Level Up (A5E) A Leveled-Up Bestiary: Volume Two

I actually build the monsters in reverse from what the book tells me to. First, I figure out the monster's Hit Dice, which I usually alter based on a couple of things, such as how they compare to 2e monsters of similar HD that have been updated for 5e/LU. Like, a 5e ogre had 4+1 HD, and those were d8s, while an LU ogre has 7d10 HD, plus a major Con bonus. Then I alter it depending on what I feel that monster's role is going to be in an encounter.

I may end up altering that CR, and with it the HD, depending on the type of attacks the 2e version had, because they often don't match to the amount of damage they "should" do in LU. So if I need the monster to do more damage, I'll up the CR and HD accordingly. And after all of that, if the resulting monster has really powerful special abilities that aren't really covered by the monster-making rules, I'll up the CR another point without altering the HD. Like, there's nothing in the rules about draining magic out of a person or being basically immune to magic, so I took what should be a CR 3 monster and made it CR 4.
Seems more or less the approach I'd have used. I'm asking because there's plenty of very cool and dangerous 2e monsters that were never ported to 5e, and sometimes adapting them can be tricky because the two editions can differ quite a bit in the progression of character's HP and monster damage.

For instance, the carrion crawler was absolutely frightening in 2e, with 8 paralyzing attacks per round (each of which lasted for minutes and couldn't be interrupted earlier with another successful save), but recent versions are waay more lenient. Same for ghouls/ghasts.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Seems more or less the approach I'd have used. I'm asking because there's plenty of very cool and dangerous 2e monsters that were never ported to 5e, and sometimes adapting them can be tricky because the two editions can differ quite a bit in the progression of character's HP and monster damage.

For instance, the carrion crawler was absolutely frightening in 2e, with 8 paralyzing attacks per round (each of which lasted for minutes and couldn't be interrupted earlier with another successful save), but recent versions are waay more lenient. Same for ghouls/ghasts.
Yeah, I definitely agree. I know how annoying it can be to have your character taken out for an entire combat or even longer, but having paralyzing or poisoning attacks last for only a minute, tops--it just feels so underwhelming.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I'm sorry, I completely forgot what day of the week it was. I was all like, la la la, game starts in a couple of hours, la la... wait a minute, that means its Friday! Gotta post a monster!

And it's a long monster today, with nine, count ‘em if you can, nine variants, and a new spell.

But first: way back when, I did the hurgeon, little hedgehog people. They’re in the first volume of my conversions. The next monster on our list would be their treetop counterparts, the kerpca—little squirrel-folk, which fill the ever-popular “squirrel archer” trope…

…Except I went back to look at the hurgeon and realized that very little about the kerpca that differentiates them from the hedgehog-folk. Take the hurgeon, remove their burrow speed and replace it with a 20 ft. climbing speed, change their handaxe to a shortsword and sling to a shortbow (both doing piercing damage), and alter Underbrush Hider so that it works when they’re in the trees, and they’re basically the same thing. The only other difference is that kerpca have wizards instead of druids, so for the hurgeon druid variant, switch around their Int and Wisdom scores and replace their druid spells with wizard spells. The end. If I do a revision of the first volume of monsters (since I’m sure there’s typos and math mistakes), I’ll add the kerpca as a variant to them.

So sorry, kerpca fans, I’m skipping them in favor of some planar horses. These are the equar, extraplanar horses. The article has nine of them, one for each alignment. Obviously alignments don’t work like that in Level Up, but these horsies are still usable.

The article gives both lesser and greater equars, but the difference between them is “how fully the creature exists on the Prime Material Plane.” They’re all greater equars on their home plane, but some of them can only be partially conjured to the Prime. When on the Prime, lesser equars have fewer Hit Dice and spells. This is a definitely interesting idea, that extraplanar monsters are stronger on their home plane. But I’m too lazy to do two statblocks here.

Equars are designed to be used as mounts, but they’re also pretty powerful creatures. Nevertheless, Narrators may wish to gift these to high-level heralds, clerics, or warlocks (or others) who have sufficiently served their higher power properly, as a reward from a deity, or perhaps as an alternative reward for having achieved their Destiny.

Also, can I just say I really hope Level Up does their own Manual of the Planes at some point.

Equar
Destriers of the Planes, Dragon Magazine #243
Creatures by Steve Berman; art by Roger Raupp

Once upon a time, the world was young and ruled by animals—or so the myths say—and the fastest stallion and fastest mare wed. The mare soon fell pregnant and the gods knew their foal would be the greatest horse that ever lived or ever would live, and all vied to own it. Eight gods sent proxies with gifts to convince the sire and dam to give up their child, gifts that even the greediest of the mortal emperors would think more than sufficient. The mare did not wish to give up her child, but the stallion was proud, and foolish in his pride. He told the proxies to return with double the gifts, and perhaps then they would choose one among them to be worthy enough.

This angered the proxies and their gods, of course, and they began to mutter and scheme amongst, each planning on seizing the foal for themselves when it was born. Then a ninth god, a god of wisdom and balance who had not sent a proxy, feared what would happen to the world should their arguments turn to violence. They approached the mare and split the foal’s spirit into ten parts, and thus in time the mare gave birth to ten foals. The eight quarreling gods each took a foal for themselves, as did the god of balance, and the mare kept the final foal to herself. And the stallion, for his sins, received nothing.

Planar Horses. Whether the above myth is true or not, the fact remains that there are numerous breeds of horses across the planes, all of them molded by planar energies. They gallop across the planes freely; no borders of a godly domain can stop them, and they are only barred from the Material Plane—unless they are summoned there by magic.

Summoned Mounts. These planar horses used as mounts both on their home plane and on the Material. Sometimes the gods and other powerful beings grant them to their favored servants; others are summoned by magic. In either case, they form a special bond with their rider and will permit only them to ride them.

Picky Eaters. On their home planes, equars graze like normal horses—although the ones from the lower planes often also eat meat. However, when off their home plane, they demand very specific types of food, which can be anything from pure gold to deadly poison. If they aren’t fed their favored food at least once each week, they terminate their relationship with the rider and will refuse to ever allow them to ride the it again.

Climate/Terrain: Any climate; Outer Planes

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Equar are magical horses from the Outer Planes. They can magically travel from to and from the various planes, but can only reach the Material Plane if summoned.

DC 15. There are nine different species of equar, each of which have very different abilities. They can be summoned to the Material Plane to act as bonded mounts to riders they deem worthy. [With this DC, the character learns a simple fact about the particular type of equar they are trying to recall information about.]

DC 20. While on the Material Plane, equar demand special foods at least once per week. If they aren’t given this food, they will break the bond and return to their home plane. [With this DC, the character learns what sort of food is preferred by the type of equar they are they are trying to recall information about.]

Equar Encounters
CR 5-10
equar; equar and bandit captain, knight, or veteran; equar and malcubus
Treasure: 400 gp, 150 sp, pearl earrings (250 gp), dagger of venom, potion of thunder resistance, scroll of mirror image

CR 11-16 2 equars, equar and blackguard, cambion, or champion warrior; equar and high priest, holy night, or mage; equar and deva
Treasure: 270 pp, 1-pound bar of mithral (750 gp), gold tiara (750 gp), gold armlet (250 gp) +2 hauberk, rope of climbing, scrolls of black tentacles and phantasmal killer, vial of beauty

CR 17-22 equar and archmage; equar and faerie noble; equar and archpriest; equar and erinyes, equar and knight captain; equar and rakshasa
Treasure: 3,000 gp, 350 pp, ruby necklace (7,500 gp), jade statuette (750 gp), gold scepter (750 gp), 4 sapphires (1,000 gp each), +2 greatsword, 3 potions of greater healing, boots of speed, scroll of blade barrier

Equar
Large monstrosity
; Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
AC
15 (natural armor)
HP 101 (9d10+27; bloodied 50)
Speed 90 ft.

STR 21 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 16 (+3)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +3; Maneuver DC 16
Skills Perception +5
Damage Resistances damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, petrified
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Common; can speak the languages of its rider and summoner

The Horse Knows The Way. If the equar takes the Dash action and moves its full 180 feet in a straight line, then at the end of that movement it can choose to transport itself and anyone riding it to a location it knows to a plane of its choice. Once on a plane, it can’t return to the Material Plane until it is summoned again or it finds another way of traveling there, such as a portal.

Innate Spellcasting. The equar’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). Each type of equar can cast other spells unique to that type. They require only vocalized components to cast their spells.

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

Planar Acclimation. The equar is immune to temperature extremes while on its home plane, its movement isn't reduced by difficult terrain that is considered natural on its home plane, and has advantage on checks made to overcome supernatural, terrain, and weather-based exploration challenges while on its home plane.

Actions
Hooves.
Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) bludgeoning damage. If the equar moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack the target makes a DC 16 Strength saving throw, falling prone on a failure.

Combat
Equars fight using as horses do, although those with offensive spells use those as well.

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Variant: Banecourser
Resembling beautiful, pitch-black horses with streaks of rust- and verdigris-colored hair in their manes and tails and the long, forked tongue of a serpent, banecoursers run freely throughout the lower planes. Banecoursers are properly diabolical beings. Legend says they were cursed by a moon-goddess, and since then, no moonlight will ever illuminate them; at night, they resemble dull, three-dimensional shadows rather than solid beings. They consume poisons, the more exotic and expensive the better.

Climate/Terrain: Lower Planes

A banecourser has darkvision to 60 feet and the following additional traits:

A Nose For Toxins. The banecourser automatically detects poisons and poisonous creatures that are within 30 feet from it.

Banecourser Weakness. The banecourser can’t cross a line made of silver, and creatures using silvered weapons have advantage on attack rolls made against.

Innate Spellcasting. The banecourser can cast the following spells:
At will: friends
3/day: protection from evil and good
1/day: suggestion

The banecourser doesn’t cast friends or suggestion itself, but its rider can cast them as long as it is mounted, using the better of its own spell save DC (if they have one) or the banecourser’s.

Sunlight Sensitivity. The banecourser has disadvantage on Perception checks made in sunlight. If the banecourser is being ridden, its rider also gains darkvision to 60 feet, if it didn’t already have it, as well as sunlight sensitivity.

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Variant: Charnalbalk
A common steed in the Abyss and other lower planes, charnalbalks resemble rangy, coal-black horses with iron hooves. Their mains and tails are also made strands of iron. Their heads resemble those of warthogs, but are usually covered with an iron mask that is bolted directly to their skull—the mask is the only way to tame a charnalbalk. They demand to be fed on freshly-slaughtered meat, but not just any meat—they specifically want meat of the same heritage as their riders. It’s believed that this is their way of showing their contempt towards their riders.

Climate/Terrain: Lower Planes

A charnalbalk has darkvision to 120 feet and has the following additional traits:

Innate Spellcasting. The charnalbalk can cast the following spells.
3/day each: fear, heat metal, ray of enfeeblement
1/day: animate dead (only on corpses killed by the rider).

Charnalbalk Weakness. The charnalbalk cannot exist on the Material Plane after daybreak. As soon as the sun rises, the charnalbalk fades away and returns to its home plane, but returns the following day at dusk, at its rider’s side.

It also gains the following new action:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4+5) piercing damage, and the target takes a wound that deals an additional 2 (1d4) ongoing damage due to bleeding. A creature can end the ongoing damage by staunching the wound as an action or by giving the target magical healing.

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Variant: Favonian
Favonians are pale, blueish-white horses, dappled with faint gray; their fur is always lightly beaded with dewdrops that sparkle in the light, but those who ride them never get overly damp. They are unafraid of the worst weather conditions—in fact, they thrive in them. They consume not only fresh rain when on the Material Plane (the rain must have been purified with a purify food and drink spell), but also sagas and epic poetry; a favonian effectively feeds on good storytelling. If their rider ever harms an entertainer, the favonian will immediately break its bond with them. They typically dwell in the domains of gods of knowledge and poetry.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, the Dreaming

A favonian has the following additional traits:

Favonian Weakness. The favonian cannot attack a creature that is singing, reciting poetry, or storytelling or that is capable of casting bard spells.

Innate Spellcasting. The favonian can cast the following spells:
3/day each: fog cloud, gust of wind, phantom steed
1/day: control weather, wind walk

Perfect Mount. The favonian’s rider never falls off unless the equar wishes it to, nor will they get more than just a little damp even in the worse weather.

Trackless. Favonians do not leave hoofprints behind.

Unhampered Senses. The favonian’s sight isn’t hampered by mundane or magical rain or fog.

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Variant: Gildmane
Gildmanes resemble particularly handsome, chestnut-colored draft horses, with hooves and mane of purest gold. They have no tail; legend says that an archdevil chased the first gildmane across the Astral Plane, until they reached the domain of a god of gold. That god’s servitors slew the devil, but not before it tore the gildmane’s tail off. When on the Material Plane, gildmanes eat gold coins and jewelry—at least 200 gp worth for each meal. Goldmanes typically dwell in the domains of gods of prosperity and charity.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, the Dreaming, Plane of Earth

A gildmane has the following additional traits:

Gildmane Weakness: All creatures with the Evil alignment that are within 1 mile of the gildmane are automatically aware of its presence.

Innate Spellcasting. The gildmane can cast the following spells:
3/day each: bless, faerie fire, shield

Know Worth. If the gildmane touches an object with its hoof, it automatically knows how much the object is worth and if it has been covered with a spell that alters that value.

It also has the following actions:

Golden Glow. The gildmane glows with golden light. It can use a bonus action to alter the radius of its glow (shedding bright light in a 5- to a 30-foot radius and dim light for the same number of feet beyond that that radius) or extinguishes its glow completely.

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Variant: Lithicthil
These great equar resemble a rough stone statue of a Percheron, all hard, unpolished edges. They are solid, sensible beings who brook no nonsense from anyone, including their bonded riders. Lithicthil consume objects made of worked, enchanted metal or stone, and some are so picky as to only eat objects made out of a particular type of metal or stone. They typically dwell in the domains of gods of earth and smithing.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, Plane of Earth

A lithicthil has the following additional traits:

Fearlessness. The lithicthil and its rider are immune to the frightened condition.

Innate Spellcasting. The lithicthil can cast the following spells:
At will: detect magic
3/day each: calm emotions, enhance attribute
1/day: meld into stone (also affects rider)

Lithicthil Weakness. The lithicthil has disadvantage on saving throws against spells from the acid, chaos, illusion, and obscurement schools.

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Variant: Menthric
These look like normal horses, but strangely, when seen out of the corner of one’s eye, or with the aid of true sight, they appear as plain-looking humans—and indeed, the menthric casts a human shadow. They are creatures of balance and order; they exist to right imbalances in the universe, both on the grand scale and more personal scales. They consume enchanted scripts such as scrolls and spellbooks.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, Plane of Space, Plane of Time

A menthric has the following additional traits:

Discerning Look. If a menthric can study a creature for 1 minute, it can determine three of the following aspects about that creature:

· If it has an alignment
· If the creature has any vulnerabilities, resistances, or immunities
· If it can cast spells
· If it knows any combat maneuvers
· It’s highest attribute (but not its exact number)
· Its CR
· Its Destiny (if it has one)

Innate Spellcasting. The menthric can cast the following spells:
At will: detect magic, mending
3/day each: force of will, knock, shatter

Menthric Weakness. The menthric has disadvantage on saving throws against spells from the chaos and law schools. If the menthric rolls a natural 1 on a saving throw against one of these spells, it is immediately banished to the Astral Plane. If it is being ridden, its rider is banished with it.

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Variant: Potherrounce
The pottherrounce is a creature of chaos and its form shows that. It changes, from moment to moment, from one type of equine to another. Its forms can be realistic to fantastic. One moment it may look like a regular quarterhorse; the next, a mule made of brass and wood; the moment after that, a green mare with platinum-white mane and tail. It consumes potions—specifically, two or more potions mixed together. The mixed potions never seem to cause a potherrounce any harm, and they seem to be able to choose whether to be affected by the potherrounce in the first place.

Climate/Terrain: the Dreaming, Elemental Chaos

A potherrounce is vulnerable to necrotic damage has the following additional traits:

Order From Chaos. The potherrounce automatically sees through and is unaffected by illusions of any type. Additionally, if it looks at an object that is broken, it can choose to see the object as if it were whole. This has no affect on the object itself, just the potherrounce's perception of it.

Innate Spellcasting. The potherrounce can cast the following spells:
3/day: blink, counterspell, protection from evil and good

Potherrounce Weakness. If the potherrounce is paralyzed because of a spell, it must make a Wisdom saving throw at the beginning of each round it is paralyzed against the caster’s spell save DC or take force damage equal to twice the caster’s proficiency bonus.

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Variant: Rosinante
Despite its flowing name, the rosinante is a hideous creature, resembling a sickly, hairless, hoofed rat far more than a horse. Its eyes are oversized, goggling, and dead-white, its teeth are small and crooked, and its tail is long and prehensile. It demands to be hand-fed rotten meat and tainted water. They usually dwell in the domains of gods of disease, rot, and vermin.

Climate/Terrain: Bleak Gate, Lower Planes, Plane of Death

The rosinante’s type changes to monstrosity (shapechanger), is proficient in Stealth, has darkvision to 60 feet, is vulnerable to radiant damage, doesn’t have the Innate Spellcasting trait, and has the following additional traits:

Rosinante Weakness. Magic that restores hit points instead inflicts as many hit points as it would normally restore, while inflict wounds restores as many hit points as it would normally cause.

Stealthy. The rosinante has advantage on Stealth checks, even when ridden.

The rosinante lacks a hoof attack, but it gains the following additional actions:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+5) piercing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+5) slashing damage.

Summon Rats (Recharges After a Short or Long Rest). The rosinante magically calls 2d4 swarms of rats or 2d4 giant rats, which appear the following round.

It also gains the following new bonus action:

Shapechange. When not being ridden, the rosinante change its shape into that of a Small giant rat, or back to its true form. Its statistics, other than its size and speed, are unchanged.

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Variant: Trothspyre
These beautiful equars resemble crystalline unicorns with gemstone eyes and manes and tails of spun silver; they refract rainbows of light wherever they go. On its brow, hidden beneath its forelock, are runes that spell out the word “truth” in an ancient language. When on the Material Plane, they consume blessed holy water and sunlight.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, The Dreaming, Upper Planes

A trothspyre has the following additional traits:

Detect Lie. The trothspyre knows if it hears a lie.

Innate Spellcasting. The trothspyre can cast the following spells:
3/day: protection from evil and good, cure wounds (as 5th-level spell).

Trothspyre Weakness. The trothspyre cannot exist on the Material Plane after sundown. As soon as night falls, the trothspyre fades away, but returns the following day at daybreak, at its rider’s side.

It also has the following new action:

Horn. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) piercing damage damage plus 2d6 radiant damage.

*

New Spell: Summon Equar
6th level (conjuration; arcane, divine, beasts, summoning)

Classes: cleric, wizard
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Short (30 feet)
Components: V, S, M (an offering of the equar’s favorite food and a token displaying the symbol of the equar’s home plane worth 100 gp; the offering is consumed but the token is not)
Duration: 1 month

When you cast this spell, designate a rider; the rider may be yourself. You summon an equar, which appears in an unoccupied space within range and is bound to the rider. In combat, roll initiative for the equar, which has its own turns. It obeys reasonable verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you).

The equar disappears when the duration ends or when it is reduced to 0 hit points. It is friendly to you and to your companions for the duration, and it may choose to end the spell at any time and return to its home plane. If the spell ends and the rider and equar remained friendly for the entire duration, you may summon the same equar again, binding it to the same rider.

The Narrator has the equar’s statistics.
 
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I'm sorry, I completely forgot what day of the week it was. I was all like, la la la, game starts in a couple of hours, la la... wait a minute, that means its Friday! Gotta post a monster!

And it's a long monster today, with nine, count ‘em if you can, nine variants, and a new spell.

But first: way back when, I did the hurgeon, little hedgehog people. They’re in the first volume of my conversions. The next monster on our list would be their treetop counterparts, the kerpca—little squirrel-folk, which fill the ever-popular “squirrel archer” trope…

…Except I went back to look at the hurgeon and realized that very little about the kerpca that differentiates them from the hedgehog-folk. Take the hurgeon, remove their burrow speed and replace it with a 20 ft. climbing speed, change their handaxe to a shortsword and sling to a shortbow (both doing piercing damage), and alter Underbrush Hider so that it works when they’re in the trees, and they’re basically the same thing. The only other difference is that kerpca have wizards instead of druids, so for the hurgeon druid variant, switch around their Int and Wisdom scores and replace their druid spells with wizard spells. The end. If I do a revision of the first volume of monsters (since I’m sure there’s typos and math mistakes), I’ll add the kerpca as a variant to them.

So sorry, kerpca fans, I’m skipping them in favor of some planar horses. These are the equar, extraplanar horses. The article has nine of them, one for each alignment. Obviously alignments don’t work like that in Level Up, but these horsies are still usable.

The article gives both lesser and greater equars, but the difference between them is “how fully the creature exists on the Prime Material Plane.” They’re all greater equars on their home plane, but some of them can only be partially conjured to the Prime. When on the Prime, lesser equars have fewer Hit Dice and spells. This is a definitely interesting idea, that extraplanar monsters are stronger on their home plane. But I’m too lazy to do two statblocks here.

Equars are designed to be used as mounts, but they’re also pretty powerful creatures. Nevertheless, Narrators may wish to gift these to high-level heralds, clerics, or warlocks (or others) who have sufficiently served their higher power properly, as a reward from a deity, or perhaps as an alternative reward for having achieved their Destiny.

Also, can I just say I really hope Level Up does their own Manual of the Planes at some point.

Equar
Destriers of the Planes, Dragon Magazine #243
Creatures by Steve Berman; art by Roger Raupp

Once upon a time, the world was young and ruled by animals—or so the myths say—and the fastest stallion and fastest mare wed. The mare soon fell pregnant and the gods knew their foal would be the greatest horse that ever lived or ever would live, and all vied to own it. Eight gods sent proxies with gifts to convince the sire and dam to give up their child, gifts that even the greediest of the mortal emperors would think more than sufficient. The mare did not wish to give up her child, but the stallion was proud, and foolish in his pride. He told the proxies to return with double the gifts, and perhaps then they would choose one among them to be worthy enough.

This angered the proxies and their gods, of course, and they began to mutter and scheme amongst, each planning on seizing the foal for themselves when it was born. Then a ninth god, a god of wisdom and balance who had not sent a proxy, feared what would happen to the world should their arguments turn to violence. They approached the mare and split the foal’s spirit into ten parts, and thus in time the mare gave birth to ten foals. The eight quarreling gods each took a foal for themselves, as did the god of balance, and the mare kept the final foal to herself. And the stallion, for his sins, received nothing.

Planar Horses. Whether the above myth is true or not, the fact remains that there are numerous breeds of horses across the planes, all of them molded by planar energies. They gallop across the planes freely; no borders of a godly domain can stop them, and they are only barred from the Material Plane—unless they are summoned there by magic.

Summoned Mounts. These planar horses used as mounts both on their home plane and on the Material. Sometimes the gods and other powerful beings grant them to their favored servants; others are summoned by magic. In either case, they form a special bond with their rider and will permit only them to ride them.

Picky Eaters. On their home planes, equars graze like normal horses—although the ones from the lower planes often also eat meat. However, when off their home plane, they demand very specific types of food, which can be anything from pure gold to deadly poison. If they aren’t fed their favored food at least once each week, they terminate their relationship with the rider and will refuse to ever allow them to ride the it again.

Climate/Terrain: Any climate; Outer Planes

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana or Nature check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Equar are magical horses from the Outer Planes. They can magically travel from to and from the various planes, but can only reach the Material Plane if summoned.

DC 15. There are nine different species of equar, each of which have very different abilities. They can be summoned to the Material Plane to act as bonded mounts to riders they deem worthy. [With this DC, the character learns a simple fact about the particular type of equar they are trying to recall information about.]

DC 20. While on the Material Plane, equar demand special foods at least once per week. If they aren’t given this food, they will break the bond and return to their home plane. [With this DC, the character learns what sort of food is preferred by the type of equar they are they are trying to recall information about.]

Equar Encounters
CR 5-10
equar; equar and bandit captain, knight, or veteran; equar and malcubus
Treasure: 400 gp, 150 sp, pearl earrings (250 gp), dagger of venom, potion of thunder resistance, scroll of mirror image

CR 11-16 2 equars, equar and blackguard, cambion, or champion warrior; equar and high priest, holy night, or mage; equar and deva
Treasure: 270 pp, 1-pound bar of mithral (750 gp), gold tiara (750 gp), gold armlet (250 gp) +2 hauberk, rope of climbing, scrolls of black tentacles and phantasmal killer, vial of beauty

CR 17-22 equar and archmage; equar and faerie noble; equar and archpriest; equar and erinyes, equar and knight captain; equar and rakshasa
Treasure: 3,000 gp, 350 pp, ruby necklace (7,500 gp), jade statuette (750 gp), gold scepter (750 gp), 4 sapphires (1,000 gp each), +2 greatsword, 3 potions of greater healing, boots of speed, scroll of blade barrier

Equar
Large monstrosity
; Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
AC
15 (natural armor)
HP 101 (9d10+27; bloodied 50)
Speed 90 ft.

STR 21 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 16 (+3)
INT 14 (+2) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +3; Maneuver DC 16
Skills Perception +5
Damage Resistances damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, petrified
Senses passive Perception 15
Languages Common; can speak the languages of its rider and summoner

The Horse Knows The Way. If the equar takes the Dash action and moves its full 180 feet in a straight line, then at the end of that movement it can choose to transport itself and anyone riding it to a location it knows to a plane of its choice. Once on a plane, it can’t return to the Material Plane until it is summoned again or it finds another way of traveling there, such as a portal.

Innate Spellcasting. The equar’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14). Each type of equar can cast other spells unique to that type. They require only vocalized components to cast their spells.

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

Planar Acclimation. The equar is immune to temperature extremes while on its home plane, its movement isn't reduced by difficult terrain that is considered natural on its home plane, and has advantage on checks made to overcome supernatural, terrain, and weather-based exploration challenges while on its home plane.

Actions
Hooves.
Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) bludgeoning damage. If the equar moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack the target makes a DC 16 Strength saving throw, falling prone on a failure.

Combat
Equars fight using as horses do, although those with offensive spells use those as well.

*

View attachment 344585

Variant: Banecourser
Resembling beautiful, pitch-black horses with streaks of rust- and verdigris-colored hair in their manes and tails and the long, forked tongue of a serpent, banecoursers run freely throughout the lower planes. Banecoursers are properly diabolical beings. Legend says they were cursed by a moon-goddess, and since then, no moonlight will ever illuminate them; at night, they resemble dull, three-dimensional shadows rather than solid beings. They consume poisons, the more exotic and expensive the better.

Climate/Terrain: Lower Planes

A banecourser has darkvision to 60 feet and the following additional traits:

A Nose For Toxins. The banecourser automatically detects poisons and poisonous creatures that are within 30 feet from it.

Banecourser Weakness. The banecourser can’t cross a line made of silver, and creatures using silvered weapons have advantage on attack rolls made against.

Innate Spellcasting. The banecourser can cast the following spells:
At will: friends
3/day: protection from evil and good
1/day: suggestion

The banecourser doesn’t cast friends or suggestion itself, but its rider can cast them as long as it is mounted, using the better of its own spell save DC (if they have one) or the banecourser’s.

Sunlight Sensitivity. The banecourser has disadvantage on Perception checks made in sunlight. If the banecourser is being ridden, its rider also gains darkvision to 60 feet, if it didn’t already have it, as well as sunlight sensitivity.

*

View attachment 344584

Variant: Charnalbalk
A common steed in the Abyss and other lower planes, charnalbalks resemble rangy, coal-black horses with iron hooves. Their mains and tails are also made strands of iron. Their heads resemble those of warthogs, but are usually covered with an iron mask that is bolted directly to their skull—the mask is the only way to tame a charnalbalk. They demand to be fed on freshly-slaughtered meat, but not just any meat—they specifically want meat of the same heritage as their riders. It’s believed that this is their way of showing their contempt towards their riders.

Climate/Terrain: Lower Planes

A charnalbalk has darkvision to 120 feet and has the following additional traits:

Innate Spellcasting. The charnalbalk can cast the following spells.
3/day each: fear, heat metal, ray of enfeeblement
1/day: animate dead (only on corpses killed by the rider).

Charnalbalk Weakness. The charnalbalk cannot exist on the Material Plane after daybreak. As soon as the sun rises, the charnalbalk fades away and returns to its home plane, but returns the following day at dusk, at its rider’s side.

It also gains the following new action:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4+5) piercing damage, and the target takes a wound that deals an additional 2 (1d4) ongoing damage due to bleeding. A creature can end the ongoing damage by staunching the wound as an action or by giving the target magical healing.

*

View attachment 344583

Variant: Favonian
Favonians are pale, blueish-white horses, dappled with faint gray; their fur is always lightly beaded with dewdrops that sparkle in the light, but those who ride them never get overly damp. They are unafraid of the worst weather conditions—in fact, they thrive in them. They consume not only fresh rain when on the Material Plane (the rain must have been purified with a purify food and drink spell), but also sagas and epic poetry; a favonian effectively feeds on good storytelling. If their rider ever harms an entertainer, the favonian will immediately break its bond with them. They typically dwell in the domains of gods of knowledge and poetry.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, the Dreaming

A favonian has the following additional traits:

Favonian Weakness. The favonian cannot attack a creature that is singing, reciting poetry, or storytelling or that is capable of casting bard spells.

Innate Spellcasting. The favonian can cast the following spells:
3/day each: fog cloud, gust of wind, phantom steed
1/day: control weather, wind walk

Perfect Mount. The favonian’s rider never falls off unless the equar wishes it to, nor will they get more than just a little damp even in the worse weather.

Trackless. Favonians do not leave hoofprints behind.

Unhampered Senses. The favonian’s sight isn’t hampered by mundane or magical rain or fog.

*

View attachment 344582

Variant: Gildmane
Gildmanes resemble particularly handsome, chestnut-colored draft horses, with hooves and mane of purest gold. They have no tail; legend says that an archdevil chased the first gildmane across the Astral Plane, until they reached the domain of a god of gold. That god’s servitors slew the devil, but not before it tore the gildmane’s tail off. When on the Material Plane, gildmanes eat gold coins and jewelry—at least 200 gp worth for each meal. Goldmanes typically dwell in the domains of gods of prosperity and charity.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, the Dreaming, Plane of Earth

A gildmane has the following additional traits:

Gildmane Weakness: All creatures with the Evil alignment that are within 1 mile of the gildmane are automatically aware of its presence.

Innate Spellcasting. The gildmane can cast the following spells:
3/day each: bless, faerie fire, shield

Know Worth. If the gildmane touches an object with its hoof, it automatically knows how much the object is worth and if it has been covered with a spell that alters that value.

It also has the following actions:

Golden Glow. The gildmane glows with golden light. It can use a bonus action to alter the radius of its glow (shedding bright light in a 5- to a 30-foot radius and dim light for the same number of feet beyond that that radius) or extinguishes its glow completely.

*

View attachment 344581

Variant: Lithicthil
These great equar resemble a rough stone statue of a Percheron, all hard, unpolished edges. They are solid, sensible beings who brook no nonsense from anyone, including their bonded riders. Lithicthil consume objects made of worked, enchanted metal or stone, and some are so picky as to only eat objects made out of a particular type of metal or stone. They typically dwell in the domains of gods of earth and smithing.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, Plane of Earth

A lithicthil has the following additional traits:

Fearlessness. The lithicthil and its rider are immune to the frightened condition.

Innate Spellcasting. The lithicthil can cast the following spells:
At will: detect magic
3/day each: calm emotions, enhance attribute
1/day: meld into stone (also affects rider)

Lithicthil Weakness. The lithicthil has disadvantage on saving throws against spells from the acid, chaos, illusion, and obscurement schools.

*

View attachment 344580

Variant: Menthric
These look like normal horses, but strangely, when seen out of the corner of one’s eye, or with the aid of true sight, they appear as plain-looking humans—and indeed, the menthric casts a human shadow. They are creatures of balance and order; they exist to right imbalances in the universe, both on the grand scale and more personal scales. They consume enchanted scripts such as scrolls and spellbooks.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, Plane of Space, Plane of Time

A menthric has the following additional traits:

Discerning Look. If a menthric can study a creature for 1 minute, it can determine three of the following aspects about that creature:

· If it has an alignment
· If the creature has any vulnerabilities, resistances, or immunities
· If it can cast spells
· If it knows any combat maneuvers
· It’s highest attribute (but not its exact number)
· Its CR
· Its Destiny (if it has one)

Innate Spellcasting. The menthric can cast the following spells:
At will: detect magic, mending
3/day each: force of will, knock, shatter

Menthric Weakness. The menthric has disadvantage on saving throws against spells from the chaos and law schools. If the menthric rolls a natural 1 on a saving throw against one of these spells, it is immediately banished to the Astral Plane. If it is being ridden, its rider is banished with it.

*

View attachment 344579

Variant: Potherrounce
The pottherrounce is a creature of chaos and its form shows that. It changes, from moment to moment, from one type of equine to another. Its forms can be realistic to fantastic. One moment it may look like a regular quarterhorse; the next, a mule made of brass and wood; the moment after that, a green mare with platinum-white mane and tail. It consumes potions—specifically, two or more potions mixed together. The mixed potions never seem to cause a potherrounce any harm, and they seem to be able to choose whether to be affected by the potherrounce in the first place.

Climate/Terrain: the Dreaming, Elemental Chaos

A potherrounce is vulnerable to necrotic damage has the following additional traits:

Order From Chaos. The potherrounce automatically sees through and is unaffected by illusions of any type. Additionally, if it looks at an object that is broken, it can choose to see the object as if it were whole. This has no affect on the object itself, just the potherrounce's perception of it.

Innate Spellcasting. The potherrounce can cast the following spells:
3/day: blink, counterspell, protection from evil and good

Potherrounce Weakness. If the potherrounce is paralyzed because of a spell, it must make a Wisdom saving throw at the beginning of each round it is paralyzed against the caster’s spell save DC or take force damage equal to twice the caster’s proficiency bonus.

*

View attachment 344578

Variant: Rosinante
Despite its flowing name, the rosinante is a hideous creature, resembling a sickly, hairless, hoofed rat far more than a horse. Its eyes are oversized, goggling, and dead-white, its teeth are small and crooked, and its tail is long and prehensile. It demands to be hand-fed rotten meat and tainted water. They usually dwell in the domains of gods of disease, rot, and vermin.

Climate/Terrain: Bleak Gate, Lower Planes, Plane of Death

The rosinante’s type changes to monstrosity (shapechanger), is proficient in Stealth, has darkvision to 60 feet, is vulnerable to radiant damage, doesn’t have the Innate Spellcasting trait, and has the following additional traits:

Rosinante Weakness. Magic that restores hit points instead inflicts as many hit points as it would normally restore, while cause wounds restores as many hit points as it would normally cause.

Stealthy. The rosinante has advantage on Stealth checks, even when ridden.

The rosinante lacks a hoof attack, but it gains the following additional actions:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+5) piercing damage.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+5) slashing damage.

Summon Rats (Recharges After a Short or Long Rest). The rosinante magically calls 2d4 swarms of rats or 2d4 giant rats, which appear the following round.

It also gains the following new bonus action:

Shapechange. When not being ridden, the rosinante change its shape into that of a Small giant rat, or back to its true form. Its statistics, other than its size and speed, are unchanged.

*

View attachment 344577

Variant: Trothspyre
These beautiful equars resemble crystalline unicorns with gemstone eyes and manes and tails of spun silver; they refract rainbows of light wherever they go. On its brow, hidden beneath its forelock, are runes that spell out the word “truth” in an ancient language. When on the Material Plane, they consume blessed holy water and sunlight.

Climate/Terrain: Astral Plane, The Dreaming, Upper Planes

A trothspyre has the following additional traits:

Detect Lie. The trothspyre knows if it hears a lie.

Innate Spellcasting. The trothspyre can cast the following spells:
3/day: protection from evil and good, cure wounds (as 5th-level spell).

Trothspyre Weakness. The trothspyre cannot exist on the Material Plane after sundown. As soon as night falls, the trothspyre fades away, but returns the following day at daybreak, at its rider’s side.

It also has the following new action:

Horn. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) piercing damage damage plus 2d6 radiant damage.

*

New Spell: Summon Equar
6th level (conjuration; arcane, divine, beasts, summoning)

Classes: cleric, wizard
Casting Time: 10 minutes
Range: Short (30 feet)
Components: V, S, M (an offering of the equar’s favorite food and a token displaying the symbol of the equar’s home plane worth 100 gp; the offering is consumed but the token is not)
Duration: 1 month

When you cast this spell, designate a rider; the rider may be yourself. You summon an equar, which appears in an unoccupied space within range and is bound to the rider. In combat, roll initiative for the equar, which has its own turns. It obeys reasonable verbal commands that you issue to it (no action required by you).

The equar disappears when the duration ends or when it is reduced to 0 hit points. It is friendly to you and to your companions for the duration, and it may choose to end the spell at any time and return to its home plane. If the spell ends and the rider and equar remained friendly for the entire duration, you may summon the same equar again, binding it to the same rider.

The Narrator has the equar’s statistics.
kinda strange you didn't give alignment traits for the Equars, as that would make sense considering the alignment thing they have.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
kinda strange you didn't give alignment traits for the Equars, as that would make sense considering the alignment thing they have.
I thought about it, but there's only four alignments and no True Neutral--even though I would think that would be as important an alignment as any of the others.

Also, fixed the cause/inflict wounds things. Argh! Thanks!
 

I thought about it, but there's only four alignments and no True Neutral--even though I would think that would be as important an alignment as any of the others.

Also, fixed the cause/inflict wounds things. Argh! Thanks!
technically you can just use combinations of the four alignment traits, chaotic evil, lawful good, chaotic good, and law good are alignment traits already.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Here are the archer frog and leech frog (and swarm of leech frogs). They’re poisonous frogs. That’s pretty much it. Frogs are cool.

Fun fact: There’s no real difference between frogs and toads, not taxonomically speaking at least. Toad is just a common name for warty frogs. The giant toad in the LU is really just a giant giant frog. I think they could have saved room by making the giant toad into an elite giant frog.

Another fun fact: Frogs can see color even in nearly pitch-darkness; they’re one of the very few animals that can. That 30-foot darkvision is looking pretty unimpressive right now.

Yet another fun fact: Depending on species, frogs seem to be able to jump anywhere from five to 150 times their body length. The giant frog’s Vaulting Leap action is way underpowered. Morrus, take note! For your next printing, change it so they can leap 60 feet!

The fourth and final fun fact: This article is from 1998. The leech toad has a hypnotic gaze. It predates Hypnotoad by about three years.

Archer Frog and Leech Toad
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #247
Creature by Johnathan M. Richards; art by Bob Klasnich

1706550260470.png


Archer Frog
The frogs are mottled green and brown, giving them excellent camouflage in their native forests. They have large throat sacs; during the mating season, these sacs develop bright colors, and their mating calls can be heard for miles. The rest of the time, they are used to hold prey.
Their tongues are incredibly long and ends in a series of hard barbs, which it uses to spear its prey and draw it back. Some forest-dwelling peoples preserve these tongues and use them as spearheads.

Climate/Terrain: subtropical; forest, freshwater

Archer Frog
Large beast; Challenge 1 (200 XP)
AC
13 (natural armor)
HP 33 (4d10+4; bloodied 11)
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR 12 (+1) DEX 12 (+1) CON 12 (+1)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 4 (-3)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 11
Saving Throws
Skills
Perception +2, Stealth +3 (+1d6)
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages

Amphibious. The frog can breathe air and water.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target it is grappling. Hit: 4 (1d6-+1) piercing damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, and the frog has not swallowed another creature, the target is swallowed and the grapple ends. A swallowed creature has total cover from attacks outside the frog, it is blinded and restrained, and it takes 7 (3d4) acid damage at the beginning of each of the frog’s turns. If the frog dies, the target is no longer swallowed.

Tongue. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d4+1) piercing damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 15) and pulled up to 30 feet towards the frog, and restrained until the grapple ends. The frog can grapple one target at a time with its tongue.

Vaulting Leap. The frog jumps up to 30 feet horizontally and 10 feet vertically. If it’s within 5 feet of a creature it isn’t grappling at the end of this movement, it may make a bite attack against that creature with advantage.

*

1706550299807.png


Leech Toad
Sometimes known as “stirgetoads” or “shadow toads,” leech toads are mottled black toads who, as their names suggest, consume blood. Unlike most toads, they are almost entirely terrestrial—their clawed toes make them poor swimmers. They have glowing red eyes, which they use to hypnotize prey, allowing them feed at their leisure. A single leech toad can only hypnotize their potential prey for a few moments, but they rarely travel alone. Leech toads hunt in packs, and a pack can easily subdue a victim for a long period of time.

Leech toads live in dark forests and only come out at night and spend the day in underground burrows stolen from burrowing creatures such as rabbits, badgers, and ankhegs. They have a complex proto-language of peeps and croaks.

Climate/Terrain: temperate, sub-tropical; forest, swamp

Leech Toad
Tiny monstrosity; Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
AC
11
HP 1 (1d1-1)
Speed 20 ft., swim 10 ft.

STR 1 (-5) DEX 12 (+1) CON 8 (-1)
INT 5 (-3) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 14 (+2)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 11
Skills Stealth +3
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages

Amphibious. The toad can breathe air and water.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage and the toad attaches to the target. A creature can use an action to detach it, and it can detach itself as a bonus action.

Blood Drain. The toad drains blood from the creature it is attached to. The creature loses 4 (1d8) hit points. After the toad has drained 8 hit points, it detaches itself and can’t use Blood Drain again until it finishes a rest.

Hypnotic Stare (Gaze). The toad targets a creature within 60 feet. The target must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or become incapacitated until the start of its next turn. While incapacitated, its speed is 0. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Hypnotic Stare of leech toads for 24 hours.

Vaulting Leap. The toad jumps up to 10 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically. If it’s within 5 feet of a creature it isn’t grappling at the end of this movement, it may make a bite attack against that creature with advantage.

Leech Toad Swarm
Medium swarm of Tiny monstrosities; Challenge 1 (200 XP)
AC
11
HP 28 (8d8-8; bloodied 14)
Speed 20 ft., swim 10 ft.

STR 1 (-5) DEX 12 (+1) CON 8 (-1)
INT 5 (-3) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 14 (+2)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 11
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 11
Languages

Amphibious. The toad can breathe air and water.

Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature. It can’t gain hit points or temporary hit points.

Actions
Bites.
Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (4d4) piercing damage, or 5 (2d4) hit points if the swarm is bloodied, and the swarm attaches to the creature. And at the start of each of the toad’s turns, the creature loses 18 (4d8) hit points. After the swarm has drained 64 hit points, or the target dies, the swarm detaches itself and can’t use Blood Drain until it finishes a rest.

Hypnotic Stare (Gaze). The toad targets a creature within 60 feet. The target must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or become incapacitated for 1 minute. If the swarm isn’t bloodied, the target makes this saving throw at disadvantage. While incapacitated, its speed is 0, and it may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. A target that succeeds on the saving throw is immune to the Hypnotic Stare of leech toads for 24 hours.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Dragons are tough to stat out, since there’s four different statblocks and they have tons of legendary actions and a lot have great wyrm elite versions. Issue #248 is a June issue, which traditionally means more dragons, but fortunately (for me), this Dragon’s Bestiary focuses on dragon-kin. Not full-fledged dragons. Phew! Don’t worry; there will be actual dragons at some point.

(This article also puts the tarrasque as a dragon-kin, along with hydras and wyverns.)

The first creature is the amphitere a heavy flying snake with a pointed tongue. The name means “two-winged,” which is not particularly helpful as that can describe all vertebrate fliers. Going by Wikipedia, they seem to be a purely heraldic animal, not one with actual mythology behind it. But D&D has never been one to let something like that stop them.

1706722028758.png


Amphitere
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #248
Creature by Gregory Detwiler; art by Terry Dykstra

Amphiteres are fat, winged serpents that can stretch to lengths of twelve feet or more. They’re covered in fine, downy feathers instead of scales that are a deep sky-blue along their backs and a golden orange along their belly. Their leathery wings and the tip of their barbed tail are forest-green in color. Their coloration puts many in mind of a sunrise over a forest and they are considered to be very beautiful animals.

Poison-Tongue. Amphiteres are venomous snakes, but they don’t deliver their venom through their bite. Instead, their tongue’s arrowhead-shaped tip delivers a deadly venom. Along with their usually sedentary nature leads many people to domesticate them as guard beasts.

Swarmers. These serpents are normally solitary creatures. A female will tend to her eggs, but the hatchlings are precocial and leave the nest immediately after hatching. However, in good seasons when game is plenty, females lay two or even three times as many eggs. These population boons can cause hundreds of hungry amphiteres to flood an area, which can quickly cause the population of prey animals—and humanoids—to drop to dangerously low levels.

Climate/Terrain: temperate; desert, forest, hill

Legends and Lore
With an Arcana check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Amphitere are very large, flying snakes with barbed tails and sharp, venom-laced tongues instead of fangs.

DC 15. The amphitere’s venom is extremely dangerous, requiring magical or mundane cures to treat as it doesn’t fade on its own.

DC 20. Amphiteres can be trained to serve as guard beasts, and some people even like them as pets.

Amphitere Encounters
Challenge Rating 3-4
amphitere

Challenge Rating 5-10 2 amphiteres; amphitere with 2d8 young (statistics of flying snake)
Treasure: 700 gp, 150 sp, 1d4 amphitptere eggs (1,000 gp each), +1 padded cloth, potion of heroism

Signs
1. Large nest tucked into a tree
2. A small pile of blue and gold-orange feathers.
3. Tracks on the ground like those made by a very large snake.
4. A shed snakeskin, which includes wings

Behavior
1. Fighting off a griffon or giant boar that was raiding its nest
2. Laying in ambush high in a tree
3. Sunning itself on a rock
4. Gorging itself on a recent kill
5. Flying overhead
6. Guarding eggs; attacks on sight

Amphitere
Large monstrosity; Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
AC
14 (natural armor)
HP 76 (9d10+18; bloodied 38)
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft.

STR 17 (+3) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 13
Skills Perception +3
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages

Keen Vision. The amphitere has advantage on Perception checks that rely on vision.

Actions
Multiattack.
The amphitere makes two attacks: one with its tongue and either a constrict attack or a tail spike attack.

Tongue. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) piercing damage plus 11 (2d10) poison damage, and the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw against disease. On a failure, the creature is poisoned until the disease is cured, and while poisoned, its speed is reduced to 10 feet. On a success, the creature is poisoned for 1 minute and its speed is not reduced.

Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d10+3) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). Until this grappled ends, the target is restrained and the amphitere can’t constrict a different target.

Tail Spike. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8+3) piercing damage

Combat
The amphitere swoops into bite its prey, then constricts it while its too weak to move quickly. Against multiple foes, it bites and flies away, risking opportunity attacks. It flees when bloodied.
 

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