5E Epic Monsters: Jackalope

Today Epic Monsters is headed even deeper into the rural regions of the USA with a personal favorite of mine, something of an oddity you absolutely do see in bars throughout the states. Whether you just like cute things, weird americana, or rabbits, or hate all three, you’ll find it hard to hate the jackalope!


Jackalope BANNER 5e.jpg


Also known as the ‘wolpertinger’ over there in Europe, the term jackalope (and for us headstrong americans therefore the creation of the myth, of course) is attributed to one Douglas Herrick of Douglas, Wyoming. During their teenage years he and his brother were into taxidermy—like all the cool kids are—and after throwing a jackrabbit's corpse haphazardly somewhere in a taxidermy store they noticed it land beside some deer antlers and a truly brilliant very-American idea was born. The two put one together and sold it for $10 to Roy Ball who put it up in the La Bonte Hotel, and then it spread. Soon after Rapid City in South Dakota championed the jackalope and today, a fellow named Frank English just does this full-time, supplying mounted jackalope heads to Cabela’s (a real big retailer in the states that sells outdoor leisure and hunting gear). You can buy one for $150!

Design Notes: If you are also a diehard Monty Python fan this rabbit is for you (heck I’ll even throw in a holy hand grenade and yinz can make a day of it), just swap in the gore for a more powerful bite—3d6 or 4d6 will do it. Otherwise they’re a wonderful scouting option for druids to use with Wild Shape and, if nothing else, will surprise players with how dangerous it is. After all, cute things are supposed to be cuddled amirite? To the GMs out there doing the math: the CR for this came up as an even 4 via the DMG and slightly above a 5 using the Blog of Holding’s rubric (and obviously the average there makes this a CR 4 baddie).

Jackalope
Tiny beast, unaligned
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 55 (10d4+30)
Speed 50 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
11 (+0)​
21 (+5)​
16 (+3)​
8 (-1)​
17 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
Saving Throws Str +2, Dex +7, Con +5
Skills Athletics +4, Deception +4, Perception +7, Stealth +7, Survival +5
Damage Resistances lightning
Condition Immunities stunned
Senses passive Perception 17
Languages Understands Common but cannot speak
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)

Charge. If the jackalope moves at least 15 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 7 (2d6) piercing damage.
Evasion. If the jackalope is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, the jackalope instead takes no damage if it succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if it fails.
Keen Hearing. The jackalope has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing.
Loves the Rye. The jackalope loves whiskey. A successful DC 8 Charisma check to present a bottle of whiskey convinces it to treat a creature as a friend. This check is made with disadvantage if the creature or its allies have damaged the jackalope.
Mimicry. The jackalope can mimic animal sounds and humanoid voices. A creature that hears the sounds can tell they are imitations with a successful DC 14 Wisdom (Insight) check.
Natural Finesse. The jackalope uses Dexterity for its attack and damage rolls.
Nimble Escape. The jackalope can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.

ACTIONS
Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (1d8+5) piercing damage.

REACTIONS
Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker that the jackalope can see hits it with an attack, the jackalope can use its reaction to halve the attack’s damage against it.
 
Last edited:
Mike Myler

Comments

Just as a side note:

Although you pronounced he term "Wolpertinger" correct, it is definitely grounded in my home called Bavaria. AFAIK it is not part of any mythology outside of Bavaria (open to be corrected by facts ;)). Any good "Landgasthof" ( a term to be googled/bable fished) has one of those beasts on display. And believe me, there are always "the to be trusted" stories, that it was shot in the open wild and is genuine (all laughs will be appreciated here).
 

Paragon Lost

Explorer
Just as a side note:

Although you pronounced he term "Wolpertinger" correct, it is definitely grounded in my home called Bavaria. AFAIK it is not part of any mythology outside of Bavaria (open to be corrected by facts ;)). Any good "Landgasthof" ( a term to be googled/bable fished) has one of those beasts on display. And believe me, there are always "the to be trusted" stories, that it was shot in the open wild and is genuine (all laughs will be appreciated here).

Surprised that you didn't spell it Bayern as a native. I spent just short of ten years in the area and recall many correcting my spelling it Bavaria at times. Miss the place, best ten years of my life actually.
 
Very nice to hear, that you enjoyed my home country. Well I thought I keep it international so perhaps folks know at least halfway where it is (at least the napoleonic wargaming folks). And I still like the "fact" that our traditional clothing and food (Dirndl, Lederhosen, Weisswurst and Kraut) were so imbedded in peoples minds outside of Europe, that it made for the picture of germans in general for a long time (besides the rather negative conected prussian appear) in the past.
 

Rafael Martin

Explorer
Mike where do I send you requests for mythic characters and epic monsters? I have two requests from the American Old West: Doc Holliday and Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
 

Richards

Adventurer
In my 3.5 home campaign my son's PC is a gnome fighter who rides a Large jackalope as his battle mount. He even got a druid to awaken him, so now the jackalope has human intelligence and can speak Common. (Before that, they could only converse back and forth using the language of burrowing mammals.)

Johnathan
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I don’t think jackalopes and wulpertingers are the same critter.

Also, not sure what relation either has to the rabbit from Holy Grail?
 
For the Wolpertinger a short historical sidenote: Actually back in the 19th century some clever businessman started to construct them for selling to the unwary visitors at the rising tourist boom back then. Its origins are more or less unknown, but already Albrecht Dürer depicted one of them sporting horns, protruding fangs and bird wings. This "configuration" is widely known and is more or less accepted as "the" wolpertinger and the Brothers Grimm mentioned something similar in their writings. But there was even a museum for such fairy tale beasts solely commited to exhibiting all kinds of made up fantasy beasts. It is believed, that the name originated around the village Wolterdingen near Donaueschingen.
the Jackalope on the other side dates back to the american 1930´s, were rabbits received those modifications. For further reading I enclose the wikipedia links. Have fun
 
Although you pronounced he term "Wolpertinger" correct, it is definitely grounded in my home called Bavaria. AFAIK it is not part of any mythology outside of Bavaria (open to be corrected by facts ;)). Any good "Landgasthof" ( a term to be googled/bable fished) has one of those beasts on display. And believe me, there are always "the to be trusted" stories, that it was shot in the open wild and is genuine (all laughs will be appreciated here).
Don't wolpertinger often have wings, too?

Jackalopes more closely resemble the hasenbock of Austria, which are antlered alpine rabbits. (They were my favorite things to ogle growing up there where, as you said, every good restaurant and inn had one mounted on the walls.)
 
Hi Whizbang,

just refer to my post two steps above yours. AFAIK Dürer made that picture sporting the wings and it became something of a fact for the wolpertinger. So yes it has (I guess, although I saw different ones having duck legs like mentioned in those wikipedia articles).

That myth is also embedded around Austria, but I as a born Bavarian claim this myth for us ;).

Like said there was a museum at Mittenwald exhibiting those "artifacts", but I have no idea nor was I there to say if it still exists. And for the non-german speakers: Hasenbock is a combination of rabbit and male deer (a "bock" in german), so the term pretty close describes the look of the beast.

It´s astounding how many people here saw those mock-ups. Good thing we not only exported Weissbier, Lederhosen and the Oktoberfest to the english speaking world, but also some fundamentals of our culture (again laughs appreciated for this comment :))
 

Ravenbrook

Villager
I'm glad that you mentioned the wolpertinger, since it can take on the most bizarre forms imaginable (not all of them based on rabbits, either).
 

Mike Myler

Explorer
Mike where do I send you requests for mythic characters and epic monsters? I have two requests from the American Old West: Doc Holliday and Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
Added to the list!

You're really running out of material, huh?
I haven't picked any subject entirely by myself since the Lovecraftians at the start of the Epic Monsters series--these are all coming off of a request list. Sorry this entry wasn't up your alley!

A 5e version is in ToA.

Looking at the stats in the OP, CR4 seems a little high?
I don't reckon so--if you look up at the Design Notes you'll see it came in on the high side of CR 4. Actual breakdown rolled out to DMG Rubric 5 + 1 + 8 + 2 = 16 / 4 = 4 and Blog of Holding rubric (which is made from the front backwards, taking all of the actual numbers for creatures in the Monster Manual and averaging them out) 6 + 4 + 6 + 2 + 8 = 26 / 5 = 5.2.
 

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