Dullahan | New Monster for Fifth Edition

“The Dullahan is depicted as a headless rider, usually on a black horse, who carries their own head under one arm. Usually, the Dullahan is male, but there are some female versions. The mouth is usually in a hideous grin that touches both sides of the head. Its eyes are constantly moving about and can see across the countryside even during the darkest nights. The flesh of the head is said to have the color and consistency of moldy cheese. The Dullahan is believed to use the spine of a human corpse for a whip, and its wagon is adorned with funeral objects: it has candles in skulls to light the way, the spokes of the wheels are made from thigh bones, and the wagon’s covering is made from a worm-chewed pall or dried human skin. The ancient Irish believed that where the Dullahan stops riding, a person is due to die. The Dullahan calls out the person’s name, drawing away the soul of his victim, at which point the person immediately drops dead.

“There are rumors that golden objects can force the Dullahan to disappear.” (Source: Wikipedia – Dullahan).

Dullahan’s Mount. The dullahan rides a nightmare, warhorse skeleton, or ghoulish steed. The ghoulish steed uses the same stat block as a warhorse, but its type is undead, and it is immune to poison as well as the exhaustion and poisoned conditions.

Undead Nature. The dullahan does not require air, food, drink, or sleep.

Dullahan

Medium undead, chaotic evil


Armor Class 15 (studded leather armor)

Hit Points 78 (12d8 + 24)

Speed 30 ft. (60 ft. mounted)


Abilities Str 16 (+3), Dex 17 (+3), Con 14 (+2), Int 11 (+0), Wis 13 (+1), Cha 17 (+3)


Saving Throws Dex +6, Cha +6

Skills Perception +4

Damage Resistances necrotic

Damage Immunities poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical weapons not made with golden weapons

Condition Immunities exhaustion, poisoned

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception +16

Languages the languages it knew in life

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


Severed Head. The dullahan carries around its own severed head. If it drops its head or its head is stolen, the dullahan is blind and deafened until it regains it. The dullahan always knows the distance and location of its head as long as it is on the same plane of existence as the Dullahan.

Sunlight Sensitivity. While in sunlight, the dullahan has disadvantage on attack rolls, as well as on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight.

Turn Resistance. The dullahan has advantage on any saving throws against any effect that turns undead.


Actions

Multiattack. The dullahan makes two attacks with its bone whip.

Bone Whip. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage plus 14 (4d6) necrotic damage.

Dullahan’s Call (1/Day). The dullahan calls the name of a creature it can see within 120 feet of it. The creature whose name the dullahan calls must succeed on a DC 14 Charisma saving throw. A creature with more than 100 hit points automatically passes its saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the creature drops to 0 hit points and is cursed. While the target is cursed, it makes all of its death saving throws at disadvantage until a remove curse spell is cast upon it. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes 27 (8d6) necrotic damage and isn’t cursed.

Variant: Headless Horseman

The iconic headless horseman from the Legend of Sleepy Hollow can be created with a few minor changes. Remove the dullahan’s Severed Head trait and give the horseman blindsight to 120 ft. (blind beyond this radius). The headless horseman wields a spectral scimitar in place of a bone whip, and in place of its head, it holds a flaming pumpkin. It has the following additional action options:

  • Multiattack.  The dullahan makes two attacks with its scimitar. It can throw its pumpkin head in place of one of its scimitar attacks.
  • Scimitar. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 1d6 + 3 slashing damage plus 14 (4d6) necrotic damage.
  • Flaming Pumpkin (1/Day). Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 20/60 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage plus 7 (2d6) fire damage. If the target is a creature or flammable object, it ignites. Until a creature takes an action to douse the fire, the target takes 3 (1d6) fire damage at th end of each of its turns. Hit or miss, the pumpkin head is destroyed.

 

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