Formians | New Monsters for Fifth Edition

Formians hail from planes devoted to law. They seek to colonize all that they see and incorporate all living things into their hive as workers.

Expansionist in the extreme, their goal is to spread colonies until they have taken over everything and their order is unquestioned. To further this end, they attack all other creatures, usually to put them to work building and expanding cities. Formians maintain these “conscripted” workers as well as those mentally dominated by the power of their taskmasters.

A formian resembles a cross between an ant and a centaur. All formians are covered in brownish-red carapace–their size and appearance vary by type.

Militant Conquerors. Formians are generally aggressive, seeking to subdue all they encounter. If they perceive even the slightest threat to their hive-city or to their queen, they attack immediately and fight to the death. Any formian also attacks immediately if ordered to do so by a superior.

Born to Serve. Formians build fabulous hive-cities in which hundreds of the creatures dwell. They are born into their station, with no ability to progress. Workers obey orders given by warriors, myrmarchs, or the queen. Warriors carry out the will of their myrmarch commanders or the queen. Myrmarchs take orders only from the queen herself, although they have different ranks depending on services rendered. These are not positions of power but of prestige. The most prestigious of the myrmarchs guard the queen. Taskmasters are equal in rank to warriors but seldom interact with other formians.

Worker

Workers are the lowest-ranking and most common formians. They exist only to serve, performing all the necessary, lowly tasks that the hive needs. While they cannot speak, they can convey simple concepts (such as danger) by body movements. Through the hive mind, however, they can communicate just fine–although their intelligence still limits the concepts that they can grasp.

Workers are about the size of dogs, with clumsy claws usable only for manual labor.

Warrior

Warriors exist only to fight. Just slightly above workers, warriors can communicate more efficiently through the hive mind, but only to communicate battle plans and make reports to their commanders. They cannot speak otherwise.

Warriors are the size of ponies, and their claws are designed specifically for combat.

Taskmaster

Taskmasters resemble warriors with no mandibles–no apparent mouth at all, in fact. These formians communicate only telepathically ad derive sustenance from the mental energies of those they dominate.

A taskmaster’s duty is to gather and control non-formians for integration into the hive. Put simply, taskmasters enslave other creatures. They do not enjoy controlling others but believe it is the only efficient way to spread the hive to all places, a desirable end for all rational creatures. If a taskmaster can manage to “conscript” a laborer without using its dominate person ability, it will.

Those few souls who have escaped refer to formian hive-cities as “work pits.” While the formians are not cruel, they are still emotionless–and pitiless.

Myrmarch

Myrmarchs are the elite of formian society. Much more than those beneath them, these creatures individuals, with goals, desires, and creative thought. Very rarely do these ever conflict with the wishes of the queen, though–most myrmarchs are still very loyal to her.

Myrmarchs are commanders in formian armies and leaders in formian communities. They are the hands of the queen, carrying out her direct orders and making sure everything goes as exactly as she desires. Myrmarchs also have a secondary role: stamping out chaos wherever and whenever they can. Those who foment disorder, and particularly creatures that revere or exemplify it (such as slaadi), are the hated foes of myrmarchs.

Myrmarchs are the size of horses and have claws capable of fine manipulation, like human hands. They wear bronze helms to signify their position (the more elaborate the helm, the more prestige).

Queen

The queen sits at the center of the hive-city, her bloated form never moving from the royal chamber. She is served and guarded by twenty of the most loyal myrmarchs.

The queen is half again as big as a myrmarch, with atrophied legs–she cannot move. With her telepathic abilities, though, she can send instructions to and get reports from any formian within her range.

The queen does not fight. She has no ability to move. If necessary, a team of workers and myrmarchs (or dominated slaves) haul her enormous bulk to where she needs to go. This is very rare, however, and most of the time the queen remains within her well-defended chambers.

Formian Worker

Small fiend (formian), lawful neutral


Armor Class 13 (natural armor)

Hit Points 9 (2d6 + 2)

Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft.


Abilities Str 13 (+1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 13 (+1), Int 6 (-2), Wis 10 (+0), Cha 9 (-1)


Damage Resistances fire, lightning, thunder

Damage Immunities cold, poison

Condition Immunities petrification, poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10

Languages understands Formian but cannot speak

Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)


Hive Mind. If the formian is within 50 miles of a formian queen, it can communicate telepathically with all other formians that are also within 50 miles of the same queen. While telepathically connected to the hive, the formian has advantage on initiative saving throws.


Actions

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d4 + 1) piercing damage.

 

Formian Warrior

Medium fiend (formian), lawful neutral


Armor Class 15 (natural armor)

Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12)

Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.


Abilities Str 17 (+3), Dex 16 (+3), Con 14 (+2), Int 10 (+0), Wis 12 (+1), Cha 11 (+0)


Damage Resistances fire, lightning, thunder

Damage Immunities cold, poison

Condition Immunities petrification, poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 11

Languages understands Formian but cannot speak

Challenge 3 (700 XP)


Hive Mind. If the formian is within 50 miles of a formian queen, it can communicate telepathically with all other formians that are also within 50 miles of the same queen. While telepathically connected to the hive, the formian has advantage on initiative saving throws.

Magic Resistance. The formian has advantage on saving throws against spells\ and magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The warrior makes four attacks: one with its sting, two with its claws, and one with its bite.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d4 + 3) piercing damage.

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

Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 8 (2d4 + 3) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) poison damage.

 

Formian Taskmaster

Medium fiend (formian), lawful neutral


Armor Class 16 (natural armor)

Hit Points 78 (12d8 + 24)

Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.


Abilities Str 18 (+4), Dex 16 (+3), Con 14 (+2), Int 14 (+2), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 19 (+4)


Saving Throws Int +5, Cha +7

Skills Insight +6, Perception +6

Damage Resistances fire, lightning, thunder

Damage Immunities cold, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, petrification, poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 16

Languages understands Common and Formian but cannot speak, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


Hive Mind. If the formian is within 50 miles of a formian queen, it can communicate telepathically with all other formians that are also within 50 miles of the same queen. While telepathically connected to the hive, the formian has advantage on initiative saving throws.

Magic Resistance. The formian has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The warrior makes three attacks: one with its sting and two with its claws.

Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d6 + 4) slashing damage.

Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) poison damage.

Enslave. The formian targets one creature it can see within 30 feet of it. The target must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed by the formian for 1 day, or until the formian dies or is more than 1 mile from the target. The charmed target obeys the formian’s commands and can’t take reactions, and the formian and the target can communicate telepathically with each other at a distance of up to 1 mile. Whenever the charmed target takes damage, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. The formian can enslave up to four creatures at a time with this ability.

 

Formian Myrmarch

Large fiend (formian), lawful neutral


Armor Class 20 (natural armor)

Hit Points 123 (13d10 + 52)

Speed 40 ft., climb 30 ft.


Abilities Str 19 (+4), Dex 16 (+3), Con 18 (+4), Int 16 (+3), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 17 (+3)


Saving Throws Int +7, Wis +7, Cha +7

Skills Insight +7, Perception +7

Damage Resistances fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities cold, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, petrification, poisoned

Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Common, Formian, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)


Detect Chaos. The formian can sense the presence of chaotic creatures up to 100 feet away. It knows the direction they’re in but not their exact location.

Hive Mind. If the formian is within 50 miles of a formian queen, it can communicate telepathically with all other formians that are also within 50 miles of the same queen. While telepathically connected to the hive, the formian has advantage on initiative saving throws.

Innate Spellcasting. The formian’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 15). It can cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

  • At will: clairvoyance, detect thoughts, teleport

Magic Resistance. The formian has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.


Actions

Multiattack. The formian uses its Charm if it is able. Then it makes three attacks: one with its bite, one with its sting, and one with its javelin.

Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d4 + 4) piercing damage.

Sting. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one creature. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or take 10 (3d6) poison damage.

Javelin. Melee or Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft. or range 30/120 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) piercing damage.

Charm (Recharge 4-6). The formian targets one creature that it can see within 30 feet of it. The creature must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the formian. The charmed target regards the formian as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn’t under the formian’s control, it takes the formian’s requests or actions in the most favorable way it can.

Each time the formian or the formian’s companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours, until the formian is destroyed, or the formian is 1 mile or further away from the target, or the formian takes a bonus action to end the effect.

 

Formian Queen

Large fiend (formian), lawful neutral


Armor Class 18 (natural armor)

Hit Points 210 (20d10 + 64)

Speed 0 ft.


Abilities Str 3 (-4), Dex 5 (-3), Con 20 (+5), Int 20 (+5), Wis 20 (+5), Cha 21 (+5)


Saving Throws Con +11, Int +11, Wis +11, Cha +11

Skills Insight +11, Perception +11

Damage Resistances fire, lightning, thunder; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks

Damage Immunities cold, poison

Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, petrification, poisoned, prone

Senses truesight 120 ft., passive Perception 21

Languages understands Common and Formian but can’t speak, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 18 (20,000 XP)


Detect Chaos. The queen can sense the presence of chaotic creatures up to 100 feet away. It knows the direction they’re in but not their exact location.

Hive Mind. The queen can communicate telepathically with any formians that are within 50 miles of it. While telepathically connected to the hive, the queen has advantage on initiative saving throws.

Legendary Resistance (3/day). If the queen fails a saving throw it can choose to succeed instead.

Innate Spellcasting. The queen’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 19). It can cast the following spells, requiring no material components:

  • At will: clairvoyance, detect thoughts, divination, hold monster
  • 1/day: forcecage, maze

Magic Resistance. The queen has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.


Actions

Stupify. The queen targets one creature it can see within 120 feet of it. The target takes 4d6 psychic damage and must make a DC 19 Intelligence saving throw.

On a failed save, the creature becomes stunned for 1 minute.  At the end of each of the creature’s turns, it can repeat its saving throw, ending the effect on itself with a success.

Charm (Recharge 4-6). The queen targets one creature that it can see within 30 feet of it. The creature must succeed on a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the queen. The charmed target regards the queen as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn’t under the queen’s control, it takes the queen’s requests or actions in the most favorable way it can.

Each time the queen or the queen’s companions do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect lasts 24 hours, until the queen is destroyed, or the queen is 1 mile or further away from the target, or the queen takes a bonus action to end the effect.


Reactions

Share Damage When a creature the queen can see hits it with an attack, the queen can use its reaction to transfer half of the damage it takes (rounded up) to any formian it can see within 30 feet of it.


Legendary Actions

The queen 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 queen regains spent legendary actions at the start of its turn.

Command Formian. The queen commands a formian it can see within 30 feet of it to make an attack against a target. If the target is within range of the commanded formian, the formian must use its reaction to make a melee or ranged weapon attack against the target. Otherwise, the formian uses its reaction to take the Dash action to get as close as it can to the creature.

Stupify (Costs 2 Actions). The queen uses Stupify.

Psychic Wave (Costs 3 Actions). The queen emits a wave of psychic energy in a 60-foot radius sphere centered on itself. Each creature of the queen’s choice within the area must make a DC 19 Intelligence saving throw. On a failed saving throw, a creature takes 14 (4d6) psychic damage plus an additional 3 (1d6) psychic damage for each additional formian within 60 feet of the queen. A target takes half as much damage on a successful saving throw.

 

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