An extraplanar creature is one which is not native to the material plane (the normal world where most D&D adventures take place), but originates on another plane of existence.[1] In a more general sense, "extraplanar" refers to anything from or about another plane, such as extraplanar travel.

Some well-known examples of extraplanar creatures include fire elementals, fiends, celestials, and the powerful deities. Extraplanar creatures are typically vulnerable to spells like banishment or dismissal, which return them to their home plane, and often (though not always) have significant powers.

Publication history[edit | edit source]

AD&D 1st edition[edit | edit source]

The concept of planes in D&D originated in the article Planes, Dragon #8 (Jul 1977), p.4. The term "interplanar" appeared in Giants in the Earth, Dragon #30 (Oct 1979), p.32 in reference to the character Maal Dweb from Clark Ashton Smith's Lost Worlds.

The particular term "extra-planar" first appeared in the letters page of Dragon #56 (Dec 1981), in a letter by reader Jim Dopkin of Shenandoah, PA, where he suggests the publication of "a tome of extra-planar monsters". Such a book would eventually be published some ten years later, the MC8 Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix (1991).

The first D&D sourcebook to use the term was Oriental Adventures (1e) (1985), p.1985 referred to "extra-planar" beings being affected by such spells as dismissal. This was followed by Manual of the Planes (1e) (1987), p.73, which used the term several times to refer to creatures or locations of other planes.

The term appeared numerous times in other AD&D books from 1987 onward.

Basic D&D[edit | edit source]

Following the use of the term "extraplanar" in AD&D, it was used in a small number of later Dungeons & Dragons basic products, including GAZ2 The Emirates of Ylaruam (1987), PC2 Creature Crucible: Top Ballista (1989), and the Rules Cyclopedia (1991).

AD&D 2nd edition[edit | edit source]

The term "extraplanar" appeared in numerous AD&D 2nd edition sourcebooks, including the Player's Handbook (2e) (1989), Dungeon Master's Guide (2e) (1989), DMGR4 Monster Mythology (1992), and the Planescape product line.

D&D 3rd edition[edit | edit source]

In D&D 3rd edition, "extraplanar" is a standard keyword appearing in many monster statblocks. Most Outsider-type creatures are extraplanar, although not all. An outsider who is not extraplanar, i.e. they are from the material plane, is known in this edition as a native outsider.

D&D 4th edition[edit | edit source]

The term "extraplanar" is used as a descriptive term in such sourcebooks as Manual of the Planes (4e) (2008) and Book of Vile Darkness (4e){{UnknownBook}}. It is no longer a rules keyword.

D&D 5th edition[edit | edit source]

The term "extraplanar" is likewise used as a descriptive term in D&D 5th edition sourcebooks, including the Dungeon Master's Guide (5e) (2014).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Monster Manual (3.5) (2003), p.297.
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