Rakshasas (pronounced: /rɑːkˈʃɑːsɑːzrak-SHA-saz[6]) were a type of evil outsider from the lawful evil regions of the Outer Planes, though most lived on the Material Plane. They were powerful sorcerers and, although they disdained physical fighting as ignoble, could be dangerous in close combat as well.[3]


A rakshasa could assume any humanoid form, so few ever saw their true faces. In its natural form, a rakshasa had a humanoid body and a tiger's head. Another physical characteristic of the rakshasa was that its hands were backwards: the palms faced out from the body when the arms were at rest.[1] Rakshasas were capable of hiding their disturbing appearance at any time, as they could choose any humanoid form at will.[3] Although most rakshasas had the head of a tiger, others were known to have the heads of other animals, such as apes. Rakshasas of higher standing were rumored to to possess multiple heads, each a different type of animal.[4]

Rakshasas were cruel and wicked. They loved to pose as nobility, living a life of luxury and ease to hide their habit of devouring humanoid flesh and their evil schemes.[1]


These rakshasas had the heads of white tigers and were skinnier than the common breed. They were unusually powerful spellcasters and specialized in necromantic magic. To use their necromantic powers to their full potential, the ak'chazar rakshasas often used graveyards or old battlefields as their headquarters. When working on one of their dark schemes, they often let their undead do the physical work while they stayed behind the scenes themselves.[7]
These rakshasas were shapeshifters with the ability to utilize different supernatural combat styles based on their current forms.[8]
Naztharune rakshasas had the heads of black tigers and were covered in black fur. They had few magical powers but compensated by being strong fighters, specializing in assassination. They lacked most rakshasas' need to be the leader of any organization that they were part of, often working for other rakshasas.[9]


Tieflings who had cat eyes were descended from rakshasas, as were some of those who had fur.[10]


Rakshasas were solitary beings, although they did occasionally cooperate with each other.[7]

Rakshasas worshipped Ravanna, a ten-headed lesser deity.[11]


Rakshasas were thought to have originated as the result of a ritual conducted by devils from the Nine Hells in an attempt to acquire the ability to travel to the Material Plane.[1]

Notable RakshasasEdit




Further ReadingEdit

External LinksEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 257. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 216–218. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 211–212. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 299. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
  5. Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  6. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (September 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 134. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  8. Richard Baker, Frank Brunner, Matthew Sernett (August 2006). Tome of Battle: The Book of Nine Swords. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-3922-2.
  9. Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (September 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  10. Reynolds, Forbeck, Jacobs, Boyd (March 2003). Races of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 125. ISBN 0-7869-2875-1.
  11. Eric Cagle (December 2004). “The Ecology of the Rakshasa”. In Matthew Sernett ed. Dragon #326 (Paizo Publishing, LLC), pp. 66–70.
  12. Bruce R. Cordell (April 2011). Sword of the Gods. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786957392.
  13. Christopher Perkins, James Haeck, James Introcaso, Adam Lee, Matthew Sernett (September 2018). Waterdeep: Dragon Heist. Edited by Jeremy Crawford. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 32–33. ISBN 978-0-7869-6625-7.


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