D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Kongamato

Today Epic Monsters offers you a prehistoric terror known as the overwhelmer of boats: the kongamato!

Kongamoto DnD 5E BANNER.jpg

First described and named by Frank Welland In Witchbound Africa (1932) as a large beaked, reddish creature with leathery wings, much of the writing about the kongamato points to locals identifying illustrations of a pterodactyl as the same creature. He also notes that “[locals] do not consider it to be an unnatural thing like a mulombe (demon) only a very awful thing, like a man-eating lion or a rogue elephant, but infinitely worse”. However the kongamato is a proper cryptid if there ever was one, there are many stories about it, and in truth it resembles a variety of airborne mythical creatures (including Papua New Guinea’s ropen).

The kongamato is generally thought to be in Angola, the Congo, and Zambia, but there are more specific historical references to Jiundu Swamp (northwestern Zambia) and Lake Bangweulu (also Zambia). Wherever it may be, people near its territory are said to carry charms called muchi wa Kongamato to protect them from it at certain river crossings. Rightly so—this monster capsizes canoes and attacks people on the shore, and though it mostly eats fish humans are still on the menu, and grisly enough it’s thought to dig up graves to steal and consume fresh corpses. A few of the stand out references to creatures that might be the kongamato are:
  • In The Harleian Collections of Travels (1745) there’s a claim by Mr. E. Lopes (insert skeptical eye here) that in a province of Bemba (a sea coast from Ambrize River [maybe Ambriz in Angola?] to Coanza River [also Angola]) there are flesh eating ram-sized dragon-winged scaled blue green two-footed many-toothed tailed serpents that are worshiped as gods.
  • In Collections of Voyages (1746) an Agent-General of the Royal Company of Africa named John Barbot wrote that off the coasts of South Guinea there were "winged serpents or dragons having a forked tail and a prodigious wide mouth, full of sharp teeth, extremely mischievous to mankind, and more particularly to small children.”
  • In Mythical Monsters (1886) Charles Gould described winged dusky green and yellow predators with plenty of sharp teeth, clawed feet, two ears, and curiously “five prominent and conspicuous tubercles on the back.”
  • In A Game Warden on Safari (1928) A. Blaney Percival recorded local tales from the Kitui Wakamba of “a huge flying beast which comes down from Mount Kenya by night” only seen against the sky and by its two-footed tracks and heavy tail, a creature they call the batamzinga.
  • There are two accounts from Fort Roseberry west of Lake Bangweulu (the first by J. P. F. Brown in the Rhodesia Herald in 1956) of flying prehistoric creatures, the latter of which included a hospital report in 1957 about a chest wound delivered by a creature that a local claimed was a large bird—which when sketched out resembled a pterosaur.

Design Notes: Let’s start with a basic understanding—this is an interesting enough entry to merit a write-up even if there’s already a monster well-suited for it (the pteranodon), so we’re going to take that monster and set it up with some interesting traits to make for a fun encounter while we oomph its statistics. That’s done easily enough with some Keen Sight (spotting prey by the river’s shore), Flyby, and some grappling talons. After that we’re deconstructing pounce into Swoop, and because this is a beast (which means druids can transform into it) and we’re not done amping up the stat block, let’s tax that a bit with a bonus action to finish activation. Soar is a little bit redundant and I almost cut it, but it’s serving another purpose here: it’s illustrating what you do with this creature, and it’s doing it inside of the mechanical language so the tactics will be retained when reproduced. Let’s keep it there and get to doing the numbers! The DMG’s chart comes in a smidge under 3 and ye olde Blog of Holding just a little bit higher, leaving this flying monster comfortably sitting at CR 3.

Kongamato

Large beast, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 52 (7d10+14)
Speed 15 ft., fly 60 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
18 (+4)​
15 (+2)​
14 (+2)​
3 (–4)​
13 (+1)​
6 (–2)​
Saving Throws Wis +3; Proficiency +2
Skills Athletics +6, Perception +3
Senses passive Perception 13
Languages
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Flyby. The kongamato doesn’t provoke an opportunity attack when it flies out of an enemy’s reach.

Keen Sight. The kongamato has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Swoop. If the kongamato flies at least 30 feet straight toward a creature and then hits it with a bite attack on the same turn, it can use a bonus action to try to bowl the creature over. The creature must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.


ACTIONS
Multiattack. The kongamato attacks twice.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6+4) piercing damage.

Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) piercing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 14). The kongamato has two talons, each of which can grapple only one target while the kongamato is in the air.


REACTION
Soar. When the kongamato grapples a prone creature with its talons, it can use its reaction to fly up to half its flying speed.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Mike Myler

Mike Myler


Bupp

Adventurer
Looks good!
Added it to the Blog Database.
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Looks good!
Added it to the Blog Database.
Strangely not seeing the onocentaur on that list. :unsure:
 

Bupp

Adventurer
Probably because I was taking a break from message boards then.
And it belongs on the Monstrosity page, which is where it is now located.
 

Two more suggestions (lucky you) - 1) the Cirein-croin, a mighty sea monster that I can't find a physical description for, but is said to feast on seven whales (I thought that meant seven heads but maybe it refers to its comfortable level of repletion...?), and 2) Allan Quatermain, H. Rider Haggards' oft-portrayed adventurer! You could probably turn your eye to Umslopogaas & Ayesha as well, to be honest...
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Two more suggestions (lucky you) - 1) the Cirein-croin, a mighty sea monster that I can't find a physical description for, but is said to feast on seven whales (I thought that meant seven heads but maybe it refers to its comfortable level of repletion...?), and 2) Allan Quatermain, H. Rider Haggards' oft-portrayed adventurer! You could probably turn your eye to Umslopogaas & Ayesha as well, to be honest...
Added the Cirein-croin to the queue, but: D&D 5E - Mythological Figures: Allan Quatermain
 

Related Articles

Visit Our Sponsor

Latest threads

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top