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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!

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.
 
Last edited:
Mike Myler

Mike Myler

Coroc

Hero
Ah and btw I think in Final Fantasy 7 you would fight against a nova at some point so here is some idea for your next project: What if the PC decide to attack a planet or a star?
 

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NotAYakk

Legend
Its funny, but when it comes to things like a World Turtle I dont think finding ways to kill it are the point - something that vast is a roleplaying challenge for which combat is I think suppose to be pointless.
Then say "the world turtle is immune to damage. The world turtle has no limit on legendary resistances".

When you single out a single classes abilities and say "they don't work", it is just being a dick.

And, I mean, hitting its eye doesn't hurt it more? Itbis a pretty standard trope that attacking a weak spot is the -only- way to hurt a ridiculous sized creature.

Give it 2000 HP if you want it to be tougher. Or 20,000. Or 2 million.
 

dave2008

Legend
Sorry it took so long to get in queue but pleased you like it. :)

I could take a swing at epic 5E—learned a lot both from my first foray into it years ago and since then—but that'd be a whole thing. It'd be tricky and require plenty of testing, but I think it would look something like
  • Some baseline new standards (like targeted hits) which are clear across the board. Try to make the parts of the core rules that really work more interesting to utilize.
  • Pull mechanics from some of the choicer system articles for EN5ider and pool them all in a batch at the front with guidelines for what to mix-and-match so GMs can pick and choose their specific flavor of epic play.
    • Recruiting followers
    • Choice spell components for epic magic (so GMs maintain some control on that resource)
    • Planar disease for sure
    • Vitality instead of more hit points
    • Reputation rules and marks of renown
    • Ability check criticals
    • Alternate track to classes post 20th with the Paradigm prestige class instead (be the best dwarf you can dwarf, or the elfiest elf, etc.) and maybe also Spellshaper for the magic types, and then a super-physical option for the warriors (condensed exemplar?)
    • Cinematic 5e stunts (glad to see that in the archive because I know the concept totally rocks in epic play)
  • Condense archetypes into class-specific master paths for post 20th-level—instead of re-inventing the wheel for epic level rogues, just glue all the various wheels together and slap more on the rogue's axle so it feels like an epic rogue (because yeah she's an assassin, but she's also able to do arcane trickster stuff, and sneaky thief things, because she is a master rogue).
Maybe. I'd feel pretty good taking the wheel on something like that. :whistle:

Edit: 👍 if this sounds intriguing.
Might want to start your on thread on this. It would get more views than being buried in this thread.
 



Mike Myler

Advanced Fifth Edition: https://www.levelup5e.com/
Then say "the world turtle is immune to damage. The world turtle has no limit on legendary resistances".

When you single out a single classes abilities and say "they don't work", it is just being a dick.

And, I mean, hitting its eye doesn't hurt it more? Itbis a pretty standard trope that attacking a weak spot is the -only- way to hurt a ridiculous sized creature.

Give it 2000 HP if you want it to be tougher. Or 20,000. Or 2 million.

How much damage do you take when a gnat flies into your eye? Would you say you lose a hit point? What about when a bacterial cell touches your eye? It doesn't matter if the bacterial cell has sneak attack, it's just not going to be able to affect you in the same way it does other cells. Because it is a cell and you are several magnitudes larger than it.

And I figure the barbarians will be attacking this thing's eye. Also going to throw it out there that players are clever enough—particularly players of rogues—that when their one-trick pony gets hitched up to a post, they will figure out something else. They should have plenty of time to do that even if the encounter is somehow unexpected. :)
 

Tyler Do'Urden

Soap Maker
Sorry it took so long to get in queue but pleased you like it. :)

I could take a swing at epic 5E—learned a lot both from my first foray into it years ago and since then—but that'd be a whole thing. It'd be tricky and require plenty of testing, but I think it would look something like
  • Some baseline new standards (like targeted hits) which are clear across the board. Try to make the parts of the core rules that really work more interesting to utilize.
  • Pull mechanics from some of the choicer system articles for EN5ider and pool them all in a batch at the front with guidelines for what to mix-and-match so GMs can pick and choose their specific flavor of epic play.
    • Recruiting followers
    • Choice spell components for epic magic (so GMs maintain some control on that resource)
    • Planar disease for sure
    • Vitality instead of more hit points
    • Reputation rules and marks of renown
    • Ability check criticals
    • Alternate track to classes post 20th with the Paradigm prestige class instead (be the best dwarf you can dwarf, or the elfiest elf, etc.) and maybe also Spellshaper for the magic types, and then a super-physical option for the warriors (condensed exemplar?)
    • Cinematic 5e stunts (glad to see that in the archive because I know the concept totally rocks in epic play)
  • Condense archetypes into class-specific master paths for post 20th-level—instead of re-inventing the wheel for epic level rogues, just glue all the various wheels together and slap more on the rogue's axle so it feels like an epic rogue (because yeah she's an assassin, but she's also able to do arcane trickster stuff, and sneaky thief things, because she is a master rogue).
Maybe. I'd feel pretty good taking the wheel on something like that. :whistle:

Edit: 👍 if this sounds intriguing.

Intriguing? You're making me drool, man!
 



Coroc

Hero
How much damage do you take when a gnat flies into your eye? Would you say you lose a hit point? What about when a bacterial cell touches your eye? It doesn't matter if the bacterial cell has sneak attack, it's just not going to be able to affect you in the same way it does other cells. Because it is a cell and you are several magnitudes larger than it.

And I figure the barbarians will be attacking this thing's eye. Also going to throw it out there that players are clever enough—particularly players of rogues—that when their one-trick pony gets hitched up to a post, they will figure out something else. They should have plenty of time to do that even if the encounter is somehow unexpected. :)
what if they win somehow? I mean they detroy the "planet" that they are standing on, it desawns and now they are floating in realmspace or so?
 

Mike Myler

Advanced Fifth Edition: https://www.levelup5e.com/
what if they win somehow? I mean they detroy the "planet" that they are standing on, it desawns and now they are floating in realmspace or so?
Perhaps! Maybe they become like the new Atlas and the party has to hold the world up. I'd hope they come up with some kind of plan for what to do with a planet after killing the World Turtle carrying it!
 


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