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Greyhawk creature
A troglodyte, as depicted in the Monster Manual (2003).
Alignment Chaotic evil
Type Humanoid
First appearance Monster Manual (1977)

Troglodytes are a race of humanoid reptiles.



Typical physical characteristics

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.

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


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 and other demon princes.


The spoken troglodyte language is apparently derived from a simplified version of the lizardfolk tongue, but this is accompanied by a vast, fully vocabulary comprised 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.


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. More than three thousand years ago they dominated the Amedio Jungle, developing sophisticated mummification techniques that they may have hoped would allow them to persist after their deaths. This empire fell in approximately -1700 CY. There is some indication that a race of proto-bullywugs inhabited the Amedio at the time of the troglodytes' fall, though the causality of this is unknown. [The Scarlet Brotherhood, page 62]

Near modern Irongate, a group of sophisticated troglodytes 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. [Dungeon #120, page 66]

Publication history

The troglodyte appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), 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).

The troglodyte appears in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989), and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). The troglodyte was detailed in Dragon #235 (November 1996), in the "Ecology of the Troglodyte". The troglodyte was one of the humanoid races presented as player character races in Dragon #265 (November 1999).

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.

In fourth edition, troglodytes appeared in the Monster Manual (2008). The troglodyte also appeared in the Monster Manual 2 (2009) and the Monster Vault (2010).



  • Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1991.
  • Brown, Lloyd III. "Primitive PC's." Dragon #265. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1999.
  • Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1989.
  • Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1977.
  • Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson, edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. (TSR, 1977)
  • Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson, edited by Tom Moldvay. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1981.
  • Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson, edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1983.
  • Jones, Spike Y. "The Ecology of the Troglodyte." Dragon Magazine #235. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1996.
  • Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  • Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual. Lake Geneva, WI: TSR, 1993.