Dark one (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Dark creeper
Dark creeper.JPG
Dark stalker
Dark stalker.png

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the dark ones are a race of humanoids that dwell underground.

Publication history[edit]

The dark creeper and dark stalker, later known as the "dark ones", were introduced to the D&D game in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

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

The dark creeper and dark stalker appear in the first edition Fiend Folio (1981).[1]

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

The dark creeper and dark stalker appear in the Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (1992).[2]

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

The dark creeper and dark stalker appear in the Fiend Folio (2003) for this edition, and are here officially called the dark ones for the first time.[3]

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

The dark ones were detailed in Dragon #322 (August 2004), in the "Ecology of the Dark Ones", which also presented the dark creeper and dark stalker as player character races.

The dark creeper in this edition is presented as a small hoofed creature that lived in the same culture as dark stalkers. Neither creature is stipulated to be greater than the other in hierarchy but the dark stalkers tend to lead groups of dark creepers.

The dark stalker is presented as a shadow acclimated version of normal humans in much the same way as drow and elves. Lifespan and rate of maturity is similar to that of humans as well as most discernible physical features besides an aversion to light (and other quasi magical abilities). As a race they are bandits that rob for food and weapons. Although they can craft their own items and provisions their natural aversion to fire makes the creation of metal tools and cooked food nearly impossible.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)[edit]

The dark creeper and dark stalker are pushed into a similar category with the dark stalker becoming a small humanoid. They appear as the dark ones in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008) and are said to be native to the shadowfell.[4] The dark creeper also appears in the module, Keep on the Shadowfell (2008).

Pathfinder RPG[edit]

The dark creeper and dark stalker appear as "dark folk" in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary (2009).[5]


The dark creeper is a small humanoid (about 4' in height) that is described as preferring to dwell underground due to its hatred of light. Dark creepers operate like thieves, extinguishing light sources and stealing small magical items. When killed, the Fiend Folio states that they spontaneously burst into flame.

The dark stalker is similar, only taller and more powerful.

D&D Miniatures[edit]

The dark ones appeared in the D&D Miniatures: Underdark set (2005).

Other publishers[edit]

The dark creeper and dark stalker appeared in the Tome of Horrors (2002) from Necromancer Games.[6]


  1. ^ Turnbull, Don, ed. (1981). Fiend Folio. TSR. 
  2. ^ Tim Beach et al. (1992). Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix. TSR. 
  3. ^ Cagle, Eric; Decker, Jesse; Jacobs, James; Mona, Erik; Sernett, Matt; Thomasson, Chris; Wyatt, James (2003). Fiend Folio. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0-7869-2780-1. 
  4. ^ Mearls, Mike; Schubert, Stephen; Wyatt, James (2008). Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast. 
  5. ^ Jason Bulmahn et al. (2009). Jacobs, James, ed. Pathfinder RPG Bestiary. Paizo. 
  6. ^ Green, Scott; Peterson, Clark (2002). Tome of Horrors. Necromancer Games. pp. 59–61. ISBN 1-58846-112-2. 

Additional reading[edit]

  • Midnight's Terror (Kingdoms of Kalamar) (2001)
  • Tome of Horrors (2002)
  • Tome of Horrors Revised (2005)