Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary


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GuyBoy

Hero
I adored Cooshee as a concept. They were great allies to adventuring parties with elves, and I remember a great campaign where they aided our group in a savage woodland battle.
Thanks once again for this beautiful thread.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I adored Cooshee as a concept. They were great allies to adventuring parties with elves, and I remember a great campaign where they aided our group in a savage woodland battle.
Thanks once again for this beautiful thread.
You're welcome! It's one of those creatures that I wish are more common--faerie hounds fill as much of a mythic niche as griffons do. Sadly, its CR is too high for a ranger (an elven on, at least) to have as a friend--I didn't think to check when I made them--but perhaps one could get a cooshee as a special reward.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
It’s a two-for-one day here, since these monsters have very small entries. @xiphumor wanted some plants, so here we go. Even though they’re fungi grumblegrumble. Here are the ascomoid and basidirond by Gary Gygax, who hopes we will be amused and entertained by them. The thing that amuses me the most is that they have “unratable” Int scores and an evil alignment. I guess Gygax isn’t a fan of mushrooms.

Both of these are under the header of “Fungi,” so use that entry’s Legends and Lore, Signs, and Behaviors.

1658342307640.png

Artist: Jeff Easley

Fungi, Ascomoid
Featured Creatures, Dragon Magazine #68
Created by Gary Gygax

Ascomoids are giant puffball mushrooms. Their thick, leathery hide is covered in small divots which act as both sensory organs and pores from which toxic spores constantly waft.

Rolling Balls. An ascomoid roll slowly around their underground environment, picking up speed once it detects a warm-blooded creature, then ramming the creature at full-speed. They don’t eat their victims; their sole purpose is to infect the corpse with their spores so that a new generation of ascomoid can grow.

Unwitting Protectors. Some creatures who live in the underlands have taken to capturing ascomoids and using them as sentinels or releasing them against their foes. Others raise them to harvest their spores for use as a poison.

Ascomoid Poison
Uncommon, inhaled, instantaneous, cost 750 gp

A creature must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw when it is subjected to this poison, and on a failure it is poisoned. While it is poisoned, it can barely breathe and begins suffocating; it can double its Constitution modifier to determine how long before it drops to 0 hit points. A lesser restoration or effect that neutralizes poison allows the target to breathe again.

Ascomoid Encounters
CR 3-4
1 ascomid

Ascomoid
Large plant

Challenge 3 (750 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 39 (6d10+6; bloodied 19)
Speed 30 ft.

STR 18 (+4) DEX 10 (+0) CON 12 (+1)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 10 (+0) CHA 1 (-5)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 14
Damage Resistances acid, fire, force, lightning; slashing
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, poison
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 90 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10
Languages
Siege Monster. The ascomoid deals double damage to objects and structures

Actions
Slam.
Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10+4) bludgeoning damage, and if the creature is Medium or smaller, it must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Spore Jet. The ascomoid targets a creature within 30 feet of it and emits a jet of spores. That creature must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes 14 (4d6) poison damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one, and until the end of its next turn, it is blinded and has disadvantage on ability checks and attack rolls it makes until the end of its next turn due to choking and coughing. Additionally, on a failed save, a creature is poisoned for 1 minute. The creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Combat
The ascomoid has no mind and no strategy; it attacks the closest creature within range.

* * *

1658342363870.png

Artist: Jeff Easley

Fungi, Basidirond
Featured Creatures, Dragon Magazine #68
Created by Gary Gygax

A basidirond can be described as looking like an umbrella turned inside out, with a three to six woody stems that act as legs. A stream of dark spores constantly drifts, smoke-like, from their caps. Their bodies are orange in color, tapering to darker brown on their “legs.”

Mobile Hunters. Basidirons consume rot and decay. They are primarily scavengers; when they find a corpse, they plant themselves in it, sucking it dry of all nutrients and moisture. If necessary, they instead hunt down large prey to consume, beating a creature to death with their long “legs.”

Hallucinatory Spores. The spores the basidirond constantly emits cause hallucinations in those who inhale them. These hallucinations are nearly always unpleasant and generally involve believing that the target or those near them are changing in size, melting, diseased, or are covered in blood-draining leeches or flesh-devouring insects.

Basidirond Encounters
CR 0-2
1-2 basidironds

CR 3-4 3-4 basidironds

Basidirond
Medium plant

Challenge 1 (200 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 33 (5d8+10; bloodied 16)
Speed 20 ft.

STR 16 (+3) DEX 12 (+1) CON 15 (+2)
INT 1 (-5) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 1 (-5)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 90 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 11
Languages
Spore Cloud. A creature that starts its turn within 5 feet of the basidirond or enters within 5 feet of it for the first time on its turn must make a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or be poisoned for 1 minute. While poisoned, the creature hallucinates and is incapacitated and its speed can’t be higher than 20 feet. A creature may make a new saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Actions
Slam.
Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) bludgeoning damage.

Combat
The basidirond has no mind and no strategy; it attacks the closest creature within range.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Gygax continued his evil fungi monsters in the following issue, so here’s one more: the ustilagor, also known as the larval intellect devourer.

Gygax started this column saying that eventually there will be an end to the monsters one could create. And for a while, he was sort of right: after this, there’s a pretty long dry spell of monsters, and the few monsters that are included aren’t particularly interesting to me. The next monsters I want to convert don’t show up until #86. But it’s interesting that he thought that eventually nobody would be able/willing to come up with new monsters. Did he think they weren’t necessary, or was his own well of monsters drying up and he assumed the same for everyone else as well?

1658436291121.png

Artist: Jeff Easly

Intellect Devourer, Ustilagor
Featured Creatures, Dragon Magazine #69
Created by Gary Gygax

Ustilagors appear to be fist-sized, brain-like lumps of mold with stubby, limb-like protrusions.

Larvae. Intellect devourers take over the bodies of the creatures whose brains they consume, but they don’t keep those bodies forever. Inevitably, the body gets too damaged or too rotten to be useful, at which point its abandoned. But the intellect devourer leaves behind almost microscopic eggs, which develop into fungi-like larvae known as ustilagors.

Most intellect devourers care nothing for these larvae, and produce so many eggs that only a handful will grow to adulthood. On rare occasions, though, an intellect devourer will shepherd their young—not out of any sense of parental affection, but because they feel a need to increase their numbers.

Aura of Hate and Fear. Ustilagor produce a psionic effect that causes those who are close by to become hateful and fearful of their allies and surroundings. The effect can cause even close friends to begin bickering with each other, or even to out-right attack each other.

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

DC 10. The ustilagor is the larval form of the intellect devourer.

DC 15. Although unintelligent by most standards, ustilagor have psionic abilities that negatively affect the minds of those who are close by.

DC 20. Ustilagor are considered a delicacy by many telepathic aberrations. Others find they taste like tangy mushrooms, and so they are a popular, if very dangerous, food for many creatures.

Monster Encounters
Terrain:
caverns.

CR 0-2 2d4 ustilagors.

CR 3-4 Intellect devourer controlling a commoner and 2-3 ustilagors.

Signs
1-2. A member of the adventuring party is suddenly inexplicably angry at and distrusting of their allies.
3. A half-eaten humanoid corpse, which is covered in burned and melted skin.
4. Unusually-shaped lumps of mold covers the ground, walls, and ceiling.

Behavior
1. Tracking prey.
2. Devouring a corpse.
3. Watching a group of mind-affected humanoids slaughter each other.
4. On the run from some aboleth thralls, who are gathering them as a treat for their master.

Ustilagor
Tiny plant (aberration)

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
AC 12
HP 10 (4d4; bloodied 5)
Speed 20 ft.

STR 7 (-2) DEX 15 (+2) CON 10 (+0)
INT 2 (-4) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 15 (+2)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Stealth +4 (+1d4)
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, fatigue, frightened, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10
Languages
Limited Telepathy. The ustilagor can share basic emotions with each other and with creatures that can communicate telepathically that are within 30 feet.
Pack Tactics. The ustilagor has advantage on attack rolls against a creature if at least one of the ustilagor’s allies is within 5 feet of the creature and is not incapacitated.
Pliable. The ustilagor can move through an area as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing.
Telempathic Projections. The ustilagor radiates an aura of phobic emotions in a 15-foot radius sphere. A creature that starts its turn in that area or enters the area for the first time on its turn must make a DC 12 Intelligence saving throw or be rattled and confused until the end of its next turn. Aberrations and creatures that are immune to being charmed are immune to this effect. The ustilagor can use a bonus action to suppress this ability.

Actions
Tentacle Whip.
Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) acid damage, and the target must make a DC 10 Constitution save or take 1d4 ongoing acid damage. A creature can use an action to wipe off the acid on itself or a creature within 5 feet.

Reactions
Energy Control.
When targeted by an attack that inflicts cold, fire, or lightning damage, the ustilagor gains resistance to the damage from that attack.

Combat
Ustilagor prefer to remain in hiding and let victims tire themselves out by attacking each other first before moving in for the kill. They retreat upon being injured.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
I like warlocks, but I’ve never been fond of the limited number of familiars available to them with Pact of the Chain. Fortunately, this next article is all about supernatural familiars. The first of these creatures is a tiny angel known as lomandur. The lomandur is actually two different creatures from the article (the telperan and the glissen) mushed together, since they were very similar.

The original entry has a rather annoying rules exception to it: they’re immune to natural poisons but not to the toxins of “fantastic beings” like wyverns, leaving it up to the DM to decide what constitutes a fantastic creature.

For the record, none of these familiars have artwork. It’s not just me forgetting to post the image. So your imagination will have to suffice.

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

Angel, Lomandur
Familiars with a special use, Dragon Magazine #86
Created by Stephen Inniss

Lomandur are tiny celestials that that, unlike most angels, are dedicated to goodness instead of law. They resemble genderless, winged humanoid children. Two varieties of them exist: the silvery glissen and the golden telperan, differentiated only by their duties: telperan act as personal assistants and messengers for good-aligned gods and celestials, while glissen act as friends and guides to newly-arrived souls.

Transformed Souls. Among the demons and devils, the “luckiest” of souls are transformed into imps and quasits. Lomandur are created in much the same, from souls that were particularly kind and helpful in life. It’s rare for a lomandur to be “promoted” to a more powerful form of angel, but few care: they view helping others as their goal in life, not accumulating power.

Monster Encounters
Terrain:
Astral Plane, Temple

CR 0-1 1-2 lomandur

Lomandur
Tiny celestial (shapechanger)

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
AC 13
HP 7 (2d4+2; bloodied 4)
Speed 20 ft., fly 30 ft.

STR 5 (-3) DEX 16 (+3) CON 12 (+1)
INT 13 (+1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 15 (+2)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Skills Perception +4
Damage Resistances radiant; damage from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, frightened, rattled
Senses blindsight 10 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Celestial, Common
Immortal Nature. A lomandur doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.
Good. The lomandur radiates an aura of Good.
Halo (True Form Only). The lomandur sheds bright light to 5 feet and dim light for a further 5 feet. As a bonus action, it can suppress this light until it chooses to glow again.
Holy Sight. The lomandur’s darkvision penetrates magical darkness.
Familiar. The lomandur can communicate telepathically with its master while they are within 1 mile of each other. When the lomandur is within 10 feet of its master, its master shares its Magic Resistance trait.
Magic Resistance. The lomandur has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Spellcasting (1/Day). The lomandur can cast calm emotions. Its spellcasting ability for this trait is Wisdom.

Actions
Touch (True Form Only).
Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) force damage, and the target must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw or be overwhelmed with tiredness and be poisoned until the end of its next turn. A creature that is immune to being put to sleep magically or to the unconscious condition isn’t affected. The lomandur may choose to not inflict damage when it uses its touch.
Shapeshift. The lomandur magically changes its form into a songbird (speed 10 ft., fly 40 ft.), a dog (Size small, speed 40 ft.), a mouse (speed 30 ft.), or a miniature unicorn (size Small, speed 40 ft.). Its statistics are the same in each form except for its size and speed. Equipment it is carrying is not transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Bonus Actions
Sunburst (1/Day).
The lomandur produces a brilliant flash of sunlight in a 20-foot radius. Each creature in that area must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of its next turn. Fiends and undead also take 7 (2d6) radiant damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one.

Combat
Lomandur will always try to flee rather than fight. When they do fight, they use their touch attack to weaken their foes, then flee.
 

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