Piercer (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Template:Infobox fictional race

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, the piercer is a type of vermin. It resembles almost exactly a stalactite (similar to a Darkmantle), only with eyes in the sides. The Piercer is actually a giant gastropod of which the pointy, stalactite-esque part is its shell. Its tail and other such parts can almost never be seen. Its color ranges from brown, to black, to grey, to green, to blue.

Publication history

The piercer appeared in The Strategic Review #3 (August 1975).

The piercer appeared in first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in the original Monster Manual (1977).[1] The creature was further developed in Dragon #72 (April 1983)

The piercer appeared in second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[2] and reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[3]

In the 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the Piercer has been retconned to be the juvenile form of a Roper.


Piercers live in colonies of 10 or so individuals (though very deep in the earth, colonies of hundreds are said to exist). When attacking prey, they often fall down in unison, making the area briefly very dangerous. Piercers, though nonintelligent, are aware of others in their colony. Piercers can go for days without food, having a second stomach which slowly digests and stores reserves of fat. They are often hunted for the substances involved in this, as it can be used to preserve foodstuffs. Piercers can also be eaten, having a taste similar to that of snails.


Piercers have acute senses of hearing and touch, and can easily detect when prey comes. When it does, the Piercer crawls to the roof of the cavern ceiling (they live underground) and disguises itself as a stalactite. When prey gets near enough, it drops down and impales them. It then proceeds to eat them. If the Piercer misses, however, then it is in deep trouble. Fallen Piercers are slow and easily slain, and their only defense takes the form of a weak acid which they excrete. This acid is usually enough to discourage most attacking creatures, however. Piercers are interested only in food, and do not value treasure.

Piercers cannot speak.

They are neutral in alignment.


  1. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  2. Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  3. Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)

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