Homebrew 5e Hardcore: Monster Manual
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  1. #1
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    5e Hardcore: Monster Manual

    In another thread, When Fiends Attack , @CapnZapp suggested WotC make a monster manual for advanced players (feat using, multiclassing, optimizing type players) that are not challenged by the monsters in the MM and VGtM. I thought that was an interesting idea so I have decided to start a thread for just that.

    Introduction
    This compendium of monsters and threats is intended to address an issue that some DMs and players have with the current monsters offered by WotC. The monsters in the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters seem to be intentionally designed to be compatible with the free basic rules. This is fine, and probably a good decision; however, it leaves some DMs and players that engage the full resources available (feats, magic items, multi-classing, etc.) with opponents that hit a little below their CR. This guide and compendium of monsters is meant to help these “Hardcore (Advanced)" DMs and players by offering them another option to the basic threats provided in the Monster Manual and Volo’s Guide to Monsters.

    What is Hardcore?
    A hardcore D&D game is one where players are not only using the full suite of subsystems the game offers, but are also experienced with those systems. Though every hardcore group is not the same, for the purposes of this guide, hardcore players have one or more of the following attributes:
    • They use the all the subsystems of the game: feats, magic items, multiclassing, etc.
    • They have some degree of system mastery. They know how to, and chose to, build characters that excel in combat.
    • They are experienced and have good understanding of how the games tactics work and can use them effectively.


    If a DM has to keep up with hardcore players, his or her job would be a lot easier if they had some hardcore monsters to challenge them with. That is the purpose of this guide and compendium of hardcore monsters. Hardcore monsters generally have a more complex design and access to more traits, abilities, and options than basic monsters. The hardcore monster should have one or more of the following attributes, and the higher the CR of the monster, the more important it is to incorporate these concepts:
    • Proficiencies. A hardcore monster should have more and/or higher proficiencies to deal with player buffs and magic items.
    • Traits. A hardcore monster should have traits and abilities that can help it compete with player feats and features.
    • Movement. A hardcore monster must be able to keep up or counter player movement. This is more important for higher CR and solo monsters.
    • Clear Roles. If a hardcore monster is intended to have a specific role, their stat block needs to support that role. If it is a “leader,” it needs to be able to fulfill that role without the DM improvising all the traits and abilities.
    • True Solos. If a hardcore monster is intended to be a solo threat it needs have the hit points, actions, traits, and movement to fulfill that role.
    • Creative abilities. A hardcore monster should have traits and actions that interesting and fun to play, without relying on the DM to improvise all the action.


    To achieve some of these goals we need to break out from some of the constraints of the current CR driven monster design. To prevent ever escalating challenge ratings and stay within the concept of bounded accuracy I propose we borrow a concept from 4e – the elite monster.

    What is an Elite Monster?
    An elite monster is a greater challenge than a typical basic or hardcore monster of the same CR. An elite monster has more hit points and does greater damage than a basic or hardcore monster of the same CR, but it is also worth more experience points. This allows an elite monster to be more of a threat without making it trivially easy for it to hit targets or inordinately difficult for it to be hit.

    An elite monster is built around the general premise of having 1.5 times the hit points and inflicting 1.5 times as much damage as a basic or hardcore monster of the same CR. To compensate, they also provide 2x the experience points. These increased thresholds allow for more action options (legendary actions) and defensive capabilities that help us fulfill the tenants of hardcore monsters. Especially if we are looking at high level and solo type monsters.

    To aid my fellow hardcore collaborators I have made the following Hardcore Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating table. This table is used in the same manner as described for the Monster Statistics by Challenge Rating table in the DMG. The only difference is, when you want to make an elite monster you use the Elite Hit Points and Elite DPR columns. The monster design process is otherwise the same, and don’t forget to adjust for resistances, immunities, and monster features.

    Now, that you have the resources, go makes some monsters!

    Spoiler:

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    These monsters, tables, and templates are now available to download in the 5e downloads section here: http://www.enworld.org/forum/rpgdown...ownloadid=1395 I hope to update the PDF compendium on monsters monthly.

    Now, on to the fun!

    HARDCORE DUNGEONS & DRAGONS: MONSTER MANUAL

    Table of Contents:

    ABERRATION
    BEAST
    CELESTIAL
    Spoiler:
    Archons:

    • Hound (CR 3)
    • Lantern (CR 2)
    • Owl (CR 5)
    • Sword (CR 10)
    • Throne (CR 17)
    • Throne, General (CR 17, elite)
    • Trumpet (CR 13)
    • Warden (CR 8)
    • Warden, Guardian (CR 8, elite)


    CONSTRUCT
    DRAGON
    Spoiler:


    • Ancient Black Dragon Savage (CR 21, elite)
    • Elder Black Dragon Savage (CR 17, elite)
    • Adult Black Dragon Savage (CR 14, elite)
    • Young Black Dragon Savage (CR 7, elite)
    • Ancient Green Dragon Duke (CR 21, elite)
    • Elder Green Dragon Earl (CR 18, elite)
    • Adult Green Dragon Viscount (CR 15, elite)
    • Young Green Dragon Baron (CR 8, elite)
    • Great Wyrm Red Dragon Alpha (CR 30, elite)
    • Wyrm Red Dragon Alpha (CR 27, elite)
    • Ancient Red Dragon Alpha (CR 24, elite)
    • Elder Red Dragon Alpha (CR 21, elite)
    • Adult Red Dragon Alpha (CR 17, elite)
    • Young Red Dragon Alpha (CR 10, elite)


    ELEMENTAL
    Spoiler:


    • Primal Air Elemental (CR 20, elite)
    • Ancient Air Elemental (CR 16)
    • Elder Air Elemental (CR 10)
    • Primal Earth Elemental (CR 20, elite)
    • Ancient Earth Elemental (CR 17)
    • Elder Earth Elemental (CR 10)
    • Primal Fire Elemental (CR 20, elite)
    • Ancient Fire Elemental (CR 16)
    • Elder Fire Elemental (CR 10)


    FEY
    FIENDS:
    Spoiler:
    Demons:

    • Balor Lord (CR 20, elite)
    • Goristro Chosen of Baphomet (CR 17, elite)
    • Hezrou Brute (CR 8, elite)
    • Marilith Battlemaster (CR 16, elite)
    • Molydeus (CR 18, elite)
    • Nalfeshnee Tyrant (CR 13, elite)
    • Vargoulle Swarm (CR 21)

    Devils:

    • Imp Swarm (CR 21)
    • Lemure Horde (CR 9)
    • Pit Fiend General (CR 20, elite)



    GIANT
    Spoiler:
    Giants:

    • Cloud Giant Oathguard (CR 10, elite)
    • Cloud Giant Oman (CR 14, elite)
    • Cloud Giant Shaman (CR 12)
    • Fire Giant Duke (CR 13, elite)
    • Fire Giant Pyromancer (CR 11)
    • Frost Giant Jarl (CR 12, elite)
    • Frost Giant Reaver (CR 10)
    • Frost Giant Wrathbringer (CR 11)
    • Hill Giant Chief (CR 7, elite)
    • Hill Giant Priest of Grolantor (CR 5)
    • Stone Giant Runecarver (CR 9)
    • Stone Giant Thane (CR 11, elite)
    • Storm Giant Omen Reader (CR 15)
    • Storm Giant Paramount (CR 18, elite)

    Ogres:

    • Ogre Collector (CR 2)
    • Ogre Savage (CR 2)
    • Ogre Skirmisher (CR 2)
    • Ogre War Hulk (CR 4)

    Trolls:

    • Troll Ripper (CR 5)
    • Troll, Ice (CR 5)
    • Troll, Cave (CR 3)
    • Troll Matron (CR 6)
    • Troll, Mountain (CR 10)
    • Troll, Abyssal (CR 11, elite)
    HUMANOID
    Spoiler:


    • Spell Weaver (CR 10)



    MONSTROSITY
    Spoiler:


    • Primordial Tarrasque (CR 30, elite)
    • Gray Render (CR 10, elite)

    Yuan-ti:

    • Yuan-ti Anathema Sovereign (CR 15, elite)
    • Yuan-ti Abomination Royal Guard (CR 10)



    OOZE
    PLANT
    UNDEAD
    Spoiler:


    • Barrow Giant (CR 16)




    Schedule of Monsters Planned to be, but not yet, Updated:
    Spoiler:

    Aarakocra
    Battlemaster
    Guard
    Wind Monk
    Aboleth
    Overseer
    Savant
    Angel
    Agathinon,
    Light
    Planetar Battlemaster
    Solar Champion
    Ankheg
    Soldier
    Queen
    Astral Dreadnought
    Azer
    Berserker
    Assassin
    Basilisk, greater
    Banelich
    Battlebriar
    Warthorn
    Earthrage
    Behir, Thunderer
    Beholder
    Eye Tyrant
    Hive Mother
    Boneclaw(2e or 4e??)
    Bugbear
    Berserker
    Thief
    Assassin
    Cambion
    Champion
    Assassin
    Thief
    Battlemaster
    Skirmisher
    Chimera
    Gorgimera
    Chuul
    Soldier
    Thief
    Couatl
    Elder
    Ancient
    Cyclops, primordial/classic?
    Death Knight Doom Lord
    Demilich?
    Demons
    Abishai
    Barlugra Berserker
    Bebilith
    Glabrezu ??
    Horde of Manes
    Horde of Dretches
    Immolith
    Nycademon
    Rupture
    Shadow Demon Assassin
    Devil
    Assassin
    Bone Devil Horde Master
    Ice Devil Frost brand
    Paeliryon
    Paeliryon Sire
    Withering
    Devourer
    Dracolich, Ancient
    Dragon
    Blizzard
    Blue
    Deep
    Earthquake
    Volcanic
    White
    Dragon Turtle, Ancient
    Drake
    Air
    Cold
    Earth
    Fire
    Forest
    Mountain
    Sea
    Swamp
    Dryad, Matron of the Forest
    Elementals
    Fire, Elder
    Water, Elder
    Fomorian
    Warrior
    Eye of Balor
    Ceannard
    Gargantua
    Reptilian
    Humanoid
    Insectoid
    Gargoyle, Brute?
    Genies
    Dao Noble
    Djinn Thunderer
    Djinn Skylord
    Efreet Flamestrider
    Efreet Karadjin
    Ghoul
    Abyssal
    Ghoul Horde
    Gibbering Orb
    Golem, Adamantine
    Gorgon, Storm
    Hag, death
    Hellhound
    Alpha
    Nessian
    Hobgoblin
    Blademaster
    Soldier
    Hydra
    Lernaean
    Primordial
    Kraken Sea Lord
    Lich?
    Linnorm
    Dread
    Flame
    Forest
    Frost
    Gray
    Land
    Rain
    Sea
    Lizardfolk
    Blackscale
    Poisonscale
    Skirmisher
    Medusa Serpent Lord
    Mind Flayer
    Elder Brain Savant
    Mastermind
    Minotaur
    Warrior
    Savage
    Blessed by Baphomet
    Mummy, GiantNaga
    Primordial
    Shadow
    Nightmare
    War
    Nessian
    Nightwalker
    Nymph
    Oni
    Night Hunter
    Mage
    Devourer
    Overlord
    Orc
    Battlemaster
    Skirmisher
    Berserker
    Pegasus, Olympian
    Phoenix
    Quickling, Zephyr
    Rakshasa
    Assassin
    Noble
    Rot Harbinger
    Shadow Hound Alpha
    Shambling Mound
    Skeleton
    Dragon
    Giant
    Tomb Guardian
    Skull Lord
    Slaad, Black
    Snake
    Flame
    Shadow
    Sorrowsworn
    Reaper
    Death Lord
    Spell Weaver
    Soldier
    Controller
    Spider
    Phase
    Demonweb Terror
    Star Spawn
    Herald of Hadar
    Maw of Acamar
    Scion of Gibbeth
    Su
    Sentinel
    Ambusher
    Alpha
    Titan
    Treant
    Elder
    Ancient
    Rotten
    Unicorn
    Sovereign
    Dusk
    Vampire Lord
    Warforged Titan
    Wight
    Commander
    Slaughter
    Wyvern,
    Elder
    Ancient
    Yuan-ti
    Abomination berserker
    Malison Skirmisher
    Malison Assassin
    Yugoloths
    Arcanaloth Tempter
    Guardian
    Nycaloth Brute
    Ultroloth Schemer
    Last edited by dave2008; Friday, 23rd March, 2018 at 03:34 AM.
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  2. #2
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    ABERRATIONS:
    Spoiler:
    More to come!
    Last edited by dave2008; Saturday, 28th January, 2017 at 10:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    BEASTS:
    Spoiler:
    More to come!
    Last edited by dave2008; Saturday, 28th January, 2017 at 10:38 PM.

  4. #4
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    CELESTIALS:

    Archons:
    Spoiler:

    Hound (CR 3):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Lantern (CR 2):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Owl (CR 5):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Sword (CR 10):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Throne (CR 17):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Throne, General (CR 17, elite):
    by dave2008
    Trumpet (CR 13):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Warden (CR 8):
    by dave2008 & mechatarrasque
    Warden, Guardian (CR 8, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Last edited by dave2008; Saturday, 15th April, 2017 at 01:00 PM.

  5. #5
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    CONSTRUCTS:
    Spoiler:
    More to come!
    Last edited by dave2008; Saturday, 28th January, 2017 at 10:39 PM.

  6. #6
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    DRAGONS:

    Ancient Black Dragon Savage (CR 21, elite):
    by dave2008
    Elder Black Dragon Savage (CR 17, elite):
    by dave2008
    Adult Black Dragon Savage (CR 14, elite):
    by dave2008
    Young Black Dragon Savage (CR 7, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Ancient Green Dragon Duke (CR 21, elite):

    by dave2008
    Elder Green Dragon Earl (CR 18, elite):
    by dave2008
    Adult Green Dragon Viscount (CR 15, elite):
    by dave2008
    Young Green Dragon Baron (CR 8, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Great Wyrm Red Dragon Alpha (CR 30, elite):

    by dave2008
    Wyrm Red Dragon Alpha (CR 27, elite):
    by dave2008
    Ancient Red Dragon Alpha (CR 24, elite):
    by dave2008
    Elder Red Dragon Alpha (CR 21, elite):
    by dave2008
    Adult Red Dragon Alpha (CR 17, elite):
    by dave2008
    Young Red Dragon Alpha (CR 10, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Last edited by dave2008; Wednesday, 29th March, 2017 at 08:46 AM.
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  7. #7
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    ELEMENTALS:
    Elder Air Elemental (CR 10):
    by dave2008
    Ancient Air Elemental (CR 16):
    by dave2008
    Primal Air Elemental (CR 20, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Elder Earth Elemental (CR 10):
    by dave2008
    Ancient Earth Elemental (CR 17):
    by dave2008
    Primal Earth Elemental (CR 20, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Elder Fire Elemental (CR 10):
    by dave2008
    Ancient Fire Elemental (CR 16):
    by dave2008
    Primal Fire Elemental (CR 20, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Last edited by dave2008; Saturday, 7th July, 2018 at 08:09 PM.

  8. #8
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    FEY:
    Spoiler:
    More to come!
    Last edited by dave2008; Saturday, 28th January, 2017 at 11:35 PM.

  9. #9
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    FIENDS:

    Demons:
    Spoiler:

    Balor Lord (CR 20, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Goristro - Chosen of Baphomet (CR 17, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Klurichir (CR 19, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Hezrou Brute (CR 8, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Marilith Battlemaster (CR 16, elite):

    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Molydeus (CR 18, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Nalfeshnee Tyrant (CR 13, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Vargouille Swarm (CR 20):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Devils:
    Spoiler:

    Imp Swarm (CR 21):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Lemure Horde (CR 9):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Pit Fiend General (CR 20, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Yugoloths:
    Spoiler:

    More to come!
    Last edited by dave2008; Sunday, 16th April, 2017 at 12:46 PM.
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  10. #10
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    GIANTS:

    Cloud Giant Oathguard (CR 10, elite):
    by Demetrios1453 w/ "elite" edits by dave2008
    Cloud Giant Oman (CR 14, elite):
    by Demetrios1453 w/ "elite" edits by dave2008
    Cloud Giant Shaman (CR 12):
    by Demetrios1453
    Spoiler:

    These giants are based on the great work by @Demetrios1453 over at his great thread Homebrew Giant Elites , go there to check out his original work and some great flavor text regarding most of these giants. These giants may differ from his originals some, primarily I decided to make the giant chiefs (thane, jarl, etc.) elites per the OP. Thank you @Demetrios1453 for your contribution!
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    Fire Giant Duke (CR 13, elite):

    by Demetrios1453 w/ "elite" edits by dave2008
    Fire Giant Pyromancer (CR 11):
    by Demetrios1453
    Spoiler:

    These giants are based on the great work by @Demetrios1453 over at his great thread Homebrew Giant Elites , go there to check out his original work and some great flavor text regarding most of these giants. These giants may differ from his originals some, primarily I decided to make the giant chiefs (thane, jarl, etc.) elites per the OP. Thank you @Demetrios1453 for your contribution!
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    Frost Giant Reaver (CR 10):

    by Demetrios1453
    Frost Giant Jarl (CR 12, elite):
    by Demetrios1453 w/ "elite" edits by dave2008
    Frost Giant Wrathbringer(CR 11):
    by Demetrios1453
    Spoiler:

    These giants are based on the great work by @Demetrios1453 over at his great thread Homebrew Giant Elites , go there to check out his original work and some great flavor text regarding most of these giants. These giants may differ from his originals some, primarily I decided to make the giant chiefs (thane, jarl, etc.) elites per the OP. Thank you @Demetrios1453 for your contribution!
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    Hill Giant Chief (CR 7, elite):

    by Demetrios1453 w/ "elite" edits by dave2008
    Hill Giant Priest of Grolantor (CR 5):
    by Demetrios1453
    Spoiler:

    These giants are based on the great work by @Demetrios1453 over at his great thread Homebrew Giant Elites , go there to check out his original work and some great flavor text regarding most of these giants. These giants may differ from his originals some, primarily I decided to make the giant chiefs (thane, jarl, etc.) elites per the OP. Thank you @Demetrios1453 for your contribution!
    Name:  AD&D_HillGiants.jpg
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    Ogre Savage (CR 2):

    by dave2008
    Ogre Skirmisher (CR 2):
    by dave2008
    Ogre Collector (CR 2):
    by dave2008 w/ inspiration from Quickleaf
    Ogre Warhulk (CR 4):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

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    Stone Giant Runecarver (CR 9):
    by Demetrios1453
    Stone Giant Thane (CR 11, elite):
    by Demetrios1453 w/ "elite" edits by dave2008
    Spoiler:

    These giants are based on the great work by @Demetrios1453 over at his great thread Homebrew Giant Elites , go there to check out his original work and some great flavor text regarding most of these giants. These giants may differ from his originals some, primarily I decided to make the giant chiefs (thane, jarl, etc.) elites per the OP. Thank you @Demetrios1453 for your contribution!
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Size:  1.26 MB


    Storm Giant Omen Reader (CR 15):
    by Demetrios1453
    Storm Giant Paramount (CR 18, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

    These giants are based on the great work by @Demetrios1453 over at his great thread Homebrew Giant Elites , go there to check out his original work and some great flavor text regarding most of these giants. These giants may differ from his originals some, primarily I decided to make the giant chiefs (thane, jarl, etc.) elites per the OP. Thank you @Demetrios1453 for your contribution!
    Name:  AD&D_StormGiants.jpg
Views: 5559
Size:  1.82 MB


    Troll Ripper (CR 5):
    by dave2008
    Troll, Ice (CR 5):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

    Name:  AD&D_Trolls_Page_1.jpg
Views: 3130
Size:  1.02 MB


    Troll, Cave (CR 3):
    by dave2008
    Troll Matron (CR 6):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

    Name:  AD&D_Trolls_Page_2.jpg
Views: 4961
Size:  1.19 MB


    Troll, Mountain (CR 10):
    by dave2008
    Troll, Abyssal (CR 11, elite):
    by dave2008
    Spoiler:

    Name:  AD&D_Trolls_Page_3.jpg
Views: 3155
Size:  1.25 MB
    Last edited by dave2008; Monday, 17th April, 2017 at 08:09 PM.
    XP Dax Doomslayer, werecorpse gave XP for this post

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