Ettin (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Alignment Chaotic evil
Type Giant
Image image
Stats Open Game License stats

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the Ettin is a giant-like creature. The creatures' name derives from Old English eoten 'giant', a word cognate with the Jötunn giants of Norse mythology.


An ettin has two heads, each of which is capable of independent thought, and each controls one arm for attacking. The left head directs the left arm and right head directs the right arm during combat. The two heads disagree constantly, but will work together when there is a common threat.

The first edition of the Monster Manual states that the left arm of an ettin inflicts 2 hp of damage less than the right and one of the ettin's heads is always on alert, thereby reducing its chance of surprise.

An ettin is usually chaotic evil in alignment.

Publication history[edit]

The ettin was introduced to the D&D game in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977-1988)[edit]

The ettin appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[1] where it is described as a giant-like creature with two heads.

The ettin was detailed in Dragon #92 (December 1984), in Ed Greenwood's "Duh 'Cology of Duh Ettin".[2]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the ettin, in the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999).[3]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989-1999)[edit]

The ettin appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[4] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)[edit]

The ettin appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[6]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)[edit]

The ettin appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).

The fire-souled ettin appeared in Dragon #314 (December 2003).

The hooded pupil ettin appeared in Libris Mortis (2004).

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)[edit]

The ettin appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), including the ettin marauder and the ettin spirit-talker.[7]


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "Duh 'Cology of Duh Ettin" Dragon #92 (TSR, 1984)
  3. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (TSR, 1999)
  4. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  5. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  6. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  7. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)