If a monster lives up to the law for a certain city, would they be allowed to live in it? I'm not talking about basic monsters like orcs and goblinoids, or shape-shifters (including dragons), but more like liches, mind flayers, beholders, and other intelligent yet scary monsters. It doesn't matter if they are feared or accepted, just is it plausible to say they could live inside a town or city?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm curious if Centaur PCs would be allowed to stay and eat meals in an inn, or would they have to sleep in the stable & eat hay? \$\endgroup\$ – RobertF Jan 30 at 17:17

In the lore, there are examples of monsters living in towns


The Xanathar was one of the most infamous beholders of the Realms and the crime lord of the Xanathar Thieves' Guild in Skullport.


Nihiloor was a mind flayer who worked for the Xanathar's Thieves' Guild in the late 15th century DR, by creating and spreading intellect devourers throughout the sewers of Waterdeep.


Manxam was the oldest and most powerful beholder living in the Western Heartlands. He was a member of the Zhentarim, and also acted also as the ruler of Teshwave

Methil El-Viddenvelp

Methil El-Viddenvelp was an illithid from Phanlinksal who served Yvonnel Baenre, and later Quenthel Baenre, as a secret advisor in the drow city of Menzoberranzan

Other creatures could live in cities, either openly or in secret. Perhaps the city is itself evil and cosmopolitan, filled with all kinds of denizens. Then again, there are plenty of racist or monoethnic cities, even in real life, which make things hard for outsiders.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Nicely researched. It should be noted that both are examples of members of organized crime syndicates, not fully lawful citizens as OP postulated. \$\endgroup\$ – AlienAtSystem Jan 30 at 6:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlienAtSystem I'm not well versed in forgotten realms, but wasn't Manxam part of the ruling lords of Teshwave? \$\endgroup\$ – pllpnakjlx Jan 30 at 6:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ @jgn: According to FR wiki, Teshwave is "controlled by the forces of Zhentil Keep" (the main base of operations of the Zhentarim), and "protected by tribes of orcs, gnolls and ogres". I wouldn't exactly call it "living in human society", at least as OP seems to imply. That said, it may still be worth noting that non-humanoid monsters can at least work side by side with humans in an organized crime syndicate... \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 30 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @AlienAtSystem to be fair though, both mind flayers and beholders are a) immensely powerful and b) evil and powerhungry, so it makes only sense for them to be at the top of something \$\endgroup\$ – Hobbamok Jan 30 at 13:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure any of these count as "living in human society"... they're mostly criminals or rulers who allow humans to live in their society. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 30 at 13:49

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