Astral Dreadnoughts are enormous, terrifying leviathans of the Astral Plane in the multiverse of Dungeons & Dragons. In form, they resemble a grotesque, lamia-like creature; a serpentine body that gives rise to a powerful upper torso with two arms and a distinct head. The arms end in enormous, crab-like pincers, whilst the head is cyclopean, many-spiked, and divided almost in two by an enormous gaping maw filled with sharp teeth. Seemingly mindlessly violent, Astral Dreadnoughts attack anything they encounter as they roam their planar home, which they are well suited for with their thick hide, powerful claws & teeth, and magic-nullifying gaze.
The creature was first depicted on the cover of the original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons first edition Manual of the Planes splatbook (Jeff Grubb, 1987). Although the book contained no statistics for the creature, it did make mention of the creature as an "ethereal dreadnought". It was then described as its own creature in AD&D 2e with the release of the Planescape setting, appearing as an entry in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium II (TSR, 1995) written by Rich Baker. In a review of Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II for Arcane Magazine, the reviewer considered the monstrous astral dreadnought to "populate their periphery with true terror".
The astral dreadnought subsequently went on to reappear in the Manual of the Planes for both 3rd edition (2001) and 4th edition (2008) - in the latter, it even returned to its original pride of place as the cover beastie for the splatbook. Its most recent depiction is in 5th edition for Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (2018).
Fun fact; the Astral Dreadnought was an inspiration for the video-game Doom; the Cacodemon enemy is literally lifted from the 1e artwork of the Astral Dreadnought's head. Don't ask us how nobody got sued over that.
|The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape|
|Upper Planes:||Aasimon - Angels - Animal Lords - Archons - Asuras - Eladrin - Guardinals - Lillend|
|Middle Planes:||Formians - Githzerai - Inevitables - Marut - Modrons - Rilmani - Slaadi|
|Lower Planes:|| Alu-Fiends - Baatezu - Bladelings - Cambions - Demodands - Erinyes - Hags |
Hordlings - Imps - Kytons - Marilith - Obyrith - Succubi - Tanar'ri - Yugoloth
|Transitive Planes:||Astral Dreadnought - Githyanki|
|Inner Planes:||Azers - Elementals - Genies - Grues - Mephit - Salamanders - Sylphs|
|Sigil:||Dabus - Cranium Rats|
|High-ups:||Archangels - Archdevils - Archfey - Archomentals - Demon Princes|