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First appearanceMonster Manual (1977)

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, the otyugh (/ˈɒtjəɡ, -j/), or gulguthra, is a type of fictional monster. The otyugh was introduced in the first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons game's original Monster Manual sourcebook, created by Gary Gygax.

Publication history[edit]

The otyugh was created by Gary Gygax.[citation needed]

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

The otyugh appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), where it is described as a weird omnivorous scavenger whose diet consists of dung, offal, and carrion, and is always found underground. The neo-otyugh, a larger, more intelligent species of otyugh, also appeared in the Monster Manual.[1] The Monster Manual was reviewed by Don Turnbull in the British magazine White Dwarf #8 (August/September 1978). As part of his review, Turnbull comments on several new monsters introduced in the book, referring to the otyugh as a "most interesting creation".[2]

The otyugh was detailed in Dragon #96 (April 1985), in Ed Greenwood's the "Ecology of the Gulguthra".[3]

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

The otyugh and neo-otyugh appear first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[4] and are reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[5]

The greater otyugh for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting appeared in The Ruins of Undermountain boxed set (1991).[6]

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

The otyugh appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[7]

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

The otyugh appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).

The lifeleech otyugh appeared in Monster Manual III (2004).[8]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2013)[edit]

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

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

The otyugh appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2014).[10]



Otyughs are usually found underground, in places like sewers.

Typical physical characteristics[edit]

An otyugh is an aberration with a large (eight feet in diameter), bloated body covered with a rock-like skin that is brownish gray in color, which is in turn covered with dung. An adult otyugh usually weighs around 500 pounds. Its three thick legs give an otyugh slow ground movement, but enable it to pivot quickly. With three eyes on a leaf-like stalk that moves quickly from side to side, it can quickly scan a large area. An otyugh's primary means of attack is by two long tentacles which are laden with bony thorn-like ridges.


Otyughs are usually neutral, though lifeleech otyughs are evil.


Otyughs are rarely found in groups of more than four individuals, and are often solitary.

They make deals with other dungeon denizens, agreeing not to attack them in exchange for their dung and body wastes, which they then devour. To keep the supply of waste coming (and to get fresh meat) they will agree to help defend their home against intruders, which includes many adventurers. Otyughs may be persuaded not to attack creatures in exchange for promises of friendship and food. Neo-otyughs are less trusting (and more vicious), and usually attack intruders on sight. An otyugh's dungeon allies will sometimes ask it to guard treasure for them.

Otyughs mate each year for one month, with one offspring produced. It takes the newborn four months to mature.


Even more fearsome than the otyugh is the neo-otyugh, a larger, more ferocious species of otyugh, which has some psionic powers as well as a bite which can lead to super-tetanus.

One other species of otyugh (appearing in the Monster Manual III) is the Lifeleech Otyugh, which possesses additional tentacles and a supernatural ability allowing it to benefit from healing spells cast in the vicinity as if it were an additional target.

Monsters of Faerûn presents a new species of otyugh. Called the gulguthydra, it is a fearsome hybrid between a hydra and an otyugh. Its body is much like that of a hydra, and it has six long necks ending with draconian heads. But its skin is similar to that of an otyugh, and it has the otyugh's two long tentacles. Like the otyugh, the gulguthydra is a scavenger, and will eat any decaying organic matter, including feces.

Other publishers[edit]

The otyugh is fully detailed in Paizo Publishing's book Dungeon Denizens Revisited (2009), on pages 28–33.[11]

Other media[edit]


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. ^ Turnbull, Don (August–September 1978). "Open Box". White Dwarf (8): 16–17.
  3. ^ Greenwood, Ed. "The Ecology of the Gulgrutha." Dragon #96 (TSR, 1985)
  4. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  5. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  6. ^ Greenwood, Ed. The Ruins of Undermountain (TSR, 1991)
  7. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  8. ^ Burlew, Rich, et al. Monster Manual III (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  9. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  10. ^ Mearls, Mike, Jeremy Crawford, and Christopher Perkins. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)
  11. ^ Clinton Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Nicolas Logue, Robert McCreary, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Sean K Reynolds, James L. Sutter, and Greg A. Vaughan. Dungeon Denizens Revisited (Paizo, 2009)
  12. ^ "Final Fantasy 1 Version Differences FAQ v3.01". Retrieved 2007-02-19.
  13. ^ "Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn". Game Spot. Retrieved 2007-02-19.