D&D 5E Which common monsters/creature types do you exclude from your campaigns?


Second Most Angelic Devil Ever
But do you use Roman monsters in your campaigns or exclude them? :ROFLMAO:

All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health...


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On topic:
I don't like including dragons. Something about their faux-ecological color types and profusion of age-based statblocks makes them feel banal and joyless to me--even if dragons like Smaug, Fafnir, and Glaurung are super cool in principle.

Off topic:
[...] I'm a big Hobgoblin guy, having them as sort of even-more-Evil Romans (as Ancient History and Archaeology student I already regard the Roman Empire as wildly Evil in a D&D sense). But I don't think one really needs both. They have different styles, but not different enough.
That's what I do with my hobgoblins (as a matter of fact, I can't even think the last time I used orcs - but I use hobgoblins a lot) - even more evil and even more expansionist Romans.
Brutal subjugation, slivery and a weird modern fetish for them by people mistaking their democratic system for the Iroquois one that is actually in wide use?
Man, there's a surprising amount of anti-Roman sentiment in this thread.

I'm one of those Hardcore History listeners who thinks that "history should be graded on a curve." So, while the Romans were not good people, they weren't significantly less good than their neighbors--Ptolemaic Egypt, which kept ethnic Egyptians subservient to a Greek elite, Carthage, with its child sacrifice, Athens with its slavery, exclusionary citizenship, and bad behavior as a Greek hegemon. With the exception of Achaemenid Persia, I can't think of a roughly-contemporary Eurasian empire that wasn't similarly bad or worse (god forbid you base your hobgoblins on the Assyrians or the Spartans). It's almost inevitable that, in the process of building a robust centralized state, the ruling elite is gonna make the lives of everyday people worse and the lives of people in weaker neighboring states precarious. Rome wasn't especially evil in this regard, just unusually successful at centralization and winning wars.

There's a great series of blog posts over on A Collection of Unmitigated Pedantry (which is a crazy good worldbuilding resource, btw) explaining--among other things--how much better it was to be a subject people of the Romans as compared to any of their imperial neighbors. @Neonchameleon is basically correct about this; unlike nearly everywhere else in the ancient Mediterranean, people not from the ruling elite ethnicity could aspire to become full Roman citizens, senators, and sometimes emperors--because the Romans were willing to grant privileges and opportunities to their subjects if it meant having a better army.

Again, they were bigoted warmongers not good people, but they should be graded on a curve--a figurative B- to Sparta's F.

I was thinking about my current homebrew …
I run my own version of Greyhawk for 24 years, and I exclude certain monsters, my take on those you mention:

Dragonborn - Agree, I have never used them and probably never will.
I don’t like half-dragons or half-fiends either. The feel is weird to me of sort of draconic, mostly humanoid. There is an adventure with a Dungeon adventure with half-dragon I want to run someday, but it’s really good and about a unique half-dragon and his dragon father, not “3 Dragonborn sorcerers are in Room 3” stuff, accepting it as mundane.
I like an use often Lizardmen, and have no problem with Tielfings or AasImar if the story supports (again, not no personality ones with no background - would be an exception with a reason).

Lycanthropes - I rarely use them, but I have no problem with them. In general, I like D&D with roots in mythology or at least outside self-referential D&D (see not liking Dragonborn).

Tritons - I agree there are too many watery humanoids. In general, I avoid aquatic adventures - as the Ten Foot Pool reviewer has said, many of them are just bad. The last I ran was U123 Saltmarsh series (in AD&D 1e) around 1996 and enjoyed it, but haven’t had a desire for more. For a good adventure, I would do it. I have zero attachment to Tritons. Sahuagin or aquatic elves or locathah or selkie I’d use first.

Githyanki & Githzerai - I find the adventures they are, generally are bad. Self-referential D&D overdrive. But when a PC used Dismissal to send an NPC home from the Temple of Elemental Evil’s Nodes, I told the story (when they checked in via Sending), that he accidentally went to a CN outer plane, met up with Gith and traveled with them to the Prime - but he is Faerun now, not Greyhawk, oops.

Giralon - I have used them. To me, like Owlbears - the “Good” stuff of self-referential D&D, which generally means it doesn’t hit an “over the top“ feel and is a monster, not a PC option/somebody you’ll meet at a cantina, I guess.

Djinni & Efreeti - I haven’t used them that I can recall, but they fit what I like - mythology that doesn’t come from gonzo game writing, but an older tradition.
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I’m surprised by the anti-Triton sentiment I have seen in this thread, but only because a few people have seemed to suggest that Sea Elves are somehow preferable. I understand being anti-humanoid-but-water, but adding elf abilities on top of that comes across as even more banal to me.

It’s marginal, but at least Triton gets a name of its own.


Lord of the Hidden Layer
I'm DM'ing a Frozen North / Vikings campaign. I won't be using any monsters that 'feel' like they belong in a tropical jungle - especially vine-y or big-flowered plants. So no Assassin Vine, for instance.

OTOH, the animals ... even the wild cats (but not domesticated housecats) have natural polar bear -like "survive in the cold" physical adaptations. Layers of fat, shorter limbs, stocky body, thick fur, &c.


Demons and Devils. I was probably one of the few (if not lone) people that was glad to see them disappear for most of 2E.
Agreed. Was just (virtually) flipping through MMotM and was thinking how much wasted (in my opinion) energy and creative space went into more and more pointless devils and demons.


I don't exclude much, but I just realized I have never used beholders. I don't think I like them, as I have no interest or desire to throw one in. Not a raging hate, more like I just skim over them like they don't even exist.

In 3e and PF days, I quit using swarms because they were fiddly and annoying to run.


Well, that was fun
Staff member
I don't think I'll be able to bring myself to throw in owlbears anymore. They've become cute plushies and the baby snow owlbears are adorable. Between that and @Morrus calling them bearowls all the time? Nope, not letting them get slaughtered. 😊🐻🦉
It’s the only logical name for a bear with an owl head.


I gave up on swarms too, except I do recall an adventure that had a flesh golem with a hellwasp swarm inside it, which was pretty grisly!
I adore beholders, they are just so D&D.
As are owlbears; I’m running Phandelver for my grandkids and 8 year old Orla was shrieking with excitement when they encountered and slew the owlbear in the ruined castle.
“ We killed an owlbear We killed an owlbear!,” she yelled excitedly. Intrigued about how she clearly knew about owlbears despite never playing before, I asked her about it
“ Oh, everyone at my school knows about owlbears,” she replied.


“ We killed an owlbear We killed an owlbear!,” she yelled excitedly. Intrigued about how she clearly knew about owlbears despite never playing before, I asked her about it
“ Oh, everyone at my school knows about owlbears,” she replied.

I find it fascinating that they've entered into mainstream popular consciousness. What next, flumphs showing up in nursery rhymes?


When I was still teaching kindergarten about 8 years ago, I went online to look for "K is for...." colouring sheets and found "k is for kobold." D&D kobolds they were too. And it was just a typical education site, not a nerd parent one.

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