Animated Object Variants for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

animated objects 5e - talking wall mounted trophy

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

  • My thoughts on animated objects.
  • 5 new animated object variants.

Errata:

  • 10/7/2018: changed the damage immunity of swarm of flying books from immunities to resistances.

Thoughts on Animated Objects

Whether it’s Belle’s friends in Beauty and the Beast, Mickey’s helpers in Fantasia, or even the cabin decorations in Evil Dead 2, animated objects are a staple of good magic stories.

Way back in 3e, there were a lot of animated objects. However, the only thing that set them apart from each other was their relative sizes. So they felt a little phoned in. Fortunately, that’s not the case in 5e. Each animated object is unique and fun in its own way.

The trio in the Monster Manual are definitely not high challenge rating stuff, so it’s likely your PC’s will encounter them at early levels. And probably not too far beyond that unless in great bulk, but I find it unlikely you’ll ever toss more than 5-6 suits of armor/flying swords/rugs at high level characters.

According to Keith Amman, the strategies for the three Monster Manual animated objects are as follows:

  • Animated armor is a robo-punching brute with above average strength and dex. It’s pretty much just going to pound on you until you destroy it.
  • The flying sword flies, hits you, stays out of range, and repeats this until destroyed.
  • And the rug of smothering grabs one character, beats on ’em, then probably gets destroyed while gobbling that unlucky PC up.

Honestly, I don’t think any of these guys are meant to be serious threats. Just weird, fun stuff that happens to PC’s while they’re wandering around a wizard’s tower or something similar.

5 New Animated Objects for 5e

I didn’t want to step too far away from the nutty low-levelness of these animated objects. If anything, I want to add more to further along the ol’ haunted mansion vibe these throw off. And I knew I wanted some stuff that was more than just a living object hitting you with itself.

First up, this one felt a bit like a no-brainer: I had to create a flying book. Basically fire vulnerable bats. Of course, a flying book by itself isn’t much of a threat, so in addition to the flying book I created a swarm of flying books. And to really make things interesting, I also added in a “boss-level” flying book, a flying spellbook that casts spells from its own pages.

Then, I needed some big furniture, too. Here comes the walking wardrobe! It’ll be the “tank” of the bunch and can probably do some pretty rough slam attacks. Plus, it’ll throw some punches with its drawers and gobble adventurers up in its “mouth.”

And finally, because I’m a big ol’ Evil Dead 2 nerd, I wanted to have a laughing wall mounted head. This one would work a little different than the bunch, too. To really throw it back to Evil Dead 2, I’d give it a spell like ability (Tasha’s hideous laughter seems appropriate enough) and the ability to fly and gore.

As usual, these animated objects are totally free for you to use in your 5e campaigns. Just not commercially. And the art ain’t mine. Borrowed!

 

5e animated objects - flying books

Flying Book

Tiny construct, unaligned


Armor Class 12

Hit Points 1 (1d4)

Speed 5 ft., fly 30 ft.


Abilities Str 2 (-4), Dex 15 (+2), Con 9 (-1), Int 1 (-5), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 1 (-5)


Damage Vulnerability fire

Damage Immunities poison, psychic

Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10

Languages

Challenge 0 (10 XP)


Antimagic Susceptibility. The book is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the book must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the book remains motionless and isn’t flying, it is indistinguishable from a normal book.


Actions

Pelt. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage.

 

Flying Spellbook

Tiny construct, unaligned


Armor Class 12 (15 with mage armor)

Hit Points 35 (10d4 + 10)

Speed 5 ft., fly 30 ft.


Abilities Str 2 (-4), Dex 15 (+2), Con 12 (+1), Int 16 (+3), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 1 (-5)


Saves Con +3

Skills Arcana +4, Perception +3

Damage Vulnerability fire

Damage Immunities poison, psychic

Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 11

Languages

Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)


Antimagic Susceptibility. The book is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the book must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

Spellcasting. The flying spellbook is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 13, +5 to hit with spell attacks). It requires no components to cast its spells. The spellbook has the following wizard spells prepared:

Cantrips (at will): mage hand, ray of frost

1st level (3 slots): magic missile, mage armor

2nd level (2 slots): darkness, mirror image

3rd level (1 slot): lightning bolt

False Appearance. While the book remains motionless and isn’t flying, it is indistinguishable from a normal book.


Actions

Pelt. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1 bludgeoning damage.

 

Swarm of Flying Books

Swarm of Tiny constructs, unaligned

Armor Class 12

Hit Points 22 (5d8)

Speed 5 ft., fly 30 ft.


Abilities Str 5 (-3), Dex 15 (+2), Con 10 (+0), Int 1 (-5), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 1 (-5)


Damage Vulnerability fire

Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, slashing

Damage Immunities poison, psychic

Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 10

Languages

Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)


Antimagic Susceptibility. The swarm is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the swarm must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the books remain motionless and aren’t flying, they are indistinguishable from normal books.

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 book. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.

Action

Pelts. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 0 ft., one target in the swarm’s space. Hit: 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage, or 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage if the swarm has half of its hit points or fewer.

 

animated objects 5e - talking wall mounted trophy

Laughing Wall Mounted Head

Small construct, unaligned


Armor Class 14 (natural armor)

Hit Points 17 (5d6)

Speed 0 ft., fly 30 ft. (hover)


Abilities Str 12 (+1), Dex 15 (+2), Con 10 (+0), Int 1 (-5), Wis 5 (-3), Cha 12 (+1)


Damage Immunities poison, psychic

Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 7

Languages

Challenge 1 (200 XP)


Antimagic Susceptibility. The mounted head is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the mounted head must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

Charge. If the mounted head moves at least 10 feet straight toward a target and then hits it with a gore attack on the same turn, the target takes an extra 4 (1d8) piercing damage.

Infectious Laughter. The mounted head causes those that hear it to fall into fits of maniacal laughter. Any creature that starts its turn within 30 feet of the mounted head must succeed on a DC 11 Wisdom saving throw or fall prone, becoming incapacitated and unable to stand up for the duration. A creature with an Intelligence score of 4 isn’t affected. At the end of each of its turns, and each time it takes damage, the target can make another Wisdom saving throw. The target has advantage on the saving throw if it’s triggered by damage. On a success, the effect ends. On a successful saving throw, the creature is immune to the mounted head’s Infectious Laughter for 24 hours.

False Appearance. While the mounted head remains motionless and isn’t flying, it is indistinguishable from a normal mounted head.


Actions

Gore. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d8 + 1) piercing damage.

 

walking-wardrobe

Walking Wardrobe

Large construct, unaligned


Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points  66 (12d10)

Speed 10 ft.


Abilities Str 18 (+4), Dex 6 (-2), Con 10 (+0), Int 1 (-5), Wis 3 (-4), Cha 1 (-5)


Damage Immunities poison, psychic

Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive Perception 6

Languages

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Antimagic Susceptibility. The wardrobe is incapacitated while in the area of an antimagic field. If targeted by dispel magic, the wardrobe must succeed on a Constitution saving throw against the caster’s spell save DC or fall unconscious for 1 minute.

False Appearance. While the wardrobe remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal wardrobe.


Actions

Multiattack. The wardrobe makes four attacks: three with its drawers and one with its grasping clothes. It can use its Swallow instead of its grasping clothes.

Drawer. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage.

Grasping Clothes. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage. If the target is a creature, it is grappled (escape DC 14). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the wardrobe can’t use its grasping clothes on another target.

Swallow. The wardrobe makes one grasping clothes attack against a Medium or smaller creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target takes the grasping clothes’ damage, and the target is swallowed. While swallowed, the creature is blinded and restrained, it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the wardrobe, and it takes 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage at the start of each of the wardrobe’s turns. If the wardrobe takes 10 damage or more on a single turn from a creature inside it, the wardrobe must succeed on a DC 20 Constitution saving throw at the end of that turn or expel the swallowed creature, which falls prone in a space within 5 feet of the wardrobe. If the wardrobe dies, a swallowed creature is no longer restrained by it and can escape from the broken wardrobe by using 5 feet of its movement.

 

Thanks for reading!

Man, that was a fun one to write. I’m kinda dying to use some of these animated objects in my own Dungeons & Dragons 5e campaigns!

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with ankhegs. This’ll be a good one, because, frankly I don’t know much about them other than they’re big bugs and they spit acid. Or something.

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See you later!

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