5E Epic Monsters: Frankenstein's Monster

Epic Monsters is going for one of the—if not the—most iconic creatures in all of literature, one who simply cannot stay dead and very frequently is misnamed. Did you guess Frankenstein? You’re the target of a hundred internet memes but you’re close: we’re talking about Frankenstein’s Monster!

frankenstein's monster 5e banner.jpg


If you don’t know the story yet, Dr. Victor Frankenstein collects dead body parts, splices them together, and then runs electricity through the stitched together corpse to scientifically bring life to that which was once no more than dead flesh! Go watch Young Frankenstein—that should get all the important points across.

Design Notes: Frankenstein’s monster was the inspiration for the occultist class’ Abomination archetype so figuring out how to stat it up was a simple task! I was a wee bit sad about level-dipping into barbarian for Unarmored Defense, but it wasn’t known for wearing solid armor so that was an important sacrifice to make to keep the creature viable (and he kinda rages amirite?). For anyone upset about the vulnerability to acid, you can drop it and reduce immunity to lightning to resistance instead (totally doable via the class feature RAW). With that in mind let’s take a look at the numbers: the DMG landed it at 9.25 and the Blog of Holding’s rubric at 10 so we’re averaged out at CR 9.

Frankenstein’s Monster
Medium humanoid (human), neutral occultist (abomination) 14/barbarian 1
Armor Class 14 (Constitution, toughened hide)
Hit Points 129 (14d8+1d12+60)
Speed 50 ft., climb 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
20 (+5)​
9 (-1)​
18 (+4)​
10 (+0)​
16 (+3)​
8 (-1)​
Saving Throws Str +10, Con +9, Int +5, Wis +8, Cha +4
Skills Athletics +10, Insight +8, Perception +8, Survival +5; ceremonial relics +5
Damage Vulnerabilities acid
Damage Resistances poison; bludgeoning, slashing
Damage Immunities lightning
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft. (sees through magical darkness), passive Perception 18
Languages Common, Undercommon
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Background: Worldly - Attention-Grabber. The monster’s way of speaking, nonverbal communication, aphorisms, and what it looks like mark it as fundamentally different. Everyone’s eyes are on you. While not always useful, it does sometimes make it possible to set up a meeting or otherwise gain the attention of people you want to meet (like nobles, sages, traders, and the like).

Abominable Nature. The monster has resistance to poison damage and immunity to the poisoned condition. It does not need to breathe, eat food, or drink water, though it still requires periods of rest similar to sleep. The monster has disadvantage on Charisma ability checks made against humanoids due to its strange appearance.

Dark Strike. The monster can roll a d10 for his unarmed strikes. When it uses the Attack action with an unarmed strike on its turn, it can choose to deal necrotic damage by spending a bonus action. The monster can use Constitution for the attack and damage rolls of its unarmed strike when dealing necrotic damage.

Devotee of Darkness. The monster has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks and Wisdom (Perception) checks made in darkness or dim light.

Otherworldly Brute. The monster has advantage on attack rolls made against objects and deals double damage when using Strength to damage an object.

Rage (2/Long Rest). On its turn, the monster can enter a rage as a bonus action. Its rage lasts for 1 minute, ending early if it is knocked unconscious or if its turn ends and it hasn’t either attacked a hostile creature since its last turn or taken damage since then. The monster can also end its rage on its turn as a bonus action. While raging, it gains the following benefits.
  • The monster has advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
  • When the monster makes a melee weapon attack using Strength, it deals 2 extra damage.
  • The monster has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
Toughened Hide. The monster has a +1 bonus to AC (included in its statistics) and resistance to bludgeoning and slashing damage.

Unnatural Threshold. The monster ignores 5 damage whenever it is hit with an attack that deals piercing damage.


ACTIONS

Extra Attack. The monster attacks three times when it takes the Attack action.

Dark Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d10+5) bludgeoning damage.
 
Mike Myler

Comments

LuisCarlos17f

Adventurer
I miss the half-golem template from Monster Manual II (3rd ed). This would need an update, maybe adding the monster subtype "living construct" like warforged and the shardminds.

Isn't this creature the ur-example of "flesh golem"?

In Dean Koontz's version Deucalion (as Prometheus' son) is the name that the creature gave himself. Other versions give the name "Adam". In the 1985 movie "the Bride" as Sting as Charles Frankenstein, the creator, and the creature name is Viktor, gave by Rinaldo, a rogue dwarf who become his friend.
 

dave2008

Legend
In general I like it - thank you for sharing.

However, I would like it to have some more interesting combat options. Maybe an auto-grapple with a bonus action or reaction to throw or "rend" grappled targets. Or an option to push or knock prone on an attack. A ranged attack option would be good to, maybe something similar to a giants rock attack.
 

MReav

Explorer
Should we make mention about how a character who cannot see Frankenstein* here won't suffer the charisma penalty?

*it's a surname
 

Rafael Martin

Explorer
YES! THANK YOU MIKE! One of my suggestions was done! This write-up of Frankenstein’s Monster is near perfect! People can come on here and nitpick all they want (that includes me) but you are actually putting in the time to do the work. Great job! Bravo! In my opinion my favorite portrayal of Frankenstein’s Monster was by Robert De Niro in the movie Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It is a 1994 horror drama film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Holm, John Cleese, and Aidan Quinn. The film was produced on a budget of $45 million and is considered the most faithful film adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Well done!!!
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Mike Myler

Adventurer
YES! THANK YOU MIKE! One of my suggestions was done! This write-up of Frankenstein’s Monster is near perfect! People can come on here and nitpick all they want (that includes me) but you are actually putting in the time to do the work. Great job! Bravo! In my opinion my favorite portrayal of Frankenstein’s Monster was by Robert De Niro in the movie Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It is a 1994 horror drama film directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring Robert De Niro, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hulce, Helena Bonham Carter, Ian Holm, John Cleese, and Aidan Quinn. The film was produced on a budget of $45 million and is considered the most faithful film adaptation of Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. Well done!!! View attachment 115266
You are super welcome. I have the orang-bati and Mongolian death worm ready to go, but I figured with the holiday coming up it'd be more fitting to get Frankenstein's monster up here. :3
 

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