D&D General Monster ENCyclopedia: Su-monster

This is a series of articles about specific monsters from D&D’s history. Each entry takes a look at the origin of one D&D creature, and tracks its appearances and evolution across different editions. This entry covers one of the creatures associated with the Trickster Gods of Omu in Tomb of Annihilation: the su-monster. It originally appeared along with a number of other creatures in a combined Tomb of Annihilation article.​

The su-monster was almost certainly inspired by A Fantastic Bestiary, published in 1969. In his Playing at the World blog, Jon Peterson points out that the ki-rin, shedu, couatl and su-monster descriptions in Eldritch Wizardry match their pictures in A Fantastic Bestiary too closely to be coincidence.​


A Fantastic Bestiary (1969)​

It first appears as a D&D creature in Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry, which is credited to Gary Gygax and Brian Blume. Eldritch Wizardry describes su-monsters as having the chest of a great hound and the waist of a wasp. They have gorilla heads, and four prehensile feet with long, sharp nails. Su-monsters occur in groups of up to a dozen, more than four usually meaning a male, female and young. The adults will protect their family (fighting “at double value”). Su-monsters may be encountered outdoors or underground, with a 40% chance of being encountered in their lair. If they have treasure, it will consist of copper or silver coins, a few gems or items of jewelry and a small chance of a couple of magic items.

Chaotic evil creatures, su-monsters frequently hang upside down lurking for prey but they are equally comfortable upright. They have a latent psionic ability—either psychic crush, psionic blast, or mind thrust. This ability can be used once per day and is triggered by other nearby psionic activity. Because this ability is latent, the su-monster itself cannot be targeted by psionic attacks. In combat, they more commonly use their 4 claws (each doing 1-3 damage) and bite (1-8 damage). Su-monsters have 4+2 Hit Dice, a movement of 9 and an armor class of 6.​

1st Edition
The su-monster gets its first D&D illustration in the Monster Manual, and this resembles the Bestiary picture, except for the tail. In Eldritch Wizardry, there is no mention of a tail, but in the Monster Manual it is noted as prehensile, and is used to move through trees and hang upside down from branches. If a su-monster leaps on a target from above, it can attack with all four clawed feet and its bite.​


Monster Manual (1977)​

Most of the descriptive text in the Monster Manual is unchanged from Eldritch Wizardry. The statistics are similar to Eldritch Wizardry, but there is a slight increase in the su-monster’s hit points (it now has 5+5 hit dice) and its attacks (claws now do 1-4 damage, and its bite 2-8). A su-monster is given a psionic ability of 120 although it isn’t clear why this is relevant for its once-per-day latent psionic attacks. Su-monsters are noted as medium-sized and of average intelligence. The Monster Manual erroneously lists the su-monster’s alignment as just chaotic, but Dragon #43 later corrects this to chaotic neutral.

A frequency of uncommon is listed. The areas they inhabit are specified as “forsaken wilderness areas and subterranean lairs” but the Dungeon Masters Guide also lists them as suitable for temperate forests for faeries and sylvan settings. The chance to encounter a su-monster in its lair has dropped slightly to 30%. Su-monsters may now accumulate gold in addition to the treasure they collected previously.

The su-monster is described in the Monster Manual as having dirty gray fur, a black tail and face, and crimson paws. The picture in the Monster Cards, Set 4 a few years later sticks to these colors. The statistics on the card are the same as in the Monster Manual, but the size is now specified as five feet long, and it is clarified in the text that the psionic ability of 120 refers to the strength of the latent attacks.​


Monster Cards, Set 4 (1982)​

The su-monster makes brief appearances in several 1st Edition adventures. In C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness, there are three su-monsters hanging over paths in the earth level of the Tower. One of the peculiarities of this adventure is that the eponymous Ghost Tower is displaced in time, so those exploring it are actually adventuring in the distant past. This is given as the reason that these su-monsters lack any psionic abilities, with the implication being that su-monsters only evolved psionic powers later in their development as a species. The trio of su-monsters living in the parallel plane jungle in C5: The Bane of Llywelyn do have psionic abilities, but choose not to use them for some unspecified reason.​


Jarl’s Trophy Hall, G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl (1978)​

G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl features part of a su-monster; Jarl has the hide of one on display in his trophy hall (it’s the leftmost hide in the above illustration).

There is a solitary, huge, old male su-monster living in a storage chamber in the second level of the dungeon in T1-4: Temple of Elemental Evil. It has recently escaped from a lower level of the dungeon, where it was being kept as a guard creature. This su-monster is described as having gone hungry for some time, even though it is living in a store room full of food.

Various issues of Dragon Magazine during the 1st Edition era add a few more snippets to what we know about su-monsters. Dragon #54 notes that su-monsters sometimes lair within ruins. The Sage Advice in Dragon #78 indicates that the su-monster’s ability to sense psionics within 12” (360 feet) is unusual, since most psionic creatures can sense only up to 1” (30 feet) per hit die. The pronunciation guide in Dragon #93 gives SOO-man-stur for the su-monster.​

2nd Edition
The 2nd Edition su-monster appears in PHBR5: The Complete Psionics Handbook, which updates a number of earlier psionic creatures. The su-monster is now described as a large (4 to 5 feet tall) but emaciated ape, with ribs and vertebrae showing prominently in its slim midriff, contrasted by muscular limbs. It has a strong prehensile tail, easily capable of supporting its weight, as are any of its limbs. Each of its four feet has three long, thick, clawed fingers and an opposable thumb.

The rich red colouration of the feet in contrast to the su-monster’s gray body makes it look as if the su-monster has just killed something. This is often true, as its preferred attack method is to drop down from an overhanging position and rake a surprised target with all four clawed feet (each one does 1d4 damage) and a bite (2d4 damage). So skilled are they at ambush that their victims suffer a -4 penalty to surprise rolls. For adventurers lucky enough to spot them before they leap, the sharp-toothed grin of a su-monster should not be taken as a sign of friendship, but rather as the threat it is intended.​


PHBR5: The Complete Psionics Handbook (1991)​

Su-monsters are generally active at dawn and sunset. Family units are most often two parents and two young; multiple families form territorial clans. They hunt in small packs (up to a dozen su-monsters) with the whole family frequently participating. The su-monster’s familial protectiveness is given expanded mechanics here, with females gaining haste if their young are attacked, and the males gaining haste if the females are threatened. They can maintain this pace for up to 40-60 minutes, which makes an encounter with a hostile su-monster family a terrifying experience.

As in 1st Edition, su-monsters are 5 hit dice creatures, with an armor class of 6 and a movement of 9. They have average (8-10) intelligence and morale. According to the stats block, they are uncommon and favor dark wilderness and subterranean areas. They are omnivorous, and accumulate the same types of treasure as in 1st Edition, which they keep hidden high in trees within their territory. The chaotic portion of their alignment is emphasized over the evil part, since they are listed as having an alignment of “chaotic (evil)”.

The su-monster’s psionic powers are updated to match the heavily amended 2nd Edition psionics system. Typically, su-monsters have the enhancement, psionic sense, psychic crush, mind thrust and psionic blast powers. They can use enhancement to attack both physically and psionically instead of enjoying a double attack rate. Su-monsters are now specifically impervious to psionic attacks, and have a deep seated hatred for other users of psionics. The reason for this, so legend has it, is that the first su-monsters were magical hybrids of humanoids and apes, created by a powerful wizard or priest to guard a forest against psionic intruders. Some su-monsters are still employed as forest guardians today.​


Dragon #167 (1991)​

The Ecology of the Su-Monster in Dragon #167 provides some additional insight into the physiology and society of these creatures. Their societal structure is quite complex, with a family of su-monsters being the base unit, but large groupings called cadres or enclaves occurring from time to time. There is considerable conflict between families in a larger group and frequent leadership struggles. The strongest male often rules an enclave, but individual leaders do not remain in place for long, and leaderless enclaves are common.

We learn that adult males average 5’ in length, plus a further 5’ tail; females are slightly smaller. Female su-monsters weigh roughly 105 lbs, males 120 lbs. They breed at any time during the year, have a gestation period of 6-7 months, and only ever produce one baby at a time. Young are completely dependent on adults, who are devoted to their care, males and females equally so. Children remain with their parents for at least two years. Females are usually responsible for transporting the young on their backs. They lactate to feed their infants. Su-monsters mate for life and never abandon their partners. They can live as long as 30 years, but this is rare.

Su-monsters are active sporadically, sleeping for 3-4 hours in between longer periods (6-7 hour) of activity. The Ecology article contradicts itself when it comes to su-monsters’ annual cycles. It claims that they are active throughout the year, but also makes mention of them hibernating in winter months. While active, su-monsters seldom rest, and are constantly alert and aware. Their night vision allows them to function equally well during the day or at night, and it is suggested that their dark gray hides enable them to blend with the colors of dawn or dusk; most of their ambushes occur at these times. Groups of su-monsters vary slightly in color based on their environment, with darker variations in deep woods and whitish-gray su-monsters in underground caverns. Their black faces and tails, and red paws remain constant.

The importance of the creature’s tail is highlighted. As well as being strong enough to support the su-monster carrying a large prey, the tail is vital for balance, posture and communications. Families of su-monsters communicate emotional states and social rank to each other using their tails. A su-monster family will often hunt prey as a unit, and have a high success rate. Su-monsters are described as having apelike muzzles and acute senses, which grow more sensitive in colder months. They can smell prey over a mile distant, and coordinate complicated ambushes using calls and howls. Ambushes often include overbearing and grappling as tactics, and su-monsters will gang up on prone opponents.

Despite having the appearance of a starving creature, a hungry su-monster is a rarity. They are opportunistic omnivores and will eat anything from lichens, grasses and berries through to insects and humanoids. However, they will not eat carrion, or attack sick or aged prey. Sleeping travelers are fair game. After eating their fill of any prey, su-monsters bury the rest of the body, sometimes including any treasures the victim was carrying. The su-monster’s aversion to carrion makes them challenging to hunt, as they avoid any food traps. It is also hard to surprise the creatures, given their constant advantage of elevation. Su-monsters never surrender, and if captured have a tendency to mortally wound themselves while attempting to break free of their bonds.

The creatures are described as having the intelligence of primates, the cunning of canines and the physical power of bears—the perfect carnivore (despite being omnivorous!). Colloquial names for the creatures are given as “ape-bears” and “wolf-in-the-treetops”. They are said to be equally fast in trees, on the ground, or in water, but gravitate naturally towards heights. Their walking, climbing and swimming speed are all pegged at 9, but notes that they can boost their climb speed to 15 thrice daily for up to 10 rounds.

Su-monsters usually settle in hollow trees near fresh water, but even when dwelling underground they prefer to make their lairs near the ceiling. They are dextrous creatures with opposable thumbs and are quite capable of undoing knots and latches. Although they are not usually tool users, the Ecology article suggests that generations of su-monsters living close to civilization may learn to use weapons, held either in its hands or tail. If they do pick up a rock or stick to use as a weapon, they cannot also make multiple unarmed attacks in the same round.

The psionic abilities of the su-monster remain a mystery in the Ecology article, although it confirms that they only manifest when triggered by other psionic users in the vicinity. Examination of the brain of a su-monster does not provide any visible evidence of changes that would explain these talents. Su-monster brains are similar in shape and size to those of humanoids.​


Monstrous Manual (1993)​

The Monstrous Manual reprints the su-monster page from The Complete Psionics Handbook verbatim, but there is a new color picture. This su-monster looks more ape-like, and the emaciated appearance is less obvious.

Su-monsters do not feature much in 2nd Edition adventures, but PHBR11: The Complete Ranger’s Handbook suggests them as a potential species enemy for a swamp-based ranger. This seems odd, given that they are not generally associated with marshy environs.

Primitive PCs in Dragon #265 presents several monsters as playable races. This article isn’t particularly consistent with established su-monster lore, and presents su-folk (or “Su” as they apparently call themselves) as cultured and industrious instead of the bloodthirsty hunters they have been until now.

According to the article, su-folk culture revolves around the protection of the home and the family. This is somehow to blame for their reputation as evil beings because they make bargains with evil wizards to protect certain areas and then honor these misunderstood agreements ferociously. These strange social priorities can make an adventuring su-folk gullible at first but some real-world experience can quickly turn them into conniving double-dealers.

A su-folk exploring the world might be searching for lost psionic lore, revenge for ills inflicted upon its family or just interesting stories to return home with. Most su-folk eventually start to seek out others of their kind, as they thrive in family units, and become dispirited without a mate. They take relationships with others seriously but are reasonably forgiving, except when it comes to infidelity, which they find highly offensive.

Adventuring su-folk are fighters, thieves, psionicists, or any multi-class combination of these. They gain a +1 bonus to dexterity and constitution, as the cost of a -2 penalty to charisma. They suffer further reaction penalties when dealing with neutral or good creatures of the forest because of the poor reputation of their kind. Despite their prowess as combatants, su-folk aren’t driven by wealth or glory and avoid mercenary work. They gain some significant bonuses when fighting to protect family members, but this is not likely to help a su traveling solo. Even su-folk choosing careers as fighters are seldom overly proficient with weapons, preferring to surprise targets with two claw attacks and a bite, or all four claw attacks if they are suspended by their tails. Su-folk are immune to telepathic attacks as a side-effect of their latent psionic abilities.

When not exploring the world, su-folk settle down in one spot, making their homes in caves or trees. They are said to decorate their homes with the belongings of their foes to deter intruders. This seems to demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of passing adventurers’ likely reactions to seeing prominently displayed items of value! Su-folk communities enjoy games, but of the freeform made-up sort rather than those requiring props like chess or cards. Although nothing from previous sources gives the su-folk a language, they are now said to speak both Common and their own tongue, Su. These su-folk have a lifespan of 90 years contradicting the earlier Ecology article.​

3rd Edition
Su-monsters did not make the cut for the 3rd Edition Psionics Handbook and were relegated to a web enhancement. They are now large in size, but are classified as animals of limited intelligence and neutral alignment. Their gaunt appearance is said to make their extra-large ribs, vertebrae, skull structure and skeletal anatomy all prominently visible. Su-monsters may be encountered individually, in families (2-4), packs (6-11) or larger clans (11-22). They are protective of others in their group, but there are rivalries between different clans. Su-monsters are territorial, and may be found in any climate or underground area. Families usually dwell in trees or other hard-to-reach places. They do not accumulate any treasure.

They are mechanically faithful to earlier versions as 5 hit dice (32 hp) monsters with claw attacks (1d6+5), and a bite (1d8+2). Although they only get two claw attacks now, they do have a rend ability causing additional damage (2d6+10) if both claws hit. A su-monsters has an armor class of 16, and a walking or climbing speed of 30 feet. They can advance to as many as 15 hit dice, but remain large in size.

The range of psionic abilities available to the su-monster is a little wider, consisting of sense psionics, schism, lesser body adjustment, mind thrust, ego whip, psychic crush/thought shield, and mental barrier. They use these abilities ruthlessly to deal with any other psionic creatures they sense, first seeking reinforcements if that seems necessary.​

4th Edition
The su monster (spelled without the hyphen in this edition) gets two pages in the Monster Manual 3, covering three different su monsters: the su sentinel, the su ambusher and the su alpha.

The majority of each su monster tribe are sentinels. Each one watches over a large area of the jungle from a tree hollow. A sentinel may stand watch for days, but will return to the tribe to report any sighting of a suitable prey. When a sentinel initiates combat, it is usually from a carefully chosen hiding place from which it can drop down and gain an advantage. A su sentinel is a level 10 skirmisher with 107 hit points and an armor class of 24. It uses a claw attack (+15, 3d6+7 damage) or flashing talons (+15, 2d6+4) followed by a shift away if an enemy tries to close in on it. The sentinel can use a psionic boost to deal extra psychic damage (2d6) to successful melee attacks, or a mind-rending bite (+15, 1d6+5) which continues to do an ongoing 10 psychic damage. The protectiveness towards family is represented by tribal fury which gives the su sentinel extra attacks when nearby allies are badly hurt.

Su ambushers are treated as minions, and they are the tribe’s foot soldiers, albeit stealthy ones. They lurk near well-trafficked locales, waiting to pick off isolated targets, particularly smaller creatures such as halflings and gnomes. They have a claw attack (+18 , 8 damage) and are also able to seize prey and take their victim with them. Even when felled (remembering that as minions they have only 1 hit point), they can use grasping claws to make a final attack. They have the same tribal fury as su sentinels​


Monstrous Manual 3 (2010)​

The most powerful of the su-monsters, and a much contested position, is the su alpha. Fights for this role are ferocious and often deadly, and a large tribe may end up with more than one alpha. During battle, an alpha will try to draw attacks away from its allies. Wth 149 hit points, an armor class of 24 and an array of attacks, it can afford to do so. As well as a claw attack (+17, 3d10+7 damage) and a solid backhand slam (3d8+7 damage) an alpha can use psionic boost to add 2d8 extra psychic damage, and may make flesh-ripper attacks (+17, 1d12+6) against enemies forced to move close to it. Like the sentinel and ambusher, they gain tribal fury when nearby allies are hurt. The alpha’s most potent attack is a su howl which is a close burst dealing 2d10+3 psychic damage as well as making the target vulnerable to subsequent damage.

The Monster Manual 3 stays largely true to earlier su-monster lore. They are territorial and cunning creatures, with a prehensile tail used for both locomotion and communications. They kill more than they can eat and, as in 2nd Edition, bury their left-over meals, marking these stashes with the possessions of their victims. As well as being encountered in the wild, su-monsters are sometimes found as the servants or guards of spellcasters or powerful psionic creatures.

As a preview article in Dragon #387 explains, the 2nd Edition origin story of su-monsters being a magical hybrid created to guard an evil wizard’s forest is adopted and expanded upon. It was the wizard Halkith, resident of the Isle of Dread in the Feywild, who created the first su-monsters to guard his tower from the island’s other residents. Halkith originally had a psychic link to his creations, but a major worldly psionic event overwhelmed this link, causing the su-monsters to go mad. Having broken the bond with their creator, the su monsters now roam the planes for prey and sources of psionic power. Halkith is presumed to have been killed by his creations, but this has never been confirmed. Player’s Option: Heroes of the Feywild notes that su-monsters use the psychic link originally installed by Halkith to monitor events on the Isle of Dread, in particular keeping tabs on the resident yuan-ti.

Dungeon #215 includes an adventure (The Last Slave Lord) with su-monsters in it as a random encounter, but despite being published in 2013, the adventure was designed for 1st Edition, rather than 4th Edition. This was a tie-in to Against the Giants, published the same month, which collected the original AD&D Slavers series of adventures into a single hardcover.​

5th Edition
The first hints of the 5th Edition su-monster came from the Against the Slave Lords Bestiary in the D&D Next Playtest Packet released in mid-2013. It is a medium-sized beast with 5 hit dice (27 hit points), an armor class of 12 and a speed of 30 ft (climbing). Chaotic evil in alignment, the su-monster has multiattack allowing it to use both a bite (+4, 1d8+2 damage) and its claws (+4, 2d4+2 damage). It also has a psychic crush which it can use once per day. This deals 3d8 psychic damage to a creature within 50 feet, or half damage if the target makes a save. It has low-light vision. No background or lore is included with the su-monster’s stats block.​


Tomb of Annihilation (2017)​

The Tomb of Annihilation version of the su-monster is mechanically very close to the one from the D&D Next Playtest Packet. It no longer has low-light vision and it is slightly better at attacking with its claws (+7 instead of +4). If the su-monster is hanging by its tail and able to use all four limbs, the claws attack improves (+12, 4d4+2). It is now a monstrosity instead of a beast, and the psychic crush has been improved; instead of being a daily power, it is now rechargeable, with more damage (5d6) but a reduced range (only 30 feet). In addition to taking psychic damage, the target is also temporarily stunned.

There is smattering of lore included with the entry in the Tomb of Annihilation, all drawn from previous descriptions. Su-monsters are cunning and wicked primates, some five feet tall. They live in wilderness areas and caves. They have long prehensile tails that are used for climbing and for silent communications. Su-monsters sleep while hanging upside down from their tails. They can use tools or weapons with their tails or clawed feet, but usually stun their prey with blasts of psionic energy, and then rend them with their tails and claws. Su-monsters usually kill more than they can eat. They bury the leftovers, and mark the location with the deceased’s possessions.

Su-monsters haven’t featured in any other 5th Edition adventures, but there is a statue of one in DDALCA-01: Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness, in the same earth level where su-monsters could be found in the original adventure.​

Su-monsters and other monsters
Dragon #47 details the bizarre wirchler in the article Creatures from Elsewhere. This creature is a disembodied mouth with two scrawny arms attached, and it feeds on pain which it causes by sonically triggering a victim’s nervous system. For some reason, the su-monster is listed as a creature immune to the wirchler’s attack.

The Ecology of the Kech in Dragon #142 notes that su-monsters are the only creatures that the kech will associate with, raiding human settlements together. Even then, the alliance seldoms lasts more than a couple of weeks because of the chaotic nature of the su-monsters. The Monster Manual 3 indicates that su-monsters will sometimes form alliances with other beasts in their territory.

The ruve, a highly intelligent, lawful good psionic canine, is detailed in MC14: Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix. It is a natural enemy of the su-monster and will attack one on sight with a feral intensity. According to PHRB5: The Complete Psionics Handbook Su-monsters do not have any natural predators as their meat is mildly poisonous, causing illness and suppressing natural healing for a week. Despite this, the abominations known as deepspawn will eat su-monsters, according to Empires of the Shining Sea.​

Su-monster parts
Dragon #91 details a number of psionic-boosting potions, and notes that the brain of a su-monster is needed to make the red variety, which improves psionic blast, psychic crush, mind thrust attacks and all psionic defenses. Chilled su-monster brains are also served as a delicacy in Upper Calimport, according to SPEC4-3: Conflict in Calimport.

According to Treasures of the Wilds in Dragon #137, the market value for a young su-monster is 550 gold pieces.​

Su-monsters and magic
DDAL07-18: Turn Back the Endless Night details a magical su-monster painting on the ceiling of a temple. Much like a su-monster, this painting targets creatures with a psychic crush attack.​

Su-monsters feature in the ALQ1: Golden Voyages accessory. They are said to be abundant in the rocky jungle of the Yadd al-Djinni isles. Adventurers exploring Kaff island might stumble onto the nest of a small clan of su-monsters. Three adults and two young make up the clan. Below their nest lie a number of mold and moss-encrusted mounds which hide the crumbling remains of the su-monsters’ previous victims. If the adventurers stop to investigate these, the adults will climb down from the tree-tops to attack with their psionic abilities. They will fight to the death to defend their nest area, but will screech at their young to flee before they die.

The article Scimitars Against the Dark in Dragon #198 list the su-monster as an appropriate creature to use in a horror-themed Al-Qadim campaign.​

Forgotten Realms
The first mention of su-monsters in a Forgotten Realms product appears to be in H4: The Throne of Bloodstone, but here they are noted as inhabiting the Abyssal layer inhabited by the god Kali. Su-monsters can be found in western Faerûn; in the novel Canticle the druid Newander summons a bolt of lightning to dispatch three of them attempting to steal the eggs of an eagle in the Snowflake Mountains.

Powers & Pantheons notes that su-monsters can be found in the Shrouded Jungle surrounding the Cathedral of Emerald Scales in Hlondeth. Empires of the Shining Sea suggests that they occur on the island of Olodel in the Lake of Steam in south Faerûn. A stray su-monster turns up in Felshroun in CCC-GHC-BK2-03: Framed in Felshroun.

The Tomb of Annihilation gives su-monsters a 5th Edition home in the Chultan jungles of Faerûn. They can be found throughout the jungled part of the subcontinent and in the Forbidden City of Omu. They are known to be fond of the nuts which grow on the wukka trees in the region.​


Wongo’s symbol, Tomb of Annihilation (2017)​

Wongo is one of the nine trickster gods of Omu, and he takes the form of a su-monster. He holds a grudge against the jaculi god Moa, who refused to lie about Wongo’s theft of a pail of water. In Omu, su-monsters may be summoned by a trap in Wongo’s Shrine. Adventurers exploring the Tomb of the Nine Gods might unearth Wongo in mummy form.​

The su-monster has made only rare appearances in Greyhawk, but the late 2nd Edition accessory The Scarlet Brotherhood details the su-monkey, a smaller (2’ tall) version of the su-monster bred by the Scarlet Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has trained su-monkeys not to attack humans from Suel, and plans to distribute the creatures near enemies known to have psionic abilities. These are essentially monkeys with a psychic crush ability which they use to hurt other psionic creatures. They have 1 hit dice and a single combined scratching/biting attack that does only 1 point of damage. Su-monkeys behave and look like ordinary monkeys except for their larger than normal heads.​


Su-monkey, The Scarlet Brotherhood (1999)​

A particularly vicious variety of su-monster inhabits the low-lying island of Taramuri southeast of Obakuto, according to Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms.​

Kingdoms of Kalamar
According to The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali, su-monsters can be encountered in the Elenon Mountains and in the west Elos Desert.​

In the adventure Something Wild the adventurers may encounter two su-monsters in a dense area of forest in the stalking grounds of the Beastlands. They will attempt an ambush using psychic crush but are cowardly, and flee at any sign of resistance. The bladeling Adamok Edon, in Uncaged: Faces of Sigil is said to enjoy the challenge of hunting su-monsters on prime material worlds and will bring them back either alive or dead, depending on the wishes of her clients.​

There is a shrine in Valachan with a 20-foot-tall statue of a su-monster, according to the adventure RMH-10: Scion of Darkness in the Mist Hunters series of Adventurers League scenarios.​

The only su-monster miniature released to date was figure #11 in WizKids Icons of the Forgotten Realms: Tomb of Annihilation set.​


Icons of the Forgotten Realms: Tomb of Annihilation (2017), image from MinisGallery

Computer games
The Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms game includes the su-monster as a monstrous opponent.​


Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (September 2017), image from Idle Champions wiki

Comparative statistics

A Fantastic Bestiary (1969)
Supplement III: Eldritch Wizardry, p2, 12, 27, 39, 54 (April 1976)
Monster Manual, p93 (December 1977)
G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl, p8 (July 1978)
Dungeon Masters Guide, p187 (August 1979)
C2: The Ghost Tower of Inverness, p12 (December 1979)
Dragon #43, p17, Sage Advice (November 1980)
Dragon #47, p13, Creatures from Elsewhere (March 1981)
Dragon #54, p11, Ruins (October 1981)
Monster Cards, Set 4 (May 1982)
Dragon #78, p18, Sage Advice (October 1983)
Dragon #91, p55, Treasure Trove (November 1984)
Dragon #93, p30, Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd (January 1985)
C5: The Bane of Llywelyn, p23 (March 1985)
T1-4: Temple of Elemental Evil, p71 (August 1985)
H4: The Throne of Bloodstone, p44 (May 1988)
Dragon #137, p19, Treasures of the Wilds (September 1988)
Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms, Volume II, p132 (October 1988)
Dragon #142, p27, The Ecology of the Kech (February 1989)
PHBR5: The Complete Psionics Handbook, p121 (January 1991)
Dragon #167, p20, The Ecology of the Su-Monster (March 1991)
Canticle (October 1991)
MC14: Monstrous Compendium Fiend Folio Appendix (April 1992)
ALQ1: Golden Voyages, Book 4: The Djinni’s Claws, p2, 3, 9-11 (October 1992)
Monstrous Manual, p333 (June 1993)
Dragon #198, p70, Campaign Journal: Scimitars Against the Dark (October 1993)
Something Wild, p33 (February 1996)
Uncaged: Faces of Sigil, p29 (March 1996)
Powers & Pantheons, p141 (August 1997)
Empires of the Shining Sea, p141 (September 1998)
The Scarlet Brotherhood, p92 (March 1999)
Dragon #265, p48, Primitive PCs (November 1999)
More Psionic Monsters (Psionics Handbook Web Enhancement), p8 (March 2001)
The Lost Tomb of Kruk-Ma-Kali, p92 (January 2006)
Dragon #387, p84, D&D Alumni: Monster Manual (May 2010)
Monster Manual 3, p 188 (June 2010)
Player’s Option: Heroes of the Feywild, p15 (November 2011)
SPEC4-3: Conflict in Calimport, p20 (June 2012)
Dungeon #215, p36, The Last Slave Lord (June 2013)
D&D Next Playtest Packet, Against the Slave Lords Bestiary, p69 (June 2013)
Playing at the World blog (February 2014)
Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms (September 2017)
Tomb of Annihilation, p92, 105, 139, 204, 205, 232 (September 2017)
DDAL07-18: Turn Back the Endless Night, p10-11 (May 2018)
DDALCA-01: Return to the Ghost Tower of Inverness, p10 (May 2019)
CCC-GHC-BK2-03: Framed in Felshroun, p2 (May 2020)
RMH-10: Scion of Darkness, p11 (February 2022)​

Other ENCyclopedia entries
Visit the Monster ENCyclopedia index for links to other entries in this series.​
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