DMs Guild Home-Field Advantage: a Compendium of Lair Actions


Do you think Lair Actions are a cool, albeit under-utilized mechanic in D&D 5e? Well, I thought so too, so I did what any sensible person would... I put together a team of small, independant game designers, and we worked for 8 months.

Home-Field Advantage is an extensive compendium of lair actions, featuring 250 new and unique lairs covering over 320 of your favorite creatures from the 5e Monster Manual, Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes, and Volo's Guide to Monsters.

There’s nothing like entering the lair of a boss monster who's been built up as an antagonist for several sessions. Lair actions are the tool D&D 5th Edition provides you, the Dungeon Master, to make sure that this battle lives up to the hype and anticipation.
D&D truly shines when a boss battle is not just a slugfest, but involves the environment and unique obstacles for the player characters to overcome in creative ways. Our goal with Home-Field Advantage is to produce the kind of fun experience your players will still be talking about for years to come.

Run lair actions at every tier of play. Until now, Lair Actions were treated as something only legendary creatures, usually in the 3rd and 4th tier of play, should have. But in practice, adventurers tend to fight bosses in their lair at every tier of play, and most campaigns end before reaching this legendary stage. With over 170 lairs for the first two tiers of play (almost 70% of the book), Home-Field Advantage puts the spotlight on the parts of the game people love and experience the most, making them shine even brighter than before.

Breathe new life into old favorites. There are creatures without whom D&D wouldn't be what it is: mages, hags, genies, mind flayers, vampires, or even the mighty Tarrasque. You've probably used at least a couple of them in every single one of your campaigns, and you know their stat blocks like the back of your hand. With Home-Field Advantage, you'll find an excuse to bring back some of those fond memories, and make them fresh (and deadly) all over again.

With Mordenkainen's Monsters of the Multiverse just around the corner, you can both update the monsters' stat blocks, and then give them lair action, which should really breathe some new life into this 8 years old game of ours.

I tried to give the team a good amount of creative leeway, so they got to explore this design space pretty thoroughly! Here's a couple examples of interesting concepts from this book:
  • We gave Hags new lair actions on top of the ones they got in Volo's Guide to Monsters (which not a lot of people know about!), but then, we also created a "hag coven" lair, with an additional set of lair actions that they can only access when all three members of the coven are together
  • We've split CR 0 commoners into two lairs: one for a mob of angry townsfolk, whose lair actions get stronger the more people are in the mob, and one for a shopkeeper, who has to protect their wares from pesky adventurers and their schenanigans.
  • Wizards like to customize their towers, right? Well, what we did is we gave them a pool of 10 lair actions, and then each mage must pick a number of lair actions equal to half its challenge rating, and those are the only ones they'll have access to during combat. This way, no two mage towers will ever be the same!
  • To represent how chaotic they are, some of the monsters such as the Ettin or the Mouth of Grolantor have to roll 1d4 to randomly select which lair action they use. And on the other end of the spectrum, some constructs such as the Oaken Bolter have to use their lair actions in a pre-determined order and cannot stray away from their rigid programming

What people say about Home-Field Advantage:​

"Home-Field Advantage deserves a coveted place up next to Monster Manual Expanded as a good-looking, well-designed, and incredibly useful monster supplement, and a must-have for every Dungeon Master." -Eric Watson

Watch the full review here:

A preview of what can be found in the book: the deathlocks have 4 lair actions. The first one deals damage to undead creatures and grants temporary hit points to non-undead creatures in an area. The second one creates a wall, and any creature going through the wall summons a shadow which tries to kill it. The third curses creatures to prevent them from regaining hit points. The last one makes the deathlock regain an expended spell slot.
The ettin has four lair actions, and must roll a d4 to randomly select which lair action it takes. On a 1, it hits itself as its two heads bicker with one another. On a 2, the foul stench of the lair poisons intruders. On a 3, the ettin's voices reverberates through the lair, deafening and frightening intruders. On a 4, the two heads agree for a change, and the ettin gets to move and attack once as a lair action.

The Remorhaz has 3 lair actions. The first one creates a column on steam which bursts from the ground, deals fire damage, and pushes intruders around. The second creates a pit which is difficult to climb out of. The third one creates a cloud of smoke which obscures the Remorhaz.
The hydra has 3 lair actions. The first one creates areas of quicksand throughout the lair. The second one makes swarms of carnivorous fish appear within the water of the lair.  The third one coats the hydra in mucky water to give it resistance to fire damage.

You can get Home-Field Advantage, on DMsGuild exclusively, for only $20, right here:
Home-Field Advantage - A Compendium of Lair Actions - Dungeon Masters Guild | Dungeon Masters Guild

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