Dretch 5e Dnd: how it works and best uses 

The personification of utter displeasure and disdain, the Dretch will leave those below them in complete misery. These demonic creatures are the reincarnation of chaotic evil mortals who once wreaked havoc. In this article, learn more about the works of this lowly fiend of the Underworld.

What is a Dretch 5e: mechanics and requirements


  • Size: Small fiend (demon)
  • Alignment: Chaotic evil
  • Armor Class: 11 (Natural Armor)
  • Hit Points: 18 (4d6+4)
  • Speed: 20 ft.
  • Damage Resistance: Cold, Fire, Lightning
  • Damage Immunities: Poison
  • Condition Immunities: Poisoned
  • Senses Darkvision: 60 Ft., passive Perception 9
  • Languages: Abyssal, Telepathy 60 Ft. (Works Only With Creatures That Understand Abyssal)
  • Challenge: 1/4 (50 XP)
5e dretch

Dretch actions

  • Multiattack: The Dretch makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claws.
  • Bite: Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) piercing damage.
  • Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (2d4) slashing damage.
  • Fetid Cloud (1/Day): A 10-foot radius of disgusting green gas extends out from the Dretch. The gas spreads around corners, and its area is lightly obscured. It lasts for 1 minute or until a Strong Wind disperses it. Any creature that starts its turn in that area must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be Poisoned until the start of its next turn. While Poisoned in this way, the target can take either an Action or a bonus Action on its turn, not both, and can’t take reactions.

Advantages and drawbacks of using Dretch 5e


  • Multiattack: With a multi-attack, the Dretch can make two attacks in its turn, one with its bite (1d6 piercing damage) and the other with its claws (2d4 slashing damage). This allows the creature to have a maximum damage output of 6 piercing damage and eight slashing damage, which can do enough force against a low to midlevel player.
  • Mob material: Given the Dretch’s low challenge rating, damage output, and hit points, it is an excellent creature for creating a swarm. With this, players can go up against a whole mass of Dretches depending on the number of party members. As a Dungeon Master, it is up to you to determine how many you would put your party up against.
  • Telepathy: If ever you find yourself playing as a Dretch that encounters fellow Abyssal speakers or is proficient in Abyssal and have a Dretch companion, the Dretch’s feature of telepathy will be of good use to you! Telepathy gives you a link to another creature which helps you discreetly communicate with the other party. This is useful if you want to lay low as you work on your next move.
  • Special action: Dretches have a feature called Fetid Cloud that is very useful in battle. If a player fails their constitution saving throw, they would be poisoned and only take one action per turn.
  • Tough build: Despite their challenge rating, Dretches have good coverage for their resistances and immunities, which can surely help them have the upper hand during combat.
  • Darkvision: The Dretch has a darkvision of 60 ft., which makes it helpful for encounters in areas with little to no light.


  • Uncommon language: The Dretch can only speak and understand Abyssal, the language of demons. This is typically not a common language compared to other languages such as Elvish, Dwarvish, etc. Unless your players are some sort of cultist, demons, and such that may have this language proficiency, they might have much luck trying to communicate with the Dretch.
  • Low armor class: Dretch have a low armor class of 11 because this is what they naturally have. Thus, players are more likely to hit this creature during combat.
  • Low ability scores: Dretches have considerably low ability score modifiers, with the lowest being -4 for their charisma and the highest being a +1 for their constitution. This gives this creature a hard time rolling for saving throws, given the odds.
  • Low passive perception: The passive perception of the Dretch is only 9, making it very easy for your players to get past by with even a low stealth roll.
Dretch 5e

Best uses for Dretch 5e

A Demon Army

Perhaps in this world you’ve created so happens to have a demon overlord or a group of cultists, the Dretch is the perfect creature for you! As the lowest ranked demon, they most likely have a superior ruling over them. So feel free to unleash a whole army of demons and Dretches for your party to go up against into the home plane.

A Gag Creature Encounter

Bearing in mind the Dretches’ low wisdom, charisma, and intelligence stats, it can be a fun encounter for your players to stumble upon. You can use this creature to annoy your players or even have them use their intelligence to outsmart this not-so-smart fiend/ Feel free to be as silly and goofy as you want when roleplaying this fiend!

Rising through the Ranks

Given the Dretches’ chaotic evil nature, perhaps they’re sick and tired of working for their master and may want to stand up for themselves. The party may use this to their advantage by disassembling an antagonist’s team by having the Dretches side with them. With this, the party can have their demon friends and rise through the ranks of the land.

Advice and final thoughts

Swarms of Dretches can be a great nuisance that you can bring your players as they explore the Abyss and the unknown. However, considering its relatively low ability score stats, it’s highly doubtful they are more than henchmen of a demonic overlord.

Though as a Dungeon Master, you still have plenty to work with as it can offer you opportunities to let loose in your roleplay. From being goofy and dumb to being obnoxious and threatening, there are ways for you to add flavor and life to this creature as you set up your encounter. So remember to have fun, and feel free to explore how you may implement this creature in your campaign!

Dretch FAQ

How does the Dretch’s Fetid Cloud’s poison works? 

In general, when a creature is poisoned, they have a disadvantage on Attack rolls and Ability checks. Also, one must consider the secondary effect of the Dretch’s poisoned condition, “the target can take either an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both, and can’t take reactions.” This means that at this expense, the player can only make one move per turn/

In which plane can Dretches be found?

Dretches are native to the Outer plane, Abyss. In the Great Wheel cosmology model, this would be located in the lower planes between Pandemonium and Carceri. In the Abyss, they are most commonly found the Abyss’ layer, Thanatos.

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