Spelljammer Monsters of Spelljammer (part 3)

This is the final part of Monsters of Spelljammer, a series providing an overview of the many strange and unusual creatures found in the Spelljammer setting.

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Monsters of Spelljammer (part 3)​

This is the final part of Monsters of Spelljammer, a series providing an overview of the many strange and unusual creatures found in the Spelljammer setting. The goal is to inspire those who may not be too familiar with the setting and provide some idea of the types of beings that might be encountered while spacefaring. Part one covered aartuk to gonnlingdaah. Part two covered gossamer to pyroserpent. Part three covers q’nidar to zurchin. Detailed stats for the monsters are not included; for those please refer back to the original source material or search for a 5th Edition conversion. A list of primary sources is provided at the end of this article.​


Q'nidar (also known as a Vapor Bat)
Q'nidar are huge bat-like creatures with semi-crystalline skin. They live in warmer parts of Wildspace and travel in small packs seeking heat and light, on which they feed. They leave trails of arcing energy behind them as they move. Although they are not evil creatures, they cause immense harm to spelljamming ships, by “speaking” to them using the thermal currents they employ to communicate with each other. This ignites the ships, providing sustenance to the q’nidar. A dying q’nidar dives into a star, crystallising fully on the way. These creatures are from MC7.​


Radiant Dragon (also known as a Celestial Dragon or a Star Dragon)
This serpentine, gargantuan, space-dwelling dragon has glittering, pearl-like shards for scales. These glitter in starlight, giving the dragon its name; and allowing it to absorb energy from fire bodies. Radiant dragons can be of any alignment, but they all have a sense of pride, and are likely to allow enemies to parley or beg for mercy rather than killing them. The breath of this dragon consists of force pulses that are functionally similar to magic missiles. Radiant dragons gain various innate magical abilities as they grow, including the ability to shapechange, which they occasionally do to mingle with mortals. Radiant dragons are detailed in SAiS and on 1992#532, and one starred in CC4.​


Radiant Golem
The radiant golem is a unique and tragic creature from MC7. Built long ago by an unknown race, it has glowing blue eyes and a black body with a sky-blue aura. The golem is self aware and communicates telepathically, but it is not very intelligent. Despite its potent combat abilities, it abhors violence, and will attempt to flee any attackers. Abandoned by its creators because of its gentle and friendly nature, the golem travels from world to world in search of friends. Its aura gradually irradiates those close to it. When they die, it bemoans the fragility of mortals and sorrowfully moves on.​


Rastipede (also known as a Vrusk)
The rastipede is another Spelljammer monster adopted from Star Frontiers. It appeared in MC7, CGR1, and on 1993#8. Rastipedes are enthusiastic traders with excellent bargaining skills. Most of them trade only in legal goods. Although they are peaceful, rastipedes are skilled bow users and many also have some limited magical skills or spelljamming ability. In appearance, a rastipede stands as tall as a human, with eight insect legs, a mantis-like head, and two insect arms attached to an upper thorax. Several hundred rastipedes live in each caverned subterranean nest.​


The reigar are a near-legendary race, to whom even the mercane seem to defer (MC7). They resemble tall, angrogynous humans with elaborate hairstyles and personal ornamentation. Each reigar is surrounded by a halo of twinkling coloured motes which offer physical and magic protection. The reigar live to pursue artistic endeavours and do nothing without style. Long ago, the reigar home world was destroyed as an act of artistic expression. Reigar now travel in biological spaceships called esthetics, served by golem-like helots and lakshu warriors. Each reigar carries a magical shakti that functions both as a vehicle, and as weapons and armour when needed.​


Rock Hopper
Residents of asteroid fields, rock hoppers are gnome-sized humanoids with a beak-like noses and large round eyes. They have a mane of stiff hair and their backs and legs are covered with short white fur. Rock hoppers are nomadic, using propeller-driven skiffs operated by foot pedals to move from asteroid to asteroid, hunting for scavvers. Although they are not cowardly, they have a realistic view of their own capabilities and will usually retreat from combat. Hoppers carry a variety of tools tucked into simple leather clothes., and wield knives or short swords. They are from MC7.​


Rogue Moon
Not quite the size of a real moon, the whale-sized rogue moon (from MC7) has glowing scales on its body, so it may be mistaken for a real one at a distance. If a passing ship is drawn to the light, when it gets close the moon stops glowing and drifts forward in darkness. It lifts spikes from its scales and expands rapidly to ten times its normal size, while inhaling through a large tentacled mouth. Once it has subdued its targets, the rogue moon shrinks back down, shakes the impaled bodies from its spikes, and feasts. A rogue moon’s liver can be used to make reverse gravity potions.​


Sarphardin (also known as a Watcher)
These whimsical serpentine creatures (from SJR1) have dragon-like heads and prehensile bodies, which can reach up to 24 feet in length. Sarphardin can wrap themselves around ships and use their natural spelljamming ability to transport them through space, but are usually encountered passively watching significant events. Competent spellcasters and capable in battle, sarphardin avoid combat situations. Some evil races can create an undead creature known as a skullsnake from the skeletal remains of a sarphardin.​


Scavvers are common, one-eyed, fish-like scavengers usually found trailing ships. They are detailed in SAiS. Scavvers vary in colour and size (from 6 to 20 feet). Most of them feed off refuse and discarded scraps, as well as using up valuable air. Larger scavvers can swallow humanoids whole. Gray scavvers, the smallest, travel in packs. Brown scavvers exude a poisonous gas. Night scavvers will steal edible things from ships. Void scavvers are the largest. Unlike the others, void scavvers are deadly man-eaters, but they are fortunately solitary creatures.​


An offshoot of the orcish survivors of the Unhuman Wars, the scro have a regimented, militaristic society and a goal of permanently driving all groundling races from space. They have a particular enmity towards elves, whom they blame for historical misfortunes. Unlike orcs, scro are articulate and fairly long-lived. They revere Dukgash, their first Almighty Leader, who is now a demigod. Scro are detailed in MC9, SJS1, SJQ1, and CGR1 but the Campaign Classics article in DrA1 provides the most authoritative treatment of scro in the Spelljammer setting. Dr339 presents a 3e playable race version.​


Despite being presented in SJA1 as monsters, sentinels are magical suits of armour once worn by the beholders of the Sazaur nation. Standing eighteen feet high, a sentinel consists of bronze plates joined with steel sinews. It animates only once a beholder takes its place inside the helmet, and is then under the control of that beholder. The sentinel provides substantial physical and magical protections. It can project beams of black energy through the huge trident. An adventurous PC might figure out how to operate a sentinel from the inside.​


Shadowsponge (also known as an Air Stealer)
Shadowsponges are gargantuan, grey, rubbery, ovoid masses from SJR1. They are semi-intelligent and can “smell” an air envelope three miles away in the void. As well as stealing all of the air from passing ships, shadowsponges also have an enveloping attack and will gradually constrict anything they can cover. Some enterprising travellers have used trapped shadowsponges to transport large quantities of air, but trapped sponges have a tendency to die unexpectedly, polluting all of their stored air. There is a small, very intelligent, darker coloured variation known as a herd cloud. It can gather electrical charge and use it to attack.​


These creatures are unique to the legendary Spelljammer (LoS). Shivaks are grown in pods in the ship’s corridors, and are small to medium-sized ellipsoids with limbs configured to resemble creatures dwelling on the great ship. Humanoid shivaks are strong, centaurians are fast, beholderians can fly, serpentines constrict, and spiderians have paralysing poisons. The enigmatic shivak, which resembles no known race, has a triform body and can give electric shocks. A unique guardian shivak manifests in the control room of the Spelljammer if a prospective captain arrives onboard.​


Each silatic is a six-foot high quivering amorphous blob that eats only the type of metal it is made of. A silatic has two prominent pseudopods, with these it can sense, reach (up to 50’), eat, and attack. At least three types of silatics are known: platinum, gold and iron. A fourth—silver—is rumoured. Gold silatics are faster than the others, while the platinum silatic uses acid. Silatics have low intelligence and are solitary creatures, occasionally stowing away on ships to move to new worlds. Silatics reproduce by splitting. They can be found in MC9.​


Silver Slime
This collective creature is unique to the hollowed out asteroid called the Hive (SJA1). It is an artificial life form created by the Mercane to maintain the interior of the Hive. Beginning as a cloud of spores, a silver slime lands and turns into thousands of inch-long blobs that clean and remove waste from an area. Once finished cleaning, they combine into a large slug-like aggregate able to conduct repairs on its surroundings by extruding various tools. After the plasmodium has conducted various maintenance tasks, it eventually settles, sprouting a central stalk that grows into an air-freshening tree. Finally, the tree’s sporangia burst, creating fresh clouds of spores.​


Skullbirds are 16-foot-wingspan avians found in Wildspace. Their heads have stretched, shiny black skin and glittering, recessed dark eyes. Jet-black, needle-sharp beaks and razor-like talons make them dangerous opponents. They prefer carrion, but skullbirds will attack live prey when hungry. A skullbird’s oily feathers exude a foul smell, but trap enough air to keep its alive for a full day. Skullbirds nest in floating wrecks and travel in flocks. They are considered an ill omen, a sign that someone on the ship they land on will die soon. More details on skullbirds can be found in MC9.​


Found in Greyspace (SJR6), skykine are gargantuan herd animals with a similar overall shape to a dragon. They have four atrophied dragon legs, under-developed wings useful only for steering, a short neck and a broad, flat head with a long alligator snout. Large spherical eyes give the skykine a wide range of vision. Their shark-like skin is coloured to let them blend in with the skies of Edill, where they fly using a special levitation organ. A skykine can attack with a bite or a tail slap, but prefers to flee from danger. They eat only things much smaller than themselves, and are in turn preyed upon by Edill’s dragon population.​


Sky Scavver
Reaching gargantuan size and stretching a hundred feet in length, sky scavvers are the largest members of the scavver family. They can be found on the air world of Alabeth, where they prey on floating holbags and other denizens of the skies. As well as having a huge bite and ability to swallow creatures, a sky scavver can deal a punishing tail slap and can fire a bolt of lightning from its eye. Simple minded predators, sky scavvers are usually solitary, but will sometimes hunt in packs of up to four. Sky scavvers are described in SJR4.​


Sleeks are small mammals up to three feet in length. They resemble ermines but have an array of antennae on their muzzles. Fast and silent, they can locate and target vital parts of an opponent’s anatomy. With sharp claws and teeth, a sleek is capable of opening a major blood vessel or severing a spinal cord in a smaller target. Families of sleeks inhabit cargo holds and smaller passages in ships. They can sometimes be coaxed and domesticated with food, and have been known to play tricks and steal from crews until they are formally offered food. Sleeks live up to twenty years, and will become loyal allies if tamed. They are described in MC9.​


Slinkers are strange looking animals roughly the size of rats. They stand on their hind legs and use their short forelegs to hold food and small items. Although they are depicted with wings, these are not mentioned in their description, and they do not seem to fly. Slinkers are encountered in packs of up to twenty. If forced into combat, they will all swarm over a single opponent. They consume significant quantities of food and air, and reproduce very rapidly, making a slinker infestation a serious potential problem for any spelljamming ship. They can be found in MC7 and on 1992#498.​


Enormous patches of this parasitic seaweed—hundreds of square feet in size—float in Wildspace and the phlogiston. A ship running into a bed of sluk rapidly decelerates. The sluk bleeds off magical energy from spelljamming helms; once it has absorbed enough energy, it rapidly doubles in size, usually ensnaring captured ships even more thoroughly. Anyone carrying magical items or capable of casting spells will also be drained should they fall into the sluk. Cold spells cause sluk to shrivel up and flake off. Other spells nourish it. This strange plant is detailed in MC9.​


Space Drake
A space drake is a wingless, limbless relative of the radiant dragon, characterised by a prominent dorsal fin. Up to fifty feet long, these glittering serpents can bite, smash with their tails and constrict. Space drakes have the same breath weapon as a radiant dragon; they fire glowing force pulses similar to magic missiles. A space drake can also cast the restore air, detect portal, and light spells. Although they are omnivorous creatures, space drakes prefer fresh meat. They are territorial and mostly solitary, residing in abandoned hulks. Space drakes appeared in SJA2.​


Space Mimic
Similar in size to normal mimics, space mimics are mimic variants created by wizards to protect their treasures during long journeys. Likely abandoned because of their poor reliability, space mimics survived, reproduced by fission, and thrived. These mimics have two keen interests: food and magic. They can cast spells, particularly illusions, and will use invisibility to get a chance to hypnotise a spellcaster. They will then steal magical books, scrolls or other items, and study them eagerly. Space mimics can travel through space by levitating themselves. They are highly intelligent creatures, capable of trade. Space mimics can be found in MC7.​


Space Owl
Apart from their large, yellow, unblinking eyes, space owls look like other owls. They are far more intelligent, however, and experts in celestial navigation. Space owls are sometimes recruited by humanoids to serve as ships’ navigators. They usually speak multiple languages, but have a tendency to ramble and over-analyse. When dealing with an enemy, a space owl would prefer to discuss their foe’s subconscious reasons for needing to fight. Sadly, this approach often makes violent conflict more likely. Space owls can be found in MC9 and on 1993#62.​


Space Swine
Custom-bred by the dohwar, space swine are a cross between wild boars and pigeons. They stand three feet high and six feet long, with a large pair of grey wings. Space swine taste delicious when roasted, as well as being useful as beasts of burden and as trackers. They have uncanny senses, and can track a scent up to 48,000 miles away in Wildspace. Space swine are fierce fighters, favouring a squealing dive attack, and can follow commands given to them by riders. Attempts by the dohwar to sell space swine to other races have met with little success. Space swine can be found in MC9.​


Spacesea Giant (also known as a Rover Giant)
The ancestors of spacesea giants were stone giants brought into space as neogi slaves. After escaping the neogi, these giants embraced the god Ptah, who graced them with improved intelligence and wisdom. In return, the spacesea giants dedicate their lives to exploring arcane space, either in their own oversized galleons, or as hired crew on other ships. Unlike their groundling cousins, spacesea giants grow hair. They often shape it to resemble the style of their god. Roughly one in ten spacesea giants has spellcasting abilities. Spacesea giants are detailed in MC7.​


These worms resemble sea slugs, glistening white in colour and up to three feet long. Spaceworms fly through space in packs, attacking anything organic. They eat long furrows in wood and flesh alike and have a particular fondness for eating eyes. They continue to consume until they are large enough to split, forming up to three young spaceworms. Spaceworms have an unusual immunity to all poisons and diseases. Slime from a freshly killed worm can neutralise diseased wounds. More information on spaceworms can be found in SJR1.​


Spirit Warrior
A spirit warrior (from MC9) is an enormous undead insect that must be operated from within its chest cavity. Spirit warriors were used by elven crack troops during the Unhuman Wars, and most were placed in storage at the end of the conflict. Single user spirit warriors are about twenty feet high, and there are at least three different versions of these. All spirit warriors have functional wings allowing them to make gliding leaps, feet that adhere to almost any surface and at least two clawed hands. A much larger version, known as a zwarth, is piloted by a crew of 5-8 and is capable of spelljamming flight, as well as being able to amplify spells cast by those piloting it.​


If an evil cleric or wizard dies while spelljamming, their soul might endure as a spiritjam. A spiritjam appears as a diaphanous version of its former self, with eyes that sparkle like stars and extended fingers ending in claws. A spiritjam’s gaze can paralyse a target with fear, its touch drains intelligence, and it retains knowledge of the spells it knew when it was still alive. Spiritjams hate all life and often choose a home close to shipping lanes to maximise the harm they can cause. Spiritjams are detailed in MC7 and featured in the adventure Mammoth Problems in Du41.​


Star Lancer (also known as a Vah’k’rel)
A new creature from MCV1, the star lancer is a four-winged shark used as a mount by the githyanki. Star lancers are the reincarnated worshipers of a dead god, whose petrified body drifts through the Astral Sea. When an existing star lancer dies, its soul returns to the cavern formed by the dead god’s hollow hear. There it is housed in a new body that rises magically from the floor of the cavern. A star lancer makes an ideal mount for githyanki stealth missions because it has an invisibility cloak ability that turns itself and its rider invisible until one of them engages with an enemy.​


Star Selkie
In its natural form, a star selkie has a bullet-shaped body with sharp guide fins and an armoured prow that serves as a battering ram. Once a star selkie impales a target, it attaches up to ten tentacles to drain the life from its prey. Star selkies are good creatures, and although carnivorous, they do not eat humanoids. They have the ability to shapechange into humans of remarkable beauty and tend to be quite social and gregarious. Star selkies are intelligent and knowledgeable about Wildspace. They sometimes come to the aid of lost travellers, leading them to safety. Star selkie leaders can cast a small number of utility spells. The star selkie appeared in MC9.​


Starfly Plant
The starfly plant looks like a large butterfly, but it is actually the mobile fruit of a plant known as a mother-tree. It has wings that convert sunlight into food. These plants are considered a good omen by starfarers, and the fruit they contain is delicious. A mother-tree germinates from a starfly plant that lands on a comet, consuming its minerals and eventually growing into an immense tree, some 1000 feet tall. The gravity of these trees can be enough to seed a new living world. The starfly plant is the basis for the gadabout and the bioengineered ships used by spacefaring elves. It is detailed in MC9.​


Explorers who stumble across a large mound of precious stones on an asteroid may have their hopes of easy treasure dashed when they discover that the gems are attached to an eighteen-foot long lizard that shoots lightning bolts from its eyes. Stargazers (from MC9) enjoy basking in the sunlight falling on large asteroids but are voracious killers when wandering animals or adventurers stumble across them. When necessary, they can propel themselves into space using their powerful hind legs and roll into a rocky ball, hibernating until they encounter a ship or another asteroid.​

Steelback Beetle
Huge beetles with reflective metallic shells, steelbacks roam the sun-drenched portions of the earth world Radole. They are mindless killing machines, preying on other beetle-like creatures native to the planet. A steelback beetle has a nearly perfectly hemispherical shell, held off the ground by three dozen multi-jointed legs. These legs allow the beetle to move much faster than might be expected for a huge creature. A beetle will either trample a target or use its long, serrated mandibles to inflict substantial biting damage. Steelback beetles are immune to fire, electricity and poison, but are vulnerable to cold attacks. These beetles sometimes hunt solo and sometimes in small groups which form and disperse seemingly randomly. They reproduce by parthenogenesis. Steelback beetles are detailed in SJR4.​


Stellar Dragon
A stellar dragon is powerful and very large. The oldest specimens have bodies stretching nearly 200 miles and tails twice as long. They have deep purple scales adorned with countless gems, two fins running the length of their torsos, and four enormous lace-like wings. Stellar dragons are neutral, and seldom deign to interact with humanoids, unless they offer information new to that dragon, since these dragons literally consume knowledge. Stellar dragons have a gravitic breath weapon, can teleport enemies thousands of yards away, can summon allies of immense power and have nearly unlimited spellcasting abilities. Stellar dragons are found in MC9 and on 1993#3.​


Stellar Undead
Essentially Spelljammer versions of zombies, stellar undead are unusual in that the vacuum of space causes them to decompose very slowly. This allows these undead to pretend to be sailors stranded on wrecks and lure passing ships in to help them. They keep up the pretence of being alive until they eventually lose their self-control and attack, sinking their teeth into the first warm flesh available. As well as their bite, stellar undead will also attack with their claws. They no longer remember how to use any weapons or magical items they may still possess. Stellar undead are found in MC9.​


Native to the disk world of Plata (SJR4), the strangler is a carnivorous plant with a round central body about three feet in diameter, and eight vine-like tentacles stretching some twelve feet outwards. Although it is green in colour, a strangler does not only rely on photosynthesis for nutrition. If it senses a nearby creature, the tentacles lash out and attempt to draw the prey into a mouth on top of the central body. The tentacles also secrete a paralytic enzyme. Although dangerous, stranglers are immobile and can be avoided. Aarakocra consider their red flowers to be a delicacy.​


Sun Dragon
Playful, benevolent dragons that live on the surface of suns, sun dragons begin life coloured fiery red and progress through burnt orange, brilliant yellow and bluish white. As great wyrms, these dragons shrink back down to hatchling size and turn white. When they die, sun dragons collapse to form a sphere of annihilation or, more rarely, a well of worlds. They have a range of heat and light-related spell abilities and can spit fireballs. Sun dragons produce a special saliva that protects their treasure from intense heat, and can be used to coat their fireballs to delay the blast. Sun dragons are the mortal enemies of moon dragons. They can be found in MC9 and on 1992#530.​


A high-level humanoid who has fallen into the phlogiston may become trapped in a state of suspended animation. Over time, the exotic vapours of the phlogiston have an effect on their mind turning them into a survivor (MC7). When a survivor is rescued it will awaken from its coma, but only for limited periods of time. It will gradually take over the minds of the crew of the rescuing craft, turning them into slaves over which it has full control. Starved of sensations for so long, a survivor is driven only to acquire more slaves so that it can experience as much sensory input as possible.​


Swamp Giant
Swamp giants are a more civilised offshoot of bosk giants, from the planet Chislev in the Krynnspace system (SJR7). Where bosk giants have unkempt green hair, swamp giants braid and decorate it. They wear the skins of green dragons, which they also hunt for meat. Some communities farm a ricelike crop. Swamp giants are peaceful and generally only fight to defend their territory if negotiations fail. Spears are their favoured weapon for hunting and defence. All swamp giants can cast entangle and plant growth, and some become shamans proficient in a variety of druidic spells.​


Syllix (also known as a Sathar)
The syllix is an intelligent creature originally appearing in the Star Frontiers game as the sathar. It has a segmented body with rubbery tentacle-like limbs and moves either by slithering or walking upright. Syllix have an unusual population cycle. They breed rapidly until their home location is saturated. At this point they produce a different sort of offspring, known as mage-stars, who must be fed on enzymes extracted from the living brains of creatures the syllix have enslaved. The mage-stars can spelljam and transport the syllix population to new homes in a process referred to as the Eruption. Syllix can be found in MC7, on 1993#19 and feature in the Wildspace adventure in Du71.​


Symbionts, or more accurately power symbionts are tiny, ¼-inch diameter creatures that look a bit like a fungus. They are dark brown, changing to rust coloured while feeding. Symbionts have no offensive capabilities but drain the magic from items. They can sense magical auras and move slowly towards the strongest auru they can detect. Spells cast at a symbiont are reflected back at the caster. This can be useful to ships under attack, as the symbiont only needs to be included in the area of effect to be able to reflect a spell. Symbionts are described in MC7.​

The constellations of Clusterspace are intense flames on top of gargantuan towers made of crystal girders and black cord. The towers were built by, and are maintained by, a group of contemplators who live within them. The contemplators are, in turn, protected and looked after by creatures called the Tenders. Created by the gods whose constellations they protect, the Tenders are made of flesh and blood, but do not age and have limited mental capacity. They are linked together through the consciousness of the god who created them, and all of the Tenders of that particular god work together as a team. Tenders speak only to challenge those who try to enter one of the towers they protect. The Astromundi Cluster is vague about the appearance of these Tenders, but they have two fist attacks, so are presumably humanoids.​


Thagar (also known as a Beholder Eater or a Grimgobbler)
A thagar is a rubbery-skinned sphere, about seven feet in diameter. Up to sixteen long, serpentine necks with toothed jaws extend from the central body which is also spotted with more than a dozen eyes. Thagar are immune to many spells and highly resistant to magic in general. They have a magical organ that lets them levitate through space. Although they are particularly fond of beholders and other magic-using creatures, thagar will eat almost anything, including young radiant dragons and umber hulks. Thagar are detailed in SJR1.​


Tinkerer (also known as a Giant Bubble)
These bizarre creatures are four-foot wide spheres with six eyes, large mouths and four dextrous arms (or possibly six arms; the text contradicts itself). Their name is their nature, as tinkerers like to modify all sorts of things: equipment, magical items, and even other beings. They have mixed success when it comes to other creatures, but there are examples of wonderseekers and reavers who have weapons as functioning implants. Tinkerers are not hostile, and often hitch rides on spacefaring craft where they get in the way as often as they are useful. They require little food, but have a particular affinity for sweets and candy. Tinkerers can be found in SJR1.​


Undead Hulk
An undead hulk is essentially a mindless zombie created using a magical ritual known only to neogi. Each limb, that head and the torso of an undead hulk must come from a different umber hulk. An undead hulk is under the absolute control of its creator, but can be turned by a cleric. It attacks with claws and, if both claws hit, an extra crushing attack. It lacks the confusion gaze of a living umber hulk, but gains some magic resistance. The undead hulk is from Dr184.​


Undead Old Master (also known as a Night Neogi)
Not all neogi readily embrace the fate of becoming a Great Old Master. Some spellcasting individuals instead use their magic to become undead. They become outcasts, divorced from neogi society. Undead old masters look similar to normal neogi, but with eye sockets lit by ghostly lights. Over time, their flesh shrivels and their pelts fade. Undead old masters continue to develop their spellcasting abilities. They stop producing the poison made by their living relatives, but gain a paralysing chill touch. Undead old masters are described in SJR1.​


Vodoni Breeder
Forced to flee Vodonispace when the system’s star exploded in a supernova, the vodoni aggressively conquered a number of nearby crystal spheres, creating the Vodoni Empire, as described in SJA4. Vodoni breeders are the Empire’s nobles. Human in appearance, they are competent warriors and spellcasters. Citizens powerful enough to challenge their Emperor’s policies are “recruited”, memory wiped, and retrained to become loyal servants. Breeders get their name from their role in creating the enforcers and conquerors. They constantly tinker with their creations’ genetics.​

Vodoni Enforcer and Conqueror
These magically created beings (from SJA4) are made by the Vodoni breeders. Potential enforcers are infected by a special, highly virulent form of lycanthropy which turns them into nearly mindless beings. The most promising of these are fed a special poison, which either kills them, or turns them into an enforcer. Enforcers appear wolf-like in their normal form, and change into a more rabid form when they go into a blood rage. They are fighting machines, usually armed with magical swords, but capable with their claws and bites. Conquerors are more powerful variants.​


Vodoni Space Spider
Space spiders are large crystal spiders, likely related to crysmals. They are partly organic and partly mineral. They are intelligent and shy, and so fanatical about keeping their lairs secret that they attack anyone wandering into one with their pincers and poisonous bites. In addition to 30-180 ordinary space spiders, a lair typically also houses 3-18 diamond spinners and one master spider. A diamond spinner is slightly more powerful than its kin, and capable of 150 foot jumps. A master spider is the oldest spinner in a particular lair. Space spiders are detailed in SJA4.​


These six-foot-diameter beholders rank fairly low in the beholder heirarchy. They are responsible for recoinnaiscance and information gathering. A watcher has three large eyes around its circumference, another large eye on top and six small eyes around its crown. It has a large mouth with a prehensile tongue and a large grasping tentacle attached to its underside. The four large eyes each have two or three powers. These are generally utility powers rather than offensive in nature. Watchers are detailed in MC7, MM 2e and IT.​


Witchlight Marauder
Witchlight marauders were created by orc shamans during the Unhuman Wars. Most of them were thankfully wiped out, but a few have been preserved as doomsday weapons. A gargantuan, 200 foot tall slug-like monstrosity, a marauder funnels everything in its path into its huge maw, periodically spitting out smaller marauders that likewise consume everything and produce even smaller tertiary marauders. There exist enormous (1000 foot), slightly more reptilian, spacefaring marauders that grow the primary marauders to be despatched to worlds the space marauder is passing. Marauders are detailed in MC9 and featured in SJS1 and SJQ1.​


Wizshade (also known as a Spellshade)
Wizshades are whimsical beings that seem to manifest from the substance of the phlogiston. When one appears, it appears as a robed human arising from a swirling vortex of colours stretching off into an almost imperceptible cord. Wizshades can cast any wizards spells, and when they cast, they cast a completely random spell. Wizshades are effectively incorporeal. They can be countered by spells cast at them or harmed by magic weapons. Individual wizshades vary from helpful to hostile. The wizshade first appeared in MC7 and later in VGtATM and MCA4.​


Human misfits who rely on potions of longevity to survive extended space travel, wonderseekers live to satisfy their own personal whims. All of them are warriors or rogues, but some have also inherited spell-like abilities such as dimension door or telekinesis. Wonderseekers often use magical swords and wands and wear frilly, fantastic garb and body adornments. They often feud among themselves and have a complex ritual involving multiple assassination attempts they they use to resolve serious conflict. Wonderseeks are found in SJR1.​


Small humanoids with blue-black to green-gray skin and rubbery bodies and limbs, wrybacks are malicious, theiving creatures who stowaway in groups on seagoing or spacefaring ships. They can manipulate objects with both their hands and their feet and are excellent (and silent) climbers. They fight with their claws, but prefer to conceal themselves and attack with the benefit of surpise. Their rubbery nature makes them resistant to bludgeoning attacks. If exposed to poison gas or deadly air, wrybacks enter a state similar to feign death. They appeared in MC7 and on 1992#499.​


Xixchil are mantis-like creatures related to thri-kreen. They specialise in body modification surgeries, both for themselves and for others. To aid this, they can produce an anesthetic that they deliver using their bites. They are also capable of producing poisons. Most xixchil avoid conflict, but some specialise in combat, and will have special weapon limbs and other battle-related adornments. Xixchil originated on a world with many natural predators, so females produce dozens of eggs, and the newly hatched young duel and eat each other until only one or two survive. Xixchil appeared in MC9, CGR1, MM 2e and have their own ecology article in Dr266.​


Yggdrasti are one of the new creatures from MCV1. Gargantuan splinters of the world tree Yggdrasil, they fly through Wildspace and the Astral Sea. They look like dead trees covered with barnacles and trailing a withered root system. Since yggdrasti have their own air envelopes and gravity planes, they sometimes have hitchhikers hiding in their internal cavities. Yggdrasti hate other living things and will attack any settlements or ships they come across, using their roots or a special lightning discharge. They will sometimes land on planets and bury their roots to appear as normal trees.​


Yitsan (also known as a Treasure Bane or an Intruder Within)
Solitary egg-laying predators, yitsan (from MC9) are ten-foot high with eight-foot tails. They have grey-green scaled skin and clawed four-digit hands and feet. They lack eyes and sense their surroundings by tasting the air with their tongues. Yitsan frequently utter hisses, shrieks, roars and growls, but it isn’t clear if these are a language or simply noises. Travellers sometimes end up with a marauding yitsan aboard after untentionally loading an egg as cargo. Yitsan are eager combatants, attack with all of their claws, a dangerous bite, a tail slap and a trail squeeze.​


Zards are small blue-green coloured reptiles with six winged limbs and tiny grasping claws. They travel through space in swarms of up to a hundred interlocked individuals. Zards navigate using a sort of squealed sonar, since their eyes have atrophied. A zard swarm heads for a detected object, and once it lands, each zard begins to devour anything organic it can seek its teeth into. When they are well fed, zards are peaceful creatures, but they are voracious when hungry. Starving zards will turn on each other. Several intelligent species also eat zards. The zard appeared in MC7 and 1992#500.​


Gargantuan living planes, zats soar through the fire-ring of the planet Garrash (from SJR4), apparently using their fins to harness light pressure for movement. Zats are highly intelligent but have minds radically different from most life-forms. They are peaceful creatures but establishing communication with one is challenging, and will be of limited use, since zats are interested only in their local space. Zats use magnetic fields to communicate nearly instantaneously with each other. They are normally immortal; and killing one zat alerts every other zat within a range of 75 milliion miles, all of whom will feel a strong sense of enmity towards those responsible for the first zat’s death.​


Powerful, enigmatic constructs resembling suits of obsidian armor, zodar are invulnerable to everything except physical attacks. They can speak only three times in their lives, can cast only three spells (any spells) in their lifetimes, and can cast wish once per lifetime. In MC7, zodar are implied to have a connection with the physical structures of crystal spheres and speculated to be undertaking missions relating to the spheres. The FF 3e version removes this link but keeps the zodar’s nature mysterious. A zodar sometimes join an adventuring party, either participating or simply silently observing. The zodar is confirmed as returning in the Temple of Light adventure in SaIS 5e.​


Zurchin (also known as a Star Urchin or a Space Porcupine)
Tiny spherical mollusks with many spines, zurchin (from MC9) are similar in appearance to their oceanic counterparts. They are found scavenging on the rocks of asteroid reefs. Zurchins can fire poisonous dart from their spines. When a dart lodges in a creature there is a small chance that it contains an egg. During the week after implantation, the egg-bearer loses interest in food, becomes confused, extremely itchy, paralysed and eventually dies. The eggs hatch into new zurchins which feed on the dead host. Eggs can also lodge in wood, potentially causing a sudden outbreak on a ship. Neogi consider zurchin to be a delicacy and specialist chefs pay handsomely for their meat.​

That brings us to the end of Monsters of Spelljammer.

What are your favourite Spelljammer creatures? Which ones are you hoping to see in the upcoming Spelljammer set? Which ones are you hoping remain forever lost in the phlogiston?​

1991 Trading Cards​
1992 Trading Cards​
1993 Trading Cards​
Astromundi Cluster, The​
Secrets of the Lamp​
Cloakmaster Cycle #4: The Radiant Dragon​
Complete Spacefarer’s Handbook, The​
City of the Spider Queen​
Dragon #159​
Dragon #184​
Dragon #214​
Dragon #266​
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Dragon Annual #1​
Dungeon #34​
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Epic Level Handbook​
Expanded Psionics Handbook​
FF 1e​
Fiend Folio (1e)​
FF 3e​
Fiend Folio (3e)​
Drow of the Underdark, The (2e)​
Monstrous Arcana: I, Tyrant​
Lords of Madness: The Book of Aberrations​
Legend of Spelljammer, The​
Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix​
Monstrous Compendium Spelljammer Appendix II​
Monstrous Compendium Dark Sun Appendix: Terrors of the Desert​
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One​
Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume Four​
Monstrous Compendium Volume One: Spelljammer Creatures​
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Monster Manual (1st Edition)​
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Monstrous Manual​
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Monster Manual (3rd or 3.5 Edition)​
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Monster Manual (5th Edition)​
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Monster Manual II (3rd Edition)​
MM2 4e​
Monster Manual 2 (4th Edition)​
Monsters of Faerûn​
Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse​
MotP 3e​
Manual of the Planes (3rd Edition)​
Out of the Abyss​
Polyhedron #55​
Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix II​
Player’s Option: Skills and Powers​
Psionics Handbook​
SAiS 2e​
Spelljammer: AD&D Adventures in Space​
SAiS 5e​
Spelljammer: Adventures in Space​
Skull & Crossbow​
Crystal Spheres​
Under the Dark Fist​
Heart of the Enemy​
Lost Ships​
Practical Planetology​
Space Lairs​
Goblin's Return​
Savage Species​
Stormwrack: Mastering the Perils of Wind and Wave​
Monstrous Arcana: The Illithiad​
Unearthed Arcana: Travelers of the Multiverse​
Volo’s Guide to All Things Magical​
Volo’s Guide to Monsters​
War Captain’s Companion​

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