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

Faolyn

(she/her)
Sorry, folks--had a ton of things on my mind and plate and I totally missed Monday.

D&D has taken monsters from history, mythology, modern legends, fantasy stories, science fiction, toys, but I think this might be one of the first to come from a video game (D&D grues aren’t like Zork grues except for the name). Specifically, the g’grokon is from Heretic II, a game which, according to Wikipedia, was a commercial flop, since it combined third person perspective and first-person shooter camera styles in a way that failed to appeal to fans of either style. In looking the game up, I found an abandonware site that had it, so it doesn’t look like it ever became popular enough for the company to hold onto. Obviously, though, the game had enough fans for one of them to stat up the g’grokon. It seems like it’s just a typical hungry beast that rushes at the player to kill them, but I can’t quite tell—my searches for info on it all seem to lead back to this particular Dragon issue! I can’t find any info from the actual game, not even from its manual. Still, sometimes you just need a mindless monster, so why not?

These guys have a high AC and do a lot of damage for their CR, but they move slowly, making it easy to fight them from a distance, which should even the odds a bit.

1707930971413.png


G’grokon
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #256
Creature by Daniell Freed; art by Raven Software

G’grokon resemble dog-sized beetle-like insects, but are clearly not true insects. They have only four legs: they walk on their hind two and their forelimbs are long and sharp-edged, rather like those of a praying mantis. Their hard carapaces are a dark, orange-red.

Nest-Tenders. G’grokon are communal creatures and live in large, underground warrens. They are highly protective of their warren and the eggs within. Outside of the nest, they travel in small packs.

Symbiotic Relationship. They are known to have a symbiotic relationship with ankhegs. The more sedentary but far stronger ankhegs are willing to protect g’grokon eggs and young, while the more mobile g’grokon travel long distances in search of prey, which they then drag back to the warren to share.

Climate/Terrain: temperate, subtropical, tropical; cavern, desert

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

DC 10. G’grokon are fierce, acid-spitting insectoid predators.

DC 15. These pack-hunters will fight to the death to protect their nests.

G’grokon Encounters
Challenge Rating 1-2
2d4 g’grokon

Challenge Rating 3-4 2d4 g'grokon with 1 ankheg
Treasure: 100 gp, copper ring, mostly-accurate local map (25 gp), dust of dryness

Challenge Rating 5-10 4d4 g'grokon with 1-2 ankhegs and 2d4 ankheg spawn
Treasure: 700 gp, 92 sp, bestiary (75 gp), concealable boot dagger (still in the book), potions of clairvoyance and poison

Signs
1. Acid-scarred trees
2. A severed foreleg, stuck in the body of a half-devoured prey animal
3. With a DC 13 Perception check, the trail of a large creature being dragged, surrounded by tiny footprints
4. A shed carapace

Behavior
1-2. Attacks on sight
3. Defending its nest; will attack anyone who comes near
4. Working together to drag a dead horse back to their warren

G’grokon
Small monstrosity; Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
AC
15 (natural armor)
HP 10 (3d6; bloodied 5)
Speed 20 ft.

STR 7 (-2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 10 (+0)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 4 (-3)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 10
Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances acid
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages

Pack Tactics. The g’grokon has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the g’grokon allies is within 5 feet of the creature and is not incapacitated.

Spider Climb. The g’grokon can use its climb speed even on difficult surfaces and upside down on ceilings.

Actions
Multiattack.
The g’grokon makes two attacks with either its claws or its acid spit.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+2) slashing damage. If the g;grokon moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack, the target must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or fall prone.

Acid Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) acid damage. If the target is a creature, it suffers 2 (1d4) ongoing acid creature until a creature takes an action to wipe the acid off.

Combat
G’grokon attack from a distance with their acid spit, only approaching melee range when the prey has been sufficiently weakened. They fight to the death when defending their warren; otherwise, they flee when bloodied.
 

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Sorry, folks--had a ton of things on my mind and plate and I totally missed Monday.

D&D has taken monsters from history, mythology, modern legends, fantasy stories, science fiction, toys, but I think this might be one of the first to come from a video game (D&D grues aren’t like Zork grues except for the name). Specifically, the g’grokon is from Heretic II, a game which, according to Wikipedia, was a commercial flop, since it combined third person perspective and first-person shooter camera styles in a way that failed to appeal to fans of either style. In looking the game up, I found an abandonware site that had it, so it doesn’t look like it ever became popular enough for the company to hold onto. Obviously, though, the game had enough fans for one of them to stat up the g’grokon. It seems like it’s just a typical hungry beast that rushes at the player to kill them, but I can’t quite tell—my searches for info on it all seem to lead back to this particular Dragon issue! I can’t find any info from the actual game, not even from its manual. Still, sometimes you just need a mindless monster, so why not?

These guys have a high AC and do a lot of damage for their CR, but they move slowly, making it easy to fight them from a distance, which should even the odds a bit.

View attachment 346060

G’grokon
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #256
Creature by Daniell Freed; art by Raven Software

G’grokon resemble dog-sized beetle-like insects, but are clearly not true insects. They have only four legs: they walk on their hind two and their forelimbs are long and sharp-edged, rather like those of a praying mantis. Their hard carapaces are a dark, orange-red.

Nest-Tenders. G’grokon are communal creatures and live in large, underground warrens. They are highly protective of their warren and the eggs within. Outside of the nest, they travel in small packs.

Symbiotic Relationship. They are known to have a symbiotic relationship with ankhegs. The more sedentary but far stronger ankhegs are willing to protect g’grokon eggs and young, while the more mobile g’grokon travel long distances in search of prey, which they then drag back to the warren to share.

Climate/Terrain: temperate, subtropical, tropical; cavern, desert

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

DC 10. G’grokon are fierce, acid-spitting insectoid predators.

DC 15. These pack-hunters will fight to the death to protect their nests.

G’grokon Encounters
Challenge Rating 1-2
2d4 g’grokon

Challenge Rating 3-4 2d4 g'grokon with 1 ankheg
Treasure: 100 gp, copper ring, mostly-accurate local map (25 gp), dust of dryness

Challenge Rating 5-10 4d4 g'grokon with 1-2 ankhegs and 2d4 ankheg spawn
Treasure: 700 gp, 92 sp, bestiary (75 gp), concealable boot dagger (still in the book), potions of clairvoyance and poison

Signs
1. Acid-scarred trees
2. A severed foreleg, stuck in the body of a half-devoured prey animal
3. With a DC 13 Perception check, the trail of a large creature being dragged, surrounded by tiny footprints
4. A shed carapace

Behavior
1-2. Attacks on sight
3. Defending its nest; will attack anyone who comes near
4. Working together to drag a dead horse back to their warren

G’grokon
Small monstrosity; Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
AC
15 (natural armor)
HP 10 (3d6; bloodied 5)
Speed 20 ft.

STR 7 (-2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 10 (+0)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 4 (-3)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 10
Skills Perception +3
Damage Resistances acid
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages

Pack Tactics. The g’grokon has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the g’grokon allies is within 5 feet of the creature and is not incapacitated.

Spider Climb. The g’grokon can use its climb speed even on difficult surfaces and upside down on ceilings.

Actions
Multiattack.
The g’grokon makes two attacks with either its claws or its acid spit.

Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+2) slashing damage. If the g;grokon moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack, the target must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or fall prone.

Acid Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 20 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) acid damage. If the target is a creature, it suffers 2 (1d4) ongoing acid creature until a creature takes an action to wipe the acid off.

Combat
G’grokon attack from a distance with their acid spit, only approaching melee range when the prey has been sufficiently weakened. They fight to the death when defending their warren; otherwise, they flee when bloodied.
so was the ankheg symbiosis from the article or is that something you added?
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
so was the ankheg symbiosis from the article or is that something you added?
My own addition. There really was nothing I could find on them and the article just had them as random monsters. Having them be symbiotic with ankhegs gave them what I felt was an interesting niche.
 



Faolyn

(she/her)
What follows is probably the most powerful monster I’ve ever created that isn’t a dragon: It’s the earth giant of Krynn. Which isn’t actually a giant in my mind, but an elemental, since it’s basically a living mountain. It’s a fairly peaceful creature, which means that if you were looking to throw a CR 29 monster at your players to kill, you might be disappointed. Of course, you can make it go on a rampage, or maybe your players did something to really piss it off, but the earth giant isn’t the type to just wander around being evil. Or hoard treasure, although I gave it some anyway, since I’m going to assume stuff just got lost on its body. The PCs will really have to search for any treasure they pull from it, though.

Annoyingly, this article only gives abbreviated statblocks, the type you’d find in modules, rather than the full Monstrous Compendium-style pages. Although it does give stats in both AD&D and Saga System. I guess they didn’t have enough room for full tats for both. What was the Saga System like? Anyone here play it?

1708103392203.png


Earth Giant
The Lost Giants of Krynn, Dragon Magazine #256
Creature by Richard “Ricko” Dakan; art by Tom Baxa

The name “earth giant” is something of a misnomer, as they are not giants but actually tremendous nature elementals, walking mountains with a bulbous, vaguely humanoid form. They stand over 150 feet tall, although they rarely stand—they spend much of their time sound asleep. So much time, in fact, that most are covered with soil and rock and even small trees.

Big Friendly Giants. Despite being so large and powerful that even their sighs can cause small earthquakes, earth giants are generally peaceful creatures. They seem to have no ill will towards anyone, primarily because they have almost no enemies. The only creatures that ever actively want to harm them are the few creatures who eat rock and on occasion, beings such as div, who sometimes want to own an earth giant as a status symbol. Far more often, earth giants are harmed by people who, mistaking them for a mountain, try to dig into them. None of these creatures pose much of a threat to the giant, who—if it even notices them—will simply shoo them away rather than fight. Only if the threat persists will the giant react with violence.

Historians. Earth giants are ancient beings; legends say they predate the world itself, and were born out of primordial earth. They are quite intelligent and have nearly perfect memories and, despite lacking eyes and ears, can somehow detect everything that goes on around them, even when they’re asleep. Thus, every earth giant is a fount of lore that makes every historian desperate to interview them. However, these giants spend so much time sleeping and are difficult to wake up. It’s also hard to get one talking—although once it starts talking, it rambles on, sometimes for days at a time.

Earth-Eater. Earth giants eat rock and earth when awake, but when asleep, they absorb nutrients from the soil and from sunlight, like plants. Unfortunately, after a few centuries of sleep, the soil becomes drained of nutrients, unsuitable for either the giant or for trees. At this point, the giant simply wakes up and wanders away, looking for a new place to nap, leaving barren dirt behind.

Climate/Terrain: any climate; forest, grassland, hill, mountain

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

DC 15. Earth giants are not true giants, but are more akin to earth spirits or genius loci. So large they resemble small mountains than living beings, they spend centuries at a time sleeping, causing soil to accumulate over them and trees to grow on them.

DC 20. These immortal beings are excellent sources of history. They lack eyes and ears but can sense even the slightest movements by other creatures up to a mile away.

Earth Giant Encounters
Challenge Rating 23-30
earth giant
Treasure: 13,000 gp, 3 diamonds (5,000 gp each), 5 opals (1,000 gp), half-ruined fortress (can be fixed), silver and topaz crown (2,500 gp), greatsword named Yondolug that once belonged to a famed orc warlord (for every five enemies killed in a battle, it gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls; bonus resets to +0 at dawn), +3 arrows, 2 potions of supreme healing, scroll of forest army

Challenge Rating 31+ earth giant with 1-2 earth elementals and 1-2 treants
Treasure: 5,000 pp, 10,000 gp, 10 rubies (5,000 gp each), platinum and ruby ring (7,500 gp), gold bejeweled ewer (7,500 gp), platinum statuette of a beloved deity (7,500 gp), bead of force, +3 greatclub that formed inside of the giant (inflicts an additional 3d8 damage on a critical hit, can be used to cast move earth and stone sense each 1/long rest), ioun stone of greater absorption, rod of absorption, scroll of gate

Signs
1. Numerous earth elementals, dust mephits, and plant creatures can be found in the area
2. Frequent earth tremors that seem to be coming closer
3. A terrible, rhythmic, landslide-kind of noise—the earth giant is asleep and snoring
4. Many animals running in panic; the earth giant is moving

Behavior
1-3. Sleeping
4. Dictating local history to an audience (who may or may not be appreciative) in a very slow and sonorous voice.
5. Awoken by miners and attempting to shoo them away.
6. Looking for a new open area in which to fall asleep.

Earth Giant
Legendary titanic elemental; Challenge 29 (135,000 XP)
AC
22 (natural armor)
HP 533 (2d6d20+260; bloodied 266)
Speed 90 ft.

STR 30 (+10) DEX 7 (-2) CON 30 (+10)
INT 17 (+3) WIS 22 (+6) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +9; Maneuver DC 27
Saving Throws Str +19, Dex +7, Con +19
Skills History +12, Insight +15, Intimidation +9 (+1d6), Nature +12, Perception +15
Damage Resistances damage from weapons
Damage Immunities cold, fire, lightning, thunder
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, prone
Senses blindsight 1 mile (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 25
Languages Common, Sylvan, Terran, 1d4 other languages

False Appearance. When motionless, the earth giant is indistinguishable from a small mountain or hill

Great Steps. The earth giant’s movement isn’t hindered by difficult terrain.

Immortal Nature. The earth giant doesn’t require air or sustenance.

Legendary Resistance (3/day). When the earth giant fails a saving throw it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, boulders and dust fall from it, as if it is crumbling. Until the end of its next turn, it can’t use Cause Avalanche.

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

The Mountain Sees All. The earth giant has a d8 expertise die on Intelligence checks made to recall history. If it fails such a roll, it can expend one use of its Legendary Resistance trait to treat the roll as a 20.

Actions
Multiattack.
The earth giant makes two Fist attacks.

Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 33 (6d10) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 27 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the start of its next turn.

Cause Avalanche (Recharge 5-6). The earth giant causes rocks to fall of it in a cylinder that is 60 feet and has a 40-foot radius. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 35 (10d6) bludgeoning damage and falls prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and doesn’t fall prone. The rocks turn the ground in that area into difficult terrain until cleared.

Bonus Actions
Grab.
One Medium or Large creature within 15 feet of the earth giant must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be grappled (escape DC 27). Until this grapple ends, the giant can’t grab another target and can only make one Fist attack.

Legendary Actions
The earth giant can take 4 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Bellow. Each creature of the earth giant’s choice within 120 feet of it that can hear it must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. Creatures take 10 (3d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one, and creatures that fail their saving throw are frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. When it succeeds on a saving throw or the effect ends for it, it is immune to Bellow for 24 hours.

Fling. The earth giant throws one object or creature it is grappling up to 90 feet away. The target lands prone and takes 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage. If the giant throws the target at another creature, that creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw taking the same damage on a failure.

Rumble (Costs 2 Actions). The earth giant stomps, causing an earthquake around it. Creatures within 90 feet must make a DC 27 Strength saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage and falling prone on a failure.

Combat
Earth giants rarely attack and almost never actively try to kill anyone—they simply pick up anyone who tries to hurt them and throw them away. They do not run away and will fight to the death, if forced to.
 

What follows is probably the most powerful monster I’ve ever created that isn’t a dragon: It’s the earth giant of Krynn. Which isn’t actually a giant in my mind, but an elemental, since it’s basically a living mountain. It’s a fairly peaceful creature, which means that if you were looking to throw a CR 29 monster at your players to kill, you might be disappointed. Of course, you can make it go on a rampage, or maybe your players did something to really piss it off, but the earth giant isn’t the type to just wander around being evil. Or hoard treasure, although I gave it some anyway, since I’m going to assume stuff just got lost on its body. The PCs will really have to search for any treasure they pull from it, though.

Annoyingly, this article only gives abbreviated statblocks, the type you’d find in modules, rather than the full Monstrous Compendium-style pages. Although it does give stats in both AD&D and Saga System. I guess they didn’t have enough room for full tats for both. What was the Saga System like? Anyone here play it?

View attachment 347452

Earth Giant
The Lost Giants of Krynn, Dragon Magazine #256
Creature by Richard “Ricko” Dakan; art by Tom Baxa

The name “earth giant” is something of a misnomer, as they are not giants but actually tremendous nature elementals, walking mountains with a bulbous, vaguely humanoid form. They stand over 150 feet tall, although they rarely stand—they spend much of their time sound asleep. So much time, in fact, that most are covered with soil and rock and even small trees.

Big Friendly Giants. Despite being so large and powerful that even their sighs can cause small earthquakes, earth giants are generally peaceful creatures. They seem to have no ill will towards anyone, primarily because they have almost no enemies. The only creatures that ever actively want to harm them are the few creatures who eat rock and on occasion, beings such as div, who sometimes want to own an earth giant as a status symbol. Far more often, earth giants are harmed by people who, mistaking them for a mountain, try to dig into them. None of these creatures pose much of a threat to the giant, who—if it even notices them—will simply shoo them away rather than fight. Only if the threat persists will the giant react with violence.

Historians. Earth giants are ancient beings; legends say they predate the world itself, and were born out of primordial earth. They are quite intelligent and have nearly perfect memories and, despite lacking eyes and ears, can somehow detect everything that goes on around them, even when they’re asleep. Thus, every earth giant is a fount of lore that makes every historian desperate to interview them. However, these giants spend so much time sleeping and are difficult to wake up. It’s also hard to get one talking—although once it starts talking, it rambles on, sometimes for days at a time.

Earth-Eater. Earth giants eat rock and earth when awake, but when asleep, they absorb nutrients from the soil and from sunlight, like plants. Unfortunately, after a few centuries of sleep, the soil becomes drained of nutrients, unsuitable for either the giant or for trees. At this point, the giant simply wakes up and wanders away, looking for a new place to nap, leaving barren dirt behind.

Climate/Terrain: any climate; forest, grassland, hill, mountain

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

DC 15. Earth giants are not true giants, but are more akin to earth spirits or genius loci. So large they resemble small mountains than living beings, they spend centuries at a time sleeping, causing soil to accumulate over them and trees to grow on them.

DC 20. These immortal beings are excellent sources of history. They lack eyes and ears but can sense even the slightest movements by other creatures up to a mile away.

Earth Giant Encounters
Challenge Rating 23-30
earth giant
Treasure: 13,000 gp, 3 diamonds (5,000 gp each), 5 opals (1,000 gp), half-ruined fortress (can be fixed), silver and topaz crown (2,500 gp), greatsword named Yondolug that once belonged to a famed orc warlord (for every five enemies killed in a battle, it gains a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls; bonus resets to +0 at dawn), +3 arrows, 2 potions of supreme healing, scroll of forest army

Challenge Rating 31+ earth giant with 1-2 earth elementals and 1-2 treants
Treasure: 5,000 pp, 10,000 gp, 10 rubies (5,000 gp each), platinum and ruby ring (7,500 gp), gold bejeweled ewer (7,500 gp), platinum statuette of a beloved deity (7,500 gp), bead of force, +3 greatclub that formed inside of the giant (inflicts an additional 3d8 damage on a critical hit, can be used to cast move earth and stone sense each 1/long rest), ioun stone of greater absorption, rod of absorption, scroll of gate

Signs
1. Numerous earth elementals, dust mephits, and plant creatures can be found in the area
2. Frequent earth tremors that seem to be coming closer
3. A terrible, rhythmic, landslide-kind of noise—the earth giant is asleep and snoring
4. Many animals running in panic; the earth giant is moving

Behavior
1-3. Sleeping
4. Dictating local history to an audience (who may or may not be appreciative) in a very slow and sonorous voice.
5. Awoken by miners and attempting to shoo them away.
6. Looking for a new open area in which to fall asleep.

Earth Giant
Legendary titanic elemental; Challenge 29 (135,000 XP)
AC
22 (natural armor)
HP 533 (2d6d20+260; bloodied 266)
Speed 90 ft.

STR 30 (+10) DEX 7 (-2) CON 30 (+10)
INT 17 (+3) WIS 22 (+6) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +9; Maneuver DC 27
Saving Throws Str +19, Dex +7, Con +19
Skills History +12, Insight +15, Intimidation +9 (+1d6), Nature +12, Perception +15
Damage Resistances damage from weapons
Damage Immunities cold, fire, lightning, thunder
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, prone
Senses blindsight 1 mile (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 25
Languages Common, Sylvan, Terran, 1d4 other languages

False Appearance. When motionless, the earth giant is indistinguishable from a small mountain or hill

Great Steps. The earth giant’s movement isn’t hindered by difficult terrain.

Immortal Nature. The earth giant doesn’t require air or sustenance.

Legendary Resistance (3/day). When the earth giant fails a saving throw it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, boulders and dust fall from it, as if it is crumbling. Until the end of its next turn, it can’t use Cause Avalanche.

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

The Mountain Sees All. The earth giant has a d8 expertise die on Intelligence checks made to recall history. If it fails such a roll, it can expend one use of its Legendary Resistance trait to treat the roll as a 20.

Actions
Multiattack.
The earth giant makes two Fist attacks.

Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +18 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 33 (6d10) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 27 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the start of its next turn.

Cause Avalanche (Recharge 5-6). The earth giant causes rocks to fall of it in a cylinder that is 60 feet and has a 40-foot radius. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 35 (10d6) bludgeoning damage and falls prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and doesn’t fall prone. The rocks turn the ground in that area into difficult terrain until cleared.

Bonus Actions
Grab.
One Medium or Large creature within 15 feet of the earth giant must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be grappled (escape DC 27). Until this grapple ends, the giant can’t grab another target and can only make one Fist attack.

Legendary Actions
The earth giant can take 4 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. It regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Bellow. Each creature of the earth giant’s choice within 120 feet of it that can hear it must make a DC 20 Wisdom saving throw. Creatures take 10 (3d6) thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one, and creatures that fail their saving throw are frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. When it succeeds on a saving throw or the effect ends for it, it is immune to Bellow for 24 hours.

Fling. The earth giant throws one object or creature it is grappling up to 90 feet away. The target lands prone and takes 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage. If the giant throws the target at another creature, that creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw taking the same damage on a failure.

Rumble (Costs 2 Actions). The earth giant stomps, causing an earthquake around it. Creatures within 90 feet must make a DC 27 Strength saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage and falling prone on a failure.

Combat
Earth giants rarely attack and almost never actively try to kill anyone—they simply pick up anyone who tries to hurt them and throw them away. They do not run away and will fight to the death, if forced to.
i do feel like you could do an elite version of this (like a primordial earth giant, for example).
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
The article our next monsters come from is simply called “Greater Drakes” and is a collection of six smallish (horse-sized), ridable dragons. These drakes are specified as being “greater” because they’re larger kin to the drakes presented in an article from Dragon #146, “Dragons are Wizards’ Best Friends.” I converted those drakes into faerie dragon variants.

Anyway, it’s a shame that D&D never really leaned into the idea of dragon-mounts all that much outside of Dragonlance, especially in the earlier days when mechanical balance wasn’t as important as it is now. On the other hand, the earlier editions often seemed allergic to letting the players be too cool, so that’s probably why (plus not wanting to step on Dragonlance’s toes). While each drake has its own stats, they’re all rather similar. Similar enough that I’ve decided to do with them what I did with the equar: a single statblock with a bunch of variants.

Drake
Greater Drakes, Dragon Magazine #260
Creature by Johnathan M. Richards

Drakes are small dragon-kin—small being a relative term, as they are the size of a large draft horse. From a distance, they resemble young dragons, although the differences are clear from closer-up. Most notably, they have an enlarged throat pouch, which expands like a bullfrog’s when they expel their breath weapon and allows their calls to echo across the land. Their limbs tend to be proportionately shorter than those of a dragon as well. And most importantly—at least from the point of view of dragons—drakes only have animal-level intelligence.

Lesser Dragons. Drakes are coveted as a mount by many cultures—elves, orcs, and lizardfolk have all domesticated drakes with rousing success. Dragons themselves tend to view drakes as pests that are mimicking the true draconic form without any of its beauty or grace and view them with disdain (or as a meal). To most humanoids, however, they have the benefits of the dragon while being good mounts without any of a dragon’s egotistical nature. Drakes are often belligerent, but those who are raised to be mounts are loyal and friendly towards their riders, and they work well with other drakes.

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

DC 10. Drakes are small relatives of the dragon, sometimes used as mounts.

DC 15. There are numerous species of drake, each with their own abilities.

DC 20. Although many drakes are raised in captivity, they breed the best in the wild. Their eggs are worth an enormous amount of money to those looking to raise one as a steed.

Drake Encounters
Challenge Rating 3-4
drake

Challenge Rating 5-10 2-3 drakes; drake with knight or veteran; drake with strider or veteran warrior
Treasure: 400 gp, 120 sp, set of gold buttons (250 gp), thick silver chain necklace (75 gp), potions of stone giant strength and healing, boots of the winterlands. Optionally: 1d3 drake eggs (5,000 gp each)

Signs
1. A scale similar, but not identical, to a young dragon's scale.
2. A shadow passing overhead
3. A distant growling roar
4. Small, dragon-like claw-prints

Behavior
1. Flying overhead and hunting; attacks on sight
2. Being ridden on a standard patrol; the rider will land the drake to question the characters
3. In its lair, caring for its eggs
4. Feeding on a dead deer, hippogriff, or similar creature

Drake
Large dragon; Challenge 3 (7000 XP)
AC
14 (natural armor)
HP 66 (7d10+28; bloodied 33)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 18 (+4)
INT 3 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 15
Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages

Keen Sight. The drake has advantage on Perception checks that rely on sight.

Actions
Multiattack.
The drake makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) piercing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the drake can’t bite another target.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) slashing damage, or 14 (2d8+5) slashing damage if the drake started its turn at least 20 feet above the target.

Combat
Drakes let loose with their breath weapon before diving on their prey from above. If being ridden, they obey their ri’er's orders. They retreat if bloodied or if they managed to grapple a potential meal in their jaws.

Variant: Arsalon
Arsalons have thick, chitinous scales that are a dusty yellow-tan color with darker, coffee-brown wings on their wings and on stripes along their necks and short tails, the latter of which is tipped by a stinger. This coloration—along with their long, thin horns that resemble antennae—puts many people in mind of a giant bee or wasp when they see the drake. Arsalons also have a strangely net-like pouch on their throat which oozes a thick, nectar-like substance. This substance attracts bees and wasps, who build their nests in the pouch, gaining a home and protection and, in return, cleaning the drake’s teeth and scales for it. By contracting their neck muscles, the arsalon can expel the insects, who then attack the drake’s foes, allowing it to literally breathe bees. Very few creatures have tried to domesticate arsalons, save for a few groups of woodland-dwelling elves.

Climate/Terrain: temperate; woodlands.

The arsalon is AC 16, is immune to poison and the poisoned condition, and has the following additional actions:

Multiattack. The drake makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws. It can replace its Bite attack with a Stinger attack.

Stinger. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4+5) piercing damage and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) poison damage on a failed saving throw or half as much on a success.

Bee Breath (Recharges After a Short or Long Rest). The arsalon exhales stinging insects in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) piercing damage and 10 (3d6) poison damage, and is poisoned for 1 minute on a failure, or half as much damage and is not poisoned on a success. Additionally, each creature in that area, whether they failed or succeeded on their saving throw, takes 3 (1d6) ongoing piercing damage and 3 (1d6) ongoing poison damage until they move at least 60 feet away from the arsalon.

*

Variant: Fumarandi
These charcoal-colored drakes have eyes that glow like burning embers, and their black tongue constantly flicks in and out of its mouth, like that of a snake. Their horns and talons look like black pearls. They are warm to the touch, but not dangerously so. These drakes are rarely used as mounts. They generally don’t take well to domestication and dislike being ridden except by Small riders—although they can be easily bribed with shiny things.

Climate/Terrain: temperate; desert, hill, mountain

Fumarandi have 57 (6d10+24; bloodied 28) hit points and are immune to fire damage. Its Bite has been altered and it has the following additional action:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) piercing damage plus 5 (2d4) fire damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the drake can’t bite another target.

Burning Smoke Breath (Recharge 5-6). The fumarandi breathes a 30-foot cone of burning smoke. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. Additionally, creatures that failed their saving throw must use their next action to cough and retch from the smoke. Creatures that are immune to poison don’t lose their action to coughing. Finally, the breath’s area is considered heavily obscured for 1d4 rounds.

*

Variant: Kavainus
The kavainus is called the ghost drake, both because is dusty-white scales absorb light and glow in the dark and because it has the ability to turn ethereal. Their skull-like heads have rows of sharp horns, and their dark eyes are deeply set, giving them the look of empty sockets. Kavainus mate for life and defend their young vigorously. They are the favored mount of both mountain-dwelling elves and of assassins.

Climate/Terrain: subarctic, temperate; hill, mountain

The kavainus has the following additional traits:

Ethereal Sight. The kavainus can see into both the Material and Ethereal Plane.

Glows In The Dark. When in darkness, the drake sheds dim light in a 10-foot radius. Attack rolls made against it at this time are made with advantage.

It also has the following additional actions:

Ethereal Jaunt. The kavainus magically shifts from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane or vice versa. If it is being ridden, its rider travels with it. While ethereal, it can only be affected by creatures on the Ethereal Plane, and creatures not on the Ethereal Plane can’t perceive the drake and its rider unless they have some ability that specifically allows it.

*

Variant: Recthenbeast
Also called the muck drake, rechtenbeasts are ugly, lumbering things that resemble bloated, warty frogs. They have the typical drake’s long, serpentine tail, which looks misplaced on their lumpy bodies, and their wings are barely able to support their weight in flight. They are decent swimmers, however, making up for their clumsiness in the air. They are often used as mounts by lizardfolk and boggards.

Climate/Terrain: temperate, subtropical; swamp

The recthenbeast has a fly speed of 40 ft. and a swim speed of 60 ft, and has resistance to acid damage. It has the following additional traits:

Limited Amphibiousness. The recthenbeast can breathe air and water. When breathing air, it must immerse itself in water once every 4 hours or begin to suffocate.

Swamp Camouflage. When in a swampy environment, the recthenbeast has advantage on Stealth checks.

It also has the following additional action:

Muck Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: The target is poisoned and slowed until the end of its next turn. Additionally, each creature that is within 5 feet of the target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn, due to the muck’s foul stench.

*

Variant: Silslithis
Sleekly beautiful and beyond graceful when swimming, these ocean-dwelling drakes are favored by many aquatic people. Their scales are pearly blues and greens, with lighter colored wings and frills.

Climate/Terrain: subarctic, temperate, subtropical; coast, ocean

The silslithis has a swim speed of 80 feet and are resistant to cold damage. It has the following additional trait:

Amphibious. The silslithis can breathe air and water.

It also has the following additional action:

Geyser Breath (Recharge 5-6). The silslithis breathes a 30-foot-long, 5-foot-wide line of powerful water. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. Additionally, creatures that failed their saving throw are pushed back 10 feet and knocked prone. If the silslithis uses its breath weapon, affected creatures have advantage on their saving throw.

*

Variant: Vandalraug
Also known as the battle drake, the vandalraug is easily domesticated into service and is relatively common among all war-mongering peoples, especially humans and orcs. They have orange eyes with slit pupils, but their scale coloring ranges widely, from greens to browns to grays to reddish-oranges. They sport heavy, curling horns, used primarily in mating combats, but they can be trained to use them in combat as well. The claws on the thumbs of its wings sport particularly long, nasty claws. Perhaps ironically, these war-trained drakes are one of the few species of drakes that lack a breath weapon.

Climate/Terrain: subarctic, temperate, subtropical; hill, mountain, settlement

The vandalraug has is CR 4 (1,100 XP), has 76 (8d10+32; bloodied 38) hit points, and is immune to the frightened condition. It has the following additional actions:

Multiattack: The drake makes four attacks: one with its bite, two with its claws, and one wing-slash.

Ram. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10+5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature and the vandalraug moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack, the target takes an additional 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage and must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or fall prone.

Wing-Slash. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) slashing damage
 
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The article our next monsters come from is simply called “Greater Drakes” and is a collection of six smallish (horse-sized), ridable dragons. These drakes are specified as being “greater” because they’re larger kin to the drakes presented in an article from Dragon #146, “Dragons are Wizards’ Best Friends.” I converted those drakes into faerie dragon variants.

Anyway, it’s a shame that D&D never really leaned into the idea of dragon-mounts all that much outside of Dragonlance, especially in the earlier days when mechanical balance wasn’t as important as it is now. On the other hand, the earlier editions often seemed allergic to letting the players be too cool, so that’s probably why (plus not wanting to step on Dragonlance’s toes). While each drake has its own stats, they’re all rather similar. Similar enough that I’ve decided to do with them what I did with the equar: a single statblock with a bunch of variants.

Drake
Greater Drakes, Dragon Magazine #260
Creature by Johnathan M. Richards

Drakes are small dragon-kin—small being a relative term, as they are the size of a large draft horse. From a distance, they resemble young dragons, although the differences are clear from closer-up. Most notably, they have an enlarged throat pouch, which expands like a bullfrog’s when they expel their breath weapon and allows their calls to echo across the land. Their limbs tend to be proportionately shorter than those of a dragon as well. And most importantly—at least from the point of view of dragons—drakes only have animal-level intelligence.

Lesser Dragons. Drakes are coveted as a mount by many cultures—elves, orcs, and lizardfolk have all domesticated drakes with rousing success. Dragons themselves tend to view drakes as pests that are mimicking the true draconic form without any of its beauty or grace and view them with disdain (or as a meal). To most humanoids, however, they have the benefits of the dragon while being good mounts without any of a dragon’s egotistical nature. Drakes are often belligerent, but those who are raised to be mounts are loyal and friendly towards their riders, and they work well with other drakes.

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

DC 10. Drakes are small relatives of the dragon, sometimes used as mounts.

DC 15. There are numerous species of drake, each with their own abilities.

DC 20. Although many drakes are raised in captivity, they breed the best in the wild. Their eggs are worth an enormous amount of money to those looking to raise one as a steed.

Drake Encounters
Challenge Rating 3-4
drake

Challenge Rating 5-10 2-3 drakes; drake with knight or veteran; drake with strider or veteran warrior
Treasure: 400 gp, 120 sp, set of gold buttons (250 gp), thick silver chain necklace (75 gp), potions of stone giant strength and healing, boots of the winterlands

Signs
1. A scale similar, but not identical, to a young dragon's scale.
2. A shadow passing overhead
3. A distant growling roar
4. Small, dragon-like claw-prints

Behavior
1. Flying overhead and hunting; attacks on sight
2. Being ridden on a standard patrol; the rider will land the drake to question the characters
3. In its lair, caring for its eggs
4. Feeding on a dead deer, hippogriff, or similar creature

Drake
Large dragon; Challenge 3 (7000 XP)
AC
14 (natural armor)
HP 66 (7d10+28; bloodied 33)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 18 (+4)
INT 3 (-4) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +2; Maneuver DC 15
Skills Perception +3, Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages

Keen Sight. The drake has advantage on Perception checks that rely on sight.

Actions
Multiattack.
The drake makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d6+5) piercing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the drake can’t bite another target.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) slashing damage, or 14 (2d8+5) slashing damage if the drake started its turn at least 20 feet above the target.

Combat
Drakes let loose with their breath weapon before diving on their prey from above. If being ridden, they obey their ri’er's orders. They retreat if bloodied or if they managed to grapple a potential meal in their jaws.

Variant: Arsalon
Arsalons have thick, chitinous scales that are a dusty yellow-tan color with darker, coffee-brown wings on their wings and on stripes along their necks and short tails, the latter of which is tipped by a stinger. This coloration—along with their long, thin horns that resemble antennae—puts many people in mind of a giant bee or wasp when they see the drake. Arsalons also have a strangely net-like pouch on their throat which oozes a thick, nectar-like substance. This substance attracts bees and wasps, who build their nests in the pouch, gaining a home and protection and, in return, cleaning the drake’s teeth and scales for it. By contracting their neck muscles, the arsalon can expel the insects, who then attack the drake’s foes, allowing it to literally breathe bees. Very few creatures have tried to domesticate arsalons, save for a few groups of woodland-dwelling elves.

Climate/Terrain: temperate; woodlands.

The arsalon is AC 16, is immune to poison and the poisoned condition, and has the following additional actions:

Multiattack. The drake makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its claws. It can replace its Bite attack with a Stinger attack.

Stinger. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4+5) piercing damage and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) poison damage on a failed saving throw or half as much on a success.

Bee Breath (Recharges After a Short or Long Rest). The arsalon exhales stinging insects in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) piercing damage and 10 (3d6) poison damage, and is poisoned for 1 minute on a failure, or half as much damage and is not poisoned on a success. Additionally, each creature in that area, whether they failed or succeeded on their saving throw, takes 3 (1d6) ongoing piercing damage and 3 (1d6) ongoing poison damage until they move at least 60 feet away from the arsalon.

*

Variant: Fumarandi
These charcoal-colored drakes have eyes that glow like burning embers, and their black tongue constantly flicks in and out of its mouth, like that of a snake. Their horns and talons look like black pearls. They are warm to the touch, but not dangerously so. These drakes are rarely used as mounts. They generally don’t take well to domestication and dislike being ridden except by Small riders—although they can be easily bribed with shiny things.

Climate/Terrain: temperate; desert, hill, mountain

Fumarandi have 57 (6d10+24; bloodied 28) hit points and are immune to fire damage. Its Bite has been altered and it has the following additional action:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) piercing damage plus 5 (2d4) fire damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the drake can’t bite another target.

Burning Smoke Breath (Recharge 5-6). The fumarandi breathes a 30-foot cone of burning smoke. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. Additionally, creatures that failed their saving throw must use their next action to cough and retch from the smoke. Creatures that are immune to poison don’t lose their action to coughing. Finally, the breath’s area is considered heavily obscured for 1d4 rounds.

*

Variant: Kavainus
The kavainus is called the ghost drake, both because is dusty-white scales absorb light and glow in the dark and because it has the ability to turn ethereal. Their skull-like heads have rows of sharp horns, and their dark eyes are deeply set, giving them the look of empty sockets. Kavainus mate for life and defend their young vigorously. They are the favored mount of both mountain-dwelling elves and of assassins.

Climate/Terrain: subarctic, temperate; hill, mountain

The kavainus has the following additional traits:

Ethereal Sight. The kavainus can see into both the Material and Ethereal Plane.

Glows In The Dark. When in darkness, the drake sheds dim light in a 10-foot radius. Attack rolls made against it at this time are made with advantage.

It also has the following additional actions:

Ethereal Jaunt. The kavainus magically shifts from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane or vice versa. If it is being ridden, its rider travels with it. While ethereal, it can only be affected by creatures on the Ethereal Plane, and creatures not on the Ethereal Plane can’t perceive the drake and its rider unless they have some ability that specifically allows it.

*

Variant: Recthenbeast
Also called the muck drake, rechtenbeasts are ugly, lumbering things that resemble bloated, warty frogs. They have the typical drake’s long, serpentine tail, which looks misplaced on their lumpy bodies, and their wings are barely able to support their weight in flight. They are decent swimmers, however, making up for their clumsiness in the air. They are often used as mounts by lizardfolk and boggards.

Climate/Terrain: temperate, subtropical; swamp

The recthenbeast has a fly speed of 40 ft. and a swim speed of 60 ft, and has resistance to acid damage. It has the following additional traits:

Limited Amphibiousness. The recthenbeast can breathe air and water. When breathing air, it must immerse itself in water once every 4 hours or begin to suffocate.

Swamp Camouflage. When in a swampy environment, the recthenbeast has advantage on Stealth checks.

It also has the following additional action:

Muck Spit. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 30 ft., one target. Hit: The target is poisoned and slowed until the end of its next turn. Additionally, each creature that is within 5 feet of the target must succeed on a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned until the start of its next turn, due to the muck’s foul stench.

*

Variant: Silslithis
Sleekly beautiful and beyond graceful when swimming, these ocean-dwelling drakes are favored by many aquatic people. Their scales are pearly blues and greens, with lighter colored wings and frills.

Climate/Terrain: subarctic, temperate, subtropical; coast, ocean

The silslithis has a swim speed of 80 feet and are resistant to cold damage. It has the following additional trait:

Amphibious. The silslithis can breathe air and water.

It also has the following additional action:

Geyser Breath (Recharge 5-6). The silslithis breathes a 30-foot-long, 5-foot-wide line of powerful water. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw, taking 21 (6d6) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. Additionally, creatures that failed their saving throw are pushed back 10 feet and knocked prone. If the silslithis uses its breath weapon, affected creatures have advantage on their saving throw.

*

Variant: Vandalraug
Also known as the battle drake, the vandalraug is easily domesticated into service and is relatively common among all war-mongering peoples, especially humans and orcs. They have orange eyes with slit pupils, but their scale coloring ranges widely, from greens to browns to grays to reddish-oranges. They sport heavy, curling horns, used primarily in mating combats, but they can be trained to use them in combat as well. The claws on the thumbs of its wings sport particularly long, nasty claws. Perhaps ironically, these war-trained drakes are one of the few species of drakes that lack a breath weapon.

Climate/Terrain: subarctic, temperate, subtropical; hill, mountain, settlement

The vandalraug has is CR 4 (1,100 XP), has 76 (8d10+32; bloodied 38) hit points, and is immune to the frightened condition. It has the following additional actions:

Multiattack: The drake makes four attacks: one with its bite, two with its claws, and one wing-slash.

Ram. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10+5) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature and the vandalraug moves at least 20 feet straight towards the target before the attack, the target takes an additional 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage and must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or fall prone.

Wing-Slash. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) slashing damage
i know dragon eggs in base a5e has an associated cost, so maybe throw in costs for drake eggs (similar, costs to have these as mounts).
 

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