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In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the baku (ˈbɑːkuː BAHkoo[1] or ˈbækuː BAKoo)[1] is a type of outsider. They are based on Baku of Japanese legend.

Publication history[]

The baku first appeared in Dragon #65 (September 1982).[2] The baku next appeared in the first edition Monster Manual II (1983);[3]

The baku appeared in second edition in The Complete Psionics Handbook (1991).[4] The baku appeared for the Planescape setting in the first Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (1994).[5]


Baku are huge elephantine creatures with the tail of a lizard. The Baku's rear feet end in leonine paws complete with claws. The baku's back is covered with dragonlike scales running from their head all the way to the end of their tail. They have a short trunk, usually four feet in length.

Good aligned baku generally live secretly among humankind using their psionic powers to polymorph into a humanoid form, choosing to do good and help out where ever possible. The evil baku however will try to undo the work of those good baku they can. True neutral baku are considered "Holy Ones" and are revered by their good aligned "Brothers".

On the black market, baku tusks fetch a reasonable price. However, if a "Holy One" learns of this trade, it will travel great distances (either physical or psionic) to confront the merchant and counsel them in their ways.

Other publishers[]

The baku appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3 (2011), on page 31.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mentzer, Frank. "Ay pronunseeAY shun gyd" Dragon #93 (TSR, 1985)
  2. Gygax, E. Gary. "Featured Creatures." Dragon #65 (TSR, 1982)
  3. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  4. Winter, Steve. The Complete Psionics Handbook (TSR, 1991)
  5. Varney, Allen, ed. Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR, 1994)
  6. Bulmahn, Jason (lead designer). Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3 (Paizo Publishing, 2011)