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The lurker is an aberration. It is similar to the darkmantle and the piercer but attacks with suffocation instead of impaling. The lurker resembles a flat, gray stingray with two small eyes at the front. They are capable of both creeping along a ceiling and slowly gliding through the air. The darkmantle is said to be the result of crossbreeding a lurker with a piercer. Lurkers live underground.



Personality and alignment[]

Lurkers and their variations cannot speak, and they are neutral in alignment.

Abilities and traits[]

Lurkers, as said before, attack similarly to the darkmantle and the piercer. They flap or crawl to the roof of a cavern, and attach themselves to the ceiling. They wait until prey comes beneath them and then drop below. Because they are flat and not pointed, they do not impale the prey. Instead, they wrap around the head of the victim and suffocate them. They do not let go until either they or the prey is dead. They can only be fought off by others, or with small weapons the prey was already holding. Lurkers are solitary creatures, unlike the piercer, which lives in colonies that can be huge. Females lay glutinous sacks of eggs on the ground, and newborns feed upon vermin which can be found on cave floors, until they are old enough to fly and can attack in the above described method.

Variants and related creatures[]

The trapper is a variation of the of the lurker. Instead of attacking by dropping from above, it waits on the floor and kills by closing itself over prey that walks on top of it.[1]

The forest trapper, or miner, is another, more different variation of the lurker. The miner waits on the floor of forests until prey walks on top of it, then attacks with two poisonous barbs.

Publication history[]

Original D&D[]

Basic D&D[]

AD&D 1st edition[]

AD&D 2nd edition[]

D&D 3rd edition[]

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D&D 5th edition[]


  1. The Ecology of the Trapper, Dragon #84 (Apr 1984).