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This page contains a broad selection of challenges to use in your playtest games, including all the adversaries from the playtest adventure. If you’re adapting other adventures to playtest even further or creating your own adventures, you’ll find a broad selection of hazards and creatures here, along with guidelines for building encounters with them. Because this document is meant to be used in the playtest and won’t appear in a print edition, it contains less art and information than a standard bestiary and has a different layout.

This page is divided into the following sections.

  • Environments gives you what you need for adventures in different locations and climates. It also includes the rules for hazards—traps, haunts, and environmental dangers—as well as a large selection of individual hazards that are ready to use.
  • Building Encounters describes how to construct balanced encounters for an adventuring party. This includes instructions for adjusting encounters for large or small groups and for your desired degree of challenge.
  • How to Use Creatures covers all the special rules for running monsters and other creatures that aren’t covered in the player section.

You’ll also find a description of how to read creature stat blocks here. They’re structured much like the stat blocks for feats, spells, and items, but they have a few special additions. This section also includes the rules for making monsters stronger or weaker by 1 level and for adjudicating special situations that might come up in play.

  • Creatures by Name lists the creatures in this book alphabetically by the names that appear in their stat blocks, while Creatures by Level lists them by their levels.
  • Catalog of Creatures is the real meat of this document: statistics for hundreds of creatures!

Those included here are primarily monsters and other antagonists. The bestiary section includes less information about each creature than a full book would. If you want to know more about a creature, the entries list a sourcebook where you can look up more information and find an image of the creature! Most of the creatures are monsters, but you’ll also find a small number of NPC-style creatures. Many of these NPC-style creatures are used in Doomsday Dawn.

  • Ability Glossary contains special creature abilities that are summarized in creature stat blocks instead of being described in full each time (these were called Universal Monster Rules in Pathfinder First Edition). If you encounter an ability in a stat block without the rules needed to use it, check here to learn how it works.
  • Creature and Hazard Traits supplements the traits, adding ones that are specific to the creatures and hazards in this document.

As with the other parts of the playtest, we’ll be soliciting your opinions on the monsters and hazards in this document. Go to pathfinderplaytest.com to find the surveys and forums, where you can weigh in on any problems or preferences you discover!

Danger is Everywhere!

Each of the environments presented uses the terrain rules in different ways, so be sure to familiarize yourself with those rules before reading this section. Some environments refer to the rules for climate and natural disasters.

Many places have the traits of multiple environments; a snow-covered mountain might use both the arctic and mountain environments.

For environmental features with effects based on how tall or deep, those effects vary further based on a creature’s size. For instance, a shallow bog for a Medium creature might act as a deep bog for smaller creatures, and a deep bog for a Medium creature might act as a shallow bog for a larger creature (or might even be insignificant enough to not be difficult terrain for a truly massive creature).

If the environment is hazardous, it can deal damage.

Because the amount varies based on the specific circumstances, the sections on specific environments and natural disasters use categories rather than exact numbers to describe the damage. Use Table 1: Environmental Damage to set the damage from an environment or natural disaster.

Table 1: Environmental Damage
Category Damage
Minor 1d6–2d6
Moderate 4d6–6d6
Major 8d6–12d6
Massive 18d6–24d6


Aquatic environments are among the most challenging for PCs short of unusual planes and other worlds. PCs in an aquatic environment need a way to breathe (typically a water breathing spell) and must usually Swim in order to move, though a PC who sinks to the bottom can walk awkwardly, as if through greater difficult terrain. Use the aquatic combat rules and drowning and suffocation rules.

Currents and Flowing Water

Ocean currents, flowing rivers, and the like are difficult terrain or greater difficult terrain (depending on the speed of the water) when you’re swimming against them. At the end of your turn, the current moves you a certain amount of distance depending on its speed. For instance, a 10-foot current moves you 10 feet in the current’s direction at the end of your turn.


It’s much harder to see things at a distance underwater than it is on land due to light scattering, and it’s particularly difficult if the water is murky or full of particles. In pure water, the maximum visual range is roughly 240 feet to see a small object, and in murky water visibility can be reduced to only 10 feet or even less.


The main challenge in an arctic environment is the cold climate (see Climate), but arctic environments also contain ice and snow. The most common disasters are avalanches, blizzards, and floods.


Icy ground counts as both uneven ground and difficult terrain, as characters slip and slide due to poor traction.


Depending on the depth of snow and its composition, most snowy ground is either difficult terrain or greater difficult terrain. Denser snow might allow characters to attempt to walk along the surface without breaking through, but some patches might be loose enough that they’re uneven ground.


Desert describes sandy and rocky deserts and badlands. (Though tundra is technically a desert, it’s classified as arctic because the climate is the primary challenge there).

Sandy deserts often have quicksand hazards and sandstorms.


Rocky deserts are strewn with rubble, which counts as difficult terrain. Piles of rubble dense enough to be walked over rather than navigated through are considered uneven ground.


Packed sand doesn’t usually significantly impede characters’ movement, but loose sand can be difficult terrain if it’s shallow or uneven ground if it’s deep. The wind in a desert often shifts sand into sand dunes, which are inclines on the side facing into the wind.


Dungeon environments, which include both ruins and contemporary buildings constructed in the wilderness, are a fairly common venue for adventures. As an environment type, they combine urban features like doors and buildings with features from the dungeon’s or ruin’s environment. While underground dungeons are particularly common, consider setting your adventure in a ruin reclaimed by the forest, with giant trees spreading their roots through the walls, or a ruin deep in a swamp, with bogs covering access to some of the ruin’s hidden secrets.


These environments include jungles and other wooded areas. They are often struck by wildfires.


Particularly dense forests, such as rain forests, have a canopy level above the ground. A creature trying to reach the canopy or travel across it must Climb (they can also use this action to swing on vines and branches).

A canopy provides cover, and a thicker one can prevent creatures in the canopy from seeing those on the ground, and vice versa.


While trees are omnipresent in a forest, they typically don’t provide cover unless a character uses the Take Cover action. Only particularly massive trees that take up an entire 5-foot square on the map (or more) are big enough to provide cover automatically.


Light undergrowth is difficult terrain and allows a character to gain cover with the Take Cover action. Heavy undergrowth is greater difficult terrain that provides cover.

Some sorts of undergrowth, such as thorns, might also be hazardous terrain, and areas with plenty of twisting roots might be uneven ground.


Mountain environments also include hills, which don’t contain the more extreme features of mountains. The most common disasters are avalanches.


Chasms are natural pits, typically at least 20 feet long, which are clearly visible barring mundane or magical efforts to conceal them. The main danger posed by a chasm is that characters must typically use a Long Jump to get across. Alternatively, characters can take the safer but slower route, Climbing down the near side and back up the far side.


Cliffs and rock walls require Climb to ascend or descend.

Without extensive safety precautions, a critical failure carries the risk of significant falling damage.


Mountains often have extremely rocky areas or shifting, gravelly scree that makes for difficult terrain. Especially deep or pervasive rubble is uneven ground.


Slopes vary from gentle rises of normal terrain to difficult terrain and inclines, depending on the angle of elevation.

Moving down a slope is typically normal terrain.


Light undergrowth is common in mountains. It is difficult terrain and allows a character to Take Cover.


The plains environment encompasses grasslands such as savannas and farmland. The most common disasters are wildfires.


Hedges are planted rows of bushes, shrubs, and trees.

In adventures, they most iconically occur in the form of tall hedges grown into mazes. A typical hedge is up to 5 feet tall, takes up a row of squares, and provides cover. A character trying to push through a hedge treats it as greater difficult terrain, but it might be faster to Climb over.


Light undergrowth is difficult terrain and allows a character to Take Cover. Heavy undergrowth is greater difficult terrain that provides cover. Undergrowth in plains is usually light with a few scattered areas of heavy undergrowth, but fields of certain crops, like corn, are entirely heavy undergrowth.


Swamps are generally wetlands, but this category also includes drier marshes such as moors. Swamps often have quicksand hazards. Despite their soggy nature, swamps are less likely than many areas to experience heavy flood disasters, since they act as natural sponges and absorb a great deal of water before they flood.


Also called mires, bogs are watery areas that accumulate peat, are typically covered by shrubs and moss, and sometimes feature floating islands of vegetation covering deeper pools.

Shallow bogs are difficult terrain for a Medium creature, and deep bogs are greater difficult terrain. A creature has to Swim if a bog is deep enough that the creature can’t reach the bottom. Bogs are typically acidic, so particularly extreme or magical bogs can act as hazardous terrain.


Light undergrowth is difficult terrain and allows a character to Take Cover, and heavy undergrowth is greater difficult terrain that provides cover. Some sorts of undergrowth, such as thorns, might also be hazardous terrain, and areas with plenty of twisting roots might be uneven ground.


Urban environments include open city spaces and buildings; the building information also applies to ruins and constructed dungeons. Depending on construction and location, cities may be vulnerable to many sorts of disasters, especially fire and floods.

Doors, Gates, and Walls

Some of the most common obstacles characters face in urban areas and dungeons are doors, gates, and walls.

Climbing Structures

The table below gives the typical level for Athletics checks to Climb a structure and the DC of high-difficulty checks of that level.

As with other ordinary tasks, these tasks typically use the high-difficulty DC for their level, but you might adjust the degree of challenge based on the specifics of the structure and environment. In most cases, structures of above-average quality are harder to climb; increase the task’s level by 2 for each degree of quality above standard (so an expert-quality masonry wall would be level 6 to climb and a master-quality one would be level 8).

Breaking Open Structures

Structures that can open, like doors, gates, and windows, can be forced open with the Break Open action of Athletics. This is usually necessary only if they’re locked or stuck.

The Break Open DC for a structure is typically 5 higher than the Thievery DC of its lock. Breaking Open a door or window that’s just stuck (or that is unnecessarily being Broken Open when it could have been opened normally) is usually a level 2 task, or higher level for something that’s exceptionally stuck, like a metal door wedged in a strange position. Break Open can also be used to lift portcullises. This is usually a level 4 task for a wooden portcullis, level 6 for an iron one, or 5 higher than the Thievery DC of the locking mechanism, whichever is higher. Bending bars wide enough for a character to squeeze through them is typically a level 8 task.

Demolishing Structures

A character might want to smash their way through a door, a window, or certain walls. The hardness values provided on the table below are based on the material the structure is made out of, so a portcullis made of adamantine, for example, would have an appropriately high hardness. If the material can take more than 1 Dent without becoming broken, the table also lists (in parentheses) the number of Dents it can take. A reinforced door, such as a wooden door reinforced with iron bands, can usually take 1 additional Dent before becoming broken. Strong walls, such as well-maintained masonry or hewn stone, can’t be broken without dedicated work and proper tools. Getting through such walls requires downtime.

Door Climb Level High-Difficulty DC
Iron 6 22
Stone 9 26
Wood 7 23
Wall Climb Level High-Difficulty DC
Hewn stone 5 21
Lath and plaster 8 24
Masonry 4 19
Wood slats 5 21
Portcullis Climb Level High-Difficulty DC
Iron 1 14
Wood 1 14
Door Hardness (Dents)
Iron 18 (4)
Stone 14 (2)
Wood 10
Wall Hardness (Dents)
Crumbling masonry 14 (6)
Lathe and plaster 12 (3)
Wood slat 10
Portcullis Hardness (Dents)
Iron 18 (2)
Wood 10


Crowded thoroughfares and similar areas are difficult terrain, or greater difficult terrain if the area is truly packed. You might allow a character to get a crowd to part using Diplomacy, Intimidation, or Performance.

A crowd exposed to an obvious danger, like a fire or a rampaging monster, attempts to move away from the danger as quickly as possible, but is often slowed by its own mass. A fleeing crowd typically moves at the Speed of an average member (usually 25 feet for a crowd mostly made up of humans), potentially trampling or leaving behind slower-moving members of the crowd.


Opening an unlocked door requires an Interact action (or several for a particularly complicated or large door).

Locked or stuck doors require Break Open or Pick a Lock.


Wooden floors are relatively easy to walk along, as are flagstone floors made of fitted stones. However, floors of worn flagstone often contain areas of uneven ground. A floor of smooth and polished stone is rare and usually involves expensive techniques or magic.


Walled settlements often have gates, which the city can open for defense or travel. A typical gate consists of one portcullis on each end of a gatehouse, with murder holes or protected spots from which guards can attack foes in the open space between.


Most settlements of significant size have guards. The size of this force varies from one guard for every 1,000 residents to a force 10 times this number, working in shifts to protect the settlement at all hours, patrolling the streets, and guarding various posts.


A portcullis is a wooden or iron grate that descends to seal off a gate or corridor. Most are raised on ropes or chains operated by a winch and have locking mechanisms to keep them from being lifted easily. If a portcullis falls on a creature, use a slamming door trap.


Rooftops make for a memorable battle, chase, or infiltration.

Flat roofs are easy to move across, but they’re rare in any settlement that receives significant snowfall, since snow builds up and can collapse the roof. Angled roofs are uneven ground, and the peak of a pitched roof is a narrow surface.

Hurdling from roof to roof often requires a Long Jump, though some buildings are close enough to Leap. A High Jump might be necessary to reach a higher roof, or a Leap followed by Grabbing an Edge and Climbing to the top.


Opening a sewer grate usually requires 2 or more Interact actions. Sewers are generally 10 or more feet lower than street level and often have ladders or other means to ascend or descend. Raised paths along the walls allow sewer workers access, while channels in the center carry the actual waste. Less sophisticated sewers, or sections removed from those the workers usually access, might require wading through disease-ridden waste in order to progress.

Since sewer gas often contains pockets of methane and hydrogen sulfide, it can be highly flammable. Any pocket of sewer gas exposed to a source of flame explodes, dealing fire damage (typically 6d6) to creatures in the area.


Moving up stairs is typically difficult terrain, though shoddy stairs might also be uneven ground. Some temples and giant-built structures have enormous stairs that are greater difficult terrain or even require Climbing each step.


Most settlements have narrow and twisting streets from organic growth. These are rarely more than 20 feet wide, with alleys as narrow as 5 feet. The streets are generally paved with cobblestones that, if in poor repair, might be difficult terrain or uneven ground.

Particularly lawful or planned cities might have major thoroughfares to allow wagons and merchants to move through town to a marketplace or other important area.

These need to be at least 25 feet wide to allow wagons moving in both directions, and they often have small sidewalks to allow pedestrians to avoid wagon traffic.


Well-built structures have exterior walls of brick or stone masonry. Smaller, lower-quality, or temporary structures might have entirely wooden walls. Interior walls tend to be less sturdy, made of only wood, plaster, and lath, or even of thick, opaque paper in a wooden frame. An underground structure might have thick walls carved out of solid rock to prevent the weight of the ground above from collapsing the structure.


Underground environments consist of caves and natural underground areas. Artificial dungeons and ruins combine underground features with urban features like stairs and walls. Deep underground vaults have some of the same terrain features as mountains, such as chasms and cliffs.

The most common disasters are collapses.


Natural underground environments rarely have flat floors, instead featuring abrupt changes in elevation that result in difficult terrain, uneven ground, and inclines.


Ledges are narrow surfaces that overlook a lower area or provide the only means to move along the edge of a chasm.


Caverns can be covered in rubble, which is difficult terrain. Deep or pervasive rubble is also uneven ground.

Stalagmites and Stalactites

Stalagmites are tapering columns that rise from the floor of a cave. Areas filled with stalagmites are greater difficult terrain, and especially large stalagmites have to be sidestepped or Climbed. Stalagmites can be sharp enough they can be used as hazardous terrain in some circumstances, as can stalactites (icicle-shaped formations that hang from the roof of a cave) if they’re knocked loose from a ceiling or overhang.


Natural cave walls are uneven, with nooks, crannies, and ledges. Since most caves are formed by water, cave walls are often damp, making them even more difficult to climb.


Weather is more than just set dressing to establish mood; it has mechanical effects you can combine with encounters for a memorable experience. Weather can impose circumstance penalties on certain checks, from –1 to –4 based on severity.


Fog imposes a circumstance penalty on visual Perception checks, depending on the thickness; it causes creatures viewed through significant amounts of fog to be concealed; and it cuts off all visibility at half a mile or less—or much less. Conditions limiting visibility to about a mile are called mist, and those that do so to about 3 miles are called haze.


Precipitation includes rain as well as colder snow, sleet, and hail. Most of these impose penalties on visual Perception checks (hail is sparser but loud, instead penalizing auditory Perception checks). Wet precipitation douses flames, and frozen precipitation can create areas of snow or ice on the ground.

Precipitation causes discomfort and fatigue. Anything heavier than drizzle or light snowfall reduces the time it takes for characters to become fatigued by exertion to 4 hours for normal exploration tactics or simple overland travel, or 5 minutes for a fatiguing tactic. Heavy precipitation can be dangerous in cold environments when characters go without protection. Soaked characters treat the temperature as one step colder (mild to severe, severe to extreme; see Temperature below).

There’s a negligible chance that a character is struck by lightning during a storm. If necessary, use damage from lightning bolt, heightened for a severe thunderstorm.


Usually temperature isn’t important enough to worry about beyond describing clothing. Temperatures below freezing (32° F) are mild cold, and temperatures above around 95° F (ranging from 80° in high humidity to 120° in low humidity) are mild heat. They don’t damage characters dressed appropriately, but they reduce the time it takes for characters to become fatigued by exertion to 4 hours for most simple exploration tactics or simple overland travel, or 5 minutes for a fatiguing tactic.

Temperatures 12° F and lower are severe cold, which deals 1d4 to 1d8 cold damage per hour unless the character is wearing gear designed for low temperatures.

Temperatures above around 105° F (from 90° to 130° based on humidity) are severe heat, dealing 1d4 to 1d8 fire damage, regardless of gear.

Temperatures much above 115° F (from 100° to 140° based on humidity) are extreme heat and dangerous without magic. Temperatures –20° F or colder are extreme cold and occur in cold regions; an arctic region at its coldest might be over 100° colder! Gear can reduce the severity of such cold but can’t overcome it entirely. Extreme cold or heat deals 1d12 damage of the appropriate type every 10 minutes. At –80° F or less or 140° F or more, the damage occurs every minute.


Wind imposes a circumstance penalty on auditory Perception checks depending on its strength. It also interferes with physical ranged attacks like arrows, imposing a penalty on attack rolls involving such weapons and potentially making attacks with them impossible in powerful windstorms. Wind snuffs out handheld flames; lanterns protect their flame from the wind, but particularly powerful winds extinguish them.

Wind counts as difficult or greater difficult terrain when Flying. Moving in wind of sufficient strength requires a Maneuver in Flight action, and fliers are blown away on a critical failure or if they don’t succeed at at least one such check each round. Even on the ground, particularly strong winds might require an Athletics check to move, knocking creatures back and prone on a critical failure.

On such checks, Small creatures typically take a –1 penalty and Tiny creatures typically take a –2 penalty.

Natural Disasters

Bad weather can be a hindrance or long-term threat, but natural disasters represent imminent danger, especially to those exposed to their direct fury. The damage in the following sections uses the categories in Table 1: Environmental Damage.


Though the term avalanche specifically refers to a cascading flow of ice and snow down a mountain’s slope, the same rules work for landslides, mudslides, and other similar disasters. Avalanches made of particularly powdery snow can travel as fast as 2,000 feet per round, though wet snow avalanches rarely travel faster than 200 feet per round and rockslides and mudslides are slower still.

Avalanches are usually no more than a few hundred feet long (though other slides can extend much farther).

Avalanches deal major bludgeoning damage to creatures and objects in their path. Victims are also buried under a significant mass. At the GM’s discretion, creatures could also risk suffocation if they have an insufficient air pocket. Affected creatures can attempt a Reflex save; if they succeed, the bludgeoning damage is halved, and if they critically succeed, they also avoid being buried.

Buried creatures take minor bludgeoning damage each minute, and potentially take cold damage. A buried creature is restrained and usually can’t dig itself out, though allies or bystanders can attempt to do so. Each person digging clears roughly a 5-foot-by-5-foot square every 4 minutes with a successful Athletics check (or every 2 minutes with a critical success). Using shovels or other proper tools halves the time.


Blizzards combine cold weather, heavy snow, and strong winds. They don’t pose one direct threat as other disasters do; instead, the combination of all three factors makes them an incredible impediment to characters.


Collapses and cave-ins occur when caverns or buildings fall, dumping tons of rock or other material on those caught below. Creatures under the collapse take major bludgeoning damage and become buried, just as with an avalanche (see above). Fortunately, collapses don’t spread unless they weakened the overall integrity of the area and lead to further collapses.


Earthquakes often cause other natural disasters in the form of avalanches, collapses, floods, and tsunamis (all detailed elsewhere in this section), but their unique threats include tremors, fissures, and soil liquefaction. Tremors knock creatures prone, causing them to fall or careen into other objects, which can cause bludgeoning damage appropriate to the severity of the quake. Fissures and other ground ruptures can destabilize structures, but more directly they lead to creatures falling into a fissure and taking falling damage. Finally, liquefaction occurs when granular particles shake to the point where they temporarily lose their solid form and become liquids, which can cause creatures and even buildings to sink into the ground. You can use the earthquake spell for more specific rules, though that represents only a particular kind of localized quake.


Though slower floods can damage structures and drown creatures, flash floods are similar to avalanches (see above), except with a liquid mass instead of a solid one.

Instead of burying creatures, a flash flood carries creatures and even massive objects away, buffeting and potentially drowning them.


Mild sandstorms or dust storms don’t present much more danger than a windy rainstorm, but they can cause damage to a creature’s lungs and spread diseases across long distances. Heavy sandstorms deal minor slashing damage each round to those exposed to the sand, force creatures to hold their breath to avoid suffocation, or both.


In a tornado’s path, wind conditions impose severe penalties, except creatures that would be blown away are instead picked up in the tornado’s funnel, where they take massive bludgeoning damage from flying debris as they rise through the cone until they are eventually expelled (taking falling damage).

Tornadoes usually travel around 300 feet per round (roughly 30 miles per hour) and travel a few miles before dissipating. Some are stationary or travel much faster.


Tsunamis present many of the same dangers as flash floods but are much larger and more destructive. Tsunami waves can reach 100 feet or more in height, wrecking buildings and creatures alike with massive bludgeoning damage from both the wave itself and debris created by its path of destruction.

Volcanic Eruptions

Volcanic eruptions may contain any combination of ash, steam, lava bombs, lava flows, and pyroclastic flows.

Ash from volcanic eruptions is hot enough to cause minor fire damage each minute. It limits visibility like a thick fog and can make air unbreathable, requiring characters to hold their breath or suffocate. Ash clouds generate ash lightning strikes, which use the same rules as lightning bolt. Ash buildup on the ground creates areas of uneven ground or difficult or greater difficult terrain, and ash in the atmosphere can block the sun for weeks or even months, leading to colder temperatures and longer winters.

Steam vents shoot from the ground, dealing moderate fire damage in a wide column. Pressure can launch lava into the air that falls as lava bombs: masses of lava that solidify as they fly and shatter on impact, dealing moderate bludgeoning damage and moderate fire damage.

Volcanic eruptions can also release acidic and poisonous gases from beneath the surface, creating hazardous terrain that deals minor acid damage or minor poison damage.

Lava flows are an iconic volcanic threat; they usually move between 5 and 60 feet per round over normal ground, so characters can often outrun them. However, flows can move up to 300 feet per round in a steep volcanic tube or channel. Lava emanates heat that deals minor fire damage even before it comes into contact with creatures, and immersion deals massive fire damage each round.

Pyroclastic flows—a mix of hot gases and rock debris— spread much faster than lava, sometimes more than 4,000 feet per round. While cooler than the hottest lava, pyroclastic flows deal major fire damage and are capable of overwhelming entire settlements. They work like avalanches but deal half of their damage as fire damage.


Wildfires travel mainly along a front moving in a single direction. In a forest, the front can advance up to 70 feet per round (7 miles per hour overland). They can move up to twice as fast in plains due to lack of shade and the lower humidity. Depending on conditions and fuel, wildfires can advance sideways or even backward. Embers from the fire, carried by winds and rising hot air, can scatter, forming spot fires as far as 10 miles away from the main wildfire.

Wildfires present three main threats. First, they increase the heat to nearly 1,500° F in advance of the front and the fire’s arrival, as hot as some lava. This begins as minor fire damage per round at a reasonable distance from the front and increases to massive fire damage. Second, the smoke and heated air provide concealment like heavy fog and force characters to hold their breath or suffocate. Finally, the flames act as hazardous terrain and can potentially set a character on fire, dealing moderate persistent fire damage.

The flames from a small fire are often less dangerous than the advancing heat from the front of a large fire.


Creatures appear in your game during encounters, typically combat encounters. These guidelines will help you build encounters that pose appropriate challenges to your group.

To build an encounter, first decide how the encounter fits in the adventure as a whole. Assign a rough difficulty to the encounter using one of five possible degrees below.

Trivial encounters are so easy that the characters have essentially no chance of losing; they shouldn’t even need to spend significant resources unless they are particularly wasteful. These encounters work best as warm-ups, palate cleansers, or reminders of how awesome the characters are.

Low-threat encounters present a veneer of difficulty and typically use some of the party’s resources; in a low-threat encounter with characters who are particularly frugal, a character might even be reduced to 0 Hit Points, but it would be a fluke or the result of very poor tactics for the entire party to be seriously threatened.

High-threat encounters are a true threat to the characters, though unlikely to overpower them completely. Characters usually need to use sound tactics and manage their resources wisely to come out of a high-threat encounter ready to continue on to face a harder challenge without resting.

Severe-threat encounters are the hardest encounters most groups of characters can consistently defeat, and as such they are most appropriate for major encounters, such as with a final boss. Bad luck, tactics, or a lack of resources due to prior encounters can easily turn a severethreat encounter against the characters, and a wise group keeps the option to disengage open.

Extreme-threat encounters are so dangerous that they are likely to be an even match for the characters, particularly if the characters are low on resources due to prior encounters.

This makes them too challenging for most uses. An extreme-threat encounter might be appropriate for a fully rested group of characters that can go all out, for an end-of-campaign encounter, or for a group of veteran players with powerful character teamwork.

Building An Encounter

Once you’ve selected an encounter difficulty, it’s time to build your encounter. You have an XP budget based on the difficulty you chose (see Table 5), and each creature costs some of that budget. Many encounters won’t match the XP budget exactly, but they should come fairly close. The XP budget assumes you have four characters in the adventuring group. If your group is larger or smaller, use the guidelines presented in Different Party Sizes below.

When the group overcomes an encounter, as long as the encounter was not a trivial encounter, each character gains XP equal to the total XP of the creatures in the encounter.

Trivial encounters don’t normally grant any XP, but you might decide to award the same XP as a minor or moderate accomplishment for a trivial encounter that was important to the story.

Choosing Creatures

In all but the most unusual circumstances, you’ll select creatures for your encounter that range only from 4 levels lower than the PCs to 4 levels higher. Each creature has a role to play in your encounter, based on its level, from lowly minions to a boss so mighty that it poses an extreme threat to your player group even though it fights alone.

A creature costs some of the XP from your XP budget for the encounter, based on its level compared to the level of the party (see Table 4). For instance, if the party is 5th level, a 2nd-level creature is a “party level – 3” creature.

Level 0 creatures are weaker than normal, counting as a “party level – 2” creature for a 1st-level party, a “party level – 3” creature for a 2nd-level party, and a “party level – 4” creature for a 3rd-level party.

Different Party Sizes

For each character in the party beyond the fourth, include additional creatures worth an amount of XP equal to the Character Adjustment value for your encounter on Table 5. Don’t adjust the actual XP the characters each gain for defeating the encounter.

If you have fewer than four characters, use the same process in reverse: for each missing character, remove creatures worth an amount of XP equal to the Character Adjustment on Table 5 from the encounter, but keep the XP that the characters each earn the same.

It’s best to use the XP increase from more characters to add more enemies and the XP decrease from fewer characters to subtract enemies, rather than making one enemy tougher or weaker. Encounters are typically more satisfying if the number of creatures is fairly close to the number of player characters.

Table 4: Creature XP and Role
Creature’s Level XP Suggested Role
Party’s level – 4 10 Low-threat minion
Party’s level – 3 15 Low- or high-threat minion
Party’s level – 2 20 Any minion or standard
Party’s level – 1 30 Any standard
Party level 40 Any standard or low-threat boss
Party’s level + 1 60 Low- or high-threat boss
Party’s level + 2 80 High- or severe-threat boss
Party’s level + 3 120 Severe- or extreme-threat boss
Party’s level + 4 160 Extreme-threat solo boss
Table 5: Encounter Budget
Difficulty XP Budget Character Adjustment
Trivial 40 or less 10 or less
Low 60 15
High 80 20
Severe 120 30
Extreme 160 40

This section provides the information you need to use creatures in your game and to understand the statistics presented here and in Doomsday Dawn. You’ll learn how to adjust statistics to make creatures more useful, and how to deal with some unusual circumstances.

Reading Creature Statistics

Each creature’s rules appear in a stat block, with a structure similar to those of feats, spells, and magic items. Because creatures have more abilities, their statistics include more entries, many of which have special formats. Other traits appear in Creature and Hazard Traits.

A creature’s size (Tiny, Small, Medium, Large, Huge, or Gargantuan) is one of its traits, and traits for the creature’s alignment also appear here.

Actions, reactions, free actions, and activities the creature can use have the appropriate icons next to the names of those abilities. A creature always has any proficiencies or other abilities needed to use what’s listed in its stat block.

For instance, a creature can use any spellcasting actions required to perform the Cast a Spell activity, and it is never untrained with any of its listed items.

Some abilities are described in full in the Ability Glossary and abbreviated in each stat block.

Rarity is indicated on the line with the creature’s name.

Common creatures are marked with black, uncommon ones are marked with red, rare ones are marked with orange, and unique ones are marked with blue.

Creature Name Rarity Level Perception

The creature’s perception modifier, followed by any special senses.

Interaction Abilities Special abilities or exceptions to general rules that affect how the creature interacts using its skills, or that present broad changes for creatures that function differently from other creatures, are listed in alphabetical order after items (or after ability modifiers if the creature has no items).


AC and TAC (followed by any special bonuses to AC or TAC); Saving Throws A special bonus to a specific save appears in parentheses after that save’s bonus, followed by any special bonuses to all three saving throws against particular types of effects.

HP, followed by automatic abilities that affect the creature’s healing; Immunities; Resistances; Weaknesses


Languages The languages for a typical creature of that kind, followed by any special communication abilities. A dash (—) indicates the creature cannot understand languages. If it can understand language but cannot speak, this is also noted.

Skills The first number is the creature’s base skill modifier, which you add to the relevant ability modifier for any skill not listed. For specifically listed skills, use the given modifier only.

Ability Modifiers The creature’s six ability modifiers are listed.

Items Any significant gear the creature carries is listed here.


Constant Auras The creature’s constant auras appear here.

Defensive or Reactionary Abilities Any abilities that automatically affect the creature’s defenses, as well as free actions or reactions that usually trigger when it’s not the creature’s turn, appear here in alphabetical order.

Speed, followed by special Speeds or movement abilities.

Melee The name of the weapon or unarmed attack the creature uses for a melee Strike, followed by the attack bonus, and traits in parentheses, Damage amount, then damage type, plus any special effects (this entry is “Effect” if the Strike doesn’t deal damage).

Ranged As Melee, but also lists range increment or range with traits, Damage as Melee.

Spells The entry starts with the magical tradition and whether the spells are prepared or spontaneous, followed by the DC and attack bonus (if any spells require attack rolls). Spells are listed by level, followed by cantrips. A spell prepared multiple times lists the number of times in parentheses—for example, “(×2).” Spontaneous spells list the number of slots after the spell level.

Innate Spells These are listed like other spells, with exceptions for constant and at-will spells. Spells of these types list a spell level in parentheses if they are cast at a level higher than their base level. This number appears right after “Constant” or “At Will” if it’s the same level for all the creature’s constant or at-will spells. Rules for constant and at-will spells appear in the Ability Glossary.

Class Powers If a creature has powers taken from a character class, this entry lists the Spell Points, DC, and powers. Each power lists its Spell Point cost in parentheses.

Rituals Any rituals the creature can cast appear here.

Offensive or Proactive Abilities Any actions, activities, or abilities that automatically affect the creature’s offense, as well as free actions or reactions that usually trigger on the creature’s turn, appear here in alphabetical order.

Creature Adjustments

The creatures presented in this document have appropriate statistics for their levels. In many cases, you can make relatively minor adjustments to their statistics to make them function 1 level lower or higher than normal.

Elite Adjustments

Sometimes you’ll want a creature that’s just a bit more powerful than normal, so you can present a challenge that would normally be trivial or show that one enemy is stronger than its kin. To do this quickly and easily, apply an elite adjustment to its statistics by adjusting them as follows.

  • Increase the creature’s AC, attack bonuses, DCs, saving throws, Perception, and skill modifiers by 2.
  • Increase the damage of its Strikes and other offensive abilities by 2. If the creature can use an ability (such as a dragon’s breath weapon) only a limited number of times, increase the damage by 4 instead.
  • Increase the creature’s Hit Points based on the its starting level.
Starting Level HP Increase
0–1 10
2–4 15
5–19 20
20+ 30

Elite adjustments work best with martial creatures.

Spellcasters—or creatures that rely heavily on innate spells or unique, noncombat abilities—typically need more specific adjustments.

Weak Adjustments

Sometimes you’ll want a creature that’s weaker than normal, so you can present a challenge that would normally be extreme, or show that one enemy is weaker than its kin. To do this quickly and easily, apply a weak adjustment to its statistics by adjusting them as follows.

  • Decrease the creature’s AC, attack bonuses, DCs, saving throws, and skill modifiers by 2.
  • Decrease the damage of its Strikes and other offensive abilities by 2. If the creature can use an ability (such as a dragon’s breath weapon) only a small number of times, decrease the damage by 4 instead.
  • Decrease the creature’s HP based on its starting level.
Starting Level HP Decrease
1–2 10
3–5 15
6–20 20
21+ 30

Like elite adjustments, weak adjustments work best with creatures that are primarily combat-focused. Creatures that rely heavily on innate spells or unique, noncombat abilities usually need more specific adjustments.

Creatures In Play

Unlike PCs, who are built using a strict set of rules, creatures in this document have special abilities and statistics that cover a broader range. They aren’t always suited to adventuring situations, and the extremes of their statistics and abilities go both higher and lower than those of PCs. The game rules define how PCs work so the players at your table understand the consequences of what they do.

Since creatures are a part of the world, more of their rules are left flexible so when you experience situations unique to your game, you can make a judgment call. Likewise, some creature rules are abbreviated and might require you to adjudicate how they function in play. The advice here can help guide you. As always, make a different call if it makes more sense for an individual creature, is consistent with your own previous decisions, or is simply easier!

Roleplaying Creatures

Whether its an adversary or a potential ally, chances are a creature has a very different worldview than the PCs. When roleplaying creatures, think about how they experience the world differently due to their senses, body shape, appendages, and ecology. This can give you roleplaying cues as simple as a difference in idioms (perhaps saying “in the other tentacle” rather than “on the other hand”) and as complex as determining motivations, hopes, and dreams. Understanding the creatures you run also helps you determine what tactics they will use, as well as whether they are willing to surrender or flee.

Lost Gear

Some creatures rely on gear, like armor and weapons. You might need statistics for a creature that doesn’t have its gear. For example, it could get disarmed, an ambush might catch it while it’s out of its armor, or one of its worn magic items could get dispelled.

If a creature loses its weapon, it needs to use an unarmed attack or draw another weapon. In the latter case, find a Strike entry for the creature that most closely matches the substitute, reducing the attack bonus by 2 and using the damage die for the new Strike. If the creature needs to make an unarmed attack and doesn’t have one listed, it uses the statistics for a fist.

For a creature that has lost its armor, find the armor in its Items entry. Reduce its AC and TAC by the item’s bonuses. If the armor has magical potency, reduce its AC, TAC, and saves by the armor’s potency.

For other magic items, the creature doesn’t gain benefits.


The languages listed in a creature’s entry are the typical ones known by a creature of that type. However, you may want to vary these, based on the specific creature. For instance, a creature probably wants to talk to other local creatures; if Common is the language listed for the creature but isn’t the local language, consider replacing it with a more appropriate language (perhaps Undercommon if this specific creature lives in the Darklands, or the language of the region it inhabits). Beings from other planes are very unlikely to know a regional language from a particular Material Plane world, even Common, unless they specifically travel there.

Skills, Perception, and Proficiency

In rare situations, such as when a creature is trying to Disable a PC’s snare, you may need to know the creature’s proficiency rank. You should normally use expert for a listed skill if the creature is 5th level or higher, master if the creature is 9th level or higher, and legendary if the creature is 17th level or higher. A certain rank of proficiency in Perception might be necessary to detect certain things; a creature gains ranks in Perception in a similar fashion, though Perception typically improves faster than skills.

A particularly perceptive creature might have expert proficiency at 1st level!

At your discretion, you can treat creatures with world-class aptitude at a particular skill or in Perception, such as a doppelganger with Deception, as having a higher rank in that skill. Rarely, a creature might have a skill modifier than its base modifier plus its relevant ability modifier. In those cases, always treat the skill as untrained.

All the creatures are listed alphabetically by the name that appears on their stat block.

Hazard Lists

Creatures and hazards detailed in this document and referenced in Doomsday Dawn are listed below, each by the chapter in which they appear. They are then listed in alphabetical order by the name appearing in the adventure. If a creature is listed in this document by another name, that name is presented between parentheses following the creature’s name. The table then lists the type and level of the entry.

Monsters with an asterisk (*) have the elite template.

Creature Abilities

The following creature abilities are listed here because they are shared by many creatures or are highly complex.

The statistics for individual creatures might alter the traits, number of actions, or other rules of these abilities. Anything noted in a specific creature’s stat block overrides the general rules for the ability below. In these abilities, “monster” is used for the creature that has the ability, to differentiate it from any other creatures the ability might affect.

At-Will Spells

The monster can cast its at-will spells any number of times without using up spell slots. An at-will spell that the monster casts at a higher level than the spell’s base level has that level listed in parentheses.

Attack of Opportunity

Trigger A creature within the monster’s reach uses a manipulate action or a move action, makes a ranged attack, or leaves a square during a move action it’s using.

Effect The monster attempts a melee Strike against the triggering creature at a –2 penalty. If the attack hits and the trigger was a manipulate action, the monster disrupts that action. This Strike doesn’t count toward the monster’s multiple attack penalty, and its multiple attack penalty doesn’t apply to this Strike.

Change Shape (concentrate, polymorph, transmutation)

The monster changes its shape indefinitely. It can use this action again to return to its natural shape or adopt a new shape.

Unless otherwise noted, a monster cannot use Change Shape to appear as a specific individual. Using Change Shape counts as creating a disguise for the Impersonate use of Deception. The monster’s transformation automatically defeats Perception DCs to determine whether the creature is a member of the race into which it transformed, and it gains a +4 conditional bonus to its Deception DC to prevent others from seeing through its disguise.

Change Shape abilities specify what shapes the monster can adopt. The monster doesn’t gain any special abilities of the new shape, only its physical form. In each shape, it replaces its normal Speeds and Strikes, and might potentially change its senses or size. Any changes are listed in its stat block.

Constant Spells

A constant spell affects the monster without the monster needing to cast it, and its duration is unlimited. If a constant spell gets dispelled, the monster can reactivate it by spending the normal spellcasting actions the spell requires.

Continuous Aura

A monster’s continuous aura automatically affects everything within a specified radius emanating from that monster. The monster doesn’t need to spend actions on a continuous aura; rather, a continuous aura’s effects are applied at specific times, such as at the end of each creature’s turn or when creatures enter the aura.


The monster automatically deals the listed amount of damage to any number of creatures grabbed or restrained by it.

Coven (arcane, divination, mental)

This monster can form a coven with two or more other creatures who also have this ability. This involves performing an 8-hour ceremony with all prospective coven members. After the coven is formed, each of its members gains elite adjustments, adjusting their level accordingly. Coven members can sense other members’ locations and conditions by spending an action and can sense what another coven member is sensing with an activity that takes two actions (these both have the concentrate trait).

Covens also grant spells and rituals to their members, but these can be cast only in cooperation between three coven members who are all within 30 feet of one another. A coven member can contribute to a coven spell with a Verbal Casting action. If two coven members have contributed these actions within the last round, a third member can cast a coven spell on her turn by spending the normal spellcasting actions. A coven can cast its coven spells an unlimited number of times, but can cast only one coven spell each round. All covens include the 8th-level baleful polymorph spell and all the following spells, which the coven can cast at any level up to 5th: augury, charm, clairaudience, clairvoyance, dream message, illusory disguise, illusory scene, prying eye, and talking corpse. Individual creatures with the coven ability also grant additional spells to any coven they join. A coven can also cast the control weather ritual, with a DC of 23 instead of the standard DC.

If a coven member leaves the coven, the coven ends immediately. If the death of a coven member brings the coven below three members, the remaining members keep their elite adjustments for 24 hours, but without enough members to contribute the necessary actions, they can’t cast coven spells.


When a creature is exposed to a monster’s disease, it attempts a Fortitude save or succumbs to the disease. The disease follows the rules for afflictions.


The monster Strides up to double its Speed and can move through the spaces of any creatures in its path. Any creature of the monster’s size or smaller whose space the monster moves through can attempt a Reflex save with the listed DC to avoid being engulfed. A creature unable to act automatically critically fails this save. If a creature succeeds at its save, it chooses to be either pushed aside (out of the monster’s path) or pushed in front of the monster to the end of the monster’s movement. The monster can’t attempt to Engulf the same creature twice in a single action. The monster can contain as many creatures as can fit in its space.

A creature that fails its save is pulled into the monster’s body.

It is grabbed, is slowed 1, and has to hold its breath or start suffocating. The creature takes the listed amount of damage when first engulfed and at the end of each of its turns while it’s engulfed. An engulfed creature can get free by Escaping against the listed escape DC. An engulfed creature can attack the monster engulfing it, but only with unarmed attacks or with weapons of light Bulk or less. These attacks target the monster’s TAC. If the monster takes piercing or slashing damage equaling or exceeding the toughness value listed in its Engulf entry, the engulfed creature cuts itself free. A creature that gets free by either method can immediately breathe and exits the swallowing monster’s space.

If the monster dies, all engulfed creatures are automatically released as the monster’s form loses cohesion.

Ability Glossary

Fast Healing

A monster with this ability regains the given number of Hit Points each round at the beginning of its turn.

Frightful Presence (aura, emotion, fear, mental)

A creature that enters the area must attempt a Will save. It’s frightened 1 on a success, unaffected on a critical success, frightened 2 on a failure, or frightened 3 and fleeing for 1 round on a critical failure. After a creature attempts its save, it’s bolstered.


Requirements The monster’s last action was a success with an attack that lists Grab in its damage entry, or it has a creature grabbed using this action.

Effect The monster automatically Grabs the target until the end of the monster’s next turn. The creature is grabbed by whichever body part the monster attacked with, and that body part can’t be used to Strike creatures until the grab is ended. Using Grab extends the duration of the monster’s Grab until the end of its next turn for all creatures grabbed by it.

The grabbed creature can Escape using Acrobatics or Break the Grapple with Athletics, and the Grab ends if the monster moves away.

Greater Constrict

The monster automatically deals the listed amount of damage to a creature grabbed or restrained by it, and the creature must attempt a Fortitude save at the listed DC or fall unconscious. A creature that succeeds at its save is bolstered against falling unconscious in this way.

Improved Grab, Improved Knockdown, or Improved Push. The monster can use Grab, Knockdown, or Push (as appropriate) as a free action triggered by a hit with its initial attack. A creature with Improved Grab still needs to spend an action to extend the duration for creatures it already has grabbed.


Requirements The monster’s last action was a success with an attack that lists Knockdown in its damage entry.

Effect The monster automatically knocks the target prone.


When a creature is exposed to a monster’s poison, it attempts a Fortitude save or becomes poisoned. The poison follows the rules for afflictions.


Requirements The monster’s last action was a success with an attack that lists Push in its damage entry.

Effect The monster automatically knocks the target away from the monster. Unless otherwise noted in the ability description, the creature is pushed 5 feet. If the attack was a critical hit, this distance is doubled.

Raise a Shield

Requirements You are wielding a shield.

Effect You position your shield to protect yourself. When you have Raised a Shield, you gain its listed bonuses to AC and TAC as circumstance bonuses and you can use the Shield Block reaction. Your shield remains raised until the start of your next turn.


This monster regains the listed number of Hit Points each round at the beginning of its turn. It can’t die from damage or the dying condition; its dying condition never increases beyond dying 3 as long as its regeneration is active. If it takes damage of a type listed in the regeneration entry, however, its regeneration deactivates until the end of its next turn. Deactivate the regeneration before applying the damage, since that damage might kill the monster by bringing it to dying 4.


A Rend entry lists a Strike the monster has. Requirements The monster hit the same enemy with two consecutive Strikes of the listed type in the same round.

Effect The monster automatically deals that Strike’s damage again to the enemy.

Shield Block

Trigger While you have your shield raised, you take damage from a physical attack.

Effect You snap your shield into place to deflect a blow. Your shield prevents you from taking an amount of damage up to its Hardness—the shield takes this damage instead, possibly becoming dented or broken.

Swallow Whole (attack)

The monster attempts to swallow a creature of the listed size or smaller that it has grabbed in its jaws or mouth. If a swallowed creature is of the maximum size listed, the monster can’t use Swallow Whole again. If the creature is smaller than the maximum, the monster can usually swallow more creatures; the GM determines the maximum. The monster attempts an Athletics check opposed by the grabbed creature’s Reflex DC. If it succeeds, it swallows the creature. The monster’s jaws or mouth no longer grabs a creature it has swallowed, so the monster is free to use them to Strike or Grab once again. The monster can’t attack creatures it has swallowed. A swallowed creature is grabbed, slowed 1, and has to hold its breath or start suffocating. The swallowed creature takes the listed amount of damage when first swallowed and at the end of each of its turns while it’s swallowed. Escaping this ability’s grabbed condition puts the victim back in the monster’s mouth. This frees any other creature grabbed in the monster’s mouth. A swallowed creature can attack the monster that has swallowed it, but only with unarmed attacks or with weapons of light Bulk or less. These attacks target the monster’s TAC. If the monster takes piercing or slashing damage equaling or exceeding the toughness value listed in its Swallow Whole entry, the swallowed creature cuts a large enough opening to exit through. The creature can immediately breathe and exits the swallowing monster’s space. If the monster dies, a swallowed creature can be freed by creatures adjacent to the corpse spending a combined total of 3 actions cutting with a weapon or unarmed attack that deals piercing or slashing damage.

Telepathy (aura, divination, magical)

A monster with telepathy in can communicate mentally with any creatures within the listed radius, as long as they have a language. This doesn’t give any special access to their thoughts, and communicates no more information than normal speech would.


The monster Strides up to double its Speed and can move through the spaces of creatures of the listed size, Trampling each creature whose space it enters. A trampled creature takes the damage of the listed Strike, but can attempt a Reflex save at the listed DC (half damage on a success, no damage on a critical success, double damage on a critical failure).


Aberration Aberrations are creatures from beyond the planes or corruptions of the natural order.

Acid Effects with this trait deal acid damage. An item with 5 or lower Hardness takes 1 extra Dent from acid damage. Creatures with this trait have a magical connection to acid.

Air Effects with the air trait either manipulate or conjure air. Those that manipulate air have no effect in a vacuum or an area without air. Creatures with this trait consist primarily of air or have a magical connection to the element.

Amphibious An amphibious creature can breathe either in water or in air and outside of their preferred environment, usually indefinitely but at least for hours. These creatures often have a swim Speed.

Animal An animal is a creature with a relatively low intelligence. It typically doesn’t have an Intelligence ability score over 3, can’t speak languages, and can’t be trained in Intelligence-based skills.

Aquatic Aquatic creatures are at home underwater. Their bludgeoning and slashing unarmed Strikes don’t take the –2 penalty for being underwater. Unless they have amphibious or another trait that says otherwise, aquatic creatures can breathe water but not air.

Beast A creature similar to an animal but with an Intelligence of 4 or higher is usually a beast. Unlike an animal, a beast might be able to speak and reason.

Boggard Boggards are frog-like humanoids. They typically have darkvision, a grabbing tongue, and a horrifying croak.

Caligni Subterranean people with powers to create darkness are called caligni.

Chaotic Chaotic effects often manipulate energy from chaos-aligned Outer Planes and are anathema to lawful divine servants and divine servants of lawful deities. A creature with this trait is chaotic in alignment.

Cold Effects with this trait deal cold damage. Creatures with this trait have a magical connection to cold.

Complex Hazards with this trait roll initiative after their reactions, possibly starting a new encounter, and use actions of their own.

Construct A construct is an artificial creature empowered by a force other than necromancy. Constructs are often mindless; they are immune to disease, paralysis, and poison; and they may have Hardness based on the materials used to construct their bodies.

Constructs are not living creatures, nor are they undead. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, a construct creature is destroyed.

Demon A race of fiends, demons hail from or trace their origins to the Abyss. Most are irredeemably chaotic evil. They typically have darkvision and resistances to damage.

Devil A race of fiends from Hell, most devils are irredeemably lawful evil. They typically have greater darkvision, immunity to fire, and telepathy.

Dinosaur These reptiles have survived from prehistoric times.

Dragon Dragons are reptilian creatures, often winged or with the power of flight. Most are able to use a breath weapon and are immune to sleep and paralysis.

Drow Subterranean kin of the elves, drow typically have darkvision and inborn magical abilities.

Earth Effects with the earth trait either manipulate or conjure earth. Those that manipulate earth have no effect in an area without earth. Creatures with this trait consist primarily of earth or have a magical connection to the element.

Electricity Effects with this trait deal electricity damage. A creature with this trait has a magical connection to electricity.

Elemental Elementals are creatures directly tied to an element, and are natives of the Elemental Planes. Elementals don’t need to breathe.

Elf A creature with this trait is an elf; these mysterious people have rich traditions of magic and scholarship and typically have low-light vision.

Environmental A hazard with this trait is something dangerous that’s part of the natural world, such as quicksand or harmful mold. Skills like Survival are often necessary to overcome them.

Evil Evil effects often manipulate energy from evil-aligned Outer Planes and are anathema to good divine servants and divine servants of good deities. A creature with this trait is evil in alignment.

Fey Creatures of the First World are called the fey.

Fiend Creatures that hail from or have a strong connection to the evil-aligned planes are called fiends. Fiends can survive the basic environmental effects of planes in the Outer Sphere.

Fire Effects with the fire trait deal fire damage or either conjure or manipulate fire. Those that manipulate fire have no effect in an area without fire. Creatures with this trait are primarily constituted of fire or have a magical connection to the element.

Fungus Fungal creatures have the fungus tag. They are distinct from normal fungi.

Gargantuan This creature is Gargantuan in size.

Genie The diverse races of genies hold positions of prominence in the Elemental Planes. They have powerful magical abilities.

Ghost Lost souls that haunt the world as incorporeal undead are called ghosts.

Ghoul Ghouls are vile undead creatures that feast on flesh.

Giant Giants are massive humanoid creatures.

Gnoll Gnolls are humanoids that resemble hyenas.

Goblin Creatures with this trait can be of any of several ancestries, including small and canny goblins, militaristic hobgoblins, and hulking and savage bugbears. They tend to have darkvision.

Golem A golem is a special type of construct. A golem is immune to almost all magic, but most have a weakness to certain spells.

Good Good effects often manipulate energy from good-aligned Outer Planes and are anathema to evil divine servants and divine servants of evil deities. A creature with this trait is good in alignment.

Hag These creatures are spellcasting crones.

Halfling A creature with this trait is a halfling; these small people are considered to be lucky, friendly wanderers.

Haunt A hazard with this trait is a spiritual echo, often of someone with a tragic death. The means to put a haunt to rest varies, and often involves resolving the haunt’s unfinished business. A haunt that hasn’t been properly put to rest always returns after a time.

Huge This creature is Huge in size.

Human A creature with this trait is a human; these people are known for their adaptability.

Humanoid Humanoid creatures reason and act much like humans. They typically stand upright and have two arms and two legs.

Incorporeal An incorporeal creature or object has no physical body. It can pass through solid objects, including walls. When inside an object, it can’t perceive, attack, or interact with anything outside the object, and it is slowed 1. If it exits an object, it remains slowed until the end of its turn. Corporeal creatures can pass through an incorporeal creature, but can’t end their movement in its space. An incorporeal creature can’t attempt Strength-based checks against physical creatures or objects—only against incorporeal ones—unless those objects have the ghost touch property rune. Likewise, a corporeal creature can’t attempt Strength-based checks against incorporeal creatures or objects. Incorporeal creatures usually have immunity to nonmagical attacks and other effects or conditions that require a physical body, like disease, poison, and precision damage. They usually resist all damage (except force damage and damage from weapons with the ghost touch property rune).

Kobold Kobolds are reptilian humanoids who typically have darkvision.

Large This creature is Large in size.

Lawful Lawful effects often manipulate energy from law-aligned Outer Planes and are anathema to chaotic divine servants and divine servants of chaotic deities. A creature with this trait is lawful in alignment.

Lizardfolk Lizardfolk are a race of reptilian humanoids. They typically have swim speeds.

Magical Like an item with this trait, a magical hazard is imbued with magical energies. It radiates a magic aura infused with its dominant school of magic (abjuration, conjuration, divination, enchantment, evocation, illusion, necromancy, or transmutation). Some items or hazards are closely tied to a particular tradition of magic. In these cases, the item or hazard has the arcane, divine, occult, or primal trait instead of the magical trait. Any of these traits indicates that it is magical.

Mechanical A hazard with this trait—typically a trap—is a constructed physical object.

Medium This creature is Medium in size.

Mindless A mindless creature has either programmed or rudimentary mental attributes. Most, if not all, of their mental ability scores are 1. They are immune to all mental effects.

Minion A creature with this trait can use only 2 actions per turn and can’t use reactions. A minion acts on your turn in combat when you spend an action to issue it verbal commands (this action has the concentrate trait). If given no commands, minions use no actions except to defend themselves or to escape obvious harm. If left unattended for at least 1 minute, mindless minions don’t act, whereas intelligent ones act as they please.

Mummy A mummy is an undead created from a preserved corpse.

Mutant The monster has mutated or evolved, granting it unusual benefits, drawbacks, or both.

Oni Evil spirits that take humanoid form, oni typically have the ability to change their shape.

Ooze Oozes are creatures with simple anatomies. They tend to be immune to mental effects and precision damage, and tend to have low mental ability scores.

Orc A creature with this trait is an orc. These green-skinned people have a reputation as warmongers and tend to have darkvision.

Plant Vegetable creatures have the plant trait. They are distinct from normal plants. Magical effects with this trait manipulate or conjure plants or plant matter in some way. Those that manipulate plants have no effect in an area with no plants.

Rakshasa Reincarnations of evil souls, rakshasa live on the Material Plane but are fiends.

Sahuagin Ocean-dwelling evil humanoids, sahuagin usually have blindsense and darkvision.

Serpentfolk Serpentfolk are ancient reptilian humanoids who tend to be immune to mental spells.

Shade Most incorporeal undead creatures that feed on the life force of the living belong to the family of shades.

Skeleton This undead is made from a dead creature’s animated skeleton.

Small This creature is Small in size.

Swarm A swarm is a mass or cloud of creatures that functions as one monster. Its size trait gives the size of the entire mass, though for most swarms the individual creatures that make up that mass are Tiny. A swarm can occupy the same space as other creatures, and must do so in order to use its damaging action. Swarms are immune to any effects that target a single creatures or a specific number of creatures. A swarm typically has weakness to effects that deal damage over an area (like area spells and splash weapons).

Tane The Tane are powerful primeval creatures originally from the First World.

Tiny This creature is Tiny in size.

Titan Ancient creatures formed by the gods, titans are few in number but immensely powerful.

Trap A hazard or item with this trait is purposefully set or constructed to hinder interlopers. Traps usually require Thievery to disable or bypass, though magical means can assist against magical traps.

Troll Trolls are brutish giant creatures and are well known for their ability to regenerate.

Undead Once living, these creatures were infused after death with negative energy and soul-corrupting evil magic. When reduced to 0 Hit Points, an undead creature is destroyed. Undead creatures are damaged by positive energy, are healed by negative energy, and don’t benefit from healing effects.

Vampire Undead creatures that thirst for blood, vampires are notoriously versatile and hard to destroy.

Water Effects with the water trait either manipulate or conjure water. Those that manipulate water have no effect in an area without water. Creatures with this trait are primarily constituted of fire or have a magical connection to the element.

Werecreature These shapechanging creatures are either naturally able to shift between animal, humanoid, and hybrid shape or are afflicted with a curse that forces them to shift involuntarily.

Xulgath These subterranean reptilian creatures tend to have darkvision.

Zombie These undead hunger for brains.