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Chokers were hideous monsters that hid underground and strangled their prey to death.[1][2][3][4]


Chokers had a torso that appeared something akin to a halfling[3] with spotted gray or brown skin,[4] but the similarity ended there.[3] The flesh of a choker felt rubbery.[1] Some scholars reported that it could alter its skin color to match its surroundings.[2]

Its body was roughly humanoid, with a small torso and head,[4] but a choker's arms and legs were long and thin, being more like tentacles than arms or legs of normal creatures.[3][4] The arms could reach out to a distance of at least 10 feet (3 meters) from its body,[3] and if it stretched its legs out, it would stand about 6 feet (180 centimeters) tall.[4]

Its hands were shaped somewhat like a starfish.[1] The hands had a spiny surface—stiff cartilage jutting through the skin[4]—that permitted them to grip tightly to the surfaces of walls and ceilings[1][3] and to cut through flesh.[4] Even the fingers were enormously long.[4]

While there was some debate about the anatomy of a choker's skeleton as a whole—some claimed that the skull, spine, and rib cage were of bone,[3][4] others claimed of cartilage[1]—all scholars agreed that their limbs were cartilaginous[1][2][3][4] and multi-jointed.[2][3][4] They moved their limbs with the fluidity of tentacles.[2][3][4]

Standing little higher than 3.5 ft (110 cm)—if not stretched out[4]—and weighing in at about 35 lb (16 kg),[3] they were more dangerous than they appeared.[1]


Chokers had low, almost animal, intelligence,[1][2][3][4] but they were preternaturally quick of movement.[1][3] Like most subterranean beings, they could see in the dark.[1][2][3]

A choker's flexible skeleton allowed it to enter through a gap as narrow as 4 inches (10 centimeters) wide![1] And it could climb walls[1][2][3] or even travel along a ceiling like a spider.[1][2]


Although some suggested that they were not truly malicious,[2] chokers' actions were those of chaotic and evil beings.[1][3][4] They were cowardly beings[1][4] and relied on stealth to survive.[1][2][3] Dwarves and goblins took advantage of this cowardliness and often clanged together weapons and shields to scare chokers away when traveling through areas that they might be found.[4]

Chokers liked to collect little trinkets from their victims.[2] Their greed for such objects sometimes gave a victim a means to negotiate for its life.[3]


Chokers took advantage of their flexible bodies and squeezed themselves into narrow cracks in the stone of their cavern homes,[1][4] where they waited for unsuspecting victims,[1] whatever happened to come by.[3] Other favored spots for ambushes were the intersections of cavern rooms[3][4] or above wells or staircases.[3] They traveled in search of new hiding places along dried underground river beds or through such things as the air shafts of dwarven constructions.[4]

After making a kill, a choker often left the corpse nearby, within its long arms' reach, both so that it could have easy access to a snack and so that it could use the body as a lure. If a curious creature came close to inspect the body, it would be the next victim.[1] Even if not leaving a corpse for bait, they rarely dragged an entire slain body away, instead cutting it into smaller pieces and transporting those in stages to a safer location.[4]

Chokers actually favored attacking creatures their size or larger, but would usually avoid attacking a group, unless very hungry, in which case they attempted to pick off the last in line.[3]

To attack, the choker would lash out with both of its tentacle-like arms,[1][2][3][4] snapping them like whips.[3] The tiny spikes on its hands could puncture a victim's skin.[1][4] The choker would then try to choke its victim,[1][2][4] either with a strangle hold[2][3][4] or by pressing the victim's throat against the wall.[1] It could often do this without having to leave the safety of its hiding place.[1] It goes without saying that a victim could not speak or cast spells with verbal components while being choked.[3]

It was next to impossible to break a choker's hold without killing it. Thankfully for those who could survive such an ordeal, chokers were not patient. If their victim had not suffocated within several minutes, a typical choker would give up and flee the area.[4]

Chokers that were attacked while currently trying to choke a victim would often use the victim as a body shield.[2]


Chokers were primarily solitary creatures,[1][2][3] but they all preferred similar habitats, so finding one meant that other independent chokers might also be nearby.[1] While they were generally terrible at the job, because of their stupidity,[1] some goblins, gnolls, and other evil humanoids paid chokers food and treasure to guard their lairs or assassinate rivals.[2]

Chokers made no use of tools or weapons.[4]

Chokers communicated with creepy howling sounds that were hard to pinpoint in caves because of echoing[1] and spoke to one another in their own, primitive language.[4] They were also reported to know other common languages, such as Deep Speech,[1] Common,[2] or Undercommon.[3]


The natural habitat for chokers was underground.[3][4] However, there were actually two separate subspecies of choker, cavern chokers and feygrove chokers. The cavern choker was more commonly known and is described here. Its larger cousin lived in the Feywild and hid among its trees.[2]

Another group of tree-dwelling chokers lived in the Forest of Amtar, having migrated there from the Underdark. They had adapted to the new conditions and heat of that forest.[6][7] Chokers that lived above ground were primarily active at night.[4]

Chokers were carnivores with surprising high metabolisms for their small size. A typical specimen needed to eat a goblin-sized creature per couple days to thrive.[4]

Goblins were a choker's favorite source of calories, but they would happily eat whatever other humanoids they could ambush.[4]

Their solitary and cowardly nature meant that finding mates was challenging for choker's. They had a mating call, a high-pitched whine made by both sexes. The echoing sound was irritating to most other races.[4]

Upon successfully mating, a female gave birth to live young a few months later, usually between two and six offspring at a time. Both parents remained with the young for about three years, at which point the entire "family" went their separate ways. Adult choker's would seek new mates.[4]


No one knew the true origin of choker's, but the goblins of the world of Mystara believed that chokers were the result of a tribe of goblins who had resorted to cannibalism and degenerated.[4]


Perhaps only in jest, the famous wizard Mordenkainen once suggested that short wizards obtain a choker as a familiar as an alternative to using ladders, since they could reach such great heights with their long arms and legs.[1]


External Links[]


Undermountain: Halaster's Lost Apprentice
Organized Play & Licensed Adventures
Stardock Under Siege
Card Games
Sword Mountains Crypt

Further Reading[]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (May 29, 2018). Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes. Edited by Kim Mohan, Michele Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 123. ISBN 978-0786966240.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 2.21 2.22 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 42. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 3.26 3.27 3.28 3.29 3.30 3.31 3.32 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 34–35. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 4.16 4.17 4.18 4.19 4.20 4.21 4.22 4.23 4.24 4.25 4.26 4.27 4.28 4.29 4.30 4.31 4.32 4.33 4.34 4.35 4.36 4.37 John Nephew, John Terra, Skip Williams, Teeuwynn Woodruff (1994). Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), p. 19. ISBN 1-56076-875-4.
  5. Eric Cagle (September 2004). “The Ecology of Chokers”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #323 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 74–77.
  6. Ed Greenwood (April 2001–May 2003). Elminster Speaks archive (Zipped PDF). Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. pp. 59–60. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2016-09-03.
  7. Ed Greenwood (2002-09-18). Part #49: The Road to Khôltar, Part 2. Elminster Speaks. Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2016-11-01. Retrieved on 2017-09-23.