Monstrosities: DnD 5e Monster Guide

Everything you need to know about monstrosities in DnD 5e

Monstrosities in Dungeons & Dragons are creatures that are monstrous in nature. They are frightening, dangerous and usually savage. Truth be told, many of the creature types in D&D 5e might be considered monsters like dragons, aberrations or undead making monstrosities a bit of a catch all for “everything else monstrous”.

Much of what makes a creature a monstrosity though, seems to come from their origin. They can be created in a wide array of ways whether by an experiment gone wrong, a curse, some unholy punishment from the gods or simply a freak of nature. They are however, distinct from creatures created in other ways or with other distinctive features, such as undead, created from necromantic magic, aberrations that come from alien realms or oozes that are just… slimey!

Monstrosities do not belong to the natural order of things and it is generally advised to steer well clear of such creatures. Typically, a monstrosity seeks prey upon lesser creatures (and sometimes, even bigger creatures). They are deadly predators of the highest order and should be taken seriously.

Types of Monstrosities

Ankheg 5e


CR 2

A huge insectoid creature that burrows underground.

Astral dreadnought 5e

Astral Dreadnought

CR 21

Huge, armoured creatures that travel the astral planes.



CR 5

Monsters formed of shadow and flesh that steal their victims away.

Basilisk 5e


CR 3

Eight-legged reptiles that can petrify with their stare and can poison their victims.

Before 5e


CR 11

Twelve-legged creature with a serpent’s body and electrical breath.


CR 5

Burrowing creatures, also known as land sharks.

Carrion crawler 5e

Carrion Crawler

CR 2

Insectoid creatures that generally prey on dead bodies but will also attack the living too.

Catoblepas 5e


CR 5

Buffalo looking creatures that also have features of a warthog that reek of death and live in swamps.

Cave fisher 5e

Cave Fisher

CR 1

Lobster looking creatures that ambush their prey underground and capture them using sticky filament.



CR 2

Part humanoid, part equine, Centaurs have a similar temperament to that of most humanoids.

Chimera 5e


CR 6

Large creatures formed from a mix of dragons, lions and goats with a head for each of its aspects.

Chitine 5e


CR 1/2

Bipedal, spider-like creatures with four arms.

Choldrith 5e


CR 3

The priests and leaders of the chitine.

Cockatrice 5e


CR 1/2

A two-legged, lizard, bat and bird hybrid. Despite their seemingly weak capabilities, these creatures are capable of turning flesh to stone.

Dark Mantle 5e


CR 1/2

Octopus-like creatures that live in subterranean areas and disguise themselves as stalagtites.

Death dog 5e

Death Dog

CR 1

An ugly, two-headed hound that desires humanoid flesh.

Deep scion 5e

Deep Scion

CR 3

The result of humanoids that have had their lives spared by an evil aquatic creature, only to be transformed into these shape hanging servants.

Displacer beast 5e

Displacer Beast

CR 3

Many-tailed panthers with a magical ability to make themselves appear in a place where they are not.

Doppleganger 5e


CR 3

Bipedal creatures with the ability to change their appearance.

Drider 5e


CR 6

Drow and spider hybrids that have undergone a horrendous ritual to be joined together.

Ettercap 5e


CR 2

Bestial spider-like creatures found throughout Faerun.

Froghemoth 5e


CR 10

Amphibious creatures with a frog-like appearance and tentacles, they’re roughly the size of an elephant.

Girallon 5e


CR 4

Four-armed apes that are incredibly strong, savage and territorial.

Gorgon 5e


CR 5

Highly aggressive bull creatures that attack on sight.

Gray render 5e

Gray Render

CR 12

Large, bulky predators found in swamps.

Grick 5e


CR 2

Large worm-like creatures with a beak surrounded by four tentacles.

Griffon 5e


CR 2

Intelligent beasts with the appearance of an eagle and a lion.

Harpy 5e


CR 1

Aggressive creatures with a humanoid upper half, wings and the lower body of a reptile.

Hippogriff 5e


CR 1

Less intelligent than griffons and with the body of a horse rather than a lion.

Hook horror 5e

Hook Horror

CR 3

Large, bipedal creatures with a beak and sharp hooks for hands.

False Hydra


CR 8

Many-headed reptiles with an appearance similar to a wingless dragon.

Kraken 5e


CR 23

A gigantic, amphibious creature with a huge tentacles and a mouth of many teeth.

Kruthik 5e


CR 2

A six-limbed alien-looking insectoid with a tough carapace of natural plated-armour.

Lamia 5e


CR 4

Cruel, seductive creatures with the upper half of a woman and the lower half of a lion.

Leucrotta 5e


CR 1

Ugly, dog-like creatures with a cruel intellect and torturous habits.

Manticore 5e


CR 3

A vicious creature with the body of a lion, dragon wings and a humanoid face.

Meazel 5e


CR 1

Violent, reclusive creatures that respond to being disturbed by killing or cursing the trespasser.

Medusa 5e


CR 6

A serpentine humanoid with many snake heads that can turn a person to stone.

Merrow 5e


CR 2

Monstrous looking merfolk that live under the sea.

Mimic 5e


CR 2

A creature that can mimic the appearance of mundane objects as a form of capturing its prey.



CR 3

A large humanoid with a bull’s head.

Naga 5e


Intelligent snake-like immortals.

Owlbear 5e


CR 3

A large bear-like creature with the face of an owl.

Peryton 5e


CR 2

A cross between a large eagle and a stag with a demonic looking face.

Purple worm 5e

Purple Worm

CR 15

A deadly and gigantic earthworm of purple skin.

Remorhaz 5e


CR 11

A worm like creature with many spiked legs and blue skin.

Roc 5e


CR 11

Massive birds of prey capable of even carrying something the size of an elephant.

Roper 5e


CR 5

Tentacled creatures of the underdark that seek to ambush unsuspecting victims.

Rust monster 5e

Rust Monster

CR 1/2

Creatures capable of corroding metal.

Shadow mastiff 5e

Shadow Mastiff

CR 2

Hounds shrouded in shadow and darkness.

Skulk 5e


CR 1/2

A worm like creature with many spiked legs and blue skin.

Sphinx 5e


Intelligent, cunning, winged lion-like creatures.

Subraces: Androsphinx and Gynosphinx

Sorrowsworn 5e


Creatures native to the Shadowfell that embody different forms of despair, invoking those feelings and feeding upon them.

Steeder 5e


CR 1/4

Giant spider-like creatures with a spiked carapace.

Tarrasque 5e


CR 30

A gargantuan creature and the most terrifying known to man that slumbers in the core of the world.

Tlincalli 5e


CR 5

Creatures with a humanoid upper body and a scorpion lower half.

Umber hulk 5e

Umber Hulk

CR 5

Large, four-eyed creatures with large claws and insect-like features.

Worg 5e


CR 1/2

A large, evil wolf-like predator.

Xvart 5e


CR 1/8

A worm like creature with many spiked legs and blue skin.

Yeti 5e


Large, humanoids with thick fur and sharp claws.

Yuan ti abomination 5e


Once humans, the Yuan-Ti transformed themselves into snake-like beings centuries ago. They are intelligent, deceptive and power-hungry.

Subraces: Abomination, Anathema, Broodguard, Malison, Mind Whisperer, Nightmare Speaker, Pit Master

Monstrosities generally aren’t the brightest of creatures. They tend to be fairly instinctive, often operating on baser forms of intellect such as the desire to eat (normally meat). Because of this, they make reliable combat encounters. Sometimes you don’t want the party to negotiate around a problem, instead, you simply want them involved in a fight.

Monstrosities can easily be used as guardians of certain areas or territory. They can also be trained by more intelligent creatures much like a guard dog, allowing you to have them fight alongside humanoids and other creatures.

There are some exceptions here though. Yuan-Ti for example are both intelligent and cunning. They work well as part of a cult, assassin’s or spies.

Baldur’s gate 3 has also taught us that speak with animals allows for all sorts of interesting and unique missions. Consider taking inspiration with creatures that have desires or can be fooled. A mother owlbear that’s lost her young, a roc with an injured wing or a misunderstood yeti are all great ways to invert expectations for monstrosities.

Tere is also the absolute king of creatures in the gargantuan tarrasque! It’s the most powerful monster in the game with a challenge rating of 30 (higher than some minor deities). They make an excellent fight for high level parties. Or consider chucking one at a low level party and have them race away while faster creatures try to knock them off chariots like I did once.

Published by DM Ben

Ben is an experienced dungeon master and player who's been immersed in the D&D universe since he was a teenager over 20 years ago. When he's not writing for Dungeon Mister, Ben loves creating fiendish puzzles and devious dungeons for his players. He's an especially big fan of the Ravenloft and Dragonlance settings.