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

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
I added a bonus action attack (LeShay Weapons), that takes the base CR to 20.5, then the charm bumps it to 21. Does that feel better?

I had originally planned to do this, but thought it was overkill. It didn't change the numbers to much so I am happy to add it back if you feel it is needed.
you decide.
 

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Stalker0

Legend
I added a bonus action attack (LeShay Weapons), that takes the base CR to 20.5, then the charm bumps it to 21. Does that feel better?

I had originally planned to do this, but thought it was overkill. It didn't change the numbers to much so I am happy to add it back if you feel it is needed.

Instead of that. In the attack description, I would say he gets 5 attacks, but can replace one of them with Fey Step. Its easier to remember as a DM...2 rounds in with this guy I am staring out his action block....its easy to forget the little things in other places.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Ok so I have some good playtest feedback for you. So in my current campaign, there are some reality alterations going on, and after last fight I mentioned to you, a groundhog day occurred. The party found themselves waking up to the same day as before, except now they were 12th level (at least most of them). The same city was once again under attack by elementals, and so the party went to meet it.

So this time it was:

1) 1 Ancient Fire Elemental
2) 1 Ancient Earth Elemental
3) 1 Ancient Water Elemental
4) 1 Ancient Wind Elemental
5) 8 "minion-mentals" - I used 4e minion rules to create small little elemental pieces. (1 hp, AC 12, +5 attack, 5 dmg, +2 to saves, no elemental abilities)
5) A custom monster. I used the base stats for a Star Spawn Mage (a recurring villain in the game), but replaced the abilities with the following:
Spellcasting (DC 18): Storm of Vengeance 1/day (precasted), Firestorm 2/day, Wall of Ice 1/day, Crown of Stars 2/day (precasted), Chain Lightning 1/day
Legendary Action (4 actions, -1 for each elemental lost) (the creature was drawing elemental power from the ancient elementals.
Heal - Heal 30 damage, one elemental of his choice takes 30 damage.
Spawn Minion - a Minion-mental appears within 60 feet.

vs

12th level Barbarian
8th level Fighter (with the foresight spell on them...flavorwise they remembered the reality shift and hadn't changed to their 12th level form, and so remembered this day again. It was also really cool that my player was willing to give up 12th level awesome to stay within flavor for such a big fight, so I gave him a really nice boon because of it)
12th level Druid
12th level Bard
12th level Warlock
10th level Sorceror
9th level Life Cleric
2 ballista's
1 archer mob (used basic mob rules, effectively just added 16 dmg a round to a creature of the party's choice).


The pregame (Party had 1 minute to prepare as they had to wait for a teleport effect).
1) Party was blessed by some nearby low level clerics before they went in.
2) Life Cleric had beacon of hope put on the group.
3) Warlock had his pet earth elemental join the fray.
4) Druid had planar bound a Galeb Dur early in the day in this reality. He also called woodland beings (upcasted) to summon 2 pixies (note here: I adjusted Pixie CR to be 2 instead of 1/4, as I agree with everyone else that its hokey broken as written. The player also recognizes the potential for abuse, and so only brings them out on special occasions like this).

Party arrives in a similar situation as last time. They are on the edge of a city being flooded, with people panicking everywhere. the elementals were 500 ft and advanced on the city. It was storming heavily, but this time due to a Storm of Vengeance already underway (unlike the control weather that occured last time). The elementals had the Water and Earth in the front as the pace setters, the worm mage 60 feet back, with the fire and wind 60 feet on the sides of the mages, with the minion mentals hugging the mage for now. Unlike before, these elementals are not just mindlessly moving towards the city, the worm is commanding them, and they will play smart and tactical.

The Opener
The barbarian does his old ballista trick, this time bringing the fighter with him. A little smarter this time though, he attacks the water elemental in the front instead of diving in completely. Other members of the group use d doors to move to the front line. It is on! Also everyone rolls a check vs the storm's defeaning effect. The cleric is deafened, everyone else is good. (the cleric is basically a heal bot so its not going to impact much).

1) The Druid d doors on the party's carpet of flying with one of his summoned pixies straight up, and the pixie dispels the storm (sigh, I really hate how easy it is for a 3rd level spell to take out such a high level spell effects). Unlike with control weather, the storm dissipates immediately, and so its effects are not felt for the rest of the fight.

2) The Water elemental bashes the barb, doing some good damage.

3) Fire elemental does its fire spear on the barb, doing 50 fire damage (one crit). The barb's rage doesn't help against that, and suddenly he is in a lot of pain.

4) The life cleric rushes over and heals the barb. (life cleric + beacon of hope = crazy healing)

5) The Air Elemental swings in from behind the water elemental and whirlwinds the barb, fight, and cleric. All 3 make their save, they get hit a bit but not flung, sigh! (cleric passes his concentration, I want that beacon taken out but its not to be yet).

6) Earth elemental moves forward on the right side and nails the Warlock with a couple of rock throws.

7) Warlock gets in several repelling blasts on the worm (he has spell sniper so he has range for days). The worm is knocked back a good bit.

8) The worm moves back up and hits the cleric, barb, and fighter with a chain lightning (again cleric passes concentration....darn!). Unfortunately the repelling blast push far enough back that I wasn't in range for the crown of stars bonus action.

9) Sorc and Bard spent their turns on d dooring party members.

Overall: The party is feeling the heat. They see how strong the elementals are, and know they cannot stay in melee like this, or they will get crunched.

Round 2
(order isn't exact, things get a little fuzzier in my memory).

1) Cleric moves to the second group (Warlock + pet elemental + Sorceror) to give them some much needed healing. Takes an OA from the Water E, but I miss.
2) Water Elemental attempts to move and go after the squishy casters. This triggers an OA from the barb who has the Sentinel feat. Water Elemental is stopped in its tracks, and so bashes on the barb again. Damn barb gets making his strength saves (a barb passes strength saves, who would have thought?), so no grapples for me.
3) Ballistas hit both the Air and Water elemental (they have a line attack, so nailed both of them).
4) Fire Elemental uses its Fire Spear volley, and I attacked everyone. (I had the pixies make a stealth against my elemental's passive perception. By technical reading of the book, a permanent invisible creature is technically not hidden once they attack or cast spells. But considering the pixie can then move 60 feet, and is already 120 feet in the air...that breaks my disbelief too much. So we do allow a stealth check...but I note this because it does make the pixies stronger). Ultimately one pixie gets its stealth by 1, and the other passed handedly!! The fire elemental can't see them for spear targeting. This would be a big factor in the round.
5) Druid tries to confuse the fire and earth elementals with 1 of the pixies, and dispels the worm's crown with the other. Combination of saving throw advantage + rerolls manages to hold it off, but I burn most of my rerolls on the attempt. Druid turns into a fire elemental and drops off the carpet (he has a feather fall ring). He goes up to the worm and ignites him.
6) Sorcerer follows up with a heightened banishment on the Earth Elemental. And poof!
7) Worm uses a wall of ice to encase the warlock and sorc (I used the wall form, in hindsight should have used the dome as I had just enough radius. I did good damage, sorc made his concentration check by 1!!!!
8) Wind Elemental bashes on the barb, and uses gust of wind to throw a blow away the barb and fighter (they pass their saves...and I take a mage slayer OA for the trouble. They are not doing that again!)
9) My Water E then gets an Otto's Irresistible Dance put on it by the bard.

Overall: I could tell that the saving throw advantage + reroll was frustrating the casters, but they seemed reassured when I mentioned they had burned through the rerolls of some of the elementals. The whole group cheered when the barb stopped the water elemental, I think everyone in the room knew that if the water elemental had gotten to the casters and done a whelm...a lot of things would have gone south very quickly.

Round 3
1) Water elemental is destroyed!
2) Fighter and Barb are polymorphed into TRexs by the Pixies, Fighter goes against the Air elemental, Barb against the Fire.
3) The warlock smartly had his earth elemental burrow under the wall and then actually lift him and the sorceror above the wall! (we all laughed that the elemental was "duel wielding wands"). They lay out a lot of damage on the Wind Elemental.
4) The Air and Fire elementals do a LOT of good damage, as they basically can't miss the t rexs. But the meatbags soak the pain.
5) My worm sees one of the pixies this time, and I have a choice to make. I could firestorm the pixie, but the range was such that I couldn't hit anyone else, and it would be a HUGE amount of overdamage. So I decided to firestorm the casters, and tell the fire elemental to attack them next round. Sorceror has fire resistance, which saved his butt (he would have failed the concentration save otherwise, and the earth elemental would have come back). But both the warlock and sorc are now bloodied (below half health).

Round 4
1) Air Elemental gets killed.
2) The Druid releases the "Legion of Doom". He has a magic item that produces another call woodland being effect, and he summons like 16 owls to attack the worm. Even with resistance against non-magical attacks, I take a good amount of damage.
3) The fire elemental recharges his fire volley, and attacks EVERYTHING. I killed all the owls and hit most of the party. But you know what I don't hit...that god damn pixie! (rolled a 1). The polymorphs stay up for a moment.
4) With various damages that occur in the round from the Air, Fire elementals (and a few minion mental attacks), the Trex forms on both barb and fighter go down, but they did there job, soaking ~130 damage each.

Round 5
Mostly cleanup. With only teh fire elemental and Worm left, the party goes to work. They dispatch the fire elemental and then in short order, with no one left to draw from to heal, the worm is taken out as well.

Victory!!!


Overall Notes:
1) In general I didn't enjoy the bonus spellcasting on most of the elementals. It was just more work and lot of the effects were weak compared to the elemental itself. I think would I would rather the spell effects get absorbed into the attacks (wind elemental attacks can blow away like gust of wind....earth elemental attacks can leave bursts of earth that are difficult terrain). Or they just get big spells that are worth giving up their normal action for.

2) I forgot to parry all the time. There are two reasons for this. One... when your a busy DM with a lot to run, its easy to forget the little things. I find this especially true with reactions. When its on my turn, I can make sure I go through the ability and check off that I did everything. But with reactions...I know I have to remember to do things on a players turn as well....with 1 monster that's fine, but as soon as you have 2 or 3 or 4 monsters to keep track of, that gets a lot harder.

So in general I don't like reactions on non legendary monsters for that reason.

Two...to keep the combat moving quickly, my players will often do their attacks ahead of time (for example the druid rolled all of those owl attacks off his turn so we didn't have to wait so long). But that means temporary AC bonuses get muddied, and again makes it even easier for me to forget. But I WANT my players to do that, it makes the combat go so much quicker.... so the reality of speedier combat interferes with the one paper theory of what the monster should do.

3) The only ability my party called Fowl on was the Fire Elementals Fire Volley ability, and I can understand this. I mean at one point I literally shot about 20 attacks in every direction. They said that the fact that it could do so many attack with accuracy was the problem....aka not hitting its allies. If the elemental had like a big fireburst that hit everything (allies and enemies alike) than fair play. But that it could so precisely target basically everything on the board, they thought was hokey.

4) Bless is just a really good spell no matter what level your at. +2 to saves helped a LOT in this combat (I house rule it as +2 instead of +1d4). Beacon of Hope is also just amazing if it stays up.

5) I will say that the Fire Elemental did feel like the star of the show. I think its the best elemental overall... the best spells by far, good saves (especially charisma for banishment which is a common elemental slayer). Decent HP, Decent AC., amazing ranged attacks, great speed...and wonderful damage. The party really felt the force of Fire Aura Damage + Ignite Damage + more damage when they hit + then it gets to go and do more damage. Also very notable that its the only elemental that bypassed the Barb's rage resistance.

Now if the party had more fire resistance, could be a different story. But overall I do think its the most solid, well rounded elemental...it is good in nigh every situation....whereas I think its easier to trip up the other elementals with XYZ.

6) Ultimately this fight was a great success. While on paper the party won "handedly" (with no one even going unconscious), I could tell the party was nervous throughout the fight. Ultimately, some key rolls really set the pace of this fight....if I had knocked out a concentration a little earlier, if the barb had failed just one strength saving throw, if the pixie had rolled just 1 less on a stealth check, if I had rolled just one higher on my attack against the pixie....could have turned into a much bloodier combat.

That said, it was a 2.7x deadly fight based on XP budget (maybe more like 2-2.5x with the extra buffs the party had)... but I am quite used to my party trashing encounter guidelines. My baseline is deadly (I never use anything less, unless its literally a fight for fun where the party gets to joke around). So 2x is when I actually feel the fight is "supposed to actually start feeling challenging". So under that guide, I feel the challenge lived up the XP budget I would expect for my group.

7) I had forgotten that the saving throw rerolls were a reaction, so I actually used them twice on saves (whoops!). I think that might have made the fire elemental confused...but oh well, the party had enough lucky rolls I think it was fine that I got in one for myself:)

8) My druid player did "raise an eyebrow" at the notion that my ignite was stronger than his ignite in fire elemental form. His note: How is it that a person is "more on fire" when you do it than when I do it?

Ultimately this wasn't a major objection, again only fire spear volley got the stink eye from the party.
 
Last edited:

dave2008

Legend
Instead of that. In the attack description, I would say he gets 5 attacks, but can replace one of them with Fey Step. Its easier to remember as a DM...2 rounds in with this guy I am staring out his action block....its easy to forget the little things in other places.
I like that, except it stacks with action surge. I will leave it as is I think. If a DM forgets about, it is not a big loss.
 

dave2008

Legend
Ok so I have some good playtest feedback for you. So in my current campaign, there are some reality alterations going on, and after last fight I mentioned to you, a groundhog day occurred. The party found themselves waking up to the same day as before, except now they were 12th level (at least most of them). The same city was once again under attack by elementals, and so the party went to meet it.

So this time it was:

1) 1 Ancient Fire Elemental
2) 1 Ancient Earth Elemental
3) 1 Ancient Water Elemental
4) 1 Ancient Wind Elemental
5) 8 "minion-mentals" - I used 4e minion rules to create small little elemental pieces. (1 hp, AC 12, +5 attack, 5 dmg, +2 to saves, no elemental abilities)
5) A custom monster. I used the base stats for a Star Spawn Mage (a recurring villain in the game), but replaced the abilities with the following:
Spellcasting (DC 18): Storm of Vengeance 1/day (precasted), Firestorm 2/day, Wall of Ice 1/day, Crown of Stars 2/day (precasted), Chain Lightning 1/day
Legendary Action (4 actions, -1 for each elemental lost) (the creature was drawing elemental power from the ancient elementals.
Heal - Heal 30 damage, one elemental of his choice takes 30 damage.
Spawn Minion - a Minion-mental appears within 60 feet.

vs

12th level Barbarian
8th level Fighter (with the foresight spell on them...flavorwise they remembered the reality shift and hadn't changed to their 12th level form, and so remembered this day again. It was also really cool that my player was willing to give up 12th level awesome to stay within flavor for such a big fight, so I gave him a really nice boon because of it)
12th level Druid
12th level Bard
12th level Warlock
10th level Sorceror
9th level Life Cleric
2 ballista's
1 archer mob (used basic mob rules, effectively just added 16 dmg a round to a creature of the party's choice).


The pregame (Party had 1 minute to prepare as they had to wait for a teleport effect).
1) Party was blessed by some nearby low level clerics before they went in.
2) Life Cleric had beacon of hope put on the group.
3) Warlock had his pet earth elemental join the fray.
4) Druid had planar bound a Galeb Dur early in the day in this reality. He also called woodland beings (upcasted) to summon 2 pixies (note here: I adjusted Pixie CR to be 2 instead of 1/4, as I agree with everyone else that its hokey broken as written. The player also recognizes the potential for abuse, and so only brings them out on special occasions like this).

Party arrives in a similar situation as last time. They are on the edge of a city being flooded, with people panicking everywhere. the elementals were 500 ft and advanced on the city. It was storming heavily, but this time due to a Storm of Vengeance already underway (unlike the control weather that occured last time). The elementals had the Water and Earth in the front as the pace setters, the worm mage 60 feet back, with the fire and wind 60 feet on the sides of the mages, with the minion mentals hugging the mage for now. Unlike before, these elementals are not just mindlessly moving towards the city, the worm is commanding them, and they will play smart and tactical.

The Opener
The barbarian does his old ballista trick, this time bringing the fighter with him. A little smarter this time though, he attacks the water elemental in the front instead of diving in completely. Other members of the group use d doors to move to the front line. It is on! Also everyone rolls a check vs the storm's defeaning effect. The cleric is deafened, everyone else is good. (the cleric is basically a heal bot so its not going to impact much).

1) The Druid d doors on the party's carpet of flying with one of his summoned pixies straight up, and the pixie dispels the storm (sigh, I really hate how easy it is for a 3rd level spell to take out such a high level spell effects). Unlike with control weather, the storm dissipates immediately, and so its effects are not felt for the rest of the fight.

2) The Water elemental bashes the barb, doing some good damage.

3) Fire elemental does its fire spear on the barb, doing 50 fire damage (one crit). The barb's rage doesn't help against that, and suddenly he is in a lot of pain.

4) The life cleric rushes over and heals the barb. (life cleric + beacon of hope = crazy healing)

5) The Air Elemental swings in from behind the water elemental and whirlwinds the barb, fight, and cleric. All 3 make their save, they get hit a bit but not flung, sigh! (cleric passes his concentration, I want that beacon taken out but its not to be yet).

6) Earth elemental moves forward on the right side and nails the Warlock with a couple of rock throws.

7) Warlock gets in several repelling blasts on the worm (he has spell sniper so he has range for days). The worm is knocked back a good bit.

8) The worm moves back up and hits the cleric, barb, and fighter with a chain lightning (again cleric passes concentration....darn!). Unfortunately the repelling blast push far enough back that I wasn't in range for the crown of stars bonus action.

9) Sorc and Bard spent their turns on d dooring party members.

Overall: The party is feeling the heat. They see how strong the elementals are, and know they cannot stay in melee like this, or they will get crunched.

Round 2
(order isn't exact, things get a little fuzzier in my memory).

1) Cleric moves to the second group (Warlock + pet elemental + Sorceror) to give them some much needed healing. Takes an OA from the Water E, but I miss.
2) Water Elemental attempts to move and go after the squishy casters. This triggers an OA from the barb who has the Sentinel feat. Water Elemental is stopped in its tracks, and so bashes on the barb again. Damn barb gets making his strength saves (a barb passes strength saves, who would have thought?), so no grapples for me.
3) Ballistas hit both the Air and Water elemental (they have a line attack, so nailed both of them).
4) Fire Elemental uses its Fire Spear volley, and I attacked everyone. (I had the pixies make a stealth against my elemental's passive perception. By technical reading of the book, a permanent invisible creature is technically not hidden once they attack or cast spells. But considering the pixie can then move 60 feet, and is already 120 feet in the air...that breaks my disbelief too much. So we do allow a stealth check...but I note this because it does make the pixies stronger). Ultimately one pixie gets its stealth by 1, and the other passed handedly!! The fire elemental can't see them for spear targeting. This would be a big factor in the round.
5) Druid tries to confuse the fire and earth elementals with 1 of the pixies, and dispels the worm's crown with the other. Combination of saving throw advantage + rerolls manages to hold it off, but I burn most of my rerolls on the attempt. Druid turns into a fire elemental and drops off the carpet (he has a feather fall ring). He goes up to the worm and ignites him.
6) Sorcerer follows up with a heightened banishment on the Earth Elemental. And poof!
7) Worm uses a wall of ice to encase the warlock and sorc (I used the wall form, in hindsight should have used the dome as I had just enough radius. I did good damage, sorc made his concentration check by 1!!!!
8) Wind Elemental bashes on the barb, and uses gust of wind to throw a blow away the barb and fighter (they pass their saves...and I take a mage slayer OA for the trouble. They are not doing that again!)
9) My Water E then gets an Otto's Irresistible Dance put on it by the bard.

Overall: I could tell that the saving throw advantage + reroll was frustrating the casters, but they seemed reassured when I mentioned they had burned through the rerolls of some of the elementals. The whole group cheered when the barb stopped the water elemental, I think everyone in the room knew that if the water elemental had gotten to the casters and done a whelm...a lot of things would have gone south very quickly.

Round 3
1) Water elemental is destroyed!
2) Fighter and Barb are polymorphed into TRexs by the Pixies, Fighter goes against the Air elemental, Barb against the Fire.
3) The warlock smartly had his earth elemental burrow under the wall and then actually lift him and the sorceror above the wall! (we all laughed that the elemental was "duel wielding wands"). They lay out a lot of damage on the Wind Elemental.
4) The Air and Fire elementals do a LOT of good damage, as they basically can't miss the t rexs. But the meatbags soak the pain.
5) My worm sees one of the pixies this time, and I have a choice to make. I could firestorm the pixie, but the range was such that I couldn't hit anyone else, and it would be a HUGE amount of overdamage. So I decided to firestorm the casters, and tell the fire elemental to attack them next round. Sorceror has fire resistance, which saved his butt (he would have failed the concentration save otherwise, and the earth elemental would have come back). But both the warlock and sorc are now bloodied (below half health).

Round 4
1) Air Elemental gets killed.
2) The Druid releases the "Legion of Doom". He has a magic item that produces another call woodland being effect, and he summons like 16 owls to attack the worm. Even with resistance against non-magical attacks, I take a good amount of damage.
3) The fire elemental recharges his fire volley, and attacks EVERYTHING. I killed all the owls and hit most of the party. But you know what I don't hit...that god damn pixie! (rolled a 1). The polymorphs stay up for a moment.
4) With various damages that occur in the round from the Air, Fire elementals (and a few minion mental attacks), the Trex forms on both barb and fighter go down, but they did there job, soaking ~130 damage each.

Round 5
Mostly cleanup. With only teh fire elemental and Worm left, the party goes to work. They dispatch the fire elemental and then in short order, with no one left to draw from to heal, the worm is taken out as well.

Victory!!!


Overall Notes:
1) In general I didn't enjoy the bonus spellcasting on most of the elementals. It was just more work and lot of the effects were weak compared to the elemental itself. I think would I would rather the spell effects get absorbed into the attacks (wind elemental attacks can blow away like gust of wind....earth elemental attacks can leave bursts of earth that are difficult terrain). Or they just get big spells that are worth giving up their normal action for.

2) I forgot to parry all the time. There are two reasons for this. One... when your a busy DM with a lot to run, its easy to forget the little things. I find this especially true with reactions. When its on my turn, I can make sure I go through the ability and check off that I did everything. But with reactions...I know I have to remember to do things on a players turn as well....with 1 monster that's fine, but as soon as you have 2 or 3 or 4 monsters to keep track of, that gets a lot harder.

So in general I don't like reactions on non legendary monsters for that reason.

Two...to keep the combat moving quickly, my players will often do their attacks ahead of time (for example the druid rolled all of those owl attacks off his turn so we didn't have to wait so long). But that means temporary AC bonuses get muddied, and again makes it even easier for me to forget. But I WANT my players to do that, it makes the combat go so much quicker.... so the reality of speedier combat interferes with the one paper theory of what the monster should do.

3) The only ability my party called Fowl on was the Fire Elementals Fire Volley ability, and I can understand this. I mean at one point I literally shot about 20 attacks in every direction. They said that the fact that it could do so many attack with accuracy was the problem....aka not hitting its allies. If the elemental had like a big fireburst that hit everything (allies and enemies alike) than fair play. But that it could so precisely target basically everything on the board, they thought was hokey.

4) Bless is just a really good spell no matter what level your at. +2 to saves helped a LOT in this combat (I house rule it as +2 instead of +1d4).

5) I will say that the Fire Elemental did feel like the star of the show. I think its the best elemental overall... the best spells by far, good saves (especially charisma for banishment which is a common elemental slayer). Decent HP, Decent AC., amazing ranged attacks, great speed...and wonderful damage. The party really felt the force of Fire Aura Damage + Ignite Damage + more damage when they hit + then it gets to go and do more damage. Also very notable that its the only elemental that bypassed the Barb's rage resistance.

Now if the party had more fire resistance, could be a different story. But overall I do think its the most solid, well rounded elemental...it is good in nigh every situation....whereas I think its easier to trip up the other elementals with XYZ.

6) Ultimately this fight was a great success. While on paper the party won "handedly" (with no one even going unconscious), I could tell the party was nervous throughout the fight. Ultimately, some key rolls really set the pace of this fight....if I had knocked out a concentration a little earlier, if the barb had failed just one strength saving throw, if the pixie had rolled just 1 less on a stealth check, if I had rolled just one higher on my attack against the pixie....could have turned into a much bloodier combat.

That said, it was a 2.7x deadly fight based on XP budget... but I am quite used to my party trashing encounter guidelines. My baseline is deadly (I never use anything less, unless its literally a fight for fun where the party gets to joke around). So 2x is when I actually feel the fight is "supposed to actually start feeling challenging". So under that guide, I feel the challenge lived up the XP budget I would expect for my group.

7) I had forgotten that the saving throw rerolls were a reaction, so I actually used them twice on saves (whoops!). I think that might have made the fire elemental confused...but oh well, the party had enough lucky rolls I think it was one that I got in one for myself:)
Thanks for the feedback! That is a lot to take in. I will be sure to review in detail before I start my next big push of high end monsters. I will say that I have a hell of a time remembering reactions too, I also forgot about ongoing damage in 4e a lot. That is why I don't really try to use that type of mechanic much (or if I do it is more for flavor than actual effect / damage).
 

Stalker0

Legend
I will say that I have a hell of a time remembering reactions too, I also forgot about ongoing damage in 4e a lot. That is why I don't really try to use that type of mechanic much (or if I do it is more for flavor than actual effect / damage).

Agreed, that is another reason why I mentioned to you that ongoing damage mechanic idea. I used that in 4e as well, because its all over and done with (players makes a bunch of saves, takes X damage...we move on...nothing to track).
 

dave2008

Legend
Genius Loci
Gargantuan ooze, unaligned
1600950435447.png

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 925 (50d20 + 400)
Speed 5 ft., burrow 5 ft., climb 5 ft.
1600950436818.png

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
28 (+9)13 (+1)29 (+8)1 (-5)16 (+3)19 (+4)
1600950437843.png

Savings Throws Str +18, Dex +10, Con +17, Wis +12
Skills Athletics +18, Nature +13, Stealth +19
Damage Resistances cold, fire, force, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing that is rare or lesser magical or nonmagical
Damage Immunities poison, psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralysis, poisoned, prone, stunned
Senses blindsight 300 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 13
Languages --
Challenge 29 (135,000 XP)
1600950439194.png

Amorphous. The genius loci can move through a space as narrow as 6-inches wide without squeezing. Additionally, they treat critical hits as regular hits.

Colossal. The genius loci envelopes an area up to 5,000 feet by 5,000 feet. Other creatures can enter its area while it is motionless, refer to False Appearance, or use the climb onto a bigger creature rules in the DMG to enter its space once it is active.

Constrict. When the genius loci has a creature grappled it can use a bonus action to make a Pseudopod attack, with advantage, against all creatures it has grappled.

False Appearance. While the genius loci remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal section of landscape: a mountain side, rolling hills, a field, a deep cavern, etc. It can even emulate simple structures like a rubble wall or hut. This ability is so precise that plants and animals can grow and live normally on the genius loci as if it were a part of the natural environment.

A creature entering the space of the genius loci who makes a DC 27 Nature check realizes something is amiss, though it is unsure of the reason for this feeling. When the genius loci moves or attacks, its true nature and size become apparent.

Limited Magic Immunity. The genius loci is immune to cantrips and divination magic of 7th level or below. Additionally, it has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects of 7th level or lower.

Mindless. The genius loci only mimics intelligence through the control of its thrall, it has none of its own. It is immune to charms, mind control effects, and attempts to detect its thoughts or ascertain its emotions.

Immutable Form. The genius loci is immune to any spell effect that would alter its form.

Magic Weapons. The genius loci’s weapon attacks are considered uncommon magical weapons for overcoming resistances.

Spider Climb. The genius loci can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

Thrall. The genius loci typically has one thrall that occupies its simulated landscape. The thrall acts on its own initiative and will defend the genius loci to the best of its ability until it dies or is forcibly moved outside the range of its telepathic link with the genius loci. Refer to Enslave. For the purposes of the genius loci presented here, use the gladiator’s stat block (MM pg 346) for the thrall.

Unstoppable (3/Short Rest). The genius loci can use a reaction at the end of its turn to remove up to two condition or effects it is suffering; or it can use a legendary action to remove one condition or effects it is suffering.

ACTIONS
Multiattack. The genius loci can use its Enslave. It then makes six pseudopod attacks.

Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 26 (5d6 + 9) bludgeoning damage and if the target is Large or smaller it must make a DC 25 Strength saving throw or be grappled.

Pseudopod Whirlwind (Recharge 5-6). The genius loci makes a pseudopod attack against all creatures that are in its space.

Enslave. The genius loci choses one creature within its space or within 60 feet of it. That creature must make a DC 25 Wisdom saving throw or be stunned. The creature must make an additional saving throw at the end of its next turn, becoming the permanent thrall of the genius loci on a failed save, or ending the effect on itself on a successful one. The genius loci has a telepathic link with the thrall within a 10 mile radius of the genius loci. While within the range of the telepathic link the thrall is charmed by the genius loci, this effect ignores immunity to the charmed condition, and will act in the best interest of the genius loci, defending it to the best of its abilities in necessary. A thrall will not willing leave the range off its link with the genius loci. If the thrall is forced to leave the range of the link, it can immediately make a saving throw with advantage. On a failure, the thrall continues to be charmed by the genius loci and cannot attempt another saving throw for 12 hours. On a success, the creature ends the effect on itself and is no longer the thrall of the genius loci.

The genius loci can only have on creature enslaved at a time.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS
The genius loci 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 genius loci has unspent legendary actions at the end of the round, it may spend and immediately use its remaining legendary actions. The genius loci regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Move. The genius loci moves its speed.
Throw. One Large or smaller object or creature held or grappled by the genius loci is thrown up to 60 ft in a direction of its choosing. The target must make a DC 26 Dexterity saving throw or take 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage for every 10 feet it was thrown and knocked prone on a failure, or half as much damage one a success. If the target is thrown at another creature, that creature must succeed on a DC 26 Dexterity saving throw or take the same damage and be knocked prone.
Thrall (Costs 2 Actions). The thrall uses a reaction to move up to half its speed and make a melee attack. This attack uses the genius loci’s attack bonus (+18), unless the thrall’s is higher.
Full Attack (Costs 3 Actions). The genius loci makes 4 pseudopod attacks.
 
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dave2008

Legend
Slither Hoard
Slithering hoards are modified cousins of the gelatinous cube that appear as amorphous blobs about twenty feet in diameter with bits of metal (often treasure) coating them. They exude a gluey substance that they use to adhere coins, gems, small weapons, and pieces of armor as an outer layer. This outer coating of detritus functions both as a set of teeth and also as a protective coating of armor. The slithering hoard flows toward its victims and wraps itself around them, grinding them with their metallic "teeth", while at the same time suffocating them.

Living Treasure. Most of the the items that cover a slither hoard's body are old weathered junk. However, when a slither hoards is slain, its body dissolves and its contents can be examined. If someone spends 1d4 minutes searching through the remains and succeeds on a DC 15 Investigation or Perception some real treasure can be discovered: roll once on the Treasure Hoard: Challenge 5-10 table in the DMG (og 137) for the items found. The investigation automatically succeeds if the investigator can spend 10 minutes or more examining the remains.

Slither Hoard
Gargantuan ooze, unaligned
1600956213070.png

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)
Hit Points 165 (10d20 + 60)
Speed 20 ft.
1600956208659.png

STRDEXCONINTWISCHA
21 (+5)8 (-1)23 (+6)1 (-5)6 (-2)1 (-5)
1600956209784.png

Savings Throws Str +9, Dex +3, Con +10
Damage Resistances cold, piercing
Damage Immunities lightning
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, prone
Senses Blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), Passive Perception 8
Languages --
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
1600956210896.png

Freeze. If the ooze takes cold damage; its speed is reduced by 10 ft. until the end of its next turn.

Immutable Form. The ooze is immune to any spell effect that would alter its form.

Mindless. The ooze is immune to mind control effects, and attempts to detect its thoughts or ascertain its emotions.

Ooze Form. The slither hoard can move through a space as narrow as 10 feet by 10 feet without squeezing. Additionally, creatures can enter the space of the ooze, but a creature that does so is Engulfed

Creatures inside the cube can be seen but are lightly obscured and have total cover.

A creature within 5 feet of the cube can take an action to pull a creature or object out of the cube. Doing so requires a successful DC 17 Strength check, and the creature making the attempt takes 10 (3d6) acid damage and either (choose randomly) 7 (2d6) piercing or 7 (2d6) slashing damage.
.
The cube can hold only one Huge creature, or two Large creatures, or up to eight Medium or smaller creatures inside it at a time.

Spider Climb. The ooze can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.

ACTIONS
Multiattack.
The ooze makes two pseudopod attacks.

Pseudopod. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 5) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 17 Strength saving throw or be pulled into its body and engulfed.

Engulf. The cube moves up to its speed. While doing so, it can enter Huge or smaller creature's space. Whenever the cube enters a creature's space, the creature must make a DC 17 Strength or Dexterity saving throw.

On a successful save, the creature can choose to be pushed 5 feet back or to the side of the ooze. A creature that chooses not to be pushed suffers the consequences of a failed saving throw.

On a failed save, the ooze enters the creature's space, and the creature takes 10 (3d6) acid damage and is engulfed. The engulfed creature can't breathe, is restrained, and takes 10 (3d6) acid damage plus 7 (2d6) bludgeoning, 7 (2d6) piercing, and 7 (2d6) slashing damage at the start of each of the ooze's turns. When the ooze moves, the engulfed creature moves with it.

An engulfed creature can try to escape by taking an action to make a DC 17 Strength check. On a success, the creature escapes and enters a space of its choice within 5 feet of the ooze.
 
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dave2008

Legend
There were a few types lacking in representation so I added some more entries. In some cases I grabbed from the old Epic Updates:

Constructs:
Adamantine Golem (Elite, CR 21)
Mithril Golem (standard, CR 19)

Fey:
Hamadryad (standard, CR 3)
LeShay (standard, CR 21)

Oozes:
Genius Loci (Legendary, CR 29)
Slither Hoard (standard, CR 9)

Undead:
Worm that Walks (Legendary, CR 23)

I will be updating the dragons next to finish off all of my old "hardcore" updates and then it is one to the "Epic" updates.

Formatting Note:
In the Table of Contents in the OP, monsters from CR 0 - CR 30 will be listed in Chapter 01 - Hardcore Monsters. High CR unique monsters, like archdevils, demigods, etc., will be listed in Chapter 02 - Epic Monsters. Additionally, general monsters (non unique) over CR 30 will be listed in Chapter 02 as well.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Worm that Walks
Medium undead, any evil alignment

Challenge 23* (50,000 XP)

I really like your note about spell usage affecting CR. I think that is a cool way to quickly alert the DM to various ways to use the creature, and how it may impact the challenge on the spot. I personally either put it right after the CR number or the spell casting area just to make it more prominent.

I actually think withering touch is the star of the show in many cases, as you effectively give is DR 13 against short melee attacks, that's a cool touch.

Magic Absorption: Similar to the fire elemental we talked about before, do you intend that the WTW can cast a fireball targetting others and himself can heal himself up? Now honestly I think its fine thematically (this guy is all about absorbing things to heal himself)....and frankly if he uses a 3rd level slot in an actual fight to heal himself....than the party is already winning as that removes the usage of way better spells. But just noting that incase it creates any oddities you weren't expecting.

Unstoppable: So I have seen a few times now that your going with the "burn legendary actions instead of burning 30 hp" idea. If your switching the mechanic, I would change the name. Otherwise DMs who are familiar with the ability from previous monsters may in the heat of battle just assume it works the previous way.'

Turn Resistance: You mention lich.

Swarm Movement: You get into trouble with certain abilities like sentinel (or effects like wall of thorns) that stop movement. What happens when the WTW moves, gets stopped by sentinel, and can't reform? Also the damage is very piddly for consuming 2 legendary actions (even if it is automatic). If your main goal is the ability to move through other people's spaces, I think you can just give them that ability as part of their swarm movement (at the CRs were teleport and plane shift are common modes of transportation I wouldn't even blink an eye.

So something like:

Swarm Movement: The WTW can move through other creature's spaces when it moves, and creatures have disadvantage on Opportunity Attacks against it. Any creature that it moves through takes 5 piercing damage.
 

Stalker0

Legend
Slither Hoard
Challenge
9 (5,000 XP)

I am all about more oozes!

1) The high AC for the Ooze threw me at first. I think reading your flavor its fine for this guy as kind of the exception to the rule of ooze kind, I just wouldn't use it too often. Ridiculously low ACs and Oozes go hand in hand.

2) I think the ooze's size works against him in this example. He doesn't have the ability to move through small spaces, so unless your dungeon hallways are 20x20....this guy has no mobility outside of the one room he is in for the majority of dungeons you might put him in.

3) Since this is a apparently a moving treasure pile, it would be cool to make a treasure note (something like, you will often find 1d6 x 40 gold coins or something). I liked that note on the Worm that Walks, so I think it would be a nice flavor touch to have it here.
 

dave2008

Legend
I am all about more oozes!

1) The high AC for the Ooze threw me at first. I think reading your flavor its fine for this guy as kind of the exception to the rule of ooze kind, I just wouldn't use it too often. Ridiculously low ACs and Oozes go hand in hand.
Yep the idea is that it is covered in picked up armor, shields, swords, etc. I found this guy in the 2e monstrous manual and the AC was the equivalent of chainmail + shield for that edition, so that is basically what I wend with.
2) I think the ooze's size works against him in this example. He doesn't have the ability to move through small spaces, so unless your dungeon hallways are 20x20....this guy has no mobility outside of the one room he is in for the majority of dungeons you might put him in.
It is supposed to fit in easily in a 10x10 corridor without squeezing, I just forgot that part. I will get it added
3) Since this is a apparently a moving treasure pile, it would be cool to make a treasure note (something like, you will often find 1d6 x 40 gold coins or something). I liked that note on the Worm that Walks, so I think it would be a nice flavor touch to have it here.
Yes, it thinks so. Since I already have some descriptive text I will add it there.
 

dave2008

Legend
I really like your note about spell usage affecting CR. I think that is a cool way to quickly alert the DM to various ways to use the creature, and how it may impact the challenge on the spot. I personally either put it right after the CR number or the spell casting area just to make it more prominent.
I think I will move it to after spellcasting - thanks!

Magic Absorption: Similar to the fire elemental we talked about before, do you intend that the WTW can cast a fireball targetting others and himself can heal himself up? Now honestly I think its fine thematically (this guy is all about absorbing things to heal himself)....and frankly if he uses a 3rd level slot in an actual fight to heal himself....than the party is already winning as that removes the usage of way better spells. But just noting that incase it creates any oddities you weren't expecting.
I'm fine with it as is. Using it that way is most likely a loss for the worm, except that it can include itself in attacks that target other creatures (fireball in a 30x30 room could work).
Unstoppable: So I have seen a few times now that your going with the "burn legendary actions instead of burning 30 hp" idea. If your switching the mechanic, I would change the name. Otherwise DMs who are familiar with the ability from previous monsters may in the heat of battle just assume it works the previous way.'
I probably will codify it at some point, but I am trying out different things to see how they work right now. It is worth noting that WotC already allows somewhat different descriptions for the same trait, the different types of magic resistance for example.
Swarm Movement: You get into trouble with certain abilities like sentinel (or effects like wall of thorns) that stop movement. What happens when the WTW moves, gets stopped by sentinel, and can't reform? Also the damage is very piddly for consuming 2 legendary actions (even if it is automatic). If your main goal is the ability to move through other people's spaces, I think you can just give them that ability as part of their swarm movement (at the CRs were teleport and plane shift are common modes of transportation I wouldn't even blink an eye.

So something like:

Swarm Movement: The WTW can move through other creature's spaces when it moves, and creatures have disadvantage on Opportunity Attacks against it. Any creature that it moves through takes 5 piercing damage.
That is probably better, but I did really like the idea of two independent swarms (they can hit more targets that way). I think to compensate I will just double the speed.
 

dave2008

Legend
I really like your note about spell usage affecting CR. I think that is a cool way to quickly alert the DM to various ways to use the creature, and how it may impact the challenge on the spot. I personally either put it right after the CR number or the spell casting area just to make it more prominent.

I actually think withering touch is the star of the show in many cases, as you effectively give is DR 13 against short melee attacks, that's a cool touch.

Magic Absorption: Similar to the fire elemental we talked about before, do you intend that the WTW can cast a fireball targetting others and himself can heal himself up? Now honestly I think its fine thematically (this guy is all about absorbing things to heal himself)....and frankly if he uses a 3rd level slot in an actual fight to heal himself....than the party is already winning as that removes the usage of way better spells. But just noting that incase it creates any oddities you weren't expecting.

Unstoppable: So I have seen a few times now that your going with the "burn legendary actions instead of burning 30 hp" idea. If your switching the mechanic, I would change the name. Otherwise DMs who are familiar with the ability from previous monsters may in the heat of battle just assume it works the previous way.'

Turn Resistance: You mention lich.

Swarm Movement: You get into trouble with certain abilities like sentinel (or effects like wall of thorns) that stop movement. What happens when the WTW moves, gets stopped by sentinel, and can't reform? Also the damage is very piddly for consuming 2 legendary actions (even if it is automatic). If your main goal is the ability to move through other people's spaces, I think you can just give them that ability as part of their swarm movement (at the CRs were teleport and plane shift are common modes of transportation I wouldn't even blink an eye.

So something like:

Swarm Movement: The WTW can move through other creature's spaces when it moves, and creatures have disadvantage on Opportunity Attacks against it. Any creature that it moves through takes 5 piercing damage.

I am all about more oozes!

1) The high AC for the Ooze threw me at first. I think reading your flavor its fine for this guy as kind of the exception to the rule of ooze kind, I just wouldn't use it too often. Ridiculously low ACs and Oozes go hand in hand.

2) I think the ooze's size works against him in this example. He doesn't have the ability to move through small spaces, so unless your dungeon hallways are 20x20....this guy has no mobility outside of the one room he is in for the majority of dungeons you might put him in.

3) Since this is a apparently a moving treasure pile, it would be cool to make a treasure note (something like, you will often find 1d6 x 40 gold coins or something). I liked that note on the Worm that Walks, so I think it would be a nice flavor touch to have it here.
I've updated both.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Adventurer
Genius Loci
Damage Resistances cold, fire, force, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing that is nonmagical
Isn't is the ooze making it resistant? I feel like it should be resistant to bludgeon, piercing and slashing period - at least unless the weapon is at least very rare (and probably legendary, given its CR).

Unstoppable (3/Short Rest). The genius loci can use a reaction at the end of its turn or two legendary actions to remove one or two condition or effects it is suffering.
Do you mean up to two, or does it make a difference whether it's a reaction or legendary actions?

Edit: shouldn't the slither ooze be resistant to non magical weapons at least?
 

dave2008

Legend
Isn't is the ooze making it resistant? I feel like it should be resistant to bludgeon, piercing and slashing period - at least unless the weapon is at least very rare (and probably legendary, given its CR).
That is what I had originally, but then I check the epic handbook and it didn't ahve anything like that. The I decided to go with more HP than resistances; however, at this CR the resistance to BPS shouldn't matter, so I will put it back in.

Do you mean up to two, or does it make a difference whether it's a reaction or legendary actions?
Yes, I will correct that.
 




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