D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Krampus

It’s a rare holiday post in Epic Monsters to satisfy readers both naughty and nice with a character that’s been requested many times but not yet explored here: Krampus!

Krampus dnd5e BANNER.jpg

Recently there have been many depictions of Krampus but in Germany he’s been popular a long time via the practice of Krampuskarten, the exchange of Greetings from Krampus postcards that’s been going on for two centuries now. If you somehow have not run across this delightful character of folklore he’s like the anti-Santa: instead of rewarding good kids with gifts, he punishes wicked children and takes them away in a basket strapped on his back.

Design Notes: There was a strong temptation to include something with chains in Krampus’ statistics, but there’s already plenty going on between grappling and his Basket of Torment so that’s been passed by in the pursuit of keeping him simpler and easier to use. It’s a real struggle to manipulate him and lay the smack down so the trick with Krampus is his ability to indefinitely capture other creatures. With a speed of 50 feet he’ll be able to outrun most adventurers so go ahead and kidnap somebody—then it’s a race against time to either figure a way out of his basket or put him down before his captives go unconscious. Let’s do the numbers! The DMG cruised in juuuust barely under 9 at 8.91666 and the Blog of Holding landed smack dab on 9, so that definitely feels like the right CR for him.


Medium fiend, lawful evil
Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 114 (12d8+60)
Speed 50 ft.
19 (+4)​
20 (+5)​
21 (+5)​
14 (+2)​
18 (+4)​
13 (+1)​
Skills Athletics +12, Investigation +6, Perception +12, Stealth +9, Survival +7
Damage Resistances cold, fire; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Damage Immunities psychic
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 22
Languages Common, Infernal
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Basket of Torment. When Krampus has restrained one or more creatures, he can use a bonus action to force them into his basket. A captured creature is blinded and restrained, and it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the basket. At the start of each of Krampus’ turns, he can choose to deal 10 (3d6) psychic damage to any number of creatures captured in the Basket of Torment.
Once captured by his basket, a creature is released when Krampus wills it or dies. Only dimension door and similar teleportation effects that do not require line of sight can be used to exit the basket. When Krampus is slain any creatures captured inside of his Basket of Torment are no longer restrained by it and can escape from the basket using 20 feet of movement, exiting prone.

Big-Handed Grappling. Krampus has advantage on attack rolls against a creature he is grappling and he can use an action to try to pin a creature he’s grappled. To do so, Krampus makes another grapple check. If he succeeds, the creature is restrained until the grapple ends. Krampus only needs one hand to grapple a creature of Medium size or smaller.

Charge. If Krampus moves at least 20 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a ram attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 6 (1d12) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone.

Immortality. Eleven months after he is slain, Krampus is reborn anew on the Material Plane.

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

Naughty or Nice. At the start of his turn, Krampus can use a bonus action to peer into nearby souls to see who’s been naughty and who’s been nice. Krampus instantly learns the names, alignments, and identities of any creatures he can see.

Sure-Footed. Krampus has advantage on Strength and Dexterity saving throws made against effects that would knock him prone.

Multiattack. Krampus uses his Frightful Presence and attacks three times: once with his ram, and twice either his ruten switch or his whip.

Ram. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+2) bludgeoning damage.

Ruten Switch. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) slashing damage plus 10 (3d6) psychic damage. On a critical hit, the target makes a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or is stunned until the end of Krampus’ next turn.

Whip. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) slashing damage plus 10 (3d6) fire damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 15 feet toward Krampus. A creature pulled within 5 feet of Krampus makes an opposed Strength (Athletics) check against him, becoming grappled on a failed check.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of Krampus’ choice that is within 120 feet of him and aware of him must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to Krampus’ Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.

Binding Grasp. At the end of a creature’s turn, if it is grappled by Krampus he can use his reaction to make an opposed Strength (Athletics) check to restrain the creature.

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
I was just thinking about how to use Krampus in an adventure - in Space:) This certainly helps
Wonderful! That's precisely why I posted it today instead of the 21st—give you lot some time to plan and lure your adventurers into a Krampus situation. ;)


Nice work as always Mike - thank you for sharing! Since I used a lot of grapple based reactions. May I suggest some version of the following revision:

Binding Grasp. If a creature is grappled by Krampus at end of its turn, it must make a DC 20 Strength saving throw or be restrained. The condition ends when the creature is no longer grappled by Krampus.


Krampus ate my d20s
I like Krampus as a fey, but I can see the fiend aspect as well. Krampus is about punishing wrongdoing. In some stories he brings the children back to his cave to eat, in others, he drags the children to Hell. I would rename the Charge as a Krampuslauf.
Interesting thought, Krampus as fey would possibly have a higher charisma. He is very charming in most Krampuskarten.

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