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The shambling mound is a fictional plant-like creature in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game. The shambling mound is also called shambler, a name which lends itself to the eponymous magic spell.

Publication history[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound is among the first creatures to appear in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game.

Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound first appeared in the official newsletter of TSR Games, The Strategic Review #3, August 1975.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977),[1] where it is described as an apparent heap of rotting vegetation, although in reality an intelligent form of vegetable life that suffocates prey in its slime.

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[2] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[3]

The shambling mound was detailed in Dragon Annual #2 (1997), in the "Ecology of the Shambling Mound".[4]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2013)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008), along with the stormrage shambler.[6]

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–)[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2014).[7]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Shambling mounds are intelligent, carnivorous plant creatures, though they appear to be rotting heaps of vegetation.

Environment[edit | edit source]

Shambling mounds are commonly found in temperate marshes.

Typical physical characteristics[edit | edit source]

Shambling mounds are usually about six feet tall, with an eight-foot girth, when they stand erect. Most weigh around 3,800 pounds. Their brains and sensory organs are located in their upper regions. In their natural environment, shambling mounds are almost invisible. They can move through water easily, and have been known to creep into camps in their range at night to attack. Stories tell of shambling mounds moving about in electrical storms without flinching from the frequent lightning strikes, even direct strikes.

Society[edit | edit source]

Shambling mounds are solitary creatures, unless summoned via magic.

Miniatures[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appears in the D&D Miniatures: Harbinger set (2003). Another, large sized miniature called stormrage shambler appeared in the D&D Miniatures: Unhallowed set (2007).

Other publishers[edit | edit source]

The shambling mound appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (2009), on page 246.[8] The shambling mound is fully detailed in Paizo Publishing's book Dungeon Denizens Revisited (2009), on pages 58–63.[9]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  3. Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  4. Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Shambling Mound". Dragon Annual #2 (TSR)
  5. Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  6. Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  7. Mearls, Mike, Crawford, Jeremy, and Perkins, Christopher, et al. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)
  8. Bulmahn, Jason (lead designer). Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (Paizo Publishing, 2009)
  9. Clinton Boomer, Jason Bulmahn, Joshua J. Frost, Nicolas Logue, Robert McCreary, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Sean K Reynolds, James L. Sutter, and Greg A. Vaughan. Dungeon Denizens Revisited (Paizo, 2009)
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