Each monster is described fully, with entries that describe behavior, combat
modes, and so on. These are explained in the following text.
Climate/Terrain defines where the creature is most often found. Climates include arctic,
sub-arctic, temperate, and tropical. Typical terrain includes plain/scrub, forest,
rough/hill, mountain, swamp, and desert. In some cases, a range is given; for
instance, "cold" implies arctic, sub-arctic, and colder temperate regions.
Frequency is the likelihood of encountering a creature in an area. Chances can be
adjusted for special areas.
||= 4% chance
||= 11% chance
||= 20% chance
||= 65% chance
is the general social structure the monster adopts. "Solitary" includes small
is the time of day when the monster is most active. Those active at night can
be active at any time in subterranean settings. These are general guidelines
and exceptions are fairly common.
shows what the creature usually eats. Carnivores eat meat, herbivores eat
plants, and omnivores eat either. Scavengers primarily eat carrion. If a monster
does not fit any of these categories, the substances it does eat are described
in the entry or in the text.
is the equivalent of human "IQ." Certain monsters are instinctively cunning;
these are noted in the monster descriptions. Ratings correspond roughly to the
following Intelligence ability scores:
||Nonintelligent or not ratable
||Average (human) intelligence
refers to the treasure tables in the DUNGEON MASTER Guide.
If individual treasure is indicated, each individual may carry it (or not, at
the DM's discretion). Major treasures are usually found in the monster's lair;
these are most often designed and placed by the DM. Intelligent monsters will
use the magical items present and try to carry off their most valuable
treasures if hard pressed. If treasure is assigned randomly, roll for each type
possible; if all rolls fail, no treasure of any type is found. Treasure should be
adjusted downward if a few monsters are encountered. Large treasures are noted by a
multiplier (x10, for example); this should not be confused with treasure type
X. Treasure types listed in parentheses are treasures found in the creatures'
lair. Do not use the tables to place dungeon treasure, since the numbers
encountered underground will be much smaller.
shows the general behavior of the average monster of that type. Exceptions,
though uncommon, may be encountered.
indicates an average encounter size for a wilderness encounter. The DM should
alter this to fit the circumstances as the need arises. This should not be used
for dungeon encounters.
Note that some solitary creatures are found in small groups; this means they
are found in very small family units, or that several may happen to be found
together, but do not cooperate with one another.
is the general protection worn by humans and humanoids, protection due to
physical structure or magical nature, or difficulty in hitting due to speed,
reflexes, etc. Humans and humanoids of roughly man-size that wear armor will have an
unarmored rating in parentheses. Listed AC does not include any special bonuses
noted in the description.
shows the relative speed rating of the creature. Higher speeds may be
possible for short periods. Human, demihuman, and humanoid movement rate is often
determined by armor type (unarmored rates are given in parentheses). Movements in
different mediums are abbreviated as follows:
Fl = flying
Sw = swimming
Br = burrowing
Cl = climbing
Wb = moving across webs
Flying creatures also have a Maneuverability Class from A to E. Class A
creatures have virtually total command over their movements in the air; they can
hover, face any direction in a given round, and attack each round. Class B
creatures are very maneuverable; they can hover, turn 180 degrees in a round, and
attack in each round. Class C creatures are somewhat agile in the air; they cannot
move less than half their movement rate without falling, they can turn up to 90
degrees in a round, and attack aerially once every two rounds. Class D
creatures are somewhat slow; they cannot move less than half their movement rate
without falling, can turn only 60 degrees in a round, and can make a pass once every
three rounds. Class E includes large, clumsy fliers; these cannot move less
than half their movement rate without falling, can turn only 30 degrees in a
round, and they can make one pass every six rounds. See Chapter 9 of the DMG
for more information.
controls the number of hit points damage a creature can withstand before being
killed. Unless otherwise stated, Hit Dice are 8-sided (1-8 hit points). The
Hit Dice are rolled and the numbers shown are added to determine the monster's
hit points. Some monsters have a hit point spread instead of Hit Dice, and some
have additional points added to their Hit Dice. Thus, a creature with 4+4 Hit
Dice has 4d8+4 hit points (8-36 total). Note that creatures with +3 or more hit
points are considered the next higher Hit Die for purposes of attack rolls and
is the attack roll the monster needs to hit Armor Class 0. This is always a
function of Hit Dice, except in the case of very large, nonaggressive herbivores
(such as some dinosaurs), or creatures which have certain innate combat
abilities. A human or demihuman always uses a player character THAC0, regardless of
whether they are player characters or "monsters." The THAC0 does not include any
special bonuses noted in the descriptions.
No. of Attacks
shows the basic attacks the monster can make in a melee round, excluding
special attacks. This number can be modified by hits that sever members, spells such
and so forth. Multiple attacks indicate several members, raking paws,
multiple heads, etc.
shows the amount of damage a given attack causes, expressed as a spread of hit
points (based on a die roll or combination of die rolls). If the monster uses
weapons, the damage done by the typical weapon will be allowed by the
parenthetical note "weapon." Damage bonuses due to Strength are listed as a bonus
following the damage range.
detail attack modes such as dragon breath, magic use, etc. These are explained
in the monster description.
are precisely that, and are detailed in the monster description.
is the percentage chance that any magic cast upon the creature will fail to
affect it, even if other creatures nearby are affected. If the magic penetrates
the resistance, the creature is still entitled to any normal saving throw
allowed. Creatures may have resistances to certain spells; this is not considered
"magic resistance", which is effective against all spells.
is abbreviated as
T = tiny (2' tall or less);
S = smaller than a typical human (2+' to 4');
M = man-sized (4+' to 7');
L = larger than man-sized (7+' to 12');
H = huge (12+' to 25'); and
G = gargantuan (25+').
Most creatures are measured in height or length; some are measured in
diameter. Those measured in diameter may be given a different size category than
indicated above. For instance, while a 6-foot tall humanoid is considered size M, a
spherical creature 6 feet in diameter has much more mass, so is considered size
L. Similarly, a creature 12 feet long with a very slender body (like a snake)
might be considered only man-sized. Adjustments like these should not move a
creature more than one size category in either direction.
is a general rating of how likely the monster is to persevere in the face of
adversity or armed opposition. This guideline can be adjusted for individual
circumstances. Morale ratings correspond to the following range:
is the number of experience points awarded for defeating, but not necessarily
killing, the monster. This value is a guideline that can be modified by the DM
for the degree of challenge, encounter situation, and for overall campaign
is the part of the description that discusses special combat abilities, arms
and armor, and tactics.
outlines the monster's general behavior, nature, social structure, and goals.
In some cases, it further describes their lairs (the places they live in),
breeding habits, and reproduction rates.
describes how the monster fits into the campaign world, gives any useful
products or byproducts, and any other miscellaneous information.
of a monster are given in a special section after the main monster entry.
These can be found by consulting the index. For instance, the xorn entry also
describes the xaren, a very similar creature.
are mental powers possessed by many creatures in the Monstrous Manual.
The psionic listings are explained below:
How tough the monster is in terms of psionic experience level.
How many disciplines
the creature can access, followed by the total number of sciences and
devotions the creature knows. Monsters can know sciences
only from the disciplines they can access.
The telepathic attack and defense modes that the creature can use. Note that
defense modes are not included in the total number of powers the creature knows.
Abbreviations used are as follows:
||Tower of Iron Will
The creature's usual score when using a power that is not automatically
The creature's total pool of psionic strength points (the maximum available to
The rest of the listing indicates, by discipline, which powers the creature
has, sometimes listing the most common powers, sometimes listing only the powers
that all members of the species have. Unless otherwise noted, the creature
always knows powers marked by an asterisk.
For information regarding psionic powers, see PHBR5, The Complete Psionics Handbook.
If the DM chooses not to use psionics in the campaign, the powers can be
changed to magical equivalents or simply ignored, though the latter severely
impedes certain monsters.