Flail snails were earth-based creatures that were highly sought out by hunters due to the fact that they produced a number of valuable resources. Their body parts and colorful shells could be used to produce several protective magical items.[1][3]


Flail snails had between four and six tentacles (typically five) that were kept in constant motion, swaying slowly if the creature was calm or fast if it was agitated.[2][3]

They also possessed very colorful scintillating shells that had antimagic properties. An intact shell could sell for up to 5,000 gp, and could be used to produce shields that retained this antimagic property for one month or more. When this effect faded, the shields could then be converted into spellguard shields. A shell could also be powdered and mixed into a dye in order to craft robes of scintillating colors. Flail snail shells kept growing as the creature aged, and could grow clockwise or counter-clockwise.[1][3]

The stomach and liver of a flail snail could also be used as ingredients for an elixir of health which negated the effects of any ingested poison. Its skin and protective mucus could be ground and used as an ingredient to produce potions of fire resistance. The mucus could also be used as an alternative ingredient to produce potions of climbing, but it rendered the potions too thick to be ingested quickly.[3]

The snail's protective mucus was produced by a gland in front of its foot. The mucus served as a protective layer for its skin and as a lubricant for its motion.[3] As it moved, the flail snail left a trail of this shimmering material that could be harvested to produce clear or opaque glass. Some humanoids managed to make a living by trailing flail snails and collecting this glass.[1]


Flail snails moved slowly consuming everything in their path, including vegetation, rocks, sand, and dirt. They were particularly fond of crystal growths and mineral deposits, and took their time to savor them. They were generally completely non-aggressive until threatened.[1][3]


The club-like tentacles of flail snails had tips of hardened skin with several protrusions that could crush wood easily and were the creature's only form of attack.[3] If a tentacle was sufficiently damaged it would die, but the snail would remain alive and could regrow lost tentacles after a few days, as long as at least one tentacle remained alive.[1]

If all tentacles were killed, the snail retracted into its shell and started crying out a loud wailing sound for several minutes until it died or had its tentacles restored, such as through a regenerate spell.[1] The cry of a dying flail snail could potentially attract other monsters to the site.[2]

The slow metabolism of flail snails rendered them immune to poison, while their thick shells and the wet mucus that covered their bodies rendered them immune to fire.[3][1]

A flail snail's shell could also emit an extremely bright multicolored light that made it difficult for the creature to be physically targeted and could potentially stun its enemies. The shell also rendered it extremely resistant to magic. If the creature was targeted by a magical attack, the shell could either reflect the attack back on the caster or convert the spell energy into a destructive blast of force.[1]

Like any snails, they were somewhat vulnerable to salt, although their protective mucus provided an effective layer of resistance.[3]


Flail snails hibernated during winter, except in locations in which the seasons did not affect the availability of food, such as deep underground. They tended to flee from overly bright lights as an instinctual defense mechanism against dessication by the sun.[3]

Flail snails were hermaphrodites. They reproduced by going through a complex mating ritual with other flail snails that they met casually. They exchanged love darts in order to initiate the ritual, mated, and then went their separate ways. Later they laid about a dozen eggs.[3]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 Wizards RPG Team (2016). Volo's Guide to Monsters. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 144. ISBN 978-0786966011.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 38. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 Johnathan M. Richards (April 1999). “The Ecology of the Flail Snail”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #258 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 58–63.

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