D&D 5E 5e Updates: Monstrous Compendium

dave2008

Legend
Monster Templates: Bruiser
A bruiser is a destructive tank. The typically wade into melee to do the most damage possible. It can take and inflict more damage than its typical kin, but it sacrifices its accuracy and ability to avoid damage. You can make the following adjustments to a monster to make it a bruiser without changing its CR:
  • Increase the monster's hit points by its CR +5.
  • Add the monster's proficiency bonus to its weapon damage on a hit.
  • Reduce the monsters to hit bonus by 1 per tier.
  • Reduce the monsters AC by 1 per tier.
You can achieve these changes by applying the bruiser trait, see below, or by modifying ability scores, armor, and weapons to achieve the same effect.

Bruiser. The creature has a +2* bonus to damage and a -1* penalty to hit on its weapon attacks (included in the attacks). Additionally, it gains a +5* bonus to its hit points and a -1* penalty to its Armor class (included above).

*Adjust bonuses and penalties as described in the template.

Example: Orc Bruiser
 
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dave2008

Legend
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Orc Illustration by Nookiew

Orc Bruiser
Medium humanoid (orc), any
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Armor Class 12 (hide)
Hit Points 20 (2d8 + 6; bloodied 10)
Speed 30 ft.
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STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
16 (+3)12 (+1)16 (+3)7 (-)11 (+0)10 (+0)
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Savings Throws Dex +3, Con +5
Skills Intimidation +2
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Orc
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP) Proficiency Bonus +2
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Bruiser. The orc has a +2 bonus to damage and a -1 penalty to hit on its weapon attacks (included in the attacks). Additionally, it gains a +5 bonus to its hit points and a -1 penalty to its Armor class (included above).

ACTIONS
Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (1d12 + 5) slashing damage.

Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) piercing damage.

BONUS ACTIONS
Aggressive. The orc can move up to its speed toward a hostile creature that it can see.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
In honor of the release of Rime of the Frostmaiden, I give you the lesser goddess: Auril!

Note, this was a mash up and upgrade to her 3 forms in Rime. It made the stat block a bit large and I probably should have stuck with the multiple stat block format, but I wanted to try and put it all in one and see how it worked.

So my first notes on my initial read through.

1) The timing of the various forms was very confusing, I had to read very closely to actually figure out how this worked. I would move Frost maiden and Divine Rejuvenation right to the top of your ability list, and rename to literally be "Second Form" and "Third Form". It will make things a lot simpler.

2) There is no "Divine Reflexes" entry in the Lesser gods traits. Only under Greater Gods.

3) Blizzard Veil seems a bit weak to have to maintain concentration on, to me this could just be an aura....for the final form of a CR 28 that seems perfectly reasonable.

4) I would either list out all of the Lesser God Traits are simply say "she has all lesser god traits". No need to list out 8 entries that keep saying "go here".

5) There is no proficiency for strength. Sense you gave her a big bonus on all other saves, was that intentional?

6) Ice Stasis is...ehem....cool:cool:

7) Summon Ice Mephit. I would either make this a bonus action, or make it a 1 action legendary action (which I still probably wouldn't use but its closer). No one is ever going to spend their action summoning a mephit with all of the other options here.

8) Spellcasting is listed under Mythic Actions...but its already a Legendary Action

9) Intensify Aura: I would just reword it to "all creatures within the Frigid Aura range immediately take 20 cold damage". Its more in line with a legendary action (aka able to do more things outside of the usual turn order), but also its easier for a DM to remember. Its much easier for me to active an ability and just do it, then activate an ability and remember later on after I've done all of these other things that the damage of something else is now higher.

10) Splinter is a cool idea, but its damage is way too low for 3 legendary actions. I would much rather cast 3 at-will spells, or 3 more attacks, any day of the week. Besides you already have ice flurry for instant, automatic damage, at 2 actions (which is also quite questionable damage but at least its automatic)...I don't think you need both.

11) You mention in Frostmaiden that once she is in her second form that she can't use first form abilities. I don't actually see any abilities that are first form only so this may be extraneous.
 
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dave2008

Legend
So my first notes on my initial read through.
Thank you for taking the time to review and respond.
1) The timing of the various forms was very confusing, I had to read very closely to actually figure out how this worked. I would move Frost maiden and Divine Rejuvenation right to the top of your ability list, and rename to literally be "Second Form" and "Third Form". It will make things a lot simpler.
Yes, I knew that would be the case when I decided to do this. She has 3 separate stat blocks in Rime of the Frostmaiden and I tried to combine them in one. I will need to do some work to make it more clear.
2) There is no "Divine Reflexes" entry in the Lesser gods traits. Only under Greater Gods.
Nice catch - corrected.
3) Blizzard Veil seems a bit weak to have to maintain concentration on, to me this could just be an aura....for the final form of a CR 28 that seems perfectly reasonable.
I just copied from the adventure, but you are correct. I removed the concentration since this trait is figured in her CR.
4) I would either list out all of the Lesser God Traits are simply say "she has all lesser god traits". No need to list out 8 entries that keep saying "go here".
I was think the same thing after I made it. I have revised it now, let me know what you think.
5) There is no proficiency for strength. Sense you gave her a big bonus on all other saves, was that intentional?
Nope, just moving to quick. Corrected.
6) Ice Stasis is...ehem....cool:cool:
I can't take credit for it - pretty much straight from the book.
7) Summon Ice Mephit. I would either make this a bonus action, or make it a 1 action legendary action (which I still probably wouldn't use but its closer). No one is ever going to spend their action summoning a mephit with all of the other options here.
I think of it has fluff basically; however, she would use it before battle or has her legendary action, see "Splinter."
8) Spellcasting is listed under Mythic Actions...but its already a Legendary Action
The Mythic Action qualifies that Auril can only use the options under Mythic Action. She can use her typical legendary actions.
9) Intensify Aura: I would just reword it to "all creatures within the Frigid Aura range immediately take 20 cold damage". Its more in line with a legendary action (aka able to do more things outside of the usual turn order), but also its easier for a DM to remember. Its much easier for me to active an ability and just do it, then activate an ability and remember later on after I've done all of these other things that the damage of something else is now higher.
That was how WotC wrote it, but I agree with you. Revised.
10) Splinter is a cool idea, but its damage is way too low for 3 legendary actions. I would much rather cast 3 at-will spells, or 3 more attacks, any day of the week. Besides you already have ice flurry for instant, automatic damage, at 2 actions...I don't think you need both.
This is an upgraded version of what is in RIme. The damage calculation is 72 which is a little less than 2 talon attacks. I will upgrade the number of mephits or the damage. Revised to be more mephits. It is situational, but it can also be used to summon mephits (which I increased as well).
11) You mention in Frostmaiden that once she is in her second form that she can't use first form abilities. I don't actually see any abilities that are first form only so this may be extraneous.
Ya, I was sure how things would shake out when I wrote that and never changed. Thank you for catching that. Corrected.

I've changed everything except the forms, still thinking about that one. Thank you for your input!
 

dave2008

Legend
1) The timing of the various forms was very confusing, I had to read very closely to actually figure out how this worked. I would move Frost maiden and Divine Rejuvenation right to the top of your ability list, and rename to literally be "Second Form" and "Third Form". It will make things a lot simpler.
I took your suggestion and renamed the traits and moved them to the top. Thanks!
 







dave2008

Legend
Imp Swarm
Gargantuan swarm of tiny fiends, lawful evil
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Armor Class 13
Hit Points 207 (18d20 + 18 ; bloodied 103)
Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft.
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STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
6 (-2)17 (+3)13 (+1)11 (+0)12 (+1)14 (+2)
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Skills Deception +7, Insight +6, Persuasion +7, Perception +11, Stealth +5
Damage Resistances cold; bludgeoning piercing and slashing
Damage Immunities fire, poison
Condition Immunities poisoned; see Swarm Resistance
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 21
Languages Infernal, Common
Challenge 15 (13,000 XP) Proficiency Bonus +5
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Devil’s Sight. Magical darkness doesn’t impede the swarm’s darkvision.

Magic Resistance. The swarm has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Mass Shapechanger (1/day). The swarm can use an action to polymorph into a creature of its size and CR or below. In its new form it has the Str, Dex, Con, traits and abilities of its new form, plus Devil’s sight and Magic Resistance. It can us any action and abilities of its new form, but any actions, checks, or saves that rely on Int, Wis, or Cha use the swarms abilities, not the new forms. Once the new form takes 100 hit points of damage, this effect ends and the swarm reverts back to its original form.

Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny imp. If the swarm is reduced to 188 hit points or less change its size to Huge and it loses one use of its legendary actions. If the swarm is reduced to 125 hit points or less change its size to Large and it loses an additional use of its legendary actions. If the swarm is reduced to 63 hit points or less, choose: 1) replace the swarm with five imps in unoccupied spaces within the former area of the swarm, or 2) keep the current statistics, but remove the Swarm Resistance trait.

Swarm Reactions. The swarm does not have reactions. Whenever a creature moves inside the space of the swarm or out of the space of the swarm, the swarm makes one sting attack with advantage targeting the triggering creature.

Swarm Resistance. The swarm has advantage on saving throws against being blinded, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, or stunned. Additionally, the swarm can use its legendary actions to immediately end one condition or effect it is suffering per legendary action spent.

Swarm Tactics. The swarm has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if it is occupying the same space as the swarm.

Swarm Vulnerabilities. The swarm takes double damage from any attack that have an area of effect.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The swarm makes five sting attacks.

Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage, and 3 (1d6) poison damage.

Invisibility. The imp swarm magically turns invisible until it attacks or until is concentration ends (as if concentrating on a spell). Any equipment worn or carried by an imp in the swarm or the swarm as a whole is invisible with it.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The swarm 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. The swarm regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Move. The swarm moves up to 5 feet.
Multiattack. The swarm makes five sting attacks.
 
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dave2008

Legend
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Mezrumon the Arch-Demonby kineticflow

Pit Fiend General
Champion Large fiend (devil), lawful evil
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Armor Class 21/23 (natural armor/with shield)
Hit Points 408 (24d10 + 168; bloodied 204)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.
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STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
24 (+7)17 (+3)24 (+7)23 (+6)20 (+5)24 (+7)
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Savings Throws Str +14, Dex +9, Con +13, Wis +11
Skills Athletics +14, Perception +11, Persuasion +13, Religion +12
Damage Resistances cold
Damage Immunities fire, poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing that is nonmagical and is not adamantine or silvered
Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned
Senses truesight 180 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Infernal, telepathy 120 ft.
Challenge 20 (37,500 champion XP) Proficiency Bonus +6
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Fear Aura. Any creature hostile to the pit fiend that starts its turn within 20 feet of it must make a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw, unless the pit fiend is incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature is frightened until the start of its next turn. If a creature’s saving throw is successful, it is immune to the fear aura for the next 12 hours. The pit fiend has advantage on attacks against frightened creatures.

Infernal Resilience (Champion Trait, recharges after a short or long rest). If the pit fiend is bloodied, it can remove one condition or effect it is suffering and it can use its champion actions.

Magic Resistance. The pit fiend has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects and any creature that makes a spell attack against the pit fiend has disadvantage on the attack roll.

Magic Weapons. The pit fiend’s weapon attacks are magical.

Maneuvers (1/Turn): When the pit fiend makes a melee weapon attack, it can choose to use one of maneuvers below:
  • Commander’s Strike. The pit fiend can use a bonus action and choose a friendly creature that can see or hear the pit fiend to and command that creature to use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding 6 (1d12) to the attack’s damage roll on a hit.
  • Distracting Strike. When the pit fiend hits a creature with a weapon attack it can attempt to distract the target. Add 6 (1d12) to the attack’s damage and the next attack on that target, that isn’t by the pit fiend, has advantage if it is attempted before the pit fiend’s next turn.
  • Maneuvering Attack. When the pit fiend hits a creature with a melee weapon attack it adds 6 (1d12) to the attacks damage and chooses one friendly creature that can see or hear it. That creature can use its reaction to move half its speed without provoking opportunity attacks from the pit fiend’s original target.
  • Pushing Attack. When the pit fiend hits a creature with a melee weapon attack it can attempt to push it back. The pit fiend adds 6 (1d12) to the attacks damage and the target must make a DC 21 Strength saving throw or be pushed up to 15 feet away.
Undaunted (3/day). The pit fiend can use a reaction at the start of its turn to re-roll a saving throw or check versus a condition or effect it is suffering.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The pit fiend makes up to three attacks: Any combination of two mace or claw attacks and one tail attack.

Greataxe. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d12 + 7) bludgeoning damage plus 21 (6d6) fire damage. If the attack roll to hit the primary target would hit a secondary target within 5 feet of the primary target, the secondary target takes 6 bludgeoning damage

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d6 + 7) slashing damage and the target must make a DC 21 Strength saving throw or be grappled.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (2d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage, and if the target is Large or smaller it must make a DC 21 Strength saving throw or be pushed 10 ft. or knocked prone, the pit fiend’s choice.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target grappled by the pit fiend or incapacitated. Hit: 17 (3d6 + 7) piercing damage and the target must succeed on a DC 21 Constitution saving throw or become poisoned. While poisoned in this way, the target can’t regain hit points, and it takes 21 (6d6) poison damage at the start of each of its turns. The poisoned target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Fire Ball. A bright streak flashes from the pit fiends hand to a point it can see within 150 feet of it. A 20-foot radius sphere of fire erupts from that point and each creature in the area must make a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw, taking 28 (8d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

The fire spreads around corners and ignites flammable objects in the area that aren't being worn or carried

Innate Spellcasting. The pit fiend’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 21, +13 to hit with spell attacks). The pit fiend can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components.

At will: darkness, detect magic, dispel magic, fire ball (see "Actions")
3/day: delayed blast fireball, hold monster, wall of fire
1/day: dominate monster, incendiary cloud, symbol

Summon Devils (1/day). The pit fiend can summon one of the following types of demons: 2d4 bearded devils, 1d4 barbed devils, or one erinyes.

REACTIONS
Parry.
The pit fiend adds 5 to its AC against one attack that would hit it. To do so, the pit fiend must see the attacker and be wielding a melee weapon or shield.

Bite. If a creature ends its turn grappled by the pit fiend, the pit fiend makes a bite attack targeting the grappled creature.

CHAMPION ACTIONS
Once the pit fiend's champion trait is activated, on its initiative count +10 it can take one of the following actions.

Infernal Command. The pit fiend choose a friendly creature that can see or hear it and commands that creature to use its reaction to make one weapon attack or move up to half its speed.
Teleport. The pit fiend magically teleports, along with any equipment it is wearing or carrying, up to 90 feet to an unoccupied space it can see.
 
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dave2008

Legend
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Black Mountain Unicorn 2 by sandara

Unicorn ElderChallenge 7
Large celestial, lawful good2,900 XP
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Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (10d10 + 30; bloodied 42)
Speed 60 ft.
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STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
20 (+5)16 (+3)17 (+3)12 (+1)18 (+4)18 (+4)
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Saving Throws Dex +6, Wis +7
Skills Perception +10
Damage Resistances necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing that is nonmagical
Damage Immunities Poison
Condition Immunities Charmed, Paralyzed, Poisoned
Senses Darkvision 60 ft., Passive Perception 20
Languages Celestial, Elvish, Sylvan, Telepathy 60 ft.
Proficiency Bonus +3 Maneuver DC 16
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Keen Senses. The unicorn has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that involve smell or sound.

Magic Resistance. The unicorn has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. The unicorn's weapon attacks are magical.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The unicorn makes two hooves attacks.

Hooves. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage. If a target is hit with two hoof attacks it must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone and stunned until the end of its next turn.

Horn. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8 + 5) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) radiant damage. If the unicorn moves at least 20 feet straight toward the target immediately before the hit, the target takes an extra 18 (4d8) piercing damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Healing Touch (3/Short or Long Rest. The unicorn touches another creature with its horn. The target magically regains 22 (4d8 + 4) hit points. In addition, the touch removes all diseases, neutralizes all poisons, and removes on condition afflicting the target.

Innate Spellcasting. The unicorn's innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). The unicorn can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

At will: protection from evil and good, druidcraft, misty step, pass without trace
1/day each: calm emotions, dispel evil and good, entangle

Teleport (1/Rest). The unicorn magically teleports itself and up to three willing creatures it can see within 5 feet of it, along with any equipment they are wearing or carrying, to a location the unicorn is familiar with, up to 1 mile away.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The unicorn 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. The unicorn regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Move. The unicorn moves up to half its speed.
Horn (Cost 2 Actions). The unicorn makes one attack with its horn.
Kick (Cost 2 Actions). The unicorn make a hooves attack. On a hit the target takes 9 (2d6) additional bludgeoning damage and it must make a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be pushed 10 feet and fall prone.
Shimmering Shield (Costs 2 Actions). The unicorn creates a shimmering, magical field around itself and up to four more creatures it can see within 90 feet of it. The target gains a +4 bonus to AC until the end of the unicorn's next turn.
Charge (Costs 3 Actions). The unicorn moves 20 feet and makes a horn attack. This movement does not provoke opportunity attacks.
Heal Self (Costs 3 Actions). The unicorn magically regains 22 (4d8 + 4) hit points.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
Imp Swarm
Challenge
21 (33,000 XP)

I like the idea of this one, just because Hell is often described with hordes of devils, so this makes it an easy one to use. My initial reaction is, while yes on paper this is a CR 21....I think realistically its going to be a lot lower. The creature doesn't have a lot of hitpoints if you have ways around its resistance (which at 20th level you absolutely should). Its damage can be majorly reduced by resistances (and the creature's attacks aren't even considered magical....so there are a lot of options at this point)....and it doesn't have any big mobility options to escape the multitude of control effects at this level.

So I think its CR is probably more like 18 or 19 when it actually hits the field.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Pit Fiend General
Challenge
20 (25,000 XP)

So throwing this out there. I loved the 4e Pit Fiend, it had to me the coolest ability for a boss monster ever (and one you used a bit for Auril). The Pit Fiend could point at any devil of level rank them him...and blow it up....causing a big area damage.

The flavor is amazing...THAT is why lesser demons listen to a Pit Fiend, he literally holds their lives in the palm of his hand. Second, it made for great tactics, using minions as fodder.

I would LOVE to see something like that reincorproated into the Pit Fiend.
 

dave2008

Legend
What a charming Pit Fiend :devilish:
I feel that it should be able to do something to grappled enemies. Maybe a bite bonus action attack (yeah, yeah, I know about maintaining CR :cool:)
It can only use its bite on a grappled or incapacitated target. So if it wants to use its bite, it needs to grapple a target. This is what i have been doing lately instead of adding bonus actions. Should I make the bite do more damage to mike that a more enticing option?
 

dave2008

Legend
So throwing this out there. I loved the 4e Pit Fiend, it had to me the coolest ability for a boss monster ever (and one you used a bit for Auril). The Pit Fiend could point at any devil of level rank them him...and blow it up....causing a big area damage.

The flavor is amazing...THAT is why lesser demons listen to a Pit Fiend, he literally holds their lives in the palm of his hand. Second, it made for great tactics, using minions as fodder.

I would LOVE to see something like that reincorproated into the Pit Fiend.
Yep, I like it too. However, I see it more as chaotic thing that a demon would do rather than something a devil general would do. I gave it some leader maneuvers, but I intentionally left that 4e ability out because it didn't feel right to me (for a pit fiend). Maybe I am over thinking it.
 

dave2008

Legend
I like the idea of this one, just because Hell is often described with hordes of devils, so this makes it an easy one to use. My initial reaction is, while yes on paper this is a CR 21....I think realistically its going to be a lot lower. The creature doesn't have a lot of hitpoints if you have ways around its resistance (which at 20th level you absolutely should). Its damage can be majorly reduced by resistances (and the creature's attacks aren't even considered magical....so there are a lot of options at this point)....and it doesn't have any big mobility options to escape the multitude of control effects at this level.

So I think its CR is probably more like 18 or 19 when it actually hits the field.
well that is partially an encounter build issue IMO (which I plan to provide a revised one at some point). I think a CR21 creature should go up against lvl 11-16 PCs, not lvl 20 PCs.

That being said, I will review it and see if it can be beefed up without breaking the budget.
 

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