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The su-monster first appeared in the Eldritch Wizardry supplement (1976). It was based on the sú (or succarath), a South American cryptid included in André Thévet's 1557 work Singularitiés de la France Antarctique that was likely a garbled description of an opossum. The sú later appeared in the 1969 book A Fantastic Bestiary (later reprinted by Dover Books as Big Book of Dragons, Monsters, and Other Mythical Creatures) by Ernst and Johanna Lehner. Based on textual evidence, A Fantastic Bestiary was used as a source by Gary Gygax for the su-monster, couatl, and other Dungeons & Dragons monsters.
The su-monster appeared in second edition in The Complete Psionics Handbook (1991), and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). The su-monster was further detailed in Dragon #167 (March 1991).
The su-monster appeared in the fourth edition in Monster Manual 3 (2010).
Su-monsters resemble large monkeys with grey bodies, black faces and tails, and red paws/feet. Their limbs are tipped with sharp-claws, and their faces usually bear a fiendish, toothy grin. Su-monsters were supposedly created from a hybrid of primates and humans by a mad mage to protect his personal forests from psionic intruders, but the foul creatures have since killed and broken free of their former master, and now pursue their own lives.
Characteristics and habits
Su-monsters are highly evil and territorial beasts which exist primarily to cause pain, death and suffering to others. They lurk in small to medium sized family groups in such areas as a well-traveled forest trail, and kill those who dare cross "their" territory (usually merchants and other travelers). They attack by waiting in the trees, and then surprising victims who come below by vaulting down with their tails and latching onto heads. They then slash with all four clawed limbs. They can also attack with their teeth. Su-monsters, though hateful and vicious to others, are highly protective of their own kind, and if one of a tribe is being attacking by a defending victim, they will move as though under a haste spell in order to assist it. They particularly despise psionic beings, and will go out of their way in order to slay them. Su-monsters like to keep the valuables of those they kill in troves high up in their leafy lairs. The creatures are also sometimes employed by other evil mages (like their original creator) to act as guards.
Despite being relatively intelligent, su-monsters cannot speak.
They are chaotic evil in alignment.
- Gygax, Gary; Blume, Brian (1976), Eldritch Wizardry (1 ed.), Lake Geneva, WI: TSR
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Winter, Steve. The Complete Psionics Handbook (TSR, 1991)
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
- Schutt, Matthew. "The Ecology of the Su-Monster." Dragon #167 (TSR, 1991)
- Reynolds, Sean (1999). The Scarlet Brotherhood. TSR, Inc. p. 92. ISBN 0-7869-1374-6.
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