Wizard Needs Food Badly: Eating Monsters (3E)

This is a D&D third edition conversion of Monday’s article: Wizard Needs Food Badly: Eating Monsters (4E).

When a character eats the corpse of a monster, what side-effects await him? Will poison or magical effect make the attempt more trouble than it’s worth? Or, might he gain some strange and wonderful power?

Below are effects for several iconic monsters of D&D third edition. You are encouraged to invent your own.

As a general rule, monsters must be eaten promptly when slain to have any effect. Preserved corpses (frozen, pickled, etc) may provide nutrition, but lose their special efficacy when stored. A Medium creature provides enough vital body parts to feed two characters, plus one for every size class above Medium.

Orc or gnoll

According to the human barbarians tribes of the cold north, eating the liver of savage humanoids is a way to gain their courage. However, it’s not without risks.
Risk: Character risks acquiring blood parasites. Treat the parasites as a disease. (Savage bloodflukes: Ingested, DC15, incubation 1d3 days, damage 1d4 Int, 1d4 Wis, +1 inherent bonus to Str. If reduced below 3 Wis, victim must pick melee target at random each round, from all adjacent creatures, including allies, and must make attacks of opportunity against allies who would provoke one. If reduced to 0 Wis, target remains conscious but loses free will and enters a killing frenzy until slain.)
Effect: The next time the target scores a critical hit in earnest combat, he gains a number of temporary hit points equal to the target’s hit dice.


Dragon meat is tough to eat and difficult to prepare. Cooking red dragon meat is impossible without magical fire.
Risk: Dragon flesh is toxic. Character makes a Fortitude save equal to the dragon’s breath weapon DC; on failure, the character takes 1d6 damage per four hit dice the dragon has (minimum 1d6). This is a poison effect.
Effect: Gain energy resistance to the dragon’s breath weapon type, equivalent to half the dragon’s hit dice. The effect lasts until the character takes a full rest.


Ghosts leave behind a small amount of residual ectoplasm which can be swallowed. It otherwise evaporates after a minute, and cannot be stored as a potion.
Risk: One of the character’s hands comes to life and begins to attack with any weapon it can grasp. The hand has the same AC and defences as the character, and 10% of the character’s hit points. Any damage dealt to the hand is also dealt to the character. The hand ceases on its own after two minutes or twenty combat rounds.
Effect: Any attacks you make are treated as having the ghost touch weapon property. This effect lasts for one hour per hit dice of the ghost whose ectoplasm you consumed.


The bones of an undead bone creature, such as a skeleton, mohrg or lich, can be ground to dust and swallowed in a mixture with holy water.
Risk: Character takes 2d4 damage (Fortitude DC15 negates).
Effect: Character gains the benefit of a protection from evil for one minute per hit die of the undead creature.


Dwarven legends speak of a hero who gained his strength by eating the hearts of slain hill giants.
Risk: The amount of the heart which much be eaten in one sitting to gain the benefit is immense. Character gains no benefit unless he makes a successful Fortitude save (DC20); on failure, he vomits and takes 1d8 nonlethal damage.
Effect: The character adds +2 damage to his next melee attack, a +2 bonus to all Strength based skills for one day, and treats his Strength score as 2 higher for the purpose of carrying capacity for one day.


The blood of this creature is tainted with residue of antimagic. Its effect on human physiology is potent.
Risk: The character’s eyes become bloodshot, clouding his vision. He suffers -2 to all melee and ranged attacks until he next receives magical healing. The antimagic imposes a -1 penalty to the DC of any spells, spell-like abilities and supernatural abilities for the same duration. (Additionally, repeated consumption of beholder blood can cause unpredictable mutations and is considered dangerous.)
Effect: Character gains a spell-like ability called Evil Eye, which he can use once only. As a standard action, the character glares at his target. Target suffers -2 to all attacks and saves for one minute (Will negates DC 10 + half character level + Charisma modifier). The character loses the use of this spell-like ability after he uses it or if he receives healing which cures his bloodshot eye penalty.

Mind flayer, githzerai or githyanki

According to certain lorekeepers among the githyanki, their race first gained power by eating the brains of the mind flayers who once kept the gith as slaves. The githyanki, however, hold this as heresy.
Risk: You project an uncontrolled psychic aura, which lasts for one week. Any creature within 50ft gains a +10 bonus to Spot and Sense Motive checks against you. If the creature has any psionic power points, the bonus increases to +20 and the range to 100ft.
Effect: While you project the uncontrolled aura, you gain a +1 enhancement bonus to overcome spell resistance. At any time while under the effect, you may (once only) add +2 to the DC of a divination or enchantment spell or psionic power, or make a melee or ranged attack which, if successful, also leaves the opponent dazed for one round. Using this ability ends the spell resistance effect, but not the drawback.

Spider or poisonous insect

Eating the venom-producing gland of a giant spider is dangerous, but is guaranteed to work as a potent antivenom.
Risk: You suffer the effect of the creature’s poison. Make a saving throw against the poison as normal, but reduce the DC by 2.
Effect: You gain a +5 alchemical bonus to Fortitude saves versus poison for one day. Any ability score damage you do take from poison is reduced by one point per die.

Elemental creature (fire)

Elemental fire creatures include magmins, thoqqua and efreeti.
Risk: Character takes 10 fire damage.
Effect: Character gains the effect of endure elements for one day.

This is a D&D third edition conversion of Monday’s article: Wizard Needs Food Badly: Eating Monsters (4E).

Comments (3)

Tyson J. Hayes (October 2nd, 2009)

Thanks for converting the article!

Though I am curious how does one eat a fire elemental? One would assume you wouldn’t really need to cook it. :)

I specifically enjoyed the Mind flayer and the aura you project after you eat it, an enjoyable little thought!

1d30 (October 3rd, 2009)

You could probably eat Red Dragon meat tartare or just very rare.

Or a ceviche. *shudder*

alaskan tarrasque (November 18th, 2009)

dragon meat in my games are temporary stat boosters or induce rage or some other effect,dragon blood would give you a natural armor bonus to AC but you would take breath weapon damage and various other parts would have various other benefits. Also i have used other monsters as meat but they rarely had benefits and some would just make you nauseus.

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