Welcome back to Dave’s Daily Fifth Edition 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 Fifth Edition 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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