The gree-kin was created by Carl, one of my first DMs. At the time, this monster scared the crap out of me, as it would bite through the victim’s skull and eat the brain.

This version is based upon my recollection of the monster. It’s faithful to what I remember from 20+ years before.


Frequency rare
No. Appearing 1 (1d6)
Armor Class 5
Move 210′
Hit Dice 9 to 12
% in Lair 70%
Treasure Type C, R, S
No. of Attacks 2
Damage/Attack 2d6, 2d6
Special Attacks bite, poison
Special Defenses regeneration
Magic Resistance standard
Intelligence High
Alignment Chaotic Neutral
Size L (12′ tall)

published in & Magazine Issue 6, Ecology of the Gree-Kin


Gree-kin are large, hairless humanoids with greenish-grey skins, a large red spot on the forehead, and 6 clawed fingers on each hand. They are usually found near cities and along trade routes because of a strange dietary requirement – human and demi-human brains.


These huge predators attack twice per round, once with each six-clawed hand. Each hit inflicts 2d6 hit points of damage and may inject poison. The victim must make a saving throw vs. poison each round they are struck or suffer 1 hp/turn loss until death occurs. A new save is allowed every 4 hours, success indicating the victim’s body successfully fought off the poison. Note that the hit point loss is cumulative, e.g., if a victim is struck in three different rounds, 3 hp are lost each turn, although a single saving throw made after 4 hours ceases the loss. Slow Poison will slow the loss and Neutralize Poison will cure it.

If both hands hit in one round, this indicates the gree-kin has latched onto its victim, and automatically scores 2d6 points of bite damage each round thereafter. The held victim may fight back, but at -2 on all attack rolls, and may not use a weapon longer than 2′.

Gree-kin regenerate 1 hit point per round although not from death. At 12 hit points or less the creature will feign death so as to regenerate to fight another day.

Note that gree-kin are highly intelligent – they will use good planning for their attacks, and will observe potential victims for a while to gauge how dangerous they are. While they can be impulsive gree-kin will not normally attack superior forces without surprise. They prefer hit-and-run instead of a stand-up fight, except against single characters or parties significantly weaker than they are.

Single gree-kin typically attack in the dark, attempting to hurt or kill a victim and carry it off. As stated above, if low on hit points the gree-kin will feign death, but will usually first break off combat if it sustains the loss of half its hit points. If the gree-kin poisons one or more characters it may break off combat and shadow the group, waiting for the victims to die.


The majority (85%) of gree-kin encounters are with a single adult. Occasionally (10%) a pair of mated adults will be encountered, and less frequently (5%) encounters are with 1 or 2 adults with 1 to 4 adolescents.

Although the mating is believed to be temporary, a mated pair will fight to protect each other. If encountered in their lair with young, the adult gree-kin will attack ferociously at +2 to hit, gaining double attacks for the first three rounds of combat. They will not feign death nor break off combat while their young live, but will flee if the young are killed. Note that in this case the gree-kin(s) will shadow the group seeking revenge.

The male will typically remain with the female until the young are grown enough to take care of themselves, approximately 3 years old. At that time the family will split up completely, possibly never seeing each other again.


Gree-kin are greatly feared because they eat the brains of their victims. Any character carried off will typically be killed, and their brain eaten within the hour.

Studies indicate they are omnivorous, eating a diet consisting of primarily plant matter, with occasional insects and small creatures. While they will eat the brains of humanoids, they show a clear preference for more intelligent creatures, although they will not eat the brain of non-humanoid creatures regardless of intelligence. No one knows why they eat brain – it must satisfy a dietary need, as a mated couple with young will go on killing frenzies to bring brains back to their children.

Sages have tried to study gree-kin, with limited success. They don’t survive well in captivity, either escaping or eventually refusing to eat and starving to death. Efforts to communicate with them typically fail –gree-kin may have a language but do not use it in front of others. Their escape ability demonstrates their intelligence, but it is clearly non-human intelligence.



Level/XP Value

I use the 5% Rule Tables published by Len Lakofka in Dragon Magazine. The following provides XP values for both the AD&D and 5% Rule.

The XP value includes three Special Abilities (bite, intelligence, regeneration) and two Exceptional Abilities (poison, damage).

Hit Dice AD&D 5% Rule
9 HD VII / 2,300 + 12 xp/hp VII / 3,450+ 14/hp
10 HD VIII / 3,450 + 14 xp/hp VIII / 4,275 + 15/hp
11 HD IX / 5,100 + 16 xp/hp VIII / 5,100 + 16/hp
12 HD IX /5,100 + 16 xp/hp IX / 6,075 + 17/hp


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *