Salamander (Dungeons & Dragons)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Alignment Any Evil
Type Outsider
Image image
Publication history
Mythological origins Salamander

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the salamander is an outsider from the Elemental Plane of fire. It resembles a mix of a snake and a human made out of fire, magma, and smoke. From the waist up, it resembles an orange and black human, generally male (though females also exist) with fiery hair and beard. Some depictions also show it with fiery antlers. From the waist down it is snake-like, resembling a glowing, orange and black serpent of magma. All over the body are short, spine-like appendages which burn and steam.

Publication history[edit]

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

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)[edit]

The salamander was introduced to the game in its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[1] It is described as a free-willed, highly intelligent fire elemental.

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

The salamander appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[2] where it is described as an evil creature of the elemental plane of fire that prefers temperatures of 300 degrees and upwards.

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the salamander, known as the flame salamander, in the Expert Set (1981 & 1983),[3][4] and the Companion Rules (1984),[5] and was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).[6]

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

The salamander appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[7] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993) under the "Elemental, Fire kin" heading, along with the fire snake.[8]

The Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III (1998) introduced the lesser salamander noble and the salamander noble.[9]

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

The salamander appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000), which presents the flamebrother salamander, the average salamander, and the noble salamander.[10]

Savage Species (2003) presented the flamebrother as both a race and a playable class.[11]

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

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

The salamander was detailed in Dragon #314 (December 2003), in the "Ecology of the Salamander", which also introduces the salamander larva.[12]

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

The salamander appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), including the salamander archer the salamander firetail the salamander lancer, and the salamander noble.[13]

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

The salamander (but not the salamander noble) appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2014), as well as the fire snake, the infant form of a salamander.[14]

Characteristics and habits[edit]

No one knows the true intentions of the evil, mysterious creatures known as Salamanders. They live in the Elemental Plane, but come into the Material Plane by manifesting in forest fires, lava flows, fire pits, and other areas of extreme heat (their preferred environments are areas of 300 degrees minimum, and they can only survive in cooler environments for a few hours). Scholars and sages all believe that the salamanders have a sinister purpose for coming to the Material Plane, but only the Salamanders know it, and they are not telling. They are suspected to have dealings with the efreeti. Mages and priests who worship them are capable of summoning them for a short while.

Salamanders attack with their body heat, and steel spears which they always carry. The spear, while deadly enough on its own, manifests the heat of the salamander itself. The mere touch of a salamander causes fire damage, and they can cause clothing to catch fire and armor to burn. They can also whip opponents with their tails and cast various fire spells.

Salamanders speak Ignan, and some speak Common.

They are usually any level of evil in alignment.

In 5th edition, salamanders are described as having been enslaved by the efreeti after the latter failed to enslave the azers, causing deep enmity between salamanders and azers.

Related creatures[edit]

Frost salamanders are magical beasts that live in any area that is frozen almost all the time. They have six legs and are colored ice-blue, with a reptilian head and tail. Each leg is tipped with claws that allow the creature to walk effortlessly on ice-covered surfaces - no matter whether they are horizontal or vertical.

In other media[edit]

Computer games[edit]

Salamanders appear as enemies in the computer game Icewind Dale, a group of them operating a forge in service to the villain in Lower Dorn's Deep.


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
  4. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
  5. ^ Mentzer, Frank. Dungeons & Dragons Set 3: Companion Rules (TSR, 1984)
  6. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  7. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  8. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994)
  9. ^ Cook, Monte. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix III (TSR, 1998)
  10. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  11. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  12. ^ Campbell, Christopher. "Searing Flames: The Ecology of the Salamander." Dragon #314 (Paizo, 2004)
  13. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  14. ^ Christopher Perkins. p.265-266, Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)