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D&D General Custom Monsters and Enemies You’ve Made?


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My Tunneling Nightmares were huge burrowing creatures with tentacles that drew the PCs to the gaping mouth. They had some lair and regional effects - a weakening stench of death, creation of skeletons, a sense of hopelessness. There was also a Spew of Bone breath weapon that was essentially a wide line breath weapon of shards of bone and barely dissolved flesh.

A few sessions involved taking a settlement out that, when combined with a Necromancer, had turned the regions largest city into an abandoned factory of undead.
 

Voadam

Legend
In 5e I have been using Fantasy Grounds for the duration of the pandemic so a lot of reskinning monsters to get roughly what I want in running a 5e conversion of the Pathfinder 1e Iron Gods Adventure Path. Things like using a neogi with its enslaver power as the stats to replicate a CR 3 technic league magus who had crafted a device to hack and dominate a robot PC.
 

I haven't had yet the pleasure of Customizing/Homebrewing monsters......yet.

However I do like having some basic ideas. Like if I want an enemy that is an Elite Swords/Guardman of a high priority target or something like that, then I legit give them the College of Swords' Blade Flourishes to represent their Weapons Training. A Swordmaster would straight up use the Battle Master Combat Superiority Maneuvers. Gish-Type enemies would have the Tasha's Bladesingers' Extra Attack/Cantrip swap or Valor Bards' Extra Attack/Spell swap. If I want a Mage Enemy to launch a projectile and have it hurt/do crap like pushing/pulling and stuff, then that Mage enemy is getting the Eldritch Blast cantrip AND the Agonizing Blast invocation that keys off whatever is their highest casting stat is. (and no they aren't a Warlock unless the character is a Warlock enemy.)

A Commander style type of enemy would be using the Bard's Bardic Inspiration or, as Adventures in Middle Earth likes to call it, Command/Warden Die which pretty much does the same thing. And an enemy squad used to working together would have Pack Tactics.

Speaking of Adventures in Middle Earth, a lot of the Monster Special/Troup Abilities are perfect to add when need. Just got to rework the DC saves math since AiME kinda has lowish DC saves numbers to avoid crap happening to ya.

And if I wanted a Boss style monster with a "Health Bar," Then they got a full re-heal Second Wind. Martials would like have two uses, Casters one use, and BBEG's having THREE uses.
But now we have Mythic Traits/Actions which pretty much does the same thingish. But before then, Second Winds,

I guess in a strange way, it's kinda like an unintentional reversal of 4E's Character Types, but for 5E monsters.
 
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Voadam

Legend
When I was running 5e at the tabletop prior to the pandemic I did a bunch of what I did in the late 3.5/Pathfinder 1e era and adapted some 4eisms into select monsters.

So an elite type monster had X2 hp and could double attacks compared to the normal book monster so it could engage multiple players at once and survive a little longer. I remember doing this with a possessed fiddler (NPC bard) on top of a crypt roof who kept raising dancing skeletons from the graveyard between the party and him and sending out dual ranged magical strikes against PCs.

A solo big bad guy ghost had hp x # of players and instead of single target powers had area attacks to engage the whole or part of the party.
 

Quickleaf

Legend
One that I haven't had a chance to use yet is my conversion of the 4e lamia (scarab-themed shapeshifter fey) with a new name & some new lore from my campaign...

wir-mm-4e-lamia.png


The Scarabythra were elven seers who anticipated threats to the Pharaoh during his most vulnerable moments, such as transitions of power and resurrection ceremonies. Their mystery cult, devoted to the scarab-faced god Khepri, was surrounded by rumors and held a tenuous place in Pharaoh’s court. When they foresaw calamity the seers attempted to warn Pharaoh, but their pleas fell on deaf ears and they were exiled. In anger, the seers cast a curse upon Pharaoh’s court, but inadvertently cursed themselves.

Scarabythra
Medium fey (shapechanger), chaotic evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 85 (10d8+30)
Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.

STR 13 (+1) DEX 14 (+2) CON 18 (+4) INT 17 (+3) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 18 (+4)

Saving Throws Con +7, Int +6, Cha +7
Skills Arcana +6, Deception +7, Insight +5
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses blindsight 10 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Elven
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Return to Scarabs. If the scarabythra is reduced to 0 hit points, it breaks apart into a swarm of insects in the same space. Unless the swarm is destroyed, the scarabythra reforms from it 24 hours later.

Shapechanger. The scarabythra can use its action to polymorph into a form that resembles an attractive humanoid of any race or gender, or back to its true form (scarabs swarming a corpse). Its statistics are the same in each form. Any equipment it is wearing or carrying isn’t transformed.

Squeeze. By altering its form, the scarabythra can move through a space suitable for a Tiny creature without squeezing.

Swarm’s Embrace. At the start of each of the scarabythra’s turns, each hostile creature within 5 feet takes 10 (3d6) piercing damage.
Additionally, if the scarabythra starts its turn within 5 feet of a dead fey which is Medium size or smaller, it may abandon its former skeleton, instead infesting the new corpse. While infested, a corpse cannot be targeted by any spell or effect, and it moves with the scarabythra.

ACTIONS

Cursed Touch.
Melee Spell Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) necrotic damage and the target is “dazed” until the end of its next turn – it takes either an action, a move action, or a bonus action, but not all all three. The scarabythra regains a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt.

Devouring Swarm. Scarabs pour from the scarabythra’s form to engulf a creature within 30 feet. The creature must succeed a DC 15 Strength saving throw or suffer 14 (4d6) piercing damage. As long as the scarabythra maintains concentration, the creature does not move more than 30 feet away, and the creature does not have total cover from the scarabythra, at the start of each of the scarabythra’s turns the target automatically takes 14 (4d6) piercing damage.

Pacifying Susurrations (recharge 5-6). Each creature within 30 feet that can hear the scarabythra must succeed a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be stunned. A stunned creature may repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. A creature that succeeds its save is immune to the Pacifying Susurrations of all scarabythra for 24 hours.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
When I was running 5e at the tabletop prior to the pandemic I did a bunch of what I did in the late 3.5/Pathfinder 1e era and adapted some 4eisms into select monsters.

So an elite type monster had X2 hp and could double attacks compared to the normal book monster so it could engage multiple players at once and survive a little longer. I remember doing this with a possessed fiddler (NPC bard) on top of a crypt roof who kept raising dancing skeletons from the graveyard between the party and him and sending out dual ranged magical strikes against PCs.

A solo big bad guy ghost had hp x # of players and instead of single target powers had area attacks to engage the whole or part of the party.
Yeah one of my favorites mods for solo/legendary monsters is to give them minions or “turrets” (which are things that deal damage but can’t move and lack their own turn) that can be made to attack with legendary actions and can be used as the source of AoE effect.

Sometimes, anyone within 10ft of any minion has to save vs a relatively small amount if damage.
 

aco175

Legend
I give a lot of 4e powers to NPCs and boosted monsters. I may give a orc leader a close burst 1 attack power for when 3-4 PCs are around it.

I really liked the 2-headed giant rats modeled after a death dog. A few players have PCs that are always beat up by normal giant rats and stirges, so why not throw a 2-headed version of it to keep them fearful at higher levels.
 

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