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Aboleth – What Everybody Should Know About Aboleths

What Everybody Should Know About Aboleths - House of Lolth
Wondering about the mighty Aboleth?
Here is everything you need to know about the Aboleth Monster.

Now you might be wondering what the heck an Aboleth is, or you might have somewhat of an idea and just need to iron out some details, but have no fear, the House of Lolth is here! (You don’t even want to know how long I’ve been waiting to use that line)

What They Are

Half fish and half squid, like a scary, slippery, clever, octopus monster. They are SUPER DUPER intelligent and are considered to be one of the most fearsome and intelligent creatures in the D&D universe; and are a level 10 challenge (unless you add baddies, then higher).

But the overall thing to remember about the Aboleth, it’s a legendary slime monster of death.

Aboleth 5e

Origin Story

According to the monster manual, Aboleths are one of the oldest races in the world, predating even the gods themselves. It is said that they originated in the depths of the ocean, where they thrived for millions of years before the rise of other civilizations (which naturally they enslaved).

It’s unproven, but there are two main theories on how the aboleths came into being, some believe they evolved from primordial ooze and gained intelligence and psychic powers over countless eons of evolution. As they developed, they built vast underwater cities and civilizations, mastering magic and science far beyond the comprehension of other races. The other major belief (which is what the aboleth believe) is that the first aboleths came into being from Piscaethces’ blood, the by-product of an accidental interaction between her body and the material world.

Legends suggest that the they played a significant role in shaping the world’s history, influencing the rise and fall of civilizations and even manipulating the evolution of other races, kind of like a race of gods themselves. They are often depicted as evil ancient beings with a deep-seated hatred for the younger races that now dominate the world and MAJOR hate for the current gods, which overthrew them from their great rule (super great BBEGs).

“aboleths dream of overthrowing the gods and regaining control of the world. Aboleths have had untold eons to plot and to prepare their plans for perfect execution.”

– The Monster Manual, 5e

How They Live

Since Aboleths are primarily aquatic creatures, they hang out in the depths of oceans, lakes, and underground bodies of water such as caverns and underground rivers. The deeper, the better. They are amphibious (able to survive both underwater and on land for extended periods) but they typically prefer the underwater environment where they are most comfortable. Sometimes they will come up to visit a

They spend their days building vast and elaborate underwater cities and civilizations from a combination of organic materials and magical constructs, with intricate architecture and advanced technology. Within their cities, they conduct their research, perform rituals, hunt/feed, maintain their domain, manipulate others, and plot their schemes.

What Is Special About Aboleths

  • Older than dirt – They don’t die of old age, so can live basically forever until some adventurer or god comes along and takes them out (temporarily)
  • Immortal – In the monster manual (5e) it states “If an aboleth’s body is destroyed, its spirit returns to the Elemental Plane of Water, where a new body coalesces for it over days or months.”
  • Lore Keepers – They have flawless memories (passed from one to another) and have been around before the gods. They are often sought out by adventurers and scholars seeking ancient wisdom (if said adventurers get eaten to absorb their memories then so be it).
  • Long Distance Shinanigans – Can create an illusory image of itself within 1 mile of its lair. The copy can appear at any location they have seen before or in any location a creature charmed by it can currently see.
  • Master Builders – They build whole-ass cities, often with architecture that blends with natural underwater surroundings.
  • Expanding Rage – Water in the aboleth’s lair magically becomes a conduit for the creature’s rage. Imagine being so angry that the literal stuff around you gets angry (sounds like my mother-in-law amirite)
  • Enemies of the Gods – They were originally masters of the known world, overthrown by the current gods and having their slaves taken away, since their memories are 100% intact, they hate them just as much now as they did when it happened.
  • Jealous Gods – In their domains and the lands that adjoin them, aboleths are like gods, demanding worship and obedience from their subjects (and slaves).
  • Patron Deity – Although they seem and act like gods, they actually follow Pisaethces, The Blood Queen, who is credited for their creation. They don’t really ‘worship’ her, but instead add large domed windows of red crystal in their architecture.
  • Slave Master – They can make 3 slaves/day and there is no maximum, you can only try to escape if you take damage or are somehow a full mile away from it to try a saving throw
Pisaethces dnd House of Lolth

Typical Aboleth Minions


  • Skum
    • Literally made by the Aboleths, sometimes referred to as “Aboleth Spawn”
    • They look like a blue, very ugly version of Ursula from The Little Mermaid
    • They serve as foot soldiers and laborers in Aboleth societies, often performing menial tasks or acting as guards.
  • Chuul
    • Kind of looks like a crab minotaur, but with crab-like legs
    • They set traps for their prey and generally just hate everyone and want to eat them
    • They are hoarders and have straight-up trophy rooms about their kills.
  • Kuo-Toa
    • Half fish, half man. Made popular in the “Out of the Abyss” campaign
    • These fish folk literally make up gods to follow, so a godlike creature is exactly what they want and look for (kind of like minions looking for their villain)
    • They are extremely suspicious and definitely mentally unstable
  • Sahuagin
    • Your typical underwater minion, they kind of look like Kua-toa, but more sharky
    • A bit on the violent side, but only physical. They fear magic.
    • They have a patriarchal society with a king ruling over princes, who rule over barons
  • Deep Scions
    • These are “stranger things: demogorgon” looking things with clothes, they are shapechangers.
    • Originated from Humanoids giving up their souls to an evil aquatic power
    • They usually go to the place they came from after being turned but might take on a new identity
  • Giant Sea Creatures
    • Since Aboleths are large and cover a huge area in water, it makes sense they could take over any large creatures in the area
    • Sharks, Krakens, Giant octopi, Giant squid, etc
  • Water Elemental
    • Aboleths are masters of water, so it makes sense they would create or dominate some water elementals
    • Native to the same plane as the aboleth, the Elemental Plane of Water
    • Can grapple in the water while being essentially undetectable, a perfect ally.

There is another great list put together by Waserwifle on Reddit here

What Combat Is Like

First things first, the end. Yes, aboleths are constantly reborn and come back, but thats a pain in the butt. So if they can run away (especially because the lair actions are okay, but not amazing) and survive to come back another day, they will.

“Before combat ever ensues, there’s an opportunity for social interaction with the aboleth, and this should be as weird and scary as you can make it.”

– The monsters know what they are doing

There are some major things to keep in mind when in an encounter:

  • Psychic abilities
    • They may attempt to dominate the minds of weaker foes, turning them against their allies or compelling them to act in the aboleths interests
  • Mucous Cloud
    • This automatically takes effect on anything that melees the aboleth, but it’s worth mentioning because it will literally make you stop breathing. So works unless it’s a race that does not need to breathe.
  • Melee focus
    • Definitely will focus melee on elves and other races who have advantage on the saves for enslavement. The aboleth knows everything all previous aboleths know, so if even one aboleth has encountered that race, they should know.
    • After that, it will be magic users who have a higher ability to save on the enslavement abilities
    • Then anyone who has a high-level magic item or something that is doing the highest level of damage to it
Aboleth 5e House of Lolth Stat Block
Aboleth Lair - HouseofLolth
Aboleth Regional Effects - HouseofLolth

Free PDF for the above Aboleth stat block images found in the House of Lolth store here

Free Aboleth Monster Guide


Unleash the power of the ancient and enigmatic Aboleths with our latest supplement, the Aboleth Bestiary! This comprehensive guide provides Dungeon Masters with everything they need to incorporate these formidable creatures into their Dungeons & Dragons campaigns.

Category: ,

The Monsters Know What They Are Doing also has a super great article on aboleth tactics which can be found here.

Who The Most Famous Aboleth Is

In Dungeons & Dragons lore, there are notable entities, cities, and figures that have been mentioned in various D&D sourcebooks, adventures, and campaign settings. Some of these include:

  • Pisaethces
    • The Blood Queen, potentially the creator of aboleths
    • A red aboleth with no tentacles
  • Xxiphu
    • Also known as the Soaring City, it was an ancient mobile floating city
    • A glyph-inscribed obelisk with tentacles sprawling from its walls, wrapped in an eternal storm that soared over the surface of the world
    • Eldest
      • Leader of Xxiphu
      • The most powerful and oldest aboleth in the city of Xxiphu and was believed to be the only “living” being that could use the Key of Stars to unlock the Far Manifold beyond Forever’s Reach
  • Golorr
    • An aboleth that got turned into a stone, creating an artifact, The Stone of Golorr
    • In the late 15th century, the Stone of Golorr was used to store the knowledge of the location of the Vault of Dragons, which contained a treasure that had been embezzled by Dagult Neverember shortly before he was ousted as the Open Lord of Waterdeep
  • Yngukulub

In conclusion, aboleths are a pretty smart 😎 addition to any Underdark campaign or one-shot which we highly recommend!

If you have a bangin story or an idea to introduce an aboleth into your game, please comment below! We love to hear from you!

This concludes What Everybody Should Know About Aboleths.
Check out other tips For Players or For DMs to run your games with fun to the max.


Dungeons and dragons monster manual 5e

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