In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the thri-kreen, or "mantis warriors", are an insect-like monstrous humanoid race. Thri-kreen are one of the primary player character races of the Dark Sun campaign setting, and have also appeared in the Spelljammer campaign setting as well as the Dungeons & Dragons v3.5 Monster Manual among creatures that, while used primarily as fodder for the formerly "default" Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting, Forgotten Realms, are officially independent of any campaign setting whatsoever. Thus, these stereotypical insectoids, like those of alternate names in countless other works of fantasy and science fiction, have joined the ranks of ogres, dragons, golems, and other monsters as a stock character of the fantasy genre's monstrous pantheon or rogues gallery.
Thri-kreen resemble humanoid mantids
with golden-brown coloration. They possess six limbs, and usually use one pair for locomotion and the other two pairs as arms
. They have excellent physical capabilities, allowing them to jump great distances. They also have sharp claws, poisonous bites, and psionic abilities.
An average thri-kreen has the life expectancy of only 30 years. However, this is countered by the fact that thri-kreen do not require sleep. A thri-kreen truly lives out every moment of its precious 30 years.
Thri-kreen dwell in warm deserts and plains.
Thri-kreen are formidable nomadic
hunters who respect the land and hate creatures that despoil it. They will attack anyone who disturbs their home.
Thri-kreen have two signature weapons: the gythka, a polearm with a blade at each end; and the chatkcha, a crystal throwing wedge which returns when thrown. However, they will use anything they can find as well.
Variant forms of Thri-kreen include the civilized tohr-kreen (of which there are six subspecies), the mentally and physically altered zik-trin, the alien zik-chil, and the spacefaring xixchil of the Spelljammer campaign setting.
The Thri-kreen society is very organized, and they have a strong hive mentality when in groups. Not much more is known since they have a difficult time associating with the humanoid races.
Thri-kreens are usually any chaotic alignment.
The thri-kreen race was first introduced to D&D
in 1982 by Paul Reiche III
for the second set of Monster Cards
. The thri-kreen is presented as a playable character race in Player's Option: Skills & Powers
(1995). They have persisted into 3rd and 3.5 editions and appear in the Monster Manual II
, Expanded Psionics Handbook
, and various sourcebooks for the Forgotten Realms
- Beach, Tim, and Dori Hein. Thri-kreen of Athas (TSR, 1995) ISBN 0-7869-0125-X.
- Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002).
- Conners, William, et al. Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (TSR, 1989).
- Cordell, Bruce R. Expanded Psionics Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2004) ISBN 0-7869-3301-1.
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983).
- Reid, Thomas M. Shining South (Wizards of the Coast, 2004).
- Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Xixchil." Dragon #266 (TSR, 1999).
- Slavicsek, Bill. Dark Sun Campaign Setting Expanded and Revised (TSR, 1995).
- Stewart, Doug. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1997) ISBN 1-56076-619-0.