Hook horror

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Greyhawk creature
Hook horror
Alignment Neutral
Type Aberration
First appearance White Dwarf #12

The hook horror is a bipedal, subterranean monster that looks like a vulture-like humanoid with bony hooks in place of hands.



Typical physical characteristics

The hook horror is an aberration that stands about nine feet (274 cm) tall and weighs almost 350 pounds (160 kg). It has a mottled grey exoskeleton, which is extremely thick and dense, and as difficult to breach as metal armor. Instead of hands/paws/claws, its front limbs end in 12-inch-long (30 cm) razor-sharp, blade-like hooks. These hooks are, of course, the hook horror's primary method of combat. Its legs are similar to those of a bird, and its head is shaped like that of a vulture, including the hooked beak. Its eyes, however, are multifaceted like that of an insect.


Hook horrors have their own language, communicating in a series of clicks and clacks. In a cave, this eerie sound can echo a long way and can be used to estimate cavern sizes and distances, much like the sonar of a bat.

Publication history

The hook horror was introduced to the D&D game in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. The hook horror was first published in White Dwarf #12 (April/May 1979), in the "Fiend Factory" column, originally submitted by Ian Livingstone, which was later reprinted in Best of White Dwarf Articles (1980). The hook horror then appeared in 1981 in the first edition Fiend Folio (1981). The hook horror was further detailed in Dragon #131 (March 1988), in the "Ecology of the Hook Horror."

The basic edition of the D&D game included its own version of the hook horror, which first appeared in the module Quest for the Heartstone (1984), and then appeared as a type of hook beast in Creature Catalogue (1986), and the Creature Catalog (1993). The hook horror appeared in the Blackmoor campaign setting in the module City of the Gods (1987).

The hook horror appeared in 2nd edition, first in the Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Appendix (1990), and was reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). The hook horror also appeared in the module Flames of the Falcon (1993).

The hook horror appeared in the 3rd edition Monster Manual II (2002), and in the 4th edition Monster Manual (2008).


  • Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2002.
  • Breault, Mike, ed, et al. Greyhawk Monstrous Compendium Appendix. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR,, 1990.
  • Livingstone, Ian; Don Turnbull (1979). "Fiend Factory: Hook Horror". White Dwarf #12. London: Games Workshop, 1979.
  • Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2008.
  • Persinger, Michael. "The Ecology of the Hook Horror." Dragon #131. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1988.
  • Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.
  • Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.