log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E 5e Monster Updates: Mythic, Epic, and Hardcore Monsters

Aboleth Savant
Large aberration, lawful evil
Challenge 14 (11,500 XP)
Amphibious. The aboleth can breathe air and water.
Now this thing is a beast! Honestly just the fact that when its attacked it can cast hypnotic pattern as a reaction is a really good defense. That plus the enslave means that a lot of the party is going to be in and out of this fight.

Just a few notes:

1) Tail: The proning effect feels weird because its primarily an underwater creature. Technically prone works underwater but I just find its a weird condition to use.

2) Disease: The diseases doesn't do much at this level...it would be nice to add a little more punch to them, and for them to kick in quicker
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Beholder Hive Mother

Challenge
20 (25,000 XP)
I think 20 is over CRed for the monster. Comparing it to the Death Tyrant, its only real advantage is slightly more hp (which is nothing for that level), and the advantage on magic saves (which is almost normal at levels 16+ anyway).

The eye rays get a +1 DC and are slightly stronger, but not in the way that normally matters in a fight. The Death Tyrant was the real boost from the base beholder because of the ability to select the rays. But the Mother doesn't get that much more over the Tyrant. I could see CR 17, maybe 18....but this is mulch for a 20th level party.
 

dave2008

Legend
Now this thing is a beast! Honestly just the fact that when its attacked it can cast hypnotic pattern as a reaction is a really good defense. That plus the enslave means that a lot of the party is going to be in and out of this fight.
First let me thank you for your comments. I am really hoping people can give good feed back like this and I can make these better.
Just a few notes:
1) Tail: The proning effect feels weird because its primarily an underwater creature. Technically prone works underwater but I just find its a weird condition to use.
Good point. I will make it a push instead.
2) Disease: The diseases doesn't do much at this level...it would be nice to add a little more punch to them, and for them to kick in quicker
Another good point. It is an artifact of copy & paste. I will review and see if I can't come up with something better. Any thoughts?
 

dave2008

Legend
I think 20 is over CRed for the monster. Comparing it to the Death Tyrant, its only real advantage is slightly more hp (which is nothing for that level), and the advantage on magic saves (which is almost normal at levels 16+ anyway).

The eye rays get a +1 DC and are slightly stronger, but not in the way that normally matters in a fight. The Death Tyrant was the real boost from the base beholder because of the ability to select the rays. But the Mother doesn't get that much more over the Tyrant. I could see CR 17, maybe 18....but this is mulch for a 20th level party.
This is a tricky one. The issue is the CR of the beholder is wack. The MM beholder really should be higher than 13. I can only assume the reason it is not is because of the random rays. Once I decide to give the eye tyrant ray choice, it became insanely strong. With the caveat that I was using the spell level equivalent to determine the DPR of a non-damage spell such as the petrifying ray (flesh to stone).

Using this metric, I get 191 DPR for the eye tyrant and and 220 DPR for the hive mother + bite attack. On top of that, the hive mother has more HP and limited magic immunity. To be honest, the eye tyrant should also be CR 16 per my calculation, but lowered because the MM beholder CR is so much lower than my calculation as well. If it seems better I can make the eye tyrant CR 16, then it is not such a big gap between the too?
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
I think 20 is over CRed for the monster. Comparing it to the Death Tyrant, its only real advantage is slightly more hp (which is nothing for that level), and the advantage on magic saves (which is almost normal at levels 16+ anyway).

The eye rays get a +1 DC and are slightly stronger, but not in the way that normally matters in a fight. The Death Tyrant was the real boost from the base beholder because of the ability to select the rays. But the Mother doesn't get that much more over the Tyrant. I could see CR 17, maybe 18....but this is mulch for a 20th level party.
OK, I adjust the Eye tyrant to reflect its true CR (16) and increase the hive mother's AC. Give the other benefits the hive mother has, do feel the difference in CR is more acceptable now.
 

dave2008

Legend
1) Tail: The proning effect feels weird because its primarily an underwater creature. Technically prone works underwater but I just find its a weird condition to use.

2) Disease: The diseases doesn't do much at this level...it would be nice to add a little more punch to them, and for them to kick in quicker
OK, I changed the tail effect to a push and modified the disease. Let me know what you think.
 

dave2008

Legend
Elder Red Dragon
Huge dragon, chaotic evil
1599217454110.png

Armor Class 20 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points 348 (24d12+ 192)
Speed 50 ft., climb 40 ft., fly 120 ft., swim 40 ft.
1599217455475.png

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
26 (+8)12 (+1)26 (+8)17 (+3)14 (+2)21 (+5)
1599217456528.png

Saving Throws Str +14, Dex +7, Con +14, Wis +8, Cha +11
Skills Athletics +14, Intimidation +11, Perception +14, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances poison
Damage Immunities fire
Senses blindsight 70 ft., darkvision 180 ft., passive perception 24
Languages Common, Draconic, Giant
Challenge 20 (62,000 XP)
1599217457840.png

Ignite. When a creature or object takes fire damage from the dragon’s fire breath, it ignites. An ignited target takes 3 (1d6) fire damage at the start of its turn and it cannot maintain concentration or take reactions for 1 minute, or until it takes an action to extinguish the flames with a DC 15 Dexterity check.

Innate Spellcasting. The dragon’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 19, +11 to hit with spell attacks). It can innately cast the following spells at 6th level, requiring no material components:

1/day each: elemental bane, far step, (more to come)

Magic Resistance (3/Short Rest). The dragon has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects and any creature that makes a spell attack against the colossus has disadvantage on the attack roll.

Magic Weapons. The dragon’s weapon attacks are considered magical.

Unstoppable. The dragon can use a reaction at the end of its turn to remove one conditions or effect it is suffering. Alternately, it can use a reaction, take 30 hit points of damage and end the condition or effect immediately.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The dragon can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: two with is claws and one with its bite.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 24 (3d10 + 8) piercing damage plus 10 (3d6) fire damage and, if the dragon wishes, the target must make a DC 22 Strength throw or be grappled. A Medium or smaller creature grappled this way is also restrained.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d6 + 8) slashing damage and, if the dragon wishes, the target must make a DC 22 Strength throw or knocked prone or pushed 10 feet, the dragon's choice.

Tail Sweep. The dragon swings its tail in a 30-foot cone. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 20 ft., each creature in the cone. Hit: 21 (3d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Huge or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 22 Strength or Dexterity saving throw or be pushed 15 feet and knocked prone.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 180 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the dragon’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Fire Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales fire in a 100-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 23 Dexterity saving throw, taking 91 (26d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. The area

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The dragon can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. If the dragon has unspent legendary actions at the end of the round, it may spend and immediately use its remaining legendary actions. The dragon regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The dragon can make a Wisdom (Perception) check.
Move. The dragon can move half its speed.
Tail Slap (Cost 2 Actions). Melee Weapon Attack: +14 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d8 + 8) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it must succeed on a DC 22 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone and stunned until the end of the dragon’s next turn.
Wing Attack (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 30 feet of the dragon must succeed on a DC 25 Dexterity saving throw or take 18 (3d6 + 8) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its flying speed.
 
Last edited:

OK, I changed the tail effect to a push and modified the disease. Let me know what you think.
So what I would do is combine your tail and poison spray attack. The spray is going to get almost no use when you can get 3 attacks with your multiattack. So have the tail push the poison. This creates a fun combo of different damage.

The new disease is awesome! And very strong, I do think you should bump up the CR by 1 for that, exhaustion is one of those conditions even high level parties aren't always ready to deal with. I do like how you let them recover exhaustion so its not a long effect.
 

dave2008

Legend
So what I would do is combine your tail and poison spray attack. The spray is going to get almost no use when you can get 3 attacks with your multiattack. So have the tail push the poison. This creates a fun combo of different damage.

The new disease is awesome! And very strong, I do think you should bump up the CR by 1 for that, exhaustion is one of those conditions even high level parties aren't always ready to deal with. I do like how you let them recover exhaustion so its not a long effect.
The poison spray is the cantrip, see the spell casting trait. This is the newer paradigm WotC has been using (to stay one spell in the stat block). It was intended to be used with the retributive casting reaction.

Yes, I thought the upgraded disease might be a bit strong. I will think about increasing the CR or pulling back on the disease
 

Using this metric, I get 191 DPR for the eye tyrant and and 220 DPR for the hive mother + bite attack. On top of that, the hive mother has more HP and limited magic immunity. To be honest, the eye tyrant should also be CR 16 per my calculation, but lowered because the MM beholder CR is so much lower than my calculation as well. If it seems better I can make the eye tyrant CR 16, then it is not such a big gap between the too?
Yeah I did my own check and I agree with you. Beholder is about offensive CR 25 and defensive CR 15, so right smack on the 20 seems a good place.
 

The poison spray is the cantrip, see the spell casting trait. This is the newer paradigm WotC has been using (to stay one spell in the stat block). It was intended to be used with the retributive casting reaction.
I personally don't like that (I mean you already list it in the at-will spell section, and why would I ever use that over 3 attacks?). Also with retributive casting, I would never use that over hypnotic pattern unless the thing was a golem or something....so to imply that is the default choice I think is undercutting the power of the creature.
 

Elder Red Dragon

Challenge
20 (62,000 XP)
My notes on this one.

Ignite: This is both an extremely powerful and extremely weak ability. On the one hand, its damage and saving throw are pathetic for a CR 20 creature. And yet it can completely disrupt spellcasting, completely negate reactions, and creates disadvantage on all attacks rolls? It strains the belief a bit, how can 3 fire damage autodisrupt the concentration of a 20th level mage when 30 damage attacks are unlikely to shake them?

This is a cool ability but I feel either the damage needs to live up to the effect, or the effect has to be markedly lowered to the damage. What you could do is have the damage apply to the end of the characters turn, but make it half the damage of the breath or something. Now your in a real pickle, do you burn your precious action (which in most fights could be 1/3 or 1/4 of your entire action economy)...or continue to take REAL burning damage?

I like Unstoppable as a replacement for legendary resilience. The 30 damage means at least the caster did something for their labors.

On the spellcasting, I think every spell you picked is a great addition with one exception... I would drop elemental bane as a spell. I get what your going for, its in theory a good weapon against fire resistance creatures, and adds some more punch to the dragon. But in practice, fights don't last that long for your opening salvo to be a spell that MIGHT add "a little extra damage" and consumes your concentration better spent on better spells. I would hate for a DM trying this monster out for the first time and using that spell as the opener, even if it lands I think they would be disappointed as compared to a full round of other things the dragon can do. Honestly I would rather you gave them crown of stars 2/day. Now that's a good spell that offers a non-fire damage type against fire resistant creatures, and its one the dragon could cast beforehand if he knows someone's coming.

Oh one point for clarification. The tail sweep is 20 ft....but its a 30 ft cone. I assume one of the two numbers is a typo.
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
I personally don't like that (I mean you already list it in the at-will spell section, and why would I ever use that over 3 attacks?). Also with retributive casting, I would never use that over hypnotic pattern unless the thing was a golem or something....so to imply that is the default choice I think is undercutting the power of the creature.
I think I didn't explain it well. I'm not trying to suggest poison spray as a default for the reaction. Any at will spell is viable for the reaction. I was trying to simply point out that it is not intended to replace the multiattack action. It is in the actions because that is the new standard (to have a spell described). I could have chosen any spell, I just chose the one that inflicts the most damage as required by the DPR guidelines in the DMG.

Also, it doesn't compete with the multiattack either because the aboleth's most powerful option is to cast spells (at least for the first 3 rounds).

FYI, if I wanted it as the default for the reaction, I would have called out as part of the reaction.
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
My notes on this one.
Thank you again!
Ignite: This is both an extremely powerful and extremely weak ability. On the one hand, its damage and saving throw are pathetic for a CR 20 creature. And yet it can completely disrupt spellcasting, completely negate reactions, and creates disadvantage on all attacks rolls? It strains the belief a bit, how can 3 fire damage autodisrupt the concentration of a 20th level mage when 30 damage attacks are unlikely to shake them?

This is a cool ability but I feel either the damage needs to live up to the effect, or the effect has to be markedly lowered to the damage. What you could do is have the damage apply to the end of the characters turn, but make it half the damage of the breath or something. Now your in a real pickle, do you burn your precious action (which in most fights could be 1/3 or 1/4 of your entire action economy)...or continue to take REAL burning damage?
First it is a CR thing. I can't give it a lot more damage or it changes the CR, which I didn't want. It is basically the heat metal spell with a little extra. I will probably reduce the effects for the elder dragon and leave the full effects for the ancient dragon.

However, despite being its own trait, this is exclusively an effect of the breath weapon. It is the initial breath weapon attack that is causing effects, not the lingering damage, that is just another effect of the fire breath. I may just move it to the breath weapon, but I wanted to keep it separate so it can apply to more than one breath weapon. Which is only relevant for the great wyrm so I may move it back to the fire breath entry.

I like Unstoppable as a replacement for legendary resilience. The 30 damage means at least the caster did something for their labors.
Yep, that is the intent.

On the spellcasting, I think every spell you picked is a great addition with one exception... I would drop elemental bane as a spell. I get what your going for, its in theory a good weapon against fire resistance creatures, and adds some more punch to the dragon. But in practice, fights don't last that long for your opening salvo to be a spell that MIGHT add "a little extra damage" and consumes your concentration better spent on better spells. I would hate for a DM trying this monster out for the first time and using that spell as the opener, even if it lands I think they would be disappointed as compared to a full round of other things the dragon can do. Honestly I would rather you gave them crown of stars 2/day. Now that's a good spell that offers a non-fire damage type against fire resistant creatures, and its one the dragon could cast beforehand if he knows someone's coming.
I will think about it. I originally had a signature spell call "Immolate foe" that did fire damage and removed resistance to fire. But then decided to simply things and just give it elemental bane. However, to be honest, I forgot to review the spell list after copying it from the ancient red. I will have to change several spells as I have one to many and several (if not all of them) are to high level.

Oh one point for clarification. The tail sweep is 20 ft....but its a 30 ft cone. I assume one of the two numbers is a typo.
I must have corrected it while you were typing for when I went back to check after reading your post it was already at 20 ft. for both.
 

I will think about it. I originally had a signature spell call "Immolate foe" that did fire damage and removed resistance to fire. But then decided to simply things and just give it elemental bane. However, to be honest, I forgot to review the spell list after copying it from the ancient red. I will have to change several spells as I have one to many and several (if not all of them) are to high level.

I must have corrected it while you were typing for when I went back to check after reading your post it was already at 20 ft. for both.
For a CR 20 I don't think the spells are too high a level at all, they seem perfectly in line with advance options for a dragon. For example Incendiary Cloud is not that great a damage dealer compared to the red dragon's regular weapons, but its a good "ranged counter" by providing cover. But considering its your action and requires concentration...I think its a fine tool in the belt but not one that really makes the dragon "stronger" just "more flexible".

I remember immolate foe, yeah I think ultimately that's a better option. Or going back to your ignite, maybe the dragon's breath weapon just strips off resistance. The resistance works for the first hit, but after that fire res is gone.
 

dave2008

Legend
For a CR 20 I don't think the spells are too high a level at all, they seem perfectly in line with advance options for a dragon. For example Incendiary Cloud is not that great a damage dealer compared to the red dragon's regular weapons, but its a good "ranged counter" by providing cover. But considering its your action and requires concentration...I think its a fine tool in the belt but not one that really makes the dragon "stronger" just "more flexible".
While I don't necessarily disagree with you, those aren't the rules. Per the dragon spell casting variant in the MM, the dragon can cast a number of spells per day equal to its Charisma modifier and the max level is equal to 1/3 its CR. For the elder red that is 5 spells of a max of 6th level. Do I have to agree with this? No, but I find it interesting to deal with some constraints.

I remember immolate foe, yeah I think ultimately that's a better option. Or going back to your ignite, maybe the dragon's breath weapon just strips off resistance. The resistance works for the first hit, but after that fire res is gone.
I might just go back to that.
 

For the banelich's overchannel ability, does it work on the spell for the whole duration or just the first round. Example would be blade barrier. If it 60 damage on round 1, 6d10 on each subsequent round, or just 60 damage every round?
 

For the elder red that is 5 spells of a max of 6th level. Do I have to agree with this? No, but I find it interesting to deal with some constraints.
If you want a few new options:

1) Wall of Fire can be a replacement for Incendiary cloud. Again, its main purpose is to block line of sight to discourage ranged attacks.
2) Steel Wind Strike. Gives you another "area affect" and mobility, and some non fire damage if you need it.
3) Melf's Minute Meteors (upgraded to 5th): A weaker Crown of Stars but serves the same purpose. A good spell you could cast ahead of time that will augment your action economy.
4) Fireball (upgraded to 5th) - Because...fireball! A way to get your ranged damage if breath is on cooldown.
 

dave2008

Legend
For the banelich's overchannel ability, does it work on the spell for the whole duration or just the first round. Example would be blade barrier. If it 60 damage on round 1, 6d10 on each subsequent round, or just 60 damage every round?
Just the first round, I will clarify that - thanks!
 

dave2008

Legend
If you want a few new options:

1) Wall of Fire can be a replacement for Incendiary cloud. Again, its main purpose is to block line of sight to discourage ranged attacks.
2) Steel Wind Strike. Gives you another "area affect" and mobility, and some non fire damage if you need it.
3) Melf's Minute Meteors (upgraded to 5th): A weaker Crown of Stars but serves the same purpose. A good spell you could cast ahead of time that will augment your action economy.
4) Fireball (upgraded to 5th) - Because...fireball! A way to get your ranged damage if breath is on cooldown.
Good suggestions - thanks!
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top