Mummy (Dungeons & Dragons)

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DnD Mummy.png
First appearancethe Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974)
AlignmentLawful Evil

A mummy, in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy roleplaying game, is an undead creature whose corpse has been mummified and animated, often through the power of an evil god of the Egyptian pantheon such as Set.

Publication history[edit]

The mummy was included in earliest Dungeons and Dragons boxed games as well as the original Monster Manual written by Gary Gygax and published in 1977. Since then, the mummy has remained a fixture of the Dungeons & Dragons universe and has been represented in each subsequent edition.

Later versions of the game have presented mummy templates which can be applied to various creatures so that a Dungeon Master can create various types of mummies.

Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)[edit]

The mummy was one of the first monsters introduced in the earliest edition of the game, in the Dungeons & Dragons "white box" set (1974), where they were described as having a touch that causes a rotting disease.[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit]

The mummy appears in the first edition Monster Manual (1977), where it is described as an undead human that retains a semblance of life and seeks to destroy living things.[2] The Monster Manual was reviewed by Don Turnbull in the British magazine White Dwarf #8 (August/September 1978). As part of his review, Turnbull comments on several monsters appearing in the book, noting that the mummy was revised from its previous statistics, and could now cause paralysis on sight (as a result of fear).[3]

Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)[edit]

This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the mummy, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977),[4] and Expert Set (1981 & 1983).[5][6] The mummy was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991),[7] and the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994).

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit]

The mummy appears first in the Monstrous Compendium Volume One (1989),[8] and is reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[9]

The greater mummy first appeared in Monstrous Compendium Ravenloft Appendix (1991), and was reprinted in the Monstrous Manual.

The animal creature mummy and monster creature mummy were introduced in Monstrous Compendium Annual Two (1995).

The bog mummy appears in Requiem: The Grim Harvest (1996) for the Ravenloft campaign setting, and then in Monstrous Compendium Annual Four (1998). A different bog mummy appeared in Dragon #238 (August 1997), along with the ice mummy.

The mummy undead dragon appears in Dragon #234 (October 1996).

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)[edit]

The mummy appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2000).[10]

The greater mummy appears in Deities and Demigods (2001).

The mummy was detailed in Dragon #300 (October 2002), in the "Ecology of the Mummy".[11] The mummified creature template appeared in the same issue of Dragon, and included the mummified ogre as a sample creature. This issue also featured the bog mummy, the clay mummy, and the ice mummy.

Savage Species (2003) presented the mummy as both a race and a playable class, and reprinted the mummified creature template.[12]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)[edit]

The mummy appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003), along with the mummy lord.

The mummy was presented as a player character class in Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead (2004).[13] The mummified creature template was again featured in this book, along with the mummified ogre sample creature.

The salt mummy appears in Monster Manual III (2004).[14] The web mummy tomb spider template appears in Monster Manual IV (2006).[15]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–2014)[edit]

The mummy appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2008).[16]

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–)[edit]

The mummy appears in the Monster Manual for this edition (2014).[17]


A mummy causes fear in the living by its sight, and any creature it touches is affected by a quick-acting leprosy-like rotting curse called "mummy rot". They often inhabit great tombs or temple complexes, destroying would-be grave robbers. Mummies are usually lawful evil in alignment.

Variant mummies and mummy-like creatures[edit]

  • Bog Mummy: Corpses preserved through the natural action of bogs or swamps and animated through evil magic
  • Clay Mummy: Unlike standard mummies, clay mummies are vulnerable to bludgeoning weapons rather than fire.
  • Crawling Apocalypse: A creature that resembles a giant mummified octopus.
  • Greater Mummy: An undead mummified divine spellcaster, often a priest of an evil god of the Egyptian pantheon such as Set. More powerful than a typical mummy, greater mummies are similar to liches, as they are both powerful undead spellcasters. In appearance, greater mummies are typically indistinguishable from typical mummies except for their priestly garb which is often rich, though decayed, and usually including their divine patron's unholy symbol.
  • Huecuva: Created from divine or oathbound creatures who have failed in their vows.
  • Hunefer: The mummies of demigods whose power has not utterly departed to astral realms.
  • Ice Mummy: A creature that succumbs to an ice mummy's rot freezes and shatters, melting into nothing at the first thaw.
  • Mummy lord: Mummy lords are often potent spellcasters. They are found as guardians of the tombs of high lords, priests, and mages. Most are sworn to defend for eternity the resting place of those whom they served in life, but in some cases a mummy lord's unliving state is the result of a terrible curse or rite designed to punish treason, infidelity, or crimes of an even more abhorrent nature. A mummy lord of this sort is usually imprisoned in a tomb that is never meant to be opened again.
  • Salt Mummy: Ancient corpses of humanoids preserved by being buried in salt. Salt mummies were very evil when they were alive.


  1. Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson. Dungeons & Dragons (3-Volume Set) (TSR, 1974)
  2. Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
  3. Turnbull, Don (August–September 1978). "Open Box". White Dwarf (8): 16–17.
  4. Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
  5. Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
  6. Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson [1974], edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
  7. Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
  8. Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume One (TSR, 1989)
  9. Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  10. Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  11. Edwards, Terry. "Shrouded In Death: The Ecology of the Mummy." Dragon #300 (Paizo Publishing, 2002)
  12. Eckelberry, David, Rich Redman, and Jennifer Clarke Wilkes. Savage Species (Wizards of the Coast, 2003)
  13. Collins, Andy and Bruce R Cordell. Libris Mortis (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  14. Burlew, Rich, et al. Monster Manual III (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
  15. Kestrel, Gwendolyn F.M. Monster Manual IV (Wizards of the Coast, 2006)
  16. Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
  17. Perkins, Christopher, Mike Mearls, and Jeremy Crawford. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014)

Further reading[edit]

  • Cagle, Eric, Jesse Decker, James Jacobs, Erik Mona, Matt Sernett, Chris Thomasson, and James Wyatt (2003). Fiend Folio, 3rd edition. Wizards of the Coast.

External links[edit]

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