Dungeons & Dragons Lore Wiki

A margoyle, or marlgoyle, is a stronger variety of gargoyle that often leads other gargoyles.



Margoyles are typically larger than the average gargoyle or have strange physical mutations, such as extra horns or limbs. Deep grooves are found in the stony skin of margoyles; it is suggested the name "margoyle" derives from either how these grooves "mar" their appearance, or from the scars and lacerations the creatures inflict on their enemies.[1]

In Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition, all gargoyles, including margoyles, can actually turn into stone statues. Their wounds heal more quickly in this "stone form". However, margoyles do not heal their scars even when in their "stone form".[1]

Personality and alignment

Margoyles, like gargoyles, are chaotic evil.[2]

Abilities and traits

Margoyles are paragons among gargoyles. They are slightly smarter than others of their kind.[1] Margoyles' tougher stony skin helps them blend in with their surroundings.[2]



Margoyles are typically found in caverns.[2]

Life cycle

Margoyles are different from other gargoyles at birth.[1]

The article Marlgoyles & Monster Manual II, Polyhedron #22 (1985), by Gary Gygax, detailed the margoyle's equivalent of an alternate gargoyle life cycle that had been detailed in another article, Why gargoyles don't have Wings but should, Polyhedron #21 (1984). Margoyle eggs start out larger than gargoyle eggs, and absorb more minerals during their growth than the common gargoyle, ending with eggs two feet long and 18 inches in diameter. Newborn margoyles are two feet tall at birth, and emerge ready to eat anything that moves. The margoyle hatchlings join together as a pack, hunting larger prey; excepting those runts cannibalized by their clutch-mates. According to this article, margoyles can live to be about 300 years old.

Society and culture


Margoyles take advantage of their slightly higher intelligence to lead gargoyle groups. They can keep larger groups of gargoyles in line.[1] Margoyles may also band together in groups of their own kind, forming tribes with two to eight members.[2]


In addition to speaking the language of gargoyles, margoyles also speak their own language,[2] which is similar to that spoken by gargoyles.[3]


Margoyles are known to gather valuable items, especially magical items capable of harming them.[3]

Notable margoyles

For a full list of margoyles, see Category:Margoyles.

  • Eyarq, chief henchman of the annis hag Zaraga of the Screaming Tower in Sigil

In other worlds


Margoyles in Krynn have no wings. Their skin takes on the characteristics of surrounding rock. Margoyles are cited as having a wider range of habitats than the common gargoyle, as they will live in any rocky or mountainous region rather than living among buildings and statues; this is also taken as a sign of higher intelligence than the common gargoyle.[4]

Publication history

AD&D 1st edition

The marlgoyle first appeared in S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982), and was included in Monster Manual II (1e) (1983) as the margoyle.

Gary Gygax detailed margoyles further in Marlgoyles & Monster Manual II, Polyhedron #22 (1985).

AD&D 2nd edition

The margoyle returned in Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989), under the entry for "gargoyle". It was reprinted along with the gargoyle in the Monstrous Manual (1993).

The margoyle was card #512 in the 1991 Trading Cards Factory Set (1991).

Dragonlance: Fifth Age

The margoyles of the Dragonlance setting were described in the The Bestiary (1998).

D&D 4th edition

Margoyles were described in Ecology of the Gargoyle, Dragon #423 (May 2013), by Jeff LaSala.

Creative origins

The margoyle first appeared as the marlgoyle, in Gary Gygax's The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. Gygax admitted in 1984 that he intended to keep the name "marlgoyle" in Monster Manual II, but incorrectly dropped the 'L' in the text.[5]

Gygax in 1984 also expressed displeasure with the margoyle's lack of wings in its 1st edition Monster Manual II illustration.[5]

Reception and influence

Appearances in other D&D media

The video game Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft (1996) included the character "Urgo the Margoyle". However, according to the game manual, the character was a fiend trapped in a stone gargoyle body, rather than an actual margoyle.

Influence on unofficial works

The margoyle appeared, with Wizards of the Coast approval,[6] in the d20 System supplement Tome of Horrors (2002), from Necromancer Games.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Ecology of the Gargoyle, Dragon #423 (May 2013), p.8-12.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Monstrous Manual (1993), p.125.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Monster Manual II (1e) (1983), p.83.
  4. The Bestiary (1998), p.86-87.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Why gargoyles don't have Wings but should, Polyhedron #21 (1984), p.9.
  6. Tome of Horrors Complete -- Order NOW or miss out forever (paizo.com). 2011-06-30. Retrieved 2020-10-28.