Aboleth Variants for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

Welcome back to Dave’s Daily D&D Monsters! Today, I’ll be tackling the aboleth. Here’s what you can expect from this post:

  • A short introduction to aboleths.
  • My thoughts and inspirations going into creating these variations.
  • 2 new aboleth variants plus 2 spin-off creations.

Aboleths, the Horrors from the Depths

Aboleths. They’re totally gross, right? Basically big, psionic eels straight out of a Lovecraft short story. Not only are they scheming behind the scenes, sending out their minions to do all their dirty work, but they also have that body-horror ickiness that makes my skin crawl.

Hit someone with a tentacle and they turn into a fish person? Barf!

But I guess that’s why they’re such good D&D villains. Players don’t want to come anywhere near these things. Not that they ever should, mind you, if they’re played right. They’re smart, weird, and always five steps ahead.

Two Aboleth Variants

For aboleths, I created two distinct variants.

The first variant, the aboleth fry, seemed a bit more obvious. Basically, a fry is a young version of an aboleth; a baby aboleth, if you will. It carries a lot of the same basic stuff as an aboleth, but loses its lair actions, legendary actions, and overall size. It’s basically to an aboleth what a dragon wyrmling is to a legendary dragon. However, what’s interesting about the fry is that it still has the same Intelligence and Wisdom as a full grown aboleth. The reasoning behind this is that aboleths have eternal memories. They pass on their knowledge and experience from generation to generation. So while the little bugger might not be as tough as mom or dad, it’s just as devious and alien as those that spawned it.

Next up is the lumwochaak. And man, did I have fun coming up with this thing. Basically, it’s a bigger, stronger, and meaner version of the basic aboleth. Yet still much different. Think of it as a rogue mutation of aboleths, something most aboleths try to destroy immediately. And instead of turning those it fights into goopy fish people, it seeks to impregnate a host with its larvae. Then, once the host “comes to term”, eel-like horrors crawl out of any available orifice.

Oh, and by the way, the host is still alive while this happens. And the host remains alive, spawning lumwochaak babies indefinitely as the lumwochaak and the spawn work to keep it alive.

After six months of feeding, the lumwochaak spawn grow into ugly, bald, speechless versions of the spawning host and act as minions for “daddy” lumwochaak.

Because, hey, aboleths weren’t awful enough, right?

Along with the lumwochaak, I’ve also included a swarm of lumwochaak spawn and the lumwochaak greater spawn template along with a sample.

The Lumwochaak was Inspired by Dyson Logos

If you haven’t already given it a read, I’ve been writing an adventure series on populating Dyson Logos’ amazing Dyson Mega-Delve. In The Flooded Tunnels map of the Mega-Delve there is a description given of a horrible monster, its strange bald servants, plus a whole mess of its toothy children:

A foul mastermind of a beast crawled in along the Lost River cave and into the mines and has settled into the chamber just north of the waterfall and source of the smaller river. From this location it has sent its minions out to collect materials and based on the genetic materials collected (from an unlucky adventurer) has birthed a collection of nearly identical human-seeming creatures under its control. As they don’t speak, they have been named “the brotherhood” by those other factions that have encountered them.

Also swimming the waters of this area are the true children of the mastermind beast. These little non-sentient monstrosities swarm in the water wherever they encounter food or blood. Any serious adventuring in this area will first require wiping out the thousands of these little toothy bastards, or keeping the whole party above the water at all times.

Thus, the lumwochaak and its children were born!

All of these aboleth variants are free for you to use in your own 5e campaign. Just not commercially. And the art isn’t mine. Borrowed!

If you notice a mistake or have a suggestion for improvement, please feel free to leave a comment below.

aboleth

Aboleth Fry

Medium aberration, lawful evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 71 (13d8 + 13)

Speed 5 ft., swim 30 ft.


Abilities Str 16 (+3), Dex 9 (-1), Con 12 (+1), Int 18 (+4), Wis 15 (+2), Cha 16 (+3)


Saving Throws Con +3, Int +6, Wis +4

Skills History +8, Perception +6

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 16

Languages Deep Speech, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Amphibious. The aboleth can breathe air and water.

Mucous Cloud. While underwater, the aboleth is surrounded by transformative mucus. A creature that touches the aboleth or that hits it with a melee attack within 5 feet of it must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature is diseased for 1d4 hours. The diseased creature can breathe only underwater.

Probing Telepathy. If a creature communicates telepathically with the aboleth, the aboleth learns the creature’s greatest desires if the aboleth can see the creature.


Actions

Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 11 Constitution saving throw or become diseased. The disease has no effect for 1 minute and can be removed by any magic that cures disease. After 1 minute, the diseased creature’s skin becomes translucent and slimy, the creature can’t regain hit points unless it is underwater, and the disease can be removed only by heal or another disease-curing spell of 6th level or higher. When the creature is outside a body of water, it takes 6 (1d12) acid damage every 10 minutes unless moisture is applied to the skin before 10 minutes have passed.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft. one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

 

lumwochaak

Lumwochaak

Huge aberration (lumwochaak), lawful evil

Armor Class 17 (natural armor)

Hit Points 190 (20d12 + 60)

Speed 10 ft., swim 50 ft.


Abilities Str 24 (+7), Dex 7 (-2), Con 17 (+3), Int 18 (+4), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 17 (+3)


Saving Throws Con +8, Int +9

Skills Deception +13, Perception +10

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 20

Languages Deep Speech, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 14 (11,300 XP)


Amphibious. The lumwochaak can breathe air and water.

Luring Visage. Any humanoid or giant that can see the lumwochaak must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed. The lumwochaak can drop its appearance at any time. The visage ends if the lumwochaak is incapacitated.

While charmed by the lumwochaak, a target is incapacitated and ignores the visage of other lumwochaak. If the charmed target is more than 5 feet away from the lumwochaak, the target must move on its turn toward the lumwochaak by the most direct route, trying to get within 5 feet. It doesn’t avoid opportunity attacks, but before moving into damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit, and whenever it takes damage from a source other than the lumwochaak, the target can repeat the saving throw. A charmed target can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If the saving throw is successful, the effect ends on it.

A target that successfully saves is immune to the lumwochaak’s visage for the next 24 hours.


Actions

Multiattack. The lumwochaak makes three tentacle attacks.

Tentacle. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (3d8 + 7) bludgeoning damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 20). If the target is Huge or smaller, it is also restrained until this grapple ends. While grappling the target, the lumwochaak has advantage on attack rolls against it. When the lumwochaak moves, any Huge or smaller target it is grappling moves with it.

Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +12 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 29 (5d8 + 7)

Kiss. Melee weapon attack: +12 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d6 + 7) piercing damage and 27 (6d8) psychic damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or be diseased and impregnated with lumwochaak larvae. The disease has no effect for 1 minute and can be removed by any magic that cures disease. After 1 minute, the diseased creature’s body becomes bulbous and bloated. The diseased creature can’t regain hit points, and its Dexterity maximum decreases by 2 for every 24 hours to a minimum of 1. If the disease reduces the target’s Dexterity to 1, the target becomes permanently incapacitated. Once permanently incapacitated, 1d4+1 swarms of lumwochaak spawn emerge from the creature every 24 hours. The disease can be removed only by heal or another disease-curing spell of 6th level or higher.

Vomit Spawn (1/day). The lumwochaak exhales a swarm of its spawn in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in that area must make a DC 20 Dexterity saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) bludgeoning damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Additionally, place 1d4 + 1 swarm of lumwochaak spawn in the affected area.


Legendary Actions

The lumwochaak can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. Only one legendary action option can be used at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The lumwochaak regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Detect. The lumwochaak makes a Wisdom (Perception) check.

Tail Swipe. The lumwochaak makes one tail attack.

Whirl (Costs 2 actions). If the lumwochaak is in water, each creature also in the same body of water within 10 feet of the lumwochaak must succeed on a DC 19 saving throw or take (1d6 + 7) bludgeoning damage and be knocked prone. The lumwochaak can then swim up to half its swimming speed.


A Lumwochaak’s Lair

Lumwochaak lair in subterranean lakes. A lumwochaak spends most of its existence underwater, surfacing occasionally to treat with visitors or to create spawn.

Lair Actions

When fighting inside its lair, a lumwochaak can invoke the ambient magic to take lair actions. On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), the lumwochaak takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects:

  • The lumwochaak changes all water to thick sludge within a 20-foot-radius sphere centered on a point the lumwochaak can see within 120 feet of it. The sludge spreads around corners. Each creature without the lumwochaak sub-type  in the sludge when it appears must make a DC 10 Dexterity saving throw or take 7 (2d6) acid damage and become restrained on a failed save, or take half damage and have its movement reduced by half on a successful one. A creature that ends its turn in the sludge takes 6 (2d6) acid damage.  The sludge lasts until the lumwochaak uses its lair action again or until the lumwochaak dies.
  • Pools of water within 90 feet of the lumwochaak surge outward in a grasping tide. Any creature on the ground within 20 feet of such a pool must succeed on a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be pulled up to 20 feet into the water and knocked prone. The lumwochaak can’t use this lair action again until has used a different one.
  • Water in the lumwochaak’s lair magically becomes a conduit for the creature’s rage. The lumwochaak can target any number of creatures it can see in such water within 90 feet of it. A target must succeed on a DC 14 saving throw or take 7 (2d6) psychic damage. The lumwochaak can’t use this lair action again until it has used a different one.

Regional Effects

The region containing a lumwochaak’s lair is warped by the lumwochaak’s magic, which creates one or more of the following effects:

  • Underground surfaces within 1 mile of the lumwochaak’s lair are slimy and wet and are difficult terrain.
  • Water sources within 1 mile of the lair are supernaturally fouled. Enemies of the lumwochaak that drink such water vomit it within minutes.
  • As an action, the lumwochaak can communicate with any of lumwochaak greater spawn it created telepathically. Additionally, as an action, the lumwochaak can see through its spawn’s eyes and hear what it hears until the start of its next turn, gaining the benefits of any special senses that the spawn has. During this time, the lumwochaak is still able to see and hear with its own senses.

If the lumwochaak dies, the first two effects fade over the course of 3d10 days.

 

lumwochaak-spawn

Swarm of Lumwochaak Spawn

Medium swarm of Tiny beasts (lumwochaak), lawful evil

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 36 (8d8)

Speed 5 ft., swim 30 ft.


Abilities Str 13 (+1), Dex 12 (+1), Con 11 (+0), Int 3 (-4), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 6 (-2)


Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, prone, restrained, stunned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages

Challenge 2 (450 XP)


Amphibious. The swarm can breathe air and water.

Swarm. The swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny eel. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.


Actions

Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the swarm’s space. Hit: 14 (4d6) piercing damage, or 7 (2d6) piercing damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer. The target must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw, taking 14 (4d6) psychic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

 

morlock

Lumwochaak Greater Spawn Template

A Small, Medium, or Large beast, giant, humanoid, or monstrosity can become a lumwochaak greater spawn. It keeps its statistics, except as follows.

Type. The creature’s type becomes aberration (lumwochaak).

Alignment. The creature’s alignment becomes lawful evil.

Armor Class. The creature’s Armor Class is 15 (natural armor).

Speed. The creature gains a swim speed of 30 ft.

Statistics. The creature’s Int is 6 (-2), Wis is 8 (-1), and its Cha is reduced by 2 (minimum 1).

Senses. The creature gains darkvision with a radius of 60 feet.

Languages. The creature understands Deep Speech and the same languages as its spawning host, but can’t speak.

New Special Trait: Amphibious. The creature can breathe air and water.

New Action: Bite. The creature has a bite attack. The attack is a Melee Weapon Attack with a reach of 5 ft.  On a hit, the creature deals 1d10 piercing damage and the target is grappled. Until this grapple ends, the creature can’t bite another target.


Sample Lumwochaak Greater Spawn

Here the lumwochaak greater spawn template has been applied to a goblin.

Lumwochaak Greater Spawn Goblin

Small aberration (lumwochaak), lawful evil

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 7 (2d6)

Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.


Abilities Str 8 (-1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 10 (+0), Int 6 (-2), Wis 8 (-1), Cha 6 (-2)


Skills Stealth +6

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 9

Languages understands Common, Deep Speech, and Goblin but can’t speak

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)


Amphibious. The spawn can breathe air and water.

Nimble Escape. The spawn can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of its turns.


Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) piercing damage and the target is grappled (escape DC 9). Until this grapple ends, the creature can’t bite another target.

 

Thanks for reading!

Hopefully you enjoyed these aboleth variants and spin-offs and you have as much fun using them in your campaign as I did coming up with them. Next up in the series, I’ll be tackling angels.

See you then!

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