100 Monsters that are public domain (and 11 that are not)

Juuuuuuust in case you suddenly feel like avoiding any legal entanglements…

Top 10 Greatest Mythological Creatures and Legendary Creatures of Myth and Folklore

  1. Werewolf: Wolf-human shapeshifter (Global Culture)

  2. Dragon: Depicted as fire-breathing and winged (Global Culture)

  3. Chimera: Hybrid Fire-breathing creature (Greek Mythology)

  4. Loch Ness Monster: Aquatic monster (Scottish Folklore)

  5. Mermaid: Human-fish Hybrid (Global Culture)

  6. Yeti: Ape-like being/entity (Nepalese Folklore)

  7. Basilisk: Legendary reptile often called the “King of Reptiles” (European Mythology)

  8. Sphinx: Human-headed lion (Greek Mythology)

  9. Medusa: Winged female monster who had venomous in place of hair (Greek Mythology)

  10. Griffin: Tail, legs and body of a lion and wings and head of an eagle (Ancient Egyptian Mythology)


  1. Centaur: Horse with an upper human body (Greek Mythology)

  2. Hippogriff: Hind half of horse and front half of an eagle (Medieval Bestiaries)

  3. Fairy: Metaphysical form of spirit (European Folklore)

  4. Kappa: Demon or Imp (Japanese Folklore)

  5. Pegasus: Divine winged stallion (Greek Mythology)

  6. Ghoul: A monster associated with eating flesh in graveyards (Arabian Mythology)

  7. Pixie: Nature spirits and little people (Cornish Folklore)

  8. Cyclops: One-Eyed Giants (Greek Mythology)

  9. Redcap: Murderous goblin (Border Folklore)

  10. Manticore: Similar to the Sphinx consisting of a human head, lion’s body with tail of poisonous spines (Persian Folklore)


  1. Typhon: Deadly Serpentine Giant (Greek Mythology)

  2. Sea Serpent: A large type of dragon-snake monster found in the sea (Greek Mythology)

  3. Leprechaun: Fairies depicted as little men (Irish Folklore)

  4. Fenrir: Gigantic monstrous wolf (Norse Mythology)

  5. Hippocampus: Lower body of a fish and upper body of a horse (Etruscan Mythology)

  6. Cipactli: Sea monster associated with being part frog, part fish and part crocodilian (Aztec Mythology)

  7. Imp: Similar to goblin or fairy (European Folklore)

  8. Minotaur: Creature with Human body and Bull’s head (Greek Mythology)

  9. Hydra: Serpentine water Monster (Roman Mythology/Greek Mythology)

  10. Fomorians: Monstrous and hostile beings (Irish Mythology)

  11. Charybdis: Deadly Sea Monster (Greek Mythology)

  12. Behemoth: Massive beast, believed to be like a hybrid of dinosaur or crocodile (Ancient Jewish)

  13. Cerberus: Three-headed dog referred to as “Hound of Hades” associated with guarding the gates of the Underworld. (Greek Mythology)

  14. Echidna: Monster that was half-snake and half woman referred to as the “mother of Monsters” (Greek Mythology)

  15. Adlet: Creature with upper human body and lower body of a canine (Inuit Mythology)

  16. Cacus: Fire-Breathing Giant (Roman Mythology)

  17. Hecatoncheires: Three Ferocious giants with incredible strength (Greek Mythology)

  18. Geryon: Monster with three human-like heads (Greek Mythology)

  19. Scorpion Man: Creature with body of scorpion and arms, torso and head of human (Akkadian Mythology)

  20. Fachan: Ferocious Giant with Half a body (Scottish-Irish Mythology)


  1. Ogre: Predatory grotesque hominid monster (European Mythology/Folklore)

  2. Humbaba: Lion-Faced Giant (Ancient Mesopotamian Mythology)

  3. Scylla: Monster that lived by the water (Greek Mythology)

  4. Hadhayosh: Gigantic land Creature (Persian Mythology)

  5. Kee-wakw: Cannibalistic Giant half-human and half-animal (Abenaki Mythology)

  6. Abaia: A magical eel (Melanesian Mythology)

  7. Calygreyhound: Creature with torso of antelope, head of a wild cat and claws on an eagle (Medieval Heraldry)

  8. Phoenix: A mythical bird with long life (Greek Mythology)

  9. Tarasque: Fearsome Dragon-like hybrid (French Mythology)

  10. Cockatrice: Two-legged serpent like dragon creature with head of a rooster (Medieval Bestiaries)

  11. Harpy: Half-bird and half human associated with storm winds (Greek Mythology)

  12. Makara: Sea Creature often depicted as a terrestrial animal (Hindu Mythology)

  13. Ammit: Human devourer with a body believed to be part hippopotamus, crocodile, and lion (Egyptian Mythology)

  14. Garuda: Human-eagle hybrid known to be a protector (Hindu/Jain/Buddhist Mythology)

  15. Winged Lion: Mythical beast lion with bird-like wings (Medieval Bestiaries)

  16. Leviathan: Huge Sea Monster (Jewish Mythology)

  17. Wyvern: A creature with reptilian body and dragon’s wings and head (European Heraldry)

  18. Namazu: Giant Catfish known to cause earthquakes (Japanese Mythology)

  19. Yale/Centicore: Four-legged beast creature with boar-like tusks, large horns and resembling a goat-antelope (European Mythology)

  20. Questing Beast: Serpent-leopard-lion-hart hybrid (Arthurian legend)


  1. Elf: Supernatural beings with magical powers (Germanic Mythology/Folklore)

  2. Mares of Diomedes: Quartet of flesh-eating/Man-eating horses (Greek Mythology)

  3. Serpopard: Mythical animal with body of a leopard and neck of a snake (Egyptian Mythology)

  4. Antero Vipunen: A giant known to possess knowledge and spells (Finish Mythology)

  5. Indus Worm: Gigantic white carnivorous worm (Medieval Bestiaries)

  6. Ahuizotl: Dog-like creature (Aztec Mythology)

  7. Psoglav: Dog-headed monster with human body and horse legs (Serbian Mythology)

  8. Aspidochelone: Giant Sea Monster with spines on back (Medieval folklore)

  9. Sirin: Creature with Body of a bird and chest and head of a woman (Russian Mythology)

  10. Cynocephaly: Jackal-headed humanoid (Medieval Bestiaries)

  11. Myrmecoleon: Ant-Lion hybrid (Medieval Bestiaries)

  12. Argus Panoptes: Multi-eyed monster (Greek Mythology)

  13. Ekek: Bird-like flesh-eating creature (Philippine Mythology)

  14. Oozlum Bird: Mythical bird known to fly backward (Australian Folklore)

  15. Hellhound: Underworld dog with super-strength and agility (Global Culture)

  16. Monocerus: Horse with tail of a boar, feet of elephant, and head of stag with a single horn (Medieval Bestiaries)

  17. Water Leper: Gigantic frog with a tail similar to lizard and bat wings in place of forelegs (Welsh Mythology/Folklore)

  18. Ophiotaurus: Serpent-Bull hybrid (Greek Mythology)

  19. Unktehila: Reptilian monster or Serpentoid creature (Lakota Mythology)

  20. Capacun: Monstrous humanoid associated with evil (Romanian Mythology/Folklore)


  1. Mapinguari: Ape-like giant sloth (Brazilian Mythology/South American Folklore)

  2. Yali: Lion-like creature (Hindu Mythology)

  3. Fish-Man: Amphibian Human-looking Cryptid (Cantabrian Mythology)

  4. Asakku: Monsters and evil spirits known to kill humans (Babylonian Mythology)

  5. Sleipnir: Eight-legged Horse believed to be ridden by Odin (Norse Mythology)

  6. A-senee-ki-wakw: Stone giant race (Abenaki Mythology)

  7. Ushi-oni: Bull-headed monster with a horn (Japanese Mythology)

  8. Longma: Winged Horse that had scales of a dragon (Chinese Mythology)

  9. Nguruvilu: Fox-like snake found by water beds. (Mapuche Mythology/Folklore)

  10. Lou Carcolh: Hybrid of Snake-Mollusk (French Mythology/Folklore)

  11. Yacuruna: Mythical people with head and feet backward believed to live in underwater colonies. (indigenous Amazonian Mythology)

  12. Bashee: Giant snake known to eat elephants (Chinese Mythology)

  13. Teju Jagua: Lizard-dog hybrid with seven dog heads (Guarani Mythology)

  14. Indrik: One-horned gigantic bull with deer legs and head of a horse vaguely resembling a rhinoceros (Russian Mythology/Folklore)

  15. Onocentaur: Human-Donkey Hybrid (Medieval Bestiaries)

  16. Simargl: Winged dog or lion (Slavic Mythology)

  17. Erchitu: Ox-humanoid (Sardinian Mythology)

  18. Huay Chay: Half-man, half beast creature (Mayan Mythology)

  19. Laestrygonians: Man-eating giants (Greek Mythology)

  20. Mboi Tui: Hybrid serpent-peacock monster (Guarani Mythology)

A quick Google search of “what monsters are owned by Wizards of the Coast” yielded this list:



carrion crawler

displacer beast




mind flayer


umber hulk



“beholder” the Adventures Dark and Deep Bestiary has a “sphere of many eyes”, one could also create an “ocular despot” with eyeballs at the end of tentacles

“gauth” a “sphere of many eyes” or “ocular despot” that feeds on magic

“carrion crawler” ADaD has a “corpse creeper”, I have also seen a “carcass creeper” online

“displacer beast” one of the many things that D&D has adapted from other media, this is the “coeurl” from A. E. van Vogt’s " Black Destroyer", Marvel Comics published an adaption of the story in the October 1973 release “Words Unknown” #5, Pathfinder adapted the “coeurl” in “The End of Eternity” part of the “Legacy of Fire” adventure path, ADaD has a “phase panther”, Labyrinth Lord has a “phase tiger”

“githyanki” Charles Stross took this from George R. R. Martin’s “Dying of the Light”, the relationship between the githyanki and illithids were inspired by the Thrintun/Tnuctipun relationship from Larry Niven’s “World of Ptavvs”, ADaD has “garm’laqi”


“githzerai” ADaD has “garm’zeni”

“kuo-toa” this seems to be a renaming of the “deep ones” from the Cthulhu Mythos, Babylonian mythology has a race of fishmen called “kulullû”, the Labyrinth Lord supplement “Realms of Crawling Chaos” & the ADaD supplement “Swords of Cthulhu” both have “deep ones”, ADaD has a “fish man”, Greg Gillespie’s “Dwarrowdeep” has “kalas-toa”


“mind flayer” this appears to be a renamed version of the “chthonians” from Brian Lumley’s “The Burrowers Beneath” and “The Caller of the Black”, ADaD has a “cthonoid”, one could create their own “brain skinner”


“slaad” ADaD has “ranians”

“umber hulk” this creature looks like the “Antlar” a burrowing kaiju that appeared on “The Blue Stone of Baraj” the seventh episode of Ultraman that was originally televised on August 28, 1966, “umber” is the name of a natural brown earth pigment that is named for the Umbria region of central Italy and also may be related to the Latin word “umbra”, meaning “shadow” therefore one could create their own “Umbrian bulk”, Ral Partha produced a “lumbering hulk” miniature during the late 70s to early 80s, ADaD has an “underground goliath”, “Dwarrowdeep” has an “amber bulk”


“yuan-ti” ADaD has “serpent men”, Greg Gillespie’s “Forbidden Caverns of Archaia” has “naga-ti”

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Good stuff! :smiley:

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Dig deep enough and you start to wonder of TSR had an original idea at all. The Original “Deities and Demigods” famously shows they had no respect for your IP."

I would expect better of Lizards, but they have Hasbro breathing down their neck. TSR started as a bunch of dudes publishing a game. They were not businessmen. Lawyers only later came into the picture. Too common in gaming circles. People start a gaming business not realizing it’s a business, not a hobby. The rules change. Some get real and get gud. Some quickly fade away. Countless one book game companies.

There is a gray area between the fan publications and a “game company”. Me? I’m a guy that makes stuff available for you to use. I only express IP because I don’t want my work being stolen. (It’s happened, how lame must you be to steal the work of some dude on the internet and claim it as your own. He was shut down.) Then you get the guy that tries to sell their work. They might get back the printing costs. (Different model today, I know) So they might make enough to go to McDonald’s. Eventually some get to be big dogs like Steve Jackson Games. Or yes, TSR. But they never did learn how to Business. That is why they are no longer here.

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Githyanki does not actually belong to TSR or WotC, that term actually originated from George R. R. Martin’s scifi books: the githyanki soulsuck. It is thought he allowed Gygax to use the term via a verbal agreement, but I have never seen proof.

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Wow. That’s some deep trivia. I’m impressed!

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Thank you for reminding me of this factoid. I now recall reading about it about a couple of years ago, but it had slipped my mind when I composed the above post.

Just because they say it is, doesn’t mean it is. TSR infamously tried to copyright the word NAZI for games. Considering how fact and loose they played with the IP of others a true douche move.

"TSR did not try and trademark the word Nazi, instead, they were obligated in their relationship with Lucasfilm to list the trademark with the associated artwork that represents the Nazi character you will encounter in the game. It was a step they did with every figure included in IJ2 and other products.

The reason it was included on this little carboard [sic] cutout is that it was a cutout. A piece that could be separated from the rest of the game. So while it might seem redundant or ludicrous to see these trademarks on every little printed piece, it made sense for what was required."

Did TSR try and trademark the word, Nazi? - Retroist
A rumor stared circulating years ago that the makers of Dungeons & Dragons were trying to copyright the word, Nazi. This turned out not be true, but the background of why is a pretty interesting story.