D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Elizabeth Báthory

We’ve already seen her in the Mythological Figures side of this column but ENWorlder Rafael Martin pointed out that since her body went missing after her burial that surely she must be a terrifying undead. I’m inclined to agree! So it is that today’s entry in Epic Monsters features another version of the Blood Countess, one twisted by evil into something even more monstrous than the woman was as the mortal Elizabeth Báthory!

We’ve already seen her in the Mythological Figures side of this column but ENWorlder Rafael Martin pointed out that since her body went missing after her burial that surely she must be a terrifying undead. I’m inclined to agree! So it is that today’s entry in Epic Monsters features another version of the Blood Countess, one twisted by evil into something even more monstrous than the woman was as the mortal Elizabeth Báthory!

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The Mythological Figures entry for Elizabeth (including her gruesome history) can be found here. What you really need to know was this woman was a truly psychopathic serial killer responsible for hundreds of murders, and that when they went to move her dead body to a more appropriate place it was nowhere to be found! What happened to it?

Design Notes: My answer to that was “clearly she’s become a vampire” but we’ve already got two of those up here (big-time Hollywood Dracula and Vlad the Impaler) so I looked beyond the realm of western mythology and settled on the penanggalan from Malaysia, tweaking the normal ‘must soak in vinegar’ bit for a sanguine bath instead as that’s (erroneously) something Elizabeth is well known for. The new features added on to her statistics from Mythological Figures are sourced out of a Mists of Akuma adventure (Cursed Soul of the Scorpion Samurai, which also appears in Trade War) that prominently features a penanggalan.
With that let’s do the numbers. The DMG rubric brought Elizabeth here in at a cool 8.66 but the Blog of Holding rubric (which I strongly recommend checking out) said higher, clocking in at 9.833--we’ve averaged that down into a comfortable 9.

Elizabeth Báthory (Post-Mortem)
Medium undead, chaotic evil
Armor Class 17 (studded leather)
Hit Points 120 (16d8+48)
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (while detached from body; hover)
18 (+4)​
20 (+5)​
17 (+3)​
17 (+3)​
18 (+4)​
20 (+5)​
Saving Throws Con +7, Dex +9, Int +7, Wis +8
Skills Arcana +7, Deception +13, History +7, Insight +12, Intimidation +13, Investigation +7, Nature +7, Perception +8, Performance +9, Persuasion +13, Religion +7, Stealth +9; harpsichord +9, thieves’ tools +9
Damage Vulnerabilities radiant
Damage Resistances cold, fire, lightning; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with silvered weapons
Damage Immunities acid, necrotic, poison, psychic
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 18
Languages Draconic, German, Greek, Hungarian, Latin, Slovak, Undercommon
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Bardic Inspiration 1d8 (5/Short Rest). As a bonus action on her turn, Elizabeth can choose one other creature within 60 feet who can hear her. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d8. Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check, attack roll, or saving throw it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls the d20 before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the GM says whether the roll succeeds or fails.

Cunning Action (1/Turn). Elizabeth can take a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, Help, or Hide action.

Fast Learner. After Elizabeth has heard a creature speak for 1 minute or longer, she can mimic its manner of speaking as long as she knows the same language as the creature (allowing her to seem like she is local to a given region).

Innate Spellcasting. Elizabeth’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17, spell attack +9). She can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: acid splash, mage hand, minor illusion, true strike
2/day each: detect magic, protection from evil and good
1/day each: invisibility (as 3rd-level spell), misty step, ray of enfeeblement

Jack of All Trades. Elizabeth adds +2 to any ability check she makes that doesn’t already include her proficiency bonus.

Light Sensitivity. Elizabeth has disadvantage on attack rolls and Wisdom (Perception) checks made in sunlight.

Psionic Strike (1/Turn). Elizabeth expends one use of Bardic Inspiration when she hits a creature with a melee weapon attack to deal an extra 10 (3d6) psychic damage to her target.

Regeneration. Elizabeth regains 5 hit points at the start of her turn if she has at least 1 hit point and is not in direct sunlight.

Separate. During the day, Elizabeth has the same appearance as she did in life. At night she can detach her head and entrails as an action. Elizabeth’s now hollow body exists as dead flesh but she can still control it by spending a bonus action on her turn to cause the body to take an action. The body does not regenerate and can be destroyed (90 hp). Before Elizabeth can return to her body, she must soak her entrails in fresh blood for 1 hour—she can then reattach to her body, at which point any damage done to the body immediately heals (damage the head suffered remains). When Elizabeth’s body is destroyed she cannot make a new one but is otherwise unharmed. When Elizabeth wears her body, she cannot use her entrails attack or fly speed, and she does not suffer from Light Sensitivity.

Sneak Attack (1/Turn). Elizabeth deals an extra 10 (3d6) damage when she hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of Elizabeth that isn’t incapacitated and Elizabeth doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Spellcasting. Elizabeth is a 5th level spellcaster that uses Charisma as her spellcasting ability (spell save DC 17; +9 to hit with spell attacks). She has the following spells prepared from the bard’s spell list:
Cantrips: message, prestidigitation, vicious mockery
1st level (4 slots): bane, charm person, sleep, thunderwave
2nd level (3 slots): detect thoughts, enthrall, suggestion
3rd level (2 slots): bestow curse, fear

Song of Rest. After a short rest, if Elizabeth or any friendly creatures who can hear her performance regain hit points by spending one or more Hit Dice, each of those creatures regains an extra 1d6 hit points.

Tactician. Elizabeth is able to use the Help action to aid an ally attacking a creature as long as the target of the attack is able to see and hear Elizabeth and is within 30 feet of her.

Terrifying (1/Short Rest). Elizabeth can horrify a creature that can understand what she says during 1 minute of talking, forcing it to make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw. On a failure, for the next hour the creature is frightened of Elizabeth or a creature of her choosing. The effect ends of the creature is attacked, damaged, or witnesses an ally be attacked or damaged. On a successful save, the target doesn’t recognize Elizabeth’s attempt to frighten it.

Multiattack. Elizabeth makes one unarmed strike and bite attack, or if her head is detached she makes one bite attack and one entrails attack.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) bludgeoning damage. Instead of dealing damage, she can grapple the target (escape DC 16).

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one willing creature, or a creature that is grappled by Elizabeth, incapacitated, or restrained. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) magical piercing damage. Elizabeth regains hit points equal to the damage she deals with this attack. A humanoid slain by Elizabeth’s bite rises the following night as a bloodite (vampire spawn without the forbiddance, harmed by running water, or stake to the heart vampire weaknesses) under her control.

Entrails. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) magical bludgeoning damage. Instead of dealing damage, Elizabeth can grapple the target (escape DC 16). Any creature that touches Elizabeth’s entrails makes a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or takes 7 (2d6) acid damage and 7 (2d6) necrotic damage.

Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker Elizabeth can see hits her with an attack, she can use her reaction to halve the attack’s damage against her.

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Rafael Martin

Yes Mike that was a perfect write up! I have no doubt that Elizabeth floats around at night with a trial of entrails dragging behind her. That is much more terrifying than big-time Hollywood Dracula (Bela) and Vlad the Impaler. I have been dealing with the side effects of chemo, so today was the first day I saw this. Its very cool being called an ENWorlder. Its like being part of an exclusive club. Keep the write-ups coming, Mike, and maybe soon we will see a Hercules write-up...lol

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