Type

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Types are a system of categorization in Dungeons and Drangons used to sort the various creatures of DnD into useful categories for ease of use. Introduced in the Creature Catalogue for 1e/AD&D it has been refined over the editions and is now a main stay in all monster stat blocks.

Creature Types in 1e and AD&D[edit]

The beginning of all this nonsense. Created in the Creature Catalogue, yes Catalogue not Catalog, a book all about having all the monsters in one place. Or at least an index of what books have what monster, plus a couple made for this book. But were getting sidetracked, the main reason were talking about this book is because it's the one the introduced Types as sorting system for Creatures of D&D.

  • Animals: Your basic run of the mill real life animals such as bears and sharks. Also includes more "fantastical" animals such as extinct ones and giant ones.
  • Conjurations: This includes creatures which either live on other planes of existence or which have strong links with other planes (e.g. elementals, fundamentals). Although many which live on other planes can appear on the Prime Plane of their own volition, others must be summoned in some way. The remaining creatures in this group are mostly constructs or creatures created by magical means.
  • Humanoids: The main criterion far including creatures in this group is that they are more or less human-shaped (e.g. giants, orcs). Shape is not the only condition, however, since the creatures included in this group are also, in general, free-willed, moderately intelligent, and have a language (or other means of communication). Most also wear clothes and use weapons and tools, while many form tribes or other social groups. Thus, for example, Bargda, apes, and human-shaped undead and constructs are nor considered to be humanoids, while Hutakaans and lupins (who have dog-like heads) are.
  • Lowlife: The creatures in this group are, for the most part, non-intelligent and have simple life styles. Most are plants (e.g. Vampire Rose), fungi (e.g. yellow mold), "goos" (e.g. green slime), insects (e.g. giant beetles), arachnids (e.g. spiders) or other invertebrates (e.g. worms, slugs).
  • Monsters: This section takes in all manner of fantastic and frightening creatures. Often these creatures have weird appearances (e.g. beholder), while others, although they outwardly resemble members of other groups (e.g. humanoids or animals), have strange magical abilities or other powers that set them apart.
  • Undead: The undead are beings who owe their existence to the action of powerful sorcery on the bodies and spirits of dead creatures.

Monster Types in 2e[edit]

Types and Subtypes in 3e and 3.5[edit]

Types

Subtypes

  • Air:
  • Aquatic:
  • Chaotic:
  • Cold:
  • Earth:
  • Electricity:
  • Evil:
  • Fire:
  • Good:
  • Incorporeal:
  • Lawful:
  • Reptilian:
  • Water:


Origin, Type, and Keyw- 4e's Mess[edit]

In 4e for some inane reason types and subtypes are split up into three categories, those being Origin, Type, and Keywords. Origins determines a creatures origin in the universe. Type describe they're body and/or mind. And finally Keywords describe all other major attributes, and is also the one category that can have multiple on a single creature acting much like how Subtypes worked in last edition. Keywords are also made confusing by the facts that both creatures and attacks used Keywords. Notable developments in this edition's version of types is that Animals and Beasts were fused into a single Beast category and... nothing else because 4th just really made a mess of things.

Origin[edit]

  • Aberrant: Aberrant creatures are native to or strongly corrupted by the distant alien plane known as the Far Realm. Many aberrant creatures have tentacles, eyestalks, or other strange physical characteristics.
  • Elemental: Elemental creatures are native to the Elemental Chaos or the Abyss. They are strongly tied to elemental energies or substances.
  • Fey: Fey creatures are native to the Feywild.
  • Immortal: Immortal creatures are native to the Astral Sea. They include angels, devils, and other creatures with strong ties to the gods. They do not age or die of natural causes.
  • Natural: Natural creatures are native to the natural world—the world of humans, dwarves, elves, halflings, and dragons. Most natural creatures breathe, eat, and sleep. Natural creatures with the construct or undead keyword are exceptions.
  • Shadow: Shadow creatures are native to the Shadowfell.

Types[edit]

  • Animate: Animates are objects magically given life or intelligence. Animate creatures do not need to breathe, eat, or sleep, regardless of their origin.
  • Beast: Beasts look and act like animals, although they sometimes have a bizarre or monstrous appearance. Natural beasts fill the same role as animals. Beasts with other origins behave in the similar instinctive ways, though they are unfamiliar to ordinary people.
  • Humanoid: Humanoid monsters are usually bipedal, but some have monstrous or animalistic characteristics, such as the squidlike head of a mind flayer or the serpentine body of a yuan-ti abomination.
  • Magical Beast: A magical beast looks like a beast but acts like a person. Magical beasts often superficially resemble animals, sometimes with a human face or head, but are more intelligent (Intelligence 3 or higher).

Keywords[edit]

  • Acid: The creature uses acid in some way.
  • Air: Elemental creatures made of air (such as earthwind ravagers) have this keyword.
  • Angel: Angels are immortal creatures with vaguely humanoid forms and lower bodies that trail off into astral mist. Most angels have wings. Since they don’t have mouths and cannot speak, angels communicate via telepathy. They do not breathe, eat, or sleep. However, this does not render the creature immune to any effect.
  • Aquatic: An aquatic creature can breathe normally in water and ignores rough water while swimming. It never needs to make Athletics checks to swim.
  • Blind: A blind creature cannot detect creatures and objects by sight. It relies on special senses, such as blindsight or tremor sense, to detect things within a certain range. A blind creature cannot make Perception checks to notice things beyond the range of its special senses. A blind creature cannot be blinded. Blind creatures are immune to gaze attacks and other effects that rely on sight.
  • Charm: Powers and effects that control the subject’s actions sometimes have this keyword.
  • Cold: A type of damage. Creatures made of ice (such as ice archons) also have the cold keyword.
  • Conjuration: An effect that creates a creature or object out of nothing. A conjuration effect can be dispelled using the dispel magic spell.
  • Construct: Constructs are not living creatures; spells and effects that specifically target living creatures do not work against them. Most constructs have resistance or immunity to disease and poison. Constructs do not need to breathe, eat, or sleep.
  • Demon: Demons are evil elemental creatures native to the Abyss. They breathe and eat, but do not sleep. They are not immune to sleep effects, however.
  • Devil: Devils are evil immortal creatures native to the Nine Hells. They breathe and eat, but do not sleep. They are not immune to sleep effects, however.
  • Disease: Some monsters, such as slaads and lycanthropes, inflict disease on creatures they hit. A creature that contracts a disease makes a saving throw at the end of the encounter. If the saving throw succeeds, the creature shakes off the disease and suffers no ill effects. If the saving throw fails, the creature is infected and suffers the initial effect of the disease. An infected creature makes an Endurance check after each extended rest to see if it improves, worsens, or maintains its current condition. The disease specifies two target Endurance DCs. If the creature’s check result beats both DCs, the creature moves one step up the disease track as its condition improves. If the creature’s check result beats the lower DC but not the higher DC, its condition remains the same. If the creature’s check result doesn’t beat either DC, the creature’s condition worsens, and it moves one step down the disease track. When a creature reaches the far left of the disease track, it is cured. When a creature reaches the far right of the disease track, it suffers the final effect of the disease. Once a creature suffers the final effect, it no longer moves up the disease track and can only be cured by the Cure Disease ritual (unless otherwise noted).
  • Dragon: Dragons are reptilelike creatures. Most dragons have wings as well as some kind of breath weapon.
  • Earth: Elemental creatures made of earth (such as galeb duhrs) have this keyword. Earth creatures are immune to petrification.
  • Fear: Powers and effects that impose penalties through fright or cause the affected creature to flee carry this keyword.
  • Fire: A type of damage. Elemental creatures made of fire (such as fire archons) also have this keyword.
  • Force: A type of damage.
  • Gaze: A type of attack. Blind creatures are immune to gaze attacks, and a creature cannot make a gaze attack while blinded.
  • Giant: A giant is a humanoid creature of at least Large size.
  • Healing : Powers and effects that restore hit points have this keyword.
  • Homunculus: A homunculus is an animate construct tasked with guarding a specific creature, area, or object.
  • Illusion: Powers and effects that deceive the senses or the mind use this keyword.
  • Lightning: A type of damage.
  • Living Construct: A living construct is considered a living creature that does not need to eat, drink, or breathe. However, this does not render the creature immune to any effect. A living construct needs only 4 hours to benefit from extended rest, and it gains a +2 bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage. When a living construct rolls a death save, it takes the better of its die roll or 10 as the result.
  • Mount: Not all monsters that can be ridden as mounts have the mount keyword. This keyword is applied only to creatures with special mount rules, such as an ability gained when ridden or an ability granted to the rider. These rules and benefits only apply if the rider has the Mounted Combat feat.
  • Necrotic: A type of damage.
  • Ooze: Oozes are amorphous creatures that rely on blindsight, tremor sense, or both to discern their surroundings. They don’t suffer penalties to attack rolls or penalties to their speed while squeezing.
  • Poison: A type of damage.
  • Polymorph: Powers and effects that alter a creature’s physical form have this keyword.
  • Plant: Plants are creatures composed of vegetable matter. They breathe and eat, but do not sleep. They are not immune to sleep effects, however.
  • Psychic: A type of damage. Some nondamaging effects that target the mind also have the psychic keyword.
  • Radiant: A type of damage.
  • Reliable: If a creature misses every target with a reliable power, the use of that power isn't expended.
  • Reptile: Reptiles are cold-blooded creatures that lay eggs. Examples include crocodiles, drakes, lizardfolk, snakes, troglodytes, and yuan-ti.
  • Shapechanger: This monster has the innate ability to alter its form, whether freely or into specific shapes. Examples of shapechangers include doppelgangers and lycanthropes.
  • Sleep: Powers and effects that render a creature unconscious have this keyword.
  • Spider: Spider monsters include arachnids as well as creatures with spiderlike features: eight legs, web spinning, and the like. Examples include driders and ettercaps.
  • Swarm: A swarm is considered a single monster even though it is composed of several Tiny creatures. Most single swarms are Medium, but some can be larger. A swarm takes half damage from melee and ranged attacks. It is vulnerable to close and area attacks, as indicated in the monster’s stat block. A swarm is immune to forced movement (pull, push, and slide) effects from melee and ranged attacks. Close or area attacks that impose forced movement affect the swarm normally. A swarm can enter or move through an enemy’s space; this movement does not provoke opportunity attacks. An enemy can enter a space occupied by a swarm, but the space occupied by the swarm is considered difficult terrain, and doing so provokes an opportunity attack. A swarm can squeeze through any opening large enough to accommodate even one of its constituent creatures. For example, a swarm of bats can squeeze through any opening large enough for one of the bats to squeeze through.
  • Teleportation: Powers and effects that transport a creature instantaneously from one location to another use this keyword. A creature that teleports is removed from play at the origin square and placed in the destination square. Teleporting does not provoke opportunity attacks, and the creature does not move through the intervening squares. Unless stated otherwise, a creature must have line of sight to the destination to teleport there.
  • Thunder: A type of damage.
  • Undead: Undead are not living creatures; spells and effects that specifically target living creatures do not work against them. Most undead have resistance to necrotic damage, are immune to poison, and are vulnerable to radiant damage. Undead do not need to breathe or sleep.
  • Water: Elemental creatures made of water (such as thunderblast cyclones) have this keyword.
  • Weapon: An accessory type. This keyword identifies a power that is used with a weapon, which can be an unarmed strike. Monster attacks don't use proficiency bonuses.
  • Zone: Zones are persistent area effects that can be dispelled using the dispel magic spell.

Types in 5e[edit]

Types are back to being a simple set of categories in this edition, in fact it's almost exactly just 3rd's set minus subtypes except for a few differences. These differences being that they dropped Vermin and Shapeshifter, fused Beast from 4th with Magical Beast, folded Monstrous Humanoid into Humanoid, and most bizarrely, divided Outsider into Celestial and Fiend. That last change leads to many creatures no longer easily identifiable as originating from outside the Prime Material. As a result of these changes a lot of creatures got their type shuffled around, along with some creatures who's type didn't get removed but had their type swapped anyway.

  • Aberration: They're utterly alien beings. Many of them have innate magical abilities drawn from the creature's alien mind rather than the mystical forces of the world. The quintessential aberrations are aboleths, beholders, mind flayers, and slaadi.
  • Beast: They're nonhumanoid creatures that are a natural part of the fantasy ecology. Some of them have magical powers, but most are unintelligent and lack any society or language. Beasts include all varieties of ordinary animals, dinosaurs, and giant versions of animals.
  • Celestial: They're creatures native to the Upper Planes. Many of them are the servants of deities, employed as messengers or agents in the mortal realm and throughout the planes. Celestials are good by nature, so the exceptional celestial who strays from a good alignment is a horrifying rarity. Celestials include angels, couatls, and pegasi.
  • Construct: They're made, not born. Some are programmed by their creators to follow a simple set of instructions, while others are imbued with sentience and capable of independent thought. Golems are the iconic constructs. Many creatures native to the outer plane of Mechanus, such as modrons, are constructs shaped from the raw material of the plane by the will of more powerful creatures.
  • Dragons: They're large reptilian creatures of ancient origin and tremendous power. True dragons, including the good metallic dragons and the evil chromatic dragons, are highly intelligent and have innate magic. Also in this category are creatures distantly related to true dragons, but less powerful, less intelligent, and less magical, such as wyverns and pseudodragons.
  • Elemental: They're creatures native to the elemental planes. Some creatures of this type are little more than animate masses of their respective elements, including the creatures simply called elementals. Others have biological forms infused with elemental energy. The races of genies, including djinn and efreet, form the most important civilizations on the elemental planes. Other elemental creatures include azers, invisible stalkers, and water weirds.
  • Fey: They're magical creatures closely tied to the forces of nature. They dwell in twilight groves and misty forests. In some worlds, they are closely tied to the Feywild, also called the Plane of Faerie. Some are also found in the Outer Planes, particularly the planes of Arborea and the Beastlands. Fey include dryads, pixies, and satyrs.
  • Fiend: They're creatures of wickedness that are native to the Lower Planes. A few are the servants of deities, but many more labor under the leadership of archdevils and demon princes. Evil priests and mages sometimes summon fiends to the material world to do their bidding. If an evil celestial is a rarity, a good fiend is almost inconceivable. Fiends include demons, devils, hellhounds, rakshasas, and yugoloths.
  • Giant: They tower over humans and their kind. They are humanlike in shape, though some have multiple heads (ettins) or deformities (fomorians). The six varieties of true giant are hill giants, stone giants, frost giants, fire giants, cloud giants, and storm giants. Besides these, creatures such as ogres and trolls are giants.
  • Humanoid: They're the main peoples of the D&D world, both civilized and savage, including humans and a tremendous variety of other species. They have language and culture, few if any innate magical abilities (though most humanoids can learn spellcasting), and a bipedal form. The most common humanoid races are the ones most suitable as player characters: humans, dwarves, elves, and halflings. Almost as numerous but far more savage and brutal, and almost uniformly evil, are the races of goblinoids (gol:ilins, hobgoblins, and bugbears), orcs, gnolls, lizardfolk, and kobolds. A variety of humanoids appear throughout this book, but the races detailed in the Player's Handbook- with the exception of drow-are dealt with in appendix B. That appendix gives you a number of stat blocks that you·can use to make various members of those races.
  • Monstrosity: They're monsters in the strictest sense- frightening creatures that are not ordinary, not truly natural, and almost never benign. Some are the results of magical experimentation gone awry (such as owl bears), and others, are the product-of terrible curses (including minotaurs and yuan-ti). They defy categorization, and in some sense serve as a catch-all category for creatures that don't fit into any other type.
  • Ooze: They're gelatinous creatures that rarely have a fixed shape. They are mostly subterranean, dwelling in caves and dungeons and feeding on refuse, carrion, or creatures unlucky enough to get in their way. Black puddings and gelatinous cubes are among the most recognizable oozes.
  • Plant: They're vegetable creatures, not ordinary flora. Most of them are ambulatory, and some are carnivorous. The quintessential plants are the shambling mound and the treant. Fungal creatures such as the gas spore and the myconid also fall into this category.
  • Undead: are once-living creatures brought to a horrifying state of undeath through the practice of necromantic magic or some unholy curse. Undead include walking corpses, such as vampires and zombies, as well as bodiless spirits, such as ghosts and specters.