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.
 
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Mike Myler

Comments

Yaarel

Adventurer
This version of Loki can do a hawk. The (unseen!) 20th level version cannot.
Yeah, Loki can turn into a horsefly, so he has to be able to Wild Shape into a creature that has a ‘flying speed’.

The thing with the cloak of Freyja, it is odd story. I assume Loki can normally turn into a hawk if he feels like it.



In the Norse stories, sometimes the shifter loses oneself in ones beast form, such as with some berserkar, while other times the shifter maintains ones human intelligence. Sometimes, a person sees an animal form with human eyes. It occurs to me, it might be, when the animal has human eyes, it means the shaman is maintaining the human mind − and not losing oneself within the animal form.

So, a fun Norse flavor for a setting might say, the beast of a Polymorph spell looks normal (mental abilities are low), but the beast of a Wild Shape has human eyes (if observed carefully) (mental abilities are human).
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
The "time travel" was someone else putting him in suspended animation. Less relevant.

Animating objects. Remind me what he animated.

Heh, Disney is less a source for mythological accuracy.
I am teasing. Lol. I even take their marvel movies with a grain of salt. Jack Kirby was better.

although I like TH White better than Malory. And other Arthurian writers for that matter.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
although I like TH White better than Malory.
In some ways, premodern cultures can be so different from modern cultures. Each culture across spacetime, has different assumptions and different concerns.

It can be easier to relate to a modern story, because it tends to take into account the assumptions and concerns that we are familiar with.

Premodern stories can take more effort to figure out how the story ‘makes sense’. Some of the assumptions underlying the story might seem alien to a modern audience.

Premodern stories are interesting because they are records of different ways of being human. In some ways, each story is like a hologram. You can pick up a story and look thru it from different angles, and see the rest of the world of the story thru it, around it. The world that created a story can be very different from our world that we live in today.
 
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Arnwolf666

Adventurer
In some ways, premodern cultures can be so different from modern cultures. Each culture across spacetime, has different assumptions and different concerns.

It can be easier to relate to a modern story, because it tends to take into account the assumptions and concerns that we are familiar with.

Premodern stories can take more effort to figure out how the story ‘makes sense’. Some of the assumptions underlying the story might seem alien to a modern audience.

Premodern stories are interesting because they are records of different ways of being human. In some ways, each story is like a hologram. You can pick up a story and look thru it from different angles, and see the rest of the world of the story thru it, around it. The world that created a story can be very different from our world that we live in today.
nice post. Although I like TH White. I actually like reading pre-Malory King Arthur stories for that very reason.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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.
Most of his activities are even seen as aiding the gods regardless of that final conflict. Without him they would have needed another requisitions officer entirely.
 

Arnwolf666

Adventurer
I mean he convinced Thor to dress up in Drag... got to say he is sometimes there for humor contributions.
Some of those sagas had to have been created around a campfire after one too many beers. And there is nothing wrong with that.

and then I wonder who around the campfire cried that’s not canon and that they were ruining the Norse sagas for them and that they were done being Norse. And then go join that new religion that the new missionary in town keeps talking about. Lol.
 
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