After asking why monsters do not leave the dungeons, it was explained that they required mana to survive which is scarce outside the dungeon. However what was puzzling for me, was the fact that the dungeon monsters never seemed to be hostile towards each other.

Question : I'm not asking "Why do Dungeon Monsters work together", but can they work together? Is it possible for different species of monsters, most of them pretty cunning, to be able to work together? Or at least, not kill another group of monsters?

Give your answer in terms of the advantages monsters get from working together. If any other reasons apart from the obvious advantages occur to you, please mention that as well.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Dungeon monsters can work together if you want them to. D&D-style dungeons are simply a genre convention, and fail "reality checks" pretty much automatically. If you want to rationalise them, you'll have to build that into the basic assumptions of your world. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 10:04
  • $\begingroup$ So I misread your question the first time through, and was starting to explain how monsters work together (which since I had written already I posted below). Then I realized you were asking if imaginary creatures CAN work together. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:49
  • $\begingroup$ As mentioned on several other of your questions...that's entirely up to you. This question might be answerable if you were to list out monsters and define their traits, but I have a feeling that you would answer your own question in the process. $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:50
  • $\begingroup$ So just as a reminder. You are the keeper and designer of your own world. We cannot get into the minds of your creations and figure out how they would act better than you $\endgroup$
    – James
    Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:51
  • $\begingroup$ @James Yes, Im working to improve my questions , see this --> chat.stackexchange.com/rooms/41848/wrong-question $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 13:57

3 Answers 3


Short answer, yes but also no, basically it depends

Long answer:

Summary as it was longer than expected

If you want them to work together give them a common ground, a good or bad common ground it doesn't matter, if they don't have a reason to even interact with each other then they wont

The Reasons they wouldn't be able to work together

Natural Opposites

When monsters are placed in a dungeon they are generally the same type of monster, you don't have Dark monsters and Light monsters together as it may cause friendly fire. So while the monsters are the same type there is less chance of internal conflict before the Hero arrives. Its unlikely two opposite type of monsters are going to work together


If you have 2 creatures, Dark Elf and a Orc, Dark Elfs are typically very smart, use magic or are quite proficient with a sword. Orcs are typically brute strength creatures who people use sword mainly. Dark Elfs would at times rather be seen dead than help (or be helped) an Orc as the Dark Elfs are the "Pinical" in their mind and Orcs are beneath them.


If you have an agile Monkey like creature and a heavily armoured slow moving knight then the terrain plays how well they can work together and if they can at all, if the arena is dense trees with many areas to enter from then the Monkey will have a easier time of attack and defending as it can move around easier while the Knight needs to get to the area being attacked and may not make it in time. Conversly if there is only a single narrow entrance then the knight will have an advantage over the monkey as it can just "camp" that location

intelligence Gap

So there is a Dark Elf and a Goblin, the Dark Elf being smarter and "superior" than a mere Goblin will try to oppress the Goblin so it will do his/her bidding, the Goblin while maybe not smart still has feeling and if it catches on that the Dark Elf is abusing it then it will be almost impossible for them to work together

Communication (or lack there of)

So we have a Ogre and a Slime. The Ogres main form of communication is loud yells and the slime cannot communicate at all, the Ogre and the Slime will just ignore each other as they cannot speak to find out how to fight together

Reason they can work together

Types that compliment each others fighting

So again let say there are 2 creatures, a metal Golem and a Lightning Spirit, the Spirit can strike the Golem when the Golem is attacking or being attacked to increase its offensive capabilities, the Spirit could also enter the Golem if it needs to hide/recover. Same kind of reason for a Melee/Ranged or Heavy/Mage combo they cover each others weakness.

Communication (The good kind)

So here we have a Orc and Goblin, both are seen to know language, so they can assign positions for each other, the Goblin being smaller may take a roll in the back providing support/ranged attack and the Orc may take the forward position taking aggro and soaking up the damage so the Goblin may do his thing. They can also plan traps to make it easier for both of them and design strategies for fighting different opponents.

Being forced into life and death situations

This one is harder to do but if 2 creatures know they are going to die without the other ones help then they can choose teamwork or die, and not many creatures would do that unless there is a reason, Pride or their race did something bad to theirs, etc.

A 3rd Part forces them to work together

In this one there are 3 creatures, 2 minion(weak) monsters and a strong monster(boss) that forces them work together or they (or their families) die. The Boss for this must be physically intimidating or known to be ruthless for it to be effective.

Another way this can work is (if there is magic) there is a healer, tank and attacker, the attacker and tank aren't on good terms but will work together as the healer wont heal them if they don't. This one is more passive aggressive but has the same result.

They simply like each other

So a Ghost and a Skeleton, both are dead, they may or may not know it but a common ground helps build a relationship quicker

  • $\begingroup$ I now want to see a sitcom where a Ghost and Skeleton are unlikely, but ultimately friendly, roommates $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2016 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @MarshallTigerus I found that TV series, however it doesnt have skeletons (that I know of), it has however a werewolf, a vampire, and a ghost though - gb.imdb.com/title/tt1349938 $\endgroup$
    – Mr.Burns
    Commented Jul 25, 2016 at 12:01

They may be able to work together as long as they're "biologically compatible" ,for example:

Elemental monsters of fire and ice probably not the best, but what about water and electricity?

The other main factor I see is communication. Are they able to communicate? Or they even need to?

Also it is possible that intelligent monsters have tamed others or that the dungeon itself may be a hive mind. If they spawned from the same dungeon then they consider the others as their kin.


Traditionally when you see monsters working together in fiction, be it games, film or book, the binding force on a group of monsters is Power.

The biggest, strongest, most cunning or most intelligent (usually a combo of those factors) runs things by keeping the others in line with physical force, deceit, or promises of power and wealth.

But you didn't want to know just how but rather why.

Well considering they are not real I am pretty sure that just means you can dictate the answer...they are your creations after all.


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