Retriever (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Alignment Chaotic Evil
Image image
Publication history
Source books 3.5E Monster Manual 1, 3E Monster Manual 1, Planescape Appendix 2, Urban Arcana, 2E Fiend Folio (MC14), 1E Fiend Folio

The retriever is a type of fictional monster, in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Publication history[edit]

The retriever first appeared in first edition in the original Fiend Folio (1981).[1]

The retriever appeared in second edition in the Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (1992).[2] The retriever appeared for the Planescape setting in Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (1995).[3]

The retriever appeared in the third edition under the "demon" entry in the Monster Manual (2000),[4] and in the 3.5 revised Monster Manual (2003).

The retriever appears in the game's fourth edition in Monster Manual 2 (2009).

The retriever appears in the game's fifth edition in Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes (2018).


The retriever is a construct in the 3rd edition, although some prior sources denote it as a demon. It resembles an enormous metallic spider, with a body the size of an ox and eight 14-foot-long (4.3 m) legs. Its back and head are interlaced with dozens of glossy metal plates arranged in a jagged fashion. It is black in color, and has six eyes and a pair of mandibles.

Characteristics and habits[edit]

Retrievers are constructed (typically by evil mages, warlords or demons) to find, capture or recapture lost or desired objects, runaway slaves, wanted criminals, or such. When ordered to find such a thing, it does so unerringly, both doing it without question and somehow knowing exactly where the to-be-retrieved thing is and how to retrieve it. In order for this to work, however, the master has to have either seen or touched the item/being to be retrieved.


If, by any chance and for whatever reason, the retriever has to challenge what it has to retrieve, it is capable of doing so. From its eyes, it is capable of firing four different eye weapons; fire, frost, electricity and petrification. It can also attack with its four front-most claws. The retriever usually weakens its foes first using its fire/frost/electricity eye weapons and its claws, before switching to petrification to immobilize the prey. It then picks them up and places them in the mouth, and takes them back to their master. Added to this fearsome offense is a strong defense. Retrievers are highly resistant to magic, most forms of energy attacks, and have a high number of hit points.


Retrievers are apparently unable to speak. They were originally chaotic evil in alignment. In 4th edition, the retriever is an unaligned creature.


  1. ^ Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio (TSR, 1981)
  2. ^ Williams, Skip, et al. Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (TSR, 1992)
  3. ^ Baker, Rich, Tim Beach, Wolfgang Baur, Michele Carter, and Colin McComb. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II (TSR, 1995)
  4. ^ Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast, 2000