Monsters are freaky. Creatures can be fun. Both make our stories exciting and dangerous.
This book is a tour through some of the most famous and frightening beasts from the world of Dungeons & Dragons. It’s a guide to their traits, lairs, and powers. It will tell you how to fight these weird creatures or advise you when to flee if you’re in over your head.
Read this book from start to finish, or open it to any spot, get entranced by the cool artwork, and start your journey there. The more you read, the more you’ll discover. The more you discover, the easier it will be to imagine your own heroic tales as you explore strange caves, trek across craggy mountains, or soar through the skies.
Will your battles against these monsters lead to fame and fortune or will your skeleton lie as an omen for future heroes to discover? In the end, that’s up to you. Dungeons & Dragons is all about unique adventures, and yours is about to begin.Danger Levels
Each monster profile includes a number indicating the dangerlevel of that creature, with a 0
being harmless, a 1
as a reasonablethreat for a beginning adventurer, and building up from there. A 5
is incredibly dangerous and requires an experienced group ofadventurers to possibly defeat it. There are some epic
creatures more powerful than a mere number can define. Such terrors can only be foughtby legendary heroes armed with the most powerful magic weapons andspells imaginable.CAVERNS & DARK PLACES
In the earth beneath your feet, things are moving
Creatures of all shapes and sizes burrow through dirt and stone,muck and clay. Vast tunnels connect to winding caves, and inside those flow rivers that have never seen the sun. In places such as the Underdark, entire kingdoms of intelligent creatures can be found.
Some of these subterranean spaces are cool and wet, with condensation dripping from above. Others are hot and steamy, with a thin wall of rock serving as your only protection from streams of burning magma that bubble up from a molten core. The underground is a place of darkness and danger, where hidden treasures can be found in a hole and a sputtering torch is your only source of light. Are you ready to go exploring?BEHOLDER
Beholders have one big eyeball in the centerof their round bodies and ten weird eyestalks. Each eyestalk has a magic beam that shoots at adventurers when angry.
Telekinesis: This eye’s beam can hold you in place or move you around.
Disintegration: This eye’s beam turns whatever it hits to dust.
Petrification: One hit from this eye’s beam will turn a living creature into stone.
Sleep: This eye’s beam can make you so tired that you fall asleep on the spot. No pillow. No blanket. Just naptime.
Enervation: This eye’s spell hurts like a bad burn.
Slowness: If this eye’s beam hits you, then you’ll move really slowly, like you’re trying to run underwater.
Fear: If this eye’s spellworks its magic, you’ll find yourself running away because of uncontrollable fear.
Paralyzation: If you get hit with this one, you won’t be able to move at all for a full minute. Count to sixty and hope you still have time to run afterward.
Charm: If you fall under this eye’s spell, you’ll think the beholder is your friend and do what it says.
Antimagic Cone: Wherever this eye looks, magic won’t work. Clerics, wizards, and warlocks, try to stay out of its sight.
Beholders are freaky floating creatures with shimmering eyes that cast evil spells. Is that big blob the beholder’s head or its body? Are those eyestalks coming out of the top its hair or itslimbs? There are no easy answers. All you need to know is that a beholder is a scary floating eyeball monster. And if any of those eyes set their gaze on you, you’re in big trouble.
Beholders are jealous, angry creatures. They have such a bad attitude that they don’t even get along with each other (which is actually a good thing because if you found more than one at the same time you’d probably be a goner).Lair
Most beholders live in remote places such as caves or abandoned ruins. Some of them even build their own lairs by disintegrating rock with their eyeblasts in order to create tall tunnels where they can float above their prey and cause trouble. The floor of a beholder’s cave is usually covered with treasure and equipment from unfortunate adventurers who didn’t think to look up when they walked in the entrance.Size
Some beholders are small like a basketball, but older ones can be massive, more than ten feet in diameter, like a humongous beachball.Do ThisFight magic with magic.
If your party includes spellcasters, get them to put up magical shields to protect your fighters from the beholder’s eye beams. Distract the beholder as much as you can.
Give it a lot of different things to look at so that it won’t see you. Get in close!
Beholders are most dangerous when they’re far away because they can shoot their eye beams at you and your party.Don't Do ThisDon’t ignore the feeling that you’re being watched.
Even when you’re alone, feeling someone’s eyes on you is a sign that a beholder maybe close by.Don’t stay put for too long!
Holding your ground may be a great fighting tactic against some monsters, but not against beholders. If those eyes focus on you, it’s bad news.
Copyright © 2019 by Dungeons & Dragons, written by Jim Zub with Stacy King and Andrew Wheeler. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.