Graboid | New Monster for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

Continuing my series on Halloween monsters for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition, it’s time that I update a classic: graboids! If you aren’t sure what a graboid is, they’re the subterranean worm things from the Tremors movie series. I remember watching the original Tremors back when I was kid in 1990. I thought it was pretty wild then, and really, it’s still held up well.


The Graboid, (also known as the Dirt Dragon or Tu Lung in the 19th century), is a fictional invertebrate species that is the primary antagonist of the Tremors franchise. The creature made its debut in the 1990 film Tremors, and reappeared in all its sequels Tremors 2: Aftershocks (1996), Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001), and prequel Tremors 4: The Legend Begins (2004). It was also featured regularly in the series’ spin-off Tremors: The Series (2003), with El Blanco being a recurring character. A variant was featured in the 2015 film Tremors 5: Bloodlines and Tremors: A Cold Day in Hell.



Huge monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 150 (12d12 + 72)

Speed 10 ft., burrow 50 ft.

Str 21 (+5)Dex 10 (+0)Con 22 (+6)Int 4 (-3)Wis 9 (-1)Cha 5 (-3)

Senses blindsight 30 ft., tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 9


Challenge Rating 6 (2,300 XP)

Tongues. The graboid has three prehensile tongues. Each tongue can be attacked (AC 15; 10 hit points; immunity to poison and psychic damage). Destroying a tongue does no damage to the graboid.

Tunneler. The graboid can burrow through solid rock at half its burrow speed and leaves a 5-foot-diameter tunnel in its wake.


Multiattack. The graboid makes three attacks with its tongues, uses Reel, and makes one attack with its bite.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or be swallowed by the graboid. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the graboid, and it takes 14 (4d6) acid damage at the start of each of the graboid’s turns.

If the graboid takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the graboid must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the graboid. If the graboid dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse by using 10 feet of movement, exiting prone.

Tongue. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: The target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the graboid can’t use the same tongue on another target.

Reel. The graboid pulls each creature grappled by it up to 15 feet straight toward it.

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1 thought on “Graboid | New Monster for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

  1. Using accurate EHD [Effective Hit Dice] Calculation, as stipulated in the DMG from the beginning, this Creature calculates to be CR 10, and not the CR 6 listed above. That’s because its D12 must first be converted to the equivalent in D8, by multiplying the listed number (12) by 1.4, the effective conversion ratio for D12 to D8, which gives 17 [round up]. Then, all its 16+ Attributes, use of Skills, Senses, Multi-Attack, Burrow (counts as “unusual Movement”), Reel, and Grab (counts as “Grapple”) are added, at +1 EHD each. It also gets +2 EHD for each of High Maximum Damage [of >20 for a single Attack, and also for its Stomach Acid (for a Swallowed Creature), and for Swallow Whole ability).
    That brings it to 30 EHD, or, in other words, an accurate calculation of CR 12.
    In case you are wondering about how I calculate these figures, and why I find extremely severe fault with published so-called “official” figures, I have been calculating the Experience values of Creatures in all versions of D&D since the publication of the AD&D (First Edition) DMG in 1979, carrying out a full check on the values of the Creatures in the AD&D 1str Ed Monster Manual (1977) published therein, using the rules published therein, and finding most of them to be woefully short, a trait which has continued to the present day, and is at its most extreme in D&D Next (the current edition).
    For those who might say “Ah, but those Tables don’t apply any more”, then I refer you to an official article in Dragon Magazine #263, which included all 17# basic Creature Templates, and equated EHD totals to CR value. And that’s how I do it. The listed CR values for creatures have usually been inaccurate [meaning woefully short] of the correct value. The only reason which I can discern for this is that the Game Designers want to prevent Characters from gaining levels, and cause Players’ Characters to be killed off with over-powerful Encounters as frequently as possible.
    Having been playing for 45 years and plus to this date (since 1976), I absolutley know what I’m talking about.


    Christopher Simpson.

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