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Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Scariest Monsters, Ranked

With the movie Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves on the horizon, fans of the popular role-playing game hope to see their favorite fantasy creatures brought to life. The fantastical world of Dungeons & Dragons is populated with many different races, magical creatures and, of course, terrifying monsters.

From the overwhelming fright of the Mindflayer to the creeping terror of the Rot Grubs, D&D has a fair amount of horror mixed into its fantasy. Though there are a ton of great monsters in the game, the scariest ones provide players with nightmare fuel to last a lifetime.


10 Owlbear

The wilderness is an unwelcoming place to an adventurer, and a big part of that is the host of frightening creatures that populate the forests. An owlbear is exactly what its name suggests: a ferocious creature with the body of a bear and the head of an owl.

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Owlbears are notoriously aggressive and will attack almost anything that they come across in the wild. Even so, some hardy adventurers have been able to tame these creatures and use them in battle as deadly attack animals. What makes the owlbear so frightening, besides its size and strength, is its unusual and uncanny appearance, which is enough to put any player on edge.

9 Rot Grub

Sure to unsettle any adventurer who suffers from a phobia of insects, the rot grub is a natural part of the ecosystem of forests like Cormanthor. Moving in swarms, the rot grub devours flesh both living and dead, and can burrow through a person until they eventually reach the heart.

They can only be defeated by some of the most powerful spells in D&D, or with a healthy dose of fire, and time is of the essence when attacked. The world of D&D has plenty of super-sized monsters to vex players, but the rot grub is a small creature that packs a major wallop if the player is unprepared for them.

8 Trolls

Trolls are certainly an overused fantasy trope, so it was only natural that D&D would have its own version of the familiar monsters. Unlike most though, the trolls of D&D are spindly and almost goblin-like, though they are much larger than any goblin that the adventurers may encounter.

Another thing that makes the trolls unique, and dangerous, is their regenerative healing factor which allows them to regain health points at the start of every turn. Because of this, an adventure party may find themselves battling a troll for a long time, and the troll’s melee attacks can wipe out a lower level party quite quickly.

7 Aboleth

Amphibious by nature, the fearsome aboleth is capable of existing both in and out of water, and it is just as dangerous in both. Possessing a squid-like body with a giant gaping maw, the aboleth has a mass of strong tentacles which can ensnare as well as serve a melee attack.

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The aboleth is no simple creature however, and it possesses certain mental abilities which only serve to make it a more frightening foe. It is capable of enslaving one member of the adventure party with its mind, and that player is compelled by the aboleth until it is defeated. The true power of the aboleth is seen by their corrupting influence, and any region near their lair is completely befouled by its presence.

6 Neothelid

Born of the illithid, the neothelid is seen as an abomination by even the Mind Flayers themselves. Originating from fallen Mind Flayer societies, the neothelid starts as an illithid tadpole that consumes all of its brethren before becoming a gargantuan creature.

The neothilid presents a dangerous one-two punch for an adventure party as it is capable of destroying the mind as well as the body with relative ease. On top of its telekinetic powers, the neothelid can spew a deadly acid attack from its large tentacled mouth that is capable of dissolving entire parties in mere moments.

5 Chain Devils

Appearing like one of the best Cenobites from the film Hellraiser, the chain devils are a sadistic and strange abomination in D&D universe. The kytons are a humanoid species that is wrapped in demonic chains that ensnare their entire bodies and can lash out in dangerous attacks.

Unlike other beings who simply wish to destroy an adventure party quickly, chain devils have other goals in mind. Hoping to fulfill their desire to inflict pain, the chain devils will not simply defeat their foes, they will capture them with the intent to torture them in unspeakable ways. As if their appearance wasn’t enough to terrify, their horrible motivations make them one of the most frightening adversaries.

4 Beholder

As the old saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, but there is nothing beautiful about the being known as the beholder. Floating lighter than air, the beholder possesses one large eye and a multitude of eye stalks that are all capable of inflicting magical attacks.

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Though not imposing physically, the magical abilities of the beholder makes it one of the most dangerous being in the land, and they have an attitude to match. Seething with a hatred for all life that isn’t beholder, the creature doesn’t discriminate with who it attacks, and is more than capable of using its magic to easily defeat an adventure party that isn’t properly equipped.

3 Mind Flayer

Though many movies have been inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft, so too have the creative minds behind Dungeons & Dragons. The illithid race is better known as the Mind Flayers, and are an alien species that is feared across a multitude of realms for their overwhelming psychic powers and hatred for all life besides their own.

Resembling somewhat the legendary Cthulhu, Mind Flayers are bipedal beings with an octopus-like head complete with short tentacles. Their motivations are unknowable, but they view all living things as mere cattle for their consumption. The most horrifying part of the Mind Flayer is that they live up to their nickname by consuming brains as their primary diet.

2 Gibbering Mouther

There are already a host of frightening creatures that appear naturally in the world of D&D, but the gibbering mouther is an unnatural abomination of magic. Composed entirely of mouths and eyes, the gibbering mouther is an amorphous blob that is capable consuming living beings and adding to its own mass.

Preferring to reside in swamps, it springs on its prey out of surprise and can reproduce asexually by simply splitting apart. Defeating a mouther is no easy task, as their only weakness is their brain which it can move around within its mass whenever it wants. Outside of the physical, the mouther is capable of emitting constant babble which acts like a confusion spell.

1 Tarrasque

The D&D world is populated with magical creatures and evil alien beings, yet nothing beats a simple but effective giant monster. The Tarrasque is believed to be a one-of-a-kind creature that inhabits the prime universe of D&D and is of a somewhat elemental nature.

Standing at over 50 feet tall, the massive, spiny beast is said to be unstoppable in battle. Essentially neutral in its alignment, the creature is neither good nor evil but instead acts as a being of pure destruction when awoken from its slumber. The only way to stop the Tarrasque is to somehow charm it back to sleep and hope it never wakes again.

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