Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary

Faolyn

(she/her)
Here’s the start of Creature Catalog II. In another departure from the norm, the following is actually a variant of an existing monster: the faerie dragon. This one is called the phase dragon, since it’s associated with the Ethereal Plane. As a variant, they use the faerie dragon’s Legends and Lore, Encounters, Signs, Behaviors, and Names.

An article in a later issue of Dragon (#146) has a few “drakes” that will also be turned into faerie dragon variants. I like the idea that a flock of faerie dragons will have a few oddballs in it.

1659807225651.png

Artist: Bob Maurus

Faerie Dragon Variant: Phase Dragon
Creature Catalog II, Dragon Magazine #94
Created by Samuel Offutt

These tiny dragons are a rare mutation of the faerie dragon, hatched sometimes where the Feywild intermingles with the Ethereal Plane. They tend to be a bit more serious-minded and calmer than their kin, as their exposure to the Ethereal dilutes their “feyness.” When first hatched, their scales resemble mother-of-pearl, and they become paler as they age.

Phase dragon innately know different spells than faerie dragons do:

5 years old, at will: dancing lights, mage hand, minor illusion
10 years old, 1/day: faerie fire
30 years old, 1/day: gaseous form
50 years old, 1/day: faithful hound

Additionally, phase dragons lose the Prismatic Light action and instead gain the Ethereal Sight trait and Ethereal Jaunt bonus action.

Ethereal Sight. The phase dragon can see into both the Material Plane and Ethereal Plane.
Ethereal Jaunt. As a bonus action, the phase dragon magically shifts from the Material Plane to the Ethereal Plane or vice versa.

Finally, phase dragons that are 30 years old or older gain Truesight to 10 feet.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Now we have the hurgeon, a tiny anthropomorphic hedgehog. Hedgehogs are cool, although I’m not one of those people who’d want one for a pet. I’m writing them as humanoid (fey) and I imagine that they could work well both as one of the “commoners” of the Feywild and as friends and allies to people from Forgotten Folx, Wood Elf, and similar cultures: something slightly exotic but mostly mundane.

The Creature Catalog illustrates the hurgeon thusly:

1659897615412.png

Artist: Roger Raupp

But we all know that they really look like this:

1659897580315.png

Artist: Beatrix Potter, of course

Hurgeon
Creature Catalog II, Dragon Magazine #94
Created by Roger Moore

At less than a foot in height, the hurgeon are very tiny people indeed. They resemble hedgehogs, except that they walk on their hind legs and have hands instead of forepaws—and, of course, they wear clothing. They are omnivores, eating a variety of nuts, fruits, berries, leaves, roots, slugs, and myriapods. Hurgeon build elaborate, multi-story underground dwellings under the roots of large trees that are reminiscent of the finest halfling homes, but in miniature.

Shy Neighbors. Native to deep forests, hurgeons are in little danger from most animals that share their woodland homes, but they are often eaten by more monstrous beings. As such, they stay hidden much of the time. Their underground communities are so skillfully camouflaged as to be effectively invisible, and they will watch travelers for long periods of time before they decide if they should reveal themselves or not. They are typically quite friendly to gnomes and druids, as they trust them both to be respectful to their forest homes. When they do choose to introduce show themselves, hurgeons have friendly and inoffensive personalities that make them easy to get along with.

Crafters. Hurgeon wear clothing made of “plant-leather”, which is made of specially-treated leaves and bark and is as tough as regular leather while still feeling like soft new leaves and smelling like flowers. Goods made from their leather is in high demand among pixies and sprites, and even among larger folk—although they rarely are able to make enough plant-leather to suit the needs of creatures much bigger than themselves.

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

DC 10. These tiny hedgehog-folk live in hidden settlements deep within forests. They rarely show themselves to other creatures.

DC 15. Hurgeons are known for making a high-quality material that is similar to leather out of bark and leaves. This plant-leather is in high demand by many woodland-dwelling cultures.

DC 20. Hurgeons often engage in special dancing rituals. Their actions tramp down the plant life in a circle and may form faerie rings (as per the exploration hazard).

Hurgeon Encounters
Terrains:
Feywild, forest

CR 0-1 2-4 hurgeons; 2 hurgeon guards; 1 hurgeon druid
Treasure: Dice set made out of agates (50 gp), copper chain bracelet (25 gp), potion of healing.

Signs
1. With a DC 20 Perception or Investigation roll, a tiny door set into the roots of a large tree.
2. A sad fox with a muzzle filled with hedgehog spikes; with a DC 15 Medicine roll, there’s evidence of tiny weapon wounds as well.
3. An abandoned plant-leather bag filled with nuts.
4. The sound of flute music; somewhere nearby, a hurgeon is playing an instrument.

Behavior
1-3. Watching the party from the undergrowth; it requires a DC 16 Perception check to spot them.
4. Gathering berries.
5. Guarding the doorway to their community.
6. Hunting a giant centipede.

Names
Acantha, Harlow, Sabrah, Saxon, Thornton

Hurgeon
Tiny humanoid (fey)

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
AC 11
HP 3 (1d4+1; bloodied 2)
Speed 20 ft., burrow 5 ft.

STR 4 (-3) DEX 12 (+1) CON 13 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 10 (+0)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 11
Skills Nature +3, Perception +3, Stealth +3 (+1d6)
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages Hurgeon and one of Common, Elvish, Gnomish, or Sylvan
Fey Heritage. The burgeon has a d4 expertise die on saving throws against being charmed.
Friend to Beasts. Beasts have disadvantage on attack rolls made against the hurgeon.
Keen Smell. The hurgeon has advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell.
Prickleback. At the start of each of its turns, the hurgeon deals 1 piercing damage to any creature grappling it.
Trackless. The hurgeon leaves no footprints or other evidence of passing as it moves.

Actions
Handaxe.
Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage.
Sling. Ranged Weapon attack: +3 to hit, range 15/60 ft., one target. Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage.
Doubleshot (Recharge 4-6). The hurgeon uses its Sling attack to fire two slingstones instead of one. On a hit, it inflicts 3 (1d4+1) bludgeoning damage.

Bonus Actions
Underbrush Hider.
While in an environment with plants, rocks, or other ground cover, the hurgeon takes the Hide action.

Combat
Against a Small or larger creature, the hurgeon always begins the combat from hiding and tries to continue doing so for as long as possible. Hurgeon guards are willing to fight toe-to-toe if the safety of the community is at stake, but will retreat upon being injured.

Variant: Hurgeon Druid
Some hurgeons have a strong connection with the wilderness and, as a result, develop some druidic abilities. Nearly every large hurgeon community will have at least one druid in it. Hurgeon druids are CR 1/4 (50 XP), have 14 (4d4+4; bloodied 7) hit points, have Wisdom 16 (+3), speak Druidic, get a +d6 expertise die in Nature, are proficient in Survival, and have the following trait:

Spellcasting. The hurgeon druid is a 4th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 13, +3 to hit with spell attacks):

At Will: druidcraft, guidance
1st-level (4 slots): entangle, faerie fire, goodberry, healing word
2nd-level (2 slots): animal messenger, spike growth

The druid also has the following action:

Shapeshift. The hurgeon magically changes its form into an owl (speed 5 ft., fly 60 ft.) or back into its true form. Its statistics are the same in each form, but it can’t speak or cast spells in owl form. Any equipment it is wearing or wielding merges into its new form. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Variant: Hurgeon Guard
A few of the bigger and tougher hurgeons become guards for their community. Hurgeon guards are CR 1/4 (50 XP), wear plant-leather brigandine armor, giving them AC 14, have 14 (4d4+4; bloodied 7) hit points, Strength 6 (-2), and have the following trait:

Brave. The guard has advantage on saving throws against being frightened.

The guard also has the following actions:

Multiattack. The guard makes two attacks with its handaxe or its spear.
Spear. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 10/30 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) piercing damage.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
What’s not to love about the lillendi (singular: lillend)? They’re basically snaky bard-angels (don’t tell Snarf), but without the baggage of being servitors to the gods. And they’re not self-righteous.

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Artist: Roger Raupp

Lillend
Creature Catalog II, Dragon Magazine #94
Created by Stephen Innis

LIllendi have resemble attractive, feather-winged humans from the waist up and have the lower body of a very large snake. Their wings and scales are brightly colored and strikingly patterned and each lillendi; they are very proud of their own coloration patterning but also rejoice in the appearance of their lillendi siblings as well. They wear no clothing, although they often wear jewelry, and no matter the jewelry’s appearance, it always seems to go tastefully with their markings. They also always carry weapons with them—curved blades that seem to be made of solid moonlight.

Angelic Bards. Lillendi are celestials of song, storytelling, and history, and they act as muses to artists of all type. They are also celestials of the wilderness and the moon and prefer to spend their time on the less “civilized” parts of each plane, bringing joy to those who seek peace with nature and opposing those who attempt to harm it. They aren’t beholden to any deities, but will frequently align themselves with the gods of joy, music, art, the moon, and sylvan woodlands.

Masked. Each lillend has a mask that they wear or carry. This mask depicts their social status, level of knowledge, art style, totems, and familial associations. The shape and style of the masks is very subtle, and most non-lillendi can’t tell what the designs actually mean.

The Silent Hour. It is rumored that each lillendi can choose the hour of their death. This time is called the Silent Hour, and it comes when the lillend has grown weary of life. Their life force mingles with the plain they are on, and new life is created from their death. Many lillendi choose to go down fighting against the forces of evil, while others throw lavish parties and simply will themselves to die. Those lillendi who die outside of the Silent Hour do so with expressions of despair on their face.

It is rumored that the Silent Hour is either a gift from a god of the moon, as a reward for their good service. It is also rumored that it is a curse from the powers of Law, as lillendi are said to have once served them before turning to Chaos.

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

DC 15. Lillendi are peaceful muses who delight in beautiful nature, song, and story.

DC 20. Each lillend carries a mask that is unique to them and depicts their status among other lillendi. A lillend whose mask is stolen will stop at nothing to retrieve it, and one whose mask is destroyed will seek vengeance upon the desecrator.

Lillend Encounters
Terrain:
Astral plane, Feywild, forest, hills, mountain

CR 5-10 lillend; lillend and minstrel; lillend and 1d4+2 pixies, sprites, or lomundur (q.v.)
Treasure: a dozen gold bangles (25 gp each), 3 moonstones (50 gp each), masterwork lute, enchanted music sheet, instrument of irresistible symphonies

CR 11-16 2 lillendi; lillend and 1-2 fey knights.
Treasure: four silver charm bracelets loaded with silver, gold, and electrum charms (worth 250 gp each), A faerie-crafted harp with mithril strings that never needs to be tuned (worth 750 gp), ioun stones of protection and insight

CR 17-22 3-4 lillendi; 2 lillend and 2 fey knights.
Treasure: platinum lariat necklace with a large black opal drop (worth 2,500 gp), pair of jade earrings (250 gp), amulet of proof against detection and location, oathbow, ten +1 arrows

Signs
1. The sound of inhumanly beautiful song from nearby,
2. Fey creatures and animals seem to all be traveling to a specific point.
3. Flowers bloom right before people’s eyes, and fireflies dancing in the evening sky, even out of season.
4. At nighttime, the moonlight seems surprisingly bright, causing areas to be dimly lit instead of dark.

Behavior
1. Telling a story with several other creatures, round-robin style.
2. Playing music to an audience of elves.
3. On a mission for a deity of the moon to safely escort one of its star-children to an important location (the child has the attributes of a unicorn but is humanoid in form, has a speed of 30 ft., fly 40 ft., has no horn attack, changes its hoof attack to a punch, and can use a bonus action to shed bright light to 20 feet and dim light for an additional 20 feet).
4. Guarding a spot sacred to an archfey.
5. Wounded, wings broken; looking for help against enemy forces.
6. Trying to organize a sensational event to mark its Silent Hour; may attempt to recruit the party to help in some manner—perhaps by sending them to inform certain people of the event, perhaps by asking them to remove some potentially dangerous creatures to a place where they won’t harm anyone.

Names
Amaris, Celimine, Esmeray, Jerah, Luan, Melete, Neoma

Lillend
Large celestial

Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 119 (14d10+42; bloodied 60)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR 17 (+3) DEX 21 (+5) CON 16 (+3)
INT 16 (+3) WIS 16 (+3) CHA 22 (+5)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 16
Saving Throws Str +6, Wis +6, Cha +8
Skills Arcana +6, Insight +6, Nature (+d4, +d6 astronomy) Perception +6, Perform +8 (+1d8), Persuasion +8
Damage Resistances fire, necrotic, radiant, damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16
Languages all, telepathy 120 ft.
Chaotic Good. A lillend radiates an aura of Chaos and Good.
Immortal Nature. A lillend doesn’t require air or sleep and gains sustenance by listening to or playing music or storytelling, basking in the moonlight, and breathing in fresh breezes while in the wilderness.
Magic Resistance. The lillend has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. It is also immune to any spell from the sound college of magic and to magical effects that contain music or song (such as a harpy’s Luring Song or a satyr’s Dance Tune)/
Spellcasting. The lillend’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17). It can innately cast the following spells, as if with a 5th-level spell slot, requiring no material components:
1/Day Each: charm person, charm monster, darkness, hallucinatory terrain, hold person, irresistible dance, legend lore, moonbeam, prayer of healing
Speak with Nature. The lillend can communicate with beasts and plants.
Tree Stride. Once per turn, the lillend can use 10 feet of movement to enter a living tree and emerge from another living tree within 100 feet. Both trees must be at least Huge.

Actions
Multiattack.
The lillend constricts and then attacks twice with its moon-bladed scimitars.
Moon-Bladed Scimitars. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d6+6) slashing damage plus 10 (3d6) radiant damage.
Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6+3) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, the lillend can’t constrict another target, and the lillend has advantage on attack rolls made against the grappled target when using its scimitars.
Change Form. The lillend magically transforms into a Small or Medium humanoid or back into its true form. It retains its lillend statistics, except that it loses its fly speed unless it is in a form with wings. It reverts to its true form if it dies.
Hold Person (2nd-Level, cast as if with a 5th-Level slot; V; Concentration). Four humanoids the lillend can see within 60 feet must make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, a target is paralyzed for 1 minute. It may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
Moonbeam (2nd-Level, cast as if with a 5th-Level slot; V, S; Concentration). A 5-foot-radius cylinder that is 40 feet high and which is within 120 feet of the lillend is filled with moonlight. When a creature enters the area for the first time on its turn or begins its turn in the area, it must make a DC 17 Concentration saving throw, taking 28 (5d10) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful on. Shapechanges have disadvantage on their save and on a failure, must take its true form. The lillend can use an action to move the beam up to 60 feet.

Bonus Actions
Muse (Recharge 5-6).
The lillend can give a creature that is within 60 feet of it that can hear or see the lillend a burst of creativity. Once within the next 10 minutes, that creature can roll a d12 and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it makes. It can add this die before or after the d20 is rolled but before the Narrator says if the roll succeeded or failed. A creature can only be affected in this manner by one lillend at a time.
Summon Instrument. The lillend pulls their mask or one musical instrument out of thin air. The musical instrument must be one the lillend can carry in one or two hands.

Combat
Against a single target, or multiple targets who lack ranged weapons, the lillend will try to grapple an opponent with their tail, fly straight up, possibly for several rounds if it can, and then drop the target in order. It will then close to melee range. They rarely retreat, although they will accept surrender and show mercy to badly injured foes.

Variant: Lillend Hymnals
At the Narrator’s discretion, a lillend may know one or more Bardic Hymns. While the Hymn is active, the lillend can’t use its Muse ability, and it should roll a d12 as its Bardic Inspiration die.
 




Faolyn

(she/her)
While D&D does have a fair number of just regular ol’ unintelligent monsters… well, there’s always room for more. Especially for those of us who prefer having unintelligent monsters to kill instead of people who look different. Thus, the orgautha, or land leech, which is basically mindless, hungry for blood, and in a movie, would probably be a cheap prop made of garbage bags that the actors would have to hold against their bodies while pretending to wrestle with it.

It’s got an interesting magical twist to it that makes it a unique combatant. And it’s an Ed Greenwood monster that didn’t get used in later editions. Maybe that’s why the article says that is rare to the point of being considered a legend even by rangers.

1660078952645.png

Artist: Dennis Rauth

Orgautha (Land Leech)
Creature Catalog II, Dragon Magazine #94
Created by Ed Greenwood

The orgautha, also known as the land leech, is a rare magical beast. It resembles a large, fat worm, mottled ochre and copper, twelve to fifteen feet in length and five feet in diameter, with a circular maw at both ends.

Land-Based Bloodsuckers. Unlike true leeches, orgautha are completely terrestrial and prefer forests, rocky scrublands, and caverns. They are hermaphroditic and mate whenever they come across another of their kind; both lay eggs. Although they can sometimes be found in pairs, especially after they’ve mated, they have no families or interest in one another, and won’t work together to take down prey (neither do they fight each other for prey). Orgautha eggs, which are laid in clumps and then abandoned, are circular, a foot long, and dark blue. They resemble enormous blueberries.

Magical Advantage. Orgautha are surrounded by a magical field of time-warping silence. Not only is a creature who approaches it unable to hear and speak, but they are magically slowed down as well. This gives the leech an enormous advantage over most creatures that it preys upon. It's not quite smart enough to know to avoid creatures with ranged attacks, though.

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

DC 15. Orgautha are gigantic, bloodsucking worms with a jawless mouth on either end. They have no eyes and rely on scent and vibrations to locate their prey.

DC 20. An orgautha is surrounded by a magical aura that removes all sound and slows down all creatures that come near.

Orgautha Encounters
Terrain:
caverns, forest, grasslands, hill
CR 1-2 orgautha
CR 2-4 2 orgautha; 1 elder orgautha

Signs
1-2. A bloodless corpse with huge, circular bite marks on it.
3. A pile of large, blueberry-like objects, leathery and slightly squishy to the touch (orgautha eggs).
4. One or more characters suddenly find themselves silenced and slowed; a DC 16 Perception check reveals the orgautha a few feet away, ready to attack next turn.

Behavior
1-2. Sucking the blood from a dead or dying animal or humanoid; its other head will attack if approached.
3. Immediately attacking the party.
4. Sleeping off its last meal; will only attack if approached

Orgautha
Large monstrosity

Challenge 2 (750 XP)
AC 12 (natural armor)
HP 38 (5d10+10; bloodied 19)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 16 (+3) DEX 12 (+1) CON 14 (+2)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 6 (-2) CHA 4 (-3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Skills Perception +0, Stealth +3 (+1d6)
Damage Immunities thunder
Condition Immunities blinded, deafened, slowed
Senses tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages
Deaf. The orgautha cannot hear.
Debilitating Aura. The orgautha emits a magical aura of slowed silence that surrounds it to a distance of 10 feet. Any creature that enters this area for the first time or starts its turn in it is slowed, deafened, cannot speak, and is immune to thunder damage until the start of its next turn.
Keen Smell. The orgautha has advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell.
Reactive Maws. The orgautha can take two reactions each round, but not more than one per turn.

Actions
Multiattack.
The orgautha constricts and then makes two bite attacks. It may substitute a blood drain for a bite.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) piercing damage, and the orgautha attaches to the target. A creature may use its action to make a DC 13 Strength check to detach the orgautha, and the orgautha can detach itself as a bonus action.
Blood Drain. The orgautha drains blood from a creature it is attached to. The creature loses 9 (2d8) hit points, and the target’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to half that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. After the orgautha has drained 50 hit points or the target dies, it detaches itself.
Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +5, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d8+3) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 13). Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained, and the orgautha can’t constrict another target, and it has advantage on bite attacks made against that target.

Combat
Orgautha attack mindlessly and retreat if bloodied. They use their bite on two separate creatures, unless the creature they are attacking is Large or seems overly strong.

Variant: Elder Orgautha
Orgautha continue to grow as they age, and one that survives a dozen or so years can grow to be twenty or more feet in length.

An elder orgautha is CR 4 (1,100 XP). It is Huge, has an AC of 14 (natural armor), and has 68 (8d12+16; bloodied 34) hit points. Its bites inflict 12 (2d6+3) piercing damage and have a reach of 10 feet. Its Blood Drain causes a creature to lose 13 (3d8) hit points. It detaches after draining 75 hit points. Its constrict attack inflicts 16 (3d8+3) bludgeoning damage, and attempts made to escape the grapple are made at disadvantage. Finally, its Debilitating Aura is 15 feet wide.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I mentioned it before when I did the mapmaker, but I prefer the other Lower Planes and have never really cared for the Abyss or Hell, so I’m always on the lookout for more fiends from those planes. Enter the viltch, from Pandemonium. More a fiend of chaos and destruction than of evil, they’re useful as pests or foils.

While writing this, I realized that Level Up demons and devils don’t seem to have an ability to gate in more of their kind.

The viltch is under the header of “Demon,” so uses that entry’s Legends and Lore, Signs, and Behaviors.

This is also the last creature from Creature Catalog II.

1660162528824.png

Artist: Roger Raupp

Demon, Viltch
Creature Catalog II, Dragon Magazine #94
Created by Stephen Innis

Viltches are hateful creatures from the Abyss. They resemble human-sized mandrils with disheveled, blue-gray fur and burning yellow eyes. They have only three limbs: two arms and a single leg. Unlike most demons, they are not dedicated to the cause of Evil. Their goal is the vandalism and destruction of all that is beautiful so they can dance in the ruin.

Demons of Destruction. Viltches enjoy spreading destruction and disorder by destroying whatever objects they come across. The more beautiful, pristine, orderly, or beloved the objected is, the more they enjoy vandalizing it. The destruction of property is more important to them than anything else. They are never found alone, and each viltch urges its comrades into greater and greater acts of vandalism.

A vlitch’s touch causes objects to magically warp as if they were made of soft clay. The love nothing more than to cause a beautiful object to melt like gooey cheese or be twisted into an obscene shape. Even without using this magical touch, they are skilled vandals. They will spoil any food they come across, rip apart clothes, and break tools. They carry nothing with them; they can’t stand to have anything around them that’s intact for too long.

Cowardly Fighters. Although they are capable of fighting, viltches rarely do so. They disdain fighting and are afraid of injury. Should they come across a weak creature, they may choose to torment it with deliberately minor scratches and nips—but their bite inflicts an agonizing poison. Viltches also have no interest in joining the ever-present battles of other demons, or in any sort of demonic politics. They can sometimes be forced into using their object-warping abilities on the behalf of a much more powerful demon but they must be strictly controlled—an unwatched viltch will destroy its master’s belongings as readily as the objects they are supposed to destroy. As such, few demon lords or balors feel that using a viltch is worth it.

Vlitch Encounters
Terrain:
Abyss

CR 3-4 1-2 viltches.

CR 5-10 3-4 viltches

CR 11-16 5-8 viltches

Viltch
Medium fiend (demon)

Challenge 2 (450 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 37 (5d8+15; blooded 18)
Speed 60 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 15 (+2) DEX 14 (+2) CON 16 (+3)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 9 (-1) CHA 13 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC +4
Skills Perception +1 (+1d4), Sleight of Hand +4 (+1d6), Stealth +4
Saving Throws Dex +4
Damage Resistances cold, fire, thunder; damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities lighting, poison, psychic
Senses darkvision 60 ft.,
Languages Abyssal, telepathy 100 feet.
Aligned. The viltch radiates a Chaotic aura. Many, but not all, viltch also radiate an Evil aura.
Demonic Vision. Magical darkness doesn’t impede the viltch’s darkvision.
Magic Resistance. The viltch has advantage on saving throws against spells or other magical effects.
Preternatural Speed. The viltch has advantage on Initiative rolls.

Actions
Multiattack.
The viltch attacks twice with its claws and once with its bite.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage and the target must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned. A creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. While poisoned, a creature’s speed is reduced by 10 feet. If the poisoned creature attempts to cast a spell, it must first succeed on a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the spellcaster is overwhelmed with pain and can’t cast the spell. The spell slot is not wasted, unless the caster critically fails the save.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) slashing damage.
Warp. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one Large or smaller inanimate, nonmagical object that is not held or worn. Hit: 11 (2d8+2) force damage. If the object is reduced to 0 hit points, is warped, twisted, or otherwise ruined. (see Objects in the Adventurer’s Guide to determine an object’s armor class and hit points.)
Teleport (Recharge 4-6). The viltch magically teleports to a space within 60 feet that it can see.

Bonus Actions
Snatch.
If the viltch succeeds on an claw attack against a creature, it can make a Sleight of Hand check against it as well.

Reactions
Trip Up.
If a creature makes a melee weapon attack against the viltch and misses, the viltch attempts to trip it. The creature must make a DC 12 Strength or Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.

Combat
Viltches attack from hiding, using their bite and claws, then teleport away. The prefer hit-and-run attacks to straight-out combat.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I REGRET NOTHING.

Growf (Draco pholius ridiculus)
There can never be too many dragons, right?, Dragon Magazine #96

Created by Matt Legare

1660243654692.png

Artist: Phil Foglio

These creatures closely resembles small, purple-scaled dragons with cow-like horns. Their faces bear a permanently befuddled expression which many find endearing. The growf gets its name from the only sound it makes: a questioning “growf?” noise.

Growfs can and do eat anything, even rocks and books. It’s unclear if they actually need the food to survive, however, since they seem to suffer no ill effects when they don’t eat.

Flawed Creation. It is rumored that the growf was created by an mage who—either by design or through drunken mistake—magically merged a dragon, a cow, and a small terrier together. The result was the first growf, who promptly burned down the mage’s lab and flew away. The archmage then gave up magic and drinking and became a monk. Whether this legend is true or not, growfs are most definitely not natural creatures.

Rapid Reproduction. Growfs don’t breed normally, and it’s unclear if they even have sexes in the first place. Instead, a growf that comes into contact with water nearly instantly buds copies of itself, as if by fission. While most of these copies melt into goo shortly afterwards, a few survive and become new growfs. A torrential rainstorm can cause a sudden surge in the growf population. Their only saving grace is that, much like cats, growfs hate getting wet and will never willingly do so.

Favored By Someone On High. Growfs are amazingly, supernaturally lucky. They seem to always survive even the most determined efforts to kill them. Weapons miss and spells seem to take no effect more often than not, no matter how skilled the warrior or caster. A rogue who attempts to sneak up on one will always seem to find a squeaky board to step on or twig to snap. They seem to be able to saunter away from disasters and massive attacks that would have instantly killed anyone else. While it’s clear that somebody likes them and wants them to survive, their propensity for accidentally burning down their surroundings, their ability and willingness to eat just anything, regardless of what it is, their habit of following people around, and their incessant spawning makes them into major pests that most creatures loathe.

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

DC 10. If you say “growf” back to a growf, it may befriend you and follow you everywhere.

DC 15. A growf may look like a dragon, but it is actually something completely different.

DC 20. Growfs are difficult to kill, are blessed with supernatural luck, and reproduce like mad when they get wet.

Growf Encounters
Terrain:
caverns, forest, grassland, hills, laboratory, mountain, ruins, settlements.

CR 0-1 1 growf; 1 growf and 1d4 copies.

Signs
1. With a DC 15 Investigation or Perception check, tiny dragon footprints.
2. The sound of a growf saying “growf?” nearby.
3. The sound of a growf and its copies all saying “growf?” nearby.
4. Piles of purple goo.
5. A completely burned-down farmhouse and devastated and singed farmers, raving about the horrible dragon that destroyed it.
6. A poster marking a bounty for growf horns. There is a 50% chance it warns against getting the growf wet, although it doesn’t explain why.

Behavior
1. Sleeping.
2. Eating something it shouldn’t be eating.
3. Following the party around; it will get bored and stop in 2d10 days, if the party doesn’t drive it off first.
4. Ignoring its copies, which are mostly wandering around in circles.

Growf
Small dragon (aberration)

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
AC 13 (natural armor)
HP 16 (3d8+3; bloodied 8)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

STR 8 (-1) DEX 13 (+1) CON 12 (+1)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 6 (-2)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 11
Damage Immunities fire
Condition Immunities charmed, strife
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages
Aberrant Nature. The growf doesn’t require air or sustenance.
Regeneration. The growf regains 5 hit points at the start of each of its turns. If the growf takes psychic damage, this trait doesn’t function on its next turn. The growf dies only if it starts its turn with 0 hit points and doesn’t regenerate.
Breed Like Bacteria. If the growf is splashed with a gallon of water or submerged in water, then at the start of its next turn, 1d4 copies emerge. The copies have the same attributes as the original but lack the Breed Like Bacteria trait and are under the effect of the confused condition.
After 24 hours, the Narrator will roll a d10 for each copy. On a roll of 1, the copy is permanent and gains all the growfs normal abilities and is no longer confused. On a roll of 2-9, the copy melts into harmless purple goo.
Evasion. When the growf makes a Dexterity saving throw against an effect that deals half damage on a success, it take no damage on a success and half damage on a failure.
Strange Luck. Any roll made to attack the growf, sneak up to it or past it, to trap it (even if the growf is nowhere in sight when the trap is made), or otherwise harm, annoy, or distract the growf is rolled with disadvantage. The growf has advantage on all ability checks and saving throws. If the growf rolls a 1 on any ability check, attack roll, or saving throw, it may reroll the die and must keep the new result.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4+1) force damage. The growf’s bite does double damage to objects and ignores damage thresholds.
Fire Breath (Recharge 4-6). The growf breathes fire in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 11 Dexterity saving throw, taking 10 (3d6) fire damage on a failed save or half as much on a successful one. A creature also takes 1 ongoing fire damage, whether or not it failed its save. A creature can use an action to extinguish this flame on itself on a creature within 5 feet. The fire ignites any flammable, unattended objects in the area.

Combat
Upon meeting a creature, the growf will say “growf?” several times. If the creature doesn’t say “growf” back to it or otherwise acts in a friendly manner, it will immediately blast the creature with fire. The growf doesn’t otherwise attack.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Aaand back to more serious monsters from Creature Catalog III—the last of the Creature Catalogs for a couple hundred issues.

The first monster from this collection is the bogeyman. Now, I personally prefer the bogeymen depicted in the article Noises in the Night, from the Ravenloft fan netzine Book of Sacrifices, but these guys are kind of cool, too. This monster is surprisingly complicated for something that’s only CR 1/2.

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Artist: Marsha Kauth

Bogeyman
Creature Catalog III, Dragon Magazine #101
Created by Gregg Chamberlain

Spawned in dark places where sentient beings have been frightened to death by the supernatural and unknown, bogeymen are evil fey who survive by feeding off the fear they create in others. Shrouded in darkness, they are tall, shadowy figures with indistinct forms, glowing eyes, and long, dark claws… at least until the darkness is dispelled and their true forms are visible. In reality, they are short, pathetic creatures with misshapen heads, bulging fish-eyes, and dead-white skin, far too weak to do any physical harm to anyone.

Fear-Makers. Bogeyman are capable of sifting through the mind of their victims, drawing upon their worst fears. They shape these fears into complex illusions in order to terrifying their victims nearly to death. These illusions exist entirely in the minds of their targets, often leading others to think that the victims are hallucinating in some way. While usually solitary, bogeyman sometimes gather in groups, working together to maximize the fear of their victims.

Bogeymen can also produce smaller illusions and mimic voices, and they often use these abilities to scare people as well. Some even prefer to frighten people through these abilities instead, believing that it makes the meal taste better.

Shadow-Shrouded. When they hunt, they swathe themselves in magical dark shadows. They can shape these shrouds to make them appear as another creature, such as a humanoid, gargoyle, or ghost, although their shadows remain indistinct and featureless. They often use their illusory magic to give their shadow form a few details. Some bogeymen have favored shapes, while others change their shadow’s appearance to fit their prey’s fears.

Urban Predators. Bogeymen derive their sustenance from the fear they engender in others, and their favorite prey is children. As such, are nearly always found in urban environments. Not only are there plenty of people to scare, but also plenty of places to hide away. They will sometimes near paths that pass through old forests and prey on travelers as well.

Bogeymen hunt alone but sometimes live in small groups, where they swap stories of their most interesting prey and share new ideas for scaring people. Although their powers give them the ability to easily kill most of the people they come across, few bogeymen actually try to kill. Many will only do so if they feel their reputation in their territory is starting to take a hit.

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

DC 10. Bogeymen lurk under beds, in closets, in dark alleys, and in sewer drains.

DC 15. Bogeymen have the ability to create terrifying phantasms. They feed on the fear they create in people’s minds.

DC 20. Bogeymen are a type of fey sometimes created when a person dies of fright. Their true form is always masked by shadows, and they shun the light.

Bogeyman Encounters
Terrain:
forest, settlement

CR 0-1 Bogeyman

Signs
1-2. Children tell tales of a monster who snatches up little kids who wander into the wrong place.
3. The corpse of a traveler who, judging by the look on their face, has died of fright.
4. A person who is suffering from a long-term mental stress effect. All they can talk about is the horrible things they saw.

Behavior
1-2. Lurking in a dark corner.
3. Terrifying a creature.
4. Studying a creature, reading its thoughts and studying it in order to find the best way to frighten it.

Bogeyman Shroud Appearances
1. A very tall, faceless humanoid wearing all black, with a big black hat, carrying a sack.
2. A very large wolf. The bogeyman uses minor illusion to create the appearance of glowing yellow eyes and grinning jaws.
3. A gaunt figure with backwards-facing feet.
4. A squat, potbellied, pig-like humanoid with enormous tusks. The bogeyman uses minor illusion to add a hint of color to the “skin” and “clothes”.
5. A hulking creature somewhere between a bugbear and troll in appearance. The bogeyman uses minor illusion to create the appearance of glowing red eyes.
6. A very big spider.

Names
Agar, Bisma, Egil, Enna, Jerual, Ove,

Bogeyman
Small fey (fiend)

Challenge 1/2 (50 XP)
AC 13
HP 14 (4d6)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 5 (-3) DEX 16 (+3) CON 10 (+0)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Skills Deception +5, Insight +3 (reading emotions +1d4), Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages Common, Sylvan
Evil. The bogeyman radiates an Evil aura.
Dark Sight. Magical darkness doesn’t impede the bogeyman’s darkvision.
Fiendish Nature. A bogeyman can’t attack or use Darkest Fears on a creature protected by a bless, protection from evil or good, or similar effect.
Light Sensitivity. While in bright light, the bogeyman has disadvantage on attack rolls and on Perception checks that rely on sight.
Mimicry. The bogeyman can mimic any sounds it has heard, including voices. A creature that hears the sounds can tell they are imitations with a successful DC 15 Insight check.
Shroud of Darkness. The bogeyman surrounds itself with an aura of magical darkness with a radius of up to 5 feet. While not incapacitated and this trait is active, attack rolls against the bogeyman have disadvantage. When a creature hits the bogeyman with an attack, this trait stops working until the end of the bogeyman’s next turn. A dispel magic or light created by a spell of 3rd-level or higher will also end the shroud, and the bogeyman can’t create a new shroud for 1 minute.
Slither Through The Cracks. The bogeyman can move through a space as narrow as 6 inches wide without squeezing.
Spellcasting (At Will). The bogeyman can cast minor illusion. Its spellcasting attribute for this trait is Charisma.

Actions
Claws.
Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 slashing damage.
Darkest Fears (1/Day). The bogeyman targets a giant, humanoid, or monstrosity it can see within 30 feet. That creature must make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened. While frightened, the affected creature sees terrifying phantasmal images, drawn from its own subconscious and modified by the bogeyman, in a 15-foot-radius sphere centered on the target. The phantasm includes sound, temperature, and other stimuli but exists only in the creature’s mind.
The bogeyman must concentrate on this effect, as if concentrating on a spell. The effect also ends if the creature is no longer frightened, or if the creature starts its turn in a brightly-lit area. It may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. This saving throw is made at disadvantage if the target is alone, and at advantage if another creature is attempting to help the target to realize that what they’re seeing isn’t real. If the creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the bogeyman’s Darkest Fears for the next 24 hours.
At the start of each of the bogeyman’s turns, it can choose to have the phantasm harm the target and inflict its choice of 1 psychic damage or 8 (2d4+3) psychic damage to the target. If this damage reduces the creature to 0 hp, the bogeyman may choose whether this kills the target or causes them to be stable but unconscious for 1 hour.
Each time the bogeyman inflicts psychic damage on a target, it regains hit points equal to that amount. Any hit points gained in excess of its normal hit point maximum become temporary hit points.
Should a frightened creature critically fail any of its saving throws against this effect, it takes one level of strife.

Read Mind. The bogeyman can force a creature it can see within 30 feet of it to make a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails, then the bogeyman can read the creature’s surface thoughts.

Bonus Actions
Shadow Sneak.
If its Shroud of Darkness is in effect, the bogeyman takes the Hide action even if obscured only by dim light or darkness.

Reactions
Douse.
The bogeyman extinguishes a nonmagical torch, lamp, or candle, or a light created by a cantrip or 1st-level spell, that is within 60 feet of it.

Combat
Bogeymen flee at the first sign of danger.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Based on a creature of Celtic mythology, lhiannan shee means “fairy lover” in Scottish Gaelic. They are vampiric muses, granting inspiration to artists while at the same time draining their life. In Creature Catalog, Roger Moore emphasized the vampiric part by making them undead, which was continued when they were updated to 2e and put into the second Forgotten Realms Monstrous Compendium Appendix. However, in 3e, they were updated on WotC’s website in their now defunct Monster Mayhem column for 3x (Wayback Machine link), where the more traditional spelling of leanan sidhe was used (well, the truly traditional spelling is sìdhe, with a accent grave over the i), and there, they were made into Fey. So I’m combining them. They’re a form of undead fey now. Best of both worlds!

While the Creature Catalog (and later FR MC Appendix) version consists entirely of females, the Monster Mayhem version, along with the original legends (according to Wikipedia, at least), has both males and females, as does my version. In either case, the lhiannan shee isn’t really the type of monster you sic on the party. It’s the type you sic on NPCs and then have the PCs investigate.

The lhiannan shee is also pretty much the embodiment of the emotionally abusive significant other--even without their magical abilities, gaslight and isolate their prey--so be careful of your players if you use it.

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Artist: Roger Raupp

Lhiannan Shee
Creature Catalog III, Dragon Magazine #101 and Monster Mayhem
Created by Roger Moore and Robert Wiese

In the Feywild, breathtaking beauty is everywhere. A garden tended by pixies or a dryad is more vibrant than any mundane garden in the Material World. A castle owned by faerie noble frequently outshines any created by even the most talented of mortal architects. Even a common fey’s humble cottage is often more quaintly picturesque than a human’s farmer’s hut. Some fey seek to bring that beauty into the mortal world and act as muses to musicians, actors, artists, writers, and artisans. And mostly they succeed—many a famous person has gotten a jolt of inspiration from these muses. And that’s where most fey muses stop: they seek to help mortals get over their hangups and creator’s blocks and achieve the artistry that already lies in their soul. Once that talent is realized, the muse moves on, pleased with a job well-done.

But some of these muses can’t stop. These fey begin to live vicariously through the mortals they aid, feeding off their creativity and ambition. In the end, the artist is drained, physically and mentally, and if they live, they are often completely bereft of any creativity. These fey, completely corrupted by their actions, change into something not truly alive: the lhiannan shee.

A lhiannan shee resembles an extraordinarily beautiful faerie, but upon close inspection, their beauty seems hollow and unreal, and they always have a hungry look in their eyes. They smell of high-quality, floral perfume, each one with a slightly different scent. Like a vampire, they cast no shadow or reflection and their pallid skin is as cold as the grave. They are solid only at night; during the day, they are insubstantial.

Vampiric Muses. Lhiannan shee find and befriend themselves to artists—painters, singers, musicians, and the like. They approach the artist in private, and indeed, remain invisible to everyone else, and use their wiles, flattery, and flirting to ingratiate themselves to the artist while at the same time subtly denigrating the artist’s friends, with the ultimate goal of isolating them. They take on the role of a fan, a student, a potential model, or even a manager. Once they have found an artist, they visit them every night, granting them inspiration. The art created by their ”friend” quickly becomes of the highest quality.

Their kiss drains the life from their artist “friends,” slowly but surely. Victims of the lhiannan shee become sickly and pale, and to the lay person, suffer from the effects of poor living (among those artists who are known for partying), or consumption (among those artists who live in poor areas). Although nearly every artist who has been targeted by a lhiannan shee dies an early death, most are not upset by this, as they will be immortalized by their art.

Jealous Suitors. Lhiannan shee are jealous and demanding. If they feel their “blessing” is being misused (such as with a minstrel who continues to play in cheap taverns instead of posh theaters) or if their chosen artist isn’t respectful or thankful enough, or continues to associate with their other friends or loved ones, they will refuse to grant inspiration. They may even curse their chosen artist by removing their skills. Such a curse is so greatly feared and loathed by the chosen artists that most of the time, they will do anything to please the lhiannan shee. If the lhiannan shee feels slighted enough, it may even leave for a time after placing such a curse. If the victim dies from despair, the lhiannan shee counts that as a victory.

Magic Item: Charm of the Lhiannan Shee
Wondrous item (charm), very rare (cost 1,500 gp), requires attunement

Each lhiannan shee carries a special object which can take on a variety of forms but is always made at least partly of silver. It usually appears as a simple piece of jewelry or as an artist’s tool such as a quill pen or guitar pick. The lhiannan shee often gives its victim this charm as a token of remembrance. The object is cursed for both the bearer and the lhiannan shee, and so the lhiannan shee is careful as to who it gives the charm to.

While wearing or using this charm, you gain an expertise die in one of Performance, one musical instrument, or in one set of artisan’s tools in which you are already proficient, chosen by the lhiannan shee when it bequeaths the charm. You can break the charm to release its power: for 1 minute after you break the charm, the lhiannan shee has vulnerability damage from melee attacks you make against it.

Curse. While attuned to this charm and charmed by the lhiannan shee, you become obsessed with the it and will not willingly part with it. You also have disadvantage on saving throws made against the lhiannan shee's Charming Speech and Draining Kiss. if the lhiannan shee uses Inspire Despair on you, you roll a d6 instead of a d4. In addition, the lhiannan shee will always know your location, as long as you are on the same plane.

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

DC 10. Lhiannan shee are undead who act like muses. They grant boons to artists, but are easily offended if their boon is misused.

DC 15. The kiss of the lhiannan shee drains the life out of the recipient--in some cases, permanently without the aid of powerful magic.

DC 20. Once fey creatures, the lhiannan shee became obsessed with forcing artists to fulfill the fey’s visions of beauty, until they became so corrupted that they turned into undead.

Lhiannan Shee Encounters
Terrain:
ruins, settlement

CR 3-4 1 lhiannan shee
Treasure: silver and onyx jewelry worth 100 gp.

Signs
1-2. An artist who has recently skyrocketed in popularity; everyone says their art is otherworldly in quality.
3. Several artists in a large city have died recently, all of the same wasting illness.
4. People gossiping about an artist’s mysterious paramour.
5. The same figure appearing in the artwork of several different artists over the years, all of whom died early.
6. A suicidally-depressed artist

Behavior
1-3. Visiting its victim in their place of work
4. Attending an art show.
5. Stalking its victim and learning about them before approaching for the first time
6. Watching a performance on stage.

Names
Arwyn, Eithin, Ianthe, Jinadev, Musette, Vishali

Lhiannan Shee
Medium undead (fey)

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
AC 14
HP 65 (10d8+20; bloodied 32)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 8 (-1) DEX 19 (+4) CON 14 (+2)
INT 16 (+3) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 23 (+6)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Saving Throws Wis +4, Cha +8
Skills Deception +8 (+1d6), Insight +4 (+1d4), Perception +4, Perform +8 (+1d6), Persuasion +8 (+1d4), Stealth +6
Damage Resistances acid, fire, lightning, thunder; damage from nonmagical attacks.
Damage Immunities cold, necrotic, poison
Condition Immunities fatigue, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, unconscious
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Elven, Sylvan, and two others
Charming Speech (1/Day; Usable Only At Night). The lhiannan shee speaks to a humanoid within 30 feet of it for at least 1 minute. That creature must make a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the lhiannan shee for 24 hours. The charmed creature idolizes the lhiannan shee during this time and views it as a beloved friend and confidant. The creature may make a new saving throw if it takes damage from any source other than the lhiannan shee's Draining Touch, ending the effect on itself on a success.
The lhiannan may send short telepathic messages (25 words or less) to the charmed creature as long as they are within 1 mile of each other. This form of telepathy doesn’t allow for the creature to respond.
Daylight Insubstantiality. During the day or when in sunlight, the lhiannan shee can’t pick up or move objects or creatures. It can move through objects and creatures, and it takes 5 (1d10) force damage if it ends its turn inside an object. It loses this trait sundown.
Magic Resistance. The lhiannan shee has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Spellcasting (3/Day). The lhiannan shee can cast disguise self. Its spellcasting attribute for this trait is Charisma. When this spell is active, it casts a reflection and a shadow.
Soundless. The lhiannan shee makes no noise when it is walking or when it touches an object.
Turn Resistance. The lhiannan shee has advantage on saving throws against any effect that turns undead.
Undead Nature. The lhiannan shee doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.
Unhealing. The lhiannan shee can only regain hit points through use of its Draining Touch.

Actions
Touch.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d4+4) cold damage.
Draining Kiss. The lhiannan kisses a willing creature or a creature charmed by it, and that creature’s hit point maximum is reduced by 1 and the lhiannan shee regains 10 hit points. The target must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or its hit point maximum is reduced by 1 until the creature is no longer charmed by the lhiannan shee and is subjected to a greater restoration or similar magic, or the lhiannan shee is destroyed. Otherwise, the reduction lasts until the creature completes a long rest. The target dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.
Inspire Despair. The lhiannan curses a creature charmed by it. That creature must make a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be overcome with despair for 24 hours. During this time, the creature must roll a d4 and subtract it from all ability checks, attack rolls, and saving throws it makes. Additionally, it also has disadvantage on rolls made with one skill, musical instrument, or artisan’s tool of the lhiannan shee’s choice.
The lhiannan shee can revoke this curse at any time (no action required). A calm emotions or similar magic can also end the effect.
Muse’s Blessing. The lhiannan shee blesses one creature she can see within 30 feet, granting it a d6 expertise die in Performance, one musical instrument, or in one set of artisan’s tools in which it is already proficient. This expertise die lasts for 1 hour and can stack with existing expertise dice up to a d10, exceeding the usual limit on expertise die.
Additionally, if the creature has levels in the Bard class, it gains one additional Bardic Inspiration die during this time, and the spell save DC for any Bard spells it casts is increased by 1.
The lhiannan shee can revoke this blessing at any time (no action required).

Bonus Actions
Selective Invisibility.
The lhiannan shee and any equipment it wears or carries magically turns invisible the until lhiannan shee attacks, casts a spell, becomes incapacitated, or uses a bonus action to become visible. Draining Kiss does not count as an attack for this purpose. While invisible, it also can’t be heard. Each time that the lhiannan shee turns invisible, it may choose one creature that can see it and hear it.
At the start of each of its turns, a creature who can see invisible objects must make a DC 14 Perception check. On a failure, it doesn’t see the lhiannan shee. On a success, the creature can see the lhiannan shee until it uses this ability again.

Combat
The lhiannan shee commands its charmed victim to attack, and turns invisible and then moves to safety. If its charmed victim isn’t nearby, it will telepathically send out a message to it, urging it the victim to come to the lhiannan shee’s aid. If cornered and unable to flee, it will use its Touch attack.

Variant: Lhiannan Shee for Other Classes
The way it’s written up, the lhiannan shee is a creature that goes after bards, but I feel like you can target artificers as well; they’re as creative as bards, albeit in different ways. In this case, substitute Engineering for Perform with their Muse’s Blessing trait, and when using the Muse's Blessing trait, instead of granting another Bardic Inspiration die, the artificer can instead reroll one fizzle die (and must use the new roll), and the spell save DC for any artificer spells they cast increases by 1.

If you want, the lhiannan shee can target anyone, of course--what they want in a target is creativity and, more importantly, the ability to be creative while isolated and to produce a legacy through their works. A lhiannan shee may attach themselves to a rogue (and encourage to perform daring heists or cons), a marshal (to bolster their tactical abilities), a wizard (to aid in the research and development of rare spells), a fighter (allowing them to become a weapon master), a savant (allowing them an even greater knowledge and understanding). In these cases, Muse's Blessing gifts an additional maneuver, the ability to research spells faster and more cheaply, or something similar, and a +1 to the appropriate spell save DC.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
OK, a slightly goofy one this time: the pilfer vine. It’s a plant that picks pockets. Hey, we need more plant monsters. As the name suggests, it’s a vine. But not only that, it’s a vine that has eyes on its leaves. Well, the text describes them as “visual organs” which I’m sure is supposed to mean primitive eyespots—it also says that they’re color blind, which would follow—but I really like the idea of them having full-fledged eyeballs on their leaves. I mean, that’s just cool. Sadly, it’s another plant that’s vulnerable to fire damage, which is less cool.

But anyway, since neither assassin vines nor vine blights made it to Level Up, let these guys be your vine monsters of choice!

(I do wonder if these guys would work better as an exploration challenge than a monster, though.)

1660504153228.png

Artist: Roger Raupp

Pilfer Vine
Creature Catalog III, Dragon Magazine #101
Created by Richard Stump

Pilfer vines look like tangles of grayish-green creepers with broad, green-brown leaves. On approximately a tenth of their leaves, they have small eyes. When the eyes are closed, they look like galls. The plant’s base is a melon-like lump, in which is the vine’s vegetable brain, and the long creepers—when not in action—are usually wrapped around a tree trunk, pillar, or other support.

Kleptomaniacal Plants. For reasons unknown, pilfer vines are natural thieves. Whenever a creature who is wearing clothes or carrying belongings walks within the vine’s quite extensive range, the vine will carefully try to steal from it. It has no concept of wealth; it steals whatever is shiny. Stolen objects are kept around its central lump, usually covered by leaf litter.

Trainable. Some forest-dwellers such as druids have managed to train them into being guardians, in exchange for water and fertilizer and frequent gifts of shiny things. Because of their relatively high intelligence, they can quickly learn to not steal from their benefactors, and to trade the belongings they steal for shinier ones offered.

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

DC 10. Pilfer vines look like ordinary plants, but seem compelled to steal shiny things.

DC 15. Although incapable of understanding languages, pilfer vines are about as smart as a dog.

DC 20. With time and effort, a pilfer vine can be trained to not steal from specified individuals, and can be trained to trade the items they stole for shinier objects.

Pilfer Vine Encounters
Terrain:
Forest, jungle, ruins

CR 3-4 1-2 pilfer vines
80 gp, 115 sp, 3 quartz gems (10 gp each), silvered dagger, pocket magic mirror

Signs
1-2. Members of the party suddenly realized they’ve been pickpocketed.
3. With a DC 20 Perception check, noticing some of the leaves seem to have eyes on them.
4. A recently-severed, still-twitching vine.

Pilfer Vine
Large plant

Challenge 3 (700 XP)
AC 14
HP 52 (8d10+16; bloodied 26)
Speed 0 ft.

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

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Skills Sleight of Hand +6 (+1d6)
Damage Vulnerabilities fire
Damage Resistances cold; piercing
Damage Immunities bludgeoning
Senses darkvision 30 ft. (blind beyond this radius)
Languages
False Appearance. While the pilfer vine remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal plant.
Sessile. The pilfer vine has disadvantage on saving throws against any affect that targets an area.

Actions
Multiattack.
The pilfer vine makes four constrict attacks. Optionally, it can make up to four Sleight of Hand checks.
Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: The target takes 7 (1d4+4) bludgeoning damage and is grappled (escape DC 14). If the attack scores a critical hit, the vine wraps around the target’s neck and the target begins to suffocate. A creeper can be severed if it takes 10 or more damage in a single attack by a slashing weapon.
The pilfer vine has 20 creepers, although only four can be used at a time. Severed creepers regrow in 1 week.

Combat
As they are unable to flee, a pilfer vine will only engage in combat if attacked first, and will continue to attack until it is dead.
 

Kleptomaniacal Plants. For reasons unknown, pilfer vines are natural thieves. Whenever a creature who is wearing clothes or carrying belongings walks within the vine’s quite extensive range, the vine will carefully try to steal from it. It has no concept of wealth; it steals whatever is shiny. Stolen objects are kept around its central lump, usually covered by leaf litter.

Just a thought, but maybe they collect shiny objects to attract small rodents, that they use as pollinators.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
Alright, folks, @WarDriveWorley asked for this one: the dreaded pernicon. It’s from the 1e Fiend Folio, but this creature gets both an Ecology article and a revamped version in issue #108, so I consider it fair game. And yeah, these things are pretty nasty. WarDriveWorley, since Level Up doesn’t have any monsters that drain stats, I had to change their method of attack, but I'm pretty sure it's still enough to terrify and anger your players. :D

The Ecology article goes into great detail about the importance of the pernicon’s antennae (a useful tool) and how to remove it… from the pernicon’s skull. So, uh. I guess pernicons have an internal skeleton? It also compares the fluids in the pernicon’s brain to a watch with a liquid crystal display, along with a whole attempt to scientifically explain exactly how exactly they can detect elemental water. In these modern days of everything being handwaved via experimental wizardry, planar mutations, eldritch beings, or the will of the gods, I honestly can’t tell if I miss these attempts at biological realism or not.

1660592756423.png

Artist: Russ Nicholson (This is from the FF. I’m pretty sure that the art from Dragon Magazine is Dover clipart)

Pernicon
The ecology of the pernicon and The pernicon: a new version, Dragon Magazine #101
Created by John Nephew, originally by Mary Patterson

Pernicons resemble large, wingless grasshoppers. They are primarily straw-colored with splotches of bright red, ochre, blue, and black on their abdomen. They aren’t true insects, as they have a very rudimentary internal skeleton in addition to their carapace, which accounts for their relative toughness. Additionally, unlike grasshoppers, they are omnivorous. Or rather, they are liquivores, and gladly devour the juices from both plants and animals.

Pernicons live in large colonies and create “towns” similar to termite mounds—large, oddly-shaped piles of hardened mud and saliva filled with scores of holes for the pernicons to enter and exit from and to provide natural cooling to the inside; these mounds are often several feet high and can extend underground for a half-dozen feet or more. Cold-blooded or flying scavengers often lair near such towns in order to feed on the dried corpses that are inevitably left behind.

Natural Dowsers. A pernicon’s antennae is an incredibly sensitive sensory organ and can detect the presence of liquid water (even if it’s underground) from a very long distance away. When they sense water, their antennae buzz loudly, reminiscent of a cicada’s hum. They do not, however, drink the water—their mouthparts are unsuited for that. Instead, they prey on the creatures and plants (particularly succulents) that use the water holes. Their bite leaves a small but messy puncture, and they rapidly suck the moisture out of their victim. A lucky creature can remove the pernicon before too much damage is done, but the longer the pernicon drinks, the more and more dehydrated the creature can get. A single pernicon can drain a human dry in a minute—and they are prone to traveling in swarms. Fortunately, they tend to prefer eating plants and will usually only attack if bothered. Although this is not entirely fortunate, as they can quickly strip an area clean of vegetation. When an area has become barren, the entire town migrates, forming a great, multicolored blanket of insects and devouring everything in their path.

Coveted Resource. Despite the horrors they can bring, pernicons are highly valued by many people. Since they build their towns near places with aquifers, people often seek them out, looking for new sources of water. Roasted or fried pernicon is considered a delicious delicacy among many people, although a rare one—they’re very difficult to raise domestically and so must be caught in the wild. Pernicon eggs are eaten like caviar. However, they are prized even more for their antennae, which retain the pernicon’s water-sensing ability. Removing the antennae from the creature is a difficult task, as they are very delicate things, and requires requiring a DC 15 check with Medicine, Sleight of Hand, or thieves’ tools check. The antenna will vibrate loudly if within 120 feet of water that can fit a 5-foot cube, even if that water is covered or underground. However, an antenna will disintegrate upon getting wet, being exposed to heat or fire, or taking any sort of damage. Intact antenna are typically worth 1 gold each, and live pernicon are sold individually as water-finders for around 5 gold, or in filled buckets for culinary purposes for as much as 50 gold. Six pernicon, eaten raw, act as 1 Supply.

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

DC 10. Pernicon are grasshopper-like creatures that can detect the presence of water from a long distance away.

DC 15. The bite of a pernicon is especially dangerous, because they can quickly suck all the moisture out of a creature, leaving nothing but a dried husk behind.

DC 20. Pernicon are in high demand in many markets, both as food and as water finders.

Pernicon Encounters
Terrain:
badlands, deserts, hills

CR 1-2 2d8 pernicon

CR 3-4 1 swarm of pernicons

CR 5-10 1-2 swarms of pernicons; 1-2 swarms of pernicons and 1-2 ankhegs or giant vultures

Signs
1. The corpse of a traveler and their mount, both completely desiccated and covered vicious insect bites.
2. Nothing but withered plants for miles around.
3. A large pernicon town, recently abandoned—the colony is now swarming.
4. A loud buzzing noise.

Behavior
1-3. Draining the moisture out of succulent plants.
4-5. Draining the moisture out of a dead or dying creature.
6. Swarming.

Pernicon
Tiny beast

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 4 (1d4+2; bloodied 2)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR 2 (-4) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT X (+0) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 2 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages
Jumper. The pernicon can jump up to 10 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically without a running start.
Sense Water. The pernicon can locate water that fills a 5-foot cube or larger that is within a quarter mile

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the pernicon attaches to the target. A creature can use an action to make a DC 15 Medicine or Sleight of Hand roll to detach it. On a failure, the pernicon is detached but the creature takes 1 slashing damage in the process. It can also detach itself as a bonus action.
Drain Liquids. The pernicon drains liquids from the creature it is attached to. The creature loses 1 hit point and its hit point maximum is reduced by that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. Additionally, the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take one level of fatigue. After the pernicon has drained 8 hit points, it detaches itself and can’t use Water Drain again until it finishes a short or long rest.
The target can remove levels of fatigue gained in this way by consuming two Supply worth of water for each level of fatigue taken.

Combat
Pernicons remain attached to a target until either it is satiated or the target is dead. They have no concept of self-preservation.

Swarm of Pernicons
Medium swarm of Tiny beast


Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 52 (8d8+16; bloodied 26)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR 2 (-4) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT X (+0) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 2 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages
Jumper. The pernicon can jump up to 10 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically without a running start.
Sense Water. The swarm can locate water that fills a 5-foot cube or larger that is within a quarter mile
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature. It can’t gain hit points or temporary hit points.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d10) piercing damage, or 5 (1d10) piercing damage if the swarm is bloodied, and 2d10 pernicons attach to the target. A creature can use an action to make a DC 15 Medicine or Sleight of Hand roll to detach 1d4 pernicons. On a failure, the pernicon is detached but the creature takes 1 slashing damage in the process. It can also detach itself as a bonus action.
Water Drain. The pernicon drains liquids from the creature it is attached to. The creature loses 14 (4d6) hit points, or 7 (2d6) hit points if the swarm is bloodied, and its hit point maximum is reduced by that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. Additionally, the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take two levels of fatigue.
The target can remove levels of fatigue gained in this way by consuming two Supply worth of water for each level of fatigue taken.
 

WarDriveWorley

Adventurer
Alright, folks, @WarDriveWorley asked for this one: the dreaded pernicon. It’s from the 1e Fiend Folio, but this creature gets both an Ecology article and a revamped version in issue #108, so I consider it fair game. And yeah, these things are pretty nasty. WarDriveWorley, since Level Up doesn’t have any monsters that drain stats, I had to change their method of attack, but I'm pretty sure it's still enough to terrify and anger your players. :D

The Ecology article goes into great detail about the importance of the pernicon’s antennae (a useful tool) and how to remove it… from the pernicon’s skull. So, uh. I guess pernicons have an internal skeleton? It also compares the fluids in the pernicon’s brain to a watch with a liquid crystal display, along with a whole attempt to scientifically explain exactly how exactly they can detect elemental water. In these modern days of everything being handwaved via experimental wizardry, planar mutations, eldritch beings, or the will of the gods, I honestly can’t tell if I miss these attempts at biological realism or not.

View attachment 257754
Artist: Russ Nicholson (This is from the FF. I’m pretty sure that the art from Dragon Magazine is Dover clipart)

Pernicon
The ecology of the pernicon and The pernicon: a new version, Dragon Magazine #101
Created by John Nephew, originally by Mary Patterson

Pernicons resemble large, wingless grasshoppers. They are primarily straw-colored with splotches of bright red, ochre, blue, and black on their abdomen. They aren’t true insects, as they have a very rudimentary internal skeleton in addition to their carapace, which accounts for their relative toughness. Additionally, unlike grasshoppers, they are omnivorous. Or rather, they are liquivores, and gladly devour the juices from both plants and animals.

Pernicons live in large colonies and create “towns” similar to termite mounds—large, oddly-shaped piles of hardened mud and saliva filled with scores of holes for the pernicons to enter and exit from and to provide natural cooling to the inside; these mounds are often several feet high and can extend underground for a half-dozen feet or more. Cold-blooded or flying scavengers often lair near such towns in order to feed on the dried corpses that are inevitably left behind.

Natural Dowsers. A pernicon’s antennae is an incredibly sensitive sensory organ and can detect the presence of liquid water (even if it’s underground) from a very long distance away. When they sense water, their antennae buzz loudly, reminiscent of a cicada’s hum. They do not, however, drink the water—their mouthparts are unsuited for that. Instead, they prey on the creatures and plants (particularly succulents) that use the water holes. Their bite leaves a small but messy puncture, and they rapidly suck the moisture out of their victim. A lucky creature can remove the pernicon before too much damage is done, but the longer the pernicon drinks, the more and more dehydrated the creature can get. A single pernicon can drain a human dry in a minute—and they are prone to traveling in swarms. Fortunately, they tend to prefer eating plants and will usually only attack if bothered. Although this is not entirely fortunate, as they can quickly strip an area clean of vegetation. When an area has become barren, the entire town migrates, forming a great, multicolored blanket of insects and devouring everything in their path.

Coveted Resource. Despite the horrors they can bring, pernicons are highly valued by many people. Since they build their towns near places with aquifers, people often seek them out, looking for new sources of water. Roasted or fried pernicon is considered a delicious delicacy among many people, although a rare one—they’re very difficult to raise domestically and so must be caught in the wild. Pernicon eggs are eaten like caviar. However, they are prized even more for their antennae, which retain the pernicon’s water-sensing ability. Removing the antennae from the creature is a difficult task, as they are very delicate things, and requires requiring a DC 15 check with Medicine, Sleight of Hand, or thieves’ tools check. The antenna will vibrate loudly if within 120 feet of water that can fit a 5-foot cube, even if that water is covered or underground. However, an antenna will disintegrate upon getting wet, being exposed to heat or fire, or taking any sort of damage. Intact antenna are typically worth 1 gold each, and live pernicon are sold individually as water-finders for around 5 gold, or in filled buckets for culinary purposes for as much as 50 gold. Six pernicon, eaten raw, act as 1 Supply.

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

DC 10. Pernicon are grasshopper-like creatures that can detect the presence of water from a long distance away.

DC 15. The bite of a pernicon is especially dangerous, because they can quickly suck all the moisture out of a creature, leaving nothing but a dried husk behind.

DC 20. Pernicon are in high demand in many markets, both as food and as water finders.

Pernicon Encounters
Terrain:
badlands, deserts, hills

CR 1-2 2d8 pernicon

CR 3-4 1 swarm of pernicons

CR 5-10 1-2 swarms of pernicons; 1-2 swarms of pernicons and 1-2 ankhegs or giant vultures

Signs
1. The corpse of a traveler and their mount, both completely desiccated and covered vicious insect bites.
2. Nothing but withered plants for miles around.
3. A large pernicon town, recently abandoned—the colony is now swarming.
4. A loud buzzing noise.

Behavior
1-3. Draining the moisture out of succulent plants.
4-5. Draining the moisture out of a dead or dying creature.
6. Swarming.

Pernicon
Tiny beast

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 4 (1d4+2; bloodied 2)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR 2 (-4) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT X (+0) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 2 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages
Jumper. The pernicon can jump up to 10 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically without a running start.
Sense Water. The pernicon can locate water that fills a 5-foot cube or larger that is within a quarter mile

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the pernicon attaches to the target. A creature can use an action to make a DC 15 Medicine or Sleight of Hand roll to detach it. On a failure, the pernicon is detached but the creature takes 1 slashing damage in the process. It can also detach itself as a bonus action.
Drain Liquids. The pernicon drains liquids from the creature it is attached to. The creature loses 1 hit point and its hit point maximum is reduced by that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. Additionally, the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take one level of fatigue. After the pernicon has drained 8 hit points, it detaches itself and can’t use Water Drain again until it finishes a short or long rest.
The target can remove levels of fatigue gained in this way by consuming two Supply worth of water for each level of fatigue taken.

Combat
Pernicons remain attached to a target until either it is satiated or the target is dead. They have no concept of self-preservation.

Swarm of Pernicons
Medium swarm of Tiny beast


Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 52 (8d8+16; bloodied 26)
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR 2 (-4) DEX 16 (+3) CON 14 (+2)
INT X (+0) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 2 (-4)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned, unconscious
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages
Jumper. The pernicon can jump up to 10 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically without a running start.
Sense Water. The swarm can locate water that fills a 5-foot cube or larger that is within a quarter mile
Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and move through any opening large enough for a Tiny creature. It can’t gain hit points or temporary hit points.

Actions
Bite.
Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d10) piercing damage, or 5 (1d10) piercing damage if the swarm is bloodied, and 2d10 pernicons attach to the target. A creature can use an action to make a DC 15 Medicine or Sleight of Hand roll to detach 1d4 pernicons. On a failure, the pernicon is detached but the creature takes 1 slashing damage in the process. It can also detach itself as a bonus action.
Water Drain. The pernicon drains liquids from the creature it is attached to. The creature loses 14 (4d6) hit points, or 7 (2d6) hit points if the swarm is bloodied, and its hit point maximum is reduced by that amount. The reduction lasts until the target finishes a short or long rest. The target dies if its hit point maximum is reduced to 0. Additionally, the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take two levels of fatigue.
The target can remove levels of fatigue gained in this way by consuming two Supply worth of water for each level of fatigue taken.
yassssssssss
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Watch out for snakes! This next article is “Sharper Than A Serpent’s Tooth” and contains, well, snakes. Not all of them real, and those that are based on real snakes have some differences from the actual animal (including the odd magical ability). I’m writing them as variants on the existing shakes, as they don’t really need full statblocks.

By the way, my wizened little soul hurts every time I have to write poisonous snake.

Snake Variants
Sharper Than a Serpent’s Tooth, Dragon Magazine #115
Created by Ray Hamel and David Hage

King Cobra
King cobras are a dusty olive green in color, with distinctive black and white bands and a notable hood that gives them regal appearance when they rear up. They range from 10 to 13 in length, but can get as long as 19 feet. They have a reputation for being highly aggressive, in part because their hissing is so low-pitched it sounds like growling. But it’s primarily an undeserved reputation; except when guarding their eggs or acting in self-defense, they are normally fairly passive. Their bite injects the an incredibly noxious venom and causes severe pain, blurred vision, paralysis, and eventually, death.

The king cobra uses giant poisonous snake attributes. It is CR 1/2 (100 XP) and it gains the following trait and its bite has been altered:

Keen Smell. The king cobra has advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage and the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) poison damage on a failure or half damage on a success. Additionally, the creature is poisoned for 10 minutes on a failed save or 1 minute on a success. While poisoned, it takes 3 (1d6) ongoing poison damage and has disadvantage on Perception checks that rely on sight, due to blurred vision, and has disadvantage on Constitution saving throws. If the saving throw was a critical failure, the creature is also paralyzed while poisoned. The creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Giant Ringed Snake
Normal ringed snakes are small, inoffensive animals, black-scaled with a yellow ring around their neck. They will play dead if attacked or will expose their bright orange-red bellies in the hopes of scaring off predators. Although they are constrictors, they are venomous as well, but their venom is harmless to anything larger than Tiny. Giant ringed snakes, however, underwent magical transformation, possibly by a snake god. They are truly gigantic and can magically hypnotize their prey.

A ringed snake uses giant constrictor snake attributes. t is a monstrosity of CR 3 (750 XP). It has 59 (7d12+14; bloodied 29) hit points, Constitution 14 (+2), Intelligence 6 (-2), and Charisma 14 (+2). It can understand Draconic but can’t speak it. Its bite action has been altered and it gains a new bonus action:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8+4) piercing damage and the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute.
Hypnotic Stare (Gaze). A creature within 60 feet makes a DC 13 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, it is incapacitated until the end of its next turn and its Speed is reduced to 0 ft. A creature that can’t be charmed is immune to this trait.

Giant Spitting Cobra
A giant spitting cobra uses giant poisonous snake attributes. It gains the following new action:

Spray Venom. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 15 feet, one target. Hit: 4 (1d8) poison damage, and the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute on a failure or until the end of its next turn on a success. If the creature rolls a natural 1 and isn't wearing a helmet or other form of eye protection, it is blinded permanently. A lesser restoration or similar spell is needed to remove the blindness.

Rattlesnake
Well-known for the rattling sound their tail makes, rattlesnakes are not terribly dangerous, as their bites are rarely fatal if treated promptly. Diamondback rattlesnakes are, however, far more dangerous than most other rattlers. Their bite causes severe pain, necrosis, and spontaneous bleeding.

The diamondback rattlesnake uses giant poisonous snake attributes. It is CR 1/2 (100 XP), has tremorsense to 30 feet and its bite has been altered:

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 1 piercing damage and the target must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw, taking 7 (2d6) poison damage on a failure or half damage on a success. Additionally, the creature is poisoned for 10 minutes on a failed save or 1 minute on a success. While poisoned, it takes 3 (1d6) necrotic damage and its Speed is reduced by 10 feet due to extreme pain, and has disadvantage on Constitution saving throws.. The creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Saw-Edged Scaled Snake
A mutation of the saw-scaled viper, the jet-black saw-edged scaled snake is covered in tiny, needlelike spines, similar to a porcupine’s quills. The saw-edged scaled snake uses constrictor snake attributes and has the following trait:

Barbed Hide. A creature that grapples or is grappled by the snake takes 5 (1d10) piercing damage at the beginning of the snake’s turn. When the creature escapes its grapple, the snake releases it, or the snake dies, the creature takes 1 ongoing piercing damage, as several spines remain stuck in the creature’s skin and begin to work their way inwards. A creature can end the ongoing damage by making a DC 10 Medicine check as an action to remove the spines.

Spitting Cobra
Spitting cobras are dusty gray or brick red with black markings. They are hooded snakes and have the distinctive eye-like pattern on the underside of their hoods. They tend to be aggressive but rely on threat displays rather than attacking. The spitting cobra uses poisonous snake attributes. It gains the following new action:

Spray Venom. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 10 feet, one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) poison damage, and the target must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw or be blinded for 1 minute on a failure or until the end of its next turn on a success.
 
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