I'm trying to make a large monster, called the Swamp Devil, that can grab and squeeze an opponent in its fist. I assume the damage type is bludgeoning, but bludgeoning damage seems mostly about slamming something into something else.

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2 Answers 2


Bludgeoning is the best fit

Bludgeoning isn't just for slamming!

The Basic Rules describe bludgeoning damage as (emphasis added):

Blunt force attacks--hammers, falling, constriction, and the like

What you are describing fits as "constriction".

There is precedent

There are many monsters that squeeze and do bludgeoning damage. A few from the basic rules are the giant crab and the constrictor snake, and the roc.

The cobblefright, from the Humblewood Campaign Setting, is even closer to the monster you envision. It grabs opponents in its claws and "squeezes", like your monster does:

Once at the start of its turn for each target it has grappled the cobblefright can squeeze its victim. The target must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw, taking 13 (2d8+4) bludgeoning damage on a failed save.

These are just a few examples I found pretty quickly. You can probably spend some time and find other examples.

There are also multiple spells that grasp and do bludgeoning damage. Grasping tentacles and arcane hand are two.

Nothing else fits better

According to the Basic Rules, there are 13 types of damage: Acid, Bludgeoning, Cold, Fire, Force, Lightning, Necrotic, Piercing, Poison, Psychic, Radiant, Slashing, and Thunder.

Nothing fits better for your damage than bludgeoning.


It depends on the monster's hands/claws

Snake-like monsters that have a constrict action deal bludgeoning damage.

There are actually not many monsters that attack with hands or claws, and have a similar feature. Typically the just grapple their victim as part of the attrack, and in some cases they constrain it, which makes it easier to hit it subsequently.

One of them that can give an example how thus can work is the Roc:

Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (4d6 + 9) slashing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 19). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the roc can't use its talons on another target.

The roc deals slashing damage with its talons. Another one to look at would be the (king-kong like) giant ape, but alas, it only bashes with its fists, it does not have a special grapple option. For the ape, without sharp claws, bludgeoning would be the best fit. The different damage types, and for what they fit are explained on p. 196 PH:

Bludgeoning. Blunt force attacks—hammers, falling, constriction, and the like—deal bludgeoning damage.

Piercing. Puncturing and impaling attacks, including spears and monsters’ bites, deal piercing damage

Slashing. Swords, axes, and monsters’ claws deal slashing damage.


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