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Dinosaur, Gorgosaurus


Gorgosaurus, a fearsome dinosaur of the Late Cretaceous period, is a formidable predator known for its powerful build and razor-sharp teeth. Resembling a smaller version of its more famous relative, Tyrannosaurus rex, Gorgosaurus stands at around 30 feet long and possesses a muscular frame. Its long, powerful hind legs allow it to move swiftly, making it a formidable hunter on the prehistoric plains.

With its distinctive serrated teeth and strong jaw, it is well-equipped to take down large prey. It primarily hunted herbivorous dinosaurs such as hadrosaurs and ceratopsians, and its keen senses and intelligence made it an effective ambush predator. Its keen eyesight and sense of smell allowed it to locate potential meals from a distance, and its powerful bite could deliver a fatal blow to even the most robust of dinosaurs.

Despite its fearsome appearance, Gorgosaurus had its own set of predators to contend with, including other large carnivorous dinosaurs and even the occasional tyrannosaur. Its survival in the harsh prehistoric world depended on its strength, agility, and cunning, traits that contributed to its reign as the apex predator of its environment.

As a significant part of the Late Cretaceous ecosystem, Gorgosaurus played a crucial role in maintaining the balance of predator and prey populations. Its fossils have provided valuable insights into the life and behaviors of theropod dinosaurs, helping scientists piece together the ancient world that once teemed with these mighty creatures.


Large beast, unaligned

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 136 (13d10 + 65)

Speed 40 ft.

20 (+5)14 (+2)20 (+5)2 (-4)15 (+2)7 (-2)

Saving Throws Str +9, Con +9

Skills Perception +6

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16


Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)

Keen Sight and Smell. The Gorgosaurus has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight or smell.

Pounce. If it moves at least 30 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If the target is prone, the Gorgosaurus can make one bite attack against it as a bonus action.

Multiattack. It makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d10 + 5) piercing damage.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 5) slashing damage.

Tail Sweep (Recharge 5-6). It sweeps its tail in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the Gorgosaurus fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.


Swallow. The Gorgosaurus makes one bite attack against a Medium or smaller target it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is swallowed, and the grapple ends. The swallowed target is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the Gorgosaurus, and it takes 21 (6d6) acid damage at the start of each of the Gorgosaurus’ turns.

If the Gorgosaurus takes 30 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the Gorgosaurus must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or regurgitate the swallowed creature, which falls prone in a space within 10 feet of the Gorgosaurus. If the Gorgosaurus dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the corpse using 15 feet of movement, exiting prone.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the Gorgosaurus’ choice that is within 120 feet of the Gorgosaurus and aware of it must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Regional Effects

The region containing a Gorgosaurus’ lair is warped by its presence, creating the following effects:

  • Large swaths of tall grass are flattened in the vicinity of the lair, forming a crude trail.
  • Creatures native to the area avoid the lair, as if sensing the dangerous predator lurking nearby.
  • The sound of distant roars and growls can be heard on quiet nights, echoing across the landscape.

Lair Actions

On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the Gorgosaurus takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects:

  • A sudden gust of wind blows through the area, extinguishing all unprotected flames and torches.
  • The ground trembles, causing all creatures within 30 feet of it to make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or be knocked prone.
  • The vegetation around the lair shifts and twists, creating difficult terrain in a 20-foot radius centered on the Gorgosaurus.

Legendary Actions

The Gorgosaurus can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The Gorgosaurus regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

  • Detect. It makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.
  • Move. It moves up to half its speed.
  • Bite (Costs 2 Actions). It makes one bite attack.
  • Tail Attack (Costs 2 Actions). It makes one tail attack.

3.5 Version

By Johnson Mortimer -, CC BY 3.0,, Dinosaur, Gorgosaurus
By Johnson Mortimer –, CC BY 3.0,

This massive, stocky biped has a huge head with sharp-toothed jaws, powerful legs and almost comically small arms.

Originally Posted by BOZ of the En World forums.
On this Thread

A gorgosaurus is a smaller, leaner relative of the famous tyrannosaurus. Gorgosaurs are about 30 feet in length and weigh 2-3 tons.

Unlike the tyrannosaurus, which occasionally hunts in pairs, the gorgosaurus is usually a solitary beast. They are unusually specialized, as most of their nourishment comes from stealing the kills of other animals, such as deinonychus packs or even human hunters.

They are still capable of hunting, however, and usually target young and infirm lambeosaurs and anatotitans when they do.

Dinosaur, Gorgosaurus
Huge animal
Hit Dice13d8+52 (110 hp)
Speed40 ft (8 squares)
Armor Class15 (-2 size, +2 Dexterity, +5 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple+9/+24
AttackBite +14 melee (2d6+10/19-20)
Full AttackBite +14 melee (2d6+10/19-20)
Space/Reach15 ft/10 ft
Special AttacksImproved grab, swallow whole
Special QualitiesLow-Light Vision, Scent
SavesFort +12, Ref +10, Will +6
AbilitiesStrength 25, Dexterity 14, Constitution 19, Intelligence 2, Wisdom 15, Charisma 10
SkillsHide -5, Jump +11, Listen +14, Spot +14
FeatsAlertness, Improved Critical (bite), Run, Toughness, Track
EnvironmentAny land
OrganizationSolitary or pair
Challenge Rating7
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement14-26 HD (Huge), 27-39 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment


Gorgosaurs are reckless combatants, grabbing and swallowing smaller creatures until all are dead or the rest flee. Against equal sized creatures, they attempt to drag them to the ground and consume them alive.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a gorgosaurus must hit an opponent of up to one size smaller with its bite attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and can try to swallow the foe the following round.

Swallow Whole (Ex): A gorgosaurus can try to swallow a grabbed opponent of up to two size categories smaller by making a successful grapple check.

The swallowed creature takes 2d8+8 points of crushing damage plus 8 points of acid damage per round from the gorgosaurus’s gizzard. A swallowed creature can cut its way out by using a light slashing or piercing weapon to deal 25 points of damage to the gorgosaurus’s gut (AC 12). Once the creature exits, muscular action closes the hole; another swallowed opponent must cut its own way out.

A Huge gorgosaurus’s gizzard can hold 2 Medium, 8 Small, 32 Tiny or 128 Diminutive or smaller creatures.

Skills: A gorgosaurus receives a +2 racial bonus on all Listen and Spot checks.

Originally found in the first edition Monster Manual (1977, Gary Gygax), Monstrous Compendium MC3 – Forgotten Realms Appendix I (1989), and Monstrous Compendium Annual Two (1995).

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