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D&D 5E Epic Monsters: World Turtle

This entry in Epic Monsters is the biggest of the big. It’s huge. It can’t be stressed enough how colossal it is. Absolutely massive! The biggest thing that will ever appear in the column—the Earth-carrying World Turtle!

This entry in Epic Monsters is the biggest of the big. It’s huge. It can’t be stressed enough how colossal it is. Absolutely massive! The biggest thing that will ever appear in the column—the Earth-carrying World Turtle!

world turtle DnD 5e BANNER FINAL.jpg


You may know this mind-bendingly enormous aquatic reptile as the Cosmic Turtle, World-Bearing Turtle, Akupāra, Chukwa, Ao, Great Turtle, World Tortoise, or very likely Great A'Tuin (this is after all a British website wut wut). Depending on which particular myth is being considered the World Turtle is either holding up elephants that are holding up the world (collectively known as Mahapadma in this Hindu rendition), amputated by the creator goddess Nüwa to hold up the sky after the Chinese water god Gonggong destabilizes Mount Buzhou and threatens the heavens, or that it’s just going it alone holding up the Earth all by itself and occasionally causing eclipses with its shell (the particulars around that story vary between North American tribes).

Design Notes: This is a tricky request to fill because by the basic standards of the myth there’s just no plausible way for adventurers to meaningfully interact with this creature. It’s of a scale that my tiny little insufficient brain just cannot truly comprehend. What follows is the closest thing I can manage with some suggestions (some of which were submitted by folks on the EN5ider discord! Way to go you guys!): the gods have gotten together and shrunk the World Turtle to only being a few hundred feet across, the players have been increased to be thousands of feet tall themselves (and now their scale matches the World Turtle who is thousands of feet across—thus not requiring any alterations to statistics), or perhaps this is a hatching World Turtle just barely out of its cosmic shell. Of course it could just be a big badass demigod sea turtle that lives in the oceans of your world! Whatever works.

Design-wise the World Turtle needs efficient action economy but giving it additional actions (be they legendary or lair actions) would give it the wrong feeling at the table. It needs to feel more omniscient so instead it’s got extra concentrating to do and extra opportunities to pop off the effects for some of those concentrating spells. Otherwise it can soak up damage like a champ, when it bothers to attack the adventurers are going to crap themselves even if it misses, and—probably my favorite part—it can just constantly surround itself with a rolling sea to swim across. So at the very least it’s going to feel like a proper World Turtle.

With all that out of the way let’s look at the numbers! The DMG comes in low on this one at 28.66 and much to my surprise the Blog of Holding only swung in at 32.83 (given its attack bonuses and hit points I was sure it was destined to go way higher). Together the average is more than a quarter under 31 so it’s going to land at 30.


World Turtle
Gargantuan celestial, neutral good
Armor Class 20 (natural armor)
Hit Points 570 (20d20+360)
Speed 20 ft., swim 100 ft.

STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
37 (+13)​
5 (–3)​
46 (+18)​
25 (+7)​
26 (+8)​
20 (+5)​

Saving Throws Int +16, Wis +17, Cha +14
Skills Arcana +16, Athletics +22, Insight +26, History +25, Nature +25, Perception +17
Damage Resistances cold, fire, radiant, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing
Damage Immunities poison, psychic; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, stunned
Senses darkvision 600 ft., truesight 300 ft., passive Perception 27
Languages all (tongues), telepathy 600 ft.
Challenge 30 (155,000 XP)

Colossal. The World Turtle is immune to critical hits and sneak attack damage.

Damage Threshold. When the World Turtle takes damage from an attack, spell, or other effect, it ignores the first 15 points of damage (calculated after resistances; minimum 0).

Divine Acuity. Once on its turn each round, the World Turtle can change the casting time of a spell it is casting from 1 action to 1 bonus action.

Environmental Control. Once per minute, the World Turtle can reduce the casting time of mirage arcana from 10 minutes to an action.

Epic Concentration. The World Turtle is able to concentrate on up to 2 spells at the same time. If it fails a concentration check while concentrating on more than one spell, it loses both spells. In addition, while it is using one or more concentration spells the World Turtle gains one extra bonus action each turn that can only be used to manipulate those spells.

Hard Shell. Attacks targeting the World Turtle’s shell are made with disadvantage.

Hold Breath. The World Turtle can hold its breath for 10 days.

Innate Spellcasting. The World Turtle's innate spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 25, +17 to hit with spell attacks). The World Turtle can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
Constant: speak with animals, speak with plants, tongues
At will: call lightning, commune with nature, confusion, control water, detect magic, detect thoughts, druidcraft, mage hand, major image, mirage arcane (water only), move earth
5/day each: awaken, conjure fey, dispel magic, find the path, heal, moonbeam (as a 6th-level spell; 6d10), reincarnate, sunbeam
3/day each: antipathy/sympathy, control weather, geas, plane shift, regenerate
1/day each: foresight, sunburst

Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the World Turtle fails a saving throw, it can choose to succeed instead.

Magic Resistance. The World Turtle has advantage on saving throws made against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons. The World Turtle’s weapon attacks are magical.

Natural Wonder. The World Turtle always knows how long until the next sunset or sunrise and the northerly direction, and it can perfectly remember anything it has experienced within the last decade.

Ponderous. The World Turtle does not receive reactions and it is slow to physically act. Whenever the World Turtle takes the Attack action to make a melee weapon attack, its attack does not strike until the end of its next turn. If the target of its attack has moved out of the area the World Turtle misses the target but may hit other creatures or objects still in the area.

Regeneration. The World Turtle regains 20 hit points at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hit point.


ACTIONS
Colossal Flipper. Melee Weapon Attack: +22 to hit, reach 90 ft., multiple targets (90-foot cone centered on one target; roll separately for each creature and object in the area). Hit: 78 (10d12+13) bludgeoning damage and the target makes a DC 30 Strength saving throw or is knocked prone.
 

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Mike Myler

Mike Myler


NotAYakk

Legend
Colossal. The World Turtle is immune to critical hits and sneak attack damage.

Ok, Rogues, you should just go over there and not play today. Sure, you are level 20, but your attacks deal 0 damage. You can go get the cheetoz and mountain dew for the rest of us.

Ponderous. The World Turtle does not receive reactions and it is slow to physically act. Whenever the World Turtle takes the Attack action to make a melee weapon attack, its attack does not strike until the end of its next turn. If the target of its attack has moved out of the area the World Turtle misses the target but may hit other creatures or objects still in the area.

90' cone with this means its damage output with attacks is basically 0? I mean, it is at most 30 odd feet from any point in the cone to the edge, so moving out of the way isn't going to be hard usually.

I guess it can do some damage with a concentrated upon sunbeam, plus a divine acuity sunbeam, each round? (for 4 rounds, then is reduced to a call lighting each round).

Then again, I guess nothing says the players are told where the attack is centered. So they get to move around and avoid some of the smashes, which would be a neat mechanic assuming players don't figure it out and build counter-tactics (which would be nearly 100% reliable; everyone groups together, and moves every turn out of the zone of any possible cone at the old location).
Str 37 (+13) 46 (+18)
In 5e, there are no stats above 30. They explicitly don't exist.
 


Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
Ok, Rogues, you should just go over there and not play today. Sure, you are level 20, but your attacks deal 0 damage. You can go get the cheetoz and mountain dew for the rest of us.
Yes. The ability to precisely attack weak points is functionally useless on a creature the size of a planet. The rogue will need to have something else to do. Woe be to those adventuring rogues that get the World Turtle as a random encounter and have no chance to plan!

In 5e, there are no stats above 30. They explicitly don't exist.
That's true! There's a general rule limiting ability scores to a range of 1–30. So no stats below 1 or above 30. There are a lot of creatures that reduce ability scores to 0 with their attacks though because one of the other core tenets of the 5E ruleset is that there can be specific rules that bypass or ignore general rules. :)
 

dave2008

Legend
In 5e, there are no stats above 30. They explicitly don't exist.
I don't think that is true. The have never provided stats above 30, but I don't think they have said explicitly they don't exist. That would imply a creature the size of planet cannot be any stronger than a 75-foot long dragon. However, I could be wrong, please send the book and page number if you have it.

EDIT: I see Crawford specifically stated in a tweet that 30 was a hard limit. Luckily that has no effect at my table! Of course it doesn't agree with the RAW of some magic items either.
 
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NotAYakk

Legend
I don't think that is true. The have never provided stats above 30, but I don't think they have said explicitly they don't exist. That would imply a creature the size of planet cannot be any stronger than a 75-foot long dragon. However, I could be wrong, please send the book and page number if you have it.
The Ability Scores and Modifiers table notes the ability modifiers for the range of possible Ability Scores, from 1 to 30.
Things that aren't possible are impossible. ;)
 

Mike Myler

Have you been to LevelUp5E.com yet?
I don't think that is true. The have never provided stats above 30, but I don't think they have said explicitly they don't exist. That would imply a creature the size of planet cannot be any stronger than a 75-foot long dragon. However, I could be wrong, please send the book and page number if you have it.
There's a stack exchange thread about it

To be fair, though, neither do world turtles.
giphy.gif
 


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