Ki-rin (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Alignment Good
Publication history
First appearance Eldritch Wizardry (1976)

In the Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) role-playing game, the ki-rin are magical beasts. They are based on the mythological Qilin (or kirin in Korean and Japanese).

Publication history[edit]

The ki-rin first appeared in the original Dungeons & Dragons game supplement Eldritch Wizardry (1976).[1]

The ki-rin appeared in the first edition in the original Monster Manual (1977).[2]

The ki-rin appeared in the second edition in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[3] and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[4] The psionic variant of the ki-rin appeared in The Complete Psionics Handbook (1991).[5]

The ki-rin appeared in the third edition Oriental Adventures (2001).[6]


Ki-rin are always lawful good.

Ki-rin worship Koriel.

Ki-rin resemble unicorns somewhat. They are powerful spellcasters, and roam the skies looking for good deeds to reward, and malefactors to punish.

Ki-rin are a race of aerial creatures whose hooves rarely touch the earth, for they dwell amid the clouds and behind the winds. Females are never encountered and Ki-rin are always solitary. They sometimes aid humans if the need to combat evil is great. The coat of the ki-rin is luminous gold, much as a sunrise on a clear day.


An obituary to Gary Gygax specifically highlights the Ki-rin as an example of the way in which D&D embraces world culture and folklore.[7]


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary; Blume, Brian (1976), Eldritch Wizardry (1 ed.), Lake Geneva, WI: TSR 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  4. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  5. ^ Winter, Steve. The Complete Psionics Handbook (TSR, 1991)
  6. ^ Wyatt, James. Oriental Adventures (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  7. ^ Jonathan Rubin, "Farewell to the Dungeon Master: How D&D creator Gary Gygax changed geekdom forever," Slate (March 6, 2008).