Most Dwarves would rather face a squad of Orcs than confront a single Rust Monster. These strange, normally docile creatures corrode ferrous metals, then gobble up the rust they create. In doing so, they have ruined the armour, shields, and weapons of countless adventurers. A Rust Monster's body is covered in thick, lumpy armour, its long tail ends in a bony protrusion, and two feathery antennae sprout from its insectile head.
Underground ScavengersRust Monsters roam subterranean passages in search of ferrous metals such as iron, steel, adamantine, and mithral to consume. They ignore creatures not carrying such metals, but can become aggressive toward those bearing steel weapons and armour. A Rust Monster can smell its food at a distance, immediately dashing toward the scent's source to corrode and consume the object. A Rust Monster doesn't care if the rust it consumes comes from a spike or sword. Adventurers can distract the creature by dropping ferrous objects behind them.
Subterranean WanderersRust Monsters are rarely found in large numbers, preferring to hunt alone or in small groups. They meander along tunnels, moving from cave to cave in their tireless search for ferrous metals to consume. Their wanderings often bring them into contact with other Underdark denizens that find them harmless or unappetizing. Thus, Rust Monsters may be found in close proximity to other subterranean monsters. If they are well treated and well fed, they can also become friendly companions or pets.
A Rust Monster's body is covered in thick, lumpy armour, its long tail ends in a bony protrusion, and two feathery antennae sprout from its insectile head.
Ecology and Habitats
Subterranean Caverns, Dungeons and Ruins.
Dietary Needs and Habits
Ferrous Metal Objects
Loners or living in small groups of 3 to 6 creatures.
Can be raised as pets and can be trained to guard areas if treated well and well fed.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
The Rust Monsters shell-like body can be used for armour or shields.
Insectile features, deep sunken eyes and a mandible jaw.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
The Underdark, Caverns, Dungeons and Ruins.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Darkvision 60ft & Passive Perception 11.
100 To 300 Years (Averaging 150 years old)
Between 4ft and 9ft in length depending on age
Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
Varies from Reddish-Brown to Brownish-Black in colour.
"Destroyed me hammer and me axe, it did.Put me faith to the test that day,it did." -Morin Thunderstone, Dwarven Paladin of Moradin 'The lord of the forge'
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Original Article by Wizards of the Coast (WotC) for D&D Monster Manual 5e.