So a long time ago when I played 4e, I remember certain creatures being able to "consume" a player character as an attack option. What creatures does 5e have with similar abilities?

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    \$\begingroup\$ The easy answer is just 'Yes'. What other kind of clarification do you want? Like, How does the mechanics work? Or just list the creatures from Monster Manual? \$\endgroup\$
    – Destruktor
    Mar 3, 2019 at 0:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ A list of the monsters would be great. That way I can look up their entry myself. But if you could take the time to give a description of the mechanics, I would love that as I am homebrewing a monster for a game. Thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 3, 2019 at 0:58

3 Answers 3


The Legendary Tarrasque for one

From the MM (286):

Swallow The tarrasque makes one bite attack against a Large or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target takes the bite's damage, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends.

Swallow and Bite

The name of the attack you'd be looking for in the D&D 5E Monster Manual is Swallow. The Giant Frog (MM 325) and Giant Toad (MM 329) also both have this attack.

Sometimes creatures of the Gargantuan size can swallow their opponents as part of another attack. For example the Kraken (MM 197):

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (3d8 + 10) piercing damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature grappled by the Kraken, that creature is swallowed, and the grapple ends.

Some others:

  • Purple Worm (MM 255)
  • Remorhaz (MM 258)
  • Behir (MM 25)

That's all of them in the Monster Manual that I know of from flipping through.


The Gelatinous Cube has been around since the earliest days of D&D and is a staple of D&D dungeons, tales and jokes. It has a a different method of consuming opponents (MM 242):

Engulf The cube moves up to its speed. While doing so, it can enter Large or smaller creatures' spaces. Whenever the cube enters a creature's space, the creature must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw.


On a failed save, the cube enters the creature's space, and the creature takes 10 (3d6) acid damage and is engulfed.

The Shambling Mound (MM 270) also has an Engulf action as does the Water Elemental.

Homebrewing a Swallow or Engulf Action

Some main points you'd want to note for a homebrew are:

  • Does the opponent need to be grappled before they are swallowed?
  • Does the creature do damage before swallowing?
  • How does the swallow affect the opponent?
  • How does the opponent escape the swallow?
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    \$\begingroup\$ @raj that sounds right. I think the Banderhobb can swallow on a successful bite attack if the target is grappled. I stuck to the Monster Manual for my answer, but I'm sure the OP would appreciate another answer that listed more creatures from other sources if that's something you're willing to do. \$\endgroup\$
    – lightcat
    Mar 4, 2019 at 22:32

Depending on what you mean by consume, thinking a bit sideways there is the Intellect Devourer, MM p.191, which can devour a creature's intellect or it's whole brain.

Devour Intellect. The intellect devourer targets one creature it can see within 10 feet of it that has a brain. The target must succeed on a DC 12 Intelligence saving throw against this magic or take 11 (2d10) psychic damage. Also on a failure, roll3d6: If the total equals or exceeds the target's Intelligence score, that score is reduced to 0. The target is stunned until it regains at least one point of Intelligence.

Body Thief. The intellect devourer initiates an Intelligence contest with an incapacitated humanoid within 5 feet of it. If it wins the contest, the intellect devourer magically consumes the target's brain, teleports into the target's skull, and takes control of the target's body.

It's unlikely that this is exactly what you mean but it is presented for completeness of a list of monsters that consume their prey in some way.


Banderhobb from Volo's Guide to Monsters (page 122)

Swallow. The banderhobb makes a bite attack against a Medium or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the creature is swallowed, and the grapple ends. The swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against at- tacks and other effects outside the banderhobb, and it takes 10 (3d6) necrotic damage at the start of each of the banderhobb's turns. A creature reduced to O hit points in this way stops taking the necrotic damage and becomes stable. The banderhobb can have only one creature swallowed at a time. While the banderhobb isn't incapacitated, it can regurgitate the creature at any time {no action required) in a space within 5 feet of it. The creature exits prone. If the banderhobb dies, it likewise regurgitates a swallowed creature.


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