Shadow (Dungeons & Dragons)

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First appearanceGreyhawk (1975)
AlignmentChaotic evil

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the shadow is an undead creature.

Publication history[edit]

The shadow was introduced to the game in its first supplement, Greyhawk (1975).[1]

The shadow appears in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual (1977).[2] 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 monsters appearing in the book, noting his disappointment that the shadow is of the undead class and thus subject to a cleric's turn undead ability. Turnbull commented, "I used to enjoy seeing clerics vainly trying to turn what wouldn't turn, when Shadows were first met".[3]

The shadow appeared in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983) and the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991).[4]

The shadow appeared in second edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[5] and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[6]

The shadow appeared in the third edition Monster Manual (2000),[7] and in the 3.5 revised Monster Manual (2003). The shadow appeared as a template in the Manual of the Planes (2001).[8] The shadow appeared as a player character race in Savage Species (2003).[9]

The shadow appeared in the fourth edition in Monster Manual 3 (2010).[10]

The shadow also appears in the fifth edition Monster Manual (2014).[11]


A shadow is an incorporeal creature of sentient darkness. Its touch saps the strength of living creatures and, if the living creatures are afflicted for long enough, they can turn into a shadow themselves.

A shadow is always chaotic evil. They can be found anywhere, and appear as patches of mobile gloom with a more or less humanoid shape.


Rob Bricken of io9 identified the shadow as one of "The 12 Most Obnoxious Dungeons & Dragons Monsters".[12]

Other publishers[edit]

The shadow is fully detailed in Paizo Publishing's book Undead Revisited (2011), on pages 46–51.[13]


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary and Robert J. Kuntz. Supplement I: Greyhawk (TSR, 1975)
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. ^ Turnbull, Don (August–September 1978). "Open Box". White Dwarf (8): 16–17.
  4. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  5. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  6. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  7. ^ Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual. Wizards of the Coast, 2000
  8. ^ Grubb, Jeff, David Noonan, and Bruce Cordell. Manual of the Planes (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  9. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  10. ^ Mearls, Mike, Greg Bilsland, and Robert J. Schwalb. Monster Manual 3. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010
  11. ^ Christopher, Perkins (2014). Monster Manual (5th ed.). Wizards of the Coast. p. 269. ISBN 978-0-7869-6561-8.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Cagle, Eric, Brian Cortijo, Brandon Hodge, Steve Kenson, Hal Maclean, Colin McComb, Jason Nelson, Todd Stewart, and Russ Taylor. Undead Revisited (Paizo, 2011)