Epic Monsters: Nyarlathotep (5E)

Today’s Epic Monster for Mythological Figures is the “Mighty Messenger” of the Great Old Ones, an endless font of maleficent darkness known to humanity as Nyarlathotep!




Near as I can tell this is Lovecraft’s vampiric Great Old One. That’s an oversimplification for the “God of Thousand Forms” (29 of which can be found here) but gets the important bits across the plate: he’s a deceptive manipulator that likes to build (or subtly control existing) cults, can’t stand sunlight, and takes some enjoyment out of inflicting insanity upon others.

Design Notes: Unlike the other Great Old Ones there’s no Pathfinder Roleplaying Game statblock for this fellow so I’ve tricked out a standard vampire with some important changes—including Legendary Actions because unlike his peers he’s actually moving his true body around from place to place as well as Lair Actions (which he can only use in his lair inside the core of the planet).

Nyarlathotep
Medium aberration (shapechanger), neutral evil

Armor Class
21 (natural armor)
Hit Points 340 (40d8+160)
Speed 30 ft., fly 90 ft. (hover)

STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
19 (+4)​
18 (+4)​
19 (+4)​
22 (+6)​
21 (+5)​
20 (+5)​

Saving Throws
Int +14, Wis +13, Cha +13
Skills Deception +13, Insight +13, Perception +13, Persuasion +13, Stealth +12
Damage Resistances cold, fire, force, necrotic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magical or adamantine weapons
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons not made from adamantine
Condition Immunities charmed, diseased, frightened, paralyzed, petrified
Senses darkvision 200 ft., truesight, passive Perception 23
Languages Common, Deep Speech, telepathy 200 ft. (tongues)
Challenge 25 (75,000 XP)

Brilliant. Nyarlathotep has advantage on and gains his proficiency bonus (+8) to all Intelligence ability checks.

Deathly Touch. All of Nyarlathotep’s weapon attacks are magical and deal an extra 21 (6d6) necrotic damage (included in the attack). A creature’s hit point maximum is reduced by an amount equal to the necrotic damage taken, and Nyarlathotep regains hit points equal to that amount. The reduction lasts until the creature finishes a long rest. The creature dies if this effect reduces its hit point maximum to 0.

Immortality. When Nyarlathotep is slain his potent spirit retreats to the planet’s core, slowly regenerating his corporeal form. During this time he is reforming. While reforming, Nyarlathotep cannot move, is unable to take any actions but lair actions, and regains 1 hit point at the end of each day. When Nyarlathotep has his full hit points he is no longer reforming. Killing Nyarlathotep while he is reforming destroys him permanently.

Innate Spellcasting. Nyarlathotep’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 22; spell attack +14). He can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:
Constant: freedom of movement, tongues, true seeing
At will: astral projection, charm monster, counterspell, dimension door, dispel magic, dream, mirage arcane, sending, suggestion, teleport
5/day: dominate monster, symbol
3/day: feeblemind, project image, mass suggestion, weird

Insanity. Any creature that attempts to interact directly with Nyarlathotep’s thoughts (such as via detect thoughts or telepathy) must succeed at DC 22 Intelligence saving throw or gain an indefinite madness. When using its telepathy to communicate Nyarlathotep doesn't activate this feature unless he spends an action to focus his mind on one opponent.

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If Nyarlathotep fails a saving throw, he can choose to succeed instead.

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

Regeneration. Nyarlathotep regains 20 hit points at the start of his turn if he has at least 1 hit point and isn’t in sunlight.

Shapechange. Nyarlathotep magically polymorphs into a humanoid or beast that has a challenge rating no higher than his own, or back into this form. Nyarlathotep only reverts to this form if he dies. Any equipment he is wearing or carrying is absorbed or borne by the new form (Nyarlathotep’s choice). In a new form, he retains his alignment, hit points, Hit Dice, ability to speak, proficiencies, Legendary Resistance, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores, as well as this action. Nyarlathotep’s statistics and capabilities are otherwise replaced by those of the new form except any class features of that form.

Sunlight Hypersensitivity. Nyarlathotep takes 20 radiant damage when he starts his turn in sunlight. While in sunlight, he has disadvantage on attack rolls and ability checks.

ACTIONS

Multiattack. Nyarlathotep uses his Frightful Presence, makes two weapon attacks, and casts a spell.

Ebony Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 20/60 ft., one creature. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) magical piercing damage plus 21 (6d6) necrotic damage.

Evil Quarterstaff. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 7 (1d6+4) magical bludgeoning damage plus 21 (6d6) necrotic damage or 8 (1d8+4) magical bludgeoning damage plus 21 (6d6) necrotic damage if wielded with two hands.

Unarmed Strike. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (1d8+4) magical bludgeoning damage plus 21 (6d6) necrotic damage.

Frightful Presence. Each creature of Nyarlathotep’s choice that is within 120 feet of him and aware of him must succeed on a DC 21 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 Nyarlathotep’s Frightful Presence for the next minute.

LEGENDARY ACTIONS

Nyarlathotep can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. Nyarlathotep regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

  • Extra Attack (costs 2 actions). Nyarlathotep makes one weapon attack.
  • Move. Nyarlathotep moves up to his speed without provoking opportunity attacks.
  • Solidify Fear. Nyarlathotep chooses a frightened creature he can see within 50 feet, taking the fear in its mind and making it a physical reality inside of its skull. The creature makes a DC 21 Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature takes 28 (8d6) force damage and 28 (8d6) psychic damage, and it gains the stunned condition until the start of Nyarlathotep’s next turn. On a successful save the creature is not stunned and takes no force damage.

LAIR ACTIONS

On initiative count 20 (losing all initiative ties), Nyarlathotep can use one of his lair action options. He can only do so while inside of his lair in the planet’s core. If surprised, Nyarlathotep can’t use one until after his first turn in the combat.

  • Disruptive energies roil around Nyarlathotep’s lair. Until the start of the next round, any healing spells or effects (such as cure wounds or a paladin’s Lay on Hands) only restore half as many hit points as normal.
  • Evil essence infused into Nyarlathotep’s lair spikes upward and manifests into psychic shards. Until the end of the next round, the area is difficult terrain. A creature can choose to ignore the difficult terrain, but doing so causes it to have disadvantage on Wisdom and Charisma saving throws until the start of its next turn.
  • Pure malevolence pours out from the walls, ceiling, and floor, corrupting the souls it touches upon. Creatures make a DC 21 Charisma saving throw. On a failed save, a creature takes 45 (10d8) necrotic damage.
 
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Mike Myler

Comments

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
A bit off topic but I have some ideas for characters to do in Mythological Figures.
Hercules
Sinbad the Sailor
Dorian Gray
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Peter Pan
Maui
Vlad Tepes
King Solomon
Richard the Lionheart
Triton
David (As in David and Goliath)
Boudicca
Genghis Khan
Queen Tamar
Beowulf
John Dee
Montezuma II
Hernan Cortez
Robin Hood
John Henry
Paul Bunyan
Romulus
George Washington
Nymue, Lady of the Lake
I do, I do. Technically this is a subset of that series? I'm not really sure. I just make the food, I'm not dishing it out. :p

THAT SAID I've added most of these to the queue (about half were already on there), although it's worth noting that I'm supposed to generally avoid historical and literary characters (it is Mythological Figures after all)
 

SuperSam888

Villager
Understood. I will also note that certain historical figures have legends attributed to them and some are debatable as to whether they even existed.
 

Caliburn101

Explorer
Just because HPL was OK with REH using his character's works doesn't make it canon. Also, there is debate if that is ny's power or if he is channeling Az's power (kinda like a cleric). C Mythos is squirrelly really because so many have contributed and really messed in up in my opinion. I personally only take the works of HPL as "canon" in the mythos. But I have no issues with non-canon work. All that to say there is no one-tru way to view Ny and I think Mike's version is within the realm of possibility for one of its forms.
The two wrote at the same time and had plenty of correspondence. What Howard wrote was as canon as it gets outside of a Lovecraft penned story - and shouldn't be confused with the greatly lesser significance of other writers of Mythos pastiche. The Mythos was a significant part of Howards work and Lovecraft was good with it as Howard wrote it - insofar as the only documented disagreement between them was that Howard wanted to write stories where human intervention and action was meaningful in some temporary way, whereas for Lovecraft it was doomed and pointless beyond the short term and doomed the people involved.

The debate on power source is actually not relevant to the statblock - N-mans powers work reliably wherever they come from - doesn't make him less powerful.

Of course most of the statblock here is fine - for one of N-man's lesser forms and can be 'killed' as such, but N-man cannot as an entity be killed by mortals - there is no established canon or non-canon for that and it is misplaced in the statblock that he can be.
 

dave2008

Legend
The two wrote at the same time and had plenty of correspondence. What Howard wrote was as canon as it gets outside of a Lovecraft penned story - and shouldn't be confused with the greatly lesser significance of other writers of Mythos pastiche. The Mythos was a significant part of Howards work and Lovecraft was good with it as Howard wrote it - insofar as the only documented disagreement between them was that Howard wanted to write stories where human intervention and action was meaningful in some temporary way, whereas for Lovecraft it was doomed and pointless beyond the short term and doomed the people involved.
With regard to "canon" I would have to get my partner get involved as she has a master in English (and teaches it) and I do not. However, rarely are works from other author's considered canon. REH is a good example as lot of authors wrote in his hyborean age, used his characters, and even revised his stories (while he was still alive). None of that work is considered canon. Only his work is.

The debate on power source is actually not relevant to the statblock - N-mans powers work reliably wherever they come from - doesn't make him less powerful.
I agreed, I was talking about his place in the Mythos.

Of course most of the statblock here is fine - for one of N-man's lesser forms and can be 'killed' as such, but N-man cannot as an entity be killed by mortals - there is no established canon or non-canon for that and it is misplaced in the statblock that he can be.
But it works for D&D were everything can be killed. ;) Here are is 1e D&D stats (roughly 1/2 as powerful as Cthulhu and Azathoth,which are erroneously on the same level, and about on Demogorgon's level). So there is at least D&D precedent for a weaker version of him.

View attachment 101272
 
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Caliburn101

Explorer
With regard to "canon" I would have to get my partner get involved as she has a master in English (and teaches it) and I do not. However, rarely are works from other author's considered canon. REH is a good example as lot of authors wrote in his hyborean age, used his characters, and even revised his stories (while he was still alive). None of that work is considered canon. Only his work is.



I agreed, I was talking about his place in the Mythos.



But it works for D&D were everything can be killed. ;) Here are is 1e D&D stats (roughly 1/2 as powerful as Cthulhu and Azathoth,which are erroneously on the same level, and about on Demogorgon's level). So there is at least D&D precedent for a weaker version of him.

View attachment 101272
The extent of the meaning of the word would be useful to nail down actually.

As I understand it, as Howard and Lovecraft actively cooperated and used each other's material collaboratively even to a limited extent, that makes Howards Mythos creations canon.
 

dave2008

Legend
The extent of the meaning of the word would be useful to nail down actually.

As I understand it, as Howard and Lovecraft actively cooperated and used each other's material collaboratively even to a limited extent, that makes Howards Mythos creations canon.
It would be helpful if we wanted to have a debate on what is canon. I do not.

I already stated what I consider canon and that I am willing to except things that I consider non-canon. To me, there is no "one true way" to describe the monsters of the C. Mythos.
 

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