Hebi-no-onna are vain creatures who delight in the adoration or even worship of warped and deluded humanoids. Whether found as solitary murderers, powerful spellcasters with an entourage of slaves, or at the center of an entire cult network, hebi-no-onnas are dangerous foes whose evil knows no bounds.
A hebi-no-onna appears as an ordinary human woman, generally very attractive and attired like a wealthy noblewoman, in a kimono of the finest silk or linen. Her voluminous sleeves, however, hide arms that are writhing serpents, complete with venomous bites. Hebi-no-onnas love precious stones and drape themselves in jewelry beyond the limits of good taste.
How do hebi-no-onnas fight?
Hebi-no-onnas prefer to use their hypnotic gaze on opponents, and cast spells if they are able, before entering into melee. They are more in love with themselves than with any of their plans or goals, so they never hesitate to flee from a fight that is going poorly for them, even if it means leaving valuable slaves to their deaths as they cover her retreat.
Hebi-no-onnas originally appeared in Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition’s Oriental Adventures. This is an update for Fifth Edition.
Medium monstrosity (spirit), lawful evil
Armor Class 11 (14 with mage armor)
Hit Points 91 (14d8 + 28)
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Abilities Str 10 (+0), Dex 13 (+1), Con 14 (+2), Int 17 (+3), Wis 16 (+3), Cha 20 (+5)
Saving Throws Dex +5, Con +6
Skills Deception +9, Insight +7, Perception +7, Persuasion +9, Stealth +5
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened, poisoned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 17
Languages Common, Draconic
Challenge 12 (8,400 XP)
Hypnotic Gaze. If a creature starts its turn within 30 feet of the hebi-no-onna and the two of them can see each other, the hebi-no-onna can force the creature to make a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw if the hebi-no-onna isn’t incapacitated. On a failed save, the creature is charmed for 1 day, or until the hebi-no-onna dies or is more than 1 mile from the target. The charmed target obeys the hebi-no-onna’s commands and can’t take reactions. A creature that isn’t surprised can avert its eyes to avoid the saving throw at the start of its turn. If it does so, it can’t see the hebi-no-onna until the start of its next turn, when it can avert its eyes again. If it looks at the hebi-no-onna in the meantime, it must immediately make the save. Whenever the charmed target takes damage, it can repeat the saving throw, end the effect on itself on a success. If the creature succeeds on its saving throw or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the hebi-no-onna’s Hypnotic Gaze for the next 24 hours
Legendary Resistance (3/Day). If the hebi-no-onna fails a saving throw, she can choose to succeed instead.
Snake Command. Normal snakes (Beasts only) always obey the commands of the hebi-no-onna, even to the death.
Spellcasting. The hebi-no-onna is a 14th-level spellcaster. Her spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 17, +9 to hit with spell attacks). She has the following sorcerer spells prepared:
- Cantrip (at will): dancing lights, minor illusion, prestidigitation, ray of frost
- 1st level (4 slots): mage armor, magic missile, shield
- 2nd level (3 slots): alter self, blur, detect thoughts, hold person, see invisibility
- 3rd level (3 slots): counterspell, dispel magic, fireball
- 4th level (3 slots): confusion, dominate beast
- 5th level (2 slots): dominate person, hold monster
- 6th level (1 slot): globe of invulnerability
- 7th level (1 slot): teleport
Sorcery Points. The hebi-no-onna has 14 sorcery points. She regains all her spent sorcery points when she finishes a long rest. She can spend her sorcery points on the following options:
- Empowered Spell: When she rolls damage for a spell, the hebi-no-onna can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to her Charisma modifier (minimum of one). She must use the new rolls. The hebi-no-onna can use Empowered Spell even if she has already used a different Metamagic option during the casting of the spell.
- Heightened Spell: When she casts a spell that forces a creature to make a saving throw to resists its effects, the hebi-no-onna can spend 3 sorcery points to give one target of the spell disadvantage on its first saving throw made against the spell.
- Quickened Spell: When she casts a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, the hebi-no-onna can spend 2 sorcery points to change the casting time to 1 bonus action for this casting.
Multiattack. The hebi-no-onna makes two serpent bite attacks.
Serpent Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) piercing damage plus 14 (4d6) poison damage. If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 17 Wisdom saving throw or drop whatever it is holding and become frightened for 1 minute. While frightened by this effect, the creature is stunned. A creature can repeat this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for its, the creature is immune to this effect for the next 24 hours.
The hebi-no-onna can take 3 legendary actions, choosing from the options below. She can take only one legendary action at a time and only at the end of another creature’s turn. The hebi-no-onna regains spent legendary actions at the start of her turn.
- Cantrip. The hebi-no-onna casts a cantrip.
- Move. The hebi-no-onna moves up to half her movement without provoking attacks of opportunity.
- Serpent Bite (Costs 2 Actions). The hebi-no-onna makes a serpent bite attack.
- Summon Snakes (Costs 3 Actions). Up to two swarms of poisonous snakes appear in unoccupied spaces within 30 feet of the hebi-no-onna and remain until destroyed. Swarms of poisonous snakes summoned in this way roll initiative and act in the next available turn. The hebi-no-onna can have up to two swarms summoned by this ability at a time.
Like it? Share it!
My players are currently in a pseudo-Asian setting (Shou in Forgotten Realms), so I’m sure to whip up some more monsters from the old Oriental Adventures handbook.
If you like the monster or the blog, be sure to share it by clicking one of the buttons below!
See you next time!