In today's session of the D&D 5e campaign I'm participating in, our party had to fight what was essentially a anthromorphic, magically animated, pile of gold coins with a weakness to fire (it was initially disguised as a mundane pile of gold coins when we entered the room).

Is this a standard monster, and, if so, what is it called? A google search for "magically animated coin monster d&d" turned up no relevant results.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a reason you can't ask your DM? \$\endgroup\$
    – Jason_c_o
    May 15, 2015 at 23:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related (but might not be this): Help finding D&D coin look-alike monster \$\endgroup\$ May 16, 2015 at 1:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ "It just goes to show that some people will make a golem out of anything." kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/… \$\endgroup\$
    – octern
    May 17, 2015 at 16:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Any chance your GM was a fan of the podcast Harmontown? IIRC, Spencer in an early session ran a similar monster. \$\endgroup\$
    – nitsua60
    Nov 30, 2021 at 2:46

8 Answers 8


Ask your DM.

I'm unable to find anything like the monster you describe in any of the 5e books I have available that would likely contain such a creature (Monster Manual, Hoard of the Dragon Queen, Rise of Tiamat, Princes of the Apocalypse) so I wouldn't necessarily call this a standard monster.

It's possible that it is in one of the books I don't have access to but a google search for D&D 5e animated coins and the List of Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition monsters from Wikipedia don't seem to yield any official result either (though I could be searching for the wrong thing).

Therefore it is likely that this is a creature of your DM's own devising, a reskin of a creature that is available in 5e (most likely would probably be Animated Armour as Dale M suggests), or a 5e interpretation of a monster from an older edition.

The closest thing I can find is this homebrew animated Coin Golem for Pathfinder from the dandwiki or this homebrew 3.5e Hoard Golem from enworld which could have served as an inspiration for your DM.

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    \$\begingroup\$ There's also a third-party Hoard Golem in the Tome of Beasts book by Kobold Press... Though it doesn't have a weakness to fire, it's described as: "A hoard golem is a pile of gold, jewelry, and weapons that can rise on its own like a tidal wave of riches, with a cold and determined face. A hoard golem can crash down with the weight of a fortune, flattening everything in its path." \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Sep 10, 2019 at 4:53

I would start with the Animated Objects section on p.19 of the Monster Manual.

If you use the Animated Armour stats and add your fire susceptibility it wouldn't be far wrong.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Alright, I'll look into that next time I get the chance \$\endgroup\$ May 16, 2015 at 1:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Not sure why this is being downvoted. Sure, it's short, but it's more than helpful from a statistical standpoint. \$\endgroup\$
    – Tanthos
    May 16, 2015 at 3:58

Depending on how old your GM is, this is probably a nod to the Wizardry franchise of PC and online RPGs, which go all the way back to 1981. One of the signature creature types at lower levels was the Creeping Coin

Later, Wizardry Online had both Creeping and Killer Coins.

To the best of my knowledge, these monsters were never vulnerable to fire, though. Perhaps your GM's version are chocolate coins?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, more specifically, at least in terms of the way it was styled, the thing's weakness was to being blown to pieces. But any of the fire spells we had available seemed to work. \$\endgroup\$ May 17, 2015 at 20:45

Kobold Press created (or updated) something called a hoard golem for 5E in their third-party Tome of Beasts book (p. 234):

A hoard golem is a pile of gold, jewelry, and weapons that can rise on its own like a tidal wave of riches, with a cold and determined face. A hoard golem can crash down with the weight of a fortune, flattening everything in its path.

What you have looks like a depowered homebrew version. The original is not vulnerable to fire, and is in fact resistant to all magic. Depowering it makes sense; as written, the Kobold Press version is a hard fight.


Looks like a reskin (from creature to construct) of a Swarm

This monster looks to be made of tiny constructs (tiny animated objects, like coins) rather than tiny beasts

As a DM I'd be able to come up with that monster by using a swarm from the MM as a guideline, and re-skinning it.

What is a swarm?

The basic form of a swarm is a whole bunch of tiny beasts who form (collectively) a monster.

{Swarms} form as a result of some sinister or unwholesome influence ... even Druids can't charm these swarms, and their aggressiveness is borderline unnatural. (MM p. 337)

Your DM seems to have made a variation by using tiny objects that are animated, rather than tiny beasts.
Beasts are creatures; constructs are creatures. (MM, p. 6)
Tiny beasts swarm => tiny constructs/object swarm via the re-skin (a fairly simple substitution).

A swarm example (Basic Rules, p. 154; also in MM, p. 338)

Swarm of Insects
Medium swarm of Tiny beasts, unaligned {reformatted for presentation}
Armor Class 12 (natural armor) / Hit Points 22 (5d8) / Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA / 3 (−4) 13 (+1) 10 (+0) 1 (−5) 7 (−2) 1 (−5)
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 10 ft., assive Perception 8
Languages —
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny insect. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.
Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm’s space. Hit: 10 (4d4) piercing damage, or 5 (2d4) piercing damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer.

Mix the above template with the creature type that is Construct rather than Beast: one example is a flying sword. (An object magically animated)

Flying Sword
Small construct, unaligned
Armor Class 17 (natural armor) Hit Points 17 (5d6) Speed 0 ft., fly 50 ft. (hover)
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 12 (+1) 15 (+2) 11 (+0) 1 (−5) 5 (−3) 1 (−5)
Saving Throws Dex +4 Damage
And so on {cut the rest for brevity} (Basic Rules, p. 108; MM p. 20)

The swarm of coins would look a lot like a swarm of insects, except that it would be made up of coins (tiny objects animated into a swarm).

The coins should do bludgeoning damage to be thematically consistent with something like the animate objects 5th level Wizard spell. The action line will look something like:

Hits. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm’s space. Hit: 10 (4d4) bludgeoning damage, or 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer.

There you go: a reverse engineering of the monster you encountered, based on re-skinning a swarm by using the Monster Manual. The vulnerability to fire looks like an artistic flourish.


I strongly suspect that this fine answer is correct: There's no official D&D 5e monster like the one that the question describes. That means either the monster is a unique invention or the monster is an adaptation of an existing monster.

Based on the question saying that the monster "was initially disguised as a mundane pile of gold coins when we entered the room," it's possible the monster was adapted from the gold golem found in the Random Encounters Web column "Gold!: Golden Guardian" for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. The article begins with the following description of the adventuring party encountering the monster:

The adventurers moved past the smoldering body of the wyvern and into the treasure cavern…, and the pile of gold before them was their reward. As the rogue began to pick up coins and examine them, the pile flowed together into a vaguely humanoid shape that took on more definition as the adventurers watched. When its form became completely humanoid, it extended a tentacle of golden coins and slapped the rogue hard. The adventurers scrambled to regroup before this new, and previously unseen, threat.

(This scenario sound familiar?) The difficulty with the gold golem is that it doesn't possess a weakness to fire. In fact, it's especially resistant to fire… and other energy types besides, possessing as it does the extraordinary ability energy reflection:

The gold in the golem's body is inert energetically. Thus, any energy attack directed at the golem is absorbed. From this energy, the golem first is healed 1 point for every 5 points of damage that the attack would have done. Once the golem is at full hit points, the remainder of the attack is reflected on the source as a free action in the same round. The golem must expel the extra energy every round; if somehow it is prevented from doing so then it takes half damage from the attack in the following round as the attack energy is forcefully dissipated.

However, as an adaptation of an existing monster, I can easily see a DM changing the monster's features to suit. For example, a DM might eliminate or modify that special ability so as to give players a better sense that they're in a fantasy game and really fighting a monster made of gold with a correspondingly relatively low melting point therefore a weakness to fire.


Ok so I've mainly played 2.0 but I definitely remember the early on stuff having an aethereal living coin monster. Sad to say I lost that book but it was basic gold coins as always prints didn't matter as they blended in to piles no problem.

What I do recall about them is they don't move without motive and like to stay hidden for long periods of time. The limbs were scorpion-like with a long 6 foot tail that passed through armour. All parts of it could stop projecting its limbs and seal into the metal itself, and are invisible without magically aided sight. It was 1d4 or 1d6 to attack nothing ridiculous for speeds or abilities.

Just one hell of a way to teach that game greed is a bad idea.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I think you're thinking of Lock Lurkers! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 5, 2019 at 21:32
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    – V2Blast
    Sep 10, 2019 at 4:54

There is a third party 3.5 E adventure called the Cistern of Lady Luck that features a dragon made of coins.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to rpg.se! Take the tour and visit the help center for more information. This looks like the start to a great answer, can you add some more details about this dragon? Is it "magically animated" as per the question or a natural creature made of coins? Also you could mention how it could be adapted to suit 5e. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Oct 23, 2019 at 5:54

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