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Greyhawk creature
A typical lizardfolk, as depicted in the Monster Manual (2000).
Alignment Neutral
Type Humanoid
Subtype Reptilian
First appearance Greyhawk (1975).

Lizardfolk are reptillian humanoids that look like a cross between a powerfully built human and a lizard. Prior to third edition, they were referred to as lizard men.


Lizardfolk are primitive reptilian humanoids that can be very dangerous if provoked. Although they are omnivores, lizardfolk prefer meat.


Lizardfolk make their homes in temperate marshes and swamps. They are passable swimmers however, and may also be found in underwater cave systems.

Lizardfolk have been encountered in significant numbers in the Gnatmarsh, the Hool Marshes, the Mistmarsh, the Rushmoors, and the Vast Swamp.

Typical physical characteristics

Lizardfolk are tall humanoids that look like a cross between a powerfully built human and a lizard. They have a long tail, clawed hands, and a toothy jaw. They are usually six to seven feet in height, with gray, green, or brown scales. Lizardfolk use their tails, typically three to four feet long. Lizardfolk commonly weigh from 200 to 250 pounds. There are several species of lizardfolk however, and these can range from three-foot tall pygmies to nine-foot tall giants.

Lizardfolk can hold their breath for a very long time, by human standards.


Lizardfolk are usually neutral.


Lizardfolk society is primarily patriarchal, with the strongest member normally in charge. Shamans are typically counselors, and normally do not lead tribes. Where ever they make their home, survival is the main priority for any lizardfolk.

Notable lizardfolk tribes include the Twisted Branch tribe of the Mistmarsh.

The lizard men of the Gnatmarsh are a very cunning lot, using traps, snares, and poison-tipped spears. {The Marklands, page 70-71)


Lizardfolk mostly worship the deity Semuanya, whose main agenda is the reproduction and survival of the species. Increasingly, however, their worship is being poached by the demon lord Sess'innek.


Lizardfolk speak Draconic.

Lizardfolk subraces

  • Blackscale [1]: Larger and more barbaric, with dark scales and an affinity towards acid.
  • Dark Talon [2]: Murderous lizardfolk, toughened by alchemical infusions of black dragon blood. They seek to conquer lands controlled by other humanoid races.
  • Lizard King [3]: Demon-blooded lizardfolk who often rule tribes of their non-fiendish kin. Serve the demon lord Sess'Innek.
  • Poison Dusk [4]: Smaller, chameleon-like lizardfolk who frequently utilize poisoned arrows.
  • Quanak: Psionic lizardfolk.
  • Viletooth: Lizardfolk with genetic relations to black dragons.

Prominent lizardfolk


Publishing history


Lizard men first officially appeared as part of the original D&D game in the 1975 Greyhawk supplement booklet authored by Gary Gygax and Robert Kuntz, where it was described as an aquatic monster with a rude intelligence, that was fond of eating human flesh. The lizardman artwork that appeared on the inside front cover of that supplement[5] was used as part of the official TSR, Inc. logo from 1975 through 1978.[6]

The lizard man's first Advanced Dungeons & Dragons appearance was in the Monster Manual (1977), where it was described as a semi-aquatic creature that dwelt underwater, omnivorous but preferring human flesh. The lizard king, a more intelligent and evil relative to the more common lizard man, was introduced in the Fiend Folio (1981).

The lizard man and lizard king made their second edition debut in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989), and were reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).

The lizard man was presented as a player character race for the Spelljammer campaign setting in The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook (1992). The creature was further detailed as a playable character race in The Complete Book of Humanoids (1993), and again in Player's Option: Skills & Powers (1995).

The lizard man made its third edition debut under the name "lizardfolk" in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000). It was later updated to the 3.5 rules in the 3.5 edition Monster Manual (2003). That same year, the lizardfolk was detailed as a player character race for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in Races of Faerûn (2003). The lizard king, and lizard queen, were detailed for edition 3.5 in Serpent Kingdoms for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. (2004). The lizardfolk were further detailed in Dragon #335 (September 2005), in the "Ecology of the Lizardfolk".

The lizardfolk made its fourth edition debut in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).


Lizardfolk03.jpg Lizardfolk02.jpg


  • Collins, Andy, David Noonan, and Ed Stark. Dungeon Master's Guide II. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2005.
  • Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1989.
  • Greenwood, Ed, Eric L. Boyd, and Darrin Drader. Serpent Kingdoms. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2004.
  • Scott, Amber E., and F. Wesley Schneider. "The Ecology of the Lizardfolk." Dragon #335. Bellevue, WA: Paizo Publishing, 2005.
  • Scott, Curtis M. The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1992.
  • Slavicsek, Bill. The Complete Book of Humanoids. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.
  • Turnbull, Don, ed. Fiend Folio. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
  • Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2000.
  • -----. Monster Manual: Core Rulebook III v.3.5. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003.

External links