Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary

Faolyn

(she/her)
I like monsters, and I like to convert monsters from one edition or system to another. And so, this begins my attempt to convert selected monsters from Dragon Magazine into Level Up format. Conversion actually works differently for me in LU than it does in o5e. Normally, I build the monster based on whatever the original monster looked like and then try to figure out the CR afterwards. I realize that this isn't the "official" way but it worked for me. Now, I'm trying to make monsters in the order the book actually says. Coming up with the encounters will also be new for me, since I don't normally care about CR. Thus, if people notice anything off in my calculations, please let me know!

Anyway. I'm not converting every monster from Dragon Magazine. Just the ones I like, and my taste in monsters can be weird. Although I suppose that if people have requests I can take them into consideration.

I didn't create any of these monsters and don't own any of them. I'm just converting them.

Notes:
[F] = suitable as a familiar.
[L] = Legendary creature
[E] = Elite creature.

Andeloid (CR 10); Unity (CR 2x10) [E]; Andeloid Spore (CR 1/2); Swarm of Andeloid Spores (CR 5); Andeloid Neophyte (CR 3)
Cessirid (CR 1); Kigrid (CR 3)
Curst (CR 4)
Flolite (CR 1)
Lock Lurker (CR 1/8)
Magebane (CR 1/8)
Mapmaker (CR 4) (aberration/fiend)
Spell Weaver (CR 8)
Wingless Wonder (CR 1/2)

Baazrag (CR 1/8); Baazrag Pack (CR 3); Boneclaw (CR 1)
Battering Ram (CR 1/2)
Beasts: Fur Seal (CR 1/2); Giraffe (CR 2); Harbor Seal (CR 1/4); Tapir (CR 1/8); Walrus (CR 2)
Cenozoic Beasts: Glyptodon (CR 2); Giant Ground Sloth (CR 5); Dire Sloth (CR 6)
Cooshee (CR 1/2) (beast/fey)
Crodlu (CR 2)
Death Sheep (CR 1/2); Death Sheep Herd Leader (CR 1)
Drik (CR 17)
Electric Ray (CR 1/4)
Giant Archerfish (CR 1/2)
Giant Bristle Worm (CR 5)
Giant Carnivorous Clam (CR 1)
Giant Echida (CR 2)
Kangaroo (CR 1/8)
Pernicon (CR 1/8) and Swarm of Pernicons (CR 4)
Snake (Variant): King Cobra (CR 1/2); Giant Spitting Snake (CR 1/4); Rattlesnake (CR 1/2); Saw-Edged Constrictor (CR 1/4); Spitting Cobra (CR 1/8)
Wolf (Variant): Kaoulgrim (CR 1/4)

Angel, Lomandur (CR 1/4) [F]
Baku (CR 6)
Lillend (CR 7)

Guardian, Bronze Metaguardian (CR 8); Steel Metaguardian (CR 9); Platinum Metaguardian (CR 10); Ultimate Metaguardian (CR 13)
Guardian, Tin (CR 5)
Guardian, Wood (CR 5); Treant Guardian (CR
Huntsman (CR 1)
Necroton (CR 6) (construct/undead)
Oculon (CR 4)
Paper Dragon (CR 1/4)
Shadow Asp (CR 1) (construct/undead); Swarm of Shadow Asps (CR 4)
Tabur (CR 1/2) [F]

Dragon, Chromium (Ferrous): Ancient (CR 23)[L]; Adult (CR 17)[L]; Young (CR 9); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Cobalt (Ferrous): Ancient (CR 24)[L]; Adult (CR 16)[L]; Young (CR 10); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Cobra (Essence): Ancient (CR 28) [L]; Adult (CR 22) [L]; Young (CR 13); Wyrmling (CR 5)
Dragon, Fang (Essence): Ancient (CR 22) [L]; Adult (CR 17) [L]; Young (CR 10); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Iron (Ferrous): Ancient (CR 26)[L]; Adult (CR 20)[L]; Young (CR 12); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Jacinth (Gem): Ancient (CR 22) [L]; Adult (CR 15) [L]; Young (CR 10); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Nickel (Ferrous): Ancent (CR 23) [L]; Adult (CR 17) [L]; Young (CR 9); Wyrmling (CR 2)
Dragon, Obsidian (Gem): Ancient (24) [L]; Adult (18) [L]; Young (CR 9); Wyrmling (CR 3)
Dragon, Orange (Chromatic): Ancient (CR 23) [L]; Adult (CR 18) [L]; Young (CR 12); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Pearl (Gem): Ancient (CR 20) [L]; Adult (CR 14) [L]; Young (CR 7); Wyrmling (CR 2)
Dragon, Pink (Chromatic): Ancient (CR 19) [L]; Adult (CR 13) [L]; Young (CR 8); Wyrmling (CR 2)
Dragon, Purple (Chromatic): Ancient (CR 22) [L]; Adult (CR 16) [L]; Young (CR 10); Wyrmling (CR 3)
Dragon, Rainbow (Chromatic): Ancient (CR 28) [L]; Adult (CR 23) [L]; Young (CR 12); Wyrmling (CR 4)
Dragon, Tungsten (Ferrous): Ancient (CR 26) [L]; Adult (CR 19) [L]; Young (CR 10); Wyrmling (CR 3)
Dragon, Yellow (Chromatic): Ancient (CR 23) [L]; Adult (CR 16) [L]; Young (CR 9); Wyrmling (CR 3)
Faerie Dragon Variant: Phase Dragon (CR 1)
Faerie Dragon Variants: Gloom Dragon (CR 1) ; Hellion Dragon (CR 1); Jewel Dragon (CR 1); Mimic Dragon (CR 1)
Linnorm, Forest (CR 18)
Linnorm, Land (CR 23)
Linnorm, Sea (CR 24)
Minidragon (CR 1/8) (dragon/beast)
Growf (CR 1/4) (dragon/aberration)

Gem-Vars (CR 7)
Glasspane Horror (CR 8)
Orrek (CR 1/2) [F]
Quark (CR 1/4) [F]
Quasi-Elemental, Negative: Ash Elemental (CR 5); Giant Ash Elemental (CR 9); Vacuum Elemental (CR 5); Giant Vacuum Elemental (CR 9)
Quasi-Elemental, Negative: Dust Elemental (CR 5); Giant Dust Elemental (CR 9); Salt Elemental (CR 5); Giant Salt Elemental (CR 9)
Quasi-Elemental, Positive: Radiance Elemental (CR 5); Giant Radiance Elemental (CR 9); Steam Elemental (CR 5); Giant Steam Elemental (CR 9)
Quasi-Elemental, Positive: Mineral Elemental (CR 5); Giant Mineral Elemental (CR 9); Lightning Elemental (CR 5); Giant Lightning Elemental (CR 9)
Shard (CR 3); Giant Shard (CR 6)
Trilling Crysmal (CR 9)
Whiz-bang beetles (CR 0); Swarm of whiz-bang beetles (CR 2)
Wind Steed (CR 2); Herd Noble (CR 3)

Averx (CR 1/8)
Azmyth (CR 1/4) [F]
Bogeyman (CR 1/2)
Calygraunt (CR 1); Calygraunt Hedge Mage (CR 3)
Catwere (Tibbet) (CR 1/2) (fey/beast)
Leshy (CR 8) [L]
Púca (CR 7) [L]
Quatch (CR 1/4)
Sluagh (CR 1/4); Swarm of Sluagh (CR 3)
Tickler (CR 0); Swarm of Ticklers (CR 1/2)


Fachan (CR 5)
Troll Variant: Demon Troll (CR 6)

Hurgeon (CR 1/8); Hurgeon Druid (CR 1/4); Hurgeon Guard (CR 1/4) (humanoid/fey)

Behir: Juvenile Behir (CR 6); Elder Behir (CR 11x2); Desert Behir (CR 9); Jungle Behir (CR 13)
Cantobele (CR 7); Cantobele Cub (CR 3)
Cave Harvester (CR 1)
Gaund (CR 1/4)
Gorynych (CR 14); Juvenile Gorynych (CR 5)
Horast (CR 2)
Hundar (CR 8)
Luposphinx (CR 7)
Lybardde (CR 2)
Kiita (CR 1/2)
Metalmaster (CR 4)
Orgautha (CR 2); Elder Orgautha (CR 4)
Polar Spider (CR 3)
Quakedancer (CR 7)
Sinister (CR 4)
Snake (Variant): Giant Ringed Snake (CR 3)
Spider Cat (CR 5)
Tolwar (CR 1)
Wandega (CR 1/2); Wandega Herdmage (CR 2); Wandega Warlock (CR 1/2)


Ascomid (CR 3)
Basidirond (CR 1)
Carnivorous Plants: Bloodflower (Vampire Rose) (CR 2); Giant Bladderwort (CR 3); Giant Rainbow Plant (CR 2)
Helborn (CR 7)
Intellect Devourer, Ustilagor (CR 1/4) (plant/aberration)
Pilfer Vine (CR 3)
Sashalus (CR 1/4)

Ankou (CR 4)
Bloody Bones (CR 5)
Dread Wolf (CR 1); Dread Wolf Pack (CR 9)
Ghulah (CR 5); Ghulah Dark Artist (CR 7)
Lhiannan Shee (CR 4) {undead/fey)
Musical Spirit (CR 2)
Skeleton Variants: Gem Eyes (CR varies); Shock Bones (CR varies)
Skotos (CR 1/2)
Tyerkow (CR 9); Elder Tyerkow (CR 9x2) [E] (undead/fiend)
Vrykolaka (CR 9) [L]; Elder Vrykolaka (CR 9x2) [E]; Vrykolaka Spawn (CR 3)
Wendigo (CR 11)

 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
The first monster is the horast, also known as the whipper or whipperbeast. There's something about the illustration that I really liked, and I got the feeling that the creator really tried to think about dungeon ecology.

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Art by Mary Lynn Skirvin

Horast
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #27
Created by Mary Lynn Skirvin

The horast, also known as the whipper beast, is fierce a subterranean hunter. It has an almost comical appearance, with six splayed limbs, and a tubular snout with flared monsters at the end, stiff, steel-gray fur. A row of short, flexible spines that run down the length of their flat, rotund body, and their most noticeable feature is a horny, rat-like tail that’s nearly twice as long as their body. That tail, however, ends in dagger-like barbs, and the horast is capable of wielding its tail like a bullwhip.

Dungeon-Dwelling Predators. Horasts are generally found only in underground places, where their metallic gray fur lets them blend into their stony surroundings. They only attack when hungry—although they’re hungry quite often—or to defend their territory.

Strange Allies. Despite their bestial nature, horasts are actually willing to associate with humanoids who treat them kindly, and some dungeon-dwelling people have learned to use them as mounts.

Legends and Lore
With a Nature check, characters can learn the following:

DC 10: Also called whipper beasts, these fierce creatures are mostly found in the darkest underground regions, but don’t fear the light. In the dark, their eyes glow.

DC 15: Horasts don’t eat meat, but instead drink blood, preferably from freshly-killed corpses.

DC 20: Despite their predatory temperaments, horasts are willing to befriend and even accompany humanoids—at least those who have a forceful enough personality.

Encounters
Terrain: caverns, mountains
Horasts are almost invariably found underground, either in natural caverns or in constructed dungeons, where their gray fur lets them blend in to their stony surroundings.

CR 1-2: 1 horast.
CR 3-4: 2 horasts.
Treasure: a desiccated corpse with a battered and damaged shield +1.

Signs
1. Blade-like gouges in stone walls or floors.
2. A bloodless corpse. A DC 12 Investigation or Survival check will reveal that the blood is missing, not pooled on or soaked into the ground.
3. A few short, shed spikes. A DC 10 Nature check will reveal that they are the quills from a creature.
4. Pieces of discarded armor with gaping rents.

Behavior
1. Lapping up blood from a recently-slain corpse.
2. Hungry: will attack on sight.
3. Sleeping in its lair.
4. Tracking prey.

Horast
Large monstrosity

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
AC 13 (natural armor)
HP 32 (5d10+5; bloodied 16)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.

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

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Perception +2, Stealth +2 (+1d6 when underground)
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Per 12
Languages
Keen Senses. The horast has advantage on Perception checks that rely on hearing or smell.
Six-Legged. The horast has advantage on any saving throw to avoid being knocked prone.

Actions
Multiattack.
The horast makes two claw attacks.
Tailslash. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d8+2) bludgeoning damage plus 7 (2d6) piercing damage. If the target is wearing heavy armor or armor with the Flaw trait, the target must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or the armor becomes damaged. If the target rolls a 1 on this save, the armor is broken instead.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d8+2) slashing damage.

Reactions
Knockdown.
When the horast is attacked by a creature within 10 feet of it, uses its tail to knock the target off its feet. The target must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or take 11 (2d8+2) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and isn’t knocked prone.

Combat
Horasts try to keep a distance from their their target, preferring to attack with its tail; they generally only use their claws against a prone target. When bloodied, the creature retreats.
 
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xiphumor

Hero
Ecologically, this seems like a strike-and-wait kind of creature (like early humans) that perhaps would strike quick, try to get a serious blow in, and then wait for the target to bleed out before going in for the kill. As such, I’d love to see variants that impose conditions on their prey. I can imagine this creature perched in a jungle tree, waiting for an unsuspecting adventurer to walk below before suddenly poisoning it and then retreating or using the tree for cover.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Many of the early monsters produced for D&D weren’t built to fill combat role, represent a real-world legendary or mythical creature, or to expand upon an existing creature (as the never-ending selection of dragons, elementals, fiends, elves, trolls, and giants do). They were just creatures of the imagination. The whiz-bang beetle, complete with faux Latin nomenclature, seems to be such a creature (my high school Latin and knowledge of taxonomy translates this to “beetle who loves fire”). I have no idea what, if anything, inspired them. Maybe they were supposed to represent living explosive rounds or heat-seeking missiles? Perhaps they were inspired by moths circling a lamp?

There’s little in the original write-up that describes the ecology of the whiz-bang—despite coming with introductory flavor text. Their physical description and the illustration doesn’t make them look like living creatures, and magic resistance plus their ability to quickly bore through solid rock is definitely unnatural. This is why I made them into elementals, perhaps formed out of igneous rock.

This one is also a twofer, since there's both the beetle and the swarm of beetles.

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Whiz-Bang Beetle (Coleoptera conflagration amotensia)
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #29
Created by John Hageman

Whiz-bang beetles are tiny elementals that resemble beetles at first glance, although careful examination will quickly reveal the differences. Their bullet-shaped bodies are matte iron-gray and sport two pairs of crystalline wings (they lack a beetle’s elytra), and their antennae resemble whiskers. They average about two to three inches in length.

Fast-Fliers. They are shockingly fast fliers, and their wings make a recognizable “wheeeee” sound as they zip around. They are also clumsy fliers, so the wheeeee sounds are usually punctuated by the sound of a beetle crashing into a wall or ground. Their tough carapace prevents these crashes from being too harmful.

Fire-Lovers. For unknown reasons, whiz-bang beetles adore fire. They are immune to flames and seem to love diving in and out of flames. They don’t seem to gain any benefits from doing so, don’t seem to eat fire, and fire doesn’t seem to play any part in their courtship or the way they raise their young. They simply like fire. Even stranger, they don’t seem to care much about magical fire.

Semi-Eusocial. Unlike true beetles, whiz-bangs have a hive society, with up to about 100 beetles in the hive (on occasion, a hive will have several queens and proportionately more beetles). But unlike eusocial insects such as ants and bees, the queen of the hive doesn’t produce young; instead, the other beetles reproduce in the same way normal beetles do. Instead, she produces “honey,” a thin liquid similar in appearance to mercury and that smells sweetly smoky. Adult whiz-bangs exclusively consume this honey. The other beetles spend much of their time collecting food for the queen and their larvae: balls of carrion or humus, flammable oils, coal, and chunks of burnt wood.

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

DC 10. Whiz-bang beetles are hive insects who are attracted to fire, smoke, and even lamp oil. They feel compelled to fling themselves into any source of fire they can sense. They live in hives, which are ruled by a much larger queen.

DC 15. Whiz-bang beetles produce a magical, honey-like substance that is in much demand by many alchemists and wizards, as it’s a useful ingredient in potions of speed and other magical items that increase movement.

DC 20. Although they resemble beetles, whiz-bang beetles are actually rock-like elementals. The queen is an integral part of the hive as they produce the honey needed by the other beetles, and removing her from it will almost invariably kill her and doom the entire hive to starvation.

Monster Encounters
Terrain: caverns, desert, mountains
These beetles can be found in any stony terrain—underground, in rocky deserts, and cliff faces. Perhaps surprisingly, they are rarely found near volcanoes.

CR 1-2: 1-2 swarms of whiz-bang beetles.
Treasure: 1 vial of oil. 1d6 ounces of whiz-bang honey. Each ounce can be worth up to 100 gp to an artificer or wizard, who frequently use it in making magic items that increase the user’s speed.

CR 3-4: 3-5 swarms of whiz-bang beetles.
Treasure: 1d4 vials of alchemist’s fire. 1d6 ounces of whiz-bang honey, plus 1 ounce per swarm.

Whiz-Bang Honey
If an ounce of the honey is consumed, roll a d10:

1. No effect.
2-7. Your speed is increased as if you had been targeted by a haste spell for 1 minute.
8-9. Your speed is increased as above, but when the effect ends, you are poisoned for 10 minutes as you suffer from symptoms similar to food poisoning.
10. You are poisoned for 10 minutes and while poisoned, your speed is reduced by 10 feet.

Signs
1. A stone wall or boulder with numerous 1-inch holes bored into it. The stone—their hive—is disturbingly warm to the touch.
2. A bunch of dead beetles around the remains of a burnt-out bonfire.
3. A high-pitched whirling sound, followed by occasional thuds and bangs—the sound of the beetle’s flight and occasionally bonking into walls.
4. Several burnt out torches or lanterns that have clearly been dropped, with footprints running away from them.

Behavior
1. Attacking a humanoid who is holding a torch.
2. Swarming around a fire that threatens to spread to nearby vegetation.
3. An individual whiz-bang beetle circling a candle.
4. Crawling on the surface of the hive.

Whiz-Bang Beetle
Tiny elemental

Challenge 0 (10 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 1 (1d4-1)
Speed 5 ft., burrow 5 ft., fly 100 ft.

STR 2 (-4) • DEX 12 (+2) • CON 8 (-1)
INT 1 (-5) • WIS 9 (-1) • CHA 2 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Damage Resistances bludgeoning from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities fire
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages
Fire Scent. The whiz-bang beetle can detect the presence of nonmagical flames or smoke from a considerable distance. The beetle can detect fire or smoke that fills a 5-foot cube or is larger up to 300 feet away. The beetle can detect the flame or smoke from a candle, torch, pipe, lantern, or similar hand-held source from up to 30 feet away.
Magic Resistance. The whiz-bang beetle has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Tunneler. The whiz-bang beetle can burrow through solid rock at a speed of 1 foot per round and leaves a 1-inch diameter tunnel in its wake.

Actions
Ram.
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage. If the creature is holding an object, it must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or drop the object. The beetle then ricochets 5 feet away in a random direction. This movement doesn’t trigger opportunity attacks.

Combat
Nearly mindless, a whiz-bang beetle simply rams a fire-wielding creature until it drops or extinguishes the fire it is carrying, at which point it will continue to ram into the creature until it runs away. The beetle will then hover around and dart into the flame, ignoring anything else that isn’t trying to harm it.

Variant: Whiz Bang Queens
Whiz-bang queens are larger than the rest of the beetles and can reach a length of six inches. Upon becoming an adult queen, the beetle cements herself into the stone of their hive and remains immobile for the rest of her life). The queen has a speed of 0 ft., no burrow or fly speed, and can take no actions.

It is incredibly difficult to remove a queen from the hive without killing her, requiring a DC 20 Engineering check.


Swarm of Whiz-Bang Beetle
Medium swarm of Tiny elementals

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 23 (5d8; bloodied 11)
Speed 5 ft., burrow 5 ft., fly 100 ft.

STR 2 (-4) • DEX 12 (+2) • CON 10 (+0)
INT 1 (-5) • WIS 9 (-1) • CHA 2 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Damage Immunities fire
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 9
Languages
Fire Scent. The swarm can detect the presence of nonmagical flames or smoke from a considerable distance. The beetle can detect fire or smoke that fills a 5-foot cube or is larger up to 300 feet away. The beetle can detect the flame or smoke from a candle, torch, pipe, lantern, or similar hand-held source from up to 30 feet away.
Magic Resistance. The swarm has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature. It can’t gain HP or temporary hit points.
Tunneler. The swarm can burrow through solid rock at a speed of 1 foot per round and leaves a 1-inch diameter tunnel in its wake.

Actions
Ram.
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d10) bludgeoning damage, or 5 (1d10) bludgeoning damage if the swarm is bloodied. If the creature is holding an object, it must make a DC 12 Dexterity saving throw or drop the object. This roll is made at disadvantage if the swarm is not bloodied.


Edit: Whoops! Forgot the attribution!
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
I think this might be the first monster in Dragon Magazine by Ed Greenwood, and the first I’ve converted that appears in multiple editions. We all know this one: yet another undead creature that's hard to kill, but with the twist of sometimes acting bizarrely, even in combat, and with a dumb name to boot. Surprisingly (to me at least), here in its first appearance, it was very specifically said to not be undead—something that was ignored in every subsequent appearance. I think I’ll keep it as not-undead, as was originally intended. It will make for an interesting twist. Even more surprising is how little else of the creature changed over the years. A lot of the description remains the same, no matter the edition.

The curst is also somewhat unusual as being something like an early template: Hit Dice, Intelligence, and even its combat abilities all depend on its abilities in life, and in 3e it became a full-fledged template. I settled on making it a CR 4 creature. I would have made it higher CR'd, but as I said, I'm a bit new to making creatures in the edition and I'm not entirely sure how to have high-CR creatures that use normal weapons. I can't just up the damage a sword does when wielded by a Small or Medium creature, and there's only so many weapon attacks such a creature can reasonably make in a turn. I may revisit this one when I gain more experience.

1656280884280.png


Curst
Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #30
Also in Monstrous Compendium Annual #2 for AD&D and in Monsters of Faerun for 3e.
Created by Ed Greenwood

Cursts are unfortunate humanoids cursed to never die. They look much like wights: gaunt and pallid, with thin skin stretched tightly over jutting bones and sunken, glittering eyes are filled with anger. They favor dark clothes and hooded cloaks, although some cling to the clothing they wore when they were initially cursed. They rarely speak, and when they do so they speak with a dry, rasping voice.

Transformed Mortals. A curst is created by using a wish to inflict a terrible curse on a person. Once changed, the curst’s mind shatters, driving it mad and making it prone to erratic behaviors. Although it retains many of the memories of its former life, it loses many of its skills and all of its magical abilities. Cursts do not immediately know the nature of their curse, but those who find out usually begin to long for the release of death. Some throw themselves into battle, hoping that they will one day come across an opponent capable of slaying them. Others seek to destroy the individual who placed the curse, believing—rightly or wrongly—that the caster will remove the curse in order to save their own life.

Not Undead. Curst are not undead, although it would be an easy mistake to make. Although they can heal from any damage, their wounds often don’t close properly and look raw, and are frequently infested with insects and worse. It often comes as a surprise when they completely ignore attempts to ignore them.

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

DC 10. Cursts were the subject of fell magics and are cursed to never die. The curse drives them mad. They can regenerate from any injury, even when burned to ash.

DC 15. Despite their appearance, cursts are not undead.

DC 20. Cursts can be permanently slain only with powerful magic: a remove curse, cast with a 7th-level or higher spell slot, and only when the curst has been reduced to 0 hit points.

Monster Encounters
Terrain: cavern, ruin, tomb
Cursts can be found anywhere, in any climate or terrain, but prefer dark areas and typically avoid settlements. When one curst meets another, they often band up for a while, at least until their madness drives them apart.

CR 4-5: 1 curst, curst with temporary cutthroat ally.
Treasure. A ring bearing the curst’s coat of arms (worth 150 gp), a map to location of the wizard who cursed them, a cloak of protection (adjust the curst’s AC to reflect this), masterwork cold iron sword (worth 250 gp)

CR 5-15: 2 or 3 cursts, curst with 1d4 hired knight allies.
Treasure. 500 gp, a warhorse for each knight, two potions of superior healing, a sword +1 called Spellstrike; if it inflicts damage to a creature who is concentrating on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on its concentration saving throw.

Signs
1. Graffiti that is a random mixture of hate-filled slurs and happy, childish imagery, all clearly created by the same hand. Careful examination reveals the name of the spellcaster who created the curst.
3. The sound of singing in the distance.
4. A wanted poster for the high-level spellcaster who created the curst. The poster may be so old that the spellcaster is long-dead—or has become a lich.
5. The husks of dead rot grubs.

Behavior
1. Singing terribly off-key while dancing.
2. Hostile; it immediately attacks the characters.
3. Staring off into space and seemingly unaware of its surroundings.
4. Approaches the characters and begs for their help in either ending the curse against them or getting revenge against the spellcaster who cursed them.
5. Engaging in battle with creatures who remind it of an ancient foe.
6. Acting like a normal human traveler, seemingly unaware of its appearance.

Names
Aeron, Amrit, Briar, Huet, Jolon, Keres, Nerezza, Sidero, Tuma, Ubel

Curst
Medium aberration

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
AC 15 (leather brigandine)
HP (10d8+20)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 16 (+3) DEX 12 (+1) CON 14 (+2)
INT 8 (-1) WIS 12 (+11) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Skills Perception +3 and 1d4 others
Damage Immunities cold, fire, necrotic
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, petrified, stunned
Senses darkvision 90 feet., passive Perception 13
Languages Common and 1d4 others
Addled. At the start of each of its turns, the curst rolls a d20. On a 1, the curst is confused until the start of its next turn.
Asnomia. The curst has no sense of smell.
Chaotic. The curst radiates a Chaotic aura.
Magic Resistance. The curst has advantage on saving throws against spells and other amgical effects.
Regeneration. The curst regains 1 hit point at the start of its turn. It dies only if it is reduced to 0 hit points and remove curse, cast with a 5th-level or higher spell slot, is cast against it. The curst can regrow lost body parts, including its head, in this manner. If the curst is reduced to 0 hit points, it will remain paralyzed four 24 hours.
Unusual Nature. The curst doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep, and doesn’t age. If slain, the curst crumbles into dust, leaving only its equipment and anything it was wearing, and can’t be brought back to life by any means short of a true resurrection.
Parry (1/turn). While wielding its bastard sword, once each round it can add an expertise die to its armor class. The curst can’t use this property while incapacitated, paralyzed, rattled, restrained, or stunned.

Actions
Multiattack. The curst makes three attacks with its sword.
Bastard Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d8+3) slashing damage, or 8 (1d10+3) slashing damage if wielded in two hands.
Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) bludgeoning damage.

Bonus Actions
Maddened Whirlwind (1/day, while bloodied). The curst makes an attack with its sword against up to two creatures within 5 feet of it.

Combat
Cursts attack randomly and, once they begin to fight, they fight for as long as they can. If a curst becomes addled, there is a 25% chance that, on its next turn, it will decide to stop fighting unless it is attacked.

Variant: Curst Rogue
While many curst were once warriors of one kind or another, others lead a sneakier life. Curst rogues can only make one attack per turn and a shortsword (1d6+3 piercing damage) instead of a bastard sword. They also lose the Parry and Relief From Madness traits. However, they gain the following traits instead:

Sneak Attack (1/Turn). The curst deals an additional 14 (4d6) piercing damage when it hits with a weapon attack while it has advantage on the attack, or when its target is within 5 feet of an ally of the curst while the curst doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack.

Variant: Infested Curst
Some curst are infested with Rot Grubs (described in Trials & Treasures page 145). The infested curst is a CR 5 (1,800 XP) monster. It has the following additional trait.

Infested. Once during a combat, the rot grubs will leap out onto all targets within 10 feet of the curst (no action required by the curst). Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or be hit by 1d4 rot grubs, which deal 3 (1d6) ongoing damage each until removed. Destroying the rot grubs requires either digging them out, which causes the target to suffer an additional 1d6 piercing or slashing damage per rot grub, or burning them by inflicting at least 10 fire damage to the target.
 
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Lime2K

Explorer
In your curst description, you have “they complete ignore attempts to ignore them.”. Pretty sure you meant “they completely ignore attempts to turn them.”, there 😆
 

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