What humanoid or monster races have a matriarchal society?

It is obvious Drow are:


Females are the top figures in drow society. At the head of each house is someone who is a shrewd business operator, a skilled tactician, a high priestess of Lolth, and probably also a merciless assassin with blood on her hands. Unlike with many other races, female drow are typically taller and more robust than males.

To rise to the top echelons of power, a female must first become a priestess of Lolth. Then, to ascend to the status of high priestess, she must take advantage of powerful connections or craft special alliances. The path to ultimate power in drow society is never direct and is always paved with death.

(Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, p. 51)

But, other than the Drow, what are the other humanoid or monster races that have a matriarchal society in D&D?

I am looking for any examples of this, from 5e or previous editions.

  • \$\begingroup\$ If you down vote, provide some feedback please. Just sayin' ... Here be Trolls! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Feb 5, 2020 at 21:16

2 Answers 2


Other than the well-known drow, some races which are predominantly matriarchal include:

  • Beholders (I, Tyrant; worship a female deity and are led by "hive mothers", though according to Lords of Madness beholders are gender neutral, though they do lay eggs)
  • Bhuka (Sandstorm, p.40)
  • Blackspawn raiders (Monster Manual IV, p.132)
  • Dune reapers (Dark Sun Creature Catalog, p.38)
  • Gnolls (Monster Manual IV, p.70)
  • Grung (Monstrous Compendium: Greyhawk Appendix)
  • Hai nu (Monstrous Compendium: Kara-Tur Appendix)
  • Hags (D&D 5e Monster Manual p.176; all hags, including green hags, night hags, and sea hags, are female)
  • Kopru (Monster Manual II, p.135)
  • Locathah (Sea of Fallen Stars, p.78)
  • Medusas (Monster Vault, p.200)
  • Munchkins (a joke race from Dragon #17)
  • Omm-wa (Savage Coast Monstrous Compendium, p.81)
  • Sand wurms (Dragon #296, p.80)
  • Silats (Monstrous Compendium: Al-Qadim Appendix; all female)
  • Skyzorr'n (Dragon #45. p.67)
  • Swanmways (From the Ashes, Campaign Book, p.42)
  • Werelions (Monstrous Compendium: Al-Qadim Appendix)
  • Wild elves (some tribes only; Races of Faerûn p.44)

From 3.5 or earlier, as I do not deal with 5, Abeils are a bee-like monstrous humanoid race with a Queen leader (MMII). Giant Ants (MM3.5) have a Queen leader. Hags and possibly nagas (MM3.5) seem to be solely female. Stheins (Bastards&Bloodlines) are exclusively female. Amazons (I do not remember the name of the Slayer’s Handbook) are exclusively female. There are others, but I remember less about them except that various deities identify as female and might influence the society.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Hi @Amaranthine - could you add Hags onto your list as well? It's an oversight,but not present in either of the answers and not worth adding a new answer I don't think. \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Jan 30, 2020 at 8:59

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