5E: Fifth Edition Monsters Inspired by Third Edition Sources

Cleon

Legend
Giant Grasshopper
Small beast, unaligned
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 50 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
8 (–1)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
1 (–5)​
7 (–2)​
3 (–4)​

Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

Reaction

Hop (Recharge 5-6). If the giant grasshopper uses its land movement speed or is attacked by another creature, it can use its reaction to hop. If the hop is triggered by an attack, the opponent has disadvantage on the attack roll. If the attack kills or immobilizes the giant grasshopper nothing happens, otherwise the attacker must make a DC 9 Dexterity saving throw if they are within 5 feet of the grasshopper. On a failed roll, the grasshopper slams into the attacker as it leaps away and does 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage. If the grasshopper succeeds in hopping away, it jumps into the air and lands up to 60 feet away, with a minimum hopping distance of 20 feet.


Description

A giant grasshopper grows up to a yard long and looks identical to its normal sized cousin: a green, brown or sandy-coloured insect with a tubular body, massive hind legs, and two pairs of wings. These statistics also represent giant locusts (a locust is just one of the grasshopper species in the family Acrididae that sometimes congregate into swarms). Juvenile grasshoppers, or nymphs, are wingless but the adults can fly vast distances. Like a normal grasshopper, giant grasshoppers will reactively hop away if threatened by another creature, after which they might take to the air and fly to safety. Many predators hunt these insects, particularly the ankheg, giant toad, and giant arthropods such as wasps and spiders. They are also eaten by sapient races and are even farmed by some humanoids.
Hunger on Wings. Giant grasshoppers are normally vegetarian, but hungry grasshoppers can turn to meat-eating, usually in the form of cannibalism: their usual victims are other, weaker grasshoppers. Unfortunately, the giant version of these insects are more prone to attacking other animals, especially when a starving mob of giant locusts can't find anything else to eat. Attacks on humanoids are still very rare unless the giant insects are being controlled by an external force (see Exalted Thrall of Pazuzu for one possibility).
 All grasshoppers can breed rapidly, but locusts are notorious for having population explosions when there's a surge in plant growth after a drought. After devouring everything green they can, the locusts take to the wing in enormous numbers in search of more vegetation to devour. This often leads to dreadful famines among populations whose crops have been consumed by the giant locusts. This is a far greater danger than the risk of the locusts attacking people. The desperate victims of a giant locust plague sometimes survive by eating the locusts, but this is a very arduous task. The survivors must catch the giant locusts in the few days before they fly off and somehow preserve enough locust meat and other food to last until their next harvest.

VARIANT: GIANT CRICKET
Crickets are relatives of grasshoppers. A giant cricket is shorter and stockier than a giant grasshopper and is a dull, neutral earthy color. Rather than flying away after it hops, a cricket usually tries to hide in low-growing plants or soft ground. While normal crickets chirp to attract a mate, the giant species also chirp to warn their companions of danger. The two chirps sound completely different to a giant cricket, but most other creatures cannot tell the difference. A giant cricket has a land speed of 20 feet and is either flightless or flies at 30 feet. Its Hop reaction has a maximum movement of 40 feet. These giant grasshopper variants have the following trait and bonus action.
Undergrowth Camouflage. The giant cricket has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in undergrowth.
Chirrup. As a bonus action, the giant cricket can produce an incredibly loud chirping. Any creature within a 20-foot radius of the cricket that isn't another giant cricket must make a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or be deafened until the end of its next turn.

VARIANT: GIANT CAVE LOCUST
Giant cave locusts are a common sight in the subterranean fungus forests of the underdark and are eaten by most of its carnivorous residents.. A giant cave locust has a land speed of 20 feet and can fly and hop as fast as a giant grasshopper. They have darkvision 60 feet and blindsight 30 feet. These giant grasshopper variants have the following trait, action and bonus action.
Fungivore. The giant cave locust is completely immune to the poison and special attacks of many underdark plants and fungi, including the flesh eating ability of green slime, rotting touch of the violet fungi, death burst of the gas spore, the spores of yellow mold.
Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 10/30 ft., one target. Hit: the spittle of a giant cave locust has an appalling reek. The target must succeed at a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. For the next hour or until the spittle is washed off, any creature coming within 5 feet of the target must succeed at a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of its next turn.
Chirrup. As a bonus action, the giant cave locust can produce an incredibly loud chirping. Any creature within a 20-foot radius of the cave locust that isn't another giant cave locust must make a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or be deafened until the end of its next turn.

(Inspired by the cave locust from the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1981) and the cave cricket that first appeared in S4 Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982).)
 
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Cleon

Legend
Also, remember I was tempted to stat up a giant locust?

Ta-da!

Giant Grasshopper
Small beast, unaligned
Armor Class 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 50 ft.

STR​
DEX​
CON​
INT​
WIS​
CHA​
8 (–1)​
12 (+1)​
12 (+1)​
1 (–5)​
7 (–2)​
3 (–4)​

Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2

Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d6 + 1) slashing damage.

Reaction

Hop (Recharge 5-6). If the giant grasshopper uses its land movement speed or is attacked by another creature, it can use its reaction to hop. If the hop is triggered by an attack, the opponent has disadvantage on the attack roll. If the attack kills or immobilizes the giant grasshopper nothing happens, otherwise the attacker must make a DC 9 Dexterity saving throw if they are within 5 feet of the grasshopper. On a failed roll, the grasshopper slams into the attacker as it leaps away and does 4 (1d6 + 1) bludgeoning damage. If the grasshopper succeeds in hopping away, it jumps into the air and lands up to 60 feet away, with a minimum hopping distance of 20 feet.


Description

A giant grasshopper grows up to a yard long and looks identical to its normal sized cousin: a green, brown or sandy-coloured insect with a tubular body, massive hind legs, and two pairs of wings. These statistics also represent giant locusts (a locust is just one of the grasshopper species in the family Acrididae that sometimes congregate into swarms). Juvenile grasshoppers, or nymphs, are wingless but the adults can fly vast distances. Like a normal grasshopper, giant grasshoppers will reactively hop away if threatened by another creature, after which they might take to the air and fly to safety. Many predators hunt these insects, particularly the ankheg, giant toad, and giant arthropods such as wasps and spiders. They are also eaten by sapient races and are even farmed by some humanoids.
Hunger on Wings. Giant grasshoppers are normally vegetarian, but hungry grasshoppers can turn to meat-eating, usually in the form of cannibalism: their usual victims are other, weaker grasshoppers. Unfortunately, the giant version of these insects are more prone to attacking other animals, especially when a starving mob of giant locusts can't find anything else to eat. Attacks on humanoids are still very rare unless the giant insects are being controlled by an external force (see Exalted Thrall of Pazuzu for one possibility).
 All grasshoppers can breed rapidly, but locusts are notorious for having population explosions when there's a surge in plant growth after a drought. After devouring everything green they can, the locusts take to the wing in enormous numbers in search of more vegetation to devour. This often leads to dreadful famines among populations whose crops have been consumed by the giant locusts. This is a far greater danger than the risk of the locusts attacking people. The desperate victims of a giant locust plague sometimes survive by eating the locusts, but this is a very arduous task. The survivors must catch the giant locusts in the few days before they fly off and somehow preserve enough locust meat and other food to last until their next harvest.

VARIANT: GIANT CRICKET
Crickets are relatives of grasshoppers. A giant cricket is shorter and stockier than a giant grasshopper and is a dull, neutral earthy color. Rather than flying away after it hops, a cricket usually tries to hide in low-growing plants or soft ground. While normal crickets chirp to attract a mate, the giant species also chirp to warn their companions of danger. The two chirps sound completely different to a giant cricket, but most other creatures cannot tell the difference. A giant cricket has a land speed of 20 feet and is either flightless or flies at 30 feet. Its Hop reaction has a maximum movement of 40 feet. These giant grasshopper variants have the following trait and bonus action.
Undergrowth Camouflage. The giant cricket has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks made to hide in undergrowth.
Chirrup. As a bonus action, the giant cricket can produce an incredibly loud chirping. Any creature within a 20-foot radius of the cricket that isn't another giant cricket must make a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or be deafened until the end of its next turn.

VARIANT: GIANT CAVE LOCUST
Giant cave locusts are a common sight in the subterranean fungus forests of the underdark and are eaten by most of its carnivorous residents.. A giant cave locust has a land speed of 20 feet and can fly and hop as fast as a giant grasshopper. They have darkvision 60 feet and blindsight 30 feet. These giant grasshopper variants have the following trait, action and bonus action.
Fungivore. The giant cave locust is completely immune to the poison and special attacks of many underdark plants and fungi, including the flesh eating ability of green slime, rotting touch of the violet fungi, death burst of the gas spore, the spores of yellow mold.
Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 10/30 ft., one target. Hit: the spittle of a giant cave locust has an appalling reek. The target must succeed at a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. For the next hour or until the spittle is washed off, any creature coming within 5 feet of the target must succeed at a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the end of its next turn.
Chirrup. As a bonus action, the giant cave locust can produce an incredibly loud chirping. Any creature within a 20-foot radius of the cave locust that isn't another giant cave locust must make a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or be deafened until the end of its next turn.

(Inspired by the cave locust from the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1981) and the cave cricket from the Monstrous Manual (1993).)

Any suggestions/corrections or are you OK with it as-is.

Will need to modify the Exalted Thrall of Pazuzu to add ten giant locusts to its giant insect roster.
 



Cleon

Legend
Pink text of exalted thrall is fine - need to think about 4/5 lvl spells

Don't forget the proposed tweaks also affect the Pazrael's Breath of the basic Thrall of Pazuzu Working Draft.

Just edited the tweak in, but with "If the thrall" instead of "If a thrall" as it scans better in my not so humble opinion.

After further consideration, I now prefer:

The swarm vanishes back to the lower aerial kingdoms after 6 rounds. If a thrall of pazuzu stops concentration on Pazrael's Breath, the swarm vanishes at the start of the thrall's next turn."

Have updated the Exalted Thrall of Pazuzu.

Now the standard giant insect spell can transform centipedes (CR 1/4), wasps (CR 1/2), spiders (CR 1) or a scorpion (CR 3) into giants. We've now got the first three Challenge Ratings, but the Exalted Thrall can't produce a Challenge 3 giant flying insect to match the normal version's giant scorpion.

The question is, are we OCD enough to write up a CR 3 bug to fill that slot?

Or is there something already in the SRD that would do the job?

I can't think of one offhand.

It'd have to be something pretty formidable, like a Giant Water Bug (e.g. a big Belostomatid like Lethocerus) or a Giant Praying Mantis.

Thought about the Japanese Giant Hornet, except I have a few objections: (a) we've already got wasps; (b) I'd rather not use "Asian" or "Japanese" as that's geography from our planet, not a D&D realm; and (c) the regular insect normally called an Asian Giant Hornet, so wouldn't it be a Giant Asian Giant Hornet?

ADDENDUM: Apparently the insect's also called the Northern Giant Hornet, so I suppose we could call it a Giant Northern Giant Hornet instead! :p
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
I think 5e is short on giant insects. Musing on this.......got it, either Giant Robber Fly..or just a giant hornet (without geographic modifier) as natural 5e revision of the 1e/2e critter ...or both!

2e had giant hornets as larger than wasps

qv
 
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Cleon

Legend
I think 5e is short on giant insects. Musing on this.......got it, either Giant Robber Fly..or just a giant hornet (without geographic modifier) as natural 5e revision of the 1e/2e critter ...or both!

2e had giant hornets as larger than wasps

qv

If memory serves me right, Giant Robber Flies are a BECMI D&D monster and aren't that tough, being weaker than the AD&D Giane Horse Fly.

An accurate conversion of them wouldn't be Challenge 3.

Will need to look them up.

My main objection to Giant Hornets is they wouldn't be significantly different in game mechanics to a Giant Wasp or Giant Bee, they'd just have higher numbers.

A Praying Mantis or Water Bug attacks raptorially by seizing prey with its front legs and then attacking with its mouthparts, so a monster D&D version would not fight anything like a Giant Wasp or Giant Tabanid.

Come to think of it, the Water Bugs have land dwelling cousins, the Reduviidae, many of which are ferocious carnivores who can fly. We could make it a Giant Assassin Bug?
 
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Cleon

Legend
Okay, looked up the Robber Fly and the Basic D&D versions are quite wimpy: AC 6, HD 2, MV 90/180, bites for 1d8. Their special abilities are immunity to poison (since they specialize in attacking giant bees), improved surprise, and leaping up to 30 feet.

That wouldn't be a CR 3 monster in 5E.

There are several D&D editions with Giant Praying Mantis stats, which are all far more formidable than that. The AD&D version has AC3, HD 10 and either claws for 2d6 or bites for 3d4, while the BECMI version grows from 2 HD for a nymph up to 12 HD as a full adult, and the largest version attacks with a 1d8/1d8/1d12 routine.

There's also a 3E version of the Giant Praying Mantis in that edition's SRD, which defaults to 4 HD but can advance up to 12 HD.

The Giant Water Bug doesn't have any official D&D stats as far as I know, but there are a couple of versions of the Assassin Bug.

The AD&D version is a weird little bugman that lives in mated pairs. The male paralyzes creatures with a venomous bite after which the female implants eggs in the victim, then the larvae eat the victim alive a day or two later.

I know of two approaches to the Assassin Bug fin 3E sources that could be considered semi-official as they had some blessing from Wizards of the Coast.

Firstly, the Athas.org website and first Tomb of Horrors hardback book have the ectoparasitic AD&D version (the latter conversion originally appeared as a 3.0 conversion in our Creature Catalogue).

Secondly, the Ravenloft Denizens monster bestiaries have a Giant Assassin Bug that's based on an actual Reduviid.

Some Reduviids can be of a respectable size, some reaching an inch and a half or so (up to 4cm) though most are less than half that length. The aquatic Belostomatids are the largest bugs, with the biggest species of Giant Water Bug growing up to four inches long (12cm or longer)!

Most water bugs are no larger than Reduviids though.

Still, an inch or so is a comparable size to the majority of Scorpion species, so I would feel justified in statting up a Giant Carnivorous Bug as a Large beast like the 5E Giant Scorpion.
 

Cleon

Legend
After further consideration, a problem with using a Giant Assassin Bug, Giant Water Bug, or Giant Praying Mantis is that they aren't aerial predators but pursue prey on the ground or in water. They mostly fly to reach new territory. Indeed, many Reduviids are flightless and may lack wings entirely.

That doesn't seem appropriate for a minion of Pazuzu. We'd be better off using something that hunts in the air.

Maybe a Giant Dragonfly? The AD&D version of those is pretty meaty: AC 3, HD 7, MV 3"/36" (MC:B), bites for 3d4, with tropical species being larger, with HD 8+1-8 and biting for 4d4.

That's more Hit Dice than an AD&D Giant Scorpion, which has HD 5+1.

They're also super agile, able to dodge attacks from opponents who lose initiative to them.

If we want to go even larger, we could have a giant insect based on a Pseudostigmatidae, aka the Giant Damsefly or Helicopter Damselfly. Those are ridiculously big, growing up to 5 inches long (13 cm), and might be the longest (but not the heaviest) living flying insect.

If we start statting these critters up, I'll likely start a new thread for them. Maybe call it 5E: Fifth Edition Giant Arthropods?

It's inappropriate to do the conversions on this 3E thread. Some of the insects I mentioned don't have 3E statistics. The Water Bugs don't have any D&D statistics at all!
 

Casimir Liber

Adventurer
Fair enough. Could rename the "Converting Prehistoric Creatures" thread to "Converting Prehistoric Creatures and Assorted Creepy-Crawlies" thread...otherwise I could rename the "Giant tabanid (horsefly)" thread to "giant insect/arthropod homebrew"
 

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