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D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Cherub

With the Four Horsemen behind us it’s time for Epic Monsters to wade into the realms celestial and we’re starting with the one you might think of as a baby: the four-headed cherub!

Cherub DnD 5e BANNER.jpg


These direct servants of god guard the Garden of Eden (and therein the Tree of Life) and carry around celestial thrones. Cherubim are said to be the closest to god in Islam (dwelling in the sixth heaven around the Throne of God), they have the second-highest rank in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, and Jewish scholars placed them as either the ninth (second-lowest) rank of angels or in the Kabbalah the third rank. It’s in western Christianity (second-highest rank there) where this angel gets associated with Cupid and starts looking like a baby—cherubs—but otherwise it’s thought to be a winged angel with four heads: one eagle (birds), one human (humanity), one lion (wild animals), one ox (domesticated animals).

Design Notes: So we’ve got a four-headed angel that (some of) the lore says has brass legs and is surrounded by coals of fire and lightning. To round that out a little more it’s getting some improved sight options, a touch of healing, a fun defensive feature to blind foes, and some oomph for attacks. Let’s do the numbers! In a chilling sign from beyond, both the DMG and Blog of Holding are in perfect agreement at 9.833 so it’s getting a Challenge Rating of 9.

Cherub

Medium celestial, lawful good
Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 105 (14d8+42)
Speed 40 ft., fly 90 ft. (hover)
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
18 (+4)​
17 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
13 (+1)​
17 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
Skills Athletics +12, Perception +7, Religion +9
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning, radiant; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages Celestial
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Angelic Weapons. The cherub’s weapon attacks are magical. When the cherub hits with any weapon, the weapon deals an extra 10 (3d6) radiant damage (included in the attack).

Brass-Legged. The cherub has advantage on saving throws made to resist being knocked prone.

Divine Coals. The cherub is surrounded by a halo of fiery sparking coals. At the start of each of the cherub’s turns, each creature within 5 feet of it takes 7 (2d6) fire damage and 7 (2d6) lightning damage, and flammable objects in the aura that aren’t being worn or carried ignite. A creature that touches the cherub or hits it with a melee attack while within 5 feet of it takes 7 (2d6) fire damage and 7 (2d6) lightning damage.

Flyby. The cherub doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy's reach.

Four Heads. The cherub has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and on saving throws against being blinded, deafened, stunned, and knocked unconscious.

Innate Spellcasting. The cherub’s innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 15). The cherub can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: detect evil and good, see invisibility
3/day each: healing word (as a 4th-level spell; 4d4+3)​
1/day each: dispel evil and good, flame strike

Magic Resistance. The cherub has advantage on saving throws made against spells and other magical effects.


ACTIONS
Multiattack. The cherub attacks twice with its wings.

Wings. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) bludgeoning damage plus 10 (3d6) radiant damage.


REACTIONS
Solar Flare (Recharge 6). When the cherub takes damage from a melee attack, it can use its reaction to blast its attacker with divine light. The creature makes a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or it is blinded for 1d4 rounds.
 
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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
Thank you, Mike. I always love your work and this is another great entry. One note that may or may not be of interest to you: "cherubim" is actually plural of "cherub," just as "seraphim" is plural of "seraph." Cheers and keep up the great work!
 


Hatmatter

Laws of Mordenkainen, Elminster, & Fistandantilus
One other quick note with regard to the second sentence...I cannot speak to Islam, but in Orthodox Christianity, the cherubim are the second-to-highest rank of angels, with the seraphim being the highest rank. This mostly derives from the sixth century writings of Dionysisus the Areopagite. The orders of angels in Dionysius by rank are: 1) seraphim, 2) cherubim, 3) thrones, 4) powers, 5) dominions, 6) principalities, 7) virtues, 8) archangels, and 9) angels.

I really like the brass-legged and divine coals features. Great stuff!
 

Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
One other quick note with regard to the second sentence...I cannot speak to Islam, but in Orthodox Christianity, the cherubim are the second-to-highest rank of angels, with the seraphim being the highest rank. This mostly derives from the sixth century writings of Dionysisus the Areopagite. The orders of angels in Dionysius by rank are: 1) seraphim, 2) cherubim, 3) thrones, 4) powers, 5) dominions, 6) principalities, 7) virtues, 8) archangels, and 9) angels.

I really like the brass-legged and divine coals features. Great stuff!
Yeah everybody seems to have their own ranking system for angels. ~ . ~ Fixed!
 



Ulfgeir

Adventurer
A lot of the biblical "angels" should cause sanity loss from those that saw them. ;) And the Aasimars that came from those offsprings would perchance be more like something out of Call of Cthulhu

And I am not so sure I would classify them as good...
 


Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
A lot of the biblical "angels" should cause sanity loss from those that saw them. ;) And the Aasimars that came from those offsprings would perchance be more like something out of Call of Cthulhu

And I am not so sure I would classify them as good...
Good doesnt mean Benevolent

interestingly the Tetramorph Cherubim are not from the source material (Torah) and the Book of Ezekiel actually refers to Living Creatures and does not equate them with Cherubim until after the fact.

The Cherubim were originally seen as incorporeal, formless beings who were made manifest through action in the world (Storms, Birth, Displays of Power). They were guardians and carried the Divine Throne.
In the Tetramorph Living Creatures form though they are probably related to other Middle Eastern guardian spirits like Shedu, Lamassu and the Sphinx
 

dave2008

Legend
Thanks Mike! Another great entry in the series. I love the traits of this one, very evocative. However, I feel it is a little lacking in its action options. I feel like it should have an attack other than its wings (maybe a slam or touch attack) and a ranged attack would be nice. Regardless, nice work
 


Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
Thanks Mike! Another great entry in the series. I love the traits of this one, very evocative. However, I feel it is a little lacking in its action options. I feel like it should have an attack other than its wings (maybe a slam or touch attack) and a ranged attack would be nice. Regardless, nice work
Woot! I think it's in good shape ranged-wise what with zipping around at 90 feet a round (it gets that one flame strike to engage as it dashes into close combat), although you did remind me that it ought to have Flyby. Definitely wanted the focus to be on its defensive capacity (coals, solar flares, high mobility) but you could give it a slam or something (these things are 80% wings so I went with that).

It would be fun to have one of these first appear to the party in an "alternate form" as a cuddly winged baby... and then transform into this form in combat.

I might just have to do that.
Preferably while in someone's arms. Extra heads appear first.
 

dave2008

Legend
Woot! I think it's in good shape ranged-wise what with zipping around at 90 feet a round (it gets that one flame strike to engage as it dashes into close combat), although you did remind me that it ought to have Flyby. Definitely wanted the focus to be on its defensive capacity (coals, solar flares, high mobility) but you could give it a slam or something (these things are 80% wings so I went with that).
Flyby seems a decent substitute for a ranged attack.

Regarding the wings, I've generally always find wing attacks odd (even for dragons). They just don't make great weapons and you really don't want to damage your wings. It is a me thing, wing attacks just bother me, with some exceptions.
 





Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Flyby seems a decent substitute for a ranged attack.

Regarding the wings, I've generally always find wing attacks odd (even for dragons). They just don't make great weapons and you really don't want to damage your wings. It is a me thing, wing attacks just bother me, with some exceptions.
I’ve always taken Wing attacks as more ‘buffeted by the pressure from the wings motion’ rather than actually being hit my the wing structure (which isnt ideal, even for dragons)

Of course Angels Wings might be made of radiant energy and thus be an entirely different type of pain
 

Mike Myler

www.epic5e.com/ KS ends April 22nd!
I’ve always taken Wing attacks as more ‘buffeted by the pressure from the wings motion’ rather than actually being hit my the wing structure (which isnt ideal, even for dragons)

Of course Angels Wings might be made of radiant energy and thus be an entirely different type of pain
Indeed! The cherub's physical damage is 1d4+4, its "I'm from heaven what's up" damage is 3d6.
 

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