Roper (Dungeons & Dragons)

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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the roper is a magical beast, resembling a conical structure similar in appearance to rock, wrapped in rope-like tentacles which conceal a mouth. The roper stays very still to resemble a harmless stalagmite, and when prey comes near it lashes out with its tentacled ropes to constrict the prey or pull them back to its mouth.

Publication history[edit]

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

Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)[edit]

The roper first appeared in the official newsletter of TSR Games, The Strategic Review #2, May 1975.

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

The roper appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),.[1]

The storoper, a relative of the roper, first appeared in the module Aerie of the Slave Lords (1981) and later in the Monster Manual II (1983).

The roper was further detailed in Dragon #61 (May 1982).

The flame roper appeared in the adventure anthology Tales of the Outer Planes (1988).

Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the roper, which first appeared in the module Quest for the Heartstone (1984), and then in Creature Catalogue (1986).[2] The roper appeared in the modules City of the Gods (1987) and Duchy of Ten (1987) for the Blackmoor campaign setting. The roper subsequently appeared in the Creature Catalog (1993).[3]

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

The roper appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[4] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993)[5] along with the storoper.

The roper is further detailed in Dragon #232 (August 1996), in "The Ecology of the Roper."[6]

The book The Illithiad (1998)[7] introduced the illithid-roper crossbreed, the urophion.

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

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

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

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

The prismatic roper appeared in Monster Manual III (2004).[9]

The urophion appeared again in the book Lords of Madness (2005).[10]

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

The roper appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).[11]

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

The roper appears in the Monster Manual for this edition. In addition, the Piercer has been retconned into a juvenile form of a Roper.


The roper resembles a conical structure of a stony organism, somewhat similar in appearance to a pile of rock, wrapped in coils of grey, rope-like tentacles. Concealed among the ropes are a single eye and a mouth. The roper attacks by keeping its mouth shut, its tentacles wrapped around it, and staying very still, as to resemble a harmless stalagmite, and waits until prey comes near. When it does, it lashes out with its ropes, and either constricts the prey or pulls them back to the mouth.

The ropers described here are ones which dwell in caves and other such underground environments. Some varieties also dwell above ground, while another, known as the coral roper, dwells in the ocean. Another variation, the storoper, appeared in the original publication of Monster Manual II. The creature represented a statue of a roper, smaller in size than the original creature.

They are regarded as neutral in alignment.[citation needed]

Other publishers[edit]

The roper is fully detailed in Paizo Publishing's book Dungeon Denizens Revisited (2009), on pages 46–51.[12]


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. ^ Morris, Graeme, Phil Gallagher and Jim Bambra. Creature Catalogue (TSR, 1986)
  3. ^ Nephew, John. Creature Catalog (TSR, 1993)
  4. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  5. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  6. ^ *Richards, Jonathan M. "The Ecology of the Roper" Dragon #232 (TSR, 1996).
  7. ^ Cordell, Bruce R. The Illithiad (TSR, 1998)
  8. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  9. ^ Burlew, Rich, Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, Andrew J. Finch, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Rich Redman, Matthew Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and P. Nathan Toomey. Monster Manual III (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  10. ^ Baker, Rich, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter. (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
  11. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  12. ^ 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)