Classic D&D Monsters

Written by Martin K.

warforged juggernaut by benwoottenAdamantine Golem

Adamantine is a magical metal, and one of the hardest known substances. Not only is the material incredibly rare, it must be smelted and forged by magically enhanced fire as no natural material burns hot enough to melt it. The secret of adamantine smithing is a closely guarded secret of the Dwarf King's court.

Because a fully solid adamantium golem would be so heavy that every single step would shake the dwarven halls and risk a cave-in, they are hollow inside. Ancient dwarven heroes were honored by enchanting golems from the armors they wore in their greatest battles to guard their tombs.

Adamantine Golem
Size/Strength Large; Level 10th; Role Blocker; Type Construct Initiative +11

Finest Dwarven Weaponry +16 vs. AC - 80 damage

Bend lesser metals: The golem ignores any armor that is not made from adamantium or is an epic-level true magic item, and attacks PD instead (if lower).

Adamantium shell: The golem has resist all 20 except adamantium weapons, epic level magic item weapons and the Disintegrate spell.

Protect Master: The golem has the Fighter's Skilled Intercept ability.

Golem immunity: Immune to effects. The golem can’t be dazed, weakened, confused, made vulnerable, or touched by ongoing damage. You can damage a golem, but that’s about it.

Nastier special: The golem has been fashioned from an enchanted set of armor, and therefore has an armor magic item ability, usually splendor (engaged enemies take a -2 penalty to attack the golem's allies)

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Art credit: Ben Wootten - Warforged Juggernaut


rob torno carrion crawler color1Carrion Crawler

Carrion crawlers scour putrid flesh from carcasses and gobble the slimy bones that remain. They aggressively attack any creature that trespasses on their territory or disturbs their feasting.

Carrion Eaters. A carrion crawler follows the scent of death to its food, but it prefers not to compete with other scavengers. These foul creatures thus hunker down in territories where death is plentiful and other carrion eaters have limited mobility. Caves, sewers, dungeons, and forested marshes are their favored lairs, but carrion crawlers are also drawn to battlefields and cemeteries. A carrion crawler roams on the hunt, its tentacles probing the air for the scent of blood or decay. In tunnels or ruins, carrion crawlers scurry across the ceiling as they move toward food. In this way, they avoid contact with oozes, otyughs, and other dangerous inhabitants of the darkness, even as they surprise potential meals that don't think to look up.

Patient Predators. Whether in subterranean darkness or while hunting at night, light signals a potential meal. A carrion crawler might follow a light source from a distance for hours, hoping to pick up the scent of blood. Despite their great size, carrion crawlers can also easily set up ambushes by waiting around blind corners for prey to come to them. When facing potential prey or intruders, a carrion crawler lets its poison do the work. Once a victim goes rigid with paralysis, the carrion crawler wraps it with its tentacles and drags it away to a high ledge or isolated passageway, where it can be killed safely. The monster then resumes patrolling its territory while waiting for its meal to ripen.

Carrion Crawler
Size/Strength Large; Level 3rd; Role Spoiler; Type Beast Initiative +4

Tentacles +8 vs. AC (2 attacks, one or two targets) - 8 damage

Natural 18+: 5 ongoing poison damage, and the target is paralyzed (can't take actions, save ends).

Bite +8 vs. AC (quick action against paralyzed targets) - 18 damage.

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Art credit: Rob Torno - Carrion Crawler 

angel astraldeva color 01 by prodigyduck d8w8mazDeva

Devas are angels that act as divine messengers or agents to the mundane world. In their natural form, they appear as otherworldly beautiful humanoid beings with silvery skin and giant, feathery wings unfurling from their shoulder blades. Their eyes and hair gleam with unearthly luster.

If their mission requires it, they can assume a form appropriate to the realm they are sent to. Legend tells of angels that take mortal form for years, lending aid, hope, and courage to goodhearted folk. A deva can take any shape, although it prefers to appear to mortals as an innocuous humanoid or animal.

As divine beings, devas are aligned with the Priestess, but while the Priestess is often caught up in the petty, mortal squabbles between the clergy of the different faiths in Santa Cora, devas see themselves bound to the direct command of the gods themselves, gods that are often distant and uninterested in mortal affairs.

Size/Strength Normal; Level 8th; Role Troop; Type Celestial Initiative +10

Mace +14 vs. AC - 30 holy damage, +2d8 damage for each of the target's positive relationship points with an evil icon

Critical Hit: Increase the escalation die by 1 and make a radiant smite attack.

(Special trigger) Radiant Smite +12 vs. PD (1d4 nearby targets) - 50 holy damage, and the target is dazed until the end of its next turn.

Angelic Resistance: At the start of its turn, the Deva can end one condition that a save can end as a free action.

Flight: Devas can fly but prefer to fight on the ground.

Escalator: When a deva throws off its disguise and appears in its true form, it adds the escalation die to attacks, and grants that ability to all allies with a positive relationship to a good-alined icon.

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Art credit: Prodigyduck - Astral Deva

displacer beastDisplacer Beast

This monstrous predator takes its name from its ability to displace light so that it appears to be several feet away from its actual location. A displacer beast resembles a sleek great cat covered in blue-black fur. However, its otherworldly origins are clear in its six legs and the two tentacles sprouting from its shoulders, both ending in pads tipped with spiky protrusions. A displacer beast's eyes glow with an awful malevolence that persists even in death.

There is a multitude of rumors about the origin of displacer beasts. Some pin the blame on an ancient enemy of the Wizard King, a master of transmutation magic who attempted to take down the empire of his rival by setting loose chimaeras and and other mutated experiments.

Another theory is that these were jungle creatures, transformed by the magic of a living dungeon.

Yet another theory is that these beings were created by the drow of the Star Court as hunting pets, which would explain their high frequency in the Queen's Wood.

They are suspiciously absent from the Wild Wood, and it is thought that they were exterminated there by treants and the servants of the High Druid.

Love of the Kill. Displacer beasts kill not just for food but also for sport. They target prey even when not hungry, often toying with their victims to entertain themselves until they are ready to eat. After killing its prey using its tentacles, a displacer beast drags the corpse to a quiet place where it can feed without distraction. Displacer beasts hunt alone or in small prides that demonstrate skill at setting ambushes. A single beast will strike and withdraw, luring prey into a densely wooded area where its packmates wait. Packs of displacer beasts hunting near trade roads recall the frequency and schedule of regular caravans, laying down ambushes to pick off those caravans.

Displacer Beast
Size/Strength Large; Level 6th; Role Wrecker; Type Beast Initiative +10

Feline Teeth +11 vs. AC - 30 damage

Natural even hit+: Make two Slapping Tentacles attacks.

[Special Trigger] Slapping Tentacle +11 vs. AC - 15 damage.

Displacement (Interrupt Action; Trigger: when targeted by an attack with an odd natural roll) The attack fails as the displacer beast reveals its true location and makes a Feline Teeth attack against a nearby enemy. If the attack hits, the displacer beast can benefit from the escalation die for the rest of the battle.

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Art credit: ? 


When the Great Gold Wyrm pledged himself to drive the demons back into the Abyss, a pride of lions pledged loyalty to him. In return, these lions were given the gift of dragon blood, and grew scaled, metallic skin and wings. As their most powerful weapon, they were given a roar that echoes the Great Gold Wyrm himself, strong enough to freeze the blood in the veins of their enemies.

The offspring of these lions now patrol the southern borders of the Empire, catching demons that escaped the Great Gold Wyrm's watch.

They speak the language of brass dragons and sphinxes.

Size/Strength Large; Level 4th; Role Troop; Type Beast Initiative +7

Huge Claws +9 vs. AC - 20 damage

Natural even hit+: Make a Giant Fangs attacks.

[Special Trigger] Giant Fangs +9 vs. AC - 15 damage.

Mighty Roar +8 vs. MD - The target is subject to fear (dazed and can't benefit from the escalation die; save ends). If the target is already under fear are weakened.

Flight: Dragonnes can stay airborne for short periods of time only (1-3 rounds)

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Art credit: ? 

kyton sacristanKyton (Chain Devil)

Chain Devils feed on mortal's inner fears and inhibitions. The things that hold us back, a kyton can hear them, smell them, give them a physical shape. Once it knows the boundary that you will not cross, it puts it in front of you, around you, that you cannot escape the cage it built for you.

Kytons are masters of interrogation and torture. They build intricate dungeons of webbed chains, which they can animate to strike at prisoners and intruders.

The Diabolist is especially fond of Kytons and prefers them as torturers and jailers. According to rumors, the Crusader also uses "reformed" and "enslaved" Kytons in the same role in First Triumph, which raises more than a few question marks.

Kyton (Chain Devil)
Size/Strength Double; Level 6th; Role Spoiler; Type Devil Initiative +8

C: Animated Spiked Chains +11 vs. AC (1d4 nearby targets) - 10 damage

Natural Even Hit: 5 ongoing damage.
Natural Odd hit: The target is grabbed and hampered (save ends both)

C: Unnerving Gaze +9 vs. MD - 30 psychic damage, the target is dazed (save ends)

Natural Even Hit: The Kyton learns the target's Inner Fear.

Devil's Due (first time): The first time you use the escalation die against the Kyton, it learns your Inner Fear.

Devil's Due (always): Whenever anyone uses the escalation die against it, the Kyton deals 10 psychic damage to all enemies it has currently grabbed.

Inner Fear: The devil learns a secret that you keep, or a fear that is holding you back. It heals 20 hit points as it feeds on the newfound knowledge. Once it knows the secret it rolls twice on attacks against you and takes the better result, and you must roll twice on saves against the Kyton's attack effects and take the worse result. This effect lasts until the end of the battle or until you successfully challenge your Inner Fear as below.

Challenging the Inner Fear: Once a Kyton knows a PCs Inner Fear, the PC can attempt to overcome it. This requires a standard action, but should be resolved in the story, not just a die roll. Together with the player, create a flashback scene to a pivotal moment in the PCs life where they were not able to overcome their fears and inhibitions. Allow them to confront and overcome it. If the PC succeeds, the Inner Fear is removed and he or she is immune to the effect until the end of the battle. Challenging the Inner Fear is a painful process that can cause additional psychic damage, especially if you fail.

Web of Chains: When you fail a check to disengage from the Kyton, it can make an animated spiked chain attack with only you as the target.

Resist fire and psychic 13+

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Art credit: Liarath - Kyton Sacristan


Mimics are shapeshifting predators able to take on the form of inanimate objects to lure creatures to their doom. In dungeons, these cunning creatures most often take the form of doors and chests, having learned that such forms attract a steady stream of prey.

Imitative Predators. Mimics can alter their outward texture to resemble wood, stone, and other basic materials, and they have evolved to assume the appearance of objects that other creatures are likely to come into contact with. A mimic in its altered form is nearly unrecognizable until potential prey blunders into its reach, whereupon the monster sprouts pseudopods and attacks. When it changes shape, a mimic excretes an adhesive that helps it seize prey and weapons that touch it. The adhesive is absorbed when the mimic assumes its amorphous form and on parts the mimic uses to move itself.

Cunning Hunters. Mimics live and hunt alone, though they occasionally share their feeding grounds with other creatures. Although most mimics have only predatory intelligence, a rare few evolve greater cunning and the ability to carry on simple conversations in Common or Undercommon. Such mimics might allow safe passage through their domains or provide useful information in exchange for food.

Size/Strength Normal; Level 4th; Role Blocker; Type Aberration Initiative +4

Unexpected Teeth +9 vs. AC - 15 acid damage

Natural even hit: The target is stuck to the mimic and can't disengage (save ends)

Big Hungry Mouth +8 vs. PD (free action at the start of its turn against stuck targets, large creatures are immune) - 20 acid damage and the target is swallowed. Swallowed creatures take 20 acid damage at the start of the mimic's turn and are hampered (hard save 16+ to escape). They can't be targeted. If they must make death save, they fail automatically as they suffocate.

Shrieking in Pain (free action when the mimic suffers a critical hit). Release all swallowed creatures, and make a +10 vs. PD attack against all engaged enemies - 10 acid damage.

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Art credit: ? 

mind flayer by antoasimov d6l7t5iMind Flayer (Illithid)

An illithid, also called a mind flayer, is an evil and sadistic being, humanoid in appearance, but with a four-tentacled octopus-like head. These beings are feared throughout the Underdark for their telepathic abilities.

Mind Flayers usually travel with two or more slaves, mentally bound to them. Although they cooperate to achieve a goal, they would back away at the first sign that something was not profitable to themselves. They are capable of speaking Undercommon, but preferred telepathic communication and attempt to mentally dominate any non-slave, non-illithid they meet. They feed on the brains of sentient creatures and are thus feared. Their natural psionic abilities also makes them respected in the eyes of the drow, beholders, duergar, and the other dominant races of the Underdark.

Mind Flayer (Illithid)
Size/Strength Normal; Level 6th; Role Spoiler; Type Aberration Initiative +8

Face Tentacles +10 vs. AC (+14 against dazed targets; two attacks against one target) - 7 damage

Both attacks hit: The illithid starts sucking the target's brain out. The target is grabbed, stunned and takes 15 ongoing psychic damage (save ends all)

C: Mind Blast +8 vs. MD (1d3 targets) - 10 damage and the target is dazed (save ends)

C: Dominate +10 vs. MD - The target makes a basic attack against a target specified by the mind flayer

Levitate: The mind flayer can lift its body with psionics, hover and float at slow speeds

Nastier specials:

  • The brain sucking effect deals 25 damage and saves against the brain sucking effect are hard saves (16+)
  • Psionic abilities such as teleportation and plane shift
  • Escalator (can benefit from the escalation die)
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Art credit: Antoasimov - The Mind Flayer

yuantiAbominationYuan-Ti Abomination

In a past age, the Yuan-Ti ruled a great empire that stretched across the Red Wastes until the southern shore of the Midland Sea. Some histories claim that it was the Wizard King who slew their god-like leader Merrshaulk and set the foundation for the Dragon Empire. In the 13th Age, the Yuan-Ti have been driven back to the south, and can be found in the jungles beyond the Wild Wood and the Red Wastes.

Yuan-ti abominations are monstrous serpent-like creatures, almost completely snakelike except for a roughly humanoid torso. They formed the highest caste of yuan-ti society. With their almost completely serpentine form and vaguely humanoid arms able to use weapons and tools, abominations were the form of yuan-ti that most closely resembled the originally intended appearance of the yuan-ti race as envisioned by the serpent gods.

However, despite having formally the highest status, many Abominations are brutish and beastlike in character. They make effective elite troops, but in politics and religious hierachies they are often just a figurehead while more cunning purebloods pull the strings.

Yuan-Ti Abomination
Size/Strength Normal; Level 7th; Role Troop; Type Aberration Initiative +9

Double Scimitars +13 vs. AC - 20 damage

Natural even attack roll: Make a second attack. Choose any available attack form.

Snake Bite +13 vs. AC (roll twice against grabbed targets and take the better result) - 15 ongoing poison damage.

Constrictor +10 vs. PD - 15 damage and the Abomination grabs the target.

R: Bone Arrow +13 vs. AC - 15 damage and 5 ongoing poison damage

Vulnerable to cold; resist poison 12+

Slither: Enemies who attempt to intercept a Yuan-Ti Abomination must make a save. If the save fails, the intercept fails.

Nastier specials:

C: Hypnotizing Gaze (quick action when the escalation die is even): +12 vs. MD - The target loses its next standard action

Miss: The target can't benefit from the escalation die until the end of its next turn.

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Art credit: 5E Monster Manual

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