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5E Mythological Figures: Enkidu

This entry in Mythological Figures is going way, way back, providing a build for Gilgamesh’s best buddy. If you’ve ever heard the myth then you know I mean the beast-man made from clay, that fellow who can’t be kept down: Enkidu!

Enkidu DnD 5e banner.jpg


Gilgamesh is a supreme king but also extremely harsh, going about taking every woman he sees until eventually the folk of Uruk pray for a solution—the goddess Aruru answers their plea, taking water and clay to form a rival known as Enkidu. This beast man lives in the wilderness among the animals until a hunter spots him freeing them from traps, and when consulted King Gilgamesh sends a temple prostitute (Shamhat) to tame him. She spends 6 days and 7 nights doing so but afterward her scent is so heavily upon him that beasts flee from him, forcing Enkidu to abandon the wild so she teaches him the ways of man. Now civilized he travels to confront Gilgamesh, but after losing at the end of an epic wrestling match the two become best friends. Together they kill the guardian monster of the Cedar Forest (a monstrous giant called Humbaba) and Bull of Heaven (Gugalanna), but the latter’s demise is a great offense to the goddess Ishtar so she afflicts Enkidu with a disease for which there is no cure other than death.

Design Notes: Initially Enkidu was going to be a half-orc but after some digging around for artwork and finding him with hooves, instead he’s using the satyr race (as it appears in the Odyssey of the Dragonlords Player’s Guide © James Ohlen 2019, © Jesse Sky 2019 www.arcanumworlds.com). We need somebody who can throw down and keep up with Gilgamesh, and Enkidu here can not only do that, but he can put the hurt on the demigod king and comes in as 1 CR higher! Not the expected outcome given that Gilgamesh has 3 more levels! Before anyone loses their minds take a breath—Gilgamesh prepares spells and can certainly pick up more effective and damaging magic than divination and beacon of hope, so considering that they are probably at least on even footing. Still that makes for an interesting look at the numbers! The DMG puts Enkidu at an even 13 and the Blog of Holding is in agreement at 13.2.

Enkidu
Medium humanoid (satyr), chaotic neutral barbarian (primal) 4 / fighter (champion) 13
Armor Class 18 (Constitution)
Hit Points 182 (4d12+13d10+85)
Speed 40 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
16 (+3)​
16 (+3)​
20 (+5)​
8 (–1)​
12 (+1)​
10 (+0)​
Saving Throws Str +9, Con +11
Skills Animal Handling +7, Athletics +9, Perception +7, Survival +7
Senses passive Perception 17
Languages Common, Sylvan
Challenge 13 (10,000 XP)

Background: Wildborn. Enkidu never forgets the geographic arrangement of terrain, settlements, and areas of wilderness. In addition, he can forage fresh water and food each day for as many as 6 people as long as the environment nearby can support it.

Action Surge (1/short rest). Once on his turn, Enkidu can take an additional action on top of his regular action and a possible bonus action.

Danger Sense. Enkidu has advantage on Dexterity saving throws against effects that he can see, such as traps and spells. To gain this benefit, Enkidu can’t be blinded, deafened, or incapacitated.

Feat: Mobile. Enkidu can Dash through difficult terrain without requiring additional movement. Whenever he makes an attack against a creature, he doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks from that creature until the end of his turn.

Fighting Style: Defensive Fighting. Enkidu can use a bonus action to activate a defensive stance that lasts until the start of his next turn. During this defensive stance, creatures within his reach provoke opportunity attacks when they move more than 5 feet, and he does not need to use his reaction to make opportunity attacks.

Fighting Style: Unarmed. After successfully grappling a creature, Enkidu can deal 1d4 bludgeoning damage to it. Whenever he hits a creature he is grappling with a melee attack he deals an extra 1d4 bludgeoning damage.

Improved Critical. Enkidu’s weapon attacks score a critical hit on a roll of 19 or 20.

Indomitable (2/Long Rest). Enkidu can reroll a saving throw that he fails but must use the new roll.

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

Rage (2/Long Rest). On his turn, Enkidu can enter a rage as a bonus action. His rage lasts for 1 minute, ending early if he is knocked unconscious or if his turn ends and he hasn’t either attacked a hostile creature since his last turn or taken damage since then. Enkidu can also end his rage on his turn as a bonus action. While raging, he gains the following benefits:
  • Enkidu has advantage on Strength checks and Strength saving throws.
  • When Enkidu makes a melee weapon attack using Strength, he deals 2 extra damage.
  • Enkidu has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
  • Enkidu gains a bite attack that deals 7 (1d8+3) piercing damage. When he damages a creature on his turn using his bite, he regains 5 hit points.
Reckless Attack. When Enkidu makes his first attack on his turn, he can decide to attack recklessly. Doing so gives him advantage on melee weapon attack rolls using Strength during this turn, but attack rolls against him have advantage until Enkidu’s next turn.

Remarkable Athlete. Enkidu adds +3 to any Strength, Dexterity, or Constitution check he makes that doesn’t already use his proficiency bonus. In addition, when he makes a running long jump, the distance he can cover increases by 3 feet.

Second Wind (1/Short Rest). On his turn, Enkidu can use a bonus action to regain 1d10+13 hit points.



ACTIONS
Extra Attack. Enkidu attacks three times when he takes the Attack action.

Unarmed. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6+3) bludgeoning damage, or 7 (1d8+3) bludgeoning damage if striking two-handed.
 
Last edited:
Mike Myler

Comments

Hatmatter

Explorer
Thanks for statting up Enkidu, Mike! What an impression his death made on me when I was in college and read the tales of Gilgamesh. I remember that Gilgamesh would not permit Enkidu to be buried until he had decayed to the point where a worm fell out of his nose. So striking! To think it comes to us on clay tablets. From clay tablets to iPads...what a journey through human history.
 





Since you're in the neighbourhood, is there any chance of doing a build for Sharur, the sentient, flying, shape-changing, demon-killing mace of Ninurta? I know it's an "it" rather than a character per se, but the sentience feature kind of blurs the line between mythical figure & mythical object. I think. Maybe.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Nothing about the horns? I was waiting for a headbutt in grapples or something. I guess you could narrate that under unarmed fighting style. I also can't help but picture this fella voiced by Danny Devito, a la Phil from Hercules. That made me chuckle. Then I thought about the glory that would be a Gilgamesh movie with Enkidu voiced by DeVito, and Gilgamesh voiced by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Like Twins! Someone needs to get on a script...
 



Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
Since you're in the neighbourhood, is there any chance of doing a build for Sharur, the sentient, flying, shape-changing, demon-killing mace of Ninurta? I know it's an "it" rather than a character per se, but the sentience feature kind of blurs the line between mythical figure & mythical object. I think. Maybe.
The upcoming book has Asi in it so that's definitely not out of the question. As long as a character is in the public domain and I can find and/or kitbash decent artwork for it (which I understand is a little bit in contention but I do my best cough cough), it's a valid subject for the column. :)
 

Rafael Martin

Explorer
If you are going to start writing up sidekicks, then you have to write up Iolaus! In Greek mythology, he was a Theban divine hero, son of Iphicles, and Automedusa. He was famed for being Heracles' nephew and for helping with some of his Labors, and also for being one of the Argonauts. Through his daughter Leipephilene, he was considered to have fathered the mythic and historic line of the kings of Corinth, ending with Telestes.

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Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
If you are going to start writing up sidekicks, then you have to write up Iolaus! In Greek mythology, he was a Theban divine hero, son of Iphicles, and Automedusa. He was famed for being Heracles' nephew and for helping with some of his Labors, and also for being one of the Argonauts. Through his daughter Leipephilene, he was considered to have fathered the mythic and historic line of the kings of Corinth, ending with Telestes.

Also onto the list! At this point the queue is almost all guys though so definitely on the lookout for suggestions for lady mythological figures.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Also onto the list! At this point the queue is almost all guys though so definitely on the lookout for suggestions for lady mythological figures.
There’s fairy tales — Snow White, the evil Queen, characters from Alice in Wonderland. Is Wizard of Oz out of copyright? Irene Adler. Guinevere. Gendel’s mum. Miss Marple? Elizabeth I. Ada Lovelace. The Morrigan. Hel.
 

Mike Myler

Mythological Figures & Maleficent Monsters KS soon
There’s fairy tales — Snow White, the evil Queen, characters from Alice in Wonderland. Is Wizard of Oz out of copyright? Irene Adler. Guinevere. Gendel’s mum. Miss Marple? Elizabeth I. Ada Lovelace. The Morrigan. Hel.
Half of those are on the list but half of them have just been added! ^_^
The Wizard of Oz musical film is still copyright, but the broadway adaptation and the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are in the public domain. Miss Marple doesn't appear in the 2 Agatha Christie novels in the public domain right now so she's out.
 

Fenris-77

Small God of the Dozens
Supporter
Irene Adler (upvote), several different female Pharaohs. Also, there's the very realistic conceit of pulling a female character out from under the male gaze and re-imagining her as what the original version might have been like before the wrinkled old male history gnomes got a hold of her and removed all her agency and ass-kickery.

Maid Marion recast as the heroine, for example, would be really cool. Historians didn't think anyone would believe her as the heroine, maybe they didn't believe those stories, so they shifted her role over to her hapless noble male companion, Robin of Locksley. Like that...
 





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