D&D 5E Slaad Reimagined


In my last game, I featured Slaad as one of the major villains. However, there is a problem with Slaad, while they say they are the embodiment of chaos, they are anything but mechanically. I mean, they are color coded for gods sake! So I redesigned the monster for the last campaign, to a lot of success. The monster is now much more fitting of the embodiment of Chaos.

Slaad: Created from the plane of chaos itself, Slaad are in a constant state of flux. Ever shifting, the only thing that unites them is one common purpose....to spread. Slaad often look like some type of large frog like creature, but no two Slaad look alike. They take on a wide array of colorations and hues, with an ever changing number of limbs.

Culture: Slaad are some of the most fickle creatures in the multiverse, even Demons find them too volatile to work with. As such, Slaadi are normally solitary or in small numbers of Slaad hunting parties. Slaad have no true concept of "self", they recognize that they are a seperate entity from other creatures, but their thoughts shift so frequently that one realized self is quickly changed to another.

Large Aberration (Shapechanger)
AC: 15
Hitpoints: 125
Speed: 30 ft
Str: 12, Dex: 12, Con: 12, Int: 8, Wis: 6, Cha: 12
Saving Throws: Str: 1d6 + 1, Dex: 1d6 +1, Con: 1d6 +1, Int: 1d6 -1, Wis: 1d6 - 2, Cha: 1d6 +1
Skills: Perception: 1d6 + 3
Senses: Blindsight 60, Darkvision 60, Telepathy 60 ft
Languages: Slaad, telepathy 60 ft.

Instinct: Each Slaad possesses an innate desire that guides their current behavior. At the beginning of an encounter, roll a d6.
1: Alternate. The Slaad temporary has other ideas in its head. Maybe it believes in peace, religion, unifying its people. The DM is free to make whatever drive is suitable, though it never lasts.
2 - 5: Spread. The Slaad will attack a viable target to spread its eggs, and will switch targets after accomplishing the goal. Slaad will ignore creatures that cannot carry their eggs.
6: Destroy. The Slaad attempts to kill any non-Slaad creature it can see.

Form: Slaads can have fins, gills, wings, multiple legs, and vary greatly in size. At the beginning of an encounter, roll a d6 and check this chart
1 - Reduced. The Slaads size is reduced by 1 category, and damage is reduced by 1d6.
2 - Enhanced. The Slaads size is increased by 1 category, and damage is increased by 1d6.
3 - Swim. Slaad can breathe water and gains a swim speed equal to its speed.
4 - Fly. Slaad has wings and gains a fly speed equal to its speed.
5 - Altered Speed. Add (1d6 - 2) x 5 to the creature's speed.
6 - Roll 2d6 and consult the chart twice.

Magic Weapons: The Slaad's weapon attacks are magical.

Children of Chaos: Slaad add 1d6 to all attacks, saves, checks, saving throw DCs, and damage rolls (already adjusted).

Entropic Resistance: The first time the Slaad is hit with a weapon type (bludgeoning, slashing, piercing) or an energy type, roll a d6 and consult the chart. Repeat this check for each new type the Slaad is effected by. The effect lasts for the encounter.
1 - Slaad is vulnerable to that type
2 - 3: Normal
4-5: Slaad is resistant to that type
6: Slaad is immune to that type

Regeneration: The slaad regains 3d6 hit points at the start of its turn if it has 1 hitpoint. When a Slaad reaches 0 hitpoint, roll a d6. On a 6, the Slaad immediately performs regeneration. If the Slaad gets the maximum result on this special regeneration roll, it instead becomes a Greater Slaad at the start of its next turn.


Make 3 attacks, which can be any combination of Limb and Surge of Chaos

Limb: Melee Weapon Attack: +1d6 + 5 to hit, reach 5 ft, one target. Hit: 3d6 piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning damage. If the target is humanoid, it must succeed on a DC 12 + 1d6 Constitution saving throw or be infected with a disease called Chaos phase. While infected, the target cannot regain hitpoints. In 1d20 x 24 hours, roll a d6. On a 6, the host turns into a Slaad. Otherwise, the host is killed as a Slaad tadpole chews its way out of the host.

Surge of Chaos: Roll a d6.
1 - 2: Nothing Happens.
3 - 4: Fires a Chaos Bolt
5 - 6: Uses Chaos Casting

Chaos Bolt: (requires Surge of Chaos to use). Ranged Spell Attack: +1d6 +2 to hit. Range 60 ft, one target. Hit: 3d6 Force Damage.

Chaos Casting: (requires Surge of Chaos to use). Cast one of the following spells, the same spell cannot be chosen twice in an encounter. The DC is 12 + 1d6.

Designer's Notes:
So one thing I push with this version of the Slaad, they are monsters. There are no high intelligent scheming Slaad with long master plans, Slaad are being of pure instinct, and that instinct is fickle. They don't build organizations, they don't make alliances, they don't sneak around pretending to be humanoids, they are a viral plague upon the multiverse, left unchecked they become an unstoppable legion. And every time it seems like you have stomped it out....a Slaad with just the right rolls emerges that becomes a dominant force and pushes back any who would opposed them.

In terms of representing "Chaos", the temptation is to add lots and lots of random checks or constantly changing stats, making the creature completely different every round. This is difficult for the DM to run, so we compromise. We use a mix of traits:
  • Rolls at the beginning of the encounter (Instinct, Form). This highlights that you can never predict what a Slaad you meet will look or act like. Even the Slaad you saw 10 minutes ago may now be completely different. However, we assume this to be constant for a single encounter, to take some burden off the DM.
  • Entropic Resistance can be rolled multiple times, but the results for a given type are kept for the whole encounter. This was my favorite new ability, and it really threw my party for a loop when they encountered it the first time. It really shakes up a fight, sometimes your favorite weapons are useless. Other times you get to enjoy vulnerability (which is critically underused in 5e), to give players some joy when a Slaad that has ridiculous power in other areas....is crazy vulnerable to the fire mages blast.
  • Children of Chaos allows us to mimic constantly changing stats without so much book work. Nothing is certain, not even saving throw DCs!
  • With Regeneration, we left the HP static, using this mechanic to showcase variable resiliency for the Slaad. I also wanted to keep in some notion of Slaad evolution or improvement, so I used the idea that once a Slaad is killed there is a small chance (1 in 1,296 to be precise) that it becomes a Greater Slaad (aka Death Slaad). That helps both the random fun of Slaad, but also help explain how Death Slaad emerge in the culture.
  • Note that all Slaad damage and random check rolls are a d6. This was intentional, to ensure the DM doesn't have to keep swapping dice to run different aspect of the monster, which becomes a pain very quickly.
The Instinct trait is an important cultural identity for the Slaad which highlights the "prison" of Chaos. While Order is imprisoned in its preordained path, Chaos is so fickle it can never make real headway, always caught in shifting sands. If Slaad were just a bit more organized they would be nigh unstoppable, but they simply can't help themselves. Their constantly shifting goals means they can never make even moderately long connections or alliances. A Slaad may be planting eggs one moment, become interested in poetry the next, and just as quickly begin slaughtering all around them.

Ultimately most of the current Slaads abilities are intertwined into this new model. It still mimics the hulking blue Slaad, the more diminutive Red Slaad, or the spellcaster powers of Green/Gray Slaad. But never in a way that players can predict, each Slaad encounter is a new puzzle to figure out.

The one thing I did not do much with is adjust the Slaad spell list, and if I ever take another crack at it I probably will. So ultimately for now I kept the same general spell list available to Slaad currently.

My last note, it was very very tempting to randomize the number of attacks for the Slaad, but ultimately the action economy is the most important contributor to a monster's CR, and I did not want to provide huge swings in that area as there is already plenty of other things. So while the damage is somewhat swingy, the number of actions is not.
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Frogs have a mythological tradition of being symbols of Chaos as they change forms visibly throughout their life cycle even changing their number of limbs, whether they have a tail, terrain/habitat, and breathing system. See the Ogdoad as primordial frog headed deities emerging from Chaos.

I think the developed story of Slaad coming out of the Spawning Stone, a piece of Law shoved into Chaos explaining the mix of regular somewhat stable Chaos creations works on a level, although it leaves open the question of what true Chaos exemplars would be. I would think something fluid and amorphous with changing aspects like gibbering mouthers or shoggoths, but those are strongly associated Far Realmsian abberations.

If you want more chaotic Slaad with manageable stats for the DM running end I would just reskin surface designs more to be less color coded (Tiger striped Slaad! Fluorescent Slaad!) or even reskin other easy stat blocks to be a Slaadi appearance.

This is great. Slaads don’t make any sense as exemplars of chaos but your version, while still manageable, is much better. I guess that a clever DM could make them feel very unpredictable and dangerous.


The baseline idea is that someone tried to remove the chaos from chaos, and the result was Slaad, a destructive reproducing plague.

The beings responsible for Slaadi where sacked. Well, most of them got eaten by Sladdi.


I'm a bit concerned that these look annoying to run. Each Slaadi is going to be different, and has increasing amounts of state to track (which chaos casts, what resistances, what instinct).


You are missing CR. I'd guess around 7?


I'd almost wand an inverse-ninja rule for Slaadi. A problem with CR 7 creatures is you can never have that many of them in 5e before the encounter becomes near impossible for PCs.


Modular Slaad?

Slaad are spores of chaos wrapped in flesh. Up to 4 spores can form one creature, and they can split apart and rejoin due to impact or just randomly.

Each Slaad spore is worth 50 HP and are CR 4 per spore. One-spore Slaad are small, two are medium, 3 are large, and 4 are huge.

Proficiency bonus is equal to 2 plus 1 per spore.

Slaad attributes change randomly on each check. One-spore Slaad have 1d6 modifier whenever you check, two spore 1d8, three spore roll 2d8 and take the better roll, and 4 spore have a 3d4 modifier.

When you critically hit a Slaad, or a Slaad strikes a critical hit, it gains 1 spore and splits randomly. Existing damage is halved and split between the two creatures (this may cause the smaller one to die).

Before: After
1 Spore: 1 and 1
2 Spore: 50-50 3 Spore 1 Slaad, or a 2 Spore and a 1 Spore Slaad
3 Spore: 1d3 and 4-1d3 Spore Slaads.
4 Spore: 1d4 and 5-1d4

Regeneration: A Slaad regenerations 5 HP per Spore at the start of its turn if it has at least 0 HP.

Bite: Stat + Proficiency, deals # of spores d8 damage. If any damage die rolls maximium, the Slaad grows in size to match the target (if needed), gaining temporary HP equal to the creature's HP, and swallowed. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, and must make a DC 10+# of spores+stat roll) check to successfully cast a spell. Every 50 damage done to the Slaad forces a DC 15 con saving throw or the creature is expelled (damage done by the swallowed creature is doubled for this purpose).

While it has a creature Swallowed, the Slaadi can make a Bite attack on it with advantage, but cannot swallow anyone. Slaadi have teeth in their stomach.

Claw: Stat + Proficiency, deals # of spores d6 damage. Uninfected target must make a constitution saving throw (DC 10+# of spores+stat roll) or have a spore injected into it. Whlie you have a spore injected into you, all healing you gain instead goes to the spore (every 50 points heals, the spore splits and grows a new one). After 1d6 days - 2d12 hours+1d100 minutes the spore matures. The creature must make a (DC 10+# of spores+stat roll) (use the stats of the spores infecting the person) charisma save or have its body and soul and HPs consumed by the spores at this point (possibly producing more spores), turning into a Slaadi. On a success, the spores instead burst forth, killing the creature anyhow.

Magic Resistance: Has advantage on saves vs magic.

Multipart: If a Slaad fails a saving throw, it can eject a spore and have that spore fail the saving throw instead. This lowers its maximium HP by 50; if it has taken at least 50 damage, the ejected spore is dead.

Chaotic Motivations: In combat, the Slaadi acts chaotically. On its turn, roll 1d4
1: The Slaadi has a goal unrelated to combat. It disengages and moves away.
2: The Slaadi attacks a creature that doesn't have a Spore, and ignores creatures that do.
3: The Slaadi attacks the closest non-Slaadi.
4: The Slaadi attacks a random creature, including Slaadi, in combat with it.

Chaos Magic: On its turn, roll 1d12 per Spore. Select one of the rolls:
1: The Slaad may cast Invisibility as a bonus action this turn
2: The Slaad may cast Fear as an action this turn
3: The Slaad grows wings and can Fly (60' speed) this turn
4: The Slaad can cast Fireball as an action this turn
5: The Slaad can cast PlaneShift (Plane of Chaos) this turn
6-7: The Slaad can cast a Chaos Bolt as an action this turn
8-12: Nothing

Chaos Bolt: Attack 1d4-1 creatures (min 0). Attribute + Proficiency attack on each. Deals 1d6 force damage per spore, and the creature must make a random attribute saving throw (DC 10+# of spores+stat roll) or suffer the effects of the Bane spell.


I tried to be less stateful. And leaned in on the body horror a bit.

The CR 4 per spore is a goal, need to tweak numbers to make it work.
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Dusty Dragon
The baseline idea is that someone tried to remove the chaos from chaos, and the result was Slaad, a destructive reproducing plague.

The beings responsible for Slaadi where sacked. Well, most of them got eaten by Sladdi.
I agree with this.

If you think about a truly chaotic form... the interval of time between me clicking post and someone reading the post, it may have changed! Heck it might change every round.

Even the demons of the abyss (also very chaotic) have a somewhat stable form.

So as a creature of chaos changes and blinks into (or out of) existence, some of them will change into... having less chaos. They gain stability... and stick around long enough to get known.

Casimir Liber

This is a a great reimagining or buffing of slaad - could even have this as Primal Slaad alongside the existing canonical slaad just to mix it up even more so players will have no idea...


Why not have Chaos Bolt randomize damage type?
I had considered it. The main reason was I tried to balance creating highly variable creatures with the number of rolls the dm had to do.

Notice that most of the rolls happen before the encounter, reducing the burden on the dm. So I definately didn’t want an attack whose damage type the dm had to roll for and calculate on the fly.

now I could have made it another one of the rolls the dm did before the combat, but they already have a good number. So I just went with force as representing the raw “force of chaos”


A suffusion of yellow
I like this, while I love froggy beasties I never liked Slaad because they were boring anti-chaotic. This though brings back the chaotic nature in a useful package.

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