As a Game Master, it’s essential to create a rich and diverse world for your players to explore. Including a variety of unusual creatures and monsters for them to encounter is one of the best ways to achieve this end. The desert, a harsh environment full of unusual and fascinating creatures, is one area of exploration that is frequently ignored, but that could add depth and excitement to any campaign. Thus, this article is here to help you to find desert creatures for D&D campaigns, discussing 7 different monsters you can use in your campaign, including dust mephits, sphinxes, mummies, blue dragons, and serpentian warriors. Each of these creatures brings its own challenges and rewards, and including them in your campaign is sure to keep your players engaged and excited.
Dust mephits (CR 1/2) are small and stealthy creatures of elemental planes. They can perfectly blend into the background in the sand, making them difficult creatures to encounter in the desert. Their death burst and blinding breath also makes them challenging and fun to face at low levels.
Ruins of an ancient desert civilization are most probably inhabited by an androsphinx (CR 17) or a gynosphinx (CR 11). These majestic creatures are typically very reclusive and territorial monstrosities. They are ideal monsters that can provide challenging puzzles, riddles, and combats.
Mummies (CR 3) are among the go-to creatures when it comes to desert-themed adventures. These undead creatures are perfect for guarding ancient temples and pyramids. Too easy for your party? Try mummy lords (CR 15); they are absolutely stunning with their Blasphemous Words (pun intended).
There cannot be a desert-themed creatures list that doesn’t include our beloved, classic, intimidating, magnificent blue dragons (CR 3 / 9 / 16 / 23). An ancient blue dragon, burrowed in the ground, ascending to the skies, and pouring down stormy destruction in mere seconds is definitely a frightening sight to behold. Besides, they are dragons, which is awesome in itself.
The final monsters on our list are serpentian warriors (CR 1/2) written by us, DRS Publishing, yours truly, for the short desert-themed Patreon adventure, Serpents of Urkah. Serpentian warriors are intelligent, shapechanger warriors who are the descendants of a long-forgotten serpentian civilization. They look like humanoid creatures, except that they have the head and tail of a Medium sized snake, as well as actual snakes surrounding their bodies, helping them in combat. Serpentians once ruled desert cities, towns, and villages; however, they have been doomed to live as fugitives in ruins, now hunting down the innocent who’ve lost their way in the desert with their venomous strikes.