Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary

Faolyn

(she/her)
A truly horrific monster!
A whole mini campaign could be built around this wicked thing, and it would work just as well in a horror RPG.
I know, right! There's just something so creepy about skinless monsters anyway, and then you add in the rest of their abilities and they just become seriously cool.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
Elementals! There can never be enough, right? Well, D&D sure thought so, and they produced bunches of ‘em. The next four monsters are the positive quasi-elemental. Negative quasis will appear in an upcoming issue.

Well, OK, three elementals were introduced in this article, Plane Speaking, because the lightning elemental was in Monster Manual II. However, I’m going to convert the lightning elemental anyway, just so we get a complete set. The three elementals in this article, plus the lightning elemental, made it to 2nd edition by way of Planescape Appendix III.

Traditionally, these elementals are created by the combined energies of an elemental plane and the Plane of Positive Energy, but since this is for Level Up, I’m going to use the Plane of Life from Trials & Treasures. Or you can just ignore that altogether and say they’re just a different type of regular elemental.

Since these guys are pretty straight-forward—they use the Legends and Lore and Encounters of standard elementals but have their own Signs, Behaviors, and Appearances—I’m going to include two in this entry: the radiance quasi-elemental and the steam elemental. A steam elemental might be a good ally for a river dragon or an artificer, and couatl or mummy lord may ally with a radiance elemental—leaning into the idea of representing a sun god here.

Quasi-Elementals
Plane Speaking: The (Positive) Quasi-Elementals, Dragon Magazine #125
Created by Jeff Grubb

Radiance Elemental
Radiance elementals appear where the energies of the Plane of Fire and the Plane of Life mingle. Some people think they were the inspiration for the prismatic spray spell, since they attack with beams of damaging light that produce different forms of energy.

Radiance Elemental Signs
1. The light is unusually bright or of a strange color.
2. A rainbow in the distance.
3. The air feels unusually hot and dry, but also very clean.
4. Shadows burned into the wall.

Radiance Elemental Behavior
1-2. Sunning itself, relaxing, and thinking placid thoughts.
3. Changing colors.
4. Flitting about, using various objects in the area to cast amusing shadows.

Radiance Elemental Appearance
1. A sun-like sphere
2. A tremendous, shimmering butterfly.
3. A roughly humanoid-shaped rainbow.
4. An asymmetric white light that pulses with color.

Radiance Elemental
Large Elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 14
HP 90 (12d10+24; bloodied 45)
Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 15 (+2) DEX 18 (+4) CON 15 (+2)
INT 7 (-2) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 8 (-1)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 15
Damage Vulnerabilities necrotic
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lighting; damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities radiant, poison
Condition Immunities blinded, fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses passive Perception 10
Languages Ignan
Amorphous. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Variable Illumination. The elemental sheds bright light in a 5 to 60-foot radius and dim light for an additional number of feet equal to the chosen radius. The elemental can alter the radius as a bonus action

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two Brilliant Touch attacks.
Brilliant Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +7, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) radiant damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the start of its next turn.
Rainbow Beam (Recharge 5-6). The elemental targets up to seven creatures it can see within 60 feet of it and fires a colorful beam of light at each one. Each creature must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw, taking 9 (2d8) damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. For each target, roll a d6 to determine the type of damage taken: 1—Red ray: fire damage; 2—Orange ray: acid damage; 3—Yellow ray: lightning damage; 4—Green ray: poison damage; 5—Blue ray: cold damage; 6—White ray: radiant damage.

Combat
Radiance elementals start combat with their Rainbow Beam, then switching to their Brilliant Touch. They prefer to stay out or range, darting in to attack at close range only when they have to.

Variant: Giant Radiant Elemental
A giant radiance elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 112 (15d12+30; bloodied 61) hit points. Its Brilliant Touch and Rainbow Beam each deal an extra 9 (2d8) damage.

*

Steam Elemental
Steam elementals are a mix of the energies of the Plane of Water and the Plane of Life. They have full control over their temperature and can switch from scalding steam to freezing mist at will. They are insatiably curious but not particularly friendly, and some people believe that they work as spies for genies and similar beings, as even the most paranoid of people rarely think that the fog itself is listening to them.

Steam Elemental Signs
1. Condensation on every surface.
2. A great deal of fog.
3. The air is humid. Surfaces are slick and slimy.
4. Puddles of steaming-hot or icy water on the ground.

Steam Elemental Behavior
1. Floating peacefully over the ground.
2. Spying on other creatures.
3. Aggressive; will attack on sight.
4. Powering a steam engine.

Steam Elemental Appearance
1. A fog cloud.
2. Droplets of condensation on a surface that move into different shapes when approached.
3. A ghostly water elemental.
4. A mass of misty tendrils.

Steam Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 14
HP 102 (12d10+36; bloodied 51)
Speed 0 ft., fly 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR 12 (+1) DEX 18 (+4) CON 16 (+3)
INT 8 (-1) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 7 (-1)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 15
Skills Stealth +7
Damage Vulnerabilities lightning
Damage Resistances cold, fire, radiant; damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Aquan
Blowing Hot or Cold. At the start of each of its turns, the elemental chooses whether it will inflict cold or fire damage (no action required by it). All damage it inflicts that turn using its Touch or Surround action, or because of its Steam Form trait, will be of that damage type.
Misty Invisibility. When in a dimly-lit area or an area obscured by mist or fog, the elemental is invisible.
Steam Form. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing. A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) cold or fire damage. In addition, the elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. The first time it enters a creature’s space on a turn, that creature takes 5 (1d10) cold or fire damage.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two touch attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8+3) cold or fire damage.
Engulf. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, Reach 5 ft., one Large or smaller creature. Hit: The target is surrounded by the elemental. The elemental’s area is heavily obscured difficult terrain, and the creature takes 14 (4d6) cold or fire damage. If the elemental takes lightning damage while it is engulfing a creature, then the creature being engulf takes the damage as well.

Combat
Steam elementals attack by using their Engulf and constantly alternating their temperature, never giving their victims time to adapt.

Variant: Giant Steam Elementals
A giant steam elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 142 (15d12+45; bloodied 71) hit points. Its Slam and Engulf each deal an extra 10 (3d6) damage.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
The next two quasielementals are the mineral elemental and the lightning elemental. Storm giants might have lightning elemental servants, and if you’re going to use my gem-vars, you could give them a mineral elemental pet or even steed.

One thing I find particularly interesting about the mineral elemental is that the writeup in this article says that two of them can merge into a single, larger entity. While I’m sure this is related to the fact that one can grow gems, but it just makes me want to sing: We… are the Crysal Gems! / We’ll always save the day! (When is Hulu going to get season 5 so I can finish watching it? I’m not going to pay for yet another streaming service just for one show.)

Quasi-Elementals
Plane Speaking: The (Positive) Quasi-Elementals, Dragon Magazine #125
Created by Jeff Grubb

Mineral Elemental
Mineral elementals appear where the Plane of Earth and Positive Plane mix, but can also be found deep underground, near untouched veins and clusters or gemstones. When a mineral elemental dies, its body disintegrates in dozens of gemstones (mostly low-quality, with few worth more than 10 gold, but with a few valuable stones mixed in), but fortunately for them, few people think that it’s worth the risk to hunt them down.

Mineral Elemental Signs
1. A trail of gemdust.
2. Natural gemstones that glow with gentle light.
3. The sound of crystalline windchimes.
4. Gemstones growing in the wall in unnaturally artistic patterns.

Mineral Elemental Behavior
1. Polishing a rough gemstone.
2. Crudely carving a huge gem into a figurine.
3. Aggressive; will attack on sight
4. Patrolling, will confront anyone who has gemstones on their person.

Mineral Elemental Appearance
1. A hulking, headless quadrupedal beast made of rough earth and stone, studded with uncut gems.
2. A rotating plumb bob made of a single, giant gemstone (hovers just above the ground but doesn’t “fly”, per se).
3. A multiarmed, humanoid knight, glittering with golden mica.
4. A dark, dragon-like creature with glowing eyes.

Mineral Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 114 (12d10+48; bloodied 57)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 30 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 11 (+0) CON 19 (+4)
INT 6 (-2) WIS 8 (-1) CHA 7 (-2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 15
Damage Vulnerabilities acid
Damage Resistances radiant, lightning; damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Terran
Earth Glide. The elemental can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing so, the elemental doesn’t disturb the material it moves through.
Gem Sense. The elemental can locate by smell gems within 500 feet.
Regeneration. The elemental regains 5 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point, as long as it is touching nonmagical stone. If it takes acid or thunder damage, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the elemental’s next turn.
Siege Monster. The elemental deals double damage to objects and structures.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) bludgeoning damage plus 7 (2d6) piercing damage.
Merge. Two mineral elementals who are within 5 feet of each other can choose to merge and become a giant mineral elemental. While merged, they regenerate 10 hit points at the start of each of its turns as long as it is touching nonmagical stone. If the merged elemental takes lightning damage, it must make a Constitution saving throw, as if it were concentrating on a spell, or immediately split into its original two bodies.

Combat
Mineral elementals fight aggressively and with little finesse, and will fight until slain.

Variant: Giant Mineral Elemental
A giant mineral elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 157 (15d12+60; bloodied 78) hit points. Its slam attack deals an extra 7 (2d6) piercing damage. While merged, its size doesn’t change but it has advantage on Strength ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws, and its attacks do an extra 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage, whether it merges with a regular or giant mineral elemental.

*

Lightning Elemental
Fast-moving and impulsive, lightning elementals are born from the energies of the Plane of Life and the Plane of Air. They are quite social, at least amongst themselves.

Lightning Elemental Signs
1. Everyone’s hair stands on end
2. The smell of ozone in the air
3. Whenever a creature touches an object, it gets shocked.
4. The crackle of thunder in the distance.

Lightning Elemental Behavior
1. Dancing in a thunderstorm
2. Pestering the party for information; offering fun facts in exchange.
3. Gossiping with other creatures.
4. Racing the fastest flying thing it can find.

Lightning Elemental Appearance
1. Ball lightning
2. A tremendous, glowing eagle with lighting emerging from its eyes and wingtips
3. A skeleton made entirely out of cracking lightning.
4. A shimmering red ring.

Lightning Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 15
HP 90 (12d10+24; bloodied 45)
Speed 0 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 7 (-2) DEX 21 (+5) CON 15 (+2)
INT 5 (-3) WIS 7 (-2) CHA 7 (-2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 16
Damage Resistances acid, fire, radiant, thunder; damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities lightning, poison
Condition Immunities blinded, fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Auran
Illumination. The elemental sheds bright light in a 20- foot radius and dim light in an additional 20 feet.
Lightning Form. A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) lightning damage. A creature that hit it with a metal weapon or while wearing metal armor takes an additional 5 lightning damage. In addition, the elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. The first time it enters a creature’s space on a turn, that creature takes 5 (1d10) lightning damage.
Water Susceptibility. For every 5 feet the elemental moves in water, or for every gallon of water splashed on it, it takes 5 (1d10) cold damage. If the elemental is moving through water or splashed with water, then at the end of each of its turns, each creature within 10 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) lightning damage.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two zap attacks.
Zap. Melee Weapon Attack: +8, reach 5 ft., or reach 10 feet if the target is wearing metal armor or wielding a metal weapon, one target. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) lightning damage.
Ball Lightning (Recharge 5-6). The elemental discharges a globe of lightning in a space within 5 feet of the elemental. The globe doesn’t fill its space and doesn’t move. an electrical spark jumps to any number of creatures within 5 feet of the globe that are wearing metal armor or carrying a metal weapon or shield. Such a creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) lightning damage on a failed saving throw, or half as much on a successful one. The ball remains in place until the end of the elemental’s next turn.

Reactions
Teleport.
The lightning elemental can teleport up to 100 feet away to an unoccupied space it can see, provided that that space is within 5 feet of a Small or larger metallic object.

Combat
Lightning elementals fight chaotically, jumping from one place to another and shocking anyone they come near. They use their use Ball Lightning strategically near the

Variant: Giant Lightning Elemental
A giant lightning elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 127 (15d10+30; bloodied 63) hit points. Its Touch attack and Ball Lightning deal an additional 10 (3d6) lightning damage.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
A brief break from elementals, so now, Hearts of Darkness. Not the film, but an article by Tom Moldvay on vampires, and the first of several fascinating articles he produced on different types of undead. He created a statblock for Dracula (all of his attributes are 17, except for Strength and Constitution, both 19—not too shabby for 1e), and also wrote up three new types of vampires. Of the three, however, one of them, the ch’ing shih, has already been done for 5e (under the name jiangshi), and the other, the baobhan sith, is a bit too much like the regular vampire, with the sole exception being a vulnerability to cold iron and no particular weakness against silver. They were also in Ravenloft (2e and 3x), but as evil sprites, not as undead. So I’m only doing one of these vampires: the Greek vrykolaka.

It’s the result of an evil spirit possessing a corpse, not of a person transitioning to undeath. When the vrykolaks was used in 3x Ravenloft, it was written as a plague-bringer, which certainly fits with much of what Moldvay wrote. I’m going to combine a few elements from Ravenloft’s version into this one to spice it up a bit, because the article’s vrykolaka is a bit plain.

Before I get into the monster, I just noticed a weird thing. I was looking at my pdf for the vampire for inspiration and phrasing, and one of the Settlement Signs was “silver crosses […] hang above every door.” Crosses? In my medieval fantasy game? What’s up with that, Level Up writer’s team? Why not say holy symbols? Sheesh. (Although actually, way back in 2e, Van Richten's Guide to Vampires did the exact same thing: it mentioned that any holy symbol will do to ward off a vampire, not just the traditional crosses and stars.)

Vrykolaka
Hearts of Darkness, Dragon Magazine #126
Created by Tom Moldvay

Vrykolakas resemble corpses, clearly dead but not rotting, with discolored, diseased-looking skin stretched tightly across their bloated bodies, and with eyes that glow a faint, sickly green. Their joints are stiff with rigor mortis that causes their movements to be jerky and uncoordinated. They rarely wear more than a tattered burial shroud, and often not even that. They are a particularly noxious type of vampiric undead, as they spread disease with their bite.

Possessed Corpses. Unlike the better known vampire, vrykolaka are not merely a dead person brought back to life with a thirst. Instead, they are formed when an evil spirit possesses a corpse. Usually, this spirit is the spirit of the original owner who managed to escape being trapped in Hell or the Abyss or other terrible afterlife—usually, but not always.

Regardless of the type of spirit that animates their corpse, the vrykolaka retains at least a few memories of their body’s original life. They are known to call out the names of those who meant something to them while they were alive, and even go so far as to knock on their doors, in the hopes of drawing them out.

Feral Hunters. A vampire is typically urbane creatures; even the wildest and cruelest of them retain a level of sophistication and style. A vrykolaka, however, is debased, almost more beast than person. They have a low, animalistic cunning and are relentless when they fight—and when they fight, their bestial natures often get the better of them, causing them to rely on brute force rather than any finesse.

Resting Place. Vrykolakas tend to lair in charnel pits, unearthed graves, desecrated crypts, sewers, and they rest on piles of bones or on the remains of their last meal—they do not require the soil of their homeland. They only need to sleep for six hours, once per week, and they don’t need to hide from the sun—while sunlight hurts their eyes, they take no particular damage from it. They still prefer the night, as it is easier for them to stalk their prey then.

Legends and Lore
With History or Religion check, the characters can learn the following:

DC 10. Vrykolaka are diseased, vampiric creatures that drink blood. They also enjoy eating the livers of their deceased victims.

DC 15. Those who meet the vrykolaka’s gaze have their strength sapped, to the point that they can even die from it. These victims then rise as new vrykolakas. Vrykolakas like to call their victim’s names, causing terror and sometimes madness.

DC 20. A vrykolaka is created by an evil spirit possessing a corpse. This spirit can be briefly exorcised from the corpse using magic such as dispel evil and good, causing the body itself to collapse and be far more easily destroyed.

Vrykolaka Encounters
Terrain:
hill, tomb, settlement, sewer.

CR 5-10 vrykolaka; vrykolaka with 1d4+2 giant rats
Treasure: 250 gp, a carved and polished bone orb (worth 100 gp), a rat-nibbled tapestry depicting an ancient war (worth 250 gp), gold bracelets (worth 500 gp), a dozen clay pots (10 gp each), tortoiseshell comb carved with galloping horses (worth 50 gp), periapt of wound closure, +1 chain shirt made of bronze.

CR 11-16 vrykolaka with 1-2 vrykolaka spawn; vrykolaka with ghast and 1d4+2 ghouls; vrykolaka with 2-3 wererats and 2d4 giant rats or swarm of rats; vrykolaka with otyugh
Treasure: 100 pp, 400 gp, Earthenware bowl, stained with sacrificial blood (worth 50 gp), amber and bronze earrings (worth 100 gp), bib necklace made of many colors of jade (worth 1,000 gp), tarnished silver jewelry box (worth 250 gp), death mask made of marble and gold, depicting the vrykolaka when it was alive (worth 250 gp), dust of sneezing and choking, earth charm, osseus warhammer

CR 17-22 elder vrykolaka; vrykolaka with 1-2 vrykolaka spawn, 2-3 ghasts
Treasure: 350 pp, 1,250 gp oversized ruby (worth 5,000 gp), white-gold band set with a dozen tiny opals (worth 2,500 gp), ivory medallion carved in the shape of a dragon (worth 500 gp), a book containing notes leading to the discovery of a rare 4th-level spell, ring of free action, wand of wonder, +2 shield decorated with the vrykolaka’s heraldic symbol.

CR 23-30 elder vrykolaka with vrykolaka; elder vrykolaka with 2 otyughs or 1 ur-otyugh
Treasure: 8,000 gp, 5 emeralds (worth 1,000 gp each), blue sapphire earrings (worth 2,500 gp), cup elaborated carved out of a single chunk of agate (worth 250 gp), flower-shaped brooch carved out of coral (worth 100 gp), obsidian and electrum puzzle box (functions as an iron flask), figurine of wondrous power (ivory goats), six +2 arrows and one arrow of slaying, goblin mask, marvelous pigments.

Wilderness Signs
1. An unpleasant, insectile chittering noise all around.
2. A dead adventurer with their throat torn out and their liver missing.
3. The plant life is sickly and slimy to the touch.
4. An unpleasant-smelling, jaundiced fog covers the ground.

Settlement Signs
1. An inordinate number of rats and verminous insects.
2. Townsfolk seem sickly; the entire town is suffering from a pandemic.
3. In the distance, the sound of someone’s name being called.
4. Holy symbols hang above every door.

Behavior
1. Resting on a pile of ancient bones.
2. Fighting with one of its spawns or minions; deciding who will eat the villager they have captured.
3. Calling a party member’s name.
4. Hiding in ambush.

Vrykolaka
Medium legendary undead (shapechanger)

Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 119 (14d8+56; bloodied 60) 133
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 12 (+1) CON 18 (+4)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 14 (+2)

Proficiency +4
Maneuver DC 17
Saving Throws Con +8, Wis +6
Skills Perception +7
Damage Resistances necrotic; damage from nonmagical, nonsilver weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages The languages it knew in life
Call of the Dead (1/Day, usable only at night). The vrykolaka calls the name of a specific humanoid that is within 300 feet of it. As long as that humanoid isn’t deafened, it will its name, regardless of other circumstances. The target must make a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or take 5 (1d10) psychic damage and be frightened for 24 hours and subject to feelings of intense pressure and oppression. On a success, the target takes half damage and is frightened for 1 minute.
At the end of each hour while frightened, the target must make a new saving throw, ending the effect on a success or taking a level of strife on a failure. A creature that is frightened in this manner gains no benefits from short or long rests.
Magic Resistance. The vrykolaka has advantage on saving throws versus spells and other magical effects.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). When the vrykolaka fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, rats or insects chew their way out of its body, inflicting 2 (1d4) damage to it.
Regeneration. The vrykolaka regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight. If the vrykolaka takes fire or radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vrykolaka’s next turn.
Skittering Recovery. When the vampire drops to 0 hit points, instead of falling unconscious, it turns into a swarm of rats or insects as if it has used its Shapechange legendary action. It can’t revert to its true form, and it must reach its resting place within 2 hours or be destroyed. Once in its resting place, it reverts to vrykolaka form and is paralyzed for 1 hour, at which time it regains 1 hit point. While paralyzed in this way, it can be destroyed by fire or radiant damage, or by a cleric successfully turning it, but it is otherwise immune to damage.
Spider Climb. The vrykolaka can climb even on difficult surface and upside down on ceilings.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the vrykolaka has disadvantage on attack rolls and Perception checks that rely on sight.
Vrykolaka Weaknesses. A vrykolaka that is targeted by the Mental Resistance version of the dispel evil and good spell must make a Wisdom saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC. On a failure, the animating spirit is briefly forced out of its body and the body falls prone and is incapacitated for 1 minute. It may make a new saving throw at the start of each of its turns, ending the effect and returning to its body on a success. The vrykolaka does not have advantage when it makes these saving throws.

Actions
Grab (Vrykolaka Form Only).
Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (2d8+5) bludgeoning damage plus 4 (1d8) poison damage. The target is grappled (escape DC 17) and restrained while grappled in this way.
Sapping Gaze (Gaze). The vrykolaka targets a creature that it can see within 30 feet of it. If the creature can see the vrykolaka, it must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw or take one level of fatigue. If the target becomes Doomed because of this gaze, then when it dies, it will rises the following night as a vrykolaka spawn. A bless, gentle repose, or similar spell cast on the body prevents this transformation.

Bonus Actions
Bite (Vampire Form Only).
Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target that is frightened, grappled, incapacitated, restrained, willing, or unaware of the vrykolaka’s presence. Hit: 9 (1d10+5) piercing damage plus 21 (6d6) necrotic damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or contract sewer plague (as per Diseases in chapter 7: Maladies in Trials & Treasures).

Reactions
Hissing Scuttle (1/Day).
When the vrykolaka takes radiant damage, it moves up to its Speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
Terrible Eyes (1/Day). When a creature the vampire can see targets it with a melee attack but before the attack is made, the vrykolaka uses its Sapping Gaze on that creature.

Legendary Actions
The vrykolaka takes 1 legendary action, 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.
Grab. The vrykolaka makes a Grab attack.
Shapechange. The vrykolaka transforms into a swarm of rats or swarm of insects or back into its true form. While transformed, it has the beast’s size and movement modes. It can’t use reactions or legendary actions, and can’t speak. Otherwise, it uses the vrykolaka’s statistics. Anything it’s carrying transforms with it.

Combat
A vrykolaka typically scuttles about on ceilings before dropping onto their prey from above. Its first actions are to use its Sapping Gaze to weaken an opponent, at which point it bites. When bloodied, it retreats in swarm form and flees. It will later use its Call of the Dead to torment the target.

Variant: Elder Vrykolaka
As the vrykolaka ages, the bond between spirit and body grows stronger. Although these creatures rarely if ever develop the huge families or control kingdoms like vampires, they become somewhat smarter and wilier, and their mere presence causes disease and rot to spread throughout the lands they call their own.

The elder vrykolaka is an elite monster, equal to two CR 9 monsters (10,000 XP). It has 238 (28d8+112; bloodied 119) hit points and truesight out to a distance of 60 ft. It has Intelligence becomes 13 (+1). The elder vrykolaka has the following additional traits:

Blood Frenzy. While bloodied, the vrykolaka can take 3 legendary actions instead of 1.

Foulness. A creature that takes a long rest within 1 mile of the vrykolaka’s lair has disadvantage on saving throws against contracting nonmagical diseases for 24 hours.

The elder vrykolaka has the following legendary actions, which it can only use while bloodied:

Elite Recovery. The vrykolaka ends one negative effect currently affecting it. It can use this action as long as it has at least 1 hit point, even while unconscious or incapacitated.
Momentary Transformation (True Form Only). The vrykolaka uses Shapechange, moves up to its Speed without provoking opportunity attacks, then returns to its true form.
Create Ghoul (1/Day; Costs 2 Actions). The vrykolaka magically raises a dead humanoid as a ghoul. The ghoul is friendly to the vrykolaka but not under its control.
Bite (Costs 2 Actions). The vrykolaka makes a bite attack. On a hit, the creature is poisoned until the end of its next turn.
Death and Disease (1/Day; Costs 3 Actions). The vrykolaka casts contagion. Its spellcasting attribute is Charisma (spell save DC 14).

Vrykolaka Spawn
Medium undead

Challenge 3 (750 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 60 (8d8+24; bloodied 30)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 16 (+3)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 12 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Saving Throws Con +5, Wis +4
Skills Perception +4
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances necrotic; damage from nonmagical, nonsilver weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages The languages it knew in life
Magic Resistance. The vrykolaka has advantage on saving throws versus spells and other magical effects.
Regeneration. The vrykolaka regains 10 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight. If the vrykolaka takes fire or radiant damage or damage from holy water, this trait doesn’t function at the start of the vrykolaka’s next turn.
Spider Climb. The vrykolaka can climb even on difficult surface and upside down on ceilings.
Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the vrykolaka has disadvantage on attack rolls and Perception checks that rely on sight.
Vrykolaka Weaknesses. A vrykolaka that is targeted by the Mental Resistance version of the dispel evil and good spell must make a Wisdom saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC. On a failure, the animating spirit is briefly forced out of its body and it falls prone and is incapacitated for 1 minute. It may make a new saving throw at the start of each of its turns, ending the effect and returning to its body on a success. The vrykolaka does not have advantage when it makes these saving throws.

Actions
Grab (Vrykolaka Form Only).
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) bludgeoning damage The target is grappled (escape DC 13).
Bite (Vampire Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target that is frightened, grappled, incapacitated, restrained, willing, or unaware of the vrykolaka’s presence. Hit: 9 (1d10+5) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) necrotic damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or contract sewer plague (as per Diseases in chapter 7: Maladies in Trials & Treasures).
Sapping Gaze (Gaze). The vrykolaka targets a creature that it can see within 30 feet of it. If the creature can see the vrykolaka, it must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

Reactions
Hissing Scuttle (1/Day).
When the vrykolaka takes radiant damage, it moves up to its Speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
The next monster is very special. Because its name starts with an X.

It’ll be nice to have something other than xorns for that letter.

Also, it’s an ooze. ‘Bout time we got one of those.

Xador’s Fluid
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #127
Created by Thomas M. Kane

A Xador’s fluid resembles a pool of clear, runny water. It stays in damp places, draped motionlessly over the terrain and making it look as though the ground is saturated with water.

Named for an evil lord who enjoyed using this type of ooze as a method of execution, a Xador’s fluid is as corrosive as any other ooze, but can only destroy flesh and leather with its acids, not plant matter, bone, wood, metal, or any other substance. It feeds in a rather unusual way. First, it lunges at a warm-blooded creature it senses nearby and completely engulfs it. Then it solidifies, turning into a hard, plasticky substance, and proceeds to dissolve the creature trapped within. After several days to a week, the outside flakes off and the newly-reliquified innards splits into two fluids, which go their separate ways.

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

DC 10 Xador’s fluid is a type of ooze that resembles a pool of water. They are slightly more intelligent than most oozes are.

DC 15 This ooze hunts by engulfing prey, hardening around it, and then dissolving the creature it has trapped.

DC 20 Xador’s fluid was named after an evil lord who used them for executions. The fluid itself is in high demand by alchemists, as it can be fashioned into armor and something akin to brass knuckles.

Signs
1-2. Flakes of a smooth, hard substance around a pile of bones and metal arms and armor.
3. A pool of water that manages to glisten with seeming freshness while also looking somewhat stagnant.
4. A bit of writhing ooze stuck in a crack.

Xador’s Fluid Encounters
Terrain:
caverns, freshwater, swamps

CR 3-4 Xador’s fluid
Treasure: 35 gp, 58 sp, 2 quartz gemstones (10 gp each), dagger covered in gold filigree, +1 cloth brigandine

Xador’s Fluid
Large ooze

Challenge 3 (700 XP)
AC 13, 16 (when solid)
HP 45 (6d10+12; bloodied 22)
Speed 20 ft.

STR 12 (+1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 7 (-2) CHA 3 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Damage Resistances see below
Damage Immunities acid, slashing
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, prone, strife
Senses blindsight 10 ft. (blind beyond this radius), tremorsense 30 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Amorphous. The fluid can pass through an opening as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
False Appearance. While motionless, the fluid is indistinguishable from a puddle of water.
Ooze Nature. A fluid doesn’t require air or sleep.
Solidified. While it is grappling a creature, the fluid solidifies. Its speed is reduced to 0 ft. and it can’t take actions or reactions. During this time, it is resistant to all forms of damage except for cold and force damage. It will remain solidified for 1d4+1 days after which it will re-liquify itself and move off (the number of days is halved if the creature it is grappling is Small or smaller, and doubled if the creature is Large).
Spider Climb. The fluid can use its climb speed even on difficult surfaces and upside down on ceilings.

Actions
Flow and Solidify.
Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one Large or smaller creature. Hit: The target is grappled (escape DC 13), restrained, and can’t breathe. At the start of its next turn, the fluid inflicts 7 (2d6) acid damage to the grappled creature and then solidifies. When the fluid is dealt damage while grappling, it takes half the damage (rounded down) and the other half is dealt to the grappled target. The fluid can only grapple one creature at a time, and the grappled creature takes 7 (2d6) ongoing acid damage on each of its turns.

Combat
A Xador’s fluid attacks whichever creature comes close enough, although it will generally not attack if too many creatures are near.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
This next issue is the companion of Plane Speaking (and shares the same name), and it covers the negative quasi-elementals. These elementals are formed by the combined energies of an elemental plane and the Plane of Positive Energy/Plane of Death. As before, they use the Legends and Lore and Encounters of the standard elementals. The two for this entry are the ash elemental and the vacuum elemental. I can imagine an ash elemental as arising after a mass destruction, but the vacuum elemental is so odd, I see it more as being an unfortunate side effect of planar magic gone wrong.

Quasi-Elementals
Plane Speaking, Dragon Magazine #128
Created by Jeff Grub

Ash Elemental
These elementals are formed where the Plane of Death sucks the heat from the Plane of Fire, leaving nothing but ashes behind. They are ashy gray and are dotted by glowing cinders but cool to the touch. They feed by draining the warmth and life from creatures around them, and they lead a precarious existence: too much heat destroys them, but they starve in the cold. A few people believe that ash elementals are undead fire elementals, although this isn’t true. When on the Material Plane, they often dwell in exist volcanoes or in the remains of cities that burned to ground.

Ash Elemental Signs
1. The air is filled with smoke and objects are covered in a thin film of soot.
2. Objects in the area look burned and fall apart when touched.
3. Fires lit in the area produce copious amount of soot and cinders.
4. An unnatural chill in the air.

Ash Elemental Behavior
1. Plotting against a fire elemental foe.
2. Painting a mural using only ash and charcoal as pigments.
3. Snuffing every fire it comes across.
4. Eating the burnt remains of an old campfire.

Ash Elemental Appearance
1. A gray, sooty humanoid urchin-child.
2. A slate-gray, smudgy centaur.
3. A humanoid figure made of coals.
4. A pale, serpentine creature.

Ash Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 114 (12d10+48; bloodied 57)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 14 (+2) DEX 16 (+3) CON 18 (+4)
INT 5 (-3) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 8 (-1)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 13
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances necrotic; damage from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Ignan
Amorphous. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Fiery Reaction. If the elemental takes fire damage, then any creature within 10 feet of it must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (1d10) fire damage as white-hot embers fly off the elemental’s body.
Heat Death. A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) cold damage.
Hypothermic. If the elemental takes cold damage, it takes no damage but is slowed until the end of its next turn.
Negative Sight. The elemental’s darkness penetrates magical darkness.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8+3) bludgeoning damage plus 5 (1d10) cold damage.
Drain Heat (Recharge 5-6). The elemental focuses its heat-drain into a 30-foot cone and sucks the warmth out of living creatures. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) cold damage and 10 (3d6) necrotic damage, and the elemental regains hit points equal to half the necrotic damage dealt. Constructs and undead are immune to this attack. Normal fires in this area are extinguished

Combat
The elemental uses Drain Heat to weaken two or more creatures, then uses its Slam to finish the job.

Variant: Giant Ash Elemental
A giant ash elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 157 (15d12+60; bloodied 78 hit points). Its Slam and Drain Heat attacks deal an extra 9 (2d8) cold damage.

*

Vacuum Elemental
Vacuum elementals, sometimes called void elementals, are creatures are born from what would be the ultimate Kármán line—where the Plane of Air meets the Plane of Death. Vacuum elementals are the embodiment of the absence of everything and have only a single appearance, if it can be called that: they are an invisible, shapeless blob of absolute nothingness.

These elementals are not typically hostile, but their mere presence is dangerous—they can easily suck all the air out of an area in just minutes. The act of drawing all matter into their bodies is actually slightly tiring to them, and when given the opportunity, they prefer to relax.

Vacuum Elemental Signs
1-2. A high-powered, roaring wind that stops as quickly as it stops.
3. It’s unusually quiet in the area.
4. Loose materials are scattered on the floor in a way that suggests they were being sucked to a particular point.

Vacuum Elemental Behavior
1-2. Relaxing and/or meditating.
3. Angry at being interrupted; will attack on sight.
4. Carefully and neatly destroying an object.

Vacuum Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 13
HP 90 (12d10+24; bloodied 45)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.

STR 11 (+0) DEX 16 (+3) CON 15 (+2)
INT 6 (-2) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 14
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing
Damage Immunities force, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Auran
Airy Weakness. The elemental has disadvantage on saving throws against spells from the Air school of magic. Additionally, if it fails its saving throw against such a spell, it takes 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage per slot level with which the spell was cast., in addition to any damage the spell normally inflicts.
Amorphous. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Invisible. The elemental is invisible.
Negative Sight. The elemental’s darkness penetrates magical darkness.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +5, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8+3) force damage.
Rapid Decompression (Recharge 6). The elemental sucks in all the air in a 60-foot sphere around. All creatures in that area must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or take 18 (4d8) force damage, fall prone, and be pulled 30 feet towards the elemental. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and is pulled 15 feet towards the elemental. If the save fails by 5 or more, the creature also takes 1 level of fatigue.
If the area the elemental is in is a confined space (e.g., a room with the doors and windows shut, even if not airtight), then creatures other than the elemental that are in that space can’t breathe or speak and are deafened for 5 (1d6+2) rounds. During this time, a creature that attempts to move in a direction other than towards the elemental must spend 5 feet of movement for each foot it moves, and it has disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks, and on attack rolls made with ranged weapon attacks. Additionally, all nonmagical fires within the area are extinguished and nonmagical fires can’t be lit until the effect ends.
A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it and this ability is in effect takes 9 (2d8) force damage.
If the area is instead open, then this effect instead lasts until the end of the elemental’s next turn.
A creature that is reduced to 0 hit points because of this attack dies and is sucked into the elemental, vanishing completely.

Combat
The vacuum elemental prefers to engage in combat in closed areas, so its Explosive Decompression is the most effective. While that attack is in effect, it uses its slam on any creatures still standing.

Variant: Giant Vacuum Elemental
A giant vacuum elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 127 (15d12+30; bloodied 63) hit points. Its slam attack deals an extra 7 (2d6) damage and in a confined space, its Rapid Decompression lasts for 7 (2d4+2) rounds instead.
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
This next issue is the companion of Plane Speaking (and shares the same name), and it covers the negative quasi-elementals. These elementals are formed by the combined energies of an elemental plane and the Plane of Positive Energy/Plane of Death. As before, they use the Legends and Lore and Encounters of the standard elementals. The two for this entry are the ash elemental and the vacuum elemental. I can imagine an ash elemental as arising after a mass destruction, but the vacuum elemental is so odd, I see it more as being an unfortunate side effect of planar magic gone wrong.

Quasi-Elementals
Plane Speaking, Dragon Magazine #128
Created by Jeff Grub

Ash Elemental
These elementals are formed where the Plane of Death sucks the heat from the Plane of Fire, leaving nothing but ashes behind. They are ashy gray and are dotted by glowing cinders but cool to the touch. They feed by draining the warmth and life from creatures around them, and they lead a precarious existence: too much heat destroys them, but they starve in the cold. A few people believe that ash elementals are undead fire elementals, although this isn’t true. When on the Material Plane, they often dwell in exist volcanoes or in the remains of cities that burned to ground.

Ash Elemental Signs
1. The air is filled with smoke and objects are covered in a thin film of soot.
2. Objects in the area look burned and fall apart when touched.
3. Fires lit in the area produce copious amount of soot and cinders.
4. An unnatural chill in the air.

Ash Elemental Behavior
1. Plotting against a fire elemental foe.
2. Painting a mural using only ash and charcoal as pigments.
3. Snuffing every fire it comes across.
4. Eating the burnt remains of an old campfire.

Ash Elemental Appearance
1. A gray, sooty humanoid urchin-child.
2. A slate-gray, smudgy centaur.
3. A humanoid figure made of coals.
4. A pale, serpentine creature.

Ash Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 114 (12d10+48; bloodied 57)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 14 (+2) DEX 16 (+3) CON 18 (+4)
INT 5 (-3) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 8 (-1)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 13
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances necrotic; damage from nonmagical attacks
Damage Immunities cold, poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Ignan
Amorphous. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Fiery Reaction. If the elemental takes fire damage, then any creature within 10 feet of it must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (1d10) fire damage as white-hot embers fly off the elemental’s body.
Heat Death. A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 5 (1d10) cold damage.
Hypothermic. If the elemental takes cold damage, it takes no damage but is slowed until the end of its next turn.
Negative Sight. The elemental’s darkness penetrates magical darkness.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8+3) bludgeoning damage plus 5 (1d10) cold damage.
Drain Heat (Recharge 5-6). The elemental focuses its heat-drain into a 30-foot cone and sucks the warmth out of living creatures. Each creature in that area must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) cold damage and 10 (3d6) necrotic damage, and the elemental regains hit points equal to half the necrotic damage dealt. Constructs and undead are immune to this attack. Normal fires in this area are extinguished

Combat
The elemental uses Drain Heat to weaken two or more creatures, then uses its Slam to finish the job.

Variant: Giant Ash Elemental
A giant ash elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 157 (15d12+60; bloodied 78 hit points). Its Slam and Drain Heat attacks deal an extra 9 (2d8) cold damage.

*

Vacuum Elemental
Vacuum elementals, sometimes called void elementals, are creatures are born from what would be the ultimate Kármán line—where the Plane of Air meets the Plane of Death. Vacuum elementals are the embodiment of the absence of everything and have only a single appearance, if it can be called that: they are an invisible, shapeless blob of absolute nothingness.

These elementals are not typically hostile, but their mere presence is dangerous—they can easily suck all the air out of an area in just minutes. The act of drawing all matter into their bodies is actually slightly tiring to them, and when given the opportunity, they prefer to relax.

Vacuum Elemental Signs
1-2. A high-powered, roaring wind that stops as quickly as it stops.
3. It’s unusually quiet in the area.
4. Loose materials are scattered on the floor in a way that suggests they were being sucked to a particular point.

Vacuum Elemental Behavior
1-2. Relaxing and/or meditating.
3. Angry at being interrupted; will attack on sight.
4. Carefully and neatly destroying an object.

Vacuum Elemental
Large elemental

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 13
HP 90 (12d10+24; bloodied 45)
Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft.

STR 11 (+0) DEX 16 (+3) CON 15 (+2)
INT 6 (-2) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 14
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing
Damage Immunities force, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Auran
Airy Weakness. The elemental has disadvantage on saving throws against spells from the Air school of magic. Additionally, if it fails its saving throw against such a spell, it takes 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage per slot level with which the spell was cast., in addition to any damage the spell normally inflicts.
Amorphous. The elemental can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Invisible. The elemental is invisible.
Negative Sight. The elemental’s darkness penetrates magical darkness.

Actions
Multiattack.
The elemental makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +5, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 12 (2d8+3) force damage.
Rapid Decompression (Recharge 6). The elemental sucks in all the air in a 60-foot sphere around. All creatures in that area must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or take 18 (4d8) force damage, fall prone, and be pulled 30 feet towards the elemental. On a successful save, the creature takes half damage and is pulled 15 feet towards the elemental. If the save fails by 5 or more, the creature also takes 1 level of fatigue.
If the area the elemental is in is a confined space (e.g., a room with the doors and windows shut, even if not airtight), then creatures other than the elemental that are in that space can’t breathe or speak and are deafened for 5 (1d6+2) rounds. During this time, a creature that attempts to move in a direction other than towards the elemental must spend 5 feet of movement for each foot it moves, and it has disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks, and on attack rolls made with ranged weapon attacks. Additionally, all nonmagical fires within the area are extinguished and nonmagical fires can’t be lit until the effect ends.
A creature that touches the elemental or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it and this ability is in effect takes 9 (2d8) force damage.
If the area is instead open, then this effect instead lasts until the end of the elemental’s next turn.
A creature that is reduced to 0 hit points because of this attack dies and is sucked into the elemental, vanishing completely.

Combat
The vacuum elemental prefers to engage in combat in closed areas, so its Explosive Decompression is the most effective. While that attack is in effect, it uses its slam on any creatures still standing.

Variant: Giant Vacuum Elemental
A giant vacuum elemental is CR 9 (5,000 XP) and is Huge. It has 127 (15d12+30; bloodied 63) hit points. Its slam attack deals an extra 7 (2d6) damage and in a confined space, its Rapid Decompression lasts for 7 (2d4+2) rounds instead.
For the vacuum elemental, maybe it appears in the aftermath of a Sphere of Annihilation?
 



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