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First appearanceMonster Cards
TypeMonstrous humanoid
AlignmentChaotic (any)

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the thri-kreen, or "mantis warriors", are an insect-like monstrous humanoid race. Thri-kreen are one of the primary player character races of the Dark Sun campaign setting, and have also appeared in the Spelljammer and Forgotten Realms campaign settings, as well as the Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 Monster Manual II, the 4.0 Monster Manual 3 and the Monster Manual for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition.

Publication history[edit]

The thri-kreen race was first introduced to AD&D in 1982 by Paul Reiche III for the second set of Monster Cards.[1] They later appeared in first edition AD&D Monster Manual II (1983).[2]

The thri-kreen appeared in second edition AD&D for the Forgotten Realms setting in the Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (1989),[3] and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[4] The Athasian thri-kreen appeared for the Dark Sun setting in Dragon #173 (September 1991), and Dark Sun Monstrous Compendium Appendix II: Terrors Beyond Tyr (1995). The thri-kreen was presented as a player character race in Dark Sun Boxed Set (1991), Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995),[5] and for the Dark Sun setting in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Expanded and Revised (1995).[6]

The thri-kreen appeared in the third edition Monster Manual II (2002).[7] The thri-kreen appeared as a player character race in Savage Species (2003),[8] and the Expanded Psionics Handbook (2004)[9] The Athasian thri-kreen appeared as a player character race for the Dark Sun setting in Dragon #319 (May 2004). The thri-kreen appeared as a player character race for the Forgotten Realms setting in Shining South (2004).[10] The thri-kreen appeared as a playable character class in Complete Psionic (2006).[11]

During the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the thri-kreen were one of the monsters appearing in the Monster Manual 3 (2010).[12][13] They were also presented as a player race in the Dark Sun Campaign Setting (2010) and had an article dedicated to them in issue #411 of Dragon, entitled Winning Races: Thri-Kreen.

The fifth edition Monster Manual (2014) again featured the thri-kreen, for the first time in their history as a monster in a core manual.


The thri-kreen are depicted as resembling humanoid mantids with golden-brown coloration. They possess six limbs, and usually use one pair for locomotion and the other two pairs as arms. They have excellent physical capabilities, allowing them to jump great distances. They also have sharp claws, venomous bites, and psionic abilities.

An average thri-kreen has the life expectancy of only 30 years. However, this is countered by the fact that thri-kreen do not require sleep. A thri-kreen truly lives out every moment of its precious 30 years.[14]


Thri-kreen dwell in temperate deserts and plains.


Thri-kreen are formidable nomadic hunters who respect the land and hate creatures that despoil it. They will attack anyone who disturbs their home.

Thri-kreen have two signature weapons: the gythka, a polearm with a blade at each end; and the chatkcha, a dasl crystal throwing wedge which returns when thrown. Dasl is made from thri-kreen venom, modified by the zik-thok (fejik) plant. Creation of dasl is a racial secret and is only suitable for making three-sided weapons such as the chatkcha and gythka.

Thri-kreen sometimes use other species' weapons, but this is rare.

Variant forms of thri-kreen include the civilized tohr-kreen (of which there are six subspecies), the mentally and physically altered zik-trin, the alien zik-chil (which physically modify themselves and other species), and the spacefaring xixchil of the Spelljammer campaign setting.

The thri-kreen society is very organized, and they have a strong hive mentality when in groups. Not much more is known since they have a difficult time associating with the humanoid races.[14]


Thri-kreen are usually any chaotic alignment.

Campaign settings[edit]

Dark Sun[edit]

Thri-kreen are savage insect men, also known as mantis warriors, with venomous saliva and armorlike exoskeletons.[15]


  1. ^ "New AD&D aid: Monster Cards". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR (#61): 51. May 1982.
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  3. ^ Conners, William, et al. Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (TSR, 1989)
  4. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  5. ^ Niles, Douglas and Dale Donovan. Player's Option: Skills & Powers (TSR, 1995)
  6. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dark Sun Campaign Setting, Expanded and Revised (TSR, 1995)
  7. ^ Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
  8. ^ Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  9. ^ Cordell, Bruce R. Expanded Psionics Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2004) ISBN 0-7869-3301-1
  10. ^ Reid, Thomas M. Shining South (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  11. ^ Cordell, Bruce R. and Christopher Lindsay. Complete Psionic (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  12. ^
  13. ^ Mearls, Mike, Greg Bilsland, and Robert J. Schwalb. Monster Manual 3. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2010
  14. ^ a b Beach, Tim, and Dori Hein. Thri-kreen of Athas (TSR, 1995) ISBN 0-7869-0125-X.
  15. ^ Swan, Rick (September 1992). "Role-playing Reviews". Dragon. Lake Geneva, Wisconsin: TSR (#185): 65–66.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nina Hess "A Practical Guide to Monsters" A Practical Guide to Monsters ©2007 Wizards
  • Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Xixchil." Dragon #266 (TSR, 1999).