5E No Living Statues in 5E?

Arcshot

Visitor
I'm using BECMI modules with 5E rules and one monster frequently appears in adventures: Living Statues. It can come in various types, eg Jade Statue, Steel Statue etcI'm rather surprised that 5E MM has no creature that represents Living Statues. I thought they should be rather common in dungeon adventures and such. Any suggestion of available creature stats to use as Living Statues?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
I'd probably use Animated Armor for low-level statues, moving up to the golems (minus a lot of the magical abilities) for stronger ones.
 
I used this in one of my campaigns. Enjoy:

Living Iron Statue
Large construct, unaligned
Armor Class 19 (natural armor)
Hit Points 42 (4d10 + 20)
Speed 30 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
18 (+4) 9 (−1) 20 (+5) 3 (−4) 11 (+0) 1 (−5)
Damage Immunities poison, psychic;
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, and poisoned
Special Defenses: bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons do normal damage. If the living iron statue is struck with a nonmagical metal weapon the attacker must make a DC 15 STR save or the weapon becomes stuck in the body of the living iron statue. The weapon is retrievable when the statue is killed.
Senses dark vision 120 ft., passive Perception 10
Languages understands the languages of its creator but can’t speak
Challenge 3 (700 XP)

Actions
Multiattack. The living iron statue makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: (1d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage.
 

Sabathius42

Adventurer
I'd also suggest a non flying gargoyle.

But truthfully, just look through all the monsters of the appropriate CR you are aiming for and have reskinning in mind.

If I wanted just a big beast of a statue I would just pick the stats for an Ogre and go with it. I might add in immunities/resistances if I needed it to feel even more statuey.

If I wanted a swarm of smaller statues I would go with orcs, or hobgoblins or whatever.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
Oddly enough, Living Statues were never part of the AD&D Monster Manuals - Golems may have come close enough. (Likewise there is no AD&D Thoul). They never made it into the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, either!

Cheers!
 
Oddly enough, Living Statues were never part of the AD&D Monster Manuals - Golems may have come close enough. (Likewise there is no AD&D Thoul). They never made it into the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, either!

Cheers!
There are several cool monsters I have adapted to 5E that only appeared in Basic. Living Statues, Thouls, Robber Flies, Rhagodessa, Magen, Nagpa, Soul Eater, Devil Swine. I never got the 2E Mystara stuff so I don't know what was in there.
 

Arcshot

Visitor
Found this at Mystara Reborn Facebook, posted by Glen Welch. Thought u might be interested.
The Thoul is kind of an oddball to me. It is hard to define an origin of the creature combining properties of an undead ghoul and a hobgoblin. Why do they appear in the midst of hobgoblin population?

image.jpg
 

Arcshot

Visitor
Thanks guys. I am looking at Animated armor, golems and shield guardians as alternatives (with a little modification) for Living Statues. Seriously 5e should include them. Isn't it the case PCs will exclaim most of the time when they come into a room with statues, saying "I bet they will come alive!"
 

S'mon

Legend
Had this issue two sessions ago. For the Iron Living Statues I used Animated Armour with a single sword attack +6/2d6+4 and a DC 10 STR save every time a mundane melee weapon hit them, fail and it gets absorbed. I bumped the CR and it worked well.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Oddly enough, Living Statues were never part of the AD&D Monster Manuals - Golems may have come close enough. (Likewise there is no AD&D Thoul). They never made it into the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix, either!

Cheers!
But they are in Cyclopedia, Mentzer Basic, and Moldvay Basic. Rock, Crystal, and and Iron.
 

MerricB

Eternal Optimist
But they are in Cyclopedia, Mentzer Basic, and Moldvay Basic. Rock, Crystal, and and Iron.
Yes, that would be D&D Basic. Which is not AD&D. :)

EDIT: Hmm. Seems my searching isn't so good if they ended up in one of the MC supplements. Excuse me while I find the reference...

Cheers!
 
Last edited:
Yes, that would be D&D Basic. Which is not AD&D. :)

When the Basic line ended, they put out a Mystara supplement for AD&D, but the Living Statues didn't make it in. Nor did they appear in any of the other Monstrous Compendium supplements (and there were a lot of them!)

Cheers!
Actually, AD&D versions of living statues appeared in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR product code 2501) on pages 107-108, sorted alphabetically as "Statue, Living" and thouls appeared on page 111 of the same product.

I don't doubt that there are some monsters that did appear in BECMI/Cyclopedia D&D but never showed up in an AD&D release, but these certainly did.
 

Arcshot

Visitor
Actually, AD&D versions of living statues appeared in the Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix (TSR product code 2501) on pages 107-108, sorted alphabetically as "Statue, Living" and thouls appeared on page 111 of the same product.
Living Statue aside, how did the MC describe the background of a Thoul? Specifically how was the first Thoul created?
 
Living Statue aside, how did the MC describe the background of a Thoul? Specifically how was the first Thoul created?
Besides stating that thoul are "magical crosses between ghouls, hobgoblins, and trolls," there isn't any info about their origin present in the MC.

A quick bit of research suggests that the origin might be mentioned only in such long-ago products that I don't have them, specifically somewhere around the 5th printing of OD&D in 1975 which is, as far as I can find, the first mention of "Thoul" the folks at Dragonsfoot have found.
 

MarkB

Legend
Thanks guys. I am looking at Animated armor, golems and shield guardians as alternatives (with a little modification) for Living Statues. Seriously 5e should include them. Isn't it the case PCs will exclaim most of the time when they come into a room with statues, saying "I bet they will come alive!"
Well, that's kind-of the problem, isn't it? Back then, living statues were a surprise. These days it's become such a cliche that players are surprised when a DM goes to the trouble of mentioning and describing a statue and it doesn't subsequently come alive.
 
Well, that's kind-of the problem, isn't it? Back then, living statues were a surprise. These days it's become such a cliche that players are surprised when a DM goes to the trouble of mentioning and describing a statue and it doesn't subsequently come alive.
Too true.

I manage to keep my players guessing entirely by ridiculous amounts of luck; a room with statues that even depict held weapons, and they assume "too obvious, definitely just statues" and end up surprised. Then the random statue of some robed woman they don't even recognize the image of "...maybe there is a secret door behind this?" and they end up surprised (especially because it spewed fire and nearly killed their hired cleric). Then the room lined with statues of various adventurer-seeming people, and they state "These are definitely going to try to kill us," and they end up surprised by a medusa.

I think the trick is that I always give roughly the same amount of detail in my description of what a statue looks like, whether it is just set dressing, hiding a secret door, part of some puzzle, a hint for some later puzzle, about to start trying to kill the party at any second, or even just enchanted to give academic advice by a wizard teacher that didn't like keeping office hours.
 

Advertisement

Top