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D&D 5E Epic Monsters: Thoth

Though he’s got a bird head this entry in Epic Monsters is decidedly more bookish than he is monstrous: the ancient Egyptian god Thoth!

Thoth DnD 5e BANNER.jpg


Also known as ḏḥwty, Jehuti, Jehuty, Tahuti, Techu, Tehuti, Tetu, and Zehuti, sometimes with honorary titles (A’an, Asten, Hab, Khenti, Mehi, Lord of Khemennu, Sheps, and Thrice Great), Thoth was one of the more important deities in the ancient Egyptian pantheon. He is frequently depicted as having a human body with the head of an ibis, wearing a crescent moon headdress if in his Ankher or Shu forms—and also sometimes as a baboon with a dog’s face or (when in his A’an or Aani form) a human with a baboon head representing equilibrium, and typically with an ankh in hand (symbolizing life). It’s no surprise then that ibis and baboon are sacred to Thoth!

Thoth handled a lot of stuff—his domains include art, astrology, astronomy, the dead, hieroglyphs, judgment, law, magic, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, science, wisdom, and writing. He had a female equivalent as well (Seshat) and was married to Ma’at (or depending on where you’re at, maybe Nehmetawy, or possibly Seshat the former goddess of wisdom that’s sometimes referred to as his daughter which is a weird crossing of histories that is totally not creepy at all). Thoth and Ma’at each stood on one side of Ra’s solar barque for the night time trips on Mesektet (not daytime voyages on Mandjet aka the Boat of Millions of Years), and he led the “Ogdoad”, an Egyptian pantheon of 8 gods, in between the business of maintaining the universe. As the scribe of the pantheon (beloved by mortal scribes), Thoth invented the 365 day calendar, hieroglyphs, writing, and calculated the creation of Earth, the heavens, stars, and everything that comes with those.

His beginnings were a touch humbler however. Thoth started as a god of the moon but its importance for society (signifying events, rituals, and so on) gradually saw him elevated to a deity with much more in his purvey. When the goddess Nut was found to be sterile for the 360 day long year, Thoth gambled with the moon and won 1/72nd of its light—5 days that allowed the wanting goddess to bear Isis, Nephthys, Osiris, and Set with Geb. He also helped Isis restore Osiris leading to the birth of Horus. Whenever Anubis weighs out the heart of a newly arrived dead in Duat (the underworld) using the scales of Ma’at, it was Thoth’s job to record the result. A heart that weighed as light as a feather sent the dead on to the afterlife, but otherwise they would be consumed by the crocodile-hippopotamus-lion chimera Ammit.

The main shrine to Thoth was in Hermopolis until it was destroyed in 1826 but in January 2020 archaeologist Mostafa Waziri and his team unearthed a score of sarcophagi in Tuna el-Gebel in Minya containing officials and high clergy of Thoth. The greeks largely merged Thoth with Hermes and later scholars theorized that he may have been just a man (specifically Moses because of their authorship and creation of laws)

Design Notes: With this entry we’re once again well past the standard measure for monster challenge ratings—only fitting for someone that’s nearly the peer of Odin. To represent that we’ve hooked Thoth up with a powerful ankh of life to maximize his spellcasting, and we’ve given him slightly less but more versatile spellcasting than old one-eye’s got. Plus of course Reject the Dead which is unlikely to come up often, but seems important for the arbiter of the afterlife. And some tool love. Although Thoth is slightly better at magic, given his lower AC and hit point total we’re docking him a bit and settling on CR 33 (if it came to blows Odin or Satan would win in a fight, but it’d be a pretty tough battle for either).

Thoth

Medium celestial, lawful neutral
Armor Class 21 (natural armor)
Hit Points 315 (30d8+180)
Speed 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
21 (+5)​
21 (+5)​
22 (+6)​
30 (+10)​
30 (+10)​
25 (+7)​
Saving Throws Str +15, Con +16, Int +20, Wis +20
Skills Medicine +30, Perception +20
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from magical weapons
Damage Immunities bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, stunned
Senses darkvision 300 ft., passive Perception 30
Languages all
Challenge 33 (215,000 XP)

Ankh of Life. While Thoth is holding his ankh, he regains 20 hit points at the start of his turn if he has at least 1 hit point, and when he would normally roll one or more dice to restore hit points with a spell Thoth instead uses the highest number possible for each die.
In addition, he is able to concentrate on up to 2 spells at the same time by storing one in the ankh. If Thoth fails a concentration check while concentrating on more than one spell, he loses both spells. In addition, while he is using one or more concentration spells Thoth gains one extra bonus action each turn that can only be used to manipulate those spells.

Divine Intellect. Thoth always knows how long it will be before the next sunset or sunrise, the northerly direction, and can perfectly remember anything he’s experienced within the last 10 years. In addition, Thoth gains double his proficiency bonus (+10, +20 total) to and has advantage on Intelligence checks.

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

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

Magic Weapons. Thoth's weapon attacks are magical.

Mastery of Tools. Thoth gains double his proficiency bonus (+10, total +20) when he makes an ability check that uses a tool kit.

Reject the Dead (5/Day). Thoth can use a bonus action to deem any number of undead he can see to be unworthy. Each undead he chooses must make a DC 28 Wisdom saving throw. If the creature fails its saving throw, it is turned for 1 minute or until it takes any damage. An undead that fails its saving throw is instantly destroyed if its challenge rating is 8 or below. A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from Thoth as it can, and it can’t willingly move to a space within 30 feet of him. It also can’t take reactions. For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving. If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can use the Dodge action.

Sorcery Points (30/Long Rest). As a bonus action on his turn, Thoth can expend one spell slot and either gain a number of sorcery points equal to the slot’s level, or he can create a spell slot by expending sorcery points (1st-level—2 points, 2nd-level—3 points, 3rd-level—5 points, 4th-level—6 points, 5th-level—7 points, 6th-level—9 points, 7th-level—11 points, 8th-level—13 points, 9th-level—16 points).
  • Careful Spell (1 Point). When Thoth casts a spell that forces other creatures to make a saving throw, he can choose up to 9 creatures. A chosen creature automatically succeeds on its saving throw against the spell.
  • Distant Spell (1 Point). When Thoth casts a spell that has a range of 5 feet or greater, he can double the range of the spell. When he casts a spell that has a range of touch, he can make the range of the spell 30 feet.
  • Empowered Spell (1 Point). When Thoth rolls damage for a spell, he can reroll up to 9 damage dice. He must use the new rolls. Thoth can use Empowered Spell even if he has already used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.
  • Extended Spell (1 Point). When Thoth casts a spell that has a duration of 1 minute or longer, he can double its duration, to a maximum duration of 24 hours.
  • Heightened Spell (3 Points). When Thoth casts a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resist its effects, he can give one target of the spell disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell.
  • Quickened Spell (2 Points). When Thoth casts a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, he can change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting.
  • Subtle Spell (1 Point). When Thoth casts a spell, he can cast it without any somatic or verbal components.
  • Twinned Spell (Varies). When Thoth casts a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, he can spend a number of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 sorcery point if the spell is a cantrip). To be eligible for Twinned Spell, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level.
Spellcasting. Thoth is a 30th level spellcaster that uses Intelligence as his spellcasting ability (spell save DC 28; +20 to hit with spell attacks). Thoth knows all spells:
Cantrips: all cantrips​
1st-level (4 slots)​
2nd-level (4 slots)​
3rd-level (4 slots)​
4th-level (4 slots)​
5th-level (4 slots)​
6th-level (3 slots)​
7th-level (3 slots)​
8th-level (3 slots)​
9th-level (2 slots)​

War Magic. Thoth has advantage when he is concentrating on a spell and has to make a Constitution saving throw from taking damage, he can wield weapons or a shield in both hands and still make somatic components for spellcasting, and can use his reaction to cast a spell (maximum casting time: 1 action) at a creature that provokes an opportunity attack from him.


ACTIONS
Multiattack. Thoth casts a spell and attacks twice.

Divine Touch. Melee Weapon Attack: +15 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 44 (6d12+5) radiant damage plus 21 (6d6) psychic damage.


LEGENDARY ACTIONS
Thoth 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. Thoth regains spent legendary actions at the start of his turn.

Divine Power. Thoth casts a spell of 3rd-level or lower.

Extra Rejection. Thoth uses Reject the Dead. This does not count against his daily uses per day.

Impossible Power (Costs 2 Actions). Thoth casts a spell of 5th-level or lower.

Judgment (Costs 2 Actions). Thoth redistributes up to 100 hit points among creatures he can see. This cannot reduce a creature below 1 hit point or increase a creature's hit point total beyond its maximum. A creature can make a DC 28 Charisma saving throw to resist this effect.
 
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Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Quartz

Hero
I just love your creations.

Reject the Dead seems a little wimpy, even given the origin. How about having the undead - regardless of CR - roll a second die if the first save fails and if that too fails then it is destroyed? Also, as is, I think it would be cleaner if the CR for those destroyed were 10 - the same as Thoth’s Proficiency Bonus.
 


Aaron L

Hero
Cool stuff!

On a tangentially related note, I was just recently re-reading the old 2E Spelljammer splatbook The Complete Starfarer's Handbook so this made me think of one of Thoth's fellow Ancient Egyptian gods, Ptah, and how he had a huge multi-Crystal Sphere following across Wildspace because His priests were able to receive their magic anywhere, regardless of what Sphere they were in, unlike the priests of every other Power, whose magic was restricted to Spheres in which the worship of the Power was already well-established.

Also, I do believe that Thoth is said to be one of the 1,000 Masks of Nyarlathotep, so this entry also doubles as an alternate form of Ol' Gnarly himself!
 

imagineGod

Legend
I do not usually comment on these mythic beings, but I must pay obeisance to Thoth, the ancient Egyptian god of knowledge, and with that I learned about the ibis bird, with its distinctive long thin beak.
 



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