Dungeons & Dragons creature
Alignment Chaotic Evil
Type Giant
Source books Arcana Evolved, Shining South (3.5E), 3E Deities and Demigods, 2E Legends and Lore, Monstrous Manual
First appearance
Mythological origins Cyclops
Image image
For the mythological creature, see Wikipedia:Cyclops.

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, the cyclops is a giant based upon the Cyclopes of Greek mythology and Roman mythology.[1] There are two types of cyclopes present in the game; the smaller cyclopskin and the massive cyclops. The cyclopskin resemble seven-and-a-half-foot tall, relatively ugly humanoids with a single bloodshot eye in the center of their foreheads. They are burly and muscular but are covered in hairs, scars, and scabs and smell of dirt and dung. Their tough, ruddy brown skin is thick and doubles as armor. Quite often, in addition to the single eye, many cyclops also bear a stubby horn. The cyclops resembles fairly closely its smaller cyclopskin cousins but is much larger, growing up to forty feet tall. It is also much more savage and bestial.

Characteristics and habits[]

Both cyclopes and cyclopskin are elusive brutes who live in desolate wilderness, far away from civilization. Quite little is known of their habits or purpose in life, and many believe this not to be so much as the fact that they live far away and are hard to study, but because they simply do not have any. Cyclopskin live in the extreme wilds or on isolated islands, in small camps huddled around a cave, ruin or some other lair. They are rather primitive, brutish creatures with no regard for the land, and their territory can often be recognized due to how remarkably unsanitary it is, with piles of filth and waste lying everywhere, and painfully apparent despoliation. Their hierarchies are strongly based on violence and domination, with the most powerful one, the one with the strength to pound every other cyclopskin in the tribe into submission, being appointed the leader. The only technology they have is the knowledge on how to domesticate farm animals, but they do, however, exercise this heavily, and most cyclopskin lairs have pens in which large numbers of goats and sheep are kept for food purposes. Though omnivorous, they prefer this meat to vegetable diets. Cyclopskin protect themselves at night from predators by placing a boulder or a wooden gate at the entrance to their lair. This seems to be more for the protection of the herded animals than the cyclopskin. Any treasure a tribe has is kept in a sack at the back of the lair, and is typically accessible only to the leader. As for cyclopes, they have much the same culture as that of cyclopskin only they are completely solitary, and they appear to even more bestial and dumb.

Cyclopes and cyclopskin have very little regard for other life. They are, however, defensive creatures, and only attack that which enters their territory. Though an armed band might be left alone, weaker forces will be attacked outright. Cyclopskin fight with clubs and bardiches. Some also use throwing spears, but due to the one eye, they are poor ranged combatants. Cyclopes also use these weapons, but due to their size, their brute strength is commonly enough. Cyclopes can also pluck entire trees and huge boulders from the earth, and hurl them hundreds of yards. Because of the tough skin, both cyclopskin and cyclopes rarely need to wear anything better than animal hides. Cyclopskin, upon defeating an opponent, may not as much kill it as take it prisoner and keep it as a slave. Cyclopes just eat their defeated. Though as said before, cyclopskin and cyclopes generally stay away from civilized life and keep to the wilderness, only attacking if they are attacked, occasionally a particularly charismatic one might be able to unite the cyclops tribes in an area, and lead them in a raid upon a settlement.

Cyclopskin are often enslaved or hired by bandits, pirates and other such people to act as pawns, bodyguards, thugs and other lowly yet menial positions.

Cyclopes and cyclopskin speak Undercommon and Giant. They are chaotic evil in alignment.



  • Richards, Johnathan M. "The Ecology of the Cyclopskin." Dragon #254. TSR, 1998.