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D&D 5E 5e Updates: Monstrous Compendium

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?
 

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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?
 
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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
ARCHONS
Archons are celestials that embody discipline, honor, and valor. Almost all archons are members of an Order Militant dedicated to keeping fiends from invading the Upper Planes and the Material Planes. Those who encounter archons often find them to be intimidating and intense, but those who fight with them and earn their trust know that few other beings are as staunch enemies of evil.

Soldiers of Mt. Celestia. The lawfully good gods dwelling on Mt. Celestia anticipate that one day the forces of evil and/or chaos will unite and rise up to threaten the universe. Individual gods and their servants might be insufficient to stem the tide of evil, and insidious forces or cosmic events might be able to prevent a coalition of good gods. The solution they agreed to was to create a standing army, the Order Militant of the archons, who would be available to form a nexus for the forces of good to rally around. The gods allow petitioners in their domains who feel a calling to walk the paths of Mt. Celestia and become archons.

Archons monitor the fiends, lead raids to sabotage their plans, and occasionally amass in great armies to invade the Lower Planes to stop particularly large scale schemes.

Archons strongly feel that their mandate is not to compete with the gods and their servants. They have also been reluctant to make the Material Planes open battlefields, seeing open warfare between fiends and celestials on those planes would only lead to terror and destruction that would ultimately serve the fiends’ cause. These reasons have meant that archons have had little presence on the Material Planes until recently….

Incursions of some of the most powerful fiends on some worlds on the Material Planes have led the archons’ leaders, the Celestial Hebdomad, to conclude that a more active presence is needed. The archons are still not willing to turn the Material Worlds into open battlefields, so they rarely directly engage fiends, their mortal pawns, and potential allies like the undead or abberations unless it is in an isolated area. An archon on the prime material plane is more likely to be a patron of adventurers who the archon hopes to develop into assets. The adventurers’ successes against fiends and their potential allies are more important to the archons than then their alignment, although archons will try to encourage them to be lawful and/or good, as long as that doesn’t interfere with the adventurers’ campaigns against evil. Archons have also encouraged the spread of classes like Way of the Sun Soul Monk, Oath of Vengeance paladin, and Undying Light warlocks.

Promotion and Demotion. When a petitioner leaves his or her god’s realm on Mount Celestia seeking to become an archon, they are exposed to a series of tests to determine if they are suitable. Those that pass the tests are transformed into lantern archons. Members of the Celestial Hebdomad, throne archons, and trumpet archons have the power to promote lantern archons into hound archons, and members of the Hebdomad can promote a hound archon into higher archons.

Low level promotions are usually based on need. Higher level promotions are almost always merit-based. An archon is seldom promoted more than one step at a time in the archon hierarchy.

Demotion is rare and is often reserved for those archons who fail to meet the standards of conduct required by the Order Militant. Members of the Celestial Hebdomad and throne archons may choose to remove the memories of the demoted archons, depending on whether they believe the memories will be an incentive or a hindrance to better service in the future.

Some archons decline promotion and instead request leave of duties to take training in classes. Hound archons training to be paladins are the most common case, although owl archons with circle of land (mountain) druid training and trumpet archons with bard training are not unknown.

Relations with other Celestials. Archons see other celestials as allies against a future uprising of evil. Archons tend to work best with angels, but it not uncommon for archons to mix with groups of guardinels and eldarin when the latter groups are conducting raids into the Lower Planes. Archons often initiate these mixed groups seeing them as training opportunities.

Fallen Archons. Archons who fall almost always do because they believe that the Order Militant should be more aggressive against evil, specifically chaotic evil. These archons make open warfare against chaotic evil fiends on Material Plane worlds, disregarding mortal casualties or fight alongside devils in the Blood War. The targets of these aggressive actions often grow to include chaotic neutral and chaotic good beings. Although many powerful devils have worked to “help” archons fall, none has been more aggressive than Baalzebul.


THE CELESTIAL HEBDOMAD
An army requires generals, and in the Order Militant, those generals are the Celestial Hebdomad. Archons of extraordinary service are taken to the layer of Mount Celestia called Chronias and are transformed by the mysterious power contained there. There are always seven members of the Hebdomad. The names of the Hebdomad listed below are the titles of the generals, although archons who are elevated almost always treat the title as their name after elevation.

BACHIEL
Bachiel, also known as the Messenger, oversees the first level of Mount Celestia, Lunia. He is tasked with commanding the first level defenses of the Mountain and maintaining diplomatic ties with the gods and other celestials.

DOMIEL
Domiel, also known as the Mercy-bringer, oversees the second level of Mount Celestia, Mercuria. His particular area of interest is countering possessions and ending the scourge of forced alignment change caused by lycanthropy and vampirism. Domiel has commanded of both offensive and defensive forces.

ERATHAOL
Erathaol, also known as the Seer, oversees the third level of Mount Celestia, Venya. He oversees the intelligence gathering and research and development aspects of the Order Militant.

PISTIS SOPHIA
Pistis Sophia, also known as the Ascetic, oversees the fourth level of Mount Celestia, Solania. Her focus has traditionally been training archons and testing petitioners, but recently she has also overseen the establishment and operation of monasteries where monks and paladins are trained on Material Plane worlds. She is also been a commander of offensive forces.

RAZIEL
Raziel, also known as the Crusader, oversees the fifth level of Mount Celestia, Mertion. He is the primary commander of offensive forces, overseeing both raids and invasions into the lower planes. On occasions where an official champion is needed, he most often fulfills that role.

SEALTIEL
Sealtiel, also known as the Defender, oversees the sixth level of Mount Celestia, Jovar. He is tasked with commanding the defenses of the Mountain and oversees matters of military justice among the archons, except in cases where the defendant is a member of the Hebdomad.

ZAPHKIEL
Zaphkiel, also known as the Watcher, oversees the seventh level of Mount Celestia, Chronias. He is the supreme commander of the Order Militant. He also focuses guiding potential candidates for membership in the Hebdomad, and engages in long term planning and study of the potential Armageddon that the Order was created to fight in.



ARCHON TYPES
Under the Hebdomad, there are seven kinds of archons that can be divided into two main categories: greater and lesser archons.

Greater Archons. The greater archons include the throne and trumpet archons. These archons command large forces of archons, act as representatives of the Hebdomad, and oversee operations on the Material Planes.

Lesser Archons. The lesser archons, including the sword, warden, owl, hound, and lantern archons, are the soldiers and field agents of the Order Militant. Sword, Warden, and occasionally owl archons can command small groups of archons.

Lantern Archons
Souls that seek to become archons and that successfully pass the tests of the Order Militant are transformed into lantern archons. Lantern archons resemble small glowing balls of light with symbols in Celestial that denote their names and assignments. Lantern archons are friendly to those they meet unless they have been ordered not to or they decide that they are talking to an evil being. Lantern archons tend to act with great enthusiasm (perhaps too much so at times) when given an order by a lawful superior.

Lantern archons are most often found guarding archon fortresses, although they may also act as messengers, assistants, and scouts for higher archons. Greater archons and members of the Hebdomad can command legions of lantern archons. Lantern archons may be assigned to be familiars or wizards and warlocks who are expected to be in conflict with fiends, undead, or abberations.

Hound Archons
Hound archons resemble muscular dog-headed humanoids. They have the ability to change into any breed of dog. Hound archons personify the virtues associated with the dogs they can change into. Even by the standards of celestials, the perseverance, comradery, and loyalty of hound archons is highly regarded.

Hound archons are the shock troopers of the Order Militant. Because they are so dependable (particularly in groups), squads of hound archons are sometimes spent on long-term assignments. It is not uncommon for one or more members of these long-term groups to study or develop levels in a class, usually paladin. Oath of devotion paladin is most common, but groups of hound archons that have spent ages pursuing a fiend or guarding a sacred site may have a member who adopts an oath of vengeance or oath of the ancients respectively. The archon leadership encourages this practice, and hound archons who gain enough levels are treated as greater archons, and are often patrons for large scale operations to train adventurers to fight fiends (like monasteries and paladin orders). Even among fallen archons, oath-breaker paladin hound archons are rare.

Owl Archons
Owl archons resemble giant owls. If the owl archon wants someone it is interacting with to know it is an archon, it will wear a silver harness or collar. Owl archons are cautious and subtle, preferring to observe and test those they expect to interact with before actually meeting. Owl archons have a scholarly tendency, and each has expertise in one given area. When an owl archon is up for promotion, it will seek out a new owl archon to impart its accumulated knowledge to.

Owl archons function as air support for hound and warden archon forces. When not in action, owl archons survey the wilds of Mt. Celestia to make sure no outsiders gain a foothold away from the archon fortresses and the godly realms, test prospective archon souls, and act as field agents on the Prime Material worlds. Owl archons occasionally develop levels of druid or wizard as a natural outcome of their studies.

Warden Archons
There is a saying across the multiverse that if the owl archons are the Order Militant’s scalpel, then the wardens are the big dumb hammer. These archons, who appear as full-sized armored bears, might laugh at this, but it is unlikely that anyone will hear them, as they are the personifications of stoicism. If someone wants to think they are lazy or unintelligent, that is fine, because it just makes the shock to their foes all the greater when the warden’s reveal their true natures.

Warden archons are usually encountered off Mt. Celestia in the capacity of heavy infantry for the Order Militant. On Mt. Celestia, warden archons tend to guard things, like passages between layers, the gates of the archons fortresses, and even the entrances to the godly realms. Wherever a warden archon is guarding something, the Mountain causes magical pools or gems to appear that allow the warden archon to scry the Material Planes looking for signs of the fiends’ influence. This dedicated watching does not adversely affect their stewardship, since the scrying seems to be subconscious, but it does seem to be the reason warden archons rarely take on class levels.

Sword Archons
It is easy to confuse a sword archon with a deva angel. Both appear to be attractive winged humanoids. When a sword archon enters combat though, the difference is clear. The sword archon’s hands turn into flaming blades. Sword archons preferred tactic is to strategically target a foe by making a meteoric dive attack against an enemy to make a particularly devastating strike with its armblades. Sword archons are the elite combat forces of the Order Militant, and they tend to have an aura of quiet confidence about them.

In addition to single and group combat missions, sword archons are also entrusted with delivering highly important messages from the greater archons, particularly if the delivery is dangerous. Sword archons often command small groups of lesser archons.

Trumpet Archons
If sword archons are easily confused with deva angels, then trumpet archons are often confused for planetar angels. Like the planetars, they appear as attractive green-skinned, bald, winged humanoids. They are smaller and much leaner then the muscular planetars, so much so that they are sometimes compared to elves. Trumpet archons are always carrying a beautifully-crafted sword or a trumpet; they can cause the sword to turn into a trumpet or vice versa. Trumpet archons embrace the notion of servant leadership, and as such, prefer to support their troops through their spells, use of their enchanting trumpet, or their celestial lighting, which can heal or do damage to groups of friends or foes, only taking direct offensive action if necessary.

Trumpet archons command medium-sized groups of archons. They also act as adjuncts to more powerful archons. Trumpet archons are also diplomats to the other celestial powers. Finally, they escort certain souls to and from Mount Celestia, usually only for souls that fiends would risk divine sanction to interfere with.

Throne Archons
Throne archons appear as regal golden-skinned humanoids. They always carry golden swords, and are often armored in gold. The weight of command is heavy on throne archons, and they are able to inflict that mental weight on most enemies with a gaze, paralyzing them with the awful responsibilities that they wrestle with as they guide the Order Militant. Throne archons rarely engage foes in personal combat, as it is a distraction from their normal duties, but when roused, they are terrifying foes.

Each throne archon rules one of the fortresses that the archons have built on Mount Celestia. They generally only leave to confer with other throne archons or members of the Hebdomad or to command vast armies of archons.
 
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Stalker0

Legend
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
 

Stalker0

Legend
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.
 

Stalker0

Legend
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.
 

Stalker0

Legend
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.
 
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