D&D 5E Your favorite monsters to fight (or run)?


He / Him
I love fighting monsters that try to eat characters. Giant Subterranean Lizards, Mind Flayers, T-Rexes... the risk of getting swallowed up, the struggle to free gobbled characters... It makes for a fun combat!

I love to run combats with monsters that have ranged attacks! I get to use the terrain more, and combat tends to be more movement-based and dynamic.

What are your favorite monsters to fight or run?

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Dragon Lover
Dragons are always fun to run/fight against.

I’m also a big fan of monsters with interesting and unique mechanics, or mechanics that have good synergy with other monsters like leaders commanding lesser creatures or mounts and riders working in tandem.


I like recharge powers even if they are not on golems and dragons. An orc chief might have one and the players always look a bit more concerned with these recharging. They have a bit more power and can sway battle more than just something like multiattack.


He / Him
I like recharge powers even if they are not on golems and dragons. An orc chief might have one and the players always look a bit more concerned with these recharging. They have a bit more power and can sway battle more than just something like multiattack.
That reminds me that I love running monsters with Lair Actions! I'll often give them to minor bosses in dungeons.

I once had a giant otyugh eating through an ancient library that had lair actions like jumping up and down to knock down everyone, conjuring a tornado of old pages, and pulling shelves down on characters.


Grey Render!

Their deal with imprinting on random creatures makes for fun and sometimes adorable encounters, especially if the PCs are out hunting and the catch a rabbit in a snare--only to happen upon the ogre version of Macho Man Randy Savage meets Lenny from of Mice and Men freeing their prey.

My favorite stunt was having a group of Moon Rats turning one into a living war carrier.

I love running goblins. I have the stat block mostly memorized, the straight 2d6 HP means their is actually likely to be enough dice variation to make rolling HP worthwhile and interesting, the combination of bonus action disengaging and ranged combat means that they lend themselves to dynamic, mobile fights even when the terrain really wants to force a stand still and hit each other affair. And they're the sort of id-driven, simplistic, minor evil that the players can validly pursue fighting, reasoning with, bargaining with, tricking, scaring off, or befriending in almost any situation, which lends itself to creative play.


Victoria Rules

They're big enough to be a threat, they can use ranged or melee weapons, they pack a serious punch, I have it that a few of 'em can cast (usually Clerical) spells, and there's enough different types to allow some variety in setting/terrain/situation. More specifically, Frost Giants are pure awesome. :)


Everything. I love them all. I have great memories with vampires, dragons, beholders, mind flayers, goblins, giants, skeletons, ghouls, orcs, aboleths, wolves, gnolls, demons, modrons, drow, Gods, mephits, huecuva, bears, slaadi, invisible stalkers, retrievers, etc...

But if I have to pick one: Oni. They're highly versatile. They're honorable (lawful), but truly evil and destructive. They have magic and melee, deception and destruction, flight and freeze. When players face one of my ogre mages, it is usually built up. And that is only when I do not build them up.

One of my iconic villains is a CR 25 Gargantuan Oni Lich with Archmage+ Magic, Metamagic, Masterful Melee capabilities (including a sweeping glaive attack that deals ridiculous damage, and gets to keep on attacks so long as each creature is felled by it), and abilities to move through shadows, planes and minds in ways that PCs struggle to fathom. He is my favorite villain - because he has all the tools to be the greatest villain in my world, but he is perpetually stuck doing what he needs to do to survive and can't afford to spare the time to be the menace he so desires to be. And what he needs to do to survive saves countless others in the most brutal way. It isn't the cliche 'ends justifying the means' - it is the 'ends regardless of the means'. And it is delicious to run, terrifying for players to experience, and something that just makes me smile every time I get to use him. And all he really is is a leveled up Oni.

I also have other Oni that are CR 7 variants with different weapons (bows, whips, mancatchers) and spell combos (at will - phantasmal force, misty step | 1/day - Thunderwave, Zephyr Strike, Enemies Abound, Wall of Force).

Bonus points: Mimics are hilarious fun. I love using them in ways that PCs don't expect. When the PC leaps through the air to try to grab your mimic and you ask them to roll an athletics check and they cheer making it - only for the ledge they're grabbing turns out to grow a mouth and tries to eat them.
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Anything that is highly mobile. Especially if the combat is in interesting terrain, having the monster be able to fly, teleport, bonus action disengage, shadow jump, or whatever, forces the players to move around and be creative and prevents combat from becoming "I roll to hit the monster" ok next "I roll to hit the monster" etc.


I love pretty much everything but my go to monsters are monsters that have low impact on the ecology and which stay relevant for a large number of levels.

Thus lots of undead, lots of oozes, lots of fairies, lots of native outsiders, lots of summoned creatures, and a fairly high number of constructs.

At some point in a campaign you will be guaranteed to be attacked by zombies, shadows, mephits, werewolves and stirges. There will be at least one non-human race that is guaranteed to be a reoccurring problem: goblins, gnolls, troglodytes, or sahuagin. There will be at least one and possibly several nihilistic cults around providing various sorts of berserkers and evil spell-casters. There will be someone doing evil things in graveyards with bodies. There is likely to be a haunted house which will almost invariably have a closet full of skeletons.

5e Monster: Darklings and Elder Darklings. Fun ambush monsters that can be thrown at the party at early levels. Add a mage, knife thrower, or kamikaze template to the base monster for extra fun. Even without the homebrew they are one of the best monsters to use if you are tired of goblins and kobolds.

Not a specific monster but...
I got the term from an old AngryDM article. Basically, when a monster drops to 0 HP they get a new set of HP and most conditions/effects removed. They also get an immediate turn that interrupts the players. You can also give them new abilities or stats everytime this happens. Picture any video game boss that changes form/abilities/tactics as you whittle it down. I use this in place of legendary resistance to make boss fights more interesting. It guarantee at least 2 or 3 turns for my monster depending on how many resets they get, players don't have their abilities ignored though they might be ended early, and it acts as a cue for the players to know how far down they've taken the enemy.


ORC (Open RPG) horde ally
First, it should be noted that I use homebrew statblocks for every monster.

Dragons are my favorite monsters to throw at my players, followed by froghemoths, and then constructs and giants. Certain low-level monsters like hell hounds and girallons are also fun for me.
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I'm a Hag Guy. Seriously, it's become a joke in the games that I run that EVERY female NPC they have contact with is a disguised hag. (I know they can be and disguise themselves as male as well, but in my campaigns they just aren't and don't. Well, not yet anyway.) Just started a Witchlight campaign and couldn't be happier. Then it's back to Eberron for an adventure in, you guessed it, Droaam.

I've seen people on the boards complain that hags have been overused. Strong disagreement. Don't judge...

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