5E: Fifth Edition Monster Variants Inspired by Fourth Edition Sources


This thread was originally for alternative takes of official 5E Monsters based on versions of them in Fourth Edition D&D products that have interesting game mechanics they lack in Fifth Edition.

Some 4E monsters that lack official 5E stats got added to the Index of 5th Edition Conversions of 4E Monsters got added later.

The Index includes some monsters from non-4E sources that got included in this thread for convenience due to their association with a 4E conversion. In such cases, the conversion's source is indicated using the following tags:

A = AD&D Monsterᴬ (1E or 2E)
3 = Third Edition Monster³
4 = Fourth Edition Monster
H = Homebrewᴴ (New Monster)

Some monsters are multi-tagged because the thread they appear in (the first tag) is different from the actual source (the second tag). For example, the Scarlet Mist is based on the 4E version of the Vampiric Mist and tagged 4, while the Blood Mist was converted on this thread but based on the AD&D version of the Vampiric Mist so is tagged 4A.

Finished conversions will be added to the Completed Fifth Edition Creatures Index.

Index of Alternative Versions of Official 5E Monsters
D&D Beyond [CC Post]​
Derro Chaos Savant⁴​
Ettin Marauder⁴​
Fomorian Butcher⁴​
Fomorian Ghost Shaman⁴​
Gnoll Beast Shaman⁴​
Mist, Blood⁴ᴬ​
Mist, Crimson Death⁴ᴬ​
Scarlet Death⁴³​
Scarlet Mist⁴​
Spectral Hyena⁴​
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Casimir Liber

Ok, first cab off the rank is an ettin - ettins are touted as solitary, which in 5e means they get beaten. I figured having two heads might be good if they got one reaction and bonus action per head. So had to come up with some combat tactics. The 4e ettin had some features I incorporated below


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That's pretty good. I bet you could up the ante and make it two 'creatures', with a common health pool but each head rolling its own saves for conditions, and a legendary action for the second head.


The main schtick of the 4E Ettin is that it gets two sets of actions not one: so it can make two moves, two standard actions and two minor actions per round, plus its immediate action is usable twice.

So compared to a "singular" creature it's doing double the damage by attacking twice and travels two times as far by moving twice.

This version has nothing close to that, but only gets an extra Reaction, so is unable to move twice in a round like the 4E Ettin.

Oh, and should it qualify it can't use both of its Reactions in response to the same action?

It might also be clearer to make the "Double Reactions" ability a separate trait from the basic Two Heads trait of the standard SRD Ettin.


Two Heads. The ettin has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and on saving throws against being blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, stunned, and knocked unconscious.​
Twin Reactions. The ettin marauder can take up to two reactions during its turn, but each reaction must be in response to a different trigger.​

Shouldn't the Shove of this 5E Ettin Marauder be a Reaction as well as or instead of a Bonus Action, since the 4R version's Swat it is obviously based on was an Immediate Reaction?

Having it make extra attacks with a Reaction is fine, but don't care for the name Brace. Wouldn't something like Counterstrike be better? I'd also allow for the possibility of it doing it twice in a round, once with each arm (i.e. it effectively has Battleaxe Counterstrike and Morningstar Counterstrike).

Like so:

Battleaxe Counterstrike (Recharge 4-6). When an opponent moves within melee range of the ettin marauder, the ettin makes one battleaxe attack against that opponent.​
Morningstar Counterstrike (Recharge 4-6). When an opponent moves within melee range of the ettin marauder, the ettin makes one morningstar attack against that opponent.​

I'd also consider having it be triggerable when the ettin is hit, not just when an opponent enters its strike range. (i.e. change the wording to "When an opponent moves within melee range of the ettin marauder or hits it with a melee attack, the ettin makes one [weapon] attack against that opponent.")

Not sure about the Parry as Ettins are not noted for their skill at arms and would rather replace that with a Shove. Still, it needs something to do as a Reaction when waiting for its "Counterstrikes" to refresh.

However, if you keeps the Parry I'd drop the Recharge, since I can't think of any SRD creatures that have a recharging parry. All the examples I could come up with (i.e. Gladiator, Knight) have at-will Reaction parries.

Oh, and the wording's wrong. It should be:

Parry. The ettin adds 3 to its AC against one melee attack that would hit it. To do so, the ettin must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon.​

Now the 4E Ettin's Swat doesn't knock the opponent prone, but just pushes them back 3 squares (i.e. 15 feet) so maybe have the Shove do that instead? That'd interact nicely with this 5E version's Counterstrike since the shoved creature would have to move back within melee range of the Ettin, possibly prompting a Counterstrike.


Bonus Action
Shove. The ettin marauder pushes an adjacent opponent of size Medium or smaller; the opponent must succeed at a DC 18 Strength saving throw or be moved 10 feet away from the ettin.​
Swat. If an opponent makes an action while adjacent to the ettin marauder, the ettin can use shove against that opponent.​

Casimir Liber

I only put parry in as another reaction option. Happy to ditch it. Changes sound and incorporated


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I only put parry in as another reaction option. Happy to ditch it. Changes sound and incorporated

Come to think of it, would "but the reactions must be in response to separate triggers" be better than "but each reaction must be in response to a different trigger" for the Twin Reactions trait?


I think it'd be prudent to check that the CR is correct considering it's slightly complex attack arrangements…

Okay, I make its Hit Points 126 not 138. It's need CON 22 or 23 for a +6 modifier and 12d10+60 to get that HP at Large size.

How about we just increase its size to Huge?

A 2E AD&D Ettin is that size, the same size category as a Hill Giant.

Making the Marauder Huge would give it Hit Points 138 (12d12+60).

That'd also justify increasing its battleaxe & morningstar's Reach to 10 feet, the same as the 3E and 4E incarnations of the Ettin.

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