Salamanders are a Family of amphibian that look more or less like lizards with frog's skin instead of scales. Found throughout much of the world, salamanders became famous amongst the occult bestiaries of ancient peoples because of their tendency to inhabit damp logs which people would then toss on fires, resulting in a panicked salamander then "magically" appearing amidst the flames and fleeing to safety. Because of this, salamanders have become mythologically associated with fire, and Paracelsius even described them as being the "elementals" of Fire.
As a result, salamanders have proliferated throughout fantasy media as a kind of lesser dragon; fire-proof and perhaps fire-breathing lizard monsters that usually lack the vast power and/or intelligence of a true dragon.
Several /tg/ settings have their own distinct interpretations of the salamander.
Dungeons & Dragons
In Dungeons & Dragons, Salamanders are a species of elemental-kin (elementals who aren't just masses of animate elemental substance) native to the Elemental Planes of Fire, Magma, Smoke and Ash, though mostly they're associated with Fire. D&D Salamanders resemble serpentfolk, having the lower torsos of giant snakes and the upper bodies of humans with flaming hair, webbed elven ears, and deer-like antlers, with the whole thing being covered in mottled copper, orange, yellow and black scales. Making things even weirder, salamanders begin their existences as fiery-scaled but otherwise normal-looking snakes called "fire snakes" (yeah, real imaginative).
There are known to be two types of salamander; the common, or "Lesser", Salamander, and the very rare and deadly Noble Salamander, who is vastly stronger - even shaking off the normal salamander vulnerability to cold - and possesses potent fiery magic. Their absolute killer ability is their innate ability to dispel fire resistance, which, given where they live, can usually end a battle before it begins.
Their default lore in the Monster Manual states that you have roughly an 80% chance of encountering a male salamander and a 20% chance of encountering their female counterparts. Whether this represents their actual gender ratio or the males are just more likely to come to the Prime Material is unknown.
They're mostly known for being immense assholes, respecting only power and relishing the agonizing death of "weaker" creatures in their burning grips or the flames they live in. Their Nobles aren't much better, being tyrants who cruelly enslave and dominate everything around them. 5e added an intense hatred of azers to this, to the point where the enslaved salamanders in the Princes of the Apocalypse module will start attacking the other enslaved azers instead of attacking the cultists who enslaved them.
Salamander ichor is a valuable reagent for crafting Potions of Fire Resistance, whilst their metallic spears can be reforged and created into Rings of Fire Resistance.
Because D&D has always liked its grid-filling, there's actually a species of Ice Elemental Kin doppelgangers to the Salamander, the oh-so-imaginatively named "Frost Salamanders". Originating from Mystara, only the oldest of neckbeards or the most devout of Planescape fans will remember them as being anything more than the palette-swapped salamanders you fought in the first Icewind Dale CRPG. A "true" Frost Salamander is a six-limbed barely sapient reptilian creature that exudes an aura of extreme cold, and which preys upon other creatures like an animal. This version of the frost salamander would be updated to 3.5 in the Monster Manual 2 in what was pretty much a one-to-one conversion; still a dim-witted brutish creature mostly concerned with eating and mating. It was later updated for 5e in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes as an elemental.
They're OGL so they got in Pathfinder petty much unchanged. What's unique here is that they are a Sorcerer and Bloodrager bloodline, though how a species of snakemen with no inherit shapeshifting crossed into humanoid bloodlines with any regularity is a mystery. The book explicitly says "You are descended from the elemental outsiders known as salamanders." so the magical influence route doesn't work.
In Warcraft, salamanders are a fiery sub-species of the dinosaur-like reptilian Kodo Beasts first introduced in Warcraft III, both as a creep unit and as a draenei unit during the Frozen Throne. Statistics for salamanders as unique enemies appears in World of Warcraft: The Roleplaying Game.
In the game of Warhammer Fantasy, salamanders are a species of predatory amphibian who shoot a powerful caustic venom that bursts into flames when it's exposed to oxygen. Resembling dimetrodons, they are some of the oldest of the pseudo-dinosaurs tamed by the Lizardmen of Lustria and the Southlands, with skinks prodding salamanders into battle as living artillery pieces. A task not without its danger, as their Misfire table makes clear - more than one skink "handler" has either been burned to death by a flaming loogie or just eaten alive by its grumpy charge.
The salamander's imagery is referenced twice in Warhammer 40,000.
Secondly, the Salamander Reconnaissance Tank.
|This article or section is about Monstergirls (or a monster that is frequently depicted as a Monstergirl), something that /tg/ widely considers to be the purest form of awesome. Expect PROMOTIONS! and /d/elight in equal measure, often with drawfaggotry or writefaggotry to match.|
Just like the lizardfolk they are often associated with, salamanders readily get the monstergirls treatment. The trick is coming up with something more unique than just "hot-blooded lizardgirl with fire elementalism powers", which admittedly works, but is a little underwhelming and cliche. For example, that's literally the definition of the salamander in the Monster Girl Encyclopedia.
|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|