Homebrew A Leveled Up Bestiary

Faolyn

(she/her)
More familiars, and these are neutral familiars—creatures from Concordant Opposition (AKA the Outlands), Nirvana (Mechanus), and Limbo (which felt no need to change its name). Perhaps sadly, while Level Up has Lawful and Chaotic as alignments, it doesn’t have Neutral as one. Perhaps if there’s ever a planar book for LU that will be addressed.

The two angelic familiars were similar enough that I felt they could be turned into a single entity. The neutral familiars are different enough that I was able to keep them as separate beings.

I’m going to apologize here. I literally could not think of any signs for any of these creatures. I’m sorry. Maybe on their home planes they leave signs. If you can think of some, let me know; when I get enough, I’ll add a signs section.

Anyway, the first “neutral” familiar is the tabur (singular: tabi), which was originally from Nirvana, before it became Mechanus. It originally looked like a marble statue of whatever its spellcaster’s race (no idea what one looked like if it wasn’t a familiar), but, well, I like the clockwork stylings of Mechanus so I changed it a bit. If you want to move away from Mechanus in your Level Up game, feel free to turn them back into pure marble.

Tabur
Tabi are tiny constructs made of bronze clockwork and marble. Their forms are humanoid and their features idealized, but connected with an articulated skeleton of metal gears and cogs. Although capable of great speed, they move slowly and deliberately and never seem hurried.

Serenity. Tabi are devoted to order and discipline, untainted by cruelty or kindness alike. They care for harmony and order. When not in action, they spend most of their time in meditation, contemplating the rhythmic movement of the universe.

Superb Martial Artists. Tabi can magically produce a sword out of their own clockwork and use it with a high level of proficiency. They have an intrinsic understanding of humanoid anatomy and are capable of inflict damage to just the right nerves to cause excruciating pain and temporary paralysis.

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

DC 15. A tabur is a clockwork being from planes of utter order, such as the Plane of Space. They frequently are employed by gods of law and balance.

DC 20. Tabi care for balance, care nothing for good and evil, and have a hatred of chaos. Although a tabur familiar will unquestioningly follow its master’s orders, they will subtly try to make their actions as non-chaotic as possible.

Tabur Encounters
Terrain:
Astral Plane, Temple

CR 0-1 1-2 tabi; 1 tabi and 1 gear spider

Behavior
1-2. Meditating
3. Carefully taking a machine apart to understand how it works; if left alone, it will put the machine back together, and it will work better than before.
4. Practicing martial maneuvers.

Names
Asha, Kusma, Nazem, Saagh, Zele

Tabur
Tiny construct

Challenge 1/2 (50 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 14 (4d4+4)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 9 (-1) DEX 14 (+2) CON 13 (+1)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 11 (+0) CHA 12 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Medicine +2 (+1d4), Perception +2 (+1d4)
Damage Resistances acid, fire, force, damage from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages Celestial, Common, Primordial
Lawful. The tabur radiates an aura of Law.
Familiar. The tabur can communicate telepathically with its master while they are within 1 mile of each other. When the tabur is within 10 feet of its master, its master shares its Magic Resistance trait.
Immortal Nature. The tabur doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.
Jumper. The tabur can jump up to 10 feet horizontally and 5 feet vertically without a running start.
Magic Resistance. The tabur has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Actions
Multiattack.
The tabur makes two attacks with its bronze blade.
Bronze Blade. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) slashing damage. If both attacks hit, the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or be incapacitated until the end of its next turn.
Shapeshift. The tabur magically changes its form into a dog (size Small, speed 40 ft.), hawk (speed 10 ft., fly 60 ft.), or hare (speed 40 ft.). In hare form, it has a long jump of up to 15 feet. In all forms, it is made of bronze clockwork and marble and doesn’t look like a living animal. Its statistics are the same in each form except for its size and speed. Its bronze blade is absorbed into its new form, but all other equipment it is carrying isn’t transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Reactions
Parry (1/Round).
If the tabur is wielding its bronze blade and can see its attacker, it adds 2 to its AC against one melee attack or ranged spell attack that would hit them.

Combat
Tabi are methodical fighters, using their bronze blade attack strategically on who they feel is the most vulnerable target.
 

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Faolyn

(she/her)
The second “neutral” familiar is the orrek, originally from the Concordant Opposition. They’re pretty common there, apparently. They also had a strange vulnerability to “greenstone,” defined as any green rock, such as an “inferior grade of jade.” Why, I have no idea. The idea of greenstone being a weakness to certain creatures is an interesting one, but it's not one that was ever used, except, perhaps, in Stephen Inniss' game.
The original entry gave the orrekkin some limited shapechanging abilities, but honestly, it feels out of place with them. They didn’t have a real theme going on with their abilities or their alternate forms, so I ditched the shapechanging and tried to make them a bit more streamlined.

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

Orrek (plural: orrekin) looks like a slightly mole-like humanoid with a homely but friendly faces and squat, muscular bodies that are covered with short, soft metallic brown or black fur. Their hands are large and tipped in iron claws, and their eyes and teeth look like polished black stones. Orrekin have charming, no-nonsense personalities and soothing voices.

Elements of Balance. Although they appear to be earth elementals, orrekin embody all of the elements to one degree or another: they can channel fire, swim through solid rock as if it were water, and can turn into air. They believe very strongly in the balance between elements and loathe the idea of any one element gaining superiority over another one. They also find ideological extremes, such as Law and Chaos, to be ridiculous and possibly even dangerous.

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

DC 15. Even though they seem like earth elementals, orrekin actually embody all the elements: they can create fire, turn into air, and can move through rock like it were water.

DC 20. Orrekin are rarely found on the elemental planes. Instead, they are most common burrowing in the primordial material that lies between planes.

Orrek Encounters
Terrain:
Caverns, Elemental Chaos, Mountains, Plane of Earth

CR 1-2 1d4 orrekin; 2 orrekin and 1 mephit (any type)
Treasure. 2 malachites (10 gp each), potion of animal friendship,

Behavior
1-2. Following intruders to see what they’re up to.
3. Lecturing an elemental for being unnecessarily destructive.
4. Waiting impassively, disguised as a statue.

Names
Calthen, Itziar, Kalju, Piro, Senka, Zuerrl

Orrek
Tiny elemental

Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 18 (4d4+8; bloodied 9)
Speed 30 ft., burrow 20 ft.

STR 9 (-1) DEX 12 (+1) CON 14 (+2)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 13 (+1)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 11
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +3
Damage Resistances acid, fire, poison; damage from nonmagical, non-stone weapons
Condition Immunities petrified, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Primordial, Terran
Elemental Nature. The orrek doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.
Familiar. The orrek can communicate telepathically with its master while they are within 1 mile of each other. When the orrek is within 10 feet of its master, its master shares its Magic Resistance trait.
Magic Resistance. The orrek has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Spellcasting. The orrek’s spellcasting ability is Charisma (save DC 11, +3 to spell attacks). It can cast the following spells, without the need for material components:
At Will: produce flame
1/Day Each: gaseous form, gust

Actions
Multiattack.
The orrek makes two attacks with its claws.
Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+1) slashing damage.
Tunneler. The orrek can burrow through nonmagical, unworked earth and stone. While doing so, the orrek can choose to not disturb the material it moves through.
Stoneform. The orrek can magically transform into a Tiny stone statue (speed 0 ft.), made of any type of stone they wish. While in this form, it can’t take actions (other than to return to its true form) or manipulate objects, and it is immune to nonmagical damage from weapons. 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.

Combat
Generally non-combatative, an orrek prefers to strike, then quickly tunnel through the ground and pop up behind their target. They are careful fighters, though, and will retreat if injured. If fighting against targets who aren’t using magical weapons, they will turn into stoneform until they feel that they can sneak away.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
The last of the special familiars is the quark, from Limbo. I’m guessing they were named that because Limbo is a plane of primal nature and quarks are a fundamental particles of all matter. If so, a clever use of a name!

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

In their native form, quarks look like sculptures made from twisted wires of solid mercury, with a silvery dandelion puff of hair and shimmering, multicolored butterfly wings that change pattern and color over time. They are consummate shapechangers, though, and are rarely found in any one form for very long.

Creatures of Chaos and Whimsy. Born of the primordial soup from which reality is made, they embody change. They hate rules, although they don't necessarily go out of their way to automatically break them, either--that would be too predictable! Quarks prefer not to fight, but when they do must, they do so by firing off a tiny sliver of their body’s basal material. This doesn’t harm them—they seem to generate these slivers whenever they need to and have an unlimited supply of them.

One of a Kind. Perhaps because of, or despite of, their chaotic nature, quarks are strangely solipsistic. When two quarks meet, one of two things happen. The most common is that they simply ignore each other—they don’t even seem to be able to recognize that they are the same type of creature, and each views the other as a strange but uninteresting creature. As a result, they form no bonds among their kind, nor do they need to, because the Elemental Chaos spawns new quarks and consumes old ones at random.

From Several, One. The other possibility is the rarer one: the two quarks get an overwhelming need to merge with each other. The result is a bright flash of (harmless) light which, when it fades, reveals an entire new creature. The creature can be anything at all, although they are only rarely become a supernatural being such as a fiend or fey, and are never undead. This new being has most of the raw knowledge that their past lives accrued, but only the vaguest of memories and emotions associated with those memories.

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

DC 15. Quarks are from the Elemental Chaos and represent no one element but rather, a conglomeration of all of them.

DC 20. Quarks shapechange as easily as other creatures breathe. However, all of their forms share a flaw: a bit of silvery color such as a streak in the fur or feathers when in animal form or a single silver leaf when in plant form. A DC 14 Perception check can spot this bit of coloration.

Quark Encounters
Terrain:
Astral Plane, Elemental Chaos, Ethereal Plane

CR 0-1 1 quark.

Behavior
1. Painting a mural; it’s a riot of colors with no theme or shapes.
2. Pretending to be a rock.
3. Freeing an animal caught in a trap and then destroying the trap.
4. Rapidly changing shape between a dozen different animal forms.

Names
Abden, Dekan, Drefan, Kyrys, Huyana, Tvor

Quark
Tiny elemental

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

STR 5 (-3) DEX 15 (+2) CON 12 (+1)
INT 11 (+0) WIS 9 (-1) CHA 14 (+2)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Perception +1 (+1d4)
Damage Resistances acid, fire, poison, damage from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, grappled, restrained, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 10 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Common, Primordial
Chaotic. The quark radiates an aura of Chaos.
Familiar. The quark can communicate telepathically with its master while they are within 1 mile of each other. When the quark is within 10 feet of its master, its master shares its Magic Resistance trait.
Immortal Nature. A quark doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.
Magic Resistance. The quark has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Actions
Silver Sliver.
Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 15 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) piercing damage.
Confusion (1/Day). The quark targets a creature it can see within 30 feet. The target must make a DC 12 Wisdom saving throw, becoming confused for 1 minute on a failure. The target may repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
Flawed Shapeshift. The quark magically changes its form into any Tiny or Small beast, an awakened shrub (size Small, speed 20 ft.), or a Tiny cloud of fog (speed 0 ft., fly 30 ft.), puddle of water (speed 5 ft., swim 30 ft.), or a rock (speed 0 ft.). In beast form, it takes the movement types of the form it has adopted. In fog, water, or rock form, it can’t manipulate objects or take actions other than to return to its true form, and it is immune to nonmagical damage from weapons. In fog and water form, it can pass through a space as narrow as 1 inch without squeezing. 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.

Combat
As chaotic in combat as they are in everything else, quarks prefer to run around, throwing silvers from a distance. They have no fear of death and will fight until slain, unless their master orders them to stop.
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
Now starts Creature Catalog 1, published in Dragon #89. This was a pull-out section containing 29(!) new creatures. Some of them (especially those created by Ed Greenwood) went on to bigger and better things in later editions (well, mostly in 2e), but a lot more faded into obscurity. Two more Creature Catalogs would be published soon after, in issues 94 and 101, and then three more articles much, much later for 3e. I’m sure I’ll get there eventually! For those keeping score, the dark naga (created by Ed Greenwood) debuted in this article.

The first creature is the calygraunt, which would in later editions be called the feystag. Which, I have to admit, it a lot easier to spell. I cannot begin to count how many times I transposed the a’s and u’s.

1658866072149.png

Artist: Roger Raupp

Their illustration in 2e's Monstrous Compendium Annual Appendix 1 is far more catlike:

1658866144118.png

Artist: Tony Diterlizzi

They're fey; they're likely quite varied in shape.

Calygraunt (Feystag)
Creature Catalog, Dragon Magazine #89
Created by Ed Greenwood

Also called feystags, calygraunt resemble cat-like hares, or possibly hare-like cats. They stand on two legs, although they can easily drop to all fours to run quickly. They have a pair of antlers and are often confused for jackalopes. They’re larger and far more intelligent than those creatures, however. Not counting their ears, calygraunts can reach four feet in height. Mostly vegetarian, they prefer herbs (especially mint), moss, and mistletoe, although they will sometimes each insects or cooked meats other creatures prepare for them.

Magic-Born. Calygraunts are created when a spellcaster’s desire to learn and control great and greater magic grows to obsessive levels. As a result, they can be frequently found near the lair of liches. Most calygraunts stay in such an area for long—they either quickly get as far away as they can or they get killed by the lich. Before they do so, though, they can cause a lot of havoc because of their singular ability to recognize and control magic items from afar and their love of stealing these items.

Magic-Lovers. Calygraunts are completely fascinated by magic items. It doesn’t matter the type of item or its level of power. To them, the simplest magical trinkets are as important and as amazing as the most powerful of magic items. They collect magic items and are often willing to trade away older ones they’ve used a lot for newer ones they’ve never seen before.

Solitary Wanderers. Most calygraunt constantly wander, calling no place home. They love nothing more than discovery and are always seeking out new places to explore. They love their solitude, although rarely one will find a romantic partner to travel with (who may or may not be another calygraunt). In these cases, they mate for life; if their partner has children, they often will adopt those children as their own. While they do enjoy parties—a calygraunt is often a welcome guest of a satyr revelry—and being social, they very quickly get tired of other people. So much do these creatures otherwise love their solitude that they often leave traps behind them to discourage followers.

Putting Down Roots. On rare occasions, a calygraunt loses the desire to wander. These are often individuals who have suffered from some great injury or trauma, have lost their partner, or have suffered a curse from one of the magic items they stole. They often dwell in the borderlands between the Feywild and the mortal world, and commonly set up shop as magic dealers, sages, and hedge mages for hire.

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

DC 10. Calygraunts are also known as feystags. They are animal-like fey that have a passion of magic items of all types.

DC 15. Calygraunts have the ability to control other people’s magic items from afar.

DC 20. As they are highly knowledgeable about magic items, calygraunts are often willing to sell information about items brought to them.

Monster Encounters
Terrain:
Feywild, Forest, Hills, Laboratory, Urban

CR 1-2 1 calygraunt; 1 calygraunt and its mate: another calygraunt, a dryad, satyr, or forest gnome scout.
Treasure: amber wings, bag of holding, chime of opening, skeleton key

CR 3-4 1 calygraunt hedge mage; 1 calygraunt and its mate: a centaur, minstrel, or druid.
Treasure: feather token (tree), hat of disguise, pipes of haunting, wand of magic missiles

Signs
1. One of the character’s magic items suddenly activates.
2. When the characters wake up, they realize one common magic item they own is missing. In its place is another common magic item that is functional but clearly well-used.
3. A posted sign offering to buy magic items, along with the location of the buyer.
4. A spellcaster’s minions approaches the party, asking if they’ve seen the calygraunt. They offer a substantial bounty for the calygraunt’s head and the return of the items it stole.

Behavior
1-2. Sketching or painting the scenery.
3. Playing with a minor magic item.
4. Taking a nap under a tree.
5. Stalking the characters and learning about their magic.
6. On the run from a spellcaster’s minions.

Names
Analup, Bruxo, Galdur, Jadu, Kiama, Ramil, Zinta

Calygraunt (Feystag)
Medium fey

Challenge 1 (200 XP)
AC 13
HP 22 (4d8+4)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 9 (-1) DEX 16 (+3) CON 13 (+1)
INT 15 (+2) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 15 (+3)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 13
Skills Arcana +4 (+1d6), Perception +3, Sleight of Hand +5, Stealth +5 (+1d4)
Saves Int +4, Wis +3, Cha +4
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, rattled
Senses darkvision 60 ft., truesight 10 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Sylvan
Magic Resistance. The calygraunt has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Magically Shielded. The calygraunt can’t be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.

Actions
Multiattack.
The calygraunt makes two attacks with its claws.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4+3) slashing damage.
Fey Walker. The calygraunt magically shifts from the Material Plane to the Feywild or vice versa. It can bring up to one willing creature with it.
Take Over (Recharge 5-6). The calygraunt attempts to take control of a ring, rod, staff, wand, or wondrous item that it can see within 30 feet of it that it has previously identified using its Identify Item trait. The item must have to be activated to be used. The calygraunt must make a DC 10 Charisma check, versus the owner’s Charisma if the owner is attuned to the item.
If the calygraunt succeeds, it can immediately use the item. If the item requires attunement, the attunement to the original owner ends and the calygraunt becomes instantly attuned. It can be attuned to any number of magic items and can use items regardless of attunement requirements of heritage or class. On a failure, the calygraunt can’t try to control the object again for 24 hours.
Use Magic Item. The calygraunt uses an item to which it is attuned, as long as it is within 30 feet of the item, by using a mental command; this uses up the appropriate number of uses per day or charges. The calygraunt can use any of the item’s functions, but unless it is using or holding the item the way it is intended to be used, it can’t aim the effects. For instance, a wand will randomly target a creature, including the calygraunt, within its range. If the item has multiple abilities, the function that is activated will be chosen randomly unless the calygraunt is holding or wearing the item.

Bonus Actions
Identify Item.
The calygraunt chooses an item it can see within 30 feet of it. The calygraunt immediately knows if the item is magical or not. It can then make an Arcana check. The DC is as follows: common item: DC 10; uncommon item: DC 12; rare item: DC 14; very rare item: DC 16; legendary item: DC 18. If another creature is attuned to the item, the calygraunt has disadvantage on this roll.
On a success, the calygraunt learns the item’s magical properties, how to use them, whether it requires attunement and is currently attuned, how many charges it has, and what spells were used to create it. The calygraunt can’t detect or identify artifacts in this manner. On a failure, the calygraunt can’t try to identify the object again for 24 hours.
Runner. If the calygraunt drops to all fours, it can take the Dash action as a bonus action. It can’t carry any objects in its hands while using this ability

Reactions
Retaliative Spark of Magic.
If the calygraunt takes damage from a weapon or spell attack that originated within 30 feet of it, and if the calygraunt is attuned to at least one magic item that is also within 30 feet of it, then magic sparks from the attuned magic item and strikes the creature who inflicted the damage on it. That creature must make a DC 13 Dexterity check or take 7 (2d6) force damage.
At the Narrator’s discretion, if the item inflicts a different type of damage, such as a wand of fireballs that inflicts fire damage, then the damage is of that different type and not force damage.

Combat
Calygraunts try to remain in hiding and activate magic items they see, and then escape in the confusion.

Variant: Calygraunt Hedge Mage
Some calygraunts truly study the magic that makes up the items they covet and end up learning a handful of spells. Like wizards and clerics, they can choose to prepare different spells each day and use spell slots to cast them. Unlike any type of humanoid spellcasters, they aren’t limited to a single class’s spell list. The Narrator can assign a calygraunt any spell they wish, and each one may also have one or more rare spells as well. The calygraunt has no spellbook; instead, it learns their spells from the items they have owned over the years, and can switch out which spells they have prepared through meditation.

The feystag hedge mage is CR 3 (750 XP) and has 55 (10d8+10; bloodied 28) hit points. Its Intelligence is 16 (+3) and its Charisma is 18 (+4).

Spellcasting. The feystag hedge mage is a 5th level spellcaster. Its spellcasting trait is Charisma (spell save DC 14, +6 to hit with spell attacks.). It has the following spells prepared:

Cantrips (At Will): dancing lights, druidcraft, prestidigitation, vicious mockery
1st-level (4 slots): animal friendship, augury, magic missile
2nd-level (3 slots): detect thoughts, fly
3rd level (2 slots): major image

It also gains the following action:

Magic Missile (1st-Level; V, S). Three glowing arrows fly from the mage simultaneously, unerringly hitting up to 3 creatures within 120 feet. Each arrow deals 3 (1d4+1) force damage.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
Another Greenwood creature, the cantobele appeared in the Creature Catalog and then in one of the Forgotten Realms MC Appendixes, and then nowhere else, as far as I can tell. It has a similar niche to the leucrotta—it can lure people with its voice—but with enough of a twist I don’t mind converting it.

Their magical abilities and the strange, bell-like ringing they produce put me in mind of a strange fey creature. While I didn’t make them fey, I took that idea and ran with it.

1658959121930.png

Artist: Bob Maurus

Cantobele
Creature Catalog, Dragon Magazine #89
Created by Ed Greenwood

Cantobeles are said to be the creations of powerful and evil hags, who gave them voices they had stolen from youths they had kidnapped. They are sleekly-muscled beasts that resemble a great cat mixed with a wolf-like muzzle and fur that changes from tawny to gray to black, depending on the season, but their startlingly human eyes and six legs immediately reveal them to be no mere animal.

Voice of an Angel. Cantobeles are intelligent creatures who can speak several languages, and their human-like voices are startlingly beautiful in comparison to their beastly forms. Powerful hunters, they use a combination of their ability to read minds with their melodic voices to lure people into the underbrush, at which point they strike.

Devoted Parents. Although they find a mate rarely and reproduce rarely, they produce large litters, numbering on average 10 cubs. Both parents are dedicated to their young, with the male doing much of the rearing while the female hunts, until the young are old enough to learn how. Cubs stay with their parents for several years perfecting their skills. When they are able to manifest their mind-reading abilities, they are considered mature enough to head out on their own. At that point, the parents part, never to mate again.

Land of Illusions and Misdirections. Some cantobele, particularly those who are allied with a coven of hags, have the ability to encircle their lair with powerful divination-thwarting illusions. Whenever a divination spell of 5th level or lower is cast within a half-mile radius of the cantobele’s lair, the Narrator should roll a d4. On a 1, the spell returns false information.

In order to activate this power, the cantobele must make perform a daily ritual in which they patrol a circuit one mile in diameter centered on the lair. Failure to do so causes the illusion to end.

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

DC 10. Cantobele are six-legged, cat-like creatures with melodic voices.

DC 15. Cantobeles have the ability to read minds and use that to help them lure intelligent prey in.

DC 20. Sages believe that cantobeles may be the creation of evil hags. Whether or not this is true, they often make alliances with them.

Cantobele Encounters
Terrain:
forests, hills, mountains, swamp

CR 5-10 cantobele; cantobele and green hag
Treasure: 85 gp, silver dagger with storage compartment and electrum pommel in the shape of a hawk (75 gp), oil of slipperiness, one waystone.

CR 11-16 2 cantobeles; cantobele and 3 cantobele cubs; cantobele and 2 green hags or 1 coven green hag; cantobele and winter hag
Treasure: 160 gp, 3 carved jade chess pieces (125 gp each), a pair of gold earrings (150 gp) and matching necklace (250 gp), a unicorn’s horn, +1 mace made of black stone with silver decorations, cord of spirit stealing

CR 17-22 1 cantobele and 5 cantobele cubs
Treasure: 80 pp, 250 gp, a wizard’s diary with notes that leads to the discovery of a rare 5th-level spell, a chest of 50 silver ingots (5 gp each), a golden crown set with rubies and sapphires (2,500 gp), ring of spell storing with lightning bolt currently stored in it, gem of seeing.

Signs
1. A bell-like ringing in the distance. A DC 17 Insight check reveals that the sound doesn’t originate from an actual bell.
2. Piles of melting snow and a chunks of a corpse that has been frozen solid.
3. A set of feline-like tracks from an animal with six legs.
4. After casting a divination spell, and with an Arcana check (DC equals 14 + the spell’s level), the party realizes that the spell gave the wrong information.

Behavior
1. Lurking in the undergrowth, offering promises to anyone who follows its voice.
2. Discussing current events with an allied hag.
3. Performing its ritual encircling of its lair.
4. Sleeping off its last meal.
5. Singing a sweet-sounding song of its own creation.
6. Teaching its young how to hunt.

Names
Inbal, Kampan, Nikanta, Reisu, Shijan

Cantobele
Large monstrosity

Challenge 7 (2,900 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 105 (14d10+28; bloodied 52)
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 17 (+3) DEX 15 (+2) CON 14 (+2)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 14 (+2)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 14
Skills Deception +4 (mimicry +1d6), Perception +3, Performance +4 (+1d4), Stealth +5 (+1d4)
Saves Dex +4
Damage Immunities cold
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Sylvan, and three others
Keen Smell. The cantobele has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
Magically Shielded. The cantobele can’t be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.
Pounce. If the cantobele moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Protected Eyes. The cantobele has advantage on saving throws to avoid being blinded.
Spellcasting (3/Day). The cabtobele can cast detect thoughts without any components. Its spellcasting ability for this trait is Charisma (spell save DC 12).
Sure-Footed. The cantobele has advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock it prone.

Actions
Multiattack.
The cantobele makes five attacks: one with its bite and four with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6+3) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d4+3) slashing damage.
Cold Breath (Recharge 6). The cantobele exhales a 30-foot cone of freezing wind and snow. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 36 (8d8) cold damage on failed save, or half as much damage on a success. A creature killed by this damage becomes a frozen statue until it thaws.

Bonus Actions
Opportune Bite.
The cantobele makes a bite attack against a prone creature.

Cantobele Cub
Medium monstrosity

Challenge 3 (700 XP)
AC 15 (natural armor)
HP 55 (10d8+10)
Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 13 (+1) DEX 15 (+2) CON 12 (+1)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 11 (+0)

Proficiency +2
Maneuver DC 12
Skills Deception +2, Perception +3, Performance +2, Stealth +4
Saves Dex +4
Damage Immunities cold
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Sylvan
Keen Smell. The cantobele has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.
Magically Shielded. The cantobele can’t be targeted by any divination magic or perceived through magical scrying sensors.
Pounce. If the cantobele moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a claw attack on the same turn, that target must succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.
Protected Eyes. The cantobele has advantage on saving throws to avoid being blinded.
Sure-Footed. The cantobele has advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock it prone.

Actions
Multiattack.
The cantobele makes five attacks: one with its bite and four with its claws.
Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6+2) piercing damage.
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4+2) slashing damage.
Cold Breath (Recharge 6). The cantobele exhales a 30-foot cone of freezing wind and snow. Each creature in that area must make a DC 13 Constitution saving throw, taking 18 (4d8) cold damage on failed save, or half as much damage on a success. A creature killed by this damage becomes a frozen statue until it thaws.

Bonus Actions
Opportune Bite.
The cantobele makes a bite attack against a prone creature.

Combat
A cantobele prefers to lure a single traveler into ambush, then attacking with bite and claws. Against a large group, it starts out with its cold breath first. If bloodied, it will either flee, only to begin tracking the targets again and waiting for a better time to strike, or will attempt to bribe the targets with an item from its horde.
 
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Faolyn

(she/her)
The next monster from the Creature Catalog is the fachan, created by Roger Moore—or rather adapted by him, as it’s an actual creature from Gaelic Scots lore. Here, this creature is basically a mutant ogre. 2e would go on two have two different fachans, one for the Realms and one for Savage Coast/Red Steel. Strangely, the Savage Coast version is the one taken from this article, word-for-word in some places. The fachan printed in the Forgotten Realms MC Appendix is a mere 2-4 feet tall and are considered to be the “blessed of Gruumsh.”

For whatever reason, I don’t particularly like the true giants (hill, frost, etc). They just don’t do anything for me. But I really like the smaller giants like ogres and the weirder “malformed” ones like the ettins and cyclops. So the fachan is right up my alley. For the record, their weird body plan meant that in 1e and 2e, rangers only got half the bonus they normally got against giants. I guess it’s because fachan are, in a manner of speaking, only half a giant.

In writing this creature, I reread the ogre section in the LU MM and was surprised to see they had been given an Int score of 10. A far cry from the Int 5 ogres of oD&D!

The fachan is under the header of “Ogre,” so uses that entry’s Signs, Behaviors, and Names.

1659039586373.png

Artist: Bob Maurus

Ogre, Fachan
Creature Catalog, Dragon Magazine #89
Created by Roger Moore

Fachan are born, albeit rarely, to otherwise normal ogres. They have a single leg in the middle of a complex pelvis, a single arm that emerges from the center of their chest, and single eye in the middle of their forehead. They move by hopping and can make powerful and agile leaps, if necessary.

Ominous Births. One in roughly every 400 ogres is born a fachan, and as they are usually incapable of reproduction, this is the only way that fachan are born. Ogres view the birth of a fachan as an omen, with some tribes seeing it as a good omen and others seeing it as a bad one. Regardless, fachans are usually welcomed by the other ogres, as they’re known to be exceptionally strong and wary—if the birth of a fachan heralds bad times to come, the other ogres want someone as strong as the fachan fighting on their side against it!

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

DC 15. Fachan are a rare mutation of ogres, occurring in roughly one out of every 400 births. They are capable of making tremendous leaps and are known to have exceptional hearing.

DC 20. Although they generally lack spellcasting abilities, many parts of a fachan’s body are in high demand by wizards and artificers for their use in making magic items.

Fachan Encounters
CR 5-10
1 or 2 fachan; fachan with 1-3 ogres; fachan with 1d4+1 ogrekin; fachan with cave bear or saber-toothed tiger
Treasure: 500 gp, 950 sp, tarnished bronze bracelet set with leaves made of flakes of agate (125 gp), a portrait of a local member of nobility, painted in profile (100 gp), potion of clairvoyance, spell scroll of blur.

CR 11-16 1 or 2 fachan with 1-3 cave ogres; fachan with ogre mage.
Treasure: 1,200 gp, 3 jet gems (100 gp each), six-sided die made from platinum with demon faces embossed on it (250 gp), pair of dragonhide gauntlets (200 gp), eversmoking bottle, a bone-spiked vicious mace, wooden +1 shield of elven design.

Fachan
Large giant

Challenge 5 (1,800 XP)
AC 14 (natural armor)
HP 77 (9d10+27; bloodied 36)
Speed 40 ft.

STR 21 (+5) DEX 14 (+2) CON 17 (+3)
INT 10 (+0) WIS 12 (+1) CHA 10 (+0)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC 16
Skills Perception +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Languages Common, Giant
Kip Up. If the fachan is knocked prone, standing up only uses 5 feet of its movement instead of half.
Keen Hearing. The fachan has advantage on and a d6 expertise die with Perception checks that rely on hearing.
Poor Depth Perception. The fachan makes all ranged attacks with disadvantage.

Actions
Multiattack.
The fachan attacks twice: once with its headbutt and once with its greatclub or kick.
Greatclub. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) bludgeoning damage, and if the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it must make a DC 15 Strength saving throw or fall prone.
Headbutt. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d4+5) bludgeoning damage and the target must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of its next turn.
Kick. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8+5) bludgeoning damage.
Vaulting Leap. The fachan jumps up to its Speed horizontally and half its speed vertically without provoking opportunity attacks, and it can land in a space containing another creature. That creature must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw, taking 19 (4d6+5) bludgeoning damage and being knocked prone on a failure. On a success, the creature takes half damage and is pushed 5 feet to a space of its choice. If that space is occupied, the creature is knocked prone.

Combat
Fachan prefer to using Vaulting Leap to jump into the fray, and then use its Headbutt to stun anyone left standing into submission.
 
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jphinney

Explorer
Love the work and can't wait to add these to my games. Also a wonderful walk through memory lane. I think I still have most of those Dungeon magazines and this brings back wonderful memories of monsters forgotten.
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
The next creature is the glasspane horror, designed to be treasure guards and are definitely different from the typical guardian née golem. They’re another shapeshifter, and IMO the “horror” in their name is well-earned—one of their forms is a cloud of glitter! Narrators, you know what to do with this information!

1659129696055.png

Artist: David C. Sutherland III

Glasspane Horror
Creature Catalog, Dragon Magazine #89
Created by Rosemary and Don Webb

These shapechanging elementals are rarely seen in their true form, because their true form is a transparent pane of glass-like crystal, utterly indistinguishable from normal glass. They have two other forms. The first is a giant humanoid, well over twice a typical human’s height, made of dazzling, multicolored crystalline shards, and the other is a fast-moving cloud of glittering mica flakes. They spend as much time in these latter forms as they do resting in their true form.

Not So Horrible. Despite their name, glasspane horrors aren’t evil or cruel, nor do they have any particular dislike of non-elemental creatures. The horror in their name comes from their utter inconspicuousness. Treasure-stealers expect mimics and living statues. They don’t expect the window to come alive and attack.

Elemental Mercenaries. Glasspane horrors are much sought after guards and sentries, as they are very patient, highly observant, and loyal to their employers. They pride themselves on being unbribable, but are not stupidly loyal. A horror in danger of being killed will retreat and warn its employer. However, one whose employer is slain will seek revenge. Horrors don’t come cheap, though, and they demand gemstones—their primary food source—as payment for their work.

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

DC 15. Glasspane horrors are a strange form of elemental. In their natural form, they are indistinguishable from a pane of glass.

DC 20. Glasspane horrors have a reflective body, and force, lightning, radiant, and prismatic magic bounce right off them and reflect back at the caster.

Monster Encounters
Terrain:
Caverns, Laboratory, Plane of Earth, Settlement, Tomb

CR 5-10 Glasspane horror; glasspane horror horror with 2d4 guards; glasspane horror with 2 hound guardians.
Treasure: 90 pp, 750 gp, 1,750 sp, 7 citrines (50 gp each), porcelain statue of an eagle (bulky, worth 150 gp), surreal landscape painting (worth 250 gp), spell scroll of spare the dying, potions of mind reading and water breathing, blue bag of tricks, Small +3 padded cloth armor.

CR 11-16 2 glasspane horrors; glasspane horror with 2 guard squads
Treasure: 800 pp, 1,500 gp, 2 garnets (100 gp each), peridot (500 gp), triptych icon of an elven god made of gold, jade, and rare woods (2,500 gp), blade of the Sanguine Knot, bronze griffin, dimensional shackles, ever-shifting map, prismatic gown

Signs
1-2. A trail of glitter
3. the thud of heavy footsteps; with a DC 15 Insight or Perception check, the creature is walking on a patrol route.
4. Shimmering, gem-toned lights reflecting off of walls in the distance.

Behavior
1-3 Disguised as a pane of glass, just watching.
4. Having a telepathic conversation with a fellow guard.
5. Negotiating a pay raise with its employer.
6. In humanoid form, tasting gems to find out which will be the best to eat.

Names
Aanye, Aligoq, Kass, Manyah, Saghkar

Glasspane Horror
Large elemental (shapechanger)

Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
AC 17 (natural armor)
HP 126 (12d10+48; bloodied 113)
Speed 0 ft. (true form), 40 ft. (humanoid form), 0 ft., fly 90 ft. (in sand cloud form)

STR 16 (+3) DEX 15 (+2) CON 19 (+4)
INT 9 (-1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 17 (+3)

Proficiency +3
Maneuver DC +14
Skills Perception +4 (+1d4)
Saves Con +7
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities force, lightning, poison, radiant
Condition Immunities blinded, fatigue, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, strife, unconscious
Senses blindsight 120 ft. (blind beyond this radius, true form and sand cloud form only), darkvision 60 ft. (humanoid form only), passive Perception 17
Languages telepathy 60 ft.
Elemental Nature. An elemental doesn’t require air, sustenance, or sleep.
False Appearance (True Form Only). While the horror remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a large pane of glass.
Glittering Cloud (Sand Cloud Form Only). The horror can enter a hostile creature’s space and stop there. It can move through a space as narrow as 1 inch wide without squeezing, but can’t move through water.
Reflective. If the horror is targeted by a spell that inflicts force, lightning, or radiant damage, roll a d6. On a 1-5, the horror is unaffected. On a 6, the horror is unaffected, but the effect is reflected back at the caster turning the caster into the target. In addition, the horror is immune to spells from the prismatic school.
Transparent. Perception checks that rely on sight made to locate the horror are made at disadvantage.

Actions
Multiattack (Humanoid Form Only).
The horror makes two fist attacks. Alternatively, it makes one Fist attack and uses its Dazzling Light.
Fist. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8+3) bludgeoning damage.
Crystalbrittle (Humanoid Form Only; 3/Day). The horror touches a creature wearing nonmagical metal armor or a nonmagical metal shield. That creature must make a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the armor is turned into a fragile crystalline substance. The next time the target takes damage, the armor breaks and is destroyed.
Dazzling Light (Humanoid Form Only). The horror flexes its crystal skin and brilliant shimmers of light dazzle those nearby. Each creature within 10 feet must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or have disadvantage on the next attack roll or saving throw they make before the start of their next turn. This ability doesn’t work in darkness. A creature immune to being blinded isn’t affected.
Slicing Whirlwind (Cloud Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the horror’s space. Hit: 14 (4d6) slashing damage, and the target must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or be blinded until the end of its next turn.

Bonus Actions
Consume Gem.
The horror crushes and absorbs one gemstone that is holding. For every 50 gold the gemstone is worth, the horror gains 1d6+4 hit points. For 1 minute afterwards, its Transparent trait doesn’t work.
Shapeshift. The horror magically changes its form into a Large humanoid made of crystal or a cloud of glittering sand, or back into its true form, which is a Large pane of transparent crystal that is 10 feet on a side and 1 inch thick. Its statistics are the same in each form. Equipment it is carrying is not transformed. It reverts to its true form if it dies.

Combat
The glasspane horror begins combat in humanoid form, using Crystalbrittle on the most heavily-armored foe, then pummeling with their fists while calling for reinforcements. If bloodied, the horror with transform into cloud form and make at least one attack in that form before fleeing.
 
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