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(Dinosaur) Massopondylus

By Nkansahrexford - Own work, CC BY 3.0,, Massopondylus
By Nkansahrexford – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

This sauropod is about the size of a horse, but with a long tail and neck. Its head is broad with peg-like teeth, and its forelimbs are tipped with large claws.

Originally Posted by Shade of the En World forums.

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Massospondyluses are a type of prosauropod, a primitive relative of such mighty animals as the brachiosaurus and seismosaurus. Unlike most sauropods, they move about bipedally.

Massospondylus hatchlings lack teeth and move about quadrupedally, leaving them relatively helpless. As a result, the mother often cares for the young for a year or more, another unusual trait for a sauropod.

The massospondylus ranges in length from 10 to 15 feet long. They live in dry areas and eat predominately plants, but are omnivorous and not adverse to occasionally catching and killing their food. They are territorial, and rarely see each other unless to mate or fight.

Dinosaur, Massospondylus
Large animal
Hit Dice5d8+15 (37 hp)
Speed30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class14 (-1 size, +1 Dexterity, +4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple+3/+11
AttackClaw +7 melee (1d8+4)
Full Attack2 claws +7 melee (1d8+4), bite +5 melee (1d4+2)
Space/Reach10 ft./5 ft. (10 ft. with bite)
Special QualitiesArid adaptation, Low-Light Vision, Scent
SavesFort +7, Ref +5, Will +2
AbilitiesStrength 19, Dexterity 12, Constitution 16, Intelligence 1, Wisdom 12, Charisma 7
SkillsListen +7, Spot +7
FeatsAlertness, Multiattack
EnvironmentWarm deserts and plains
Challenge Rating3
AlignmentAlways neutral
Advancement6-10 HD (Large), 11-15 HD (Huge)
Level Adjustment


When threatened or hungry, a massospondylus rears onto its back legs and fights with its teeth and claws. They rarely attack anything of human size, however, unless starved or in defense.

Arid Adaptation (Ex): A massospondylus does not need to make Fortitude saves to avoid taking nonlethal damage in conditions between 90 degrees and 110 degrees. In conditions of severe heat (above 110 degrees) it must make Fortitude saves like any other creature, but gains a +4 racial bonus on this save. (see Heat Dangers in the DMG).

Additionally, a massospondylus needs to drink only one-quarter the normal amount of water per day require for a creature of its size.

Originally appeared in Monstrous Compendium Volume Three: Forgotten Realms Appendix (1989).

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