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In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, the tarrasque (tɑːˈræsk tahRASK')[1][2] is a magical beast.

The tarrasque is a gigantic lizard-like creature which exists only to eat, kill, and destroy. In most campaign settings, only one tarrasque is said to exist on each world. The tarrasque has a low intelligence and cannot speak. It is neutrally aligned, for despite its violent and savage nature, it lacks the mental capacity to choose between good and evil.

The tarrasque was introduced to the D&D game in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. It is based upon the French legend of the tarasque.

Publication history

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)

The tarrasque first appears in the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988) Monster Manual II (1983).[3]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)

The tarrasque appears in the Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (1989),[4] for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999), and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition (2000–2007)

The tarrasque appears in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002).[6]

The tarrasque appears in the revised Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007).[7]

The tarrasque was detailed in Dragon #359 (September 2007), in the "Ecology of the Tarrasque".[8] This article also included the advanced tarrasque.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)

The tarrasque appears in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014), under the abomination entry.[9] Fourth Edition marks the first time that the tarrasque doesn't regenerate health.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition (2014–)

The tarrasque appears in the Monster Manual for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–). It is one of the only monsters with a Challenge Rating of 30, the other is Tiamat. Like in 4th Edition, the tarrasque does not regenerate health.

Game description

The tarrasque is very large, 50 feet (15 meters) tall and 70 feet (21 meters) long, and has a Tyrannosaurus rex–like form, although it is much more broad and muscular, with a differently shaped head, and with larger and more developed front arms. It has brown skin, with scabs and warts and bits of encrusted dung all over it which are grey in color. Protecting its back and tail is a thick, glossy caramel-colored shell or carapace. It has spikes coming from its chin, the sides of the mouth, the underside of its neck, the elbows of its front arms, and its shell. The creature also has two horns projecting forwards from the top of its head. The tarrasque's skin is very hard and thick, and provides excellent armor. The second edition of the game included rules for extracting treasure from the creature's carcass.

The 2nd edition Monstrous Manual calls the creature "the most dreaded monster native to the Prime Material Plane" and "a killing machine", and goes on to say: Template:Quote

The tarrasque has also been called "a creature that embodies wanton destruction"[10] and "singularly deadly".[11] It was ranked No. 2 on the list of the ten best high-level monsters in Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition For Dummies.[10]

Combat

In the 4th edition version of the game, the tarrasque cannot be killed; reducing it to 0 hit points causes it to burrow into the core of the earth to slumber for a time (instead of killing it).

Origin

Various explanations of the tarrasque's origins exist: some claim that it is a curse from the gods, while others say that it was created by evil wizards.[citation needed]

In the Spelljammer series, the accessory Practical Planetology suggests the tarrasques originate from the planet Falx. Several hundred tarrasques live there,[12] where they feed upon the native Imbul, a lizard-like creature.[13]

In the 4th edition version of the game, the tarrasque is listed as an "abomination" and classed as a "Gargantuan elemental magical beast"—a living engine of death and destruction created by a primordial race for use as a weapon against the gods.

Reception

Rob Bricken from io9 named the tarrasque as the 10th most memorable D&D monster.[14]

Screen Rant compiled a list of the game's "10 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Monsters, Ranked" in 2018, calling this one of the strongest, saying "There are a lot of giant monsters that roam the various Dungeons & Dragons worlds, but none is more feared than the Tarrasque. This creature is an engine of destruction and it can crush entire cities in a single rampage."[15]

The tarrasque appeared on the 2018 Screen Rant top list at #5 on " Dungeons & Dragons: The 20 Most Powerful Creatures, Ranked", and Scott Baird highlighted that "The tarrasque is currently the most powerful creature in the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, where it is matched only by Tiamat in terms of its combat prowess."[16]

Other publishers

The tarrasque appeared in Paizo Publishing's book Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (2009), on page 262.[17]

References

  1. Dungeons & Dragons FAQ
  2. Mentzer, Frank. "Ay pronunseeAY shun gyd" Dragon #93 (TSR, 1985)
  3. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  4. Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
  5. Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  6. Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  7. Greenwood, Ed and Johnathan Richards. "The Ecology of the Tarrasque". Dragon #359 (Paizo Publishing, 2007)
  8. Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  9. 10.0 10.1
  10. Findley, Nigel D. Practical Planetology, p. 8, (TSR, 1991)
  11. Findley, Nigel D. Practical Planetology, p. 56, (TSR, 1991)
  12. The 10 Most Memorable Dungeons & Dragons Monsters, Io9, p.. September 16, 2013. (Temporary fix for {{cite journal}}, please update to use {{cite dragon}} and similar templates.)
  13. Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Monsters, Ranked
  14. Dungeons & Dragons: The 20 Most Powerful Creatures, Ranked
  15. Bulmahn, Jason (lead designer). Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary (Paizo Publishing, 2009)

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Further reading

External links