Kraken (Dungeons & Dragons)
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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the kraken is a large, ocean-dwelling magical beast. It is akin to a squid the size of a house. It is almost 80 feet long and 60 feet tall and wide. Its body is similar to that of a squid, with a ring of tentacles surrounding a mouth connected to a conical central body. Two of its 10 tentacles are longer than the rest, and bear deadly barbs. The kraken has very large eyes, and fins protrude from the upper part of its elongated central body.
The kraken appeared in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual II (1983).
The kraken appeared in the second edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989), under the "squid, giant" entry, and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). The Zakharan kraken of the Al-Qadim setting appeared in Dragon #198 (October 1993).
Characteristics and habits
Krakens are highly destructive and evil creatures. With their strong tentacles and massive strength, they can pull an entire ship down into the ocean. They have often completely wiped tropical islands of all life, and deep beneath the ocean, they have cavernous lairs where they breed human slaves to feed and tend them. Krakens were supposedly once the rulers of the sea, but eventually the forces of good drove them back, though legends say they will one day rise again. Krakens attack predominantly with their tentacles. They can both constrict opponents, and bring them into the reaches of the creature's huge jaws. In addition, Krakens can also release an enormous cloud of jet-black ink, and can even cast spells. It also regenerates severed limbs.
Krakens cannot speak the languages of surface dwelling races, but might speak Aquan, or a language of their own similar to that of whales.
They are neutral evil in alignment.
- Morris, Graeme, Phil Gallagher and Jim Bambra. Creature Catalogue (TSR, 1986)
- Nephew, John. Creature Catalog (TSR, 1993)
- Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast, 2000
- Pett, Richard. "The Ecology of the Kraken" Dragon #334 (Paizo, 2005)
- Mearls, Mike, Greg Bilsland, and Robert J. Schwalb. Monster Manual 3. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010
- Benner, Jesse, Jonathan H. Keith, Michael Kenway, Jason Nelson, Anthony Pryor, and Greg A. Vaughan. Mythical Monsters Revisited (Paizo, 2012)
- Cagle, Eric. "The Minions of Darkness" Dragon #300 (Paizo, 2002).