Rust Monster: Weapons, Beware!

Destroyed me hammer and me axe, it did. Put me faith to the test that day, it did.

Brawn Thunderstones, dwarf paladin of Dumathoin

Not the most creative name, is it? Rust Monster? That’s like calling a bird ‘flappy flying creature.’

Lore: Rusty Insects

Usually placid, a rust monster feeds off of the metals it decays. They usually wander underground passages, ignoring anything that doesn’t bear metal and becoming hostile to anything that does. However, their single-minded pursuit of food makes them easy to trick. They can even be made into companions or pets, which is what many denizens of the Underdark do.

This isn’t especially good lore. It can make for some fun Underdark flavor text; maybe there are some tamed rust monsters hanging around in an Underdark settlement. But if you’re looking for an actual enemy for your party to fight, this one’s usefulness extends only as far as a random encounter.

Though, knowing how most players operate, they’d try to tame the thing even as it tries to kill them. So… prepare for that, I guess?

Design: Cute or Horrifying?

I honestly can’t tell. Granted, it’s the size of a cow. Does that make it more or less nightmarish?

I imagine it makes a cute purring sound when you pet it.

I kinda like this design. It’s not especially amazing, but it’s pretty neat! Like a giant rust-colored termite!

Is it as interesting or bizarre as some of the more creative monster designs on the list? Honestly, no. But at least it isn’t boring and generic. It’s still a fun and interesting design.

Overall, I’d say it’s slightly above average. Now, let’s see how it fights.

Stats: Fighters, Beware!

Despite it’s looks, a rust monster is hardly a durable monster. Their AC isn’t awful but it isn’t all that hard to beat, and its HP is pretty low. If you decide to kill one, it probably won’t be hard.

But you’ll probably lose a good chunk of your gear, so beware! With its Rust Metal ability, any nonmagical weapon that strikes it corrodes. After damage is dealt, the weapon takes a permanent -1 to damage rolls. Once that adds up to a -5, the weapon breaks. In addition, nonmagical ammo that hits the creature is non-recoverable.

Now, let’s talk actions. Its Bite attack does… just about what you’d expect. Far more annoying is its Antennae action; with this, it corrodes a nonmagical metal object. If this affects armor, it takes a permanent -1 to its AC. Should the AC drop to 10 (or a shield’s bonus be reduced to 0), the item breaks.

Honestly, this fight comes across more as frustrating than fun or challenging. It’s more about killing the monster before it destroys their gear than anything else. Not the most fun experience.

Still, it can lead to some potentially interesting consequences. How do they repair their gear? How do they deal with the trials to come with weakened gear? That could be fairly memorable. Unfortunately, it has little to do with the monster itself.


As a whole, this isn’t a particularly good monster. It has a decently strong design and its stats can make for an interesting challenge. Unfortunately, its lore is underwhelming and those stats are more punishing and annoying then they are fun and challenging.

With that in mind, the Rust Monster is going to #132 on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Mind Flayer
  4. Dragon Turtle
  5. Mummy/Mummy Lord
  6. Nagas (all three of ’em)
  7. Green Dragons
  8. Red Dragons
  9. Blue Dragons
  10. Black Dragons
  11. White Dragons
  12. Silver Dragons
  13. Couatl
  14. Behir
  15. Aboleth
  16. Sea Hag
  17. Lamia
  18. Bronze Dragons
  19. Brass Dragons
  20. Copper Dragons
  21. Gold Dragons
  22. Chuul
  23. Kuo-Toa
  24. Gibbering Mouther
  25. Kraken
  26. Intellect Devourer
  27. Chimera
  28. Death Knight
  29. Fomorian
  30. Bone Devil
  31. Dracolich
  32. Faerie Dragon
  33. Gelatinous Cube
  34. Lich
  35. Peryton
  36. Remorhaz
  37. Orcs (all four of ’em)
  38. Magmin
  39. Kobold
  40. Kenku
  41. Hobgoblins
  42. Night Hag
  43. Green Hag
  44. Black Pudding
  45. Ankheg
  46. Hook Horror
  47. Oni
  48. Purple Worm
  49. Storm Giant
  50. Hill Giant
  51. Empyrean
  52. Efreeti
  53. Grimlock
  54. Minotaur
  55. Dao
  56. Cloud Giant
  57. Manticore
  58. Drow (all four of ’em)
  59. Shadow Demon
  60. Modrons (all five of ’em)
  61. Marilith
  62. Drider
  63. Aarackockra
  64. Azer
  65. Demilich
  66. Spectator
  67. Gray Ooze
  68. Ochre Jelly
  69. Hydra
  70. Rakshasa
  71. Marid
  72. Harpy
  73. Werejackal
  74. Otyugh
  75. Half-Dragon
  76. Cambion
  77. Fire Giant
  78. Nothic
  79. Pixie
  80. Animated Armor
  81. Roper
  82. Banshee
  83. Basilisk
  84. Yochlol
  85. Bulette
  86. Cloaker
  87. Darkmantle
  88. Doppelganger
  89. Revenant
  90. Ghoul and Ghast
  91. Ettin
  92. Medusa
  93. Pit Fiend
  94. Erinyes
  95. Chain Devil
  96. Bearded Devil
  97. Barbed Devil
  98. Spined Devil
  99. Ice Devil
  100. Mimic
  101. Djinni
  102. Merrow
  103. Nalfeshnee
  104. Glabrezu
  105. Chasme
  106. Grell
  107. Barlgura
  108. Horned Devil
  109. Balor
  110. Shadow Dragon
  111. Myconids (all four of ’em)
  112. Piercer
  113. Werebear
  114. Lizardfolk
  115. Vrock
  116. Dretch
  117. Pseudodragon
  118. Gnolls (all three)
  119. Goristro
  120. Hezrou
  121. Manes
  122. Quaggoth
  123. Frost Giant
  124. Weretiger
  125. Werewolf
  126. Duergar
  127. Quasit
  128. Dryad
  129. Flumph
  130. Goblin
  131. Nightmare
  132. Rust Monster <——————
  133. Wereboar
  134. Wererat
  135. Githyanki
  136. Owlbear
  137. Planetar
  138. Imp
  139. Ogres/Half-ogres
  140. Roc
  141. Clay Golem
  142. Flameskull
  143. Displacer Beast
  144. Carrion Crawler
  145. Githzerai
  146. Grick
  147. Invisible Stalker
  148. Rug of Smothering
  149. Bugbear Chief
  150. Bugbear
  151. Flesh Golem
  152. Vine Blight
  153. Twig Blight
  154. Needle Blight
  155. Mephits (all six of ’em)
  156. Bullywug
  157. Hellhound
  158. Ettercap
  159. Gas Spore
  160. Cockatrice
  161. Lemure
  162. Homonculus
  163. Merfolk
  164. Solar
  165. Deva
  166. Gorgon
  167. Hippogriff
  168. Griffon
  169. Cyclops
  170. Centaur
  171. Ghost
  172. Pegasus
  173. Fire Elemental
  174. Water Elemental
  175. Air Elemental
  176. Stone Giant
  177. Deep Gnome
  178. Dinosaurs (All six of them)
  179. Iron Golem
  180. Stone Golem
  181. Earth Elemental
  182. Galeb Duhr
  183. Helmed Horror
  184. Flying Sword
  185. Crawling Claw
  186. Violet Fungus
  187. Shrieker
  188. Gargoyle

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