Lurker (Dungeons & Dragons)
||This Dungeons & Dragons-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (February 2010)|
|Source books||Tome of Horrors 1, Strategic Review#3, 1E Monster Manual, Monstrous Compendium Volume 2, 1E Monster Manual 1, Monstrous Manual, Underdark|
In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the lurker is an aberration. It is similar to the darkmantle and the piercer, but attacks with suffocation instead of impaling. The Lurker resembles a flat, grey stingray with two small eyes at the front. They are capable of both creeping along a ceiling and slowly gliding through the air. The darkmantle is said to be the result of crossbreeding a lurker with a piercer. Lurkers live underground.
The lurker above appeared in second edition in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989), and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). The shadow lurker appeared for the Forgotten Realms setting in Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels (1994), and reprinted in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Two (1995).
Characteristics and habits
Lurkers attack simarily to the darkmantle and the piercer. They flap/crawl to the roof of a cavern, and attach themselves to the ceiling. They wait until prey comes beneath them and then drop below. Because they are flat and not pointed, they do not impale the prey. Instead, they wrap around the head of the victim and suffocate them. They do not let go until either they or the prey is dead. They can only be fought off by others, or with small weapons the prey was already holding. Lurkers are solitary creatures, unlike the piercer which lives in colonies which can be huge. Females lay glutinous sacks of eggs on the ground, and newborns feed upon vermin which can be found on cave floors, until they are old enough to fly and can attack in the above described method. Lurkers were first described in the AD&D Monster Manual (First Edition) by Gary Gygax. The original name of the monster in that publication read "Lurker Above". The "Above" was subsequently dropped and they became simply lurkers in later editions of AD&D.
Lurkers and their variations cannot speak, and they are neutral in alignment.
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
- Cordell, Bruce R, Gwendolyn FM Kestrel, and Jeff Quick. Underdark (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
- McComb, Colin, Rob McCreary, and James L. Sutter. Misfit Monsters Redeemed (Paizo, 2010)