Homunculus (Dungeons & Dragons)

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For other uses, see homunculus (disambiguation).
Type Construct
Image Wizards.com image
Stats Open Game License stats
Publication history
Mythological origins Homunculus

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the homunculus is a construct.

Publication history[edit]

The homunculus was one of the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)[edit]

The homonculous was introduced to the game in its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[1]

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

The homonculus appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[2] where it is described as a creature created and animated through a special magical alchemical process to serve a magic-user.

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the homunculus. The fylgar homunculus, the gretch homunculus, and the ulzaq homunculus appeared in Creature Catalogue (1986),[3] and the Creature Catalog (1993).[4]

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

The homonculous appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[5] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993),[6] along with the mottled homunculus.

Several homunculus-like familiars for the Mystara campaign setting appeared in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994), including the aryth familiar, the bogan familiar, the fylgar familiar, the gretch familiar, and the ulzaq familiar.[7]

The breather elemental homunculous and the skin elemental homunculous for the Planescape campaign setting appeared in the Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix Three (1998).

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

The homunculus appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[8]

The homunculus familiar appears in the supplement Tome and Blood (2001).

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

The homunculus appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003). The homunculus familiar appears in the revised Dungeon Master's Guide.

The Eberron campaign setting featured the dedicated wright homonculus, the expeditious messenger homonculus, the furtive filcher homonculus, and the iron defender homonculus in the Eberron Campaign Setting (2004). The book Magic of Eberron (2004) includes three new homonculi: the arbalester homonculus, the packmate homonculus, and the persistent harrier homonculus.

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

The homunculus appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).[9]

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014-)[edit]

The homunculus appears in the Monster Manual for the 5th edition (2014).[10]


Homonculi are tiny creatures created by mages to act as servants in various tasks. They resemble small (10 inches long) yet bulbous humanoid beings, with gritty grey, clay-like bodies, and limp bat wings. Their creator determines their precise features.


Homunculi are constructed from clay, ashes, mandrake root, spring water, and one pint of the creator's own blood. The mage can either construct them himself, or have someone do it for them. The resulting minion is used to do such things as spying, messaging, scouting, guarding the mage's study, providing company, and such. Though they can only do most of these tasks to a mediocre level, and the creature itself has little instinct and personality, there seems to be a bond between them and whoever gave the blood to create them. The creature prefers not to go more than a few miles from the blood donor, knows anything that they know, both see and hear anything which the other does, and so on. If a homunculus is slain, the blood donor will take damage. If the master is slain, the homunculus dies. Homunculi do whatever their master says without questioning and always try to return for more orders.


Homunculi cannot speak, but share a psionic bond with their master. They are of whatever alignment their master/creator/blood donor is of.