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In the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game, aboleths are evil eel-like aberrations with potent psionic abilities. Aboleths are some of the most ancient beings in existence, according to Lords of Madness, a Dungeons & Dragons supplement book about the aberrations such as aboleths, illithids and beholders.

Physical description

Aboleths are fishlike amphibians, 20 feet long and weighing about 6,500 pounds. They have pink bellies, tentacles, and three eyes set one atop the other. Four blue-black slime-secreting orifices line the bottom of their bodies.

Aboleths have powerful psionic powers, being natural psions like the illithids. However, the aboleth, like the other archetypal aberrations, has a much more fearsome ability: aboleths secrete a viscous grey fluid, much like mucus, which brings about a terrible transformation in air-breathing creatures. The skin of the victim is transformed into a membrane which allows it to breathe in water, but robs the creature of air-breathing. This allows the aboleth to keep slaves, which it dominates and keeps captive with its mind. This same mucus is the only way aboleths breathe at all – if robbed of the ability to extrude aboleth slime, they suffocate in water or on land. Out of the water, an aboleth's membranelike skin dries out quickly, but this does not prove fatal. Instead, the aboleth will eventually enter a state of suspended animation, called long dreaming, a fate considered far worse than simply dying. It forms a tough, waterproof membrane, but, once the membrane is pierced, liquid floods out and death is usually not far off for the aboleth. With the exception of the gained damage reduction and increased armor class, an aboleth out of water is simply a sitting duck.

Another strange feature of aboleths is their memory. An aboleth is born with a racial memory; essentially, it inherits the memories of its ancestors, and assimilates the memories of those it consumes. An aboleth's memories are stored in an ever-growing part of its brain which extends down its back as it ages. Aboleths enjoy spending time lost in particularly fine memories of their ancestors, and if they have nothing better to do, they may relive entire portions of their lives.

Aboleths do not die of age, and so live on indefinitely barring violence or disease.


Aboleths are utterly self-centered as a race – they know they were among the first beings created, and see all else as theirs. All that stops them is their weakness on land (though an aboleth is always a fierce opponent) and the fact that they would rather enjoy themselves than waste time subduing feeble creatures such as humans.

Aboleth cities are vast affairs, located deep underwater.


  • Baker, Rich, James Jacobs, and Steve Winter. Lords of Madness (Wizards of the Coast, 2005).
  • Baur, Wolfgang. "Secrets of the Sunless Seas." Dragon #222 (TSR, 1995).
  • Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989).
  • Grist, Brandon. "Ecology of the Aboleth." Dragon #131 (TSR, 1988).
  • Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983).
  • Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994).
  • Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000).

External links

  • Aboleth – d20 System Reference Document entry