5E Legendary Monsters

Xeviat

Explorer
Anyone run into any resources for Legendary versions of classic monsters (Hydra, Chimera, Medusa ...) or a "legendary template" to help DMs make them? I was writing an adventure and was quite surprised when I found that the hydra isn't stated as a legendary monster (shows how close I read the MM the first time).
 

Aebir-Toril

When life gives you Lenin, make Leninade!
Simple:

Add legendary actions and legendary resistance to the monster, increase its CR by 1-2, and give it a few cool legendary action options. I've done this before, and it works like a Charm Person. It's a simple way to inflate the abilities of a monster without having to do much in the way of re-designing it.
 

dave2008

Hero
[MENTION=6923088]Aebir-Toril[/MENTION] pretty much has it. There are two main things that make a legendary monster (though not all of them follow this path explicitly):

1) Legendary resistance: succeed on a certain number of saves. I sometimes make it unlimited saves, but cast a reaction

2) Legendary Actions: usually 3, but that is not a requirement. This are essentially beefed up reactions. I suggest a move type action (half speed, or teleport, or wings) and one or two attack options.

Both legendary resistance and legendary actions potentially increase CR. The CR increase for legendary resistance is in the DMG. For legendary actions, just figure out how it affects the DPR and the rest is in the DMG. That beings said, the 1-2 CR seems correct (assuming you didn't change anything else).
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
I suggest adding one "flashy" legendary action that isn't something the monster could normally do with its actions. The Solar in the MM has some good examples. Give it a couple of actions cost, and even if it is tactically a worse option then making 2 basic attacks, it will be memorable (and you will probably only use it once). For a hydra, I would do something like:

Animate Servered Heads (2 actions): all the severed heads of the hydra can make an opportunity attack against any creature that leaves their reach before the start of of the hydra's next turn.

Depending on the party, you might get everyone, or just 1 PC, but even if if you only get 1, the "what the heck" response from the players is totally worth it....:devil:
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
I also recommend ensuring the monster has a ranged ability or some high movement ability, else it can be too easy to corral sometimes
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
I'd normally recommend doubling or even tripling the creature's HP. Most parties are capable of going nova and dishing a lot of damage before a creature can even get a turn in. But the hydra is a tricky one because of how it can die from decapitation.

I think I'd double the hydra's HP, and also double the amount of hit points that regenerates when heads grow back (from 10 to 20).

Legendary Actions:

Bite: The hydra makes a bite attack.

Sinuous Movement: The hydra moves up to half its speed without provoking opportunity attacks. It can move through the space of any creature Large sized or smaller, but can't stop there.

Spontaneous Growth (costs 3 actions): The hydra grows two new heads, heals 40 hit points, and makes two bite attacks.
 

Shiroiken

Adventurer
I'd also suggest looking into "(not so) Legendary Actions" on the DMGuild. It's a method to add lesser versions of legendary actions to make mini-boss monsters or to boost monsters like the hydra you feel should be legendary.
 

Xeviat

Explorer
I'd also suggest looking into "(not so) Legendary Actions" on the DMGuild. It's a method to add lesser versions of legendary actions to make mini-boss monsters or to boost monsters like the hydra you feel should be legendary.

Awesome, I'll go check it out!
 

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