Infobox D&D creature

caption=Lizardfolk battle adventurers on the cover of "Tomb of the Lizard King" (1983).

Lizardfolk (also lizard men) are a fictional humanoid species in the "Dungeons & Dragons" fantasy role-playing game.

Publication history

Lizard men first officially appeared as part of the original "D&D" game in the 1975 "Greyhawk" supplement booklet authored by Gary Gygax and Robert Kuntz. The lizardman artwork that appeared on the inside front cover of that supplement [
] was used as part of the official TSR, Inc. logo from 1975 through 1978. []

Dungeons & Dragons (1974-1976)

The lizard man was introduced to the game in its first supplement, "Greyhawk" (1975). [Gygax, Gary and Robert Kuntz. "" (TSR, 1975)] It is described as an aquatic monster with a rude intelligence, that is fond of eating human flesh.

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

The lizard man appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), [Gygax, Gary. "Monster Manual" (TSR, 1977)] where it is described as a semi-aquatic creature that dwells underwater, and is omnivorous but prefers human flesh.

The lizard king, a more intelligent and evil relative to the more common lizard man, was introduced in the "Fiend Folio" (1981) [Turnbull, Don, ed. "Fiend Folio" (TSR, 1981)]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977-1999)

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the lizard man, in the "Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set" (1977, 1981, 1983), [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974] , edited by J. Eric Holmes. "Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set" (TSR, 1977)] [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974] , edited by Tom Moldvay. "Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set" (TSR, 1981)] [Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974] , edited by Frank Mentzer. "Dungeons & Dragons Set 1: Basic Rules" (TSR, 1983)] and was also later featured in the "Dungeons & Dragons Game" set (1991), the "Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia" (1991), [Schend, Steven E., Jon Pickens, and Dori Warty (Editors). "Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia" (TSR, 1991)] the "Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game" set (1994), and the "Dungeons & Dragons Adventure Game" set (1999).

The Malpheggi lizard man was detailed as a player character race in the "Hollow World boxed set" in the "Player's Guide" (1990). [Allston, Aaron. "Hollow World Campaign Set" (TSR, 1990)]

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

The lizard man and lizard king appear first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989), [Cook, David, et al. "Monstrous Compendium Volume One" (TSR, 1989)] and are reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). [Stewart, Doug, ed. "Monstrous Manual" (TSR, 1994)]

The bakali, a relative of the lizard man from the world of Krynn in the Dragonlance campaign setting, was introduced in the "Time of the Dragon" boxed set, in the "Rulebook of Taladas" booklet (1989), [Cook, David. "Time of the Dragon" (TSR, 1989)] and also appeared in the "Tales of the Lance" set, in the "World Book of Ansalon" booklet (1992).

The lizard man of Krynn was detailed in the "Dragonlance Monstrous Compendium". (1990)

The lizard man was presented as a player character race for the Spelljammer campaign setting in "The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook" (1992). [Scott, Curtis M. "The Complete Spacefarer's Handbook" (TSR, 1992)]

The lizard man is further detailed as a playable character race in "The Complete Book of Humanoids" (1993), [Slavicsek, Bill. "The Complete Book of Humanoids" (TSR, 1993)] and is later presented as a playable character race again in "Player's Option: Skills & Powers" (1995).

The Athasian lizard man and lizard king were introduced for the Dark Sun campaign setting in "Wanderer's Chronicle: Mind Lords of the Last Sea" (1996). [Forbeck, Matt. "The Wanderers Chronicle: Mind Lords of the Last Sea" (TSR, Inc., 1996)]

The Malatran lizard man and lizard king were detailed in "Polyhedron" #121 (July 1996).

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000-2002)

The lizard man appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000), where it is known as the lizardfolk. [Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. "Monster Manual" (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)]

The lizardfolk is detailed as a player character race for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting in "Races of Faerûn" (2003). [Reynolds, Sean K., Forbeck, Matt, Jacobs, James, Boyd, Erik L. "Races of Faerûn" (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003-2007)

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

The lizardfolk is presented as both a race and a playable class for the Hollow World campaign setting in "Dragon" #318 (April 2004).

The lizard king, and lizard queen, are detailed in "Serpent Kingdoms" for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting. (2004). [Greenwood, Ed, Eric L Boyd, and Darrin Drader. "Serpent Kingdoms" (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)]

The blackscale lizardfolk and the poison dusk lizardfolk were introduced in "Monster Manual III" (2004). [Burlew, Rich, et al. "Monster Manual III" (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)]

The lizardfolk were detailed in "Dragon" #355 (September 2005), in the "Ecology of the Lizardfolk". [Scott, Amber E, and F Wesley Schneider. "The Ecology of the Lizardfolk." "Dragon" #335 (Paizo Publishing, 2005)]

The dark talon lizardfolk, including the soldier, champion, shaman, wasp rider, and Yarshag the dark talon king, were introduced in "Monster Manual IV" (2006). [Kestrel, Gwendolyn F.M. "Monster Manual IV" (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008-)

Lizardfolk appear in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008). [Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. "Monster Manual" (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)]


Lizardfolk are omnivores, though they have a preference for meat.


Lizardfolk are normally found in temperate marshes and swamps. Lizardfolk are passable swimmers however, and may be found in underwater cave systems.

Typical physical characteristics

Lizardfolk are primitive reptilian humanoids typically standing from six to seven feet tall. Their scales are normally dull, earthy colors such as green, brown, or gray. They have a tail for balance, which measures three to four feet long. Typical weight is between 200 and 300 pounds (90 and 136 kg). There are several species of lizardfolk however, and these can range from three-foot tall pygmies to nine-foot tall giants.


Lizardfolk are usually neutral.


Lizardfolk society is primarily patriarchal, with the strongest member normally in charge. Shamans are typically counselors, and normally do not lead tribes. Where ever they make their home, survival is the main priority for any lizardfolk. Lizardfolk mostly worship the deity Semuanya, whose main agenda is the reproduction and survival of the species.


*Blackscale [] - Larger and more barbaric, with dark scales and an affinity towards acid.
*Dark Talon [] - Murderous lizardfolk, toughened by alchemical infusions of black dragon blood. They seek to conquer lands controlled by other humanoid races.
*Lizard King [] - Demon-blooded lizardfolk who often rule tribes of their non-fiendish kin. Serve the demon lord Sess'Innek.
*Malpheggi - A more advanced lizardfolk found in the Hollow World.
*Poison Dusk [] - Smaller, chameleon-like lizardfolk who frequently utilize poisoned arrows.
*Quanak - Psionic lizardfolk.
*Shazak - Found in the Savage Coast these lizard folk were once slaves, but are now free. They are more intelligent and civilized than most lizardfolk.
*Viletooth - Lizardfolk with genetic relations to Black Dragons.

Lizardfolk in various campaign settings

Lizardfolk in Mystara

In the Mystara Campaign Setting most lizardfolk worship Ka the Preserver.

Lizardfolk in Spelljammer

Lizardfolk are one of the primary factions in the Spelljammer Campaign Setting. They are thought to originally have been groundlings who were captured as slaves by humans or mind flayers and transported into wildspace. Lizardfolk in wildspace are more advanced than their groundling cousins. They often decorate their bodies with tattoos and body paint. [Grubb, Jeff. "AD&D Adventures in Space - Concordance of Arcane Space" (TSR 1989)]

Spacefaring lizardfolk believe that they the advances in their race are due to increased proximity to the various suns of wildspace. They seek to continue the advancement of their race and deliberately fly ships containing lizardfolk eggs close to suns. [Grubb, Jeff. "AD&D Adventures in Space - Lorebook of the Void" (TSR 1989)]

Lizardfolk mostly use the same sort of ships as humans, but have a special breeding ship design called the bloatfly. The bloatfly is a heavily armed vessel containing a large tank of water for incubating eggs. They are normally coated with black tar in order to retain as much heat as possible. [Greenwood, Ed. "SJR1 Lost Ships" (TSR 1990)]

Lizardfolk in Arcanis

In the Arcanis Campaign Setting, lizardfolk are elevated to the point of being not only an important race but also a race playable as PCs. The lizardfolk of Arcanis are more often called Ss'ressen, and they are divided into several campaign-specific sub-races. Most Ss'ressen are part of the evil Ssethregoran Empire, though a few sub-races have separated geographically and theologically from their brethren to live in relative peace with mankind.


External links

* [ Psionic Bestiary: Lizardfolk, Quanak]

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