Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves is an enthusiastic romp through the Forgotten Realms that anyone can enjoy. But let’s be honest. If you’re a D&D player, you’re going to enjoy it a little bit more than everyone else! With amazing details from playable species to iconic locations like the Underdark, this movie is absolutely a love letter to anyone who’s given the World’s Greatest Roleplaying Game a try. That includes the monsters our hapless heroes fight. The original Monster Manual introduced now classic creatures like owlbears and mimics. Honor Among Thieves playfully pays homage to those monsters and many others from the first edition of D&D. We’ve got a list of some of the monsters in the blockbuster film that you wouldn’t want to face in a dark dungeon (or anywhere else).
The ostrich-like Axe Beak, which Doric tries to use to her advantage as she’s chased through the streets of Neverwinter, first appeared in the original Monster Manual. The seven-foot-tall flightless birds are easily recognizable by their hatchet-shaped beaks. They’re also rather grumpy.
It wouldn’t be a D&D movie without dragons! Honor Among Thieves has a few, including a black dragon dispersing its devastating acid breath as it swoops across the battlefield. Just the mere presence of a black dragon can overwhelm even the most stalwart of warriors.
Also one of the first monsters to appear in the role-playing game, the puma-like displacer beast chases our heroes during the Highsun Games. These monsters are capable of displacing light to create a duplicate image of themselves a short distance away. The two toothy tentacles protruding from its back attack the distracted prey with ferocity.
This two-headed giant monster makes a quick cameo in Honor Among Thieves‘ closing credits, but veteran Dungeons & Dragons players will spot it immediately.
Almost as iconic as dragons, the gelatinous cube is a Dungeons & Dragons mainstay. Anyone who’s run into one of these dungeon dwellers during a game knows exactly how dangerous the ooze cubes are. The cube can engulf an unlucky adventurer – as it does the thieves during the Highsun Games – and while inside they suffer acid damage and are unable to breathe.
Resembling a brain walking with little legs and feet, the intellect devourer’s funny appearance belies their threat. Edgin might have been slightly insulted that the intellect devourers didn’t engage the group, but he should count himself lucky. These aberrations can magically consume a humanoid brain and take over its body. Yikes.
Treasure chest or monster? You might want to approach slowly before trying to open it! These predators are hard to detect even for the most seasoned adventurer. The mimic, which Holga discovers by accident during the Highsun Games, can use polymorph to transform into any inanimate object. Doors are another of their favorite shapes.
Small creatures the color of rust fight over scraps in the alleyways of Neverwinter. They’re known as rust monsters. They’re typically docile so you might not consider them a thread until you learn what they can do. Rust monsters, a bane of adventurers who wield blades and shields, use their feathery antenna to seek out metal to corrode and ingest the rust.
This distant cousin of the owlbear roams the tundra in the frozen north of Faerün. The large creature has characteristics of both the snowy owl and polar bear and is typically considered a monstrosity. The druid Doric, however, candidly views the snowy owlbear as just another natural creature. This grants her the rare ability to Wild Shape into the terrifying—but cute—predator.
Blink and you might misssss the snake-like creature known as a yuan-ti. These creatures, who are also a playable species in Dungeons & Dragons, have both serpentine and humanoid features. (Basically, snake people.) Yuan-ti were originally humans who used dark magic to transform themselves into these striking creatures.
Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves hides even more winks and nods for veteran players to discover outside of its monster lineup. My personal favorite? The ground in the arena in which the heroes face these creatures has the appearance of being covered in squares, just like the grid of a battle map!
Kelly Knox (she/her) is a Seattle-area author and writer who also contributes to StarWars.com, DCComics.com, and more. Follow her on Twitter at @kelly_knox to talk about just about everything pop culture.