Shadow mastiffs are large, jet-black dogs whose essence is fused with Shadow. Wicked and bestial, they delight in others' terrified screams as they hunt. Their keen senses and terrifying baying make them valuable allies for creatures of darkness.
Shadow Mastiffs in Different EditionsEdit
The Shadow Mastiff made its first appearance in Monster Maual II. Here, they have a 40% chance to remain unseen in darkness, and lose 50% of their speed in bright light. Their baying can also cause panic (the more mastiffs the better). Their young were also quite valuable.
Similar to their 1e versions, shadow mastiffs here picked up some additional weaknesses in light, losing hit points and morale as well. Their origin is supposedly when an animal is killed by an undead shadow. It is specifically called out as a native of the Shadow Plane, summoned to the material world by spellcasters.
Shadow mastiffs appear in the Monster Manual and are given an entry in the System Reference Document (link), making the creatures Open Gaming Content. Still essentially the same as their earlier-edition counterparts, shadow mastiffs here were given certain abilities that many canine creatures shared: an ability to track by scent, a scent quality that gave them greater perception, and a trip effect on their bite that can knock enemies prone. They are considsered Outsiders, though their precise origins are left open.
Shadow mastiffs did not appear in 4e.
Shadow mastiffs have not yet appeared in 5e.
- Monster Manual II (1e)
- Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume 3 (2e)
- SRD (3e)