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Bodaks (pronounced: /ˈbdækBO-dæk[6][7] about this audio file listen) were what was left of a humanoid that had been destroyed by the touch of pure evil,[8] such as that of a nightwalker. Undead creatures devoid of personality or souls, bodaks were cruel and relentless hunters, either of their own volition or at the behest of some greater power, such as the nightwalker that created them.[2]


Bodaks resembled their living form to a certain extent, being roughly the same size and shape,[8] though some described them as looking sexless and muscular.[5] Beyond that, there were a number of differences which were immediately obvious to the eye. A bodak's skin was a deathly pale white or gray, devoid of any hair at all. More eerie still was its face, which was twisted into an inhuman visage of sheer madness and horror with empty,[8] milky-white eyes[8][5] outstretched to the shape of vertical ovals.[5]


Although mostly devoid of any semblance of their past selves, bodaks occasionally experienced flashbacks of their life, an occurrence sometimes triggered within combat. In such cases, a bodak might take pause for a moment, stopping whatever it was doing. If an enemy triggered this flashback, the bodak was less likely to take effective action against the enemy for sometime thereafter.[8]


Offensive Abilities[]

Bodaks possessed a number of unusual abilities granted to them by their undead state. For instance, each bodak had the capacity to gaze into the soul of a nearby creature, gravely injuring or killing them if they were already weakened, an attack often known as a "death gaze".[2][5] Some said this gaze was effective from up to 30 ft (9.1 m) away.[5] Some bodaks had an extension of this ability that was not a commonly held trait of their kind — when creatures were not killed by their death gaze, bodaks would then cause their victims to see an unsettling vision of their own death.[9]

Those killed by a bodak's death gaze were likely to subsequently become bodaks themselves. Similarly, bodaks projected an aura of death around them, injuring and hindering the actions of any creature within roughly 25 feet (7.6 meters) of them.[2]

Undead Nature[]

Like many undead creatures, bodaks had an inherent weakness against brilliant light, and therefore shunned sunlight whenever they were able to.[10][8][5] They were, however, completely invulnerable to disease or poison and had a strong resistance against the effects of necrotic power.[2]

Beyond that, they were immune to spell effects like charm, hold person, sleep, and slow. And they could only be harmed by weapons with an enchantment of +1 or greater.[5]


Bodaks generally fought in a defensive manner, giving their death gaze more time to work.[11] They rarely ever fought with conventional weaponry, though were often seen wielding them.[5] A sub-type of bodak, "reavers," were the ones most likely to fight with them. They typically wielded greataxes and could even be seen wearing plate mail.[2]


In 1372 DR, bodaks were occasionally encountered by travelers in the Dragonjaw and Thesk Mountains.[12]



Bodaks were a type of undead that did not require any form of sustenance.[13][14]


Bodaks were rarely ever encountered in places outside of the Abyss,[5] or Shadowfell[2] except when being conjured to the Prime Material plane at the behest of some evil spellcaster.[5] Though they were occasionally encountered in the Upper, Middle, and Lower regions of the Underdark.[15]


Bodaks typically collaborated with other undead or creatures connected to the Shadowfell.[2] Such as ghouls, wights, and demilichs.[16]

Bodaks were a favored monster of the goddess of bad luck, Beshaba.[17]




The Throne of BloodstoneTales of the Outer Planes, "The Sea of Screams"Dungeon #84, "The Harrowing"Dungeon #94, "Spiral of Manzessine"Expedition to the Demonweb PitsTomb of Annihilation
Circle of Skulls
Video Games
Neverwinter Nights series (Neverwinter NightsNeverwinter Nights: Tyrants of the Moonsea)
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Unusual Opposition


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Mike Mearls, et al. (November 2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. Edited by Jeremy Crawford, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 127. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 36. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 28. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. Allen Varney, ed. (June 1994). Planescape Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), p. 36. ISBN 978-1560768623.
  5. 5.00 5.01 5.02 5.03 5.04 5.05 5.06 5.07 5.08 5.09 5.10 5.11 5.12 Gary Gygax (August 1983). Monster Manual II 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-88038-031-4.
  6. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 25.
  7. J. Paul LaFountain (1991). Monstrous Compendium: Outer Planes Appendix. Edited by Timothy B. Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 1-56076-055-9.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet and Monte Cook (October 2000). Monster Manual 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-1552-1.
  9. Bruce R. Cordell, Eytan Bernstein, Brian R. James (January 2009). Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 220. ISBN 0786950692.
  10. Andy Collins, Bruce R. Cordell (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 20. ISBN 0-7869-3433-6.
  11. Andy Collins, Bruce R. Cordell (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 135. ISBN 0-7869-3433-6.
  12. Richard Baker, Matt Forbeck, Sean K. Reynolds (May 2003). Unapproachable East. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 90. ISBN 0-7869-2881-6.
  13. Andy Collins, Bruce R. Cordell (October 2004). Libris Mortis: The Book of Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 9. ISBN 0-7869-3433-6.
  14. Bruce R. Cordell, Eytan Bernstein, Brian R. James (January 2009). Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 12. ISBN 0786950692.
  15. Bruce R. Cordell, Gwendolyn F.M. Kestrel, Jeff Quick (October 2003). Underdark. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 114–116. ISBN 0-7869-3053-5.
  16. Bruce R. Cordell, Eytan Bernstein, Brian R. James (January 2009). Open Grave: Secrets of the Undead. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 155, 165. ISBN 0786950692.
  17. Sean K. Reynolds (2002-05-04). Deity Do's and Don'ts (Zipped PDF). Web Enhancement for Faiths and Pantheons. Wizards of the Coast. p. 10. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2018-09-08.