There are many monsters that Dungeons & Dragons players can face. You may face a variety of foes including Elder Brains and Humans. It’s up to you to build your skills and have some luck.

The 5th edition of D&D monsters operates in a similar way to the 3rd edition. Celestial and fiend were the new categories for outsiders in previous editions. 

Vermin and animals are now considered beasts. Numerous other 3rd edition monsters have been removed. 

Below you’ll find the monstrosity category. Although monster typing in 5e does not play a significant role in their abilities and special features, they can be affected by type-specific moves.

You won’t find a complete list of all creatures unless you wanted to write a novel that explains the intricacies and complexities of all the monsters in D&D. 

This overview will focus on the different types of creatures and their meanings. This overview will also reveal the most common creatures for each type, as well as some unusual specimens that you should avoid, even at higher levels.

We’ll also discuss their abilities and where they fit on the Good-Neutral–Evil spectrum. 

Although most monsters are evil and will attack upon sight, some can be reasoned with a low Charisma score. 

It’s up to you to decide how you handle encounters. That’s what makes it so much fun.

14 Creature Types for Dungeon and Dragons 5th edition

This information is a combination of the Monster Manual, Volo’s Guide to Monsters and Mardenkainen’s Tome of Foes/Fiendish Folio Volume 1

Note: Although we will be focusing on D&D 5th Edition, we will also be using monsters from other editions in order to illustrate the categories you may see elsewhere. If it is not D&D 5th edition, we will label it and include information about where the rule was derived.

Aberration

Aberration can be described as an anomaly, or something that is different from the norm. Although most monster types and races on the D&D World list are not considered normal, this creature type is more unusual than others.

Aberrations aren’t of the D&D nature world. However, some believe they come from the Far Realm (a plane that is mad and veers away from conventional cosmology). Some aberrations, however, are not from the Far Realm.

For example, the Driders are a hybrid of a spider, drow, and a spider. Because this creature type was not created, they are considered aberrations.

According to D&D lore aberrations occurred between the Spellplague (where magic stopped functioning) and the Second Sundering (an event that resulted in the destruction of the Tablets of Fate). 

The Tables of Fate were responsible for keeping the Realmspace (D&D universe) stable. Their destruction caused chaos for many centuries.

Because they have never seen anything like it, a person in Realmspace can spot an aberration immediately. Humans on Earth would see a unicorn and recognize it as an aberration. Be prepared to fight if your character encounters one of these creatures.

  • Mind Flayer: An evil Cthulhu-like terror that is feared all over the multiverse.
  • Behold: Large floating aberrations discovered in the Underdark.
  • Flumph Strange aberrations that look like squids

Aberrations are aggressive and will attack anyone who is within their sight. They are generally characterized by bizarre anatomies, alien mindsets and strange abilities. Their dark vision extends to 60 feet. They are usually either evil or neutral creatures.

Nearly 100 D&D aberrations are visible, making them a rare sight

Beast

Beast-type monsters, or creatures of the Beast type, behave in a similar way to animals that live on the Prime Material plane.

This is a mostly empty area. A beast can be an animal in D&D. However, it is not necessarily an animal. It is likely that beasts have existed throughout the universe.

All Beasts fall under the same umbrella in D&D 5th Edition, while 4e uses more precise classifications. 

A monster could be classified as an Immortal Humanoid Beast Angel, General Type, or Origin type in 4e. 

While 3 and 3.5 introduced new beast types, and 4e expanded upon them, 5e simplified the process significantly.

It was easier to distinguish between the different types of monsters and to determine which strategies could be used to defeat them. 

Beasts can be any animal-like creature, regardless of their magic abilities. This means that they have a wide range of skills, durability, rarity, and other characteristics. Let’s take a look at some.

  • Tressym: is a magical beast that resembles a small winged cat.
  • Almiraj: Jackalope or rabbit with a longhorn
  • The powerful elemental bird: It is unpredictable and fire-like.

Realmspace is home to over 200 beasts. Even if they possess magic, the majority of beasts have low intelligence. They won’t be beasts if they have higher intelligence.

Celestial

Celestials are Upper Plains creatures that often visit the Prime Material Plane. This plane typically includes Angels, Archons Guardians, and Eladrins. 

They are able to align well, but will still attack if threatened or if they have something to defend.

  • Ancestors: Also known as Assimmons, they are immortal winged beasts that serve God.
  • Archons are personifications of law and good. They are hostile to demons.
  • Guardians The Protectors of God are animal-featured guardians.
  • Eladrin is An ape race that is often wild and short-tempered and hates oppressors.

Celestials or Angel was previously subgrouped in the 4th and 3rd editions. However, it was merged into Celestials. 

All subtypes found in all editions are messengers for Gods who love to help others. If approached, subtypes can be attacked within the Realm.

  • The Divine Eagle: Large eagle with golden feathers.
  • Hecate Goddess of magic, sorcery, and witchcraft.
  • Unicorn This beautiful one-horned creature looks almost like a horse with ahead.

Celestials are usually strong creatures that are primarily made up of Gods and deities. If you are Evil, it is unlikely that you will make them angry. The Realm is home to over 100 Celestials.

Construct

Constructs are inanimate objects created by magic or sorcery to bring them to life. Many constructs are inanimate automatons that lack intelligence and have no soul. They exist to serve their masters. It is impossible to talk a Construct down.

They can be difficult to defeat depending on their Construct. A Construct can be defeated by a player character, but they will not feel pain or remorse. They cannot be stopped unless their master is killed or the player characters destroy them.

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Few constructs are actually alive so they are often blinded by a low-light and dark vision. They are also immune to poison, shocking, paralysis, disease-related and death effects, as well as sleep spells, poison, stunning, paralysis, and other forms of darkness

They don’t need oxygen, food, or sleep. They can exist as long as their owner wants them to.

You can turn almost any object into a Construct. However, you will often encounter the following:

  • Crawling Claw: An amputated hand can be moved with magic.
  • Helmed Horror: An animated suit, made of armor and used to guard the helm.
  • Homunculus: A tiny, winged Construct that often acts as a spy.

Constructs are Modrons, but they can also be called Modrons. They’re also a race. Over 100 Constructs exist in D&D. However, many overlap. There are many Clockwork wound creatures.

Dragon

Dragons are the most powerful beasts because of their intelligence, height, strength, and magical ability. 

Most Dragons are powerful, large reptilian creatures that can be used regardless of their subtype.

However, D&D 5th Edition divides its winged beasts into 2 categories: True Dragons or Lesser Dragons.

True Dragons

As they age, dragons become more powerful. The fifth edition contains five chromatic and five metal dragons. The most powerful of all chromatic Dragons is the Red Dragon.

It was based entirely on Smaug’s Story The Hobbit by Tolkien, which was inspired by European Myth.

These Dragons are all included in the 5th edition of D&D.

  • Black Dragon: Acid-breathing Dragon who lives in the swamp
  • Red Dragon: The desert-living, lightning-breathing dragon.
  • Yellow Dragon: The poisonous gas-breathing dragon that lives in the forest is
  • Red Dragon: The Fire-breathing Dragon who lives in the mountains.
  • White Dragon: Ice-breathing Dragon that lives in the Arctic.

Chromatic Dragons can be evilly aligned. They are said to be Maids of Tiamat or the Queen/Mother Of Dragons. 

The metallic dragons, which are the opposite, are in good alignment and are said to have been made from Bahamut (or the King of Divine Dragons). Here are the included metal Dragons:

  • Chrome Dragon: He lives in the desert, and loves to talk to people.
  • Bronze dragon: He lives in the water and has an intense sense of justice.
  • Copper dragon: He lives in the mountains, and enjoys making jokes.
  • Silver Dragon: He lives on the plains, and likes to teach small creatures.
  • Gold Dragon: Living in cities and mountains by taking on human form

Metallic Dragons are extremely kind and will go to great lengths to help other creatures. These creatures aren’t dangerous and will not leave you, especially the Silver Dragon who is a lover of humans.

Lesser Dragons

According to the Monster Manual, Lesser Dragons can be described as being less intelligent, powerful, or magical than True Dragons. 

They don’t get more powerful as they age but they can still take down True Dragons with some training. These are the most common.

  • Dragon Turtles: Large aquatic creatures that look similar to Dragons
  • Drakes: A smaller, more powerful cousin to a True Dragon.
  • Phaedragon: Tiny dragons that are considered wizards’ friends.

There are also editions for Natural, Gem and Ferrous, Planar. 5e actually has a remarkable lack of Dragons.

Elemental

An Elemental is a creature that exists in the purest form possible of the elements of earth, air, and water. 

Although Elementals can also be made up of other elements, they are less common. Elementals are intelligent and self-aware entities made of matter from their homeland.

Elementals can be summoned by player characters, but they cannot be used if they are not in their plane of concordance. 

A Wizard could summon a fire elemental from an Elemental Plane of Water to save them. They are intelligent but they can be used as servants.

To make them work for you, however, you would need to have a lot of personal power.

Elementals are monsters that can take the form of a living element. Although they are Elemental Plane-based, Genies can appear as different creatures. 

The Dao genie, an Earth-based Elemental, looks like a Gorgan or a Hindu goddess.

  • Gargoyle: An evil predator imbued in pure magic.
  • Invisible Stalker: A poisonous air Elemental that chokes its victims
  • Mephit: Imps That can be of any element

Nearly 200 Elementals are found in the Realm. Most of them are either Neutral or Evil.

Fey

Feys are creatures of the Feywild also known as the Plane of Faerie. Many of them have supernatural abilities and an intimate connection to nature. 

They can be found in misty forests or twilight areas, and are closely connected to nature. They are the subject of many legends.

The Faeries were considered good creatures from friendly lands in Toril. However, it is currently struggling to survive. 

Fey, on the other hand, is a terrible race that devours children. They may appear to be gnomes to foreigners.

These rumors are true as Fey can be either of good or bad alignment. Many Faeries trick travelers into believing they’re good.

They don’t care about the world around them and will often sacrifice their own kind to protect it. The creator race of the Fey is believed to be the leShay (3e).

Fey is similar to Earth mythology and can be treated with iron, red wine, and running water.

While there are many types of Fey in D&D you will find common traits that make them Faeries. Some Fey are bound by natural features, such as water, landmarks, or geographical features (dryads/nereid), while some are born out of emotions (meenlocks, redcaps). A third group, the hags (seahag, bheur), was also identified. Some are misclassified as Sprites.

  • Piixie: Mischievous Sprites who love to play pranks on others
  • Korred: Also known as the Dancing Folk, they’re carefree and boisterous.
  • Mite Although they look a lot like gremlins they are intelligent and dangerous Fey.

Fey can be misclassified as they are either Feywild-bred or possess Faerie-like characteristics. 

A Faerie Dragons are small Dragons. A Kelpie, on the other hand, is a horse-like Plant creature who roams marshes. The Realm is home to over 100 Fey.

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Fiend

Fiends are evil creatures that originate from the Fiendish Planes. However, they can also come from the Lower planes as well as a portion of the cosmological models. 

Fiends are born evil, and have very few if any, good alignments. Their long-lived natures are full of malevolence.

Each Fiend has a true name, which can be used against them. A non-chaotic spellcaster can instantly control a Fiend if they become aware of their true name by casting True Name, Insnarement, or other magics. 

A Fiend could be controlled by an evil sorcerer who learns the true names of their enemies. This would allow them to control them continuously, helping the first Fiend.

If the Fiend is honest about their identity and doesn’t tell anyone, they can rise in the ranks. 

They can transform into stronger creatures and use Mortals after their death. Once they are exposed to temptations like money or food, Mortals can become Fiends.

However, faith is the strongest magnet and the most difficult to break.

On your journey, you’ll meet many Fiends.

  • Hello, Hound!: This is a fierce pack hunter who attacks at sight.
  • Nightmare: The fiery mane of a hellhound.
  • Howler: The predator with the mind-shattering howl

The Blood War, an interplanar war between demons & devils, is the most significant event in Fiend history. The 5th edition includes those fiends, but also Yugoloths.

Demons

They are the most common race of fiends. They are native to Abyss and are chaos evil. Tanar’ri and obyriths are the three primary races. However, there are many sub-races.

  • Nabassu: Death-stokers who are aggressive, and forever hungry for souls
  • Sibriex: An ancient Demon capable of manipulating flesh.
  • Vrock: Demon with a taste for human flesh, and carnage.

Demons don’t care about making friends, and they are extremely aggressive. They are the sworn enemies of Devils and have no Gods or rulers. They are agents for chaos.

Devils

The Nine Hells of Baator is home to the Devils. They are extremely terrifying and highly calculating. They are vicious and lawful evil. They are the most powerful.

  • Merregon: Legion Devils used as foot soldiers in The Legion of the Nine Hells
  • Nupperibo: Born from incompetent souls, they blindly obey orders.
  • Succubus: Their beauty seduces their prey.

The hierarchy and society of the Devils are unique. It’s often compared with the Drow, a warlike economy. Devils must fight for their rights to respect, land, or the right to breed.

Yugoloths

The manipulative Yugoloths, who hail from the Blood Rift and are neutrally evil, are manipulative creatures. They are often paid as mercenaries and assassins. They will take advantage of any situation.

  • Canoloth: Loyal Yugoloth hounds who are valued as pets.
  • Nycaloth: is ait cavalry in Yugoloth armies. They are powerful and clever.
  • Ultroloth: These are the mysterious rules of Yugoloth. They are terrifying.

Demondands and Archfields, Half-Fiends, and Rare Fiends can be found in other editions (3e and 4e), and they are terrifying in all incarnations. The Realm has almost 200 types of Fiends.

Giant

Giants are human-like creatures, which are extremely large. They lived in the Abeir Toril alongside other human-like races but soon began to fight Dragons. The conflict lasted for thousands of years and neither side won. This made it pointless.

Giants, like all creatures, have their own opinions on good and bad. Giants view an act as “good” if it honors their family or deity.

An “evil” deep refers to cowardice, theft, or betraying their deity or family. Their concept of good and bad is fundamental to their race.

Giants are classified in D&D 5th Edition (and all other editions) as True Giants and Giant-kin.

True Giants

True Giants are closely related to natural phenomena such as fire, clouds, snow, frost, hills, and stone. Although they can be quite brutal, even gentle Giants are not fond of small people.

  • Cloud Giant: Giants who like to live in the clouds
  • Fire Giants: Master craftsmen who live close to mountains and volcanoes
  • Storm Giant: Giants are the most intelligent and respected of all Giants.

True Giants exist in fewer numbers than Giant-kin, and they are often stronger and more dangerous foes.

Giant-Kin

Giant-kin is a large group of humanoids who are related to true giants. Their lineage is rooted in Othea’s marriage with Ulutiu who together produced smaller Giants. Giant-kin, who were all born in wedlock and are considered “lesser” than other beings, are considered evil.

  • Firbold: The shy Giant-kin of the race who are very intelligent but avoids contact with other races.
  • Verbeeg: They are known as human behemoths and resemble strong humans
  • Foliorian: They are hideously cursed and very wicked.

Ogres and Cyclops can also be considered Giant-kin. However, it is not known if they were born from Othea’s affairs. D&D is home to nearly 100 Giants.

Humanoid

The most prominent humans on many worlds are Humanoids. They walk on two legs and are often the dominant species. 

Each Humanoids has a unique culture and some have magical abilities. The player has the option to control a large number of Humanoids or modify them to make them more powerful and manageable.

Many humanoid societies exist, mostly composed of humans, halflings, and elves. Evil bipedal creatures exist, such as goblinoids and kobolds. Many races mix together, such as humans and orcs.

Let’s look at the most common bipedal species in the Realm.

Humans

They are widespread and can be found in all religions. They lack structure and goals, making them look like children to other races. However, their short lives and curiosity make them highly revered.

Although there are many subspecies, the Faerun and Kara-Tur are the most common.

  • Captain Othelstan: Strong member of the Cult of Dragons
  • Doom Raiders: An adventuring group that purges lairs from liches.
  • FrulamMondath: Right-ranking member of a cultish armia.

Humans can breed with many humanoid species and are the most adaptable of all races.

Elves

The wilderness is a preferred habitat for Elfs. They worship Gods of the Seldarine which is the elven pantheon of Gods. They are a strong, long-lasting nation that is often good (except for the Drow). 

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The High Elves are the most popular subraces.

  • Drow Dark-skinned elves who live in the Underdark.
  • Neonvain: The Green Wyrmspeaker that attacked the Misty Forest.
  • Nezznar, the Black Spider: An imposing Drow Wizard.

Drow is Elf enemy most commonly. They are usually of evil alignment.

Dwarves

These hardy and traditional-abiding humanoids, often called Stout Folk are well-known for their fine craftsmanship and strong martial traditions. They consider their family and work ties as their most important. The Urdunnir, Gray Dwarves, and Arctic are all common sub-races.

  • Duergar: Grey Dwarves are an evil and cruel subrace of Dwarves.
  • Chultan Dwarves: Albino Dwarves who live in the mines at Chult.
  • Noska Ur’gray: A enforcer of Xanthar’s Thieves Guild.

Dwarven enemies are usually Grey Dwarves but they can also be from any sub-race.

From the original Player’s Handbook, players can also control Dragonborn’s and Gnomes. The newer handbooks allow you to control 40+ races and different types of creatures. The Realm has thousands of subtypes of Humanoids.

Monstrosity

Monstrosities can be unnatural creatures that have been created by magic experimentation or curse. This is a catch-all type for monsters that don’t fall into any other category. They may look like humanoids or beasts. Monstrosities are often classified as such.

  • A monstrosity is a bipedal creature that doesn’t have a culture, or is considered wild. Bipedals, such as Chitine, have four arms and walk on two feet.
  • A quadrupedal creature that is not a dragon or other quadrupedal is considered a monstrosity.

Some monstrosities like the Mimic don’t belong in any category. It is a shapechanger, and technically it is a Construct.

However, it was not altered by any other being. Mimics can be considered Monstrosity since they are both monstrous and alive and capable of some level of thought.

Monstrosities come in a variety of sizes and can look as big as a Kraken, or as small as Zorbos.

  • Doppelganger: These are shapeshifting monsters that take on the form of humanoids.
  • Astral Drone: Large, sharp-toothed creatures.
  • Tarrasque: The 70-foot tall creature that lives within the core of the universe.

Monstrosities can be found on almost every plane of existence in the Realm.

Ooze

Oozes are creatures that lack a form and are often gelatinous. They live underground and are protected from predators and light. Oozes are blind but have blindsight which allows them to see objects near their creators. 

Their skin releases acid, which quickly dissolves flesh and materials. Avoid close-range combat whenever possible.

Although they don’t appear in all forms, oozes can be difficult to defeat. They don’t care about the lives of other creatures and are not aligned. However, they will consume them if they are nearby.

  • White Mw: An Ooze who ingests animals and communicates telepathically.
  • Ochre Jelly: This is a dangerous Ooze variety that’s loved by Ghaunadaur (a Drow deity).
  • Geolatinous Cube: An inanimate creature that assumes the form of a cube.

They can be hard to fight but are unlikely to be found in well-lit areas. Ooze creatures are rarer than other types, with less than 30.

Plant

Plant creatures are made of vegetable matter. They are fungal creatures that can be put to bed with magic but don’t necessarily need to sleep. 

Multiple types of Plant creatures were combined into the Plant creature type, which included Fungi, Myconids, and Kelpies. 

While specific types may be associated with a lot of legends, the general Plant type doesn’t have any connection other than the fact that they are made from plants.

While there are some notable Plants that you can fight in this Realm, most are not intelligent.

  • Basida: A Myconid leader from the Neverlight Grove.
  • Trees: Awakened trees who are rebellious and energetic
  • Shambling mound: Large, animated plant with vaguely human-shaped characteristics.

Plants can be difficult to combat because they may appear like regular shrubbery or trees at the beginning. Sneak attacks are possible. Only 10% of Monster roaster’s space is taken up by plants, while the rest are home to 50+ creatures.

Undead

Nearly all other types of reanimated bodies are made up of undead creatures. These undead creatures are often animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.

It is common for deities and gods to employ them as servants. A necromancer God is Dumathoin, the dwarven God.

They are extremely resilient once they have been animated and can resist many effects including sleep, poisoning, disease, paralysis, paralysis, death, stunning, paralysis, and mind-altering effects. 

Their life force cannot be drained. Common undead creatures include Skeletons and Liches.

  • Vampires: Undead who feed off the blood of other creatures
  • Wight: A undead creature that can drain the life energy from its victims.
  • Ghost: The spirits of the dead that haunt certain objects, places, or creatures

There are many undead foes. Most creatures can be revived.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Which monster is the most powerful in D&D?

Monsters that are strong and dangerous can be classified as creatures with a challenge level of 10 or higher. The Tarrasque monster is the most fearsome in the Realm. 

They are feared for their incredible combat abilities, so taking them down is a major achievement for many players. The Elder Titan, Avangion, and Hecatoncheires are other strong creatures.

How many monsters can you find in D&D?

D&D has thousands of monsters. The most common monsters are humanoids, followed closely by fiends. Ooze and Plant creatures are rarest. Undead creatures may be any type.

What’s a “Tag?” in D&D?

A “Tag”, in D&D, is a subtype. Subtypes can either be created from another main type or can be taken from it to provide more information about a creature. 

The Undead creature types are not added to any other creature types in the 5th Edition. They will become Undead if they are reanimated.

Final Words

D&D 5th Edition attempted to simplify the Monster classification system. Every baddie was placed into 14 categories.

This is a win-win situation for both the player and the DM. Some people don’t like the new system as it makes fighting certain creatures more difficult. 

You’ll need to carefully examine each Monster before you fight it since 3e has removed creature-specific skills.

Enjoy taking on Monster in the latest edition of Dungeons and Dragons.