Mind Flayer Template | Monster for Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition

The biggest pain in the ass with converting Third Edition stuff into Fifth Edition stuff is that Third Edition was all about monsters having class levels. Fifth not-so-much. Case in point, I’m trying to convert the old Spiral of Manzessine adventure from Dungeon #94, and it’s got a shit ton of mindflayers with class levels in it. And currently, my group is made up of six 12th level characters. So it’s hard to justify tossing a single CR 7 creature at my PC’s.

My original thought was to flesh out each and every mind flayer there using the “Monsters with Classes” rules on page 283 of the DMG.

The other alternative was making them all into Legendary Creatures. But that’d get old after a while.

Instead of dealing with all that work, I figured creating a mind flayer template would work much better. So here it is.

Mind Flayer Template

Any NPC can become a mindflayer. It keeps its statistics except as follows.

Type. The mind flayer’s type becomes aberration.

Alignment. The mind flayer’s alignment is lawful evil.

Hit Points. The mind flayer gains 13 hit dice.

Abilities. Unless its score is already higher, a mind flayer has an Intelligence score of 19, a Wisdom score of 17, and a Charisma score of 17.

Saving Throws. The mind flayer gains proficiency in Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.

Skills. The mind flayer gains proficiency in Arcana, Deception, Insight, Perception, Persuasion, and Stealth.

Senses. The mind flayer gains darkvision out to 120 ft.

Languages. The mind flayer knows Deep Speech and Undercommon and has telepathy with a 120 ft. range.

New Trait: Magic Resistance. The mind flayer has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

New Trait: Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The mind flayer’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence. It can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

  • At will: detect thoughts, levitate
  • 1/day each: dominate monster, plane shift (self only)

Tentacles. The mind flayer gains a melee weapon attack, tentacles. It uses its Intelligence as its ability modifier for attack rolls when using its tentacles On a hit, it deals psychic damage equal to 2d10 plus its Intelligence modifier. In addition, if the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled and must succeed on a saving throw or be stunned until the grapple ends. The DC to avoid becoming stunned and escape the grapple is 8 + the mind flayer’s proficiency bonus + its Intelligence modifier.

Extra Brain. The mind flayer gains a melee weapon attack, extra brain. It uses Intelligence as its ability modifier for attack rolls when extracting brains, and it can only use this attack against one humanoid grappled by it. On a hit, the attack deals 10d10 piercing damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the mind flayer kills the target by extracting and devouring its brain.

Mind Blast. The mind flayer gains a special attack, mind blast, which recharges on a d6 roll of 5 or 6. The mind flayer emits psychic energy in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 15 Intelligence saving throw or take psychic damage equal to 4d8 plus the mind flayer’s Intelligence modifier or be stunned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

Sample Mind Flayer

Here the mind flayer template has been applied to a priest.

mindflayer-priest'

Mind Flayer Priest

Medium aberration, lawful evil


Armor Class 13 (chain shirt)

Hit Points 99 (18d8 + 18)

Speed 25 ft.


Abilities Str 10 (+0), Dex 10 (+0), Con 12 (+1), Int 19 (+4), Wis 17 (+3), Cha 17 (+3)


Saving Throws Int +8, Wis +7, Cha +7

Skills Arcana +8, Deception +7, Insight +7, Medicine +11, Perception +7, Persuasion +7,  Religion +8, and Stealth +4.

Senses darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 17

Languages Deep Speech, Undercommon, telepathy 120 ft.

Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)


Divine Eminence. As a bonus action, the mind flayer can expend a spell slot to cause its melee weapon attacks to magically deal an extra 10 (3d6) radiant damage to a target on a hit. This benefit lasts until the end of the turn. If the priest expends a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, the extra damage increases by 1d6 for each level above 1st.

Magic Resistance. The mind flayer has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Innate Spellcasting (Psionics). The mind flayer’s innate spellcasting ability is Intelligence (spell save DC 16) it can innately cast the following spells, requiring no components:

  • At will: detect thoughts, levitate
  • 1/day each: dominate monster, plane shift (self only)

Spellcasting. The mind flayer is a 5th-level spellcaster. Its spellcasting ability is Wisdom (spell save DC 15, +7 to hit with spell attacks). The mind flayer has the following cleric spells prepared:

  • Cantrips (at will): light, sacred flame, thaumaturgy
  • 1st level (4 slots): cure wounds, guiding bolt, sanctuary
  • 2nd level (3 slots): lesser restoration, spiritual weapon
  • 3rd level (2 slots): dispel magic, spirit guardians

Actions

Mace. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage.

Tentacles. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 16 (2d10 + 5) psychic damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 16) and must succeed on a DC 16 Intelligence saving throw or be stunned until this grapple ends.

Extract Brain. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one incapacitated humanoid grappled by the mind flayer. Hit: 55 (10d10) piercing damage. If this damage reduces the target to 0 hit points, the mind flayer kills the target by extracting and devouring its brain.

Mind Blast (Recharge 5-6). The mind flayer magically emits psychic energy in a 60-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 16 Intelligence saving throw or take 22 (4d8 + 4) psychic damage and be stunned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.

 

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