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Saber-toothed tigers, also known as smilodons (pronounced: /ˈsmldɑːnSMEYEL-o-dan[5]), were an ancient dire[2] species of cat whose existence persisted in some places.[3][4][6] Despite their name, these creatures were in fact not closely related to tigers and were only distantly related to the more modern feline species of the Realms.[2][3][6]


These creatures were twice as large as any lion. Their roars were likewise twice as loud as that of any lion. Two large, curved fangs jutted out from their mouths, upon which their name was derived.[2] On average these measured around 6 inches (0.15 meters) in length.[3][4]


These creatures were very aggressive and ferocious predators,[4] though were known to sometimes ignore prey that remained motionless.[2]


Saber-toothed tigers rarely ever pursued prey over long distances. Often they would attack in groups, ambushing their prey. One half of a pride would startle and chase their prey, steering them straight into the direction of the other half.[2]


In 640 DR, the people of Ormath and Lheshayl, as well as patrols from the Shining Plains, experienced frequent attacks from saber-toothed tigers.[7]

In the late 15th century DR, a man in Barovia by the name of Rictavio owned a saber-toothed tiger.[8] Around that same time, Queen Bjornhild Solvigsdottir of the Tribe of the Tiger had a pet saber-toothed tiger named Grava.[9]


These creatures lived in prides ruled over by female members and worked as a group, much like lions. Infighting over dominance, prey, territory, and mates was quite common. At times this could be quite lethal.[2]

Weaker members of prides were often driven out in pairs, forcing them to set up their own hunting territories.[2]


Saber-toothed tigers were a carnivorous species.[3]

These creatures were most often known to prey upon giant elks,[10] brantas, glyptodons, horses, megaloceros, and mammoths.[2]


These creatures were typically found in the forests of either warm or cold climate regions, as well as plains and hills. They laired within caves or small earthen dens when bearing and rearing their young.[2]

Smilodons could be found in the Ice Spires,[11] the Shining Plains,[12] and much of the Savage Frontier,[13] In the late-15th century DR, they could be found in the jungles of Chult near the River Soshenstar, where they were mistaken by locals for a variety of Chultan tiger.[14]

Beyond Toril, they inhabited the warm marshes and swamps of the planet Oerth.[15]


Saber-toothed tigers were sometimes domesticated by neanderthals.[16] In the Ice Spires region, both the Ice Spire ogres within Dour Fissure and frost giants were known to have domesticated smilodons.[11]

Some arctic rangers were known to have smilodons as animal companions.[17]


The fangs of smilodons were a source of ivory, primarily fossilized ivory.[18]



See Also[]


Curse of Strahd
Video Games
Neverwinter (Tomb of Annihilation)Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards

External Links[]


  1. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 336. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  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 Wolfgang Baur, James Jacobs, George Strayton (September 2004). Frostburn. Edited by Greg Collins. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 118. ISBN 0-7869-2896-4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 David "Zeb" Cook et al. (1989). Monstrous Compendium Volume One. (TSR, Inc), pp. 20–21. ISBN 0-8803-8738-6.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 94. ISBN 0-9356-9600-8.
  5. Frank Mentzer (January 1985). “Ay pronunseeAYshun gyd”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #93 (TSR, Inc.), p. 28.
  6. 6.0 6.1 David Howery (September 1988). “Into the Age of Mammals”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #137 (TSR, Inc.), p. 44.
  7. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 93. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
  8. Christopher Perkins, Tracy Hickman, Laura Hickman (March 2016). Curse of Strahd. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-0-7869-6598-4.
  9. Christopher Perkins (September 2020). Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 306. ISBN 978-0786966981.
  10. John Nephew, et al. (March 1993). Creature Catalog. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-593-3.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Ray Winninger (September 1995). Giantcraft. Edited by Karen S. Boomgarden. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 87, 101. ISBN 0-7869-0163-2.
  12. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 125. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  13. slade (April 1996). The North: Guide to the Savage Frontier (Tables 1 to 15). (TSR, Inc). ISBN 0-7869-0391-0.
  14. Cryptic Studios (July 2017). Neverwinter: Tomb of Annihilation. Perfect World Entertainment.
  15. Grant Boucher, William W. Connors, Steve Gilbert, Bruce Nesmith, Christopher Mortika, Skip Williams (April 1990). Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures Appendix. Edited by Mike Breault. (TSR, Inc.), p. 63. ISBN 0-88038-836-6.
  16. Wolfgang Baur, James Jacobs, George Strayton (September 2004). Frostburn. Edited by Greg Collins. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 146. ISBN 0-7869-2896-4.
  17. Rick Swan (1993). The Complete Ranger's Handbook. Edited by Elizabeth Danforth. (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 1560766344.
  18. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  19. Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148, 156. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
  20. Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 222. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.