A great thing about DnD 5E is the Monsters. The epic battles and adventures through monster-infested forests. I mean, DnD wouldn’t be any fun if there were no monsters to fight. The ‘Monster Manual’ is a handy book to have as it goes through all of the Dungeons and Dragons monsters, and can be purchased on Amazon here.
However it is rather expensive and you only really need one if you’re the Dungeon Master, in which case you’re sure to have a broader knowledge of the DnD monsters. Here we will show you some of the most common or popular monsters that you might encounter early on in a campaign of DnD, and our tips on how to beat them!
First on our DnD monster list is goblins, annoying little creatures that live in lairs and lurk within forests and caves and often accompanied by hobgoblins. Their faces are flat, and their noses are long as well as their ears. Although they aren’t very challenging to face, when in large numbers, they can become quite a nuisance. They’re nimble and stealthy, and often approach from a sneak attack and back away before you can retaliate.
They are known for a short temper. Often an attack from a goblin would go: attack, hide, and a bonus action. This can be tricky, as they’re hard to catch, and if you can’t see them, you can’t attack them. However, they are extremely weak and only have seven hit points on average, so if you can catch one, you can kill one pretty easily. Also, most often if a goblin has finished someone off, they’re likely to rifle through that person’s belongings before it moves on to a new target. If you’re clever and quick enough, you can use this to finish it off while it’s not paying attention.
An Owlbear is a Dungeons and Dragons classic. With the body of a huge grizzly bear and the face of an owl, they’re certainly odd creatures, but they are dangerous. This creature uses brute force to attack and is not stealthy like a goblin. Despite the wise connotations of a regular owl, Owlbears are particularly dumb creatures and will only focus on whichever target angered it most, however, they are hard to fool. They come out mainly at night and live in underground lairs or caves, sleeping in the day.
These creatures cannot surprise you as they come charging towards you and attack the first character to come into its range. It’s three types of attack are claws (doing 2D8 +5 slashing damage), Beak (which will do 1D10 +5 Piercing damage) and multi-attack, where it uses both of these actions together. However, its armour class is low (AC 13) so it isn’t hard to hit. If you can get it to twenty-three hit points or lower, it will attempt to flee, however, if it’s cornered, it will continue to fight.
Gnolls are scavengers and nomads. They have similar features to a hyena that stands on its hind legs and wears clothes. They’re strong and pretty dumb like many monsters but they are destructive and violent. You will usually see a gnoll with a spear or a long bow and they will likely move onto another character as soon as one other is unconscious, using their ‘Rampage’ skill to instantly bite into a new target. They do not need cause to attack and will most likely just throw themselves at you.
Gnolls are creatures that do not care about dignity or honour. They will attempt to flee as soon as they are significantly injured (eight hit points or lower). This, in turn, exposes itself to opportunity attacks meaning you can use your reaction to melee attack it just before it’s out of reach and this can possibly cause a final blow.
The undead (Zombie)
Low-level undead like a Zombie is an extremely weak opponent, however, in large numbers they are strong. Think of how in zombie movies, one zombie is easily decapitated, but as soon as the hoard attacks, you become overwhelmed. Considering Zombies have been raised from the dead by most likely a necromancer, they have no free will and are “alive” for only one purpose; Kill. This means they will fight until completely destroyed and have very little brain capacity. They also will not overcome simple objects in their way easily, such as a fence.
Their feature, ‘Undead Fortitude’ means sometimes instead of dying again, the zombies will drop to one hit point instead of zero and keep attacking. It is easy to manipulate a zombie into its own destruction as they have no sense of environment. If you Lead them off the edge of a cliff (for example by using acrobatics) the zombie will fall without stopping to think about the ledge.
Orcs are extremely popular when you’re a low-level player. They’re big and strong and ugly creatures that use strength as their main weapon. They have large protruding teeth and often have green or brown skin. They are mostly seen with a great axe or a javelin which for a level one character can be deadly, so first rule of thumb, try not to initiate combat.
Orcs are easily threatened, but if you come across one it is not necessarily going to instantly attack you. If you try your best to negotiate with it (and this can be hard as the orcs are likely to just become aggressive), a charismatic character could smooth talk a way to make the orcs indifferent to you, and if lucky you might get out without a fight.
The monsters in DnD will get more powerful as you level up as your Dungeon Master will want to challenge you. You should not run away from a fight if you think it could be a tough one, because if your DM has planned it right, there is a way to defeat it. If you do, you get experience which is always great! Use your brain and mouth as well as your weapon to beat monsters, as they can be outsmarted if they can’t be outbattled.
We hope this article has a good use for you! You also might be interested in learning how dnd spells work too!