5E Mythological Figures: Loki

Today’s Mythological Figures post is definitely not a post about one of mythology’s greatest liars and manipulators, the master deceiver and traitorous god that humanity calls Loki!

Loki BANNER DnD 5e.jpg

As is often the case with mythological characters there’s multiple sources for information about Loki. What you’ll find below is a broad interpretation of the myth--a master deceiver and expert manipulator--as opposed to a precise rendition of Loki from one of the eddas. Things he’s credited for: being the father of Fenrir, Hel, and the world serpent Jörmungandr, being Thor’s brother uncle, engineering the death of Baldr, changing forms, and generally playing the trickster causing mischief amongst the gods.

Design Notes: I originally was thinking “oh golly he should have glibness” but then realized that with the feats, Expertise, and Reliable Talent that he can’t get under a 31 on a Charisma (Deception) check so why bother? There’s more sneakiness to get out of him with shapeshifting too--and don’t forget the spellcasting either to greatly enhance one of his already ridiculously high skill bonuses (with advantage via enhance ability or a +10 bonus to Stealth from pass without trace, which he can keep concentrating on after changing into a cockroach or what have you). A quick look at the numbers: the DMG lands Loki at 17.2 and the Blog of Holding at 16 which averages out on the lower end, which I’m inclined to agree with. On the outset the huge numbers for his skill bonuses are intimidating, but his magical potency is limited and he’s really not designed to stand in the front line of combat (and at 16 he’s just a weeeeee bit more powerful than his hammer-loving brother’s build in this series).

Loki
Medium humanoid (human), chaotic evil rogue (genius) 17/bard 1/druid (lunar) 8
Armor Class 20 (+3 studded leather, cloak of protection, ring of protection)
Hit Points 143 (26d8+26)
Speed 30 ft.
STR
DEX
CON
INT
WIS
CHA
9 (-1)​
16 (+3)​
12 (+1)​
16 (+3)​
14 (+2)​
20 (+5)​
Saving Throws Str +1, Dex +13, Con +3, Int +13, Wis +12, Cha +7

Skills Deception +21, Insight +18, Intimidation +13, Performance +21, Persuasion +21, Sleight of Hand +19, Stealth +19
Tools disguise kit +11, forgery kit +11, thieves’ tools +11
Senses passive Perception 12
Languages Scandinavian (?)
Challenge 16 (15,000 XP)

Background - Liar Born: Falsehoods. Loki’s preparations when assuming a false identity are flawless and consummate. In addition, as long as he’s seen the handwriting or type of paper he is duplicating, he can forge a false document.

Bardic Inspiration 1d6 (5/Short Rest). As a bonus action on his turn, Hayreddin can choose one other creature within 60 feet who can hear him. That creature gains one Bardic Inspiration die, a d6. Once within the next 10 minutes, the creature can roll the die and add the number rolled to one ability check or, attack roll, saving throw, or weapon damage roll it makes. The creature can wait until after it rolls before deciding to use the Bardic Inspiration die, but must decide before the GM says whether a roll succeeds or fails. In addition, a creature can use its reaction when attacked to use the Bardic Inspiration die, adding the result to its AC and possibly causing the attack to miss.

Blindsense. If Loki is able to hear, he’s aware of the location of any hidden or invisible creature within 10 feet of him.

Cunning Action (1/Turn). Loki can take a bonus action to take the Dash, Disengage, Help, or Hide action.

Evasion. When Loki is subjected to an effect that allows him to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, he instead takes no damage if he succeeds on the saving throw, and only half damage if he fails.

Fast Learner. After Loki has heard a creature speak for 1 minute or longer, he can mimic its manner of speaking as long as he knows the same language as the creature (allowing him to seem like he is local to a given region).

Feat: Acting. Loki has advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Performance) checks made to impersonate. In addition, he can mimic the speech of other creatures he’s heard speak for at least 1 minute. A suspicious listener can see through his mimicry by succeeding on a Wisdom (Insight) check opposed by Loki’s Charisma (Deception) check.

Feat: Brilliant. Loki always knows how long it will be before the next sunset or sunrise, the northerly direction, and can perfectly remember anything he’s experienced within the last 31 days.

Feat: Diplomatic. Loki can make a Charisma (Persuasion) check contested by the Wisdom (Insight) check of a creature that can understand what he says during 1 minute of talking. On a success, as long as Loki remains within 60 feet of it (and for 1 minute afterward) the target is charmed by him. Loki automatically fails on the check if he or his companions are fighting the target.

Feat: Master of Intrigue. Loki can use an action to fool one humanoid he can see within 30 feet of him. The target must be able to hear him make a Charisma (Deception) check contested by its Wisdom (Insight) check. On a success, the target is fooled until the end of Loki’s next turn or until he attempts to fool a different target. Loki doesn’t provoke opportunity attacks from movement around a fooled target and he has advantage when attacking a fooled target. On a failure, Loki can’t fool the target for 1 hour.

Liar Through and Through. Loki’s thoughts are only readable when he allows it, and he can make a contested Charisma (Deception) check to project whatever thoughts (truthful or falsehoods) he likes. No magic can make Loki tell the truth or determine whether or not Loki is lying.

Reliable Talent. Whenever Loki makes an ability check that lets him add his proficiency bonus, he can treat a d20 roll of 9 or lower as a 10.

Sneak Attack (1/Turn). Loki deals an extra 31 (9d6) damage when he hits a target with a weapon attack and has advantage on the attack roll, or when the target is within 5 feet of an ally of Loki that isn’t incapacitated and Loki doesn’t have disadvantage on the attack roll.

Spellcasting. Loki is a 9th level spellcaster that uses Charisma as his spellcasting ability for bardic spells (spell save DC 21; +13 to hit with spell attacks) and Wisdom for druidic spells (spell save DC 18; +10 to hit with spell attacks. Loki knows the following spells bard’s spells and has prepared these druid spells:
Cantrips: druidcraft [D], friends, guidance [D], produce flame [D], vicious mockery
1st-level (4 slots): charm person, disguise self, hideous laughter, sleep, speak with animals [D]​
2nd-level (3 slots): darkvision [D], enhance ability [D], pass without trace [D]​
3rd-level (3 slots): conjure animals [D], dispel magic [D], speak with plants [D]​
4th-level (3 slots): confusion [D], conjure woodland beings [D]​
5th-level (1 slots): scrying [D]​

Tactician. Loki is able to use the Help action to aid an ally attack a creature as long as the target of the attack is able to see and hear Loki and is within 30 feet of him.

Tactician’s Insight. After Loki has observed or interacted with a creature for 1 minute, he learns whether or not it has higher or lower Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma scores than him. In addition, he learns if the target has more or fewer class levels than him. Loki also knows when he and the target have equal scores in one of these categories.

Wild Shape (2/Short Rest). Loki can use his action to magically assume the shape of a beast that he has seen before that has a maximum CR of 2. He can stay in a beast shape for 4 hours. Loki then reverts to his normal form unless he expends another use of this feature. He can revert to his normal form earlier by using a bonus action on his turn. Loki automatically reverts if he falls unconscious, drop to 0 hit points, or dies. While Loki is transformed, the following rules apply:
  • Loki’s game statistics are replaced by the statistics of the beast, but he retains his alignment, personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. Loki also retains all of his skill and saving throw proficiencies, in addition to gaining those of the creature. If the creature has the same proficiency as Loki and the bonus in its stat block is higher than his, use the creature’s bonus instead of his. If the creature has any legendary or lair actions, Loki can’t use them.
  • When Loki transforms, he assumes the beast’s hit points and Hit Dice. When he reverts to his normal form, Loki returns to the number of hit points he had before he transformed. However, if he reverts as a result of dropping to 0 hit points, any excess damage carries over to his normal form.
  • Loki can’t cast spells, and his ability to speak or take any action that requires hands is limited to the capabilities of his beast form. Transforming doesn’t break Loki’s concentration on a spell he’s already cast, however, or prevent him from taking actions that are part of a spell, such as call lightning, that he’s already cast.
  • Loki retains the benefit of any features from his class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so. However, he can’t use any of his special senses, such as darkvision, unless the new form also has that sense.
  • Loki chooses whether his equipment falls to the ground in his space, merges into his new form, or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the GM decides whether it is practical for the new form to wear a piece of equipment, based on the creature’s shape and size. Loki’s equipment doesn’t change size or shape to match the new form, and any equipment that the new form can’t wear must either fall to the ground or merge with it. Equipment that merges with the form has no effect until he leaves the form.
  • Loki’s natural weapon attacks made in beast form count as magical for the purposes of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks and damage.


ACTIONS
Magic Dagger. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft. or thrown 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d4+4) magical piercing damage.


REACTIONS
Uncanny Dodge. When an attacker Loki can see hits him with an attack, Loki can use his reaction to halve the attack’s damage against him.

Unintended Target. Loki can use his reaction to cause an attack targeting him to instead target a creature within 5 feet that is granting him cover from that attack.
 
Last edited:
Mike Myler

Comments

Mike Myler

Adventurer
In general I like it and thank you for sharing. However, why does Loki have 26 HD (Thor only had 20)? I thought the intent was to build them like PCs, thus 20 HD max. I also find it funny that his CR is higher than Thor's!
I do have a level 20 version (which cannot gain flight or swimming via Wildshape--a touch problematic) but figured that since I got away with a higher-than-level-20 build for Merlin why not? Having a higher CR than Thor is a Good Thing™ I reckoned, as it makes his victories all the more heroic for overcoming a more powerful foe.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
@Mike Myler

This is a great build to represent to Loki.

It is difficult to translate Non-D&D concepts into D&D-ese. This attempt has alot of good things going on for it.

Making Loki a ‘human’ seems a sound choice for race. When the shaman takes on the ‘form’ of a horse, one really is a horse, even if a monstrous one, and can even become a pregnant as a mare. Likewise, when taking on the form of a human, one really is a human. Most jǫtnar are human size, like Loki, Skaði, and so on. So without size concerns, pure human feels solid.

I like how the build uses multiclass as a way to push into the epic levels, while still using the 5e mechanics that are currently available. The Rogue class is a reasonable choice for Loki. It reminds me of him stealing the hair off of a woman. And his skill in deception is less about mind manipulation, and more about trickery.

(I would like to see an epic level Þórr too, that uses multiclasses to push him into epic levels. Level 20 Devotion Paladin works surprisingly well to represent Thor as a lawful good defender and enforcer of oaths. Þórr is all about smites, and buffing magic. Plus, add some levels in an other class, and Þórr becomes epic.)

I probably prefer to see Loki as chaotic neutral figure, and oppositely Þórr as lawful neutral figure. But Loki is arguably evil as nihilistic destroyer, while Þórr is arguably good as a defender of human civilization. So, I am ok with polarizing them as chaotic evil versus lawful good.

Anyway good build.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Yes, although Ragnarok is also seen as necessary change and fighting on any side does not equal evil per se. But most often Loki's antics serve more to challenge conventions and the other gods' hubris, like any trickster figure does. The fact that it sometimes goes wrong is not always on Loki.

But alignment is too restrictive a format to capture real-life (or in this case mythological) ethics, so I'll leave it at that.
Yeah, Ragnarǫk feels morally ambiguous. Tragic, but possibly even a good thing with regard to the fate of humans.

Baldr resurrects. In the absence of Þórr and Óðinn, Baldr becomes the new ruler of the æsir. At least arguably, this is a better outcome for humans. Moreover, with Baldr there will be harmony with the jǫtnar and dvergar. Notably, where Baldr is daylight hours and Hoðr is nightdark hours, both resurrect in harmony.

Norse traditions seem to view Þórr as a necessary transition era of violence. But after Ragnarǫk there will be an era of peace and leisure.

So if Loki almost single-handedly brings about Ragnarǫk, it is possibly even a good thing. Tho note, Loki too gets killed off during Ragnarǫk, killed by Heimdallr, thus also seems part of the imperfect, violent, transitional phase. So it may well be, Loki is chaotic evil, and simply part of a larger tapestry of fate.

Even so, ragnarǫk is ultimately good.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
Regarding seiðr.

Loki is a master shapeshifting (the shamanic technique of ‘form traveling’), but seiðr is something different.

Seiðr specifies mind manipulation, such as charm, terror, delusions, hallucinations, nightmares, and by extension predetermining freak accidents.

Loki is about deceiving minds, but not really about dominating minds.
 

MechaTarrasque

Adventurer
Loki's character arc is going from CN to hard CE because fate sucks and everyone is doomed. In a lot of ways, Ragnarok Loki should probably have a different stat block from pre-Ragnarok Loki (of which this block is pretty good). Sneakiness is out the window and earthquake making madness is the order of the day (maybe oathbreaker paladin/some kind of circle of cataclysm druid).
 

dave2008

Legend
(I would like to see an epic level Þórr too, that uses multiclasses to push him into epic levels. Level 20 Devotion Paladin works surprisingly well to represent Thor as a lawful good defender and enforcer of oaths. Þórr is all about smites, and buffing magic. Plus, add some levels in an other class, and Þórr becomes epic.)
Mike already did a build of Thor in this series, but he stopped at level 20. I would like to see an upgrade version as well.
 

Mike Myler

Adventurer
Mike already did a build of Thor in this series, but he stopped at level 20. I would like to see an upgrade version as well.
I'm skeptical about him really needing a version with more levels. Thor's already stronger/has more hit points/better attack bonuses/higher damage output than Loki (and in many cases Merlin too). That's one of the reasons I like the parity between them as it is now--Loki is not outright as physically dangerous, but on the whole is more powerful in the full context of the rules.
 

dave2008

Legend
I'm skeptical about him really needing a version with more levels. Thor's already stronger/has more hit points/better attack bonuses/higher damage output than Loki (and in many cases Merlin too). That's one of the reasons I like the parity between them as it is now--Loki is not outright as physically dangerous, but on the whole is more powerful in the full context of the rules.
That is fine, I don't mind the idea of Loki being "more powerful in the full context of the rules," and I don't think Thor needed more levels. It is more about creating Loki with less. Also, CR is primarily and almost exclusively a measure of combat prowess and Thor was definitely the more skilled and powerful combatant of the two.

Your builds are interesting exercises regardless (and I can and will make them both much more powerful in my own games). However, one of the things that was interesting was keeping them within the realm of PCs, it stopped these type of arguments. Now that you have broken that guideline (PS I missed that merlin did that too), it kinda opens up the project to that line of criticism. I preferred the original guide (stay within the RAW of a PC) as it created a boundary to what you could do that was interesting and inspiring and required one to make interesting choices. Now that boundary is gone, and IMO that is a loss to the project.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I like the build a lot. But I am biased. Loki to me is that guy that has magic that puts doctor strange to shame and is a little more malicious than mxyzptlck. But that’s my bias. Love the build.
 

Mike Myler

Adventurer
A loss to the project that hasn't been noticed since August doesn't feel like a tough loss. I'm always still shooting for 20th and under, but some characters--Merlin and Loki being great (and I think the only?) examples--are bigger than that in order to maintain a level of accuracy in their statistical depiction. Watchagonnado? ¯\(ツ)
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I prefer ragnarok to be the end of all, even Midgard. The heroic fighting in the face of the ultimate end of all.
Ragnarǫk means the utopia of Miðgarðr. A new earth returns from the sea. There is a new sky, with new sun and new moon.

I think the funnest part of post-Ragnarǫk era of peace is the choice of human lifestyle. The ones who want an eternity of pleasure hang out with the jǫtnar drinking ale! The ones who love gold and want to live in hoards of treasure hang out with the dvergar. The ones who want a more spiritual life hang out with the alfar. Meanwhile, human life on earth flourishes again, hanging out with the leisurely æsir. If you want to play D&D forever, hang out with the æsir − they spend their time playing table top games.

All of these respective forces of nature are in harmony with each other. And humans are in harmony with all of these various features of nature.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
Are his skills just naturally boosted by something (aka "Lokiness") not shown in the statblock? His skills are incredibly high, I'm not sure how you would get skill checks that high.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
@Mike Myler

By D&D standards, Merlin seems only moderately powerful to me, maybe a circa Level 13 Bard.

What is it that you have in mind that makes you feel he must be an epic level? (Heh, I mean besides British patriotism.)



(Heh regarding Norwegian patriotism.) I view both Þórr and Jǫrmungandr (ocean storms) as equally matched epic level beings. On the other hand, it feels worthwhile to emphasize the mortality and the humanness of Þórr, and keeping him within the 20 levels can communicate this effectively. So, ok.

Regarding Loki. He pretty-much single-handedly destroys the universe. Presumably he is a high level.
 

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