Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary

Faolyn

(she/her)
We had a giant animal yesterday, so now some giant plants. This article is a mix of giant-sized but otherwise real carnivorous plants and completely fantastic plants. Most of the plants in this article are sessile, making them almost more like traps than proper monsters. As such, they are best used in surprise attacks; after all, if the party knows they’re there, they can just back out of range and lob ranged attacks.

Since these guys are plants, they don’t get the Signs and Behaviors and whatnot. And since they’re short statblocks, I’m including three of ‘em in this entry.

First is the giant bladderwort. Apparently, real bladderworts (genus Utricularia; found worldwide except in Antarctica) are incredibly sophisticated plants and can snap up prey in mere milliseconds by literally vacuuming it into their bladders and digesting it almost immediately. They’re not really dangerous to anything bigger than a couple of millimeters long at most, though, and most go after much smaller animals, the type measure in micrometers. The giant ones, of course, can go after adventurers.

Then there is the giant rainbow plant, (genus Bylbis; native to Australia and New Guinea), which has stems that are covered in sticky, shimmering mucilage. It glimmers colorfully in the light, hence its name. The real plant waits for mosquitos and other such creatures to land on it, thinking the mucilage is a treat, then get stuck and die from exhaustion or suffocation. As is usual, the giant version is a bit more proactive when it comes to securing prey. Wikipedia says that these plants may not be true carnivorous plants. They seem to have a somewhat symbiotic relationship with a type of true bug, where the bug eats the insects caught by the plant and the plant “feeds” on the bug’s waste. So maybe giant rainbow plants have a similar relationship with, I dunno, harpies.

Finally, there’s a fantastic plant, the bloodflower. D&D had a lot of blood-drinking plants: bloodthorn, bloodroot, bloodrose, and for a change of pace, the vampire rose. It’s one of those plants with white flowers that turn red as they fill up with blood. I’m using the picture of the vampire rose from the Mystara MC appendix

One strange thing I’ve noticed. Supposedly “mindless” creatures—for instance, shriekers, animated objects—are often immune to the fatigue condition, but not to strife. One would think that something with Intelligence and Charisma of 1 would be immune to metal stress. What gives?


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image taken from carnivorousplantresource.com

Giant Bladderwort
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #167
Created by Gregg Chamberlain

Giant bladderworts is a rootless, floating water plant that can be found drifting just below the surface of the water in swamps and stagnant lakes. They can sometimes be distinguished by the small pollinating flowers that grow above the water’s surface. While the plant itself can’t move on its own, its long stems—each of which may grow as much as 50 feet long—are capable of weak movement. Each stem is covered in small “bladders,” transparent membranes that are covered in sensory trigger hairs. The bladders are under a negative pressure—effectively, a partial vacuum—so when a whisker is disturbed, the bladder opens and the water and anything else in it is sucked in with alarming speed and force. When the meal it vacuums up is completely dissolved, the bladder spits out everything else. The waters under a giant bladderwort may be covered in treasure.

A single bladderwort can cover an area 100 feet across, making it a very wide-reaching danger. It lacks a central stem

Giant Bladderwort
Gargantuan plant

Challenge 3 (750 XP)
AC 13 (natural armor)
HP 60 (8d12+8; bloodied 30)
Speed 0 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 13 (+1)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 6 (-2) CHA 3 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing
Damage Immunities acid, fire
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, prone, restrained, strife, stunned
Senses tremorsense 30 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
False Appearance. While motionless, the bladderwort is indistinguishable from normal swamp palnts.

Actions
Multiattack.
The bladderwort makes 4 bladdertrap attacks.
Bladdertrap. The bladderwort targets a Medium or smaller creature within 10 feet of one of its bladders. That creature must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be sucked into the bladder and be grappled (escape DC 14). While grappled, the creature is restrained, can’t breathe, and takes 7 (2d6) ongoing acid damage.
A trap may be targeted by attacks. It has AC 13, 10 hit points, and is immune to fire, acid, and bludgeoning damage. When the bladder is dealt damage while it is grappling, it takes half the damage (rounded down) and the other half is dealt to the grappled target. Each trap can only grapple a single creature at a time, but the bladderwort has as many as 50 bladders. Destroyed bladders are regenerated after 24 hours.

*

1666560552113.png

image taken from carnivorousplantresource.com

Giant Rainbow Plant
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #167
Created by Gregg Chamberlain

The giant rainbow plant has a woody, trunk-like stem from which grow a cluster of branch-like leaves, each of which ends up in a club-like knob. It secretes globs of sticky mucilage along each of these stems. These globs shimmer like rainbows with opalescent rainbows in sunlight, giving the plant its name—and allowing it to lure creatures in to be attacked.

Giant Rainbow Plant
Huge plant

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
AC 12 (natural armor)
HP 45 (6d10+12; bloodied 22)
Speed 0 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 10 (+0) CON 15 (+2)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 6 (-2) CHA 3 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 15
Damage Resistances fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from ranged attacks
Damage Immunities bludgeoning
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, prone, restrained, strife, stunned
Senses tremorsense 10 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Sticky. Dozens of thin, mucilage-beaded trigger hairs surround the rainbow plant to a distance of 10 feet. That space is difficult terrain, and creatures in that space have disadvantage on attack rolls, Dexterity ability checks, and Dexterity saving throws.

Actions
Dazzle.
If it is in bright light, the rainbow plant shimmers. All creatures within 30 feet who can see the rainbow plant must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or become charmed by the plant until the end of its next turn. While charmed, the creature is incapacitated and must use all of its speed to move towards the rainbow plant by the most direct route, not avoiding opportunity attacks or hazards. The creature may repeat its saving throw whenever it is damaged and before entering damaging terrain. If a saving throw is successful or the effect ends for a creature, that creature is immune to any rainbow plant’s dazzle for the next 24 hours.
Stem. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+5) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 15). While grappled, the creature is restrained and the rainbow plant can’t use that stem to attack another creature. If the rainbow plant hits the same target with two or more stem attacks, the creature is also restrained, and while restrained, takes 3 (1d6) ongoing acid damage, and can’t breathe. The rainbow plant has 10 stems.

Bonus Actions
Stem.
The rainbow plant makes a slam attack.

*

1666560437961.png

Art by Arnie Swekel

Bloodflower (Vampire Rose)
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #167
Created by Gregg Chamberlain

Bloodflowers are thorny bushes with delicate translucent white flowers that resemble wild roses. It blooms both day and night and throughout the entire year. They exude an enticing narcotic perfume that causes those who breathe it in to fall unconscious. The bloodflower then extends a tendril and pierces the creature’s body with its thorns, drinking the creature’s blood until it’s been drained dry, which is what gives the bloodflower its other name—the vampire rose. While it drinks, the bloodflower’s white flowers turn first pink, then blood red.

Bloodflower (Vampire Rose)
Small plant

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
AC 13
HP 44 (8d6+16; bloodied 22)
Speed 0 ft.
STR 8 (-1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 13 (+2)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 6 (-2) CHA 1 (-5)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 13
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, prone, restrained, strife, stunned
Senses tremorsense 10 feet, passive Perception 8
Languages
False Appearance. When motionless, the bloodflower is indistinguishable from a normal flowering plant.
Fragrance. The bloodflower exudes a narcotic fragrance in a 5-foot radius. A creature that enters that area for the first time on its turn or starts its turn there must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw against poison or fall unconscious for 10 minutes or until another creature uses its action to awaken it. Creatures that don’t need to breathe or sleep are immune.

Actions
Thorn Lash.
Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) damage plus.
Sip Blood. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one unconscious target. Hit: 1 damage plus 7 (2d6) necrotic damage, and the bloodflower regains hit points equal to the amount of necrotic damage taken. This attack does not wake the unconscious creature.
 

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GuyBoy

Hero
The Bloodflower is a beautiful monster. Truly scary.
Alnwick Castle in UK has a wonderful Poison Garden, full of (as the name suggests) dangerous plants. The Bllodflower would fit in just fine to a fantasy version.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
The Bloodflower is a beautiful monster. Truly scary.
Alnwick Castle in UK has a wonderful Poison Garden, full of (as the name suggests) dangerous plants. The Bllodflower would fit in just fine to a fantasy version.
I've always wanted to go to the UK to visit places like that. I've heard of it before and it sounds so fascinating!
 

GuyBoy

Hero
I've always wanted to go to the UK to visit places like that. I've heard of it before and it sounds so fascinating!
If you ever make it over, let me know. I’ll show you some Roman ruins, Iron Age forts, Neolithic burial sites and (of course) medieval castles in the London/SE region. Genuine offer.
Alnwick is in the NE, but definitely worth a visit ( Bamburgh Castle is close to it as well as Hadrian’s Wall)
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Unlike the other plants in this article, the helborn is intelligent and mobile, if slow. There’s no illustration, but the description makes it sound a lot like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors, a chomper from Plants Vs. Zombies, a piranha plant from the Mario games, or a cowplant (sans udders and cake) from the Sims. Only it has tendrils it can use to club people with. Basically, it’s a monster plant with a giant flower-head that can nom you. Like yesterday’s bloodflower, it’s such a standard type of plant monster I’m surprised it’s not used more often.

This is also one of those monsters where the different body parts were given different ACs and it had age categories, in case you wanted even more complexity. I decided against it, though.

Also. November is coming up, which is NaNoWriMo time. While I don’t normally participate and have no plans to write a novel, I do want to actually concentrate on my many writing and art projects for a bit, as well as prep for my next adventure (which, I am sad to report, is using o5e, not Level Up). Also, I’m sick with what I hope is just a nagging cold. Therefore, I will be taking the rest this month and all of November off. Tun in December 1st for one of my favorites: the ferrous dragons!

Helborn
The Dragon’s Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #167
Created by Gregg Chamberlain

Helborn are tremendous, carnivorous plant monsters. A helborn has a large, colorful “head” made of tough, wood-hard bracts, surrounded by tiny, delicate flowers and large, hairy leaves, supported on a strong, flexible trunk. Coiled around the trunk are a pair of heavy, leafy vines. A helborn’s head, in fact, is nothing more than a tremendous mouth, lined with backwards-facing spines, and their use their vines to capture prey and bring it to their mouths, where it is crushed, swallowed, and quickly digested. While a helborn’s sense of smell is excellent and they can detect movement from afar, they lack hearing or vision.

Intelligent and Telepathic. Helborns are quite smart, and while they are incapable of speaking, they can understand several languages, and can telepathically communicate images and emotions. They are remarkably good at getting their points across even without words. On top of that, they have the ability to influence or even outright control other creature’s minds. Few creatures are able to escape their mental tendrils for long.

Feed Me! Helborn are always hungry, and what they want is bloody red meat, preferably still alive and kicking. While they can and do hunt on their own, they prefer to get others to feed them. Using telepathy, they lure creatures in and persuade them to provide food, promising goods—helborn always have a stash of treasure nearby—if obeyed, or threatening harm if ignored. Although they can’t move fast, their magic ensures that they usually have one or even more minions who are willing to assist the plant in procuring food. Helborn will eat any sort of meat, but they tend to be very vain and want only the best for themselves, such as prize livestock… or a sacrificed villager. They gather the treasure that their meals once wore or carried and use it when they negotiate with others.

Fiendish Offshoots. The name “helborn” is a play on both the harmless flower called the hellebore and on these plant’s hellishly cruel nature. They grow in dark, dank places where fiends have spilled their blood; the evil that runs through a fiend’s veins both nourishes and corrupts the seeds in the soil and gives them their powers.

Helborn are self-centered to a fault. They tolerate no carnivorous creatures nearby unless they are completely under the plant’s leafy thumbs—they hate even small predators such as foxes and hawks. The land around a helborn often develops a glut of prey animals, and while the helborn’s predations can keep those numbers down, such animals tend to overrun and overeat their territories. That being said, a helborn’s needs and desires are simple enough that they are willing to work with other powerful creatures who can provide enough high-quality meat for it. Such creatures, however, always need to watch out. Helborn are all but incapable of loyalty and may eventually decide that their ally makes for a better snack.

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

DC 10. Helborn are intelligent, carnivorous plants who use teeth-lined petals and vines to hunt. They are capable of slowly moving about. They mostly live in dark, dank places. They keep other meat-eaters out of their territory.

DC 15. Naturally telepathic, helborn are capable of manipulating the minds of other creatures both through natural charisma, threats, bribes, and magic. They often have several people working for them, but not always willingly.

DC 20. Helborn sometimes grow in places where fiends have bled and died.

Helborn Encounters
Terrain:
forest, ruin, sewer, swamp

5-10 helborn; helborn with druid or ogre; helborn with green dragon wyrmling.
Treasure: 175 gp, 500 sp, silver jewelry box (250 gp), gold locket with an image of a local noble in it (75 gp), 3 topazes (500 gp each), vial of antitoxin, +1 breastplate of elven design, wand of prestidigitation

11-16 helborn with 1d4+4 cuthroats or kech, helborn with 1-2 coven green hags.
Treasure: 70 pp, 1,300 gp, black pearl nose ring (750 gp), coral and gold pendant necklace (500 gp), pipes of haunting, scrolls of hallucinatory terrain and find the path

Signs
1. A pile of treasure.
2. An upturned pile of earth. Digging through it reveals broken roots and the bones of both animals and humanoids.
3. The scent of foul rotten blood.
4. A pair of charmed humanoids dragging a struggling third humanoid to be devoured.

Behavior
1. Telepathically contacting a victim to ask for food in exchange for treasure.
2. Slowly moving itself to a new location.
3. Devouring a humanoid.
4. Hungry; will attack on sight.

Helborn
Large plant (fiend)

Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 122 (14d10+28; bloodied 4561
Speed 5 ft.

STR 19 (+4) DEX 13 (+1) CON 14 (+2)
INT 8 (-1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 15 (+2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 15
Saving Throws Wis +4
Skills Deception +5, Insight +4, Intimidation +5, Perception +4, Persuasion +5
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened, prone, stunned, unconscious
Senses tremorsense 120 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 14
Languages understands Common, Druidic, and Sylvan but can’t speak
Evil. The helborn radiates an Evil aura.
Innate Spellcasting (3/day). The helborn can cast suggestion. It’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 13).
Insidious. The helborn gains a d4 expertise die on Charisma checks against any creature that has been charmed by it, even if the creature is no longer charmed.
Keen Smell. The helborn has advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell.
Limited Telepathy. The helborn can magically communicate simple ideas, emotions, and images telepathically to any creature within 120 feet of it.
Magic Resistance. The helborn has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Plant Nature. The helborn doesn’t have to sleep.

Actions
Multiattack.
The helborn attacks once with its tendril and once with its bite.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage plus 5 (2d4) acid damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature grappled by the helborn, the target is swallowed. A swallowed creature is blinded and restrained, has total cover from attacks outside the helborn, and takes 5 (2d4) acid damage at the start of each of the helborn’s turns.
If the swallowed creature deals 20 or more damage to the helborn in a single turn, or the helborn dies, the helborn vomits up the swallowed creature. The helborn can only have a single creature swallowed at a time.
Tendril. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) bludgeoning damage and if the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 15) and pulled up to 10 feet closer to the helborn.
Dominate (3/Day). The helborn targets one humanoid within 30 feet of it, forcing it to make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, the target is magically charmed for 1 day. The charmed creature obeys the helborn’s telepathic commands, and the helborn can use its actions to use the creature’s senses as its own and to speak through it, as long as the charmed creature and the helborn are on the same plane. The creature may make a new saving throw whenever it takes damage or if it receives a suicidal command or a command that goes directly against its moral code. If the creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, it is immune to any helborn’s Dominate for 24 hours.

Bonus Actions
Tendril.
The helborn makes a tendril attack.
Read Thoughts. The helborn magically reads the surface thoughts of one creature within 60 feet that it can detect with its tremorsense. Until the end of the helborn’s turn, it gains a d4 expertise die on Deception, Insight, and Persuasion checks against the creature.

Combat
The helborn is smart enough to know that it can’t flee if it loses a battle, so it only tries to attack creatures that are obviously weaker than it. It will gladly sacrifice minions or make deals if it means it will survive.
 





Faolyn

(she/her)
And I’m back! I got quite a lot of writing done, and imagine I’m about half-way through my book. Although that includes all the art I need to do. Therefore, for the time being, I’m only going to be posting these monsters every 2-3 days instead of every day.

Also, in case anyone is interested, I have collected all of these monsters here.

Up next are the ferrous dragons, which were first introduced in #170, and then updated to 3e in #356. I’ve always found them really neat and have always wished that they were made “official” in the same way that gem dragons, which also originated in this magazine, were.

The first article says that they “are not known to have a king, queen, or deity figure” and then promptly gives them exactly that. They have a strict hierarchy (nickel dragons at the bottom, then tungsten, cobalt, and chrome dragons, and iron dragons at the top) and live in clans. Each clan has a ruler, and each species has a Sovereign. The Sovereign is telepathic and likes to read the minds of the dragons under its command, and all the Sovereigns are in turn ruled and mind-probed by the Supreme Dragon, Gruaghlothor—there are no secrets from him. He may not be a god but has more hit points and a higher XP value than either Bahamut or Tiamat (according to the 2e Draconomicon). Also, since Gruaghlothor is interested only in the survival of the ferrous dragons, ferrous dragons don’t fight amongst themselves. In the 3e version, the telepathy and thought-reading are missing—dragons merely report to those ranked above them. The original article also says that once were “at least” 12 species of ferrous dragons, but due to a great internecine conflict known as the Iron Wars, two species went extinct and five species fled, never to be heard of again. Maybe the article’s author was planning on a sequel.

The 3e text goes on to say that evil ferrous dragons view metallic dragons as an “abominations that must be destroyed,” good ferrous dragons view metallics as “metal at its purist,” and neutral ferrous dragons consider them “metallic in name only” (MINO?) and ignore them. But none of them like chromatic dragons, and they all are generally OK with gem dragons.

Personally, I’d ignore all of that, but then again, I’m the type to just say dragons are dragons, regardless of coloration or type of breath weapon. A red dragon can be hatched out of a dragon laid by an amethyst dragon. And I don’t really feel the need for draconic mind-reading secret police.

Of the five types of ferrous dragons, only three of them are actually ferrous metals. But! The 3e article states that they all have very high levels of iron in their blood—so high, that they are attracted to it and can detect metal. So I guess they’re at least weakly magnetic. That’s actually going to be a Sign for all of these dragons: compass needles start going haywire. Plus, you can stick spoons on them.

Anyway. The first dragon is the nickel dragon. A highly chaotic creature who enjoy scaring others. The original article has an “amusing” typo. It’s said to be the weakest ferrous dragon, but it has 21 base Hit Dice—gold dragons, in comparison, have 15 base Hit Dice. Obviously this was supposed to be 12, like black dragons, but I have to wonder how many people actually ran this dragon with 21 HD.

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Art by James Zhang

Nickel Dragon (Ferrous Dragon)
The Dragon's Bestiary, Dragon Magazine #170; and Ferrous Dragons, Dragon Magazine #356
Created by Jason M. Walker, Kevin Baase, and Eric Jansing

Nickel dragons are the smallest and weakest of ferrous dragons, but they make up for this by being tenacious, vicious, and highly unpredictable. When first hatched, their scales are splotched with grey, but they become brighter and more metallic-looking as they age. An ancient nickel dragon is a pure, metallic white. They are squat and muscular, with long horns atop its crocodilian head and a frill down its neck. Like nearly all dragons, nickel dragons have hoards—but their hoards are as likely to contain random assortments of things as they are to contain gold and jewels.

Swamp Dragons. Nickel dragons live in marshes, often those along coastlines. They usually keep several lairs—one for eggs and the rest for treasure—but the dragon itself sleeps wherever it feels like, in short-term nests made of vines, tree branches, dead leaves, and mud. They frequently share territory with black and bronze dragons, both of whom find nickels to be boorish, annoying, and unnecessarily destructive. Upon meeting another dragon, a nickel is equally likely to attack as they are to talk the other dragon’s ear off, try (and usually fail) to become best friends, or flirt.

On occasional, a nickel dragon will find its way into a sewer drain—generally where there’s a large opening that drains into the sea. They often enjoy such fetid conditions and like to speak through drainpipes and sewer openings in an attempt to trick and confuse the residents of the city above.

Predictably Unpredictable. Nickel dragons enjoy chaos for the sake of chaos; to them, anything that stays the same for too long is incredibly boring. They don’t really think about tactics and when fighting, tend to flit from foe to foe, blasting away with their breath and slicing with teeth and claws as the whim strikes, even if the attack isn’t actually helpful.

Toying With Emotions. They find emotions—other creature’s emotions, at least—to be the most fascinating things, because they can change so quickly. Although their preferred territories are usually far away from settlements, nickel dragons will occasionally fly long distances just to play with humanoids. Sometimes literally—nickel dragons rival coppers for being fun-loving and enjoying games—but sometimes they play more like a bored house cat, terrorizing “lesser creatures” for the thrill of watching them run around in a panic.

Poor Parents. Nickel dragons lay many eggs but tend to forget about them. They’re slightly more attentive when the eggs hatch, since their hatchlings can ask for attention, but their parenting is haphazard at best; they switch between being demanding and overprotective teachers and having a completely laissez faire attitude at the drop of a hat. As a result, few nickel dragons reach maturity, and they are as a dragon species particularly rare.

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

DC 10. Nickel dragons live in swamps, especially salt-water swamps near coastlines.

DC 15. These dragons breathe a phosphorescent cloud of acidic vapors. Those who get caught in the cloud glow, as if they had been targeted with faerie fire.

DC 20. Nickel dragons are very random creatures, and their moods and interests change from moment to moment. They seem to have poor memories, except when it comes to grudges, which they can hold on to forever.

Nickel Dragon Encounters
Terrain:
Swamps, coastlines

CR 3-4 nickel dragon wyrmling with 3-4 kobolds; 2 nickel dragon wyrmlings
Treasure: 400 sp, bone medallion engraved with a labyrinth (10 gp), copper crown set with a (25 gp), scroll with a poem on it, on which is written mediocre poetry in exquisite calligraphy, bubble wand, spell scroll of searing equation

CR 5-10 young nickel dragon
Treasure: 550 gp, 1,000 sp, slightly rotted buckler shield of elven make (5 gp), electrum ewer (25 gp), masterwork greatsword with griffon pommel (125 gp), steel censor (75 gp), silver bowl (75 gp), vial of antitoxin, flask of alchemist’s fire, potion of hill giant strength, scroll of alarm

CR 11-16 young nickel dragon with 2d4+4 boggards and 1d4+2 boggard bravos; young nickel dragon with 1d4+2 bugbears; young nickel dragon with bunyip
Treasure: 2,500 gp, 1,250 ep, 1 amber (100 gp), large silver mirror (50 gp), breastplate with hydra design on it, magnifying glass (25 gp), jade coffer engraved with complex maze pattern (250 gp), gold armlet (250 gp), 2 potions of cure wounds, scroll of animate dead, seeds of necessity

CR 17-22 adult nickel dragon; adult nickel dragon with 1d4+1 bugbears; young nickel dragon with 4 harpies
Treasure: 500 pp, 1,000 gp, 2 aquamarines (500 gp each), platinum bowl rimmed with moonstones and engraved with arcane runes (750 gp), silver medallion engraved with a dragon (500 gp), slightly gnawed upon, amber figurine of a griffon (500 gp), bag of beads, defending drum, restorative ointment,

CR 23-30 adult nickel dragon with sewer chimera or dread troll; ancient nickel dragon; ancient nickel dragon and ogre mage
Treasure: 1,200 pp, 2,000 gp, diamond worth 5,000 gp, an ornately-woven carpet, rolled up, a royal dress that once belonged to a queen who rules nearby (2,000 gp), jade broach in the shape of a flower, heavily tarnished life sized silver statue of an elf mage (7.500 gp), vial of purple worm poison, absurdist web, +3 breastplate, impossible cube, staff of gravity bending

CR 31+ Nickel great wyrm; nickel great wyrm and 2d4 awakened trees; ancient nickel dragon and ur-otyugh
Treasure 5,500 pp, 35,000 gp, agate chalice inlaid with gold (5,000 gp), vase made from extradimensional crystal (7,500 gp), large landscape painting (5,000 gp), trumpet made from a black dragon’s horn (2,500 gp), gold scepter (7,500 gp), crystal ball, potion of invisibility, transforming cloak (sylph), wand of wonder

Signs
1. Compass needles start going wild.
2 Weird giggling in the shadows.
3. Explosive bursts of swamp gas.
4. Everything is constantly waterlogged, making finding dry wood and starting fires almost impossible.

Behavior
1. Planning out a complex and dangerous prank.
2. Sleeping in a giant nest.
3. Hiding in ambush.
4. Approaches the party and demands that they hang out and talk for a while. May attack if the talk gets boring.
5. Hiding in ambush, but fidgeting and talking to itself, thus ruining the sneak attack.
6. Attacks on sight.

Nickel Dragon Lair Features
The save DC for the following effects is 13 + the dragon’s proficiency modifier. Choose or roll one or more of the following lair features.

1. Clouds of stinging insects fill the air, making the area lightly obscured. Up to three times per day as a legendary action, the dragon can command the insects to form 1d4 swarms of insects, which attack any creature other than the dragon.
2. Creepers and vines cover the lair and climb up any vertical surface. The area is difficult terrain for anyone other than the dragon and its minions, and any character that attempts to dash or sprint must make a Dexterity saving throw or fall prone as the vines wrap around the creature’s legs.
3. Silty water covers the ground of the lair, covering hidden pits and traps and making travel difficult. Underwater tunnels connect parts of the lair and provide hidden boltholes. Perception checks are required to find these tunnels.
4. The air is filled with itchy allergens. Upon entering the lair, and after each hour of travel within, a creature must make a Constitution saving throw or become wracked with terrible rashes.

Names
Disme, Ieddrenyth, Kemataen, Moonshine, Vulunei

Variant: Nickel Dragon Spellcasters
Some nickel dragons develop the ability to innately cast spells. A nickel dragon’s spellcasting ability is Charisma. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components. Each age category knows its own spells and those of younger age categories.

Young (save DC 13): 3/day each: entangle, heat metal
Adult (save DC 15): 3/day each: confusion, gaseous form
Ancient (save DC 18): 1/day each: insect plague, plant growth
Great Wyrm (save DC 18): 1/day: awaken

Ancient Nickel Dragon
Legendary gargantuan dragon

Challenge 23 (50,000 XP)
AC 20 (natural armor)
HP 367 (21d20+147; bloodied 173)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 23 (+6) DEX 10 (+0) CON 25 (+7)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 13 (+1) CHA 16 (+3)

Proficiency +7
Maneuver DC 21
Saving Throws Dex +7, Con +13, Wis +8, Cha +10
Skills Perception +8 (+1d6), Stealth +7
Damage Resistances fire
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 21
Languages Common, Draconic, one more
Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, some of its scales corrode and flake off. If it has no more uses of this ability, its Armor Class is reduced to 19 until it finishes a long rest.
Smell Metal. The dragon can locate by scent coins and ores within 1,000 feet.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite attack, it can use Burning Acid.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 28 (4d10+6) piercing damage plus 9 (2d8) fire damage, and a Huge or smaller target is grappled (escape DC 21). While grappling a creature, the dragon can’t bite another target or use its breath weapon.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8+6) piercing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +13 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d8+6) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away.
Burning Acid. The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make a DC 22 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 11 (2d10) acid damage and 11 (2d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a success. Also on a failed save, the creature takes 5 (1d10) ongoing fire damage until it uses an action to end the effect.
Swamp Gas Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a vile, glowing gas in a 90-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw, taking 76 (17d8) acid damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. A creature that fails its save spends its next action choking and retching and is outlined in bright light until the end of its next turn. While outlined, attack rolls made against the creature are made with advantage, and the creature can’t benefit from being invisible.

Bonus Actions
Rend (While Grappling a Creature).
The dragon makes a bite attack against a creature it is grappling.

Reactions
Capricious Leap.
After taking damage, the dragon can move up to 20 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Tail Attack. When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 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.

Roar. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 120 feet that can hear it makes a DC 18 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it is frightened for 1 minute. A creature repeats the saving throw at the end 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 Roar for 24 hours.
Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet makes a DC 21 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its fly speed.
Tail Lash. The dragon makes a tail attack.
Caustic Fog (1/Day, Bloodied Only). The dragon emits a corrosive gas that causes terrible irritation, itches, and rashes. Each creature within 40 feet of the dragon must make a DC 22 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 11 (2d10) acid damage, is poisoned for 1 minute and while poisoned, suffers disadvantage on all Intelligence and Charisma ability checks and saving throws. A poisoned creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Ancient Nickel Dragon Variant: Nickel Great Wyrm
The dragon is an elite monster, equivalent to two CR 22 monsters (82,000 XP). It has 693 (42d20+210; bloodied 346) hit points and the following trait:

Concentrated Acid (1/Day). When the dragon is first bloodied, it immediately recharges its breath weapon. For the next minute, the dragon’s acid becomes immensely more corrosive, ignoring acid resistance and treating acid immunity as acid resistance.

The dragon has the additional legendary actions, which it can only use while bloodied:

Elite Recovery. The dragon ends one negative effect currently affecting it. It can do so as long as it has at least 1 hit point, even while unconscious or incapacitated.
Mortal Terror (Gaze). A creature within 120 feet makes a saving throw against Roar, even if it has already successfully saved within the past 24 hours.
Distill Acid. (Costs 2 Actions). The dragon recharges its breath weapon.
Melt (Costs 3 Actions). The dragon spits a highly concentrated blast of acid at one creature it can see within 90 feet. That creature is affected as if caught in the dragon’s breath weapon, rolling to save as usual.

*

Adult Nickel Dragon
Legendary huge dragon

Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)
AC 18 (natural armor)
HP 256 (22d12+132; bloodied 113)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 20 (+5) DEX 10 (+0) CON 23 (+6)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 14 (+2)

Proficiency +6
Maneuver DC 19
Saving Throws Dex +6, Con +12, Wis +6, Cha +8
Skills Perception +7 (+1d6), Stealth +6
Damage Resistances fire
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 60 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 20
Languages Common, Draconic
Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the dragon fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead. When it does so, some of its scales corrode and flake off. If it has no more uses of this ability, its Armor Class is reduced to 16 until it finishes a long rest.
Smell Metal. The dragon can locate by scent coins and ores within 1,000 feet.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws. In place of its bite attack, it can use Flammable Acid.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10+5) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) fire damage, and a Large or smaller target is grappled (escape DC 20). While grappling a creature, the dragon can’t bite another target or use its breath weapon.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8+5) piercing damage.
Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (3d8+5) bludgeoning damage, and the dragon pushes the target 10 feet away.
Burning Acid. The dragon targets a creature within 60 feet, forcing it to make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 11 (2d10) acid damage and 11 (2d10) fire damage on a failed save, or half as much on a success. Also on a failed save, the creature takes 5 (1d10) ongoing fire damage until it uses an action to end the effect.
Swamp Gas Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a vile, glowing gas in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw, taking 54 (12d8) acid damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. A creature that fails its save spends its next action choking and retching and is outlined in bright light until the end of its next turn. While outlined, attack rolls made against the creature are made with advantage, and the creature can’t benefit from being invisible.

Bonus Actions
Rend (While Grappling a Creature).
The dragon makes a bite attack against a creature it is grappling.

Reactions
Capricious Leap.
After taking damage, the dragon can move up to 20 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity.
Tail Attack. When a creature the dragon can see within 10 feet hits the dragon with a melee attack, the dragon makes a tail attack against it.

Legendary Actions
The dragon can take 3 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.

Roar. Each creature of the dragon’s choice within 120 feet that can hear it makes a DC 16 Charisma saving throw. On a failure, it is frightened for 1 minute. A creature repeats the saving throw at the end 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 Roar for 24 hours.
Wing Attack. The dragon beats its wings. Each creature within 15 feet makes a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, it is pushed 10 feet away and knocked prone. The dragon can then fly up to half its fly speed.
Caustic Fog (1/Day, Bloodied Only). The dragon emits a corrosive gas that causes terrible irritation, itches, and rashes. Each creature within 40 feet of the dragon must make a DC 20 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature takes 11 (2d10) acid damage, is poisoned for 1 minute and while poisoned, suffers disadvantage on all Intelligence and Charisma ability checks and saving throws. A poisoned creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

*

Young Nickel Dragon
Large dragon

Challenge 9 (5,00 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 152 (16d10+64; bloodied 76)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 17 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 19 (+4)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 12 (+1)

Proficiency +4
Maneuver DC 15
Saving Throws Dex +4, Con +9, Wis +4, Cha +5
Skills Perception +3 (+1d6), Stealth +4
Damage Resistances fire
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages Common, Draconic
Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.
Smell Metal. The dragon can locate by scent coins and ores within 500 feet.

Actions
Multiattack.
The dragon attacks once with its bite and twice with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 19 (3d10+3) piercing damage plus 4 (1d8) fire damage, and a Medium or smaller target is grappled (escape DC 15). While grappling a creature, the dragon can’t bite another target or use its breath weapon.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d8+3) piercing damage.
Swamp Gas Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a vile, glowing gas in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw, taking 36 (8d8) acid damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. A creature that fails its save spends its next action choking and retching and is outlined in bright light until the end of its next turn. While outlined, attack rolls made against the creature are made with advantage, and the creature can’t benefit from being invisible.

Bonus Actions
Rend (While Grappling a Creature).
The dragon makes a bite attack against a creature it is grappling.

Reactions
Capricious Leap.
After taking damage, the dragon can move up to 10 feet without provoking attacks of opportunity.

*

Nickel Dragon Wyrmling
Medium dragon

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 45 (7d8+14; bloodied 22)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft., swim 40 ft.

STR 14 (+2) DEX 10 (+0) CON 15 (+2)
INT 7 (-2) WIS 9 (-1) CHA 10 (+0)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Saving Throws Dex +2, Con +5, Wis +1, Cha +2
Skills Perception +1, Stealth +2
Damage Resistances fire
Damage Immunities acid
Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Common, Draconic
Amphibious. The dragon can breathe air and water.
Smell Metal. The dragon can locate by scent coins and ores within 100 feet.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 23 (2d10+2) piercing damage.
Swamp Gas Breath (Recharge 5-6). The dragon exhales a vile, glowing gas in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 13 (3d8) acid damage on a failed save or half as much on a success. A creature that fails its save spends its next action choking and retching and is outlined in bright light until the end of its next turn. While outlined, attack rolls made against the creature are made with advantage, and the creature can’t benefit from being invisible.
 

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