Each creature has one type, which broadly defines its abilities. Some creatures also have one or more subtypes. A creature cannot violate the rules of its subtype without a special ability or quality to explain the difference—templates can often change a creature's type drastically.
When discussing or considering a playable race's type, it's type is similar to the corresponding creature type, with a few important differences.
An aberration has a bizarre anatomy, strange abilities, an alien mindset, or any combination of the three.
An aberration has the following features.
Traits: An aberration possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
An animal is a living, nonhuman creature, usually a vertebrate with no magical abilities and no innate capacity for language or culture. Animals usually have additional information on how they can serve as companions.
An animal has the following features (unless otherwise noted).
Traits: An animal possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
A construct is an animated object or artificially created creature.
A construct has the following features.
Traits: A construct possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
A dragon is a reptile-like creature, usually winged, with magical or unusual abilities.
A dragon has the following features.
Traits: A dragon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
A fey is a creature with supernatural abilities and connections to nature or to some other force or place. Fey are usually human-shaped.
A fey has the following features.
Traits: A fey possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
A humanoid usually has two arms, two legs, and one head, or a human-like torso, arms, and a head. humanoids have few or no supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but most can speak and usually have well-developed societies. They are usually Small or Medium (with the exception of giants). Every humanoid creature also has a specific subtype to match its race, such as human, dark folk, or goblinoid.
Humanoids with 1 Hit Die exchange the features of their humanoid Hit Die for the class features of a PC or NPC class. Humanoids of this sort are typically presented as 1st-level warriors, which means they have average combat ability and poor saving throws. Humanoids with more than 1 Hit Die (such as giants) are the only humanoids who make use of the features of the humanoid type.
A humanoid has the following features (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Traits: A humanoid possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Magical Beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2 (in which case the creature knows at least one language, but can’t necessarily speak). Magical Beasts usually have supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but are sometimes merely bizarre in appearance or habits.
A magical beast has the following features.
Traits: A magical beast possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Monstrous humanoids are similar to humanoids, but with monstrous or animalistic features. They often have magical abilities as well.
A monstrous humanoid has the following features.
Traits: A monstrous humanoid possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
An ooze is an amorphous or mutable creature, usually mindless.
An ooze has the following features.
Traits: An ooze possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
An outsider is at least partially composed of the essence (but not necessarily the material) of some plane other than the Material Plane. Some creatures start out as some other type and become outsiders when they attain a higher (or lower) state of spiritual existence.
An outsider has the following features.
Traits: An outsider possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
This type comprises vegetable creatures. Note that regular plants, such as one finds growing in gardens and fields, lack Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores; even though plants are alive, they are objects, not creatures.
A plant creature has the following features.
Traits: A plant creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Undead are once-living creatures animated by spiritual or supernatural forces.
An undead creature has the following features.
Traits: An undead creature possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
The following are a few facts that are considered common knowledge among civilized peoples.
This type includes insects, arachnids, other arthropods, worms, and similar invertebrates.
Vermin have the following features.
Traits: Vermin possess the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Some creatures have one or more subtypes. Subtypes add additional abilities and qualities to a creature.
This subtype is applied to the strange humanoid wolf creatures called adlets, and to creatures related to adlets.
Editor's Note: Adlet is a real-world mythological creature. Read about it at Wikipedia.
Aeons have the following traits:
Agathion have the following traits:
This subtype is usually used for outsiders with a connection to the Elemental Planes of Air. Air creatures always have fly speeds and usually have perfect maneuverability. Air creatures treat Fly as a class skill.
Traits: An angel possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
These creatures always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. An aquatic creature can breathe water. It cannot breathe air unless it has the amphibious special quality. Aquatic creatures always treat Swim as a class skill.
Traits: An archon possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
An asura has the following traits, unless otherwise noted in the creature’s entry.
A creature receives this subtype when something (usually a template) changes its original type. Some creatures (those with an inherited template) are born with this subtype; others acquire it when they take on an acquired template. The augmented subtype is always paired with the creature's original type.
Traits: An azata possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
This subtype is applied to the humanoid felines called catfolk and creatures related to catfolk.
This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the chaotic-aligned Outer Planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have chaotic alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature had a chaotic alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the chaotic subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are chaotically aligned.
Clockworks are constructs created through a fusion of magic and technology. They have the following traits unless otherwise noted.
Daemons have the following traits (unless otherwise noted):
Dark folk are reclusive subterranean humanoids with an aversion to light.
This subtype is applied to deep ones and creatures related to deep ones, such as deep one hybrids. Creatures with the deep one subtype have lowlight vision.
Traits: Demons possess a particular suite of traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry) as summarized here.
Traits: Devils possess a particular suite of traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Editor's Note: Divs are based on Daeva. Read more about Daeva at Wikipedia.
This subtype is usually used for outsiders with a connection to the Elemental Planes of Earth. Earth creatures usually have burrow speeds, and most earth creatures can burrow through solid rock. Earth creatures with a burrow speed possess tremorsense.
An elemental is a being composed entirely from one of the four classical elements: air, earth, fire, or water.
An elemental has the following features.
This subtype is usually applied to Outsiders native to the evil-aligned Outer Planes. Evil Outsiders are also called fiends. Most creatures that have this subtype also have evil alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has an evil alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the evil subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are evil-aligned.
This subtype is applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. Monster entries assume that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have it when on its home plane). Every extraplanar creature in this book has a home plane mentioned in its description. creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane, such as the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, or the Plane of Shadow.
A giant is a humanoid creature of great strength, usually of at least Large size. Giants have a number of racial Hit Dice and never substitute such Hit Dice for class levels like some humanoids. Giants have low-light vision, and treat Intimidate and Perception as class skills.
All Godspawn are Colossal magical beasts that possess the following traits.
Godspawn can sleep for years, decades, or even centuries and do not need to eat or breathe during these periods of dormancy. If a godspawn is forced into an environment where it cannot breathe and would suffocate, it goes into hibernation until conditions are right for it to reawaken. While in hibernation, a godspawn's damage reduction improves to 50/epic and it gains immunity to any spell or spell-like ability that allows spell resistance as well as all divination effects.
All godspawn possess regeneration, and no form of attack can suppress this regeneration; they regenerate even if disintegrated or slain by a death effect. If a godspawn fails a save against an effect that would kill it instantly, it rises from death 3 rounds later with 1 hit point if no further damage is dealt to its remains. It can be banished or otherwise transported as a means to save a region, but a method to kill godspawn has yet to be discovered.
A godspawn can always charge, even if its movement is impeded or its path is blocked by another creature. It receives a +20 racial bonus on combat maneuver checks to overrun and Strength checks to break or destroy objects, and can make one such check as a free action as part of a charge. In addition, the natural weapons of a godspawn ignore all forms of damage reduction and hardness.
This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the good-aligned Outer Planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have good alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature has a good alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the good subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are good-aligned.
A Great Old One is a powerful, alien entity—a being from another world, from another dimension, or even from the distant past or future. All Great Old Ones are chaotic, and most of them are also evil. They can be any creature type, but most are aberrations or magical beasts. Great Old Ones have the following traits.
Heralds are a special class of unique, godly servants. With few exceptions, each deity has its own herald, a favored minion that serves as a messenger and emissary throughout the planes. Creatures of myth, the heralds' interventions on the Material Plane mark lives and are events of legend.
Heralds are unique outsiders of approximately CR 15 with 18 or fewer Hit Dice, making them available for summons via greater greater planar ally. Only a deity's worshipers can summon its herald. In addition, only divine spellcasters can summon heralds, preventing arcane casters and spells like planar binding from effectively calling upon such beings. Even if a character proves powerful enough to call out to a herald, a deity has the final say in whether or not its emissary answers a worshiper's summons, granting its herald's service only to followers in the most extreme need or whose acts directly further its will.
Heralds are unique representatives of their respective gods and sometimes have a specific outsider subtype such as "devil" or "psychopomp" that grants it additional abilities. A herald has the following traits.
Heralds can summon their signature weapon as a standard action. If a herald doesn't have a signature weapon, it can summon any non-magical weapon as a standard action (including adamantine, etc.); the weapon disappears if it leaves the herald's grasp.
The hive are an invasive species of aberrations that consume worlds like locusts. Hive creatures have the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).
A hive creature’s blood is highly caustic. Every time the hive creature is damaged by a piercing or slashing weapon, the attacking creature takes acid damage according to the table below (or double damage if the attack is a critical hit). Using a reach weapon does not endanger the attacker in this way. If the hive creature has the swallow whole ability, it adds this damage to its swallow whole damage.
When a hive creature dies, it exudes a pool of its corrosive blood in the space it occupies. This pool deals 1d6 points of acid damage per Hit Die of the hive creature for 3 rounds to objects and creatures in those squares (Reflex half ). This acid damages whatever surface it is on, and if it deals enough damage to destroy the surface, the acid falls down to any subsequent floor below and continues to deal damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Hive creatures are considered to always be under the effect of endure elements with regard to hot climates.
Hive creatures have no language of their own, instead communicating simple concepts via pheromone discharge and body language that other creatures with the hive subtype understand. This ability functions within line of sight. If one hive creature is able to act in the surprise round of combat, all other hive creatures in line of sight can also act, and a hive creature isn’t flanked unless all hive creatures within line of sight are flanked.
A hive creature doesn’t need to eat, drink, or sleep.
An incorporeal creature has no physical body. An incorporeal creature is immune to critical hits and precision-based damage (such as sneak attack damage) unless the attacks are made using a weapon with the ghost touch special weapon quality. In addition, creatures with the incorporeal subtype gain the incorporeal special quality.
Inevitables have the following traits:
These Colossal creatures inhabit the most desolate places of a world. When they are not slumbering, they roam the world, leaving destruction in their wake. A kaiju possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
Kami are a race of native outsiders who serve to protect what they refer to as “wards”—animals, plants, objects, and even locations—from being harmed or dishonored. All kami are outsiders with the native subtype. A kami possesses the following traits unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry.
Editor's Note: Kami are a real-world mythological creature or concept. Read more about it at Wikipedia.
A kasatha is a nimble four-armed humanoid from another planet.
This subtype is usually applied to outsiders native to the lawful-aligned Outer Planes. Most creatures that have this subtype also have lawful alignments; however, if their alignments change, they still retain the subtype. Any effect that depends on alignment affects a creature with this subtype as if the creature had a lawful alignment, no matter what its alignment actually is. The creature also suffers effects according to its actual alignment. A creature with the lawful subtype overcomes damage reduction as if its natural weapons and any weapons it wields are lawful-aligned.
A leshy is a nature spirit that inhabits the body of a specially grown plant. Regardless of their kind, all leshys share the following traits in addition to those granted by the plant type (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).
Editor's Note: Leshy are a real world mythological race or creature. Read more at Wikipedia.
A creature with this subtype is infused with Mythic Power and is capable of terrible and awe-inspiring feats. Some Mythic creatures are powerful versions of existing monsters (such as minotaurs and medusas), others are completely new creatures that do not have a Non-Mythic equivalent (such as the argus and drakainia). Creatures with the Mythic subtype have the following abilities (these are already included in the Mythic monster stat blocks).
This subtype is applied only to outsiders. These creatures have mortal ancestors or a strong connection to the Material Plane and can be raised, reincarnated, or resurrected just as other living creatures can be. creatures with this subtype are native to the Material Plane. Unlike true outsiders, native outsiders need to eat and sleep.
Nightshades have the following traits:
This subtype is applied to orcs and creatures related to orcs, such as half-orcs. creatures with the orc subtype have darkvision 60 feet and light sensitivity (half-orcs do not have light sensitivity).
Proteans have the following traits:
A psychopomp possesses the following traits.
Qlippoth have the following traits:
A rakshasa is a lawful evil spirit born into the Material Plane. A shapechanger that can walk with ease among humanoids, a rakshasa’s true form has animalistic features and strangely jointed limbs. All rakshasas are native to the Material Plane, and have the following traits unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry.
These creatures are scaly and usually cold-blooded. The reptilian subtype is only used to describe a set of humanoid races, not all animals and monsters that are true reptiles.
Although some people call them things like “automatons,” “metal men,” or the like, these technological creations are all robots, and as such, they share similar traits. Robots share some features with clockwork constructs, and as with clockworks, you can simply remove the robot subtype from a robot (along with its attendant traits) to transform it into a typical construct animated by magic.
Likewise, you can add the robot subtype (and traits) to any existing construct to transform it into something created by technology. Adding the robot subtype to a construct does not affect its CR. A single construct cannot possess both the robot and the clockwork subtype.
All robots gain the following traits.
A shapechanger has the supernatural ability to assume one or more alternate forms. Many magical effects allow some kind of shapeshifting, and not every creature that can change shape has the shapechanger subtype.
A shapechanger possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry).
A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature. A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent’s space, which provokes an attack of opportunity. A swarm can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes an attack of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.
A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.
Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage. Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or less causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.
A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, morale effects, patterns, and phantasms) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.
Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds, such as those created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures. A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not reform until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.
Swarm Attack: creatures with the swarm subtype don’t make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm’s stat block has “swarm” in the Melee entries, with no attack bonus given.
The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown on Table: Swarm Damage by Size.
A swarm’s attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm’s description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack’s damage to 0, being incorporeal, or other Special Abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, blood drain, poison, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.
Swarms do not threaten creatures, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.
Swarms possess the distraction ability. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a caster level check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Will save.
The troop subtype represents an organized group of trained soldiers that act as a unit, rather than as individuals. A troop is something of an abstraction, in that the component creatures that make up the troop are mostly irrelevant; only the troop as a whole matters for the purposes of combat. A troop is similar to a swarm, but is normally composed of Small or Medium creatures. Large groups of Tiny or smaller creatures should use the normal swarm rules.
Traits: A troop is not subject to flanking, but it is subject to critical hits and sneak attacks if its component creatures are subject to such attacks. Reducing a troop to 0 hit points or fewer causes it to break up, effectively destroying the troop, though the damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack.
All troops gain the following traits.
Looting Troops Although troops are composed of a number of individual creatures, the chaos and destruction of battle means that not all of these creatures' equipment survives the rigors of combat. As a result, parties who wish to claim usable gear or treasure from slain foes treat a troop as a single creature for the purposes of looting.
Unbreathing is a subtype that can be applied to magical beasts and humanoids. Unbreathing creatures are alive, but share the appearance of and some traits with undead creatures. Unbreathing creatures have strong connections to the powers of death, just as creatures with the cold or fire subtype are connected to those forces. Unbreathing are not undead, however, and must eat, sleep and even (occasionally) breathe. Most unbreathing creatures look like zombie or ghoul versions of their normal cousins, though a rare few have transparent hide and flesh, making them look like animate skeletons.
This subtype is applied to vanaras and creatures related to vanaras.
This subtype is applied to vishkanyas and creatures related to vishkanyas.
This subtype is usually used for Outsiders with a connection to the Elemental Planes of Water. Creatures with the water subtype always have swim speeds and can move in water without making Swim checks. A water creature can breathe underwater and can usually breathe air as well. Water creatures treat the Swim skill as a class skill.