D&D 5E Here's Our Favourite (and least favourite) D&D Monsters!

Last week I took a poll to determine which D&D monsters were the most loved, and which languished unliked in the back of the cupboard. The poll was limited to the D&D 5E Monster Manual, specifically the main monsters section (so not the NPCs or animals).

Aboleth - Kim Van Deun.jpg

Aboleth from Level Up: Advanced 5th Edition, by Kim Van Deun

Let's start with the monsters that nobody liked. Well, to be accurate, there were none that scored 0 votes, but the poor empyrean only squeezed in with a single vote. If there's any monster in need of some love, the empyrean is it. It's the least-liked monster in the Monster Manual.

Joining it at the bottom, though, are some other unpopular critters -- the magmin (spellchecker PLEASE let me type that word - even my OS doesn't like the magma .. err.. magma ... umm .. magmin!), darkmantle, sprite, satyr, quaggoth, and merrow.

The top of the chart was a little more predictable. The iconic mind flayer led the pack, followed closely by dragons and beholders. A little way behind those three, we had some other D&D staples in the form of skeletons, the lich, goblins, and the troll.

Demons are more popular than devils. Liches are loved more than vampires. Death knights are in the middle of the pack, neither loved nor disliked. The 'iconic' D&D monsters (i.e. the mind flayers and beholders, which D&D created) are very well loved.

Anyway, I should stop talking about it and just show you it. Here's the full list, in descending order.
  1. Mind Flayer
  2. Dragons
  3. Beholders
  4. Skeletons
  5. Lich
  6. Goblins
  7. Troll
  8. Demons
  9. Ghouls
  10. Giants
  11. Owlbear
  12. Ogres
  13. Zombies
  14. Vampires
  15. Devils
  16. Displacer Beast
  17. Kobolds
  18. Wraith
  19. Rust Monster
  20. Gnolls
  21. Orcs
  22. Elementals
  23. Hags
  24. Umber Hulk
  25. Carrion Crawler
  26. Golems
  27. Wight
  28. Death Knight
  29. Hobgoblins
  30. Lycanthropes
  31. Mummies
  32. Minotaur
  33. Lizardfolk
  34. Rakshasa
  35. Bugbears
  36. Bulette
  37. Manticore
  38. Wyvern
  39. Shambling Mound
  40. Yuan-Ti
  41. Elves (Inc. Drow)
  42. Gargoyle
  43. Shadow
  44. Hydra
  45. Mimic
  46. Oozes
  47. Dracolich
  48. Griffon
  49. Modrons
  50. Aboleth
  51. Chimera
  52. Flameskull
  53. Hell Hound
  54. Purple Worm
  55. Medusa
  56. Oni
  57. Roper
  58. Basilisk
  59. Otyugh
  60. Stirge
  61. Intellect Devourer
  62. Ankheg
  63. Dinosaurs
  64. Ghost
  65. Hook Horror
  66. Doppelganger
  67. Genies
  68. Harpy
  69. Pseudodragon
  70. Demilich
  71. Drider
  72. Gibbering Mouther
  73. Animated Objects
  74. Grell
  75. Nightmare
  76. Thri-Kreen
  77. Banshee
  78. Behir
  79. Bullywug
  80. Nagas
  81. Revenant
  82. Will-O'-Wisp
  83. Dragon Turtle
  84. Faerie Dragon
  85. Flumph
  86. Gith
  87. Mephits
  88. Sahuagin
  89. Slaadi
  90. Tarrasque
  91. Treant
  92. Cockatrice
  93. Kuo-Toa
  94. Myconids
  95. Scarecrow
  96. Specter
  97. Sphinxes
  98. Ettin
  99. Nothic
  100. Remorhazes
  101. Succubus/Incubus
  102. Water Weird
  103. Gorgon
  104. Roc
  105. Troglodyte
  106. Unicorn
  107. Angels
  108. Couatl
  109. Kraken
  110. Peryton
  111. Crawling Claw
  112. Helmed Horror
  113. Salamanders
  114. Yugoloths
  115. Centaur
  116. Dryad
  117. Duergar
  118. Grick
  119. Kenku
  120. Lamia
  121. Shield Guardian
  122. Xorn
  123. Cambion
  124. Cloaker
  125. Cyclops
  126. Fomorian
  127. Gnome (Inc Svirfneblin)
  128. Hippogriff
  129. Invisible Stalker
  130. Yetis
  131. Ettercap
  132. Fungi
  133. Jackalwere
  134. Grimlock
  135. Half-Dragon
  136. Homunculus
  137. Azer
  138. Chuul
  139. Merfolk
  140. Pegasus
  141. Pixie
  142. Aarakocra
  143. Blights
  144. Galeb Duhr
  145. Piercer
  146. Merrow
  147. Quaggoth
  148. Satyr
  149. Sprite
  150. Darkmantle
  151. Magmin
  152. Empyrean

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5e Freelancer
Still a neat piece of lore. As someone who has unapologetically used piercers in many past games (and my two current ones), I didn't need them to be linked to anything else to be interesting to me - but this certainly gets my creative juices flowing more.
The D&D 5e Monster Manual was the first TTRPG product that I ever got. My parents got it for me for Christmas about 6 years ago, and I read through the whole thing the same day. While reading through it, when I first saw the Roper, I distinctly remember thinking "Oh, so this is just the adult version of that stalactite monster" and being excited when I read its description and found out that I was right.

I never knew before that they weren't connected in previous editions, though. That's a cool thing to learn.

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Top 10 are all 'easy to identify as evil' and without the lawful ambiguity of Devils, in regards to the Demons being 'just about destructive evil'.

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