tend to find employment as thieves or spies.
  • Shock and Awe: Mechanatrices can use shocking grasp once per day, and are healed by electricity effects.
  • Uncanny Valley: In-universe; zenythri are noted for their flawless features and hair that naturally falls into place, but don't get any Charisma bonus from it, and in fact their basic statline has them with lower than average Charisma, implying that other creatures find them too perfect-looking.

Classification: Ooze (5E)
Challenge Rating: 1/4 (5E)
Alignment: Any

Intelligent, amoeba-like beings who can alter their body configuration at will, assuming roughly-humanoid forms or more amorphous shapes. See the Playable Races subpage for more information about them.

    Porcupine Cactus
Classification: Plant (3E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (3E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Spiny, barrel-shaped cacti that can explode at the slightest touch.

  • Exploding Barrels: They're basically an organic example. Immature porcupine cacti have flat shapes and leathery textures, but the plants swell up during the rare desert rains, sprout large flowers, and soon swell even more with seeds. A turgid porcupine cactus can detonate when struck by a creature, or in the presence of 20-mile-per-hour winds or strong vibrations (such as those produced by a tunneling ashworm). This deals damage to everything in a 10-foot radius, leaves behind thorny flesh on the ground that acts as caltrops, and most dangerously, is likely to start a chain reaction among the other cacti in the patch.
  • Man-Eating Plant: They don't have mouths, but porcupine cacti seeds tend to grow in the bodies of those slain in the detonation of their parent plants.
  • The Spiny: Anyone trying to handle (or more stupidly, make a natural melee attack against) a porcupine cactus takes damage from its thorns.

    Protean Scourge
Classification: Monstrous Humanoid (3E)
Challenge Rating: 12 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Diabolic-looking shapeshifters who love to murder, and duplicate themselves when attacked.

  • Asteroids Monster: Protean scourges' signature ability is to, after taking damage, immediately split in two identical monsters, each with as many hit points as the original creature. The only downsides are that the monster can't use its shapechanging ability until its duplicates have re-merged (a process that takes a minute and leaves it helpless), and the duplicates use a shared spell "pool" rather than each having their own array of unspent spell slots.
  • Big Red Devil: They appear as such, being Horned Humanoids with pebbly red skin, though they aren't actually fiends.
  • Magic Knight: Protean scourges are formidable in melee, and cast spells as 8th-level sorcerers.
  • Psycho for Hire: These monsters excel as assassins, though others find work as spies or as the leaders of thieves guilds, roles they are content with so long as they find chances to shed blood.
  • Sinister Scythe: An invoked trope, as protean scourges favor the weapons "mostly to add to the myth that the creature is some sort of evil outsider."
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: They can freely take the shape of any Medium-sized humanoid, and revert to their true form when slain.

Classification: Aberration (3E, 5E), Aberrant Magical Beast (4E)
Challenge Rating: 5 (3E), 17 (4E), 2 (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Evil, Evil (4E)

Malicious, worm-like beings with formidable mental powers.

  • Art Evolution: Psurlons' depiction can vary even within an edition. In some 2nd and 3rd Edition art, they look like a clothed humanoid figure comprised of giant earthworms, but a later 3E supplement gave them a bloated, monstrous body on spidery legs, which carried over into 4th Edition. 5th Edition gives them thicker bodies with hoofed legs, but upright fronts draped in clothing.
  • Emergency Transformation: 4th Edition asserts that only the psurlons' minds survived the distruction of their homeworld, forcing them to possess mindless slug creatures on the Astral Sea. After thousands of generations, the psurlons had modified their new bodies to their liking, and now prefer their worm-like forms.
  • A Head at Each End: In 5E, one in a hundred psurlons is born a mutant with a head at each end of its body, granting them superior intellects and mental powers, and making them natural leaders of their kind.
  • Kill and Replace: 5th Edition adds psurlon "ringers," which can consume a Medium-sized humanoid, go into a psionic trance for 8 hours, and then physically transform into their meal's likeness. This gives the psurlon access to their prey's memories, and the resulting transformation is permanent until undone with a wish spell. Other psurlons can recognize a ringer no matter its guise.
  • Lamprey Mouth: In some depictions, they have large, circular mouths filled with gnashing teeth.
  • Monstrous Cannibalism: When a psurlon dies, others lay their eggs in its corpse, which hatch into Tiny infant psurlons that consume both the corpse and each other, until seven days later a single adult psurlon emerges from the putrefying remains.
  • Psychic Powers: Psurlons fight with their psionic powers, crushing foes with telekinesis or immobilising them with mental energy.
  • To Serve Man: Every century or so, the psurlons leave the Astral Plane to embark on the "Feast of Worlds," spending the next seven years infiltrating various worlds and eating as many sentients as they can, particularly relishing the taste of humans and halflings.
  • Stronger with Age: Psurlon elders are simply ordinary psurlons that have developed even more psionic powers as they aged. Other psurlons instead undertake a rapid physical growth into giant psurlons the size of ogres.
  • Super Senses: They have darkvision thanks to the sensory organs round their mouths, as well as blindsight due to being able to detect foes by scent, sound and vibration.
  • Human Shifting: Most 4th Edition psurlons can use change shape to assume humanoid form, though in 5th Edition they use disguise self instead.
  • Where I Was Born and Razed: The psurlons attempted to create a Hive Mind amongst their race, but the psychic backlash blew up their homeworld, forcing the survivors to relocate to the Astral Plane. They're unrepentant about this, and have no desire to return to the Material Plane... though they are interested in the world of Athas, which they think would survive another attempt to psychically link their minds together.

Hybrid form (3e)
Classification: Shapechanger (3E), Monstrosity (5E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (3E), 1 (5E)
Alignment: Neutral Evil

Evil reptilian humanoids that use their shapeshifting to aid in their attacks on neighboring tribes.

  • The Beastmaster: Averted; unlike proper lycanthropes, which often take command of mundane animals related to their bestial forms, pterafolk have no particular control over proper pterodactyls and pteranodons, the latter of which actually prey upon them.
  • Death from Above: They often attack by swooping on victims from above, which in their AD&D rules deals double damage.
  • Lizard Folk: In two of their forms, they look like reptilian humanoids with a pteranodon's beak and crest, and potentially wings. There's in-universe speculation over whether pterafolk are a Living Relic, a precursor to proper lizard-folk that didn't evolve like their kin, or enchanted relations of pterodactyls.
  • Treetop Town: They make their homes in collection of huts built high in thick-trunked trees, and all but invisible from the ground.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Pterafolk can naturally polymorph between three forms: a fully-humanoid shape, a fully-pteranodon form with a 15-foot wingspan, or a hybrid between the two, replacing the humanoid arms with functional wings.

    Puppeteer Parasite
Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Aberration (5E)
Challenge Rating: 1 (standard), 2 (flesh harrower) (3E); 3 (5E)
Alignment: Lawful Evil (3E), Neutral Evil (5E)

Psionic parasites that can hijack the bodies of their hosts.

  • Anti-True Sight: 3E puppeteers can hide their minds from detection by divination spells or clairsentience powers.
  • Art Evolution: In 3rd Edition they're small and leech-like, able to hide beneath a host's clothes, while in 5E they're amoeba-like creatures the size of dinner plates with a ventral surface covered in bony hooks.
  • Charm Person: 3E puppeteers know the psionic version of charm person, and use it to take over a host by asking to be picked up by it.
  • Dumb Muscle: Comparatively speaking; a puppeteer variant known as flesh harrowers lack the ability to psychically dominate a host, but are larger and much more physically capable than their kin, possessing a maw of fearsome teeth and a twin-bladed tail. They're used to deal with threats through direct combat if the puppeteers' usual methods fail.
  • Life Drain: In 5th Edition they can make a "Consume Life" attack against a creature they're attached to, healing themselves by the amount of damage dealt.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: It's in the name, though the mechanics differ by edition.
    • If a 3E puppeteer is able to make physical contact with a charmed host, it'll attach itself somewhere out of sight on their body. The parasite will drain a negligible amount of nutrients from the host creature, but so long as the puppeteer is attached, the host creature is mentally dominated by it. Once they have hosts, puppeteers strive to take control of a society to ensure a steady supply of bodies for their kind.
    • 5E puppeteer parasites are larger and harder to hide, and have a more limited capacity to control their host, as they can only cast suggestion once per day.

    Purple Worm
Classification: Magical Beast (3E), Natural Beast (4E), Monstrosity (5E)
Challenge Rating: 12 (3E), 16 (4E), 15 (5E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Enormous subterranean worms with armored bodies and insatiable appetites.

  • Beware My Stinger Tail: They have a poisonous stinger at the end of their tails.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: It is a wormlike monster, and it is purple.
  • Fast Tunneling: They have a 30-foot burrow speed, and can even bore through solid rock at half that rate, leaving behind a 10-foot-wide tunnel.
  • Horse of a Different Color: It's impossible to ride a purple worm normally, but the mind flayers have developed an odd way to use one as a mount. If an irritant is placed in the purple worm's throat, it will develop a cyst that can be drained and used as a driver's compartment. Though since purple worms are mindless, illithids have to resort to speaking Undercommon to give them commands, and the rider's cyst prevents the worm from swallowing Large creatures, while smaller ones might make an attack of opportunity at the worm's rider as they're swallowed.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: A little-known fact is that the purple worm is referred to as the purple dragon in Gary Gygax's notes: "the purple, or mottled, dragon is a rare, flightless worm with a venomous sting in its tail." This was quickly dropped in later editions.
  • Sand Worm: Giant, carnivorous worms that burrow underground at high speeds, and which hunt by tracking prey from below and attacking in a sudden, explosive surge through the surface.
  • Swallowed Whole: With its cavernous maw, a purple worm can swallow even an ogre in one gulp.
  • Underground Monkey: In older editions, mottled worms are an aquatic variant of purple worm that inhabits the shallow muck at the bottom of bodies of water.


Classification: Humanoid (3E, 5E), Natural Humanoid (4E)
Challenge Rating: 3 (3E), 9 (4E), 2 (5E)
Alignment: True Neutral (1E-2E), Neutral Evil (3E), Unaligned (4E), Chaotic Neutral (5E)

Sometimes called "deep bears," these savage, 7-foot ursine humanoids eke out a primitive existence in the Underdark.

  • Good Old Ways: The great divide in the free quaggoths' society is between those who "follow magic" by using weapons and dyeing their white fur with dung, blood and mind flayer gall to help them blend in with their surroundings, and those who "follow the beast" by fighting with their claws and eschewing camouflage.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: When they can't find food, quaggoths prey on each other. A thonot that fails the tribe is devoured in a cannibalistic ritual, in the hope that its power passes to another more worthy quaggoth.
  • It Can Think: Quaggoths' bestial appearance, snarling language, and penchant for fighting unarmed and unarmored have led many to assume they're bipedal cave bears, but quaggoths are in fact sapient, though not particularly intelligent. Their Intelligence score has even been going down over the game's editions, so their current stats only make them slightly smarter than ogres.
  • Made a Slave: Approximately half the quaggoth population has been enslaved by races like the drow or illithids.
  • The Morlocks: At one point the quaggoths had a more advanced society on the surface, before being driven underground by the elves and falling into cannibalistic savagery. For this reason, quaggoths captured by the drow need little prompting to join raids against surface elves.
  • Psychic Powers: Thonots are quaggoths which have gained psionic powers through exposure to the psychic energies which permeate the Underdark.
  • Turns Red: When a quaggoth comes close to death, it flies into a berserker rage, making its attacks more powerful and more accurate.

Classification: Magical Beast (3E)
Challenge Rating: 6 (3E)
Alignment: Unaligned

Insectoid monsters sometimes called "abyssal wasps" due to their ability to control other creatures, and for their gruesome reproductive method.

  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Quanloses are dog-sized insectoids with a horrific life cycle.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Though they look like insects, each quanlos is in fact a self-contained hive, reproducing asexually and storing their larvae in abdominal sacs. After being implanted in a victim, quanlos larvae spend a week to a month consuming their host's corpse before bursting out as Tiny quanloses that reach full adulthood in another year.
  • Explosive Breeder: They have a rapid reproductive cycle, and quanloses implant five to ten larvae into a creature at a time, but quanloses are still relatively rare, since the bulk of quanlos larvae are consumed by other larvae while inside their parent, and three-quarters of adult quanloses are slain by other quanloses within the first months of their lives.
  • Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: Quanloses can inject a creature with larvae, which acts something like a poison that, should a victim fail their saving throw, will deal damage each subsequent round. Unless a victim is saved with neutralize poison or remove disease, they'll slowly be devoured from within.
  • Mind Control: Their stingers carry a potent magical toxin that replicates a dominate monster spell, usable three times each day. With their Intelligence of 1, quanloses aren't smart enough to direct their dominated minions to do more than follow general commands such as attack, defend, gather food, etc. Slaying a quanlos instantly frees any mind-controlled creatures.

Classification: Aberration (3E)
Challenge Rating: 5 (3E)
Playable: 3E
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral

Blue, bellicose, centaur-like creatures that wander the plains in search of food, good fights, or wargear to steal.

  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership: Their tribes' "bullmasters" are the strongest males in them, but have to constantly defend their positions from younger rivals. "The bellows of dueling quaraphons can be heard for miles around, lending a chilling quality to the desolate plains."
  • Boisterous Bruiser: They're described as "belligerent, swaggering creatures" constantly looking for a challenging fight.
  • Does Not Like Magic: Quaraphons have a superstitious distrust of arcane magic, and any of their kind who befriend a mage are deemed insane and exiled from their tribes.
  • Dumb Muscle: They're not too bright, and have -4 racial penalties to Intelligence and Wisdom, but compensate with a +10 bonus to Strength and +12 to Constitution.
  • Extra Eyes/Too Many Mouths: Quaraphons' faces have four eyes, placed seemingly at random, and two mouths positioned one on top of the other.
  • Our Centaurs Are Different: They look something like centaurs with warty blue skin and highly assymetrical features.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Once per day, a quaraphon can use its two mouths to loose a bellow that deals sonic damage and can potentially deafen those within 60 feet.

Classifiaction: Construct (3E)
Challenge Rating: 7 (3E)
Alignment: Neutral Good

Radiant, free-willed humanoid constructs native to the marshes of Belierin, third layer of the Blessed Fields of Elysium.

  • Blinded by the Light: At will, quesars can intensify their glows sixfold, potentially blinding nearby creatures.
  • Healing Factor: They constantly recover hit points so long as they're exposed to sunlight, or magic like daylight. This functions even after a quesar has been "killed," so the only way to permanently destroy one is to keep its remains in an area of darkness, forever, or to use magic like disintegrate to dispose of their bodies.
  • Interservice Rivalry: Their AD&D write-up notes that Lawful Good celestials resent the quesars for their past rebellion. "On the planes of goodness, the aasimon are to be obeyed without question. Those that do not adhere to that stricture are not well liked." This lack of support can result in proactive quesars leading one-person crusades against the Lower Planes, which for all a quesar's power are still suicidal actions.
  • Light 'em Up: After they've had their blinding radiance active for a round, quesars can replicate a sunburst effect, dealing damage to all in 30 feet.
  • Phosphor-Essence: Quesars constantly shed bright light in a 20-foot radius, providing shadowy illumination 40 feet beyond that.
  • Reduced to Dust: A quesar's most dangerous ability is to, three times each day, unleash a burst of energy so intense that it subjects every creature and object within 15 feet to a disintegrate effect, dealing heavy damage and reducing those that succumb to ash.
  • So What Do We Do Now?: After becoming independent, most quesars remain on Belierin, pondering the purpose of their new lives.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: The quesars were crafted by angels as servitors, and while the intelligent constructs were initially grateful enough to follow their creators' commands, the quesars eventually expressed that they did not intend to exist as slaves. This offended the angels — "The clockworks do not tell the clock maker what to do. The clay does not instruct the sculptor." — and so there was a brief war in Elysium before the local deities intervened, chiding the angels that the quesars were not creatures of order, and the quesars that they should not foment chaos by rashly causing conflict with those who had treated them well. Thus the angels wordlessly departed Belierin, leaving the quesars to figure out what to do with their independence.

Classification: Fey Humanoid (4E), Fey (5E)
Challenge Rating: 9 (4E), 1 (5E)
Alignment: Evil (4E), Chaotic Evil (5E)

Tiny and malicious fey notable for their incredible speed.

  • Blessed with Suck: It is said that they were once a human-sized race of fey belonging to the Gloaming Court, but they were lazy and blew off their Queen's summons once too often. To quicken their pace and teach them to mind her will, she sped up their internal clocks. This gave quicklings their characteristic fast pace, but also sped up their aging process, leaving them with a lifespan of twenty years at best.
  • Super Speed: In 5th edition they can move 120 feet per round without dashing, and their sheer speed imposes disadvantage on all attack rolls made against them.
  • The Trickster: A quickling spends most of its time perpetrating acts of mischief on slower creatures: tying a person's bootlaces together, unbuckling a saddle while no one's looking, or planting a stolen item in someone's bag. They don't commit outright murder, but quicklings can ruin lives in plenty of other ways. Quicklings enjoy causing suffering that transcends mere mischief, especially when they can create discord by blaming others for their actions.
  • We Are as Mayflies: Quicklings live incredibly short lives on account of their hyperactive metabolism. They die of old age in less than twenty years.