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5E Epic Monsters: Poukai

Today’s Epic Monster entry is surprisingly, terrifyingly historical, drawn from the mythologies of the Māori—a monstrous bird able to kill creatures as big as 500 pounds. If you said Haast’s eagle you’d be right, but we’re calling it by its ancient name: the poukai!

Poukai dnd 5e banner.jpg


As mentioned above this was an actual animal that really lived, soaring above the skies of pre-settled New Zealand picking up giant, flightless birds for what must have been some really good eating. Unfortunately however once the Māori made it to the sunken continent, between the burning of land and the predation of its food source the poukai went extinct.

Design Notes: You could easily just dumb down a giant eagle to get one of these but I thought this was a ripe opportunity to put together an avian foe in between that and rocs—which is precisely what the statblock for the poukai does, straddling its smaller and bigger cousins in most respects. To keep it alive I gave it Flyby, and considering that it’s unlikely to make many opportunity attacks I tossed in Retributive Strike so it has something to do with those reactions. So all things considered: let’s do the numbers. The DMG rubric boils down the poukai into an 8.166 (5prof+4ac+6hp+16atk+7dam+11dc=49/6) and the Blog of Holding isn’t far away with an 8.5 (3ac+9hp+10atk+9dam+12dc+8save=51/6) so this badass bird clocks in at a comfortable, agreeable CR 8. Anyone so inclined could easily make this a CR 7 monster by lowering its Strength score to a +5 or even +4 bonus (and accordingly dropping attack bonuses, damage rolls, and escape DC).

Poukai
Huge beast, unaligned
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 147 (14d12+40)
Speed 25 ft., fly 100 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
23 (+6)​
19 (+4)​
18 (+4)​
5 (–3)​
12 (+1)​
8 (–1)​
Saving Throws Con +7, Wis +4
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +7
Senses passive Perception 19
Languages
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)

Flyby. The poukai doesn't provoke opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy's reach.

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


ACTIONS
Multiattack. The poukai makes two attacks: one with its beak and one with its talons.

Beak. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8+6) piercing damage.

Talons. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d6+6) slashing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 17). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the eagle can't use its talons on another target.


REACTIONS
Retributive Strike. When a creature hits the poukai with a melee weapon attack, it can use its reaction to make a beak attack as an opportunity attack against that creature.
 
Mike Myler

Comments


Aaron L

Adventurer
Very cool! Before I started reading I was thinking "I wonder how this fits in with the Roc?" and then I read on to see that you purposefully set it as an intermediary between that and the Giant Eagle. Very nice!
(After typing out "Giant Eagle" I just got an image in my head of the birds delivering groceries. For those who weren't aware, Giant Eagle is also the name of a grocery store chain.)

Thank you once again for doing these.
 

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
Very cool! Before I started reading I was thinking "I wonder how this fits in with the Roc?" and then I read on to see that you purposefully set it as an intermediary between that and the Giant Eagle. Very nice!
(After typing out "Giant Eagle" I just got an image in my head of the birds delivering groceries. For those who weren't aware, Giant Eagle is also the name of a grocery store chain.)

Thank you once again for doing these.
Are you also a Giant Eagle Rewards Advantage Card holder? :LOL:
Protip: most of their stores (at least in Pittsburgh) have started doing a discount bakery stand near the dairy aisle with reasonably priced stuff on it, and the stores that do kosher usually don't put milk in their kosher baked goods.
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
Are you also a Giant Eagle Rewards Advantage Card holder? :LOL:
Protip: most of their stores (at least in Pittsburgh) have started doing a discount bakery stand near the dairy aisle with reasonably priced stuff on it, and the stores that do kosher usually don't put milk in their kosher baked goods.
Thanks for the tip! :)
My dinky little town in the middle of PA has been swallowed whole by Walmart so it's pretty much the only place to get groceries around here, but I've been to GE during weekend visits to my friends in Pittsburgh, and I'm also pretty sure we passed at least one last night along our way to the Reel Big Fish show in State College so I had it fresh in my memory. I just don't think I'd ever made the connection between the store and the monster before today. ;)
 

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
Thanks for the tip! :)
My dinky little town in the middle of PA has been swallowed whole by Walmart so it's pretty much the only place to get groceries around here, but I've been to GE during weekend visits to my friends in Pittsburgh, and I'm also pretty sure we passed at least one last night along our way to the Reel Big Fish show in State College so I had it fresh in my memory. I just don't think I'd ever made the connection between the store and the monster before today. ;)
Oy they're strictly a "sales only" or "very specific items" store for us (we stick to Aldi's for 90% of the weekly groceries) but I've been really enjoying just buying like, some cake, without having to worry about whether or not I'm going to maybe die from eating it. :p
 

Aaron L

Adventurer
Oy they're strictly a "sales only" or "very specific items" store for us (we stick to Aldi's for 90% of the weekly groceries) but I've been really enjoying just buying like, some cake, without having to worry about whether or not I'm going to maybe die from eating it. :p
Yes, that is most definitely a plus! :eek: I'm glad you have access to some nonlethal cake!
 


ColonelHardisson

What? Me Worry?
Hi, hey, is there a chance of these being collated into single file and being made available for purchase? This is exactly the kind of thing I look for on the DMs Guild and Drivethrurpg, either in pdf or POD.

Also worth noting: Morrus made a doooooooooooope page with all of these in tables, listed alphabetically with their challenge ratings! --> Mythological Figures
 



Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Hi, hey, is there a chance of these being collated into single file and being made available for purchase? This is exactly the kind of thing I look for on the DMs Guild and Drivethrurpg, either in pdf or POD.
We did have tentative plans for a little Kickstarter for a hardcover, but the bear is getting them all illustrated.
 




Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
Make stats for Monty Pythons Killer Bunny next please !
Can't legally do it. I do have the next best thing (includes hyperlink to a holy hand grenade): .
 

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