Troglodyte (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Alignment Usually Chaotic Evil
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The troglodyte is a fictional race of primitive reptilian humanoids in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Publication history[edit]

The troglodyte was introduced to the D&D game in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons.

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

The troglodyte appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[1] where it is described as a reptilian humanoid that dwells in subterranean places, loathes humans and slaughters all it encounters.

Troglodytes play an important role in the module Against the Cult of the Reptile God (1982).[2]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the troglodyte, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977, 1981, 1983).[3][4][5] The troglodyte was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991),[6] the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991),[7] the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994), and the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game set (1999).[8]

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

The troglodyte appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[9] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[10]

The troglodyte was detailed in Dragon #235 (November 1996), in the "Ecology of the Troglodyte".[11]

The troglodyte was one of the humanoid races presented as player character races in Dragon #265 (November 1999).[12]

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

The troglodyte appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[13]

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

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

The troglodyte was presented as a player character race for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in Serpent Kingdoms (2004).

Dungeon #122 (May 2005) introduced a number of troglodyte variants, including the antennae troglodyte, the clawed troglodyte, the climbing troglodyte, the flailing troglodyte, the horned troglodyte, the jumping troglodyte, the tentacled troglodyte, and the vicious troglodyte.

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

The troglodyte appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).[14] The troglodyte also appeared in the Monster Manual 2 (2009) and the Monster Vault (2010).

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

The troglodyte appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2014).[15]


Troglodytes are described as being shorter than a human, with spindly but muscular arms and squat legs. It also has some lizardman-like traits with a reptilian head and forearms, a spinal crest, and a long, slender tail.

A troglodyte is usually chaotic evil in alignment; they are considered mostly hostile towards humans and other races.

Troglodytes primarily worship their patron, a disgusting toad-lizard called Laogzed. Some worship Ogrémoch, prince of evil earth creatures. In ancient times, many worshiped Demogorgon.

Troglodytes carry a repulsive odor which causes harm to those around them.

The spoken troglodyte language is apparently derived from a simplified version of the lizardfolk tongue, but this is accompanied by a vast, full vocabulary consisting of smells generated by troglodyte scent glands. This olfactory language was apparently their original means of communication, and they adopted words from the lizardfolk dialect of Draconic purely to make themselves comprehensible to outsiders. Their olfactory language takes precedence over all others.

Troglodytes are fairly intelligent. They are not as intelligent as most humans, but their fear towards their deities allows them to be easily fooled. Showing god-like power, saving them from harm, or offering them shiny objects has a chance of taming them. Troglodytes do not enjoy captivity and can generally be influenced to become a companion by releasing them.

Campaign settings[edit]


Thousands of years in the past, the ancestors of the troglodytes dominated much of the Oerth before they were struck mad by the demon gods they worshiped. Some few secluded groups managed to hold on to some vestige of their civilization. Near modern Irongate, a group dominated the local Flan tribes until the rise of the Flan kingdom of Ahlissa, when the Hradikar warriors of that land threatened the reptiles' rule. Rather than confronting the humans directly, the troglodytes put themselves into a magical sleep.

Descent into the Depths of the Earth[edit]

A band of troglodytes serving a lich are featured in the 1978 module Descent into the Depths of the Earth, as well as in the 2000 novelization, written by Paul Kidd.[16]

D&D Miniatures[edit]

The troglodyte is featured in the D&D Miniatures: Dragoneye set #60 (2004).


  1. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. ^ Niles, Douglas. Against the Cult of the Reptile God (TSR, 1982)
  3. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
  4. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Tom Moldvay. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1981)
  5. ^ Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules (TSR, 1983)
  6. ^ Various. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia. TSR, 1991
  7. ^ Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  8. ^ Slavicsek, Bill. Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game (TSR, 1999)
  9. ^ Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  10. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  11. ^ Jones, Spike Y. "Ecology of the Troglodyte, The" Dragon Magazine #235 (TSR, 1996)
  12. ^ Brown, Lloyd III. "Primitive PC's." Dragon #265 (TSR, 1999)
  13. ^ Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  14. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  15. ^ Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. p.290, Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)
  16. ^ Kidd, Paul (2000). Descent into the Depths of the Earth. Wizards of the Coast. ISBN 0786916354.