Thursday, 2 July 2015

Tower Shield for 5th Edition

Tower Shields are something I miss from earlier editions of D&D. The idea that someone might want to wield one of those ridiculously large, bulky and heavy things appealed to me, and although few characters I have DMed for bothered, it always irritated me that they didn't re-appear....

...Well, now they've re-appeared (though to use one properly you will need to take a feat)

Armour Class
Tower Shield
Str 18

* If you are proficient with the shield you can, as a bonus action, set it steady and hide behind it, gaining ½ - ¾ cover from attacks that originate from the other side of it. As long as the shield is set this way, your speed drops to 5'. As a bonus action you can return to using it as a normal shield.

New Feat

Tower Shield Bearer
Prerequisites: Proficient with Shields
Benefits: You are Proficient with Tower Shields. Increase either your Strength or Constitution by 1 (Maximum 20). When you are conscious and using a tower shield, up to 2 adjacent allies gain a +1 bonus to AC, and you can use it to grant yourself cover (as outlined in the shield's description). 

Peek-a-Boo! I kill yooooou!

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Allip - CR 2 (Medium Undead)

"The purest servants of Xix I ever did encounter, the Allip's of the asylum haunt me always"
 - Androsta, Unified Order Mage on Allips.  

Allip – Medium Undead
(Chaotic Evil)

A.C. 9 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 39 (6d8+12) [18 - 60]
Speed: Fly 30' (hover)
Initiative: +3
Proficiency Bonus: +2

Str: 12 (+1) Dex: 12 (+1) Con: 14 (+2) Int: 11 (+0) Wis: 11 (+0) Cha: 16 (+3)

Saving Throws: Dexterity +3, Charisma +5
Skills: Perception +2

Damage Resistances: Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning from non-magical weapons
Condition Immunity: Confused, Unconscious, Prone, Poisoned, Diseased, Exhausted
Senses: Darkvision 60'; Passive Perception: 12

Language: Spoken in life

CR: 2 (450 xp)


Incorporeal: The Allip can move through solid objects as if they did not exist. If it ends its turn within one however, it suffers 5 (1d10) points of bane damage.

Babble: All sane creatures that can hear and start their turn within 60' of the Allip, must make a D.C. 13 Wisdom (or Sanity) saving throw, or become fascinated (Stunned)  by the horror for 5 (2d4) rounds. They do not get another saving throw before the end of this duration unless the Allip attacks them, or they suffer damage equal to 25% of their total amount. Once an individual has saved against this attack, they are immune to that specific Allip's Babble for the duration of that encounter.

Madness: Any attempts to read this monster's mind forces the individual doing so to make a D.C. 13 Wisdom (or Sanity) saving throw at Disadvantage. If they fail the saving throw, they gain one Short Term Madness, and their Wisdom is reduced by 1d4 points until the end of their next extended rest. If they are reduced to 0 Wisdom, they become Incapacitated as nothing makes any sense to them any more, and all they can do is weep and scream.


Multiattack: Allip makes two Touch of Madness attacks. 

Touch of Madness: Melee attack; Reach 5', One Target; +3 to hit; Hit: 7 (1d8+3) psychic damage and target must make a D.C. 13 Wisdom (or Sanity) saving throw, or their Wisdom is reduced by 1d4 points until the end of their next extended rest. If they are reduced to 0 Wisdom, they become Incapacitated as nothing makes any sense to them any more, and all they can do is weep and scream. On a critical hit, 1 point of the lost Wisdom is permanently lost until the target receives a Greater Restoration or equally potent spell. Whenever the Allip lowers a target's Wisdom, it heals 5 (1d10) hit points (11; 2d10 on a critical hit). 

Allip's are a wonderful D&D staple; a vaporous undead that brings madness (and a good deal of control) to the battlefield. If used correctly, they are terrifying foes, and as such, they are worthy of a conversion!


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Sunstone Weapon - Uncommon Weapon

Sunstone Weapons (Uncommon)
Requires Attunement

Amongst certain  religions and orders, there are forged weapons who's cutting, crushing or piercing parts are wrought from magically strengthened sun stone. These weapons are then blessed with holy power, and become deadly towards the undead, as well as other entities that find the light of the Sun anathema.

Sunstone Weapons behave in all ways like their normal versions, save, the damage they inflict is considered to be Radiant for the purposes of weaknesses. Note it isn't Radiant. However, a creature that is vulnerable to Radiant damage is also vulnerable to the Slashing, Piercing or Bludgeoning damage of one of these weapons.

Solstice Knight Paladin - CR 5 (Medium Humanoid)

One thing I liked about Princes of the Apocalypse, was seeing that some of the wonderful 4e philosophies of humanoid enemy creation were not lost. I was worried that the human(ish) enemies would all be boring "5th level Fighter" types, that were very similar. So, it was great to see cultists that actually did cool and unique stuff that was thematically and mechanically spot on.

So, the PUG have got themselves into a bit of bother. Glorphen (a Drakven that thinks he is an Aelwyn) is a zealot dedicated to Zaeothon (an aspect of Bahamut worshipped by some Aelwyn), encountered some equally zealous worshipers of the 2nd Age version of Solum. Fireworks ensued, and now the town guard are getting involved (Glorphen pulling the heart of a cleric from his chest and biting it as they arrived hasn't exactly helped).

In short, it seems likely they may have earned a black mark with the "Solar Order of the Divine Solstice", and so, I have begun statting up their more exotic members.

Here's one right now (oh and PUGgers....spoilers).

*    *    *

Solstice Knight Paladin – Medium Humanoid (human)
(Lawful Good)

A.C. 18 (Plate Armour)
Hpts: 127 (17d8+51) [68 - 187]
Speed: 30'
Initiative: +0
Proficiency Bonus: +3

Str: 19 (+4) Dex: 10 (+0) Con: 16 (+3) Int: 12 (+1) Wis: 15 (+2) Cha: 16 (+3)

Saving Throws: Wisdom +5, Charisma +6
Skills: Athletics +7, Religion +4

Damage Resistances: Necrotic
Damage Immunities: Radiant (As a Mirror to the Sun) 
Condition Immunity: Diseased

Senses: Passive Perception: 12

Language: Solumite Sacred Tongue, Southspeak

CR: 5 (1,800 xp)


Solstice Presence:
All allies within 15' of the Knight gain a +1 bonus to their AC, and Radiant damage inflicted against them is reduced by 5 before any resistances are applied.

Bearer of the Light: The Paladin inflicts +7 (2d6) Radiant damage with each hit of their melee weapons. On a critical hit, the target must also make a D.C. 14 Constitution save or be Blinded until cured.

As a Mirror to the Sun: Attacks that inflict Radiant damage used against the Paladin are reflected at their source, as if the original attack had targeted them. Furthermore, the damage is maximised.


Paladin makes two Melee attacks.

Sunstone Greatsword: Melee Weapon Attack, Reach 5', one target; +7 to hit: Hit: 11 (2d6+4) Slashing damage +7 (2d6) Radiant damage (Bearer of the Light).

Solar Castigation (Recharge 4-6): Line 5' wide and 25' long; All creatures within the area suffer 22 (5d8) Radiant damage, are blinded (save ends) and gain +1 level of Exhaustion. They suffer half damage and avoid all additional effects if they make a D.C. 14 Constitution saving throw. Creatures slain by this power are disintegrated. Undead save against this power with Disadvantage.


Cleansing Smite (Recharge 6): When the Paladin hits an enemy with a melee attack; The target must make a D.C. 14 Charisma saving throw or be knocked unconscious (save ends). Creatures immune to Radiant damage are immune to this effect. Even undead normally immune to the Unconscious condition can be affected by this power. 

 "Ni!" Just kidding, "DIE FILTH!"

Friday, 19 June 2015

A Selection of Potent Maces

Even the greatest heroes occasionally get murdered, and a couple of sessions ago, the Legendary rogue Llewellyn was slain by a Gloom assassin. Although brought back by the priests of Merriel'Shaava, his gear was all stolen, including his legendary and hard won Mace, the Inevitable Momentum. To help, a number of the guilds currently vying for a place in the new Unifying Order, offered to lend him a replacement. Here are their stats. Which would you choose?

+2 Frost Burst Mace - (Rare, Requires Attunement) .  (+2d6 Cold damage, +2d10 cold on Crit, plus D. C. 17 Constitution save or Paralysed 1 round).

Stragniir (Very Rare, Requires Attunement) ; +1 Dracane Breath Mace; All damage is lightning. 5x/day can fire a 100' lightning bolt, that inflicts 35 (10d6) Lightning damage, D. C. 16 Dex save for half. Bearer gains Resistance to Lightning.

Ineludible (Legendary, Requires Attunement) ; +4 Mace; 3/day re-roll a missed attack as Bonus action. Ignores damage resistance.

Black Lode (Very Rare, Requires Attunement); +2 Adamantium Mace that inflicts base damage of 1d10 Bludgeoning. 3/Short or Long rest, wielder may, as a Reaction when they hit a target, push it 1d4 x 5' (Strength save, D.C. = Damage inflicted by triggering attack) halves this distance. 3/Day, Wielder may grant themselves 20 Temporary hit points as a Bonus Action. 1/Short or Long rest, wielder may inflict +22 (+4d10) Bludgeoning damage with a hit as a Reaction.

Lucifous (Rare, Requires Attunement); +1 Silver Mace / +2 Vs Undead and Shadow. Inflicts +1d8 Radiant damage / +2d8 Radiant vs Undead and Shadow. Sheds bright light in a 20' radius.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Defacer - CR 7 (Medium Undead)

The PUG ran into one of these little buggers this evening, when they went around opening spell sealed sarcophagi in a cursed tomb. They were first seen in the 3.5 Monster Manual IV , and to be honest, hadn't really registered with me at all until I was flicking through that tome a few weeks ago, looking for things to throw at my players. It's actually a pretty damn creepy monster when you think about it, especially the part where is forces you to become one of its screaming victims for a short time. 

It nearly killed the group by the way, the Frightful Keening keeping most of the group at a safe distance, allowing it to flit here and there, taking down the party one character at the time. Luckily they just managed to wound it enough that it fled....just.

Defacer – Medium Undead
(Neutral Evil)

A.C. 15 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 120 (16d8+48) [64 - 176]
Speed: 30' (Earth Glide)
Initiative: +2
Proficiency Bonus: +3

Str: 18 (+4) Dex: 15 (+2) Con: 16 (+3) Int: 7 (-2) Wis: 13 (+1) Cha: 18 (+4)

Saving Throws: Constitution +6, Charisma +5
Skills: Deception +7, Perception +4, Stealth +5

Damage Resistances: Psychic; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning damage from non-silvered weapons
Damage Immunity: Poison
Condition Immunity: Exhausted, Poisoned, Unconscious
Senses: Darkvision 60', Tremorsense 30'; Passive Perception: 14

Language: Language spoken in life

CR: 7 (XP 2,900)


The Defacer may move through solid rock as if it did not exist, leaving no tunnel or trace of its passing. It also ignores any difficult terrain that is the result of rocks, rubble or similar earthen objects.

Frightful Keening: The faces that surround the Defacer constantly emit a horrific, hopeless wailing, which carries through solid stone as if it were air. The Defacer cannot stop this sound, and any creature that comes within 60' of it is Frightened. However, they may still approach the Defacer if they make a D.C. 15 Wisdom saving throw (though they must do this each time they try to close the distance between them and it).


Multiattack: The Defacer makes two Distorted Strikes

Distorted Strike: Melee Weapon Attack, Reach 5', One Target, +7 to hit, Hit: 13 (2d8+4) Bludgeoning +9 (2d8) Psychic damage and target must make a D.C. 15 Charisma saving throw or be Stunned until the end of the Defacer's next turn. Whilst stunned, their visage warps into that of one of the souls captured by the monster, which begins to scream for help in the soul's native tongue.

Bonus Actions:

Steal Face: If the Defacer kills a creature with an Intelligence of 3 or more, or if it touches the body of such a creature within 1 day of its death, it may steal that creature's soul as a bonus action. Once this has happened, the Defacer's own face takes on their appearance for 1 day, and it is calm and sedate for that time. If it is forced to use its Earthglide power in that time however, it looses the face (which then becomes another screaming soul surrounding it). If the Defacer is slain whilst it wears another's face, that individual returns to life, stable, at 0 hit points.
Souls that are captured by the Defacer are not free to return to their bodies, and are not free to answer spells such as Speak with Dead

 I've heard about folks being two faced, but this is taking the piss...

Friday, 5 June 2015

Sporeback Frog - CR 2 (Medium Beast)

4th Edition's Monster Manual III was not the greatest one to grace the world. However, it did contain a few cool new monsters, not all of which were lousy with supernatural powers or strange motivations. Amongst these was the Sporeback Frog...a frog with mushrooms growing on its back. One of my groups may get the chance to tangle (pun partially intended) with these things soon, so I thought I would share them with you, so you could do the same. 

Sporeback Frog – Medium Beast

A.C. 9 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 93 (11d8+44) [55 - 132]
Speed: 15' (Swampwalk) / Swim 25'
Initiative: -1
Proficiency Bonus: +2

Str: 15 (+3) Dex: 9 (-1) Con: 19 (+4) Int: 3 (-4) Wis: 10 (+0) Cha: 9 (-1)

Saving Throws: Charisma +1, Constitution +5
Skills: Perception +2, Stealth +1 (+6 with Fungal Form)

Senses: Passive Perception: 10

Language: None

CR: 2 (450 xp)


Amphibious: The Sporeback can hold its breath underwater for a number of hours equal to its Constitution modifier before needing to come up for air. It needs to keep its skin wet, and if unable to, suffers +1 level of Exhaustion per hour it is dry.

Fungal Form: The Sporeback has fungi growing all over it, and as such, gains a +5 bonus to Stealth checks in any environment where clumps of moss and fungi are common, as well as when in water.

Powerful Bite: The Sporeback adds twice its Strength modifier to its bite damage.

Swampwalk: The Sporeback ignores all difficult terrain that is the result of a swampy or similar environment, even if not the product of a natural process.

Release Spores: When the Sporeback is reduced to 0 hit points, all creatures within 10' must make a D.C. 14 Constitution save, or be Slowed as if hit by the bite.


Multiattack: Sporeback makes a Sticky Tongue and Bite attack.

Bite: Melee attack, Reach 5', One target; +5 to hit; Hit: 24 (3d12+6) Piercing damage and the target is exposed to the frog's fungal poison. They must make a D.C. 14 Constitution save, or become Slowed; -50% speed, No dexterity bonus to AC, -2 penalty to initiative, Suffer Disadvantage on attacks rolls and all Dexterity based saves, ability and skill checks. The poison remains for 5 (1d10) rounds, although the target may repeat the save at the end of each of their turns to end the effect sooner.

Sticky Tongue: Melee attack, Reach 15', One target, +1 to hit; Hit: 6 (1d6+3) Bludgeoning damage and target is pulled 10' closer to the Sporeback and knocked prone.

The ultimate in French Cuisine - Frogs Legs with mushrooms built in!

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Zovvut - CR 10 (Medium Fiend)

Zovvut – Medium Fiend (Daemon)
(Chaotic Evil)

A.C. 20 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 136 (21d8+42) [63 - 210]
Speed: 30' / Fly 50'
Initiative: +1
Proficiency Bonus: +4

Str: 17 (+3) Dex: 13 (+1) Con: 15 (+2) Int: 14 (+2) Wis: 16 (+3) Cha: 14 (+2)

Saving Throws: Strength +7, Constitution +6, Charisma +2
Skills: Arcana +6, Stealth +5, Insight +6, Perception +6, Intimidate +7

Damage Resistances: Acid, Cold, Fire; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning from Uncommon and Rare weapons
Damage Immunity: Lightning, Poison; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning from non-magical weapons
Condition Immunity: Poisoned; Spell Resistance

Senses: Darkvision 60'; Passive Perception: 16

Language: Daemonic

CR: 10 (5,900 xp)


Create Spawn: An individual slain by the Zovvut's Draining Gaze attack rises as a Wight under its control 1d4 rounds after its death.

Spell Resistance: The Zovvut has advantage on saving throws against all spells and spell like abilities.

Spell Lie Abilities: The Zovvut is a 10th level spell caster. Intelligence is its spell casting attribute; Save D.C. 14, Spell Attack +6. It does not need any components to cast these spells.

At-Will: Clairvoyance, Darkness, Hallow, Detect Evil and Good, Detect Thoughts, Bane, Suggestion, Teleport (has no chance of error).


Multiattack: The Zovvut makes two Claw and one Draining Gaze attack

Claw: Melee Weapon Attack, Reach 5', One Target; +7 to hit; Hit: 22 (4d6+2d4+3) Slashing damage.

Draining Gaze: One target within 30' must make a D.C. 14 Constitution saving throw or gain +1 level of Exhaustion and the Zovvut heals 11 (2d10) hit points (or, if at full health, gains them as temporary hit points). 

The pale daemon known as a Zovvut appeared I believe in the 3.0 Monster Manual II, and I used a modified version in my 4e game with Ormid and the gang. Here is a conversion of the basic one, ready and eager to tear off some limbs and open some bellies in your campaign...

 The Zovvut is the dude behind the other two...with the feathery wings....aaaaah...

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Neogi - CR 2 (Small Monstrosity)

Ah, the Neogi; those vindictive, psychopathic slavers from beyond the stars! When Spelljammer first came out I was offended. Then, I pulled my head out of my Nether Plane, and realised that it was actually bloody amazing. I've been a huge fan ever since, and space faring, as well as intergalactic plots at times, have become a mainstay of my campaigns. And there, at the heart of that setting, along with other amazing things like Orbus' and Skavs (and some not so great stuff like those stupid Hippo dudes) were the Neogi - nestled in the protective embrace of their enslaved Umber Hulks, lording it over absolutely everyone else.

I missed these horrible little guys. Welcome back!

Neogi – Small Monstrosity
(Lawful Evil)

A.C. 15 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 25 (10d6-10) [10-50]
Speed: 30' / 20' Climb
Initiative: +3
Proficiency Bonus: +2

Str: 6 (-2) Dex: 17 (+3) Con: 9 (-1) Int: 15 (+2) Wis: 14 (+2) Cha: 16 (+3)

Saving Throws: Dexterity +5, Inteligence +4, Charisma +5; Devious Thoughts
Skills: Acrobatics +5, Investigation +4, Deception +5, Intimidation +5, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5

Damage Resistances: Psychic
Condition Immunity: Devious Thoughts

Senses: Darkvision 60'; Passive Perception: 12

Language: Varies

CR: 2 (450 xp)


Devious Thoughts: The Neogi is immune to all spells and effects from both the Enchantment and Illusion school of magic, as well as other powers that mimic their effects.


The Neogi makes 1 Bite and 2 Claw attacks

Bite: Melee weapon attack; Reach 5'; one target; +5 to hit; Hit: 5 (1d4+3) Piercing damage and target must make a D.C. 14 Constitution saving throw or their Wisdom score is lowered by 1d4. Multiple hits are cumulative, and if they are reduced to 0 Wisdom, they are Incapacitated until they regain at least 1 point. Lost Wisdom returns at the rate of 1d4 points per long rest.

Claw: Melee weapon attack; Reach 5'; one target; +5 to hit; Hit: 4 (1d2+3) Piercing damage.

Crossbow: Ranged weapon attack; Range 100' / 400'; +5 to hit; Hit: 8 (1d10+3) Piercing damage.

Enslave (3/day): Targets one creature within 30'. Target must make a D.C. 13 Wisdom saving throw or become Dominated by the Neogi for 24 hours. After 24 hours, they may repeat the saving throw with Disadvantage to break free. Umber Hulks automatically fail their save against this power. Enslaved creatures are completely devoted to the Neogi, and will do anything it demands, including putting their lives at risk, attacking former allies or lovers and committing acts that would violate their moral codes. If the Neogi that commands them dies, the effect ends, though the target is Stunned for 1d10 rounds (no save).

Bonus Actions

Envenomate: The Neogi applies its venom to 5 Crossbow quarrels, its claws or a melee weapon. 

"Ok now, everyone say 'Horrific psychical trauma'"

Monday, 25 May 2015

Lava Children - CR 4 (Medium Elemental)

Getting hold of a real copy of the AD&D Fiend Folio in the UK in the early 90's was....hard. I hadn't even realised it existed until I noticed all the monsters listed in the back of the Monster Manual II that I didn't recognise, and for a long time I made do with some photocopies of the thing that a friend's mum did for me. Amongst the manifold oddities within that tome was an elemental creature that resembled a village idiot with claw like fingernails. Its name - Lava Children - and straight up bonkers description caught my imagination, and for a short, painful time, they were squeezed into every adventure I ran.

I've not used them since...until....soon....maybe.

So, here they are, the metal ignoring, yokel faced elementals of fire and earth, ready to tear it up in your 5e game. As always, enjoy!

Lava Children – Medium Elemental (Earth, Fire)

A.C. 14 (Natural)
Hpts: 58 (9d8+18) [27 - 90]
Speed: 30'
Initiative: +2
Proficiency Bonus: +2

Str: 13 (+1) Dex: 11 (+0) Con: 15 (+2) Int: 10 (+0) Wis: 11 (+0) Cha: 11 (+0)

Saving Throws: Constitution +4

Damage Immunity: Fire, Poison; Metal Immunity
Condition Immunity: Poisoned, Petrified
Damage Vulnerability: Cold
Senses: Tremorsense 30'; Passive Perception: 10

Language: Elemental Native

CR: 4 (1,100 xp)


Metal Immunity:
Metal simply does not exists for these creatures, and passes through them as if they were made from air. Similarly, they can move unhindered through all kinds of metals. Attacks made by metal weapons inflict no damage on them, and metal armours and shields do not offer individuals protection against their attacks.


Multiattack: The Lava Child makes two punch attacks

Punch: Melee Weapon Attack; Reach 5'; One target; +3 to hit; Hit: 8 (2d6+1) bludgeoning damage +7 (2d6) Fire damage. Hit 5+: Target must make a D.C. 12 Dexterity saving throw or catch on fire. Whilst on fire, they suffer 7 (2d6) Fire damage at the start of each subsequent turn. An adjacent individual or the target themselves may spend an action to allow them to repeat the saving throw to end this effect.

 Can you guess which is from the original Fiend Folio?

Friday, 22 May 2015

Famine Spirit - CR 19 (Medium Undead)

The 3.0 Monster Manual II, had some brilliant monsters in it, more than a couple of which are slithering, warping and leaping into my 5e games. The following has not yet appeared, but I know exactly where it will....and it's not hugely far in the future.

Famine Spirits have a suite of attacks and properties that are simply horrible. An aura that can incapacitate those that enter it, along with a Vorpal bite - that's just not cricket! Add to that the fact that they are simply gross looking and move like lightning (that is a serious speed), and you have the stuff of nightmares. Of course, by 19th level, your PC's are going to be needing some seriously deadly foes to test their mettle against, so it's all good....or evil....chaotic evil.

The It Likes the Juice power is something I added, that felt right. If you don't like it (especially as it increases the chances of a Vorpal bite quite a bit), ignore it.


Famine Spirit – Medium Undead
(Chaotic Evil)

A.C. 18 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 262 (21d8+168) [189 - 336]
Speed: 60'
Initiative: +0
Proficiency Bonus: +6

Str: 16 (+3) Dex: 11 (+0) Con: 26 (+8) Int: 14 (+2) Wis: 15 (+2) Cha: 15 (+2)

Saving Throws: Constitution +14, Dexterity +6, Wisdom +8
Skills: Perception +8

Damage Resistances: Necrotic
Damage Immunity: Poison
Condition Immunity: Poisoned, Exhausted, Diseased, Unconscious
Senses: Darkvision 60'; Scent, See Invisible; Passive Perception: 18

Language: Spoken in life

CR: 19 (22,000 xp)


Aura of Pain: Creatures that start their turn within this aura are afflicted as if exposed to a Symbol of Pain unless they make a D.C. 16 Constitution saving throw. Once affected, they are Incapacitated for 1 minute (no save). Those that save against this effect are immune to that specific Spirit's aura for 24 hours.

Legendary Resistance: 3/day, when the Spirit would fail a saving throw, it may choose to succeed instead.

It Likes the Juice: The Spirit gains advantage on attack rolls against living enemies at 50% or fewer hit points.

Vorpal Bite: If the Spirit rolls a natural 20 with its Bite attack against a Large or smaller enemy, it removes their head, most likely causing instant death.

Scent: The Spirit has advantage on Perception checks that allow it to use its keen sense of smell.

See Invisible: The Spirit is under a permanent See Invisibility effect, which cannot be dispelled.

Create Spawn: In the rare cases that the Spirit does not consume a fallen foe, it rises as a Famine Spirit in 1d3 days unless their remains are blessed with a Protection from Good and Evil spell.


The Spirit makes two Claw attacks and a single Bite attack

Bite: Melee Weapon Attack, Reach 5', One Target, +9 to hit; Hit: 49 (4d20+3) piercing damage; Natural 20: Vorpal Bite (see above)

Claws: Melee Weapon Attack, Reach 5', One Target, +9 to hit; Hit: 29 (4d12+3) slashing damage.


Etherealness: 3/day may cast the Etherealness spell. 

I was unable to find a picture of the Famine Spirit, so here is a photo of me, in my pants, first thing in the's basically the same thing... 

Epic Boon - Enchanted Weapon Mastery


When you hit with an attack using a weapon that bears a magical bonus to hit and damage, you double the magical damage bonus (so  a +1 weapon inflicts +2 damage, a +2 weapon inflicts +4 etc). Furthermore, when you score a critical hit with such a weapon, you double the damage bonus (so a +2 weapon, would add +8 to damage).

I suspect I will be running some "epic" style adventure in the latter part of the Ormid et al campaign, as they move towards their ultimate battles (and indeed, there will be loose ends that need tying up, if they are willing, afterwards).

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Marut Inevitable - CR 19 (Large Construct)

There was a thunderous explosion, and I was pressed to the floor, barely able to breathe. Red hot displaced air tore around me, and I admit, I had no idea what was going on. By the time I had regained my wits, it was fully manifested; a massive armoured juggernaut of black stone and power. It had got poor Elwen by her throat,  and was holding her high off the ground. I could see it raising its fist back - the air around it torn by shimmering, silvery pulses of some nameless energy - and knew she was doomed. Elwen was helpless in its grasp, her eyes wide and fixed on the thing.

"You have defied the lawful order of life and death mortal. The elixir you consumed is an abomination. Ergo, you are an abomination, an aberration, that must be rectified"

And with that it struck her, a burst of silent sonic energy destroying her before me. I screamed. We all screamed, but if it heard us, it paid us no heed.

- Tales of a Wandering Man, 1058, 3rd Age

Marut – Large Construct (Extraplanar, Inevitable)
(Lawful Neutral)

A.C. 20 (Plate Armour)
Hpts: 297 (22d10+176) [198 - 396]
Speed: 40'
Initiative: +2
Proficiency Bonus: +5

Str: 28 (+9) Dex: 14 (+2) Con: 26 (+8) Int: 12 (+1) Wis: 17 (+3) Cha: 18 (+4)

Saving Throws: Strength +14, Dexterity +7, Constitution +13, Wisdom +8, Charisma +9
Skills: Arcana +6, Athletics +14, Intimidate +9, Perception +9, Religion +6

Damage Resistances: Lightning, Thunder; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning damage from rare Weapons; 75% Fortification
Damage Immunity: Necrotic, Poison; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning damage from non-magical and uncommon weapons
Condition Immunity: Poisoned, Charmed, Frightened, Exhausted, Diseased, Unconscious; Magic Resistance, Immutable Form

Senses: Darkvision 120'; Dead Sight; Passive Perception: 19

Language: Telepathy 200'

CR: 19 (22,000 XP)


Dead Sight:
The Marut can sense all undead within 200' of it as if it had blindsight.

Fortification: The Marut has a 75% chance of reducing any critical hit scored against it to a normal hit.

Immutable Form: The Marut is immune to all spells and effects that would alter its physical form.

Magic Resistance: The Marut has advantage on all saving throws against spells and spell like effects.

Regeneration: As long as it has at least 1 hit point, the Marut regains 15 hit points at the start of each of its turns.

Innate Spellcasting: The Marut can cast the following spells without the need for any material components. Charisma is its spell casting attribute; Spell Save D.C. 17, Spell Attack Modifier +9. The Marut is a 15th Level caster;

At-Will: Fly, Dimension Door, Fear, Command, Dispel Magic, Circle of Death, Locate Creature, True Seeing
1/Day: Chain Lightning, Circle of Death (14d6), Banishing Smite, Wall of Force
1/Week: Earthquake, Geas, Plane Shift


The Marut makes a single Fist of Thunder and Fist of Lightning attack.

Fist of Lightning: Melee weapon attack; 10' Reach, One target, +14 to hit; Hit: 20 (2d10+9) Bludgeoning damage +14 (4d6) Lightning damage. Target must make a D.C. 22 Dexterity saving throw or suffer Ongoing 20 (2d8+2d10) Lightning damage (Save ends*).

Fist of Thunder: Melee weapon attack; 10' Reach, One target, +14 to hit; Hit: 20 (2d10+9) Bludgeoning damage +21 (6d6) Thunder damage, and target must make a D.C. 22 Constitution save or be permanently deafened, as well as stunned for 1d10 rounds (save ends early*). All creatures within 5' of the target suffer the Thunder damage (D.C. 22 Dexterity save halves this). 

*   *   *

The absence of the Marut didn't actually occur to me until yesterday, when I was curious about their 5e stats. As far as I know, they first appeared in the AD&D Manual of the Planes, along with a bunch of other monsters, stuck in at the back with only brief descriptions. I think they became cool in 3.0 though, when they got a make over and suddenly looked badass. As a long time DDO player, I ran into one or two Maruts, and their badassery was frequently reiterated. Anyway, here are my stats for these hunters of those that have defied the laws of life and death. I hope you find them useful!

 Trousers and underwear optional...

* This is the same as the 4e "save ends" mechanic - a saving throw at the end of the target's turn. I am going to be writing this in future, instead of writing the full instructions each time. Please note, the D.C. is the same as the first save failed (so not an 11 or higher like in 4e). 

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Tomb Tapper - Thaalud - CR 18 (Huge Construct)

Weird is good in my opinion, and the Thaalud are wonderfully weird. They have never actually appeared in any of my games, though they have been hinted at a number of times when reference has been made to the mythical age before the First Age and after the Primal Wars. Some tales tell of gigantic constructs just like them watching over the deepest chambers in progenitor race ruins on Eathoran and Anathar, especially those associated with the Settari. However, it is unlikely that those telling these tales would have what it takes to enter such deadly places, so these stories cannot be trusted...

Tomb Tapper (Thaalud) – Huge Construct

A.C. 23 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 200 (16d12+96) [112 - 288]
Speed: 40' / Burrow 20'
Initiative: +7
Proficiency Bonus: +5

Str: 26 (+8) Dex: 14 (+2) Con: 22 (+6) Int: 14 (+2) Wis: 11 (+0) Cha: 16 (+3)

Saving Throws: Strength +13, Constitution +11, Intelligence +7, Charisma +8
Skills: Perception +5

Damage Resistances: Cold, Necrotic, Lightning; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning from weapons not made of Adamantium
Damage Immunity: Fire, Poison
Condition Immunity: Blinded, Charmed, Disease, Exhausted, Paralysed, Poisoned, Stunned, Unconscious; Immutable Form, See Through Illusions
Senses: Blindsight 120' (Deafened Blindness); Passive Perception: 15

Language: Telepathy 100'

CR: 18 (20,000 XP)


Adamantine Weapons: The Thaalud's natural weapons are considered to be both magical and made from Adamantium.

Immutable Form: The Thaalud is immune to all attacks that alters its physical form, including polymorph and petrification attacks.

Deafened Blindness: The Thaalud uses sounds to see with its Blindsight, so if it is deafened, it is also unable to see using that sense.

Repairing Spells: Stone Shape heals the Thaalud for 1d8 + the caster's level hit points. It may use its own innate version of this spell to heal itself for 1d8+16 points of damage.

See Through Illusions:The Thaalud is immune to all spells from the Illusion school, or which create similar effects.

Innate Spells: The Thaalud has the following innate spell like powers. Its spellcasting attribute is Intelligence (Spell Attack +7, Spell Save D.C. 15). The Thaalud is a 16th Level Spellcaster.

At-Will: Detect Magic
7x/Day: Stone Shape
3x/Day: Spike Stones (Same as Spike Growth, except it summons sharp rocks and tiny stalagmites).


The Thaalud makes either two Adamantine Maul attacks and a bite attack, or Two Slam attacks and a Bite attack.

Adamantine Maul: Melee Weapon, Reach 15' / Ranged 100', One Target, +13 to hit, Hit: 39 (2d20+16) Bludgeoning damage and target is knocked prone; Hit 5+: Target is also Stunned unless they make a D.C. 21 Constitution saving throw (lasts 2d4 rounds, Save at end of their turn ends early).
Special: The Maul may be thrown up to 100', and always returns to its owner's hand afterwards. If throwing the Maul, they may only make one attack with it.

Bite: Melee Weapon, Reach 5', One Target, +13 to hit, Hit: 32 (7d6+8) Piercing damage.

Slam: Melee Weapon, Reach 10', One Target, +13 to hit, Hit: 21 (3d8+8) Bludgeoning damage and pushes target 1d3x5'. Hit 5+: Target must make a D.C. 21 Dexterity saving throw at the end of the push or be knocked prone. 

These monsters are from the Forgotten Realms by the way. Not sure where I first saw them. Came across them today, and thought "Oooh cool!".  

 When they said, "join our band and get hammered", this is NOT what I had in mind...

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Hopping Vampire - CR5 (Medium Undead)

Hopping Vampire – Medium Undead (Vampire)
Chaotic Evil

A.C. 16 (Natural Armour)
Hpts: 123 (19d8+38)
Speed: 20'
Initiative: +0

Str: 17 (+3) Dex: 10 (+0) Con: 14 (+2) Int: 6 (-2) Wis: 9 (-1) Cha: 12 (+1)

Saving Throws: Strength +6, Constitution +5, Charisma +4
Skills: Athletics +6

Damage Resistances: Cold, Lightning; Slashing, Piercing and Bludgeoning damage from non-magical weapons

Damage Immunity: Poison
Condition Immunity: Poisoned, Exhausted,  Unconscious

Senses: Darkvision 60', Breath Sense; Passive Perception: 9

Language: Spoken in life

CR: 5 (1,800 XP)


Breath Sense: The vampire can automatically detect the exact whereabouts of any living, breathing creature within 120' as if it had blindsight.

Hopping Death Curse: Those afflicted by this curse immediately gain 1 level of Exhaustion. Every 1d12 Hours, this increases by 1 level unless they make a D.C. 13 Charisma saving throw. If they die from this, they rise as a Hopping Vampire. A Remove Affliction spell can end this curse, and whilst it is active, the exhaustion created by it cannot be reduced or removed by any means.
It should be noted however, that each hour an afflicted individual spends dancing over a line of sticky rice, adds 1d12 more hours to the time that passes before they have to save against the curse again.


Multiattack: Vampire makes two claw attacks.

Claw: Melee weapon attack; Reach 5', one target, +6 to hit; Hit: 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage and target must make a D. C. 13 Charisma saving throw or be under the Curse of Hopping Death. 

One of the more bizarre mythological beasts, the Hopping Vampire is something a bit different....especially from the brooding, potent vampire's of more normal lore. In my games, these monsters do occasionally appear in the realms of Kai'Yassan, where they are usually the returned souls of people who died through their own stupidity. 

Anyway, I hope these stats find a place in your games!

'Giz a hug you soppy sod...

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Shadow Mastiff - CR 5 (Medium Beast)

"We were attacked by living shadows that took the form of great hounds. They struck from the darkness, and when we called forth light to scatter them, scattered us with unearthly howls that struck terror into our hearts"...

Shadow Mastiff (Medium Beast - shadow). Neutral Evil

AC: 15 (natural armour)
Hpts: 104 (19d8+19)
Speed: 40'
Initiative: +7

Str: 15 (+2) Dex: 18 (+4) Con: 12 (+1) Int: 3 (-4) Wis: 11 (+0) Cha: 4 (-3)

Saving Throws: Dex +7, Con +4
Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +10 (Living Shadow)

Damage Resistance: Living Shadow
Damage Vulnerability: Radiant

Senses: Darkvision 120'; Passive Perception 13
Language: Can be trained to understand some words of any language

CR 5 (1,800 XP)

Living Shadow: In dim light or darkness, takes half damage from all attacks apart from force, psychic and radiant. Adds twice it's proficiency bonus to Stealth checks.

Fly The Light: In bright light the Mastiff suffers disadvantage on attack rolls, saving throws and ability checks, and its speed drops to 20'. Attacks against it have advantage.


Multiattack: Makes two Bite attacks

Bite: Melee weapon attack, 5' reach, 1 target; +5 to hit; Hit: 11 (2d8+2) piercing damage +7 (2d6) necrotic damage; Hit 3+ Target must make D.C. 13 Dex or Str save or be prone.

Howl: All hearing creatures within 60' of the hound must make a D.C. 15 Wisdom save or drop what they are holding and become panicked for 5 (2d4) rounds (save ends early). Whilst panicked, is Frightened and must use every effort to get away from the mastiff.

Shadow Mastiff's first appeared in the AD&D Monster Manual II. Later they were recreated again and again. This is my 5e take on the first version, with a bit of 3.5 thrown in for good measure! Enjoy!

 "A bear in his apartment?"

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Shadar'Kai Homebrew Player Race

The Shadar'Kai (or Shadeth as they are known in my game universe) are a race native to the Plane of Shadows / Shadowfell (depending on your edition). They are due to have a big role in one of my campaigns, and I suspect that they might be a popular choice with some of my players afterwards. So, here is my first draft for a player race. Enjoy!

Ability Score Increase: +2 Dex; +1 Int or +1 Cha

Age: Shadar'Kai age at about the same rate as humans. They tend to live a little longer, their lives spanning up to 150 years.

Alignment: Shadar'Kai like Shades are infused with innately dark and malevolent energy, and as such tend towards Neutral and / or Evil alignments.

Size: Shadar'Kai are the same size as humans, and so, are medium.

Speed: Your speed is 30'.

Shadow native: You gain the Shadow type.

Superior Darkvision: You can see perfectly in total darkness and shadowy conditions, up to 90'.

Shadowed Grace: A Shadar'Kai adds twice their proficiency bonus to Stealth and Acrobatics checks. They also add their proficiency bonus to their initiative rolls.

Innured to Pain: When a Shadar'Kai is reduced to half their total hit points or less, damage inflicted against them is reduced by an amount equal to their Constitution modifier (minimum 1)

Raised in Fear: Shadar'Kai gain advantage on saving throws to avoid becoming Frightened.

Shadow Step : As a move action, once per short rest, a Shadar'Kai can teleport up to 30', or 45' in dim light conditions. When they hit 13th level they may do this twice per short rest, and at 18th level may use it at will.

Innate Spellcasting: The Shadar'Kai can use the following spells without the need for material components. Intelligence is their spellcasting attribute, and the Spell save D.C. Is 8 + Your Intelligence Modifier + Your proficiency bonus.

At 1st level you may cast Mirror Image once per long rest. At 3rd level you may also cast Darkness once per long rest. At 10th level you may cast Mirror Image twice per long rest. At 15th level, you may cast Mirror Image 3x per long rest.

Martial Weapon Proficiency: Chain Whip: A chain whip has the same statistics as a normal whip, except it inflicts 1d6 slashing damage on a hit. These weapons are rare, and to buy from a normal vendor would cost 15gp. They weigh 4lbs. All Shadar'Kai characters start play with one of these items for free. 

Yeah dude, we are like totally satanists, and we you know, totally adore Marilyn Manson and Cradle of Filth yeah? 'Course you norms don't get us, so I don't know why I'm even bothering. Sheeple.